Monday, October 21, 2013

Let there be light!

Yep, that's what a pair of 2002 Hyundai Sante Fe headlights will look like after 174,000 miles of being exposed to the elements and hitting bugs at 55mph.

During the summer the father of a good friend gave me the idea of purchasing a restoration kit.  I didn't think much of it at the time. 

Fast forward a few months...

The days are becoming shorter and my work hours are becoming longer and as a result I've been driving more in the dark.  Bleck.  I began to notice that my visibility could stand an improvement.  I purchased a $25 kit from Auto Zone yesterday and decided to see if I could make some head way on my headlights.

Notice, below, how I have applied car tape around the headlights to prevent scratching.  I asked what the difference was between the green car tape and blue painter's tape and the Auto Zone employee answered that the green tape was thicker and more durable.  I did not find that to be true.  I think I'll use it to send baseball cards out in the mail. Ha!

The kit came with a drill attachment and circular sandpaper to facilitate the restoration process.  Pretty neat idea turning a drill into a sander!  I started with sanding the headlights with 100 grit sandpaper*.  After quite a few passes I moved to the 300 grit, and then finally to a finishing pad.

*Please note that this sandpaper was not wood grade sandpaper.

Lastly, I removed the sandpaper attachment from the drill and affixed the buffing pad.  I added a little buffing goo to the headlights and let the drill do the rest of the work.
Above is what's left of the packaging after my forty-five minute restoration experiment. 

Hey, but what about the headlights?

Almost good as new!  I'm actually looking forward to driving to work this morning to see the difference.