Headlight restoration kits compared
8:19

Headlight restoration kits compared

Roadshow
Speaker 1: Discolored chalky weather, beaten headlight, housings. They're not only unsightly. These things are a serious safety hazard, but you don't have to spend thousands of dollars replacing your vehicle's old headlights. You can clean them up yourself. And it's easy in this video, I'm putting some commonly available headlight, restoration kits to the test to see how well they perform or don't perform. So keep watching for the full story, driving around with [00:00:30] hazy oxidized headlamps makes it much harder to see and be seen at night. It's kind of like your car has cataracts for this video we bought, yes, bought six different headlight restoration kits so we can conduct completely independent testing. No manufacturers were involved here and I'll be judging these kits on a few criteria, namely efficacy, ease of use and cost. And as you can see, I also grabbed a pile of old headlight housings from [00:01:00] my local pull apart junk yard. Speaker 1: Now these give us an opportunity to properly evaluate each kit and see how they compare. Now. No, this isn't a perfectly scientific test. These headlight housings are from different vehicles and they've all been subjected to who knows what over their lives still. This will give us a good idea of how effective these it's R also we did a whole nother video looking at how effective toothpaste and a popular brand of spray [00:01:30] lubricant are at reviving headlights. Are these common household items better than professional kits? Well, I'm not going to tell you. You've gotta watch that feature yourself. Anyway, in no particular order, here's a rundown of the headlight restoration kits. We're evaluating first up. There's the 3m ultra headlight restoration kit, which goes for roughly $18. It promises to improve brightness by up to 200% and provides UV protection [00:02:00] for two years. Next, we have the others new lens headlight restoration kit, which checks out for around $22 increasing its versatility. Speaker 1: According to the manufacturer, this setup can also be used on other plastics like taillight, housings, convertible, top windows and helmet face shields. Our most expensive headlight restoration kit is from McGuire's a top shelf brand though at the time of shooting, this one only stickers for about 32 bucks. So it's hardly [00:02:30] a budget Buster. This kit looks comprehensive and promises to keep lenses clear for one whole year. Lowest priced headlight restoration kit were evaluating is made by turtle wax. This basic affair was shipped a small Manila envelope and looks like some generic brand knockoff at only around $11. Is it actually effective? Well, we're gonna find out the Sara coat ceramic headlight restoration kit only goes for about 17 bucks and promises professional [00:03:00] grade results, but we'll see if that's true or not. On the plus side, this option is made in the USA and requires no additional tools beyond what's in the box last but not least is the roughly $20 SVE headlight restoration kit. Speaker 1: It should include everything you need to revive battered lamp housings, including a couple sheets of paper towel for applying different compounds and whatnot. How thoughtful, okay, so that's an overview of the kits we're testing. But [00:03:30] before we dive in a quick note about how they work, each kit is different, but the instructions are all essentially the same. I'm not going to cover every step for each one of these or this video would end up being like two hours long. Still. Here's the gist of it. In simple terms, you prep the lens surface and then either Polish or wet sand. It usually in multiple steps. And finally you apply some sort of sealant to keep things clear and bright while [00:04:00] doing this. There are a few important tips to be aware of as well. One make sure you steer clear of your vehicle's paint. Some kits include masking tape to help with this, but you might want to have an extra roll on hand. Speaker 1: Obviously, this won't be an issue here. As all of these headlights have been mercilessly ripped from the vehicles they were installed on tip number two, some kits require a hand drill, which should make things much easier. Just be careful when polishing you don't wanna push too hard, which [00:04:30] could cause more damage. Number three, make sure to take your time for the best results. Don't rush things. Tip number four. After completing the restoration process, you usually have to wait several hours until the sealant cures before your vehicle gets wet. So keep that in mind, if it's raining and a week past your wife's due date, finally hit the links in the description box below. If you need to buy a new headlight restoration kit, okay. With [00:05:00] all of that outta the way a here is how everything stacks up, Speaker 1: All right, the testing is done. And what did we learn today? Well, for one, my arm sure is sore from doing all of that sanding. So I do not recommend you go out and refinish headlight assemblies in your free time. But the big takeaway here, I think is [00:05:30] the difference between all of these kits. The performance differences are stark between our top performing recommendations and the worst one in this comparison test. So I kind of figured they would all be much more similar, but in point of fact, they are not as for recommendations. My number one pick goes to McGuire's right here. Now it doesn't give you quite the shine the Venia kit does, but it is much easier to use. You're getting about 98% of the shine here for half the [00:06:00] work. So that is a very good, uh, deal. Uh, beyond that one thing of note, the polishing pad, it kind of broke on me while I was using it. Speaker 1: So I ended up having to sand by hand. So be aware of that in a very close, second place finish is the Venia kit. It gives you a, a little bit better results at the end of the day, though, it is a lot more work, either one of these kits, though, you're gonna be happy and I highly recommend them both. Next up, we have the mother's kit, which as you can see here, it's not quite [00:06:30] as shiny a finish as you get whistle VE or McGuire's, but it's still remarkably good. And the difference between the treated and untreated side is clear. Get it its clear difference, cuz it's a, uh, nevermind. Anyway, this kit is a good recommendation. Uh, it's fairly easy to use and you probably will be well served by it. Fourth place finish goes to 3m right over here. Again, this kit requires a drill. Speaker 1: As you saw though, it is fairly easy to use though. The difference between the treated [00:07:00] and untreated sides are not quite as stark as I would like to see, but still it worked fairly well. So this is a, a pretty good option. Next ups coat. This one is a maybe recommendation. It did a nice job cleaning the lens. As you can see though, the last step sort of the sealant step of the kit, the pouches, the moist towels were sort of dried out and very crystallized. So I don't know that they gave quite as good a finish as they could have. So if you do go with the Sierra code kit, I recommend [00:07:30] you keep the receipt in case you gotta send it back because it may be expired. And finally, perhaps predictably in last place, we have turtle wax. It didn't do a whole lot to clean this headlight housing, not a big difference between the treated and untreated sides. And again, this is the cheapest kit in this comparison. So I'm not entirely surprised, but none of these headlight restoration kits are very expensive. So for just a few bucks more, you can get a kit that performs much better, but wrapping things up, don't buy the [00:08:00] turtle wax kit. You don't want that. Any of our other recommendations are much better options. And of course, if you do need a headlight restoration kit, make sure you hit the links in the description box below where you can purchase any of these phenomenal products.

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