Headlight Restoration - Honda Pilot - Honda Pilot Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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Headlight Restoration

My headlights on my 2011 Pilot have been hazing over for quite some time. I purchased a 3M Restoration Kit a few months (last fall) back and put it on the to do list. Saturday being the hottest day of this year, I decided to do it. The steps in the kit are easily followed. The only extra items you will need are tape to mask off the lenses, a spray bottle with water, a corded power drill, a couple terry cloth towels and some 3M lens protector polish.


Start by cleaning the headlights and surrounding paint / grill area with soapy water. Dry and mask off around the lights. I used the blue painters tape I had left from painting my house. I made sure to get it wrapped around the edges of the paint and chrome surfaces. Hood was left up for the process so no masking there. Use at least 2 layers of tape. If you get the sanding disks in to it, the top layer will come loose.


Read and understand the instructions. You are sanding off a layer of plastic so take your time, keep the drill moving and don't use a ton of pressure. It is better to do multiple passes than trying to knock it out with one or two and causing more lens damage. Start with the 500 grit dry and work it across the surface of the lens. Make sure you stop to wipe the dust off to view progress and see where you need to do more work. Donít forget to tap the dust off the pad as well. If it starts to build up, put on a new disk. The kit comes with a bunch of sanding disks. Once you get to a nice even haze, wipe it down again and switch to the 800 grit. Do the same process. Even speed and pressure are your friend. On each of these steps I did around 6 passes with each grit.


Wipe it down and it is time for the wet sanding pad. Spray it with water to wet it down and press it on the drill. Also spray down the lens as well. Keep the lens wet during this process, stopping to wipe off the slurry of plastic generated by the wet sanding and rewet the lens. Keep doing passes until you are not getting any plastic slurry coming off the pad. Wipe it down to remove the remaining water and residue.


Now itís time for the buffing pad. Put a dime sized drop of the provided rubbing compound in the middle of the buffing pad. Before going at the lens, use the pad to spread the compound evenly across the lens. This helps to reduce splatter (and there is a ton from this whole process). Multiple passes again with a nice even pressure. After 4-6, wipe off the compound and view your progress. If you are not happy with an area, go back to the wet pad and fix it. If it is a deeper blemish, you may need to go back to the 800 grit.


Once happy with the polishing phase, use the 3M lens protector polish. Apply with a soft cloth and make sure you get the entire lens covered. Once dried to a haze, polish off and view your results. Remove the tape, wash off the splatter and you are done.


I really didnít realize how much my light output had been compromised by the haze. Total time spent was around 45 minutes including masking. I was surprised at how easy this process is. If you have hazing lenses, donít put it off like me.
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Last edited by Johnjk; 06-19-2017 at 08:17 AM. Reason: removed duplicate photo
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 08:30 AM
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Thanks for sharing the experience & step-by-step! They look great! Mc
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 10:21 AM
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Does the 3m polish also have a UV sealer built in. That way the haze won't reappear again.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bluensleepy View Post
Does the 3m polish also have a UV sealer built in. That way the haze won't reappear again.
The 3M sealer does not. That is the final step needed. It's on my list to pick up on my way home. I've also heard of people spraying on a clear coat UV protecting paint but I do not like the look on the lens once applied. If you go that route, then you are looking at 2 coats with a sanding in between, a lot more masking for overspray and taking an hour job out to a 2 day job.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 01:19 PM
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Thanks for the info and excellent job on the headlights.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
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Did the final step last night and applied UV protection to the freshly polished headlights. I went with the Sylvania kit because that is what I had available locally. The kit comes with some paper towels, a bottle of lens prep spray and a bottle of sealer. In addition to this you will need rubber gloves, the spray bottle of water, glass cleaner and a couple micro fiber towels.


Since I had just polished the lenses, I skipped that part and went to the prep step for the application of the UV protectant. I first cleaned the lenses with some Stoner Invisible glass cleaner and the microfiber towel. It had rained on the way home so I needed to remove dirt and water from the surface. Dry thoroughly with a microfiber towel.


Next you spray the lens prep spray on both headlights and let it sit for 30 seconds. At that point you take your spray bottle of water and rinse the lens surface off. Dry with a microfiber towel. Glove up for the next step. They have you take one of the paper towels and fold it 3x. Take the sealer and apply it generously to the folded edge. make sure it is good and wet. Evenly wipe across the lens, overlapping each pass until the entire surface is covered. Add more sealer to the towel to keep it moist. Touch up any missed spots quickly. Do not do multiple passes. Repeat on second lens.


At this point walk away. The product will look a bit uneven on the lens surface but will even out as it dries. Sylvania says it is safe to touch in 15 minutes and OK to get wet / dirty in 4 - 6 hours. I left the Pilot in the garage over night which gave me about a 12hr drying time. Headlights look great this morning. No streaks or runs from the UV protectant. Cost for this product was $10 at Autozone. Cost for the 3M polishing kit was around $15 from Amazon and the lens polish another $10 from Amazon.


So for around $35 and an hour or so of your time, you can recondition your headlights as well.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 09:26 AM
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Thanks for the write up. It's on my summer to do list.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 01:11 PM
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that 3m kit is great and have used it many times. right now I just have slight hazing on the top of the lights so ill use a little compound to get rid of it. Good write up!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 01:30 PM
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Nice job, I need to do this to mine after I fix my power windows.
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