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The headlight lenses on my 2008 Pilot have a case of the yellows, and while I'm thinking of having them "restored" for the short-term, I would like to consider replacement as an option. OEM assemblies are $600+ retail, which is more than I want to spend. So, I'm looking for suggestions of good aftermarket brands. Do you have any recommendations?
 

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I put TYC on my 2011 over a year ago and am very happy.

They have the "heart" on RockAuto as well:

 

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If you go aftermarket pay a little more and get them from a reputable supplier, like Boom did with RockAuto.

Also, if you can get a dessicant pack in the housing behind the reflector I would do so just to help your odds. Some headlights have a space between the back of the reflector and the back of the housing when the rubber seal is removed that you can drop it down. I've retrofitted a number of headlights, done this on every one and never had any leaking/fogging issues.
 

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A cleaning kit in my opinion is better than an aftermarket headlight. They fog and shine out of alignment most of the time.
 

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Be aware that changing the headlights on a Pilot is a little more involved than the two-bolt easy swap for the taillights or the three-screw in and out on ye olde glass headlights like on my '64 Valiant.

The manual calls for removing the entire front bumper. I've attached the relevant sections in case they might be helpful.
 

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A $50 3M headlight restore kit, power drill and half an hour did the trick. Watch the YouTube videos first. Use the kit designed for a power drill and sand them hard. Clean and don't forget the UV shield coating at the end or you will be doing it again in a year. Pro tip, after using the UV shield coating wipe, store it in a baggie. That way when the headlight UV coating dries in 2-3 hours you can give them a second coat with the wipe.
 

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I used the Meguiar's headlight restoration kit on mine a year and half ago. It turned out great and still looks great. I re-applied the protection coating after one year as suggested on the box.
NOTE: I used the mouse sander shown below to do the sanding and it worked great. I just made sure not to use a lot of pressure to keep the heat from building up.
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Meguiars Headlight Restoration Kit.jpg
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Mouse Sander Used In Headlight Restoration.jpg
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2008 Honda Pilot Headlight Restored.jpg
 

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I've cleaned up plenty of headlamp lenses on a variety of cars via wet sanding and polishing, and it's not a huge ordeal. The key is that you have to TREAT or "seal" the refreshed lenses with something that puts a UV protectant on them in order to preserve your work for a while. I've used a protectant from Sylvania that wipes on with a special disposable paper towel, and it seems pretty good. I'm not sure exactly how long that treatment lasts, though, because I've gotten rid of all the vehicles I treated with it before even 2 years were up. The treatment is supposed to last at least a year. My daughter's 2005 Civic still looked good nearly 2 years after the treatment, which is when I sold it.

We bought our 2008 Pilot SE nearly a year ago, and I was surprised by the clarity of the headlamps. From the looks of the finish and everything else on the exterior, it was clearly garaged by the original owner, who only put 90K on it in 11 years. I suppose it's possible the dealership replaced the headlamp assemblies to freshen it up (we got it at an Acura dealership). Now that it's in our hands, its garage days are over. Bring on the full-strength Midwest summers and winters!

After owning it nearly a year, I just noticed the protective coating is wearing away on both headlamps, exposing the opaque haze we've all come to hate. I could just refurbish them like I've done before, but I get tired of that. Maybe it's just me, but when I refurbish, I meticulously tape things off, use 3 different levels of grit, compound and polish the lenses, and then I seal the lenses, so it's no quickie job. If I can save myself a half-day project a few times more in the life of this Pilot, that idea appeals to me. Maybe I'll just replace them and take my chances they'll hold up another 5+ years.

As you know, OEM units cost $300-$400--each. If I could be assured I was getting "freshly" manufactured units, produced in the last year or two, rather than ones that are at least 5 years old (or more), I might be inclined to bite the bullet on the price. Maybe the OEM units have a manufacture date stamped on them, but I don't know that. This is total conjecture on my part, but I'm guessing the worldwide inventory on these parts isn't young. I mean, how many of these parts are Honda's OEM vendors (I think Stanley did these units) cranking out these days? For a vehicle Honda stopped making in 2008? Even if I was willing to spring for OEM--which I'm not--I might be better off taking my chances with a pair from an aftermarket manufacturer for $150 or less.

