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Lifespans of Headlight Restoration a Comparison Guide

If there is a way of restoring headlights permanently then that would be the ultimate solution, get the job done once and forget about it. Unfortunately, no such solution exists at the moment.

All procedures have different lifespans, let us delve into the specifics so as to determine the best option for the end-user. We are going to take into account the process used to restore the headlight as each has a different technique and hence will have a different duration. We will also have to consider the environment in which the vehicle is. For example, in Nairobi Kenya, the Sun is quite intense, and shaded parking is hard to find. In Europe, the seasons are quite different and the Sun might not be as intense as it is in Africa. The reason we are talking about the Sun and seasons is that oxidation (fading of the headlights) is caused by the Sun. The more exposure the more likely it will occur.

Let’s look at each solution and determine how long the restoration will last. We will assume that the conditions are the same as in my location (Nairobi, Kenya) and if weather conditions vary then it might last longer because we have more Sun time compared to other regions.

Restoration with Toothpaste

This is the most convenient DIY method as the items required are readily available. You only need toothpaste and a brush. While it is not the most sophisticated approach, it is better than having your headlights look all yellow and hazy.

While this process will restore the headlights, it might not work if the oxidation is severe. One might require to be more aggressive.

This process only lasts for weeks. It only deals with the problem lightly and since there is no protection oxidation will occur again and will have to repeat the same process at least twice a month. Also, this restoration process might not get the headlight to be clear as it was when new simply because of the simplicity of the process.

Restoration by buffing or machine polish

If you are handy with tools, then you might be able to get this done by yourself. But for the majority of people, this will require a professional. The process mainly involves sanding the headlight in different stages followed by buffing the headlight to perfection, then applying a protective coating on top.

This technique is more intrusive but it more than makes up for it with the results. The headlight will be restored to as good as new. It is important to note that while the results are far better than using toothpaste, without the protection it might not last as long. For protection one can use UV-resistant sealants, ceramic coating, or wax.

Using this technique, the results might last from 3 months to a year. It varies so because the results are determined by the coat or protective technology used.

Restoration Using Headlight Restoration Kits

This is by far the best DIY method. The kits are made with a professional understanding and the results will much last longer compared to the previously discussed methods. The kits include sandpapers, wipes, and sealants. The kit is good enough for more than just one set of restoration, you can do it multiple times.

There are some drawbacks. One kit can be expensive. Two, you must follow the instructions carefully to get the desired results failure to which you will be disappointed. There are a lot of kits in the market, the best way to go about it is to check the reviews and a few tutorials online to see which one best suits you. Results using this technique can last from 3 months to a year.

Permanent Restoration

This process is more thorough as compared to the previous results. The aim here is to have the results last as long as possible. The process involves wet sanding the headlight at different stages and then spraying a protective coat on the headlight. The spray can be clearcoat or sealants. The properties of the protective coat applied in this case are much stronger and more durable as compared to the other techniques above.

Limitations include time taken might be longer as compared to other techniques. The skill level is higher and might require one to get a professional. It is also expensive compared to other methods. However, it might be better than using kits because the price of a kit as compared to getting the job done by a professional is minimal, so I would advocate for permanent restoration as compared to using kits.

Results using this technique can range from 1 year to 5 years. This is by far the best result one can get when restoring headlights, that is up until a superior technology comes up. Eventually, all restored headlights will fade again. It all depends on what resources you have to get the job done and the interval the job has to be done again.

The good thing is that no matter how faded your headlights are there is a solution to restoring them again. Ultimately the choice is yours just make an informed decision.

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