by Lee Wyatt
(last updated May 25, 2010)
The first step in fixing fogged headlights is to gather all the materials that you are going to need. For this task you are going to need to collect some rather specific items, or kits, and since the chances are that you don't have those lying around the house, you need to make a run over to the local automotive parts store. These kits are gong to contain just about everything that you need, and start at around $14.00 for a basic one. These kits are going to contain the following things, so if you don't want to spend the money on a kit, here is what you are going to need.
Choose the day that you are going to do your project carefully. I usually recommend doing automotive repairs and restorations on a nice clear sunny day, that way you are outside in fresh air with plenty of space and ventilation. If you cannot begin your project on a sunny day, or simply want to get it done as soon as possible, then as long as you have plenty of space, an area that can get wet and plenty of ventilation.
Start by getting one of the headlights nice and wet, then start sanding with the 1000 grit sand paper. Keep sanding until you have removed all the major imperfections on the lens. Be sure that you are using the wet-sand type, as the other kind is not going to get you the results that you want. This step should take you about 30 minutes to do, but can take considerably longer depending on how foggy your headlights are. Conversely, it can take you almost no time at all, the key to knowing when to begin using the finer grit paper is when the plastic and water change from a yellowish color to a more transparent and white color.
Once you have removed the major discoloration and imperfections from the lens with the 1000 grit wet-sandpaper you are ready to move on. Repeat the process with the 1500 and 2000 grit sheets. You are only going to need to spend about 15 on each sheet. An important thing to keep in mind when you are using sand paper is that when you change from the coarser to the finer, you should also be using less and less pressure, until finally you seem to be barely touching the paper to the headlight. Repeat this with the 2500 grit paper as well, spending about 20 minutes on each headlight.
Finally, all that is left to do is polish the headlight to bring it to a nice sheen. Simply apply the polish to the cloth you are going to use as an applicator and rub it in. Once you have done that, press down with firm pressure using another clean, soft cloth or rag and just polish. This can take about 10 to 15 minutes for each head light, but you are going to be pleasantly surprised when you are finished.
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