The plastic on headlights takes a lot of wear and tear. This comes from rocks and grit hitting them while driving, and also comes from the UV rays in the sun beating down on it. This wear can cause clouding and yellowing.
That is why a lot of people put a clear coat protective layer on their headlights to help them last longer. You should choose the best clear coat for headlights to get the best protection. The coating protects the plastic surfaces and helps the headlights to stay functioning at the top level.
Sometimes though the clear coat gets old and starts to wear off. Generally, though it doesn’t wear off evenly, however, instead it chips off making it have an uneven look.
After reading this article though you will be able to know what to do when this happens. You will be able to remove the old clear coat so you can restore your headlights and reapply new clear coat.
To remove the old clear coat you really don’t need a lot of things. The main things you need are a few different grits of sandpaper, some water, a microfiber cloth, a cotton towel and some plastic lens cleaner and polishing liquid.
The grits of sandpaper you will be using are 600, 1000, and 2000. The numbers mean how fine of sanding the paper does. The bigger the number the rougher the sandpaper, and the smaller the number the smoother or finer it is.
If you have sandpaper on hand but don’t have these specific numbers, then it is okay to use what you have as long as the numbers are close to this. The key is to just start with a small number and move to a bigger one. The recommended numbers are just a suggestion and many people will tell you different things.
The microfiber cloth doesn’t matter what brand and the polishing liquid can be whatever brand you prefer as well. It is a good idea to get plastic lens cleaner and polish that is made for headlights so it doesn’t damage the plastic.
The last thing you will need is some tape to mask off the paint. You want to use painters tape or masking tape that will not stick to the paint and cause damage to it.
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So now that you know what you need and have everything together it is time to start the removal process. The first step is to mask off around the headlights.
You want to make sure to cover all the paint around the lights and also the chrome parts around it. You don’t want to accidentally sand the wrong area and cause more work for yourself.
After you have everything taped off it is time to start sanding. To sand properly you want to make sure to keep the sandpaper and headlights wet, this is because the particles from sanding can scratch the headlights.
This might sound odd since you are taking sandpaper to it, but you want to minimize the scratches from things other than the sandpaper.
To start with the sanding you use the 600 grit one first. This will remove most of the clear coat that is still on the headlight. Be sure to hold the paper flat while sanding and go over all the headlight evenly.
Next after passing over it good with the 600 grit sandpaper you want to move to the 1000 grit . You sand with it the same way keeping it flat and wet.
The 1000 grit paper will remove the last of the clear coat and start smoothing out the surfaces for the later steps. Once you have passed over both headlights good with the 1000 grit it is time to move onto the 2000 grit. This will really smooth out the surfaces and will ensure a good finish when down.
After passing over the headlight evenly with the last sandpaper the headlights will probably look cloudy and not clear. This is okay. It means you did it right. Now it is time to let the headlamps to dry completely.
After the headlights have dried it is time to polish them up. To do this start with a cotton towel and apply some of your lens cleaner and polish to it. Go over the surface of the headlight evenly and smoothly in circular motions.
You might have to do this multiple times to get all the loose plastic off the surface of the headlight and get most of the cloudy look off. Once you got the headlight almost perfectly clear it is time to move to the last step.
The last step is taking the microfiber cloth and do the same thing as with the cotton towel. The microfiber cloth though will leave a very clear polished finish. It will make your headlights look like they are new. Once you have this done it is up to you what you do next.
Most people decide to reapply a new clear coat to keep your headlights protected. After you took the time to remove the old clear coat and restore your lights to a new shine you don’t want them getting damaged again. You don’t have to put a new clear coat on them though, but it is a good idea too.
So now you know all the things you need to remove clear coat from headlights and you see it is pretty simple. You just need some sandpapers, water, a lens cleaner and polish, and a couple towels. One tip for removing the old clear coat and restoring your lens is do one headlight at a time. This is so you get it all even.
Also, take your time and mask off good so you don’t damage other parts of your car. With these tips and the steps in this guide, you should be able to restore your headlights to a perfect brightness with no trouble at all.
Using a clear coat on your headlights is important. It helps keep the plastic from yellowing or developing a fog over time. The reason it is important to prevent the fogging or yellowing is that it can make it so your headlights do not function fully.
Also, once the breakdown of the plastic starts it is hard to reverse it. They do make headlight restore kits, but they don’t always work the way that it is intended.
That is why it is better to just protect your headlights. This article will provide you with a few great options to do just that. These headlight clear coats will keep your headlights protected or restore headlights to work at full brightness.
Where to Buy
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The first uv headlights clear coat is Meguiar’s G17804 coating. It comes in a 4oz spray can making the application easy. All you do is hold the can a few inches away from the headlights and then just spray it on. While it applies easily though, there are some other steps you need to take.
If your headlamps already have some wear, then it is a good idea to clean them some or use a restoration kit before applying this. Some users didn’t do this and found that this spray made their lights worse.
