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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all

There was a post discussing about headlights and how quite a number with the earlier models having hazing of the headlamps. My 08 model isn't suffering from hazing like what I see others are having. They are quite ok despite the abundance of UV here.

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But at the top part of both headlamps there are areas where the surface are damaged. I think most likely due to friction from the debris in the air where the most resistance is seen at the headlamp as the car is moving forward. Maybe be entirely wrong here but I do recall another member here posting he only had issues with the top of the headlamp also

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Here I have 2 products available here, the 3M polishing kit and the Meguiar 2 step headlight restoration kit. Any preference?

And since it is only the top part that's bad, should I just polish that area only? Or that is not possible and I need to do the whole surface of the headlamp? Seems a waste to polish the non-affected part as they look ok. Was thinking of polishing the top part only but applying the coating / sealant to the whole headlamp.

Any other ideas?

Thanks

Nik in Malaysia
 

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I've had great luck restoring headlights using the spar urethane method.

 

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My headlights had damage that started on the top like yours. I was fixing a friends RX350 fogged over headlights with the 3M kit, and used the remaining part of the kit on the top of the XC90 headlights, so yes, that can be done, just tape (I used the blue tape) just beyond the damage.

I suspect the tops are worse as they receive direct sunlight, and b, how close the lens is to the mirror part underneath which reflects the sun back, plus increases the heat in that area.

However, note that once you do the kit, that area will age even quicker unless you:

a. clean them with a headlight polish (by hand is ok) with something like Turtle wax headlight restorer and coating
b. apply a clear coat over the area you fixed.

After I did mine a friend who owns a body shop told me they spray a clear coat on afterwards to UV protect them.


Also, before you even start with the kit, if you have any touch up clear coat paint, you may want to try that over the affected area (do a small spot first). and see if that helps.

Just yesterday I was touching up something and tried some clear coat on a few scratches on my headlight (on the side) and it cleared it up.

I would not suggest this over the front lens as that can change the optics (using touch up), but on the top, with a light coat to fill in the scratches it may work, if it doesn't you'll take if off with the 3m method anyway.

If it works in a small spot, you may want to get a clear coat spray, and tape the front part, and paint the top.

You may be surprised.

Also the headlights are so easy to take out of the 90 that it makes this easy to do (take out and spray).
 

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2K clear coat. It's not that much of trouble, as long as you can paint with clear coats.
 

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I have the same hazing on the top of my passenger side headlamp. I used the 3M kit and sealant, it was fine thereafter for about 2 years before needing another treatment.
Paddy recommended clear coating them. That probably would be the most permanent solution if you're comfortable with a spray paint can and know how to control your distance and spray pattern. The good thing is removing headlights from an XC is almost comedicly easy. No more than 30 seconds to pull the entire unit out from the body, making it almost inexcusable not to take them out to polish them or hang them inside a makeshift spray box for clear coat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone!

Yes, the headlamps are super easy to take out.

The 2K clear coat is a good idea.

Any thoughts of using the 3M paint protection film instead after polishing? It's said to have UV protection properties.
 

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It's just the difference between doing it "home cooked" (3M or other sets) or like a pro (2k). These sets are ok for use at home, and they work ok. If you want it out of your sight, do the clear coat. With these sets, it protects your lights for 3 or 4 month, then you have to do it again...

I don't know about the US, here in Germany you can buy sets with 2k clear coat, and they are very, very easy to use. I'd go that way (already have for my XC90 :D ).

EDIT: here is a (german) video, about the 2k set on a BMW. Around 11.00 minutes you see, how easy the 2k is applied. Try it!
 

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Here I have 2 products available here, the 3M polishing kit and the Meguiar 2 step headlight restoration kit. Any preference?

And since it is only the top part that's bad, should I just polish that area only? Or that is not possible and I need to do the whole surface of the headlamp? Seems a waste to polish the non-affected part as they look ok. Was thinking of polishing the top part only but applying the coating / sealant to the whole headlamp.
I don't know if you can find it, but I used the Meguiars Heavy Duty kit (pretty similar to the 3M kit as I understand it) about a year and a half back, and they still look great. I would go with a polishing kit, and do the whole headlamp - the lower parts might look fine, but they've probably got some hazing and microscratches that won't be evident until you do one headlight and compare it to the unretouched one.

