Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Restoring An Old Car - Phase 3

Now that we have the car washed and detailed, the hood buffed out and the roof recoated the car is really starting to look good.  My daughter is super excited about how much these simple fixes have improved the look of her car and will prolong the life of it too.  She is totally in love with her little flying toaster.  Plus she is learning a lot and it really gives her a sense of pride as we accomplish each one of these things.

A few days after we finished the roof she was more than ready to tackle the next project.  The headlights!

Over time these polycarbonate headlights lose their clear coat and turn yellow from the UV exposure.  Hers were very oxidized and had turned extremely yellow.  Our biggest concern was how this oxidation would diminish the headlight performance at night.

First sanding removed all of the murky yellow oxidation

I watched a boatload of YouTube videos on this very subject and determined the best method for us to use for this repair.

After the final sanding all the oxidation is gone and it's ready to coat

We used two different grits of wet/dry sandpaper to sand the headlights.  The first sanding removed all of the yellowing.  The second sanding smoothed out the first sanding and then a final sanding with some fine steel wool finished it off.

Taking time to neatly tape around the headlight for best results

We taped off the headlights and protected the front of the car with plastic.

We carefully taped plastic on to protect the car and gave the
headlights a final cleaning with rubbing alcohol

Then we cleaned them and we were ready to recoat them.

Check it out!

We gave them two coats of clear gloss, letting it dry between coats.  Then a light sanding with the fine steel wool followed by a final coat.

The total spent on this project was $4.28 for the clear coat.  The rest of the supplies we used we already had in our garage and the sandpaper we used was the same sheets we used on the roof repair so we were able to get double duty out of that.


Once we were done we stood back and admired our work.  Wow!  What a difference!  My daughter said "we got rid of her cataracts".  I thought that was pretty funny.

They look like new!

Such a quick and easy repair too.  I am so happy with the results and so is my daughter.  If you have foggy headlights on your car I recommend you researching this on YouTube and give it a try.  We couldn't be happier.


  1. Good job! my car that was totaled needed work on the headlights.

    1. Thank you. Super easy fix! Easiest thing I've done all summer!

  2. Wow, that's amazing! and maybe you and your daughters should start your own YouTube videos...

  3. Oh, I knew you were going to do something fabulous to those headlights, but wow--I can't believe they look brand-new! Absolutely amazing! I didn't know it was oxidation that caused the fog/yellowing--I thought it was road grit. I learn something new every time I open your blog!

    1. Pretty amazing, huh? I was super excited to see how well this process actually worked out. I'm always learning too. :o)

  4. Wow! what an improvement. Good job! you may have a side job there!

  5. Wow, that is amazing! Good job.

  6. Your daughter's comment was funny, but I loved your comment about the flying toaster more. Hilarious!

    The car looks great - the efforts of you and your daughter has probably added significant value to the vehicle. Well done!

    1. We aren't even done! Ha, ha. Thank you. I think it is looking amazing.


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