If your car is newer and you just want to protect your headlights that are already in good shape, then this product is good for that. This headlight clear coat can maintains clarity on new or restored headlights, also provides durable UV protection for headlights.
One downside to this being a can is you have to practice some with getting the right distance from the headlight. If you hold it to close it goes on too thick and can leave smudges or streaks. This can be avoided some by reading the instructions though and lean on the side of holding it too far back.
As for how long it last, most users find that it lasts for around 6 months even though it is advertised to last a year. Some of this could be due to where you live though, and it is still better than having to reapply every month. Plus the can has enough to use it a few times.
The second uv headlights clear coat we will look at is 4EverBrite. This comes in a 16oz bottle. This headlight protector is easy to use. Users love how it is fast and easy to apply normally only taking a few minutes.
Also, one of the best features of this product is it doesn’t need to be reapplied month after month. Instead, it lasts up to a year so you don’t have to reapply it often. Since you don’t have to reapply it often, it is a good idea to reseal the bottle after you are done using it.
This is because the bottle comes with enough to do about 40 sets of headlights, but if not being used it will get thick after opening and become no good if you don’t reseal the bottle.
To get the best results with this product you do need to use multiple coats, so even though it applies fast you have to wait sometime between coats. The instructions say you only have to wait an hour, but most users recommend longer to get a more even coat with no streaks.
Most users are very satisfied with this product though saying it leaves there headlights looking clear like when the car was new.
The next product we will look at is Sylvania Headlight Restoration and UV Clear Coat Kit. This comes in a 1oz bottle of UV coat and a 1oz bottle of activator. It applies similarly to a more traditional headlight clear coat. You should use a Sylvania complete restoration kit to ensure that the headlights has been cleaned before.
You just spray it on lightly and a little goes a long way. Be sure to read the instructions because this one has a lot of steps. The box says it only takes 35 minutes to apply, but that is not accurate.
Most users seem to think that is a per light time because a lot of users take an hour to hour and a half when doing it correctly.
You have to prepare the surfaces with this kit and then spray the UV protector on. After that, you spray the activator on. The good thing is most users have had a lot of good experiences with this kit.
Most users say that it lasts for well over a year which is what is advertised, but it is good that it actually meets the advertised time. Also, this uv clear coat would be nice if the box had everything you needed, but it doesn't.
You will need some sand paper and probably some tape to mask off around the lights as well. This can be annoying if you don't know it going into the process of putting the clear coat on because you might have to go back and buy more materials. However, the instructions are easy to follow, which is good.
Lastly is the Spraymax 3680061 2K Clear. It comes in a can a lot like the first product and sprays on in a similar fashion. This headlight clear coat, however, can be used on all kinds of things besides headlights, so it is really strong.
The fact that it is strong makes the finish last a long time. One thing with this clear coat is it is good to use as a finishing layer. It doesn't have the same UV protection as the other options but leaves a bright finish on your headlights, that will last a long time.
One thing users didn't realize is how strong this chemical is. You want to make sure to do it outside in an open area and at the very least wear a charcoal mask. A respirator is the better option though if you have one.
For the best results with this product, it is a good idea to take your time when applying it. Slow even sprays get the best results and multiple coats will provide the best shine to your headlights.
Even though it is in a can, however, don't think that it lasts forever or a long time. This product only has a shelf life of around forty-eight hours in temperatures around 68 degrees. If it is hotter or colder, then it won't last as long.
You want to make sure to use it when it is warm, so it will dry well. By drying well it will leave a bright shiny finish on your headlights and this clear coat will protect the base coat.
Depending on how much time you have and how much work you want to put into your clear coat will kind of determine which one to use.
If you want something that is fast that will last an okay amount of time, then the Meguiar’s G17804 is fine. Also, this one is good if you have multiple cars to do.
The 4EverBright also applies pretty fast and it last longer. If your headlights are older you should defiantly lean between the 4EverBright or the Meguiar’s because they provide the best protection and last the longest.
Between those two it is hard to pick one that is better. Some will depend on if you want to apply with a can or in a more traditional way with pads. The can is nice because it stores better, but it can be harder to use.
If you are willing to put in a little more time though and want something that will last a bit longer, then the Sylvania Headlight Restoration and UV Clear Coat Kit is the one for you. However, this kit is only enough for one car, so you need to buy one for each car you are going to work on.
Lastly, if you want long-term protection and are willing to use a separate base coat, then the Spraymax 3680061 2K Clear will give you the longest protection.
All four of these products are the best clear coat for headlights. They will protect your headlights from UV in the sun and keep them looking good. Also, on top of keeping your lights looking good, it will help them to stay working properly as well.
The sun can cause the plastic to break down and yellow or fog. This will cause your lights to be dimmer. By preventing this you will save yourself money and time form having to try to restore your headlights and you will keep them function at top level.