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The headlights on my truck are getting a little hazy. Many years ago I polished up a set of headlights on my wife's Subaru and it lasted about a year. No sealer. I know the only true long term solution is to get new lights. I am not going to do that. Looking on-line I see several. These are my top contenders. Please share your experience and/or recommendations. Thanks all.

Amazon.com: CERAKOTE Ceramic Headlight Restoration Kit – Guaranteed to Last As Long As You Own Your Vehicle – Brings Headlights Back to Like New Condition - 3 Easy Steps - No Power Tools Required : Automotive

Amazon.com: Meguiar's Two Step Headlight Restoration Kit, Headlight Cleaner Restores Clear Car Plastic and Protects from Re-Oxidation, Includes Headlight Coating and Cleaning Solution – 4 Count (1 Pack) : Everything Else

Amazon.com: SYLVANIA - Headlight Restoration Kit - 3 Easy Steps to Restore Sun Damaged Headlights With Exclusive UV Block Clear Coat, Light Output and Beam Pattern Restored, Long Lasting Protection : Automotive

I plan on doing the polishing by hand so I did not include any of the kits that have a drill adaptor. If I end up needing the extra elbow grease, I already have a foam backed drill adaptor I can use.
 

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I've used the Sylvania kit on several vehicles (including the 2012 Frontier), and wouldn't hesitate to use it again.

Now going on 4 years since they were applied, and they're still looking great.
 
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The boy and I just polished the headlights on his 2003 Frontier. Just used the emery paper and polish we had in the garage. Wet sanded with 1000 then 2000, then Mothers aluminum polish, turtle wax rubbing compound, turtle wax polish. Turned out great and didn't cost anything...
 

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Clearcoat > Headlight Restoration Kits > Polish.

The best way to make ur headlights looking new is to use Automotive ClearCoat. Im an automotive painter and I restore headlights once awhile using clearcoat and it definately is the best way to go and itll last.. But since not everyone has access to clearing there headlights, these new and improved restoration kits are pretty decent cause it seems like ur adding a thin coat of clear rather than polishing the headlight. I dont have any experience with theses kits but after watching the instructional videos id lean towards the Sylvania Kit cause of the amount of steps involved. And yes polishing ur headlights will only last u about a year. Ive polished many many headlights and they only last about a year.
 

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I did the sandpaper/clear coat method. Skip the kits, take you lights off the truck one weekend, wet sand them, clear them with this $40~ can and be done with it. They will look brand new and last. Besides, new headlights are way to expensive. I am biased though, I love painting hahaha.
Liquid Fluid Automotive tire Plastic bottle Drink
 
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Clearcoat > Headlight Restoration Kits > Polish.

The best way to make ur headlights looking new is to use Automotive ClearCoat. Im an automotive painter and I restore headlights once awhile using clearcoat and it definately is the best way to go and itll last.. But since not everyone has access to clearing there headlights, these new and improved restoration kits are pretty decent cause it seems like ur adding a thin coat of clear rather than polishing the headlight. I dont have any experience with theses kits but after watching the instructional videos id lean towards the Sylvania Kit cause of the amount of steps involved. And yes polishing ur headlights will only last u about a year. Ive polished many many headlights and they only last about a year.
Headlight restoration lasting a year is correct. I have done several vehicles for friends and family and those kits last about a year to a year and a half.
 

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When I had my 2012 I used the 3M kit. Even though I haven't used it, I would recommend the Silvania kit. Looks like members like it on here too, but Project Farm tried several of these and Silvania was the best by far. Depending on what you use, consider a UV coating for sure. Check out his video here, you can start at 15:48 if you just want to see the results.
 

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Clearcoat > Headlight Restoration Kits > Polish.
It should be two of those rights? If you're going to clear coat, you need to prep properly, which is essentially the step you're doing with the kits. Most people don't have the tools for proper prep, so really the full job should consist of a kit, and a proper clear coat like 2K. I do have a question on that however...

I may be overthinking here as I come from a world of laminates for graphics, but does the opticality (is that even a word lol) come into play? At least for films, if you laminate say, a printed graphic, the laminate itself doesn't have to be optically clear. Against the graphics it'll look perfectly clear, but if you hold it up and try to look through it, you'll get a frosted look. So anything for windows or similar, you want a film that's optically clear that you can see right through like glass. So, does that come into play at all with a clear coat? Or it doesn't matter simply because either the distance from the bulb is too small or if there is any loss in light transmission it is so negligibly small?
 

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I did the sandpaper/clear coat method. Skip the kits, take you lights off the truck one weekend, wet sand them, clear them with this $40~ can and be done with it. They will look brand new and last. Besides, new headlights are way to expensive. I am biased though, I love painting hahaha. View attachment 358336
I didnt want to complicate my post but yes, this 2k clearcoat in a can is changing the game for DIYers. I would highly recommend this product for clearing your headlights.
 

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It should be two of those rights? If you're going to clear coat, you need to prep properly, which is essentially the step you're doing with the kits. Most people don't have the tools for proper prep, so really the full job should consist of a kit, and a proper clear coat like 2K. I do have a question on that however...

I may be overthinking here as I come from a world of laminates for graphics, but does the opticality (is that even a word lol) come into play? At least for films, if you laminate say, a printed graphic, the laminate itself doesn't have to be optically clear. Against the graphics it'll look perfectly clear, but if you hold it up and try to look through it, you'll get a frosted look. So anything for windows or similar, you want a film that's optically clear that you can see right through like glass. So, does that come into play at all with a clear coat? Or it doesn't matter simply because either the distance from the bulb is too small or if there is any loss in light transmission it is so negligibly small?
All 3 methods generally has simliar steps. If ur clearcoating, u just need to wetsand the lights with 800/1000. With those restoration kits, those same steps and then 2000. With Polish, u would try and finish with an even finer grit like 3000 or even 5000. If ur using that 2k clearcoat, prep is actually rather easy and u dont need tools to do the job. U just need some 800/1000G sandpaper and start wetsanding away.

