Review of the Chemical Guys Drill Powered Headlight Restoration and Protection Kit – Now my headlights are illuminating the road again!
EXAM – I love cars! I’m one of those people who ends up with a new car at least every two to four years. Luckily for me, my husband likes to keep a car for the long term. He also puts a ton of mileage on his cars due to his job. When you keep a car for more than four years, you will probably start to see your plastic headlight lenses begin to fog up. UV rays affect them badly and can discolor the plastic. My husband’s car is a 2014 Toyota Corolla with nearly 160k. I restored the headlights once about five years ago. At the time, this required a multi-step polishing process. The Chemical Guys sells a drill-powered headlight restorer with a one-step polisher for your headlights as well as a protective coating to cover the lens when you’re done protecting the plastic for up to a year. Let’s see how well he can restore the headlights.
What is that?
The Chemical Guys Drill Powered Headlight Restoration and Protection Kit is a kit that comes with a Flex Pro backing plate and adapters to attach to your drill like you would a drill bit. It also includes a heavy/medium cutting pad, headlight restorer and protector, as well as a Jet Seal sealant and paint protector.
What’s in the box?
- They added an extra 6 inch heavy/medium cutting pad which is not included in the normal kit.
- 4 inch medium cutting pad
- Headlight lens restorer and protector
- Professional Flex Pro backing plate – mine had a screw-in adapter that I could still use in the drill. The inline kit includes two different drill adapter pins.
- JetSeal Durable sealant and paint protector
The first thing I did was screw the backing plate into my portable drill. I used a Mikita cordless drill. It had more than enough power and performance to get the job done and I didn’t have to worry about a cord getting in the way.
I then attached the four inch cutting pad to the plate. The plate has loops for velcro and the cushion has a soft side. Once on the support plate, it was solid.
Then I started the process of restoring my headlights. The bottle of polish restorer says that if your headlights are foggy enough, you’ll get better results if you wet-sand the headlight first.
You can see the headlights are pretty bad. I knew straight away that running a polisher over them wouldn’t make them as clear as I’d like.
The first thing I did was clean the lens with window cleaner to get rid of the bugs. I also raised the hood so I didn’t have to worry about sanding the paint off the car too much.
I then put “Frog” tape around the paint surrounding the lens to protect the paint in case I got overzealous in my sanding efforts.
I purchased 2000 and 3000 grit sanding sponges at my local auto parts store. I then filled a spray bottle with water. I sprayed on my 2000 grit sanding sponge and the headlight. I started sanding the lens. You always want to sand in the same direction. In my case, I sanded horizontally across the headlight. When I started sanding, you can see in the image below all the dead, foggy plastic coming off as a milky watery substance. I continued to repaint the headlight and sanding sponge with water and sanded until I no longer got any white streaks from the headlight.
Once I no longer had the milky runoff, I took a photo of the lighthouse.
You can now see that the whole lighthouse is evenly foggy. When I ran my hand over the headlight, it was as smooth as glass. Then I grabbed the 3000 grit sanding sponge and my water and drew finer lines on the lens. This time I wasn’t getting any kind of milky drip. I sanded in the same direction and sanded the entire headlight. This second step was much faster than the first sanding.
The image above shows a smoother, finer sanding pattern. It was now time to get the polish out and drill!
The instructions say to place three drops of polisher on the pad.
Then you take your drill and push the pad over the entire area you want to polish. This distributes the polish around the headlight and will prevent you from splattering the polish when you first turn on the drill. I then turned on the drill and started polishing the headlight. The instructions say to buff until the polish becomes clear. Once the polish was clear, I grabbed a microfiber towel and buffed the polish.
Wow, the lighthouse looked brand new! It was very clear and was as smooth as glass.
Here is a photo of the front of the car where the left headlight has been restored, and the right headlight is in its original foggy condition. I then did the same process for the right headlight. After finishing both headlights, I applied the JetSeal manually to both headlights with a microfiber towel. According to the instructions, I had to let the putty sit on the headlights for 20 minutes before buffing it off with another microfiber towel. The sealant bottle says it should protect the plastic or paint you apply it to for one year.
Here is a photo of the final product. The headlights are clear and the lights shine nice and bright at night. Now if only I could make the rest of the car look this good! This car has spent most of its life parked outdoors and driven many miles on the highway. It still works like a champ, though.
I love the results of the Chemical Guys Drill Headlight Restoration and Protection Kit. It took me about an hour and a half to sand, polish and putty on the headlights. Then I waited 20 minutes before taking a minute to buff off the sealer.
I want to emphasize that this is all about the preparation and process to get great results when it comes to detailing and cleaning your car. If I hadn’t gone through the wet sanding process before applying the clearcoat, the results wouldn’t have been as good. My old process had me go through 4 stages of different levels of polish, while this new process had me go through two levels of wet sanding and one stage of polish. I have found this new process to be faster and provide equally good or better results.
What I like
- Kit includes pad and backing plate for use with any home drill.
- There is only one step to polish.
- The kit includes sealant to protect the headlights.
- You can restore many headlights with the amount of polish and sealant in the kit.
What needs to be improved
- Including the Chemical Guys sanding block and sandpaper in the kit would be nice.
If your headlights are foggy and you have a drill at home, using the Chemical Guys Drill Powered Headlights Restoration and Protection Kit is an easy way to restore them in less than two hours. You can buy the sanding sponges at your local auto parts store for less than $15. There’s something utterly satisfying about how clear and clean they can become when you work on them yourself.
Or buy: Chemistry guys
Source: Sample of this product was provided by Chemical Guys.