Tesla launched the Model S back in 2012 and is a luxury family sized five door car and runs completely on electric. The power house of the vehicle is an 85 kwh battery pack that will take the car on a 265 mile journey before needing a charge, making it the highest ever recorded by any other electric car.
Tesla’s Models became the best selling plug in electric car in 2015 which bettered its second best the previous year. By December 2015 the Model S passed 100,000 global mainly in the U.S but large amounts were also sold in Denmark, China, Germany, Canada and Norway leaving is the second worlds best selling electric plug in car of all time behind Nissan’s Leaf.
Tesla have won a string of awards for Model S including Time Magazines best 25 Inventions of the Year 2012 award and World Green Car of the Year award 2013. The design of the Model S was updated in 2016 looking more like the Model x.
In this article we take a look at Plastic Headlight Restoration. One of our regular customers recently pulled up outside our premises and asked me to take a look at his headlights which had become extremely clouded and dull over time from a combination of fine scratches and the effects of UV on the clear plastic.
Afraid that they were going to fail his upcoming MOT and not being able to afford a new set of headlights he wanted to know how he could restore the clarity back to his headlights.
I advised there are a number of different products available on the market which enable you to polish away light scratches, scuffs, haziness and surface marks from your headlights to leave them looking like new.
These range from single stage polishes, two step cleaning and polishing compounds to multi-step headlight restoration and protection kits.
Single Step Clear Plastic Headlight Restoration
Products such as Meguiars PlastRx are single step products that are best used on fine scratches and haziness. The tend to contain a blend of micro-abrasives and oils to restore the clarity together with water-resistant polymers for added protection.
Whilst simple to apply, needing only a foam or microfibre applicator, they can however require a fair amount of “elbow grease” to get that like new finish. As some of our own customers reviews testify:
However being around the £10 and under mark they are very good value for money.
Two Step Clear Plastic Headlight Restoration
If you are looking at potentially the next level in your clear plastic headlight restoration a two step method may be the system to look at. This generally involves a separate clear plastic cleaner and clear plastic polish – another popular system, again from Meguiars, is the Mirror Glaze M10 (M-1008) andM17 (M-1017).
Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Clear Plastic Cleaner is a non-abrasive, alcohol-free Plastic Cleaner which aggressively cleans and removes hairline scratches without harming the surface. Whilst the Clear Plastic Polish provides the second step to protect the previously cleaned headlight and leaving behind an anti-static coating that helps repel damaging dust and dirt.
Headlight Restoration Kits
Your final choice in DIY headlight restoration is a multi step kit. These are very effective systems combining extremely fine abrasives and polishes to remove the scratches and dullness from your headlights and followed up a separate sealant and protectant.
Whether using a kit or supplies from your local auto store the following steps will help to restore that like new clarity to your plastic headlights:
First clean the headlights using your usual car wash shampoo to ensure all the dirt and bug splatter etc is removed
Using a very fine 2000 grit wet and dry paper, work is over the surface of the headlight, keeping it moving so as not to concentrate in one area for any length of time
Fill a spray bottle with clean water
Fix a 2″ approx 5cm backing plate to your electric drill (ensuring it is one that does not operate above 2000-2500 rpm)
To the backing plate fit a felt polishing pad
Apply a suitable clear plastic polishing compundto the centre of the pad, place the face of the pad to the headlight and start the drill. Again ensure to keep the pad moving across the surface of the headlight. Do not keep the pad in contact with any one area of the headlight for more than 15-20 seconds
As the polish drys out, stop the drill and using the clean water in your spray bottle, wet the pad and continue polishing until the haziness disappears
Buff off any remaining polish with a clean microfibre cloth
Next using a clean section or another clean microfibre apply one or more coats of a plastic protectant allowing it to dry in between coats.
Volvo V70 Before Using Clear Plastic Headlight Restoration Kit
Volvo V70 After Using Clear Plastic Headlight Restoration Kit
You will have then finished your clear plastic headlight restoration and will now have very clear and bright headlights that not only look much better but also allow the light to shine through brighter during nighttime driving.
Meguiars Headlight Restoration Kit
On the back of their already successful plastic polish and cleaner products a couple of years ago Meguiar’s introduced a complete headlight restoration kit.
It is not surprising that this also become an extremely popular product. The kit is based around the Plast-Rx plastic polish and also includes:
– Woolen drill bit attachment buffing pad
– Sanding pad
– Finishing pad
It retails in the region of £17-£25 depending on where you purchase from, with some of the better deals being found online.
