How to Restore Headlights Yourself

February 13th, 2018 by

2017 Nissan Altima

Thanks to time and the sun, your car’s lights will become dull and cloudy. Here’s how to restore headlights so they look shiny and new again. All you need are some special materials and elbow grease.

Wash Your Car

First, wash your car so it’s completely free of surface dirt. Wax around the headlights because the compound you’ll be using is abrasive. You don’t want it to adhere to your car’s exterior.

Protect Areas With Tape

Prep the areas around the headlamps with blue painter’s tape. You want only the part of the headlamp that needs to be polished to show. Some lenses made of ABS plastic don’t get as cloudy and discolored as polycarbonate headlights, so you cover them with tape, as well as the surrounding chrome and plastic trim.

Sand the Headlights

Soak a piece of 1000-grit wet/dry sandpaper in cold water. After about 10 minutes, sand the lens with light, straight strokes, moving back and forth in one direction. Keep the entire surface wet, and work methodically. Don’t accidentally sand any paint or trim. Once the lens is clear of scratches and discoloration, repeat the same steps with wet 1500-grit wet/dry sandpaper. This time, work at right angles to the way you sanded previously. Cleaning off the powder each time, work slowly, and repeat the process at new right angles with 2000-, 2500-, and 3000-grit wet/dry sandpaper.

Polish and Seal

Now, use a polish compound and soft cloth in circular motions to make the haziness disappear. It will take at least 10 minutes for each lens, especially since you need to be careful not to touch the other surfaces. When you’re finished, use paste car wax to help protect the lenses. Then, apply a UV protectant. You also may need to adjust your headlights to make sure they’re pointing straight ahead and level.

Service Center Option

Now you know how to restore headlights! If you don’t have time for a project like this, Jeffrey Nissan’s Service Center can take care of it for you. We serve metro Detroit and would love to make you one of our happy customers. Schedule your appointment online today!

Posted in Our Dealership