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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dirty Headlights are never a good thing. It is an easy, albeit time consuming, simple task to clear your headlights of smog, corrosion, grime, and everything else they see every day.

What you will need!
- Towel
- Spray bottle, or clean source of water
- Painters or Automotive Detail Tape, masking tape.
- Restore Kit, I'll be using the 3M Headlight Restoration Kit.

You don't need to buy the kit but it is a nice complete package.

What it is...
Foam applicator with sandpaper attachment by 3M.
500 grit sandpaper
800 grit sandpaper
1000 grit sandpaper
3000 grit sandpaper
Polishing compound



They don't look too bad... but these headlights are disgusting.



Use the Tape to protect your car around the headlight.



You will start with the most aggressive grit paper. You will be sanding off the top layer of ugly. This will be yellow. Once you start sanding clean white you are done with this step. Small even circles is how I did this.



You will then move to the 800 grit sandpaper and then the 1000 grit. Use your water source on the 1000 grit to wet-sand away all the scuff left by the 800 grit.

Once you are satisfied and can no longer see clear visibly sanding marks move on the final 3000 grit and do as you did with the 1000 and wet-sand for a clear even finish. Take your time and the better you do here the clearer the lens will be.



She looks so sad!

Final step is to clean off the sanded material and use the polishing compound. I did this twice. The 3M Kit comes with a foam applicator. You use the foam side to apply the polishing compound.

A little hard to see but the lens is almost totally clear again.



I ran out of daylight so I will be doing the passenger side next.
Here you can see just how ugly and filthy these dirty headlights were. That is 9 years of road ugly.



It took a while using hand power with my headlights, so plan accordingly or get caught in the dark like I did :)

Now you can apply a headlight protectant to keep that grime away a little longer.

Enjoy your much cleaner headlights!
 

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Very nice! I plan to do this after I move...my headlights are UGLY. I was able to find a 1200 RPM drill, so I wont be doing it by hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I wish I had a drill attachment, I have a nice drill.

The 500 and 800 grit sanding went fairly quickly. It was the 1000 to polishing that took the most time. I'd only use the drill on the last few steps to avoid uneven sanding.

The hardest parts were near the cornered edges as it was easy to overlap onto the car paint, so just be careful if you use a drill around these areas. The foam and provided papers were easy to manipulate by hand to not sand the car.
 

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What to put here...
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The 3M kit is the best! Good write-up, but I would definitely recommend a corded drill as it makes the job take SO MUCH LESS TIME! :)

I would also highly recommend getting protective clear lens covers for your lights. I refinished my wifes' Odyssey headlights at the same time as my TSX ones. I had protective clear vinyl lens covers for my TSX and applied them the day after refinishing the lenses. A few years go by, and her Odyssey lights are murky and nasty again, whereas my TSX ones with the protective vinyl are still crystal clear.

Last tip - cover the engine bay with an old drop-cloth/sheet. The polishing compound, if applied by drill, can/will splatter no matter how careful you are. It's REALLY tough to get out of some of the textured areas of the engine bay.
 

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Have used the 3M kit multiple times and really like the results. Some of my lessons learned.....
1) Mask the painted surfaces multiple times. Use HD tape on top of the masking tape, such as duct tape. You can't use too much tape. On the other hand, if you don't use enough tape and tear through it, you will then have bigger problems with your paint.
2) Use a corded drill, just be careful and take your time. It really saves time and does a nice job if you do not rush. (This is why you need more tape.)
3) Cover the engine compartment with an old sheet or tarp. You will be glad you did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What did you use with the drill to make that usable?

Also I ended up using Blue Magic Headlight sealer for my final step.
[ame]http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Magic-730-6-Headlight-Sealer/dp/B0051PJWQW[/ame]

I'll update a final pic soon. For hand polishing there is some very tiny areas if you put your nose on the headlight that you can see some rough spots but with this protectant my headlights look gorgeous again.
 

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The best part about this 3M product is they sell everything separately as well. If you run out of one grit or need more compound you can make a drive to the store. In fact, you don't even really need to buy the kit itself if you know what you need. Sometimes 800 grit is too much, and if you know you won't need it you can skip that step.
 

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Dirty Headlights are never a good thing. It is an easy, albeit time consuming, simple task to clear your headlights of smog, corrosion, grime, and everything else they see every day.

What you will need!
- Towel
- Spray bottle, or clean source of water
- Painters or Automotive Detail Tape, masking tape.
- Restore Kit, I'll be using the 3M Headlight Restoration Kit.

You don't need to buy the kit but it is a nice complete package.

What it is...
Foam applicator with sandpaper attachment by 3M.
500 grit sandpaper
800 grit sandpaper
1000 grit sandpaper
3000 grit sandpaper
Polishing compound



They don't look too bad... but these headlights are disgusting.



Use the Tape to protect your car around the headlight.



You will start with the most aggressive grit paper. You will be sanding off the top layer of ugly. This will be yellow. Once you start sanding clean white you are done with this step. Small even circles is how I did this.



You will then move to the 800 grit sandpaper and then the 1000 grit. Use your water source on the 1000 grit to wet-sand away all the scuff left by the 800 grit.

Once you are satisfied and can no longer see clear visibly sanding marks move on the final 3000 grit and do as you did with the 1000 and wet-sand for a clear even finish. Take your time and the better you do here the clearer the lens will be.



She looks so sad!

Final step is to clean off the sanded material and use the polishing compound. I did this twice. The 3M Kit comes with a foam applicator. You use the foam side to apply the polishing compound.

A little hard to see but the lens is almost totally clear again.



I ran out of daylight so I will be doing the passenger side next.
Here you can see just how ugly and filthy these dirty headlights were. That is 9 years of road ugly.



It took a while using hand power with my headlights, so plan accordingly or get caught in the dark like I did :)

Now you can apply a headlight protectant to keep that grime away a little longer.

Enjoy your much cleaner headlights!
Was wondering if your headlights are still clear now. Thanks!
 

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I did mine October and can see that the lights are getting cloudy again. I'm going to touch them up again and put clear film on them afterwards.
 

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If you put a clear film on them afterwards, your lights will stay clear.
I did mine (TSX) and wife's (Odyssey) 2-3 years ago on the same day... but I put 3M clear film on my lights afterwards (but not the Odyssey).
My lights are still clear - hers look yellowed again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Was wondering if your headlights are still clear now. Thanks!

Yes my lights are still clear. I never did do a second touch up so I can see where I did a ~ok job if I look closely, but otherwise they still look very good.

I used Blue Magic 730-6 Headlight Lens Sealer.

I also used the sealer on my wife's new car and her lenses look factory new still, so I think it's good stuff.
 

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Just wanted to share I cleaned my headlights today wet sanded with 800 to 1500 to 2000 then rubbing compound buff and wax seal, saw the orange s2000 episode of wheeler dealers and decided to try it. Came out great.
 

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