Headlight Restoration


Meguiar’s Headlight Restoration Kit Put to the Test!

One of my projects for this year was to refurbish the headlamp covers on our Maserati 4200GT which were totally opaque, causing the efficiency of the headlights to be severely impaired.

The headlamp covers are similar in style to the E-type and X100.

My point here is that it is possible to have a go yourself, if you wish, without fear of doing any damage to your headlamp covers, and at minimal cost. If you don’t like the results, there are companies which offer this service, however, there is something very satisfying about doing the work yourself and seeing what you are able to acheive.

Meguiar’s offer 2 different kits for headlamp restoration. I combined the two, using one to restore the headlamp covers and the other to spray a protective lacquer coating on the finished headlamp cover as this acts like a wax, filling in the scratches to give a smooth surface which should improve clarity and aid the efficiency of the lights, which was the object of the exercise. Headlamp/headlight before using Meguiar's restoration/reburbishment kit
The Meguiar’s kit on the left includes a cleaning paste, 2 abrasive pads and a protective coating spray (shown here boxed and unboxed). I tried using the cleaning paste  and pads but they seemed ineffective so I decided that I needed to use something more aggressive on my headlamp covers.

 

I preferred the Meguiar’s kit on the right (shown here boxed and unboxed) which includes a cleaning paste, woollen mop, wet ‘n’ dry pads and instructions. (Drill and masking tape not included). The instructions were invaluable and it would be better if the protective coating was included in this kit.

 

Tools required for the job.

The Meguiar’s kit includes the pure wool mop and paste (as in this picture).

The mop head fits into an electric drill, which you need to provide.

Headlamp/headlight before using Meguiar's restoration/reburbishment kit
Shown here, before work had started. The headlamp covers let the car down, making it look tatty. Being totally opaque, it was not possible to see anything inside the headlamp cover. Headlamp/headlight before using Meguiar's restoration/reburbishment kit
Masking up is essential to avoid damage to paintwork. (The red reflection is from the garage door). Headlamp/headlight before using Meguiar's restoration/reburbishment kit
As I worked with the mop and paste the first thing I began to see were lines set into the design of the headlamp covers.

 

 

Headlamp/headlight before using Meguiar's restoration/reburbishment kit
I then began to notice that there was a shine to the headlamp covers and that beneath them I could now see the lights themselves!

 

Headlamp/headlight before using Meguiar's restoration/reburbishment kit
Meguiar’s advise that you should proceed as above and will only need to use the wet and dry on severe scratching. The wet ‘n’ dry pads are in 4 grades which you work through from rough to smooth, using plenty of water. I found that loading a sponge with water and dribbling it onto the surface of the cover worked well. I followed this advise, but on seeing the improvement on areas where I had used the wet and dry, I then decided to use the wet and dry on the entire cover and then polish it again with the buffer and paste. In my opinion, this gave a far better result, but I think these headlamp covers were particularly bad to start with.
The paintwork and contours behind the covers then became clear, there was now definition in the lines within the covers and reflections from cover! Headlamp/headlight before using Meguiar's restoration/reburbishment kit
Taken from another angle, this picture shows the details around the edge of the covers, showing specification data, which had not been visible before.

 

Headlamp/headlight before using Meguiar's restoration/reburbishment kit
Although not perfect, the headlight clarity is vastly improved (which was the object of the exercise) and I will continue to experiment until I acheive the results I am looking for. Headlamp/headlight before using Meguiar's restoration/reburbishment kit
As a final comparison, here again is the cover before work started, compared with the results after the work, pictured above.

A worthwhile project, and one which I enjoyed.

Headlamp/headlight before using Meguiar's restoration/reburbishment kit

Meguiar’s