 

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That`s a pain in the Ass
It's not that hard to do once you get the hang of it. Part of my day job is resurfacing bowling balls so I could see the benefits of sanding from coarse to fine and while we don't coat bowling balls with anything (we just polish then up after sanding)
the spar urethane protects from the uv rays longer. And a small can does dozens of headlights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks paddy74 for the vid. Very useful.

The product linked in the video (Colormatic) looks good but unfortunately quite expensive to ship it to where I live in Malaysia.

https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B0...J9J94&linkId=359c831d94a11d9715f19c5d2c53ca8d

They do sell the 2k spray separately but even that is quite expensive on ebay!

Reason asking about the 3M was that I asked a body shop about spraying my headlamps with 2K coating after I polish. The shop suggested 3M instead, I guess they aren't aware of this 2K clear coat for headlamps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I don't know if you can find it, but I used the Meguiars Heavy Duty kit (pretty similar to the 3M kit as I understand it) about a year and a half back, and they still look great. I would go with a polishing kit, and do the whole headlamp - the lower parts might look fine, but they've probably got some hazing and microscratches that won't be evident until you do one headlight and compare it to the unretouched one.
Not available here, have to get it shipped from another continent. Thanks for the advice, I will polish the whole lamp.

Now a matter of which kit to buy to polish it.

Then to decide for the protection either 2K clear coat or spar urethane, have to see which one is feasible where I am. There are 2K spray cans available locally, Samurai brand, but the reviews aren't that good. Sounds like DIY 2K clear coat maybe difficult here, have to find a shop to do it.

llabahn, is this the correct stuff?

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Alternatively you can just 3M headlight protection film it too the clear coat though works well really depends on who applied it, and may end up altering the beam formation if they're particularly clumsy. With headlight protection film if it yellows you can always remove it and reapply another one.
 

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Not available here, have to get it shipped from another continent. Thanks for the advice, I will polish the whole lamp.

Now a matter of which kit to buy to polish it.

Then to decide for the protection either 2K clear coat or spar urethane, have to see which one is feasible where I am. There are 2K spray cans available locally, Samurai brand, but the reviews aren't that good. Sounds like DIY 2K clear coat maybe difficult here, have to find a shop to do it.

llabahn, is this the correct stuff?

View attachment 52375
Wow, they sell a spray can of it. The only on I have used is gloss liquid like the video shows, I think the spray should work fine, but has to be oil based and gloss.
 

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Not available here, have to get it shipped from another continent. Thanks for the advice, I will polish the whole lamp.

Now a matter of which kit to buy to polish it.

Then to decide for the protection either 2K clear coat or spar urethane, have to see which one is feasible where I am. There are 2K spray cans available locally, Samurai brand, but the reviews aren't that good. Sounds like DIY 2K clear coat maybe difficult here, have to find a shop to do it.
Depending on what 3M kit is available, it might include the final clearcoat. The Meguiars kit I used did (it had two steps of sanding, one final polishing step, and the clearcoat. Took me less than an hour to do.) I know 3M had a very similar kit available; I went with the Meguiars just because that was the one that was on the shelf at my local store, but the equivalent 3M kit was equally well-reviewed. If the 3M kit you can get has multiple stages of sanding and polishing, and includes a final coat, I would just go with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
After scouting around, I chose 3M, and went for this product as it was readily available and pretty cheap if I need to repeat it again a few years later.

https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company...Clear-Coat-Wipes/?N=5002385+3290574556&rt=rud

3M Quick Headlight Clear Coat

Headlamps before

Headlamps after

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Automotive design Automotive lighting Headlamp Automotive parking light Automotive exterior

Automotive design Automotive lighting Headlamp Automotive exterior Automotive parking light

Automotive design Automotive lighting Headlamp Automotive parking light Automotive exterior

From a distance looks decent, if if I really look up close I can see some pitting reflection. The surface is smooth to touch so not sure where are those pitting / scratch reflection coming from. Perhaps from the inner surface?

Anyway, not 100% perfect but it looks much better.
 

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They look great. The key is going to be the fact that they are coated with uv protection.
 
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