View Full Version : Camry Headlight Help!

Aug 26th, 2011, 02:43 PM
I had a 2005 Toyota Camry SE that has a serious headlight issue. I've tried using the Meguiar's Headlight Resto kit MEG G1900 with very
little (if any) help whatsoever. Was going to try the new headlight resto kit but just wanted to get some feedback first. Both sides are the same with the worst of it being the top half of the lenses. I always used some sort of protection on them when I detailed the car but it just go out of hand. Please see attached pictures:





Aug 26th, 2011, 08:41 PM
JMO the expensive kits never seem to work:wall: Anyways, the trick is the prep work and cleaning of the plastic. You need heat and friction, a DA polisher works miracles but if you lack one hand methods work; but with a ton of patience. A rotary polisher takes a ton of skill, and can if one second to long will overheat the plastic, that is why I recommend a DA polisher.

For prep work you need to thoroughly clean the headlight (plastic or whatever material composite it is). I find, interestingly enough, a clay bar and lube works well. If you have borax it works well as a mild abrasive and will remove mild hazing, if not baking soda is a close substitute. Once the prep work is done you need to remove the haze and oxidation with an aggressive compound. With the borax or baking soda you need to make it into a slur work the product in with a sponge, 3M green pad, whatever you have laying around, and then rinse the product off.

MEGS UC 105 and a DA is incredible and powerful; one pass usually fixes the problem. If you only have UC 105 that alone by hand will remove after a few passes the problems your picture shows. A decent substitute that can be found at any auto parts store is MEGS Ultimate Compound. The compound again works best with a DA. By hand a ton and I mean ton of elbow grease will remove the problem. By hand I have had best results working in small circles with firm pressure, working rapidly (trying to mimic a polisher by hand in other words). Do not use your fingers use your palm.

Once your headlights are prepped and compounded you are not done. JMO but the compounds mentioned above tend to leave a "film." The film can be removed with the cheap MEGS burgundy cleaner wax or Mirror Glaze Cleaner Wax. Either one seems to add clarity, and protect the lens from further damage. Horizontal, Diag, Circular, does not seem to matter if working by hand as long as the coverage is overlapping...

Wipe off lights with your quick-detailer and your done. If you do not have the homeowner Ultimate Compound and Cleaner Wax your cost would be about 20 bux, very rough depends on geographic region. Besides, both products have many other purposes and I always keep them around...

Check for condensation in the light as well, caused by bad gaskets. I know some of the older sienna mini vans had a problem with that. We used to have replace them all the time (back when I was a mechanic). If those are the HID's they discharge a ton of heat and cause haze no matter what you do.

Aug 27th, 2011, 09:19 AM
I doubt m105 and a DA will restore those headlights you need to wetsand. you will need 1000 grit, 2000, 3000, compound polish and a sealant or wax. theres a bunch of videos on how to wetsand headlights. Its an easy job, maybe 30mins to an hour per headlight. Its the only want to get it looking new again.

keep in mind UV damage does this to headlights so be sure to wax/seal your headlights.

Aug 27th, 2011, 10:43 PM
Man I should take some before and afters, honestly I have yet to break out the wet sand for headlights... The MEGS compound pad (red one) and the DA at max works. If there that messed up I have used a rotary several times before. Just fixed two completely fogged headlights on a 05 Maxima in ten minutes, both were glazed and sealed. But everyone has their opinions, and I have always said use what method you are convinced works. I do not have a before, was trying to get this done before the storm but here is an after. The picture was taken on my pos blackberry phone, my fancy droid took a **** so the quality ins't the best.


Here is another after an 01 Altima

Again this is JMO, I hate wasting time and making extra work for myself.

Aug 28th, 2011, 03:43 AM
Are you referring to a x-7207 pad? If so - thanks for the tip. I have a customer with a 2003 Pontiac Vibe that I have not been able to get as good a job done on the headlights as I would like. So I have another option to try......

Aug 28th, 2011, 05:07 PM
I use the W7006 (Softbuff Cutting PAD) if the headlights are free of anything that could tear up the pad, I.E. Nipples, grooves ETC, or a royal pain to work with. If there are things that could tear them up I use the 4 inch softbuff compound pad, think it is a W7204. I prefer a DA over a rotary not just to prevent overheating of the plastic (which I can prevent just takes patience) but to avoid a bumper burn caused by edging of pad (happens very easily with rotary). Plus with a DA you can crank it, unlike a rotary. Just takes patience and paying attention to surrounