I don’t know why I do it, but for whatever reason I keep my cars for a long time. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve had some great luck with the cars I’ve purchased or if I just take care of them that well. I’m going to guess it’s that I’ve been lucky with the cars I’ve purchased because I’m not that good to my vehicles. Anyway, besides the normal wear and tear maintenance that I’ve needed to do with my current car the only thing that has really been wrong with it has been the headlights looking like crap and not being as clear as they were when I purchased the car. Then again, my car is 10 years old!
So, I reached out to the PR company of Sylvania, the company that makes a headlight restoration kit to do a review and they were happy to send me a complementary restoration kit for me to review. Now, I’ve had the repair kit sitting here in my office for several months now, just waiting for me to test it out. Unfortunately, crap happens, and it kept getting put off, but I finally got around to using it.
I will admit, that when I was first pitched I was skeptical, I didn’t think it would work the way it says, I didn’t think that I would see the results that the box shows. But I was willing to give it a shot. I wanted my headlights to look new again; I wanted them to match somewhat the rest of my 10-year-old vehicle that doesn’t look its age.
Using the Headlight Restoration Kit from Sylvania is a lot of work to get it done. It takes about 20 minutes or so for each headlight to complete the entire process and then you still have to wait some time before you should touch the headlights. It’s a multi-step process to get your headlights looking new again.
The Headlight Restoration Kit comes with everything you need other than water and a towel for drying. You are supposed to do this in a shady area; it says not to be in direct sunlight. Unfortunately, that is impossible for us as our driveway is in the sun until about 6 PM and by then it’s just too late for me to do this.
First you have to clean the headlights and dry them off real good. Then you spray them with a surface activator that is used to remove any leftover grime and rinse with water.
Then the sanding starts, there are three levels of sanding you have to do. The first level is with a 400 grit sand paper to remove any UV coating that may be left as well as to eliminate significant scratches and to smooth the headlights out. This process is done by sanding the headlights in a circular motion and using water. You continue this process until the lights are flat, and the look is uniform. Then you move onto the 1000 grit and then the 2000 grit sand paper. Each of those is done for about 5 minutes each until all areas have been fully sanded.
The next step is to use the clarifying compound, where you polish that into the headlights, in a circular motion, for about 5 minutes. You want to continue this process until you have fully coating the light three times.
You are almost done!
The next step is to clean off the headlight again with the surface activator, rinse it clean and make sure the light is completely dry for the last stage. You want to ensure you get through this entire process on both headlights before doing the final phase because you cannot allow the headlights to get wet or touched after the last step, for at least an hour.
Once both headlights are done, you will then move onto the final step, which you use the UV Block Clear Coat. For this step, you need to put on a protective/latex glove. Pour the clear coat onto the cloth and start wiping it onto the headlight in a back and forth motion from one end to the other from top to bottom. I did this a couple of times to make sure I had a super thick coating on my headlights. Here’s a quick video showing the step-by-step process.
So, now you are asking. Does the Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit work? As you can see from the picture way up there, that it seems to work. Here are some better shots to show you that it does work!
YES, it does work! I tried to get the pictures in the same position for the before and after, however, they are a bit off. You can tell the difference, though.
Disclosure: Sylvania provided me with complimentary Headlight Restoration Kit for the purpose of this review. All opinions are that of my own. No other monetary compensation will take place.