How to Restore Headlights PERMANENTLY

100 comments

After 3 coats of clear gloss… There is some haziness from paint I believe. What shall I do to get absolutely clear glass now?

Hi Chris,
I followed this video exactly, and let the clear coat dry for a day. I decided to do a last wet sand with 2000 grit. But now it looks hazy again…will the wax restore it? Or will I just have to start over?

Thank you.

I have a 2005 Kia Amanti that has headlights that are so hazy I have to keep double checking to confirm that they are on. I will most definitely try out this method.

Thanks YouTube for giving me a good recommendation!

Another example of modern day "improvements" actually being inferior. Old style incandescent glass headlamps not only don't haze up, they also heat up to prevent snow and ice buildup in inclement weather.

This guy seems like a nice wholesome guy and I appreciate that about him. I also appreciate his calm ASMR-esque vocal cadences, but I am high on mushrooms right now so take all that with a grain of salt.

With a brand new car, can you clear coat the headlights without sanding with 2000 grit? Or do you need to create those micro scratches, so that the clear coat has something to cling to?

Okay so my Volvo used to have really yellow foggy headlights and I tried this method.

Everything worked great, and my headlights are clear and clean. Then I followed the last step which "is wet sand with 2000x grit the day after clearcoating and right before adding the carnuba wax". Okay so after I did that last wet sand my clarity went down quite a bit.

So I recommend following all the instructions up until that last point. Just use wax after clearcoat dries.

So I did this on my Mazda 6 2011 Headlights and everything went smoothly up until applying the clear coat. I think I did just a little bit too much and it started to run (drip) and it dried overnight like that. What should my next steps be to fix the running of the clear coat paint and still make it shine? I tried wet sanding with 2000,3000 grit sandpaper and it didn’t seem to do the job. I need help!

I replaced my truck headlights and the clear coat started peeling at the top after nine months. then I followed this tutorial and not only does it look better, but it's been a few years now and they're still looking great

Yup, did my nissan and came out great, thought one side took a little more elbow grease but came out like new. Nice job chris, thumbs up .lol

that is not orange peal. looks more like mottling. Orange peal is in part caused by putting a second coat over the first before the first is ready. Adding too thick a coat can also cause it.

Excellent video very thorough you showed every step and the time it should take to do it I love videos like that. I hate videos when they show you the stuff to do and then they cut to when they completed the step and move into the next because they didn’t want to bother recording it while they were doing it so it doesn’t show you exactly what their technique was on how they did it or how long it took them etc.

I've watched a ton of vids on this project and this one is explained the best. And the black bag technique is good advise. I personally would wear gloves and a mask.

I was able to get it completely clear using 1st course guitar polish, then extra fine guitar polish but without the clear coat it will only last a year to 18 months. So a good clear coat is needed. Great video though, I'll try it on our old lens assemblies since I already purchased the new lens for $150 shipped for our 06 Tucson……..

Awesome thanks!! Mines have been replaced 3 time's!! Not by me. Spouse. Rip. Anyway they are back to being YELLOW & FOGGY! I don't even like driving at night. Just because of the hazardousness of not seeing the lights at night. Unless you have the long lights on. Not good. 👍

When going from 400 to 600, should change to vertical to start smoothing out the plastic. when you get to the final sanding, then you should be going horizontal. I did more steps. I went to an 800 on up to 4000. It gave me a crystal clear lens. Other than that, this is a good video.

Cris or someone else please help! I used 400, 600, 2000, 2500 wetsanding to get my headlights perfectly clean. Afterwards I polished the headlights so were as clear as glass and afterwards I used a 2k glossy clear coat spray. I did 3 sprayed layers from 15 cm distance. But the clear coat just make the headlights look very foggy, even when dried for 24 hours. Even though they looked brand new after wet sanding and polishing them! Please help! Why does my spray coat make it look worse then before I started restoring them…

I bought all you recommended and I'm about to follow your step by step tips. Looking forward to get my 08 Element headlights back to life.
Thanks Chris for your tips..

Question: What's the thought on applying clearcoat vs just sanding up through 3000 grit and then polishing the plastic? Is the difference just how long the fix will last?

Thanks! This method worked for my 2006 Accord. The clearcoat did dry with a slight orange peel effect but definitely 100 percent improvement in nighttime visibility.

I did this and it lasted for over a year before it stared to peel at the edges. I tried another method using only metal polish and literally taking ten minutes and it came out beautiful.

If it was "permanent", the UV coating your headlights came with wouldn't have gone foggy and yellow in the first place. Nothing is permanent. This method shown in the video, will get foggy eventually. Maybe not in a year, but down the line.

Anyone know why when I applied the clear coat I got a wrinkle/cracks in the clear coat. Any advice on how to fix that and why it happens

Do you need a 600 grit to wet sand it first or can I use the 2000 grit right away. my headlight is a little bit oxidized since i did that toothpaste thing

Hi Chris so I just did a headlight restoration from 600 to 2,000 grit wet sandpaper but the headlight is really hazy from the scratches so now I'm afraid I scratched up the headlight to much. Should I just do your next step with the clear gloss paint and hope it works??

I drive home from work everynight at 2am on back country roads with no street lights through deer country. My car sits outside 24/7/365 – the headlights have taken a real beatin'. I just couldn't see anymore, so I replaced all my bulbs and the fog lights were outshining the headlights!!! Since the fogs are not housed under the large lens, that told me to do this fix – AMAZING results – I can see again!!! Thank you so much Chris – this saved me a lot of money and probably saved me from an accident, too.

Hi Chris, you seem to have quite a few videos on cleaning headlights but this is the latest one and it also says "permanently". Am I safe to assume this is the best way to go about cleaning and restoring headlights? Thanks!

Jesus guys, was your first car a BMW? Why rag on the ride? Everyone has a first, and it's NEVER your last or best.

Do you still recommend this method with all you've learned over the years? Like maybe using a ceramic coating?
Thank you

in 2017 after i saw this video, i do the same thing, clean, + clear gloss, now in oct 2019, the UV coat begin not working, pop up some bubble

Did not work for me. The clear coat peeled due to the temperature of the HID headlights. Looks 10 times worse than before doing anything at all. Should I have used a 2K clear coat?

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