How To Restore Car Headlights

FOR VALETORS, SMART REPAIRERS, & DETAILERS USING THE PROCESS SHOWN BELOW CAN ADD A PROFITABLE SERVICE TO YOUR BUSINESS.

FOR THE KEEN DIY ENTHUISIAST INSTRUCTIONS & EQUIPMENT CAN ALL BE SEEN ON THIS BLOG. RESTORATION KITS ARE EXCELLENT VALUE FOR MONEY & KITS INCLUDE ITEMS TO REMOVE SCRATCHES FROM ALL AUTOMOTIVE PAINTED SURFACES.

Any observant car person or an unfortunate car owner may have noticed that the first of new generation of plastic headlights are suffering from old age ailments! As old age, the sun and UK weather conditions take effect on the outer surface of modern headlights they become discoloured and in some cases extremely in effective.

This headlight below was described by the mot tester as not even showing up (in daylight) on the mot bay wall when turned on dipped headlights.

Prices differ from dealer to pattern headlight replacements, however Renault quote £319 for two headlights fitted to a Clio.

For a replacement Volvo headlight alone it is over £400 for a xenon light without fitting!

 

The Volvo headlight was not an mot failure, but just cosmetically ugly.

Any accomplished valetor or detailer can restore a headlight in a relatively short time and the cost in materials per headlight is under £1. Thus making it a lucrative service to add to any detailer or valetors arsenal.

volvo2 volvo1 clio (1) clio clio headlight clio headlight restored

 

 

 

 

 

Firstly pop the bonnet and mask all around the headlight and bumper with either standard ixtar masking tape or water proof 3m masking tape. This to stop wayward sanding paper touching areas you don’t want it to. To keep it nice tidy use mask roll around the areas likely to be affected by the dust, milky sanding water and compound machine throw off.

 

Depending on the level of discolouration choose your grade of wet and dry paper, and use it dry. 240 grit is fine to use, but just remember the more aggressive the grit the more feathering out you will need to do. Personally I have used 80 grit paper and the headlight repair has been excellent. The secret as ever with any sanding is to let the paper do the work. Do not apply to much pressure, as deeper scratches will just take longer to flat out. Use a of left to right, up and down and circle motion. You can repeat this process with water to help the feathering process if required.

You can remove stone chips and as my neighbour decided to remove overspray from his headlight with a razor blade, you can also feather out missing chunks! Pending on what make of headlight it is.

After the 240 process change to the 600 grit and repeat the process, regularly checking the headlight concentrating on the area sanded the most. More water maybe used if required.

Now swap to 1200 grit and repeat once again. At this point you will still not be able to tell if the sanding process is complete.

You will only know if the sanding process has been a complete success with the use of your rotary polishing or drill fitting polishing heads (with the harder sponge). Presta supercut compound was used on these repairs because of it’s performance on sanding scratches, is very tidy and any throw off wipes off easily. Operate rotaries at slow to medium rpm as to not generate to much friction and heat.

 

Repeat the polishing until dulled plastics are restored to a clear finish. Once the plastics are clear and shiny again use the Presta Headlight restoration crème with the softer sponge to increase the shine and finish to the headlights until the desired effect is achieved. Finally it is optional to add a clear coat sealer (in these cases Malco sealant was used)  to help protect and pro-long the restored headlights.

It is extremely difficult to get perfect factory finish headlights, and the finish you get will be determined on how much time you are willing to spend on your repair. However forty five minutes to an hour will achieve outstanding results has the potential to earn and save individuals money.
We can provide training for this process and we can also supply bespoke fliers as seen below.
We trained a valetor in a day and this franchise now has these fliers on their counter with the rear of the flier listing further services.

If you wish us to supply you with the fliers sporting your contact details, then drop us a line.

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