If you have a Honda Fit, or any vehicle with old cloudy headlights, you can restore them. In fact, you can restore them in under an hour for less than $25- and you can do it the right way. You can even let your kids help you. This is the ideal do-it-yourself backyard mechanic project. Here's how to restore your cloudy Honda Fit headlights.
Restoring Cloudy Yellow Headlights - What You Need
To restore the cloudy headlights on an older vehicle like a Honda FIt you really only need four things: First, a 3M headlight restoration kit. We paid $12.47 for the kit we used and we sourced it from Amazon. Next up, and this is important, you need a spray bottle of headlight protectant. We used Meguires at a price of $8.44 and we also got that from Amazon. The only other things you need are a hand-drill and a roll of painter's tape.
Restoring Cloudy Yellow Headlights - How To Get Started
Like with all projects involving sanding, we recommend safety glasses, a dust or surgical mask, old clothes and neoprene work gloves. Before you begin, clean the headlights with soap and water. Then dry everything off and mask the headlights with painter's tape. This will protect your paint from the sanding pads. Next, open up your 3M kit and read the directions carefully.
Affix the rotary pad to the drill. Apply the rough sanding paper to the pad and sand the headlight uniformly. You do not need to bear down hard and you should try to keep the sanding pad relatively flat. There are multiple rough sanding pads. As they become less effective, use a new one. Clean the dust off the headlight with a dry cloth. It will be very cloudy.
Don't panic. The process requires them to get worse before they get better.
Next, continue following the 3M instructions. There is another pad to use that is a bit finer. Then a wet-sanding step. Then the polishing pad with a rubbing compound is used. In total, it took us about an hour working at a leisurely pace to do both sides.
We let the local kids have a try on the rough sanding phase. They could not get enough of the fun.
The Often Forgotten Important Step When Restoring Headlights
Truth be told, this is the second time our Honda Fit headlights were restored. The first time we had it done by a body shop who was doing other work on the car. They looked good the first day back, but over a year or so became cloudy again. This is because the shop did not apply a protective coating over the newly-restored plastic lens.
So, use a protective coating. The spray we used was super simple to apply and in fact, it really added the final bit of clarity you see in the images.
Plan to wash your car the day after the project. The protectant film needs 24 hours to cure. There is a lot of dust and sanding residue on you and the car when the project is done. The dust mask and safety glasses really make sense.
We had enough sanding pads and protectant spray leftover for another set of lights. The Fit was not in very bad shape when we started. Even if your headlights are totally yellow and cloudy you will have more than enough product in the kits and spray bottle to do the job well. If you find this story helpful and have any added tips please share them in the comments below.
Note: Torque News received no free products or compensation for mentioning the products and retailers in this story.
In addition to covering green vehicle topics, John Goreham covers safety, technology, and new vehicle news at Torque News. You can follow John on Twitter at @johngoreham.