It doesnt come into play at all with clearcoat but if it does, its soo negligibly small. But when ur restoring headlights ur doing it cause the lense is damaged by the sun and its yellowed or whiten soo much and that hinders light going thru. So any type of light restoration is a big improvement over not doing anything at all.
 

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Regardless of what you do, definitely spray with McGuire’s protectant coating after you’re done. Makes them look new and shiny/clear, and keeps them looking good for longer. I spray this stuff on every year
 

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I can’t believe nobody has used deet. Off insect repellent that contains deet. Heavily wet a rag and wipe gently like you’re spreading bondo. Last strokes are very gentle. No scrubbing or pressure. It melts the topmost layer and allows it to flow. I washed it with lots of clear low pressure water. It worked for me and lasted. The clear coat seal afterwords sounds like a good idea.
 

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The headlights on my truck are getting a little hazy. Many years ago I polished up a set of headlights on my wife's Subaru and it lasted about a year. No sealer. I know the only true long term solution is to get new lights. I am not going to do that. Looking on-line I see several. These are my top contenders. Please share your experience and/or recommendations. Thanks all.

Amazon.com: CERAKOTE Ceramic Headlight Restoration Kit – Guaranteed to Last As Long As You Own Your Vehicle – Brings Headlights Back to Like New Condition - 3 Easy Steps - No Power Tools Required : Automotive

Amazon.com: Meguiar's Two Step Headlight Restoration Kit, Headlight Cleaner Restores Clear Car Plastic and Protects from Re-Oxidation, Includes Headlight Coating and Cleaning Solution – 4 Count (1 Pack) : Everything Else

Amazon.com: SYLVANIA - Headlight Restoration Kit - 3 Easy Steps to Restore Sun Damaged Headlights With Exclusive UV Block Clear Coat, Light Output and Beam Pattern Restored, Long Lasting Protection : Automotive

I plan on doing the polishing by hand so I did not include any of the kits that have a drill adaptor. If I end up needing the extra elbow grease, I already have a foam backed drill adaptor I can use.
So far over the years I've used 3M 39195 Ultra Headlight Restoration Kit, Meguiar's Two Step Headlight Restoration Kit, and the Mothers 07251 NuLens Headlight Renewal Kit. We have an '06 Highlander in the family that has required periodical headlamp restoring over the last 8 years or so, and I'm always the one doing it. My thoughts:

3M: First kit I used for many years, includes a lot of gear (multiple grit sanding discs, last step lens treatment) and even comes with masking tape and disposable gloves. The drill attachment made it much easier to work with, but it does take some time and patience to go through the steps. When followed exactly as instructed, the results were A++. I recall having to redo the process maybe once a year.​
Meguiar's: Tried this a few times, results were also very good, but the manual sanding process was not fun (after being used to using the 3M drill attachment). The best part of this kit is the Headlight Coating spray that is included as a last-step treatment. One time I ran out of time and did not use the spray, and I had to restore again after maybe 4-5 months. With the spray applied the headlamps would stay clear for around 10 months. I stopped using the Meguiar's kit but I still use the Headlight Coating Spray.​
Mother's: Used this one most recent and most often, similar gear to the 3M, but you get a large bottle of their Plastic Polishing compound as well. Results were as good as the 3M kit, lasted 6-8 months as-is, but almost a year when I spraying the lamps after the job with the Meguiar's Headlight Coating spray (Mother's doesn't come with any last-step treatment).​

Honestly I think all 3 consumer kits I've used have done excellent at restoring my headlamps. I've never tried any of the "home remedies" (toothpaste, deet, WD-40, baking soda, etc.) but with kits and chemicals available that are proven, I don't even bother. IMO regardless of what kit/method you choose to do, I'd say to keep two things in mind:

1. If you use a kit, follow the directions EXACTLY as they tell you. Don't skip steps, don't rush steps, don't sand horizontal if they say to sand vertical, etc. literally follow the steps as given, in order. Don't use steps from another kit with a different kit. If you follow their procedure exactly as stated, it's pretty much guaranteed you'll get good results.​
2. Once you're done restoring, you MUST apply some sort of protectant over the now-bare plastic, or the yellowing/haziness will come back very quickly. Meguiar's Headlight Coating spray is what I use all the time, Blue Magic Headlight Lens Sealer works great as well.​

Others have recommended a more permanent clear-coat solution in this thread, I haven't gone that far yet so I cannot give you any feedback on that either, however i hope the above helps.

Side note: My Frontier headlamps are starting to show some haze along the upper edges, I was planning on trying the Cerakote kit next :cool:
 

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I can’t believe nobody has used deet. Off insect repellent that contains deet. Heavily wet a rag and wipe gently like you’re spreading bondo. Last strokes are very gentle. No scrubbing or pressure. It melts the topmost layer and allows it to flow. I washed it with lots of clear low pressure water. It worked for me and lasted. The clear coat seal afterwords sounds like a good idea.
My mechanic buddy spotted my old Gen 1's cloudy headlight lenses and promptly got a can of OFF! bug-spray and an old t-shirt rag => just a few minutes later they looked brand new. Voila!
 
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