When it comes to headlight restoration, a properly applied high quality clear coat will generally last 5-10x longer than ANY polishing and ceramic coating application method. Ceramic coatings work best when applied on TOP of automotive paint, NOT bare plastic or polycarbonate headlight lenses! It may look good but will NOT last!! The reason is simple, the thickness of even multiple layers of a ceramic coating is no match against a few layers of high quality clear coat! Headlights require a thick layer of UV protection especially for all the impact that the front of a vehicle suffers. Ceramic coatings simply cant provide that!! The only time such ceramic coatings should be used on headlights is as an extra layer of protection after they have been clear coated and flat polished.
In a world full of various headlight restoration kits it’s important to take a realistic approach in the capabilities of these kits before wasting time, money, and energy on miracle products that simply do not work in the long run.
This post is not to discredit companies such as 3M or Meguiar's who have sold thousands of these kits worldwide, but more so to help consumers understand the primary differences between a store-bought headlight restoration kit versus a permanent service - CT Headlight Restoration.
The biggest dilemma with even the most expensive headlight restoration kit on the market is although you may be able to improve clarity, this is only temporary. This is done by hand-sanding away the vehicles failed factory top coat. Once all the coating is removed, the headlight then needs to be heavily polished to remove the scratch marks just caused from sanding. The results from this process fades away within weeks due to the inferior final coating in these headlight restoration kits. This common fading result is the main reason more and more car-owners are choosing the hire a professional rather than going the DIY route.
With all of the benefits of hiring a professional to restore your headlights, it is still important to be informed on the process of which the company you hire uses. Proper professional headlight restoration technique involves a meticulous amount of prep work. And since all cars are made differently, experience is needed to know how to approach each headlight restoration. This differentiates headlight restoration companies that offer a complete refinish of the outer lens, compared to the quick wipe-on fix that might be offered at your nearest carwash or detail shop. Finally, be mindful of the companies that promise to restore your headlights in an unusual amount of time. The average headlight restoration service takes about 1 to 2 hours and should be a multi-step process.
Feel free to comment on this post with any headlight restoration questions you may have!