Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Let there be light . . .

Twelve years and 135 thousand miles of road sand have taken their toll on the headlights on the Jetta.
They were quite yellowed and opaque, and were noticeably dim at night.
So I gathered enough bits for a quick restoration job. Wet dry sand paper in 400, 800, 1000 and 2000 grit. Rubbing compound and Meguiar's Mirror Glaze plastic cleaner.
Mask off the paint so as not to scuff it and go to it, starting with the 400 grit sand paper and work my way up through 2000 grit. After about 30 minutes of wet sanding and some rubbing compound I get this far.
Then finally hit it with the Meguiar's Mirror Glaze cleaner and its as good as new.
That was such a success I figured I'd try it on the tuck as well.
Much harder going with the smaller light and having to work around the alignment nubs. Seems someone along the way has done a re-coating /restoring of these and my elbow grease was far less successful. Though I did manage to remove some of the yellow oxidized haze.


  1. Over in the UK we have a test for vehicles called an MOT. This tests the road worthiness of the car or truck and if it fails you have to get the faults fixed. My old car had the same faded road scarred headlights and failed its test .. I bought the headlight restoration kit for £12.00 and a few hours of elbow grease and a day later I had my MOT certificate..It makes a huge difference as you now know.. :)

    1. Yes here in the US, we are also required to have an annual roadworthiness inspection by a state authorized repair shop. Though some states like Florida do not have an inspection at all so you can get away with a murder. Here in the north east were salt is applied to the roads in winter it wreaks havoc with metals and cars usually rust out in 10 years time, so that is the principal worry beyond the other usual bits like brakes, lights, tires etc. Up to now they had not said anything abut the condition of the headlights on the Jetta nor the truck. But I am glad to have restored them anyhow. It was satisfying to give them a new lease on life. I think on the truck I may splurge for a new set of headlights as my elbow grease did little to improve them due to some sort of coating somebody applied to it in a previous restoration effort.