If you’re looking to get rid of the yellow, hazy, ugly look of your aging headlights…look no further. We’ve tested out several headlight restoration kits, and the 3M kit is the best on the market. It removes damaged headlight material, cleans, and seals the refreshed headlight housing.
Chances are if your car is more than five years old your headlights have started to lose their crisp look. They’ve either started to yellow or gotten hazy, or maybe both. If they’ve gotten bad enough, they could start to block some of the light rays being emitted, causing a potential safety hazard.
After six years on the road our headlights began getting hazy, starting at the top.
Before the haze worked its way down to the front of the headlight I decided it was time to refinish the whole thing. I picked up the 3M Headlight Restoration Kit from Amazon.com and got to work. This kit requires a power drill, and I have a Dewalt 18V drill I received as a wedding gift.
In addition to what comes in the box, you also need a roll of painters tape. The first step in the process is to protect the paint surrounding the headlights by covering it with tape.
After taping the headlights I got to work sanding them down. This removes the hazy residue on the surface of the headlights. This is one of the most important steps, and is one reason why 3M’s kit is the best on the market. It’s the only one we’ve found so far that comes with a drill attachment to sand the headlights down. If you fail to do this properly you’ll never get rid of the hazy yellow material on the surface of the light.
Again, the drill bit sander is what makes the 3M kit the best headlight restoration kit on the market. Once I was done with the first pass of sanding the headlight looked like this:
The final sanding step involves a light compound that comes inside the kit, shown in the photo below:
The last step involves using a foam pad to apply a machine polish to seal the headlight and restore its clarity. Our headlights came out looking like this:
The headlight comes out looking almost new, and the restoration lasts several years. The entire process took about 45 minutes. If I had to do it again I could probably get it done in under 30 minutes, as I wouldn’t be taking photos and referring to instructions.
The kit is very fairly priced for such a quality kit. We’ve seen inferior kits almost as expensive. Of all the kits on the market, the 3M kit is the best.
Update: 3M has developed technology to achieve the same results without requiring a drill. You complete the sanding using similar pads, but you no longer need the drill.