Honda Insight
Current MPG (August 2014): 51.9

The fogginess that evolves over time is due to the UV sealant on the exterior of the headlights breaking down. It turns yellow and cloudy, as well as thins and disappears from the sunlight. I tried Turtle Wax's Headlight Lens Restorer. I had never done this before and honestly had no expectations.

The kit contains everything necessary to do at least two headlights. You could probably stretch the use of the sandpaper pads to at least another set. It has what's called a "clarifier" which appears to be a scratch "remover". It's most likely some form of plastic that fills in scratches. Step 1 says use this exclusively and stop if the results are good enough. On both headlights, it wasn't enough. However, using it alone was enough to improve the look quite remarkably.

Step 2 starts the sandpaper process in which the top layers of the headlights are stripped clean of the UV sealant and any oxidation that has occurred. I was hesitant to use too much force but could see that what I was applying was doing damage to the surface, scratching in scuff marks with every stroke. It starts with a fine paper (2000 grit or so) then moves through a finer one (3000 grit) all the way up through 5000 grit. When finished, the headlight is visibly scuffed and scarred with criss-cross strokes. Honestly, I don't know if that means I was too firm or not. All the while, a lubricant is used to keep the headlight soaked. I don't think I skimped on that.

Step 3 is to reapply the clarifier to the scratches you just made, filling them in. It hazes over in a few minutes and is wiped dry. I applied a few layers until the scuffs were as minimally visible as possible.

The final step is to reapply the UV sealant to preserve your handy work, hopefully for at least a few years.

The result wasn't bad, to my surprise. The scuffs are only visible if you look closely. Some of the lens looks to be permanently dimpled from debris, and some of the inner surface looks to be worn a bit, something I can't do much about. For an hour's work of work and $10, the results are worth it. If anything, I can feel safer knowing that the headlights are as clean as they're going to get for an eleven year old vehicle.



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