Faded Headlight Housings; are Products Specific to Different Material in Housings?

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Dec 28, 2011
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By nature of where I park my 17 Subaru OB it gets a heavy, daily dose of UV exposure. My kids 12 RAV4 same boat. I was reading up on which products work better than others and came across this recommendation on another forum. The subject had me wondering if these products are at times specific to a particular housing composition or not so much. I have zero knowledge base on what materials these housings are made of.

This one below is mentioned from a reputable poster with claims of about 2 years of durability and up to 5 years of durability if garaged. Not so sure of those claims.


Thoughts? Recommendations? or are many of these kits simply a band-aid and in need of re-application on a regular basis?
 
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Bandaid or a gimmick. Once the covers start to yellow or get cloudy they are done for. There are temporary fixes but the problem remains.

Keep them sealed with what you put on the body.

Edit to add: In your situation which sounds more extreme, applying a protective film might be the best option. Do that before UV damage is apparent.
 
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All modern headlights are made from polycarbonate with a UV coating put on as part of the manufacture process. PimTac is correct in that you can never duplicate the factory finish once its gone, but you can get about another year out of them if you polish and seal them properly.

Don't waste your money on a "kit". Just wet sand them successively using 1500 / 2500 / 4000 or thereabouts. Sounds like a lot of work but really the coursest is where the work is, then the finer stuff is just wiping out your own scratches. you can finish with a polish if you want just make sure you clean them good, then seal them.

I have been using Meguiar's G17804 Keep Clear Headlight Coating which is essentially lacquer. Someone here recommended upol clear #1 so I will try that next instead to see if it lasts longer. Make sure you tape off and cover around the light so you don't get overspray where you don't want it.

If you do this yourself you should get about a year. You will need to decide if its worth it. Eventually they will get this cracking looking affect inside the polycarb itself, which you can't fix. I am there now. My OEM's lasted 5 or 6 years, have polished every year for about the last 5, and now I think I will be buying new again fairly soon.
 
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Check out Nextgen headlight restorer on YouTube. He's a mobile guy that does this as a business. Pretty much does some sanding then sprays with clear. Good results and should last awhile. +1 on Upol clear.
 
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Something to consider if you live in a high UV area and/or an area that is dusty. Apply the 3M headlight protector films that are available. Consider them a sacrificial layer as you will have to remove and apply new ones on a schedule depending on your climate. They come pre-cut for your model.
 
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