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Best at home headlight restoration kit & best all weather mats.

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Old 06-18-14, 10:34 PM   #1
axis77
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Default Best at home headlight restoration kit & best all weather mats.

have a 2007 IS250 and I need to restore the headlights to there former brilliant shine, they are dull and buildup and sun damage is making them ugly, I once had them restored at a body shop and they looked brand new but I want to try to do this at home, any got any good experience and reviews on any at home products? also I have the Lexus allweather mats that need replacing, was thinking of getting the liners this time around, any suggestions?
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Old 06-18-14, 11:07 PM   #2
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I use Meguiar's PlastX to great effect on mine and my parent's yellowed headlights, and it clears them up pretty well. Have to do a couple of times, but it looks clear as new. It does yellow again after a while, but that's to be expected.

I haven't tried any headlight restoration kits.
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Old 06-18-14, 11:31 PM   #3
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My friends did my headlight restoration for me and they just used P1000 grit and wet sanded by hand. Then they used some type of solution on the spinning disc, forgot what it's called. Only took like 10 mins and afterwards, you apply a solution that keeps it from yellowing again. Works like a clear coat. Still crystal clear after a month. And for the weather matt, there's a brand called WeatherTech All Weather Matt but it's pricey and to be, it doesn't look so good to me
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Old 06-19-14, 09:27 AM   #4
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The best solution for yellowing headlamps are polishing them up and then clear coating them, like you would for a paint job. All fluid solutions will breakdown over the months and the yellowing will return.
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Old 06-19-14, 11:46 AM   #5
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For mats I recommend the weathertechs digital liner... Literally cannot get any better. Had mine through 2 winters, no leaks and pressure wash them clean!

Edit: find a local shop to wrap your headlights once you restore them to protect them from UV yellowing
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Old 06-19-14, 12:35 PM   #6
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What do you mean by liners? I had the oem floor mats and then bought the F Sport mats. I like them a lot.
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Old 06-19-14, 12:35 PM   #7
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It depends on your budget.
The Plastx works well but yes the yellowing will happen again. Even if you do polishing and clear coat it will eventually yellow again, the only difference is that it cost more but will take a lot longer for it to occur again, so you get what you pay for.

For floormats you can never go wrong with Weathertechs or the Lexus rubber mats on is.sewell since both are vehicle specific.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aversed View Post
I use Meguiar's PlastX to great effect on mine and my parent's yellowed headlights, and it clears them up pretty well. Have to do a couple of times, but it looks clear as new. It does yellow again after a while, but that's to be expected.

I haven't tried any headlight restoration kits.
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The best solution for yellowing headlamps are polishing them up and then clear coating them, like you would for a paint job. All fluid solutions will breakdown over the months and the yellowing will return.
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Old 06-19-14, 12:48 PM   #8
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+1 to most of what has already been said.

You can do it by hand, but I would highly recommend a polisher. You will save a lot of time and effort and get a better looking finish. The clear is important as well, I am pretty sure there are special products for headlights, not sure how they compare to a regular paint clear coat, but it may be worth researching first.
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Old 06-19-14, 09:19 PM   #9
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thanks for all the feedback, regarding the mats I currently have the original Lexus OEM all weather mats, they were pretty sturdy but after 7 years they are now all ripped up, I think i will be going with the weathertechs floor liners those look more durable and easier to clean up spills, still trying to figure out best solution for the headlights.
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Old 06-20-14, 12:35 AM   #10
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For floor mats, can't go wrong with weathertech.
For headlight restore, I use 3m headlight restore kit, plastx, and duplicolor headlight sealer (extra clear, uv protection) almost a year and still good.
Please Note: I wash my car atleast twice a week, dust off everyday (car park outside)
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Old 06-20-14, 06:18 AM   #11
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For floor mats, just remember that they are AWD OR RWD specific. The different drivetrains have different floor mats (in the front)
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Old 06-20-14, 10:24 AM   #12
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for headlight restoration, use painters tape to protect your paint around the headlights, then get some 1000, 1500, even 2500 grit wetsanding papers, then sand away all the oxidation.

Sanding with progressively higher grits refines the surface so the scratches left behind by the harsher grits are replaced by finer and finer scratches so there is less work for the Plast-X to do, especially if you are doing it by hand. Starting off with high grits will take you forever though so you will need to work up from a lower grit.

If it's too much work to buff by hand, they sell Meguiars kits at walmart for $15-$20 that include a buffing wheel for your drill and some plast X. Sometimes they go on clearance. If you have a dual action machine and some compound, then you're golden but it is a big expense if you are buying it just to do your headlights.

As for protection afterwards, there was a big article on this over at the autogeek forum which you can probably find. One of the detailers over there swore by a mixture of spar varnish and paint thinner. There was even talk about it working best on headlights that weren't buffed out afterwards since the microscratches left from sanding helped the mixture "grab" onto the plastic itself, and it all dried super clear with no evidence of the scratches left over from wetsanding at all.

Remember though that some production detailers are looking for the most cost effective solution from a time and materials perspective. If I'm restoring my own headlights, I would buff the plastic to a high shine after wetsanding, then opticoat them to prevent future yellowing. Two drops per headlight would be all you'd need.
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Old 06-20-14, 11:08 AM   #13
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I have tried the 3M product and thought it was so-so. I did not like the wipe on portion, and later, you could see the wipe marks. Griot's Garage has a product that requires you to use wet or dry sandpaper (included in the kit) and then after they are completely sanded, they include a spray that immediately takes the plastic that you cannot see thru from the sanding, and it is crystal clear! Then, you let it bake in the sun (ultraviolet light cures the spray) and it is done. I did my Supra about two years ago and they still look perfect!
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Old 06-20-14, 06:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by embolism View Post
As for protection afterwards, there was a big article on this over at the autogeek forum which you can probably find. One of the detailers over there swore by a mixture of spar varnish and paint thinner. There was even talk about it working best on headlights that weren't buffed out afterwards since the microscratches left from sanding helped the mixture "grab" onto the plastic itself, and it all dried super clear with no evidence of the scratches left over from wetsanding at all.
I did the spar thing for a while. It worked okay and it gave this nice shine to the headlights. After a few months, you can see the peeling and yellowing, usually at the top of the lights. I probably get opticoat next. Meanwhile I'm using a random orbital and compound.
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Old 06-21-14, 09:48 AM   #15
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so yes weathertech RWD Black is what I will get the whole set front/back $179

anyone have any before/after photos of using the different products stated regarding headlight restoration?
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