3M Headlight Restoration Kit
For many years a number of specialist suppliers would combine a number of 3M plastic restoration products and compounds to create their own individual kits.
Seeing the success of these products 3M then launched their own headlight restoration system.
This kit has gone on to become one of the best selling headlight restoration kits available.
It’s sucess is not only down to the quality of the products but also their attention to detail, even including the required masking tape within the kit.
Many other kit manufacturers leave this to the user to supply.
The 3M plastic headlight restoration kit also comes with a drill bit attachment as well as the abrasives pads and polish.
This kit retails around the £15-£20 mark.
Below is a short video of the 3M kit in action – just see the difference it can make to your headlights.
Quixx Headlight Restoration Kit
Unlike the Meguiars and 3M kits the Quixx kit is not based on using a household drill. Instead in comes with a supply of sanding blocks and differing grades of fine sanding papers to use by hand.
In all the kit contains:
– 50g of Plastic Polish,
– a sanding and polishing block
– 12 sanding papers in a range of three different grades
– 2 polishing cloths
– a headlight lens sealer 30ml and
– 2 application cloths.
The headlight lens sealer included within the kit provides a hard and long lasting weather-proof gloss protection and a smooth dirt repelling surface keeps to keep your lenses cleaner for longer.
Not having to include a separate drill bit attachment this kit retails at a lower price point than the previous two at around £11-£14
Specialist Headlight Kits
One particular manufacturer produces specialist kits based on the level of restoration required, not only for clear plastic, but also for glass. They have two headlight restoration products in kit form; one for deep scratches and also one for haziness, dull, faded or discoloured headlights.
Depending on the level of restoration required dictates the contents of the kits.
Their kits are based around a 3″ drill bit attachment together with the appropriate pads, abrasives, polish and sealant.
Car bumpers initially were made of steel. This is why older cars were heavy and bumpers could be easily dented which is the main reason that they fell out of fashion. Later on, bumpers became to be made from chrome or chrome-plated materials and over the period of time, a number of plastic and rubber materials have been used in car bumpers.
Detailing of each type of car bumper is different from the other and separate detailing treatments have been prepared for each type of car bumper. Detailing a chrome-plated bumper requires a lot of patience but it can be definitely performed by a car owner, at his home, in a day or even less. However, if you do not have the required time for doing it at your home, you can definitely seek the help of professional detailers.
Detailing Chrome-plated Car Bumpers
Start by washing the bumper with a mild soap and then rinse it off thoroughly. This will help you to see the areas that have rusted off and will also help you to observe how severe the rusting is. If you notice that the chrome-plating is almost in flakes, then it is actually too late to save your bumper and in such a case, you may have to replace it.
Now, you can start scrubbing off your bumper with the help of a household steel wool soap pad. The key is to be gentle while performing the scrubbing and you must make use of plenty of water as well. The soap is used as a lubricant in this case and will also keep the steel wool from scratching the bumper. While scrubbing, make sure that you use a lot of water and you should also be quite cautious in your approach. Instead of scrubbing the full bumper, you can concentrate on the rusted areas.
In order to get into the tight places, you must make use of toothbrush and a soft scrub cleanser. Remove the cleanser by washing it away with water.
Now, rinse your bumper again and also wash it with a mild soap. You can pat the bumper dry with an old t-shirt.
Lastly, you can apply a coat of chrome polish and rub gently with the help of a cotton cloth.
Detailing Plastic Car bumpers
Use a good car-washing product to wash the bumper. You can also make use of mild soap. While using a commercial product, make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s directions. Use a soft bristle brush to scrub the car-washing product onto the bumper. On top of this, you can definitely rub in some undiluted white vinegar so that all the blotchy spots will be removed.
Use a lacquer thinner and spread it on top of the plastic car bumper which is a great way to remove paint stains on the bumper. You need to repeat this step a couple of times before you can be rest assured that the paint stains have been removed completely.
Take some amount of vinyl cleaning gel and place it on soft cloth. After you wash the bumper area with water, you can apply the gel to the plastic bumper. Using a toothbrush, gently scrub the gel and you can repeat the step if it is necessary.
Latest on the VW diesel emissions scandal: 3.0-litre diesels involved, UK bosses could face 10-year imprisonment, petrol cars now involved
A further 85,000 Volkswagen Group vehicles could to be drawn into the ever-escalating emissionsscandal, as Audi’s US arm has admitted that the VW Group’s 3.0-litre TDI V6 engines found in cars from the 2009 to 2016 model years contain software that was previously undisclosed to emissions authorities.