I realize aftermarket quality can vary widely (and wildly), but I'm thinking about ordering a pair made by "AKKON" that I found on Amazon for around $150. I particularly like their "Black Mamba" style, which are black instead of chrome. I have 2 sets of black wheels (summer & winter) for our 2008 SE, which has a lot of blacked-out trim on it. Per the pictures posted by some reviewers, they look pretty bad ass. At least, that's what my wife said when she saw them, and the Pilot is her baby.

There are probably only one or two factories that are cranking out all these aftermarket units, regardless of what name the vendor goes by. I'm concerned about quality and watertightness. If anyone has feedback on this particular brand or others--any experience other than the few posts I've read--I'd definitely welcome it. If I decide to go the "AKKON" route, I'll certainly post a follow up on my impressions and experience.
 

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I couldn't tell you about aftermarket headlight assemblies, as I've only replaced the taillight assemblies, but those have held up quite well. Disclaimer: my Pilot is garaged.

When you do replace those headlights, I'm pretty sure you'll find the attachment I added for you below handy, since the job involves a bit more than just the two bolts for the taillights. :)
 

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I couldn't tell you about aftermarket headlight assemblies, as I've only replaced the taillight assemblies, but those have held up quite well. Disclaimer: my Pilot is garaged.

When you do replace those headlights, I'm pretty sure you'll find the attachment I added for you below handy, since the job involves a bit more than just the two bolts for the taillights. :)
Thanks for the headlight assembly replacement sheet. Yes, I've discovered that I have to remove the bumper cover in order to do the job. I had to do the same thing with our 3rd gen CR-V to mount fog lights, and it's a minor annoyance.

My major concern about the aftermarket headlight units is whether they'll leak or have condensation problems. Surveying the reviews I've seen on Amazon, but it doesn't appear to be a widespread problem. With all review forums, it's important to remember that the majority of customers who are satisfied and have no problems at all--well, we never hear from them. For the minority who encounter a problem, they'll post a review sharing their experience. I'm hoping it's a small minority in this case.
 

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With all review forums, it's important to remember that the majority of customers who are satisfied and have no problems at all--well, we never hear from them. For the minority who encounter a problem, they'll post a review sharing their experience. I'm hoping it's a small minority in this case.

I wouldn't be too sure of this. I've ordered parts from forum recommendations and they were crap from day one and when I bring it up at least 2 others had same issue. So I think it goes both ways. It's now my understanding any aftermarket part is going to be a gamble, go OEM or just be ready for issues.

I used the meguires heavy duty restore kit on my headlights at beginning of month. Picked up some 800 and 2000 grit paper from HD and they came out perfect after the compounding. I used their spray coating instead of the liquid that comes in kit (I seen streaks on their video) and it ruined the job! Now I'm left w/ a frost haze.

Before...
DSC_0007.JPG


After wet sanding and compound......

140467
 

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I know the pic above isn't great but I think you can tell they are crystal clear.

Here is a few of after using the Meguires spray protectant.....


DSC_0014.JPG
140471
 

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Just noticed my OEM headlights are starting to actually crack. I think I will be looking into the aftermarket blackhoused ones. Im a bit concerned about the quality of the projectors in them though unfortunatly.
 

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Just noticed my OEM headlights are starting to actually crack. I think I will be looking into the aftermarket blackhoused ones. Im a bit concerned about the quality of the projectors in them though unfortunatly.
I haven't pulled the trigger on ordering the aftermarket replacements yet. I think I will soon, though, so I can get them in before it gets cold. I'll post here when I take delivery and share my thoughts.
 

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Just noticed my OEM headlights are starting to actually crack. I think I will be looking into the aftermarket blackhoused ones. Im a bit concerned about the quality of the projectors in them though unfortunatly.
Considering these headlights?
420F572B-8870-4DCC-9C85-E5D396FD9FEA.jpeg
 
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