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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Headlight Restoration Kit: Rain-X vs Turtle Wax

Headlight Restoration Kits

Turtle Wax and Rain-X Headlight Restoration Kits
Headlight Restoration Kits
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

A common problem for older cars is that the headlights become oxidized start to turn a yellowish color.  This not only looks bad, but reduces the ability for the headlights to provide adequate light to see well for night driving.

Not to worry, you can buy headlight restoration kits to solve this problem.  If you believe the advertisements, you just apply some chemicals to your faded old headlights, wipe it off, and they look like new.  Do headlight restoration kits really work?  Is it hard to make old yellowed headlights look new again?

What is in a Headlight Restoration Kit?

Headlight restoration kits can be purchased for about $10 to about $30 and contain cleaning chemicals and abrasive pads.  The kit by 3M contains a special abrasive pad that you use with a power drill.  Some kits also contain a sealer to help keep your headlights from yellowing again after you clean them.

How long does it take to Restore Headlights?

It takes 30 minutes to 1 hour to restore two headlights.  The amount of time it takes depends on how much scrubbing you want to do to make your headlight lens look clear again.  Heavily corroded headlight lenses take quite a bit of work with the abrasive pads to make them look clear again.  I would say it is about as much work as applying a coat of wax by hand to a car.

Do Headlight Restoration Kits Work?

I have tried two headlight restoration kits- Rain-X Headlight Restoration Kit and Turtle Wax Lens Restorer.  Both of these kits improved the appearance of my headlight lenses and made it easier to see at night.  It is not quite as easy to restore headlights as the advertisements would have you believe, however.  It takes some effort to scrub the headlights using the abrasive pads and cleaning chemicals to clean the oxidation off of the surface of the headlight.

Which is the Best Headlight Restoration Kit: Rain-X vs Turtle Wax

Both Rain-X and Turtle Wax headlight restoration kits made my headlights look better.  Both kits contain similar cleaning chemicals and abrasive pads.

Turtle Wax Headlight Lens Restorer Kit Contents:

  • Lens Clarifying Compound (4 fl oz)
  • Spray Lubricant (4 fl oz)
  • Lens Sealing Wipe
  • Restoration Pads: Green (level 1), Brown (level 2), 2-sided Purple (level 3/level 4)

Rain-X Headlight Restoration Kit Contents:

  • Rain-X Lubricant (2 fl oz)
  • Rain-X Headlight Restorer (5 fl oz)
  • Rain-X Sealant (2 fl oz)
  • Polishing Pads- 3
  • Microfiber cloth

Overall, I prefer the Rain-X headlight restoration kit over the Turtle Wax kit.  The Turtle Wax kit has only one sealing wipe, so you can only use the kit once if you want to be able to seal the headlight when you are finished cleaning it.  The Rain-X kit has a bottle of sealant spray, so you it is easier to reuse the kit on additional cars, or to clean your headlights more in the future as needed.

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