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3M Headlight Lens Restoration System

December 6th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments
4 Stars- techdad

I have an 11 year old Jetta and the yellowing and hazing on the headllight lens was pretty bad.  After all the glowing reviews on Amazon and the incredible before and after photos, I was sold.

PROS

  • Good results
  • Inexpensive
  • Clear instructions
CONS
  • Could use 2 more sanding pads in the kit
  • Left faint scratches
The entire process, from prep to washing took me about 90 minutes or so.  Here’s what you’ll need before you get started:
  1. Terry cloth towels
  2. Spray bottle of water
  3. Soapy water
  4. Power drill (with at least 1 hour of battery run time)
  5. Tape

I started out by taping off the body of the car around the headlights.  I then opened the Restoration System package and inserted the disc pad holder to my drill and placed the first sanding disc on it and got to work.  I was being conservative with my use of the sanding discs at first but realized afterwards that this is probably the most important step in the whole process.  The first sanding discs are what remove all the yellowing and major imperfections.  You get 6 total sanding discs so if you’re doing both headlights, you have 3 per light.  I guess my 11 year old car was pretty bad because I really could’ve used 4 discs per light as the pads get clogged pretty quickly.  The instructions were very clear and you can even watch an instructional video online.

The remaining steps involved finer sanding with the last step being polishing.  My drill ran out of juice after the first headlight so I had to swap batteries.  While the headlights turned out looking much improved, I noticed that there were tiny scratches and swirls, only noticeable from within a few inches of the lens.  If I had ordered a second set, I probably would have repeated the procedures for even better results.

I probably wouldn’t use the 3M system on headlight lenses that are just slightly discolored, only because of the inevitable scratches left behind.  But for older vehicles, this is a pretty cost-effective way to restore the lens.  I just wish it included a couple more sanding discs.  Regardless, now my headlights are able to emit more light through the lens and looks a whole lot better.  I have uploaded a before and after photo for those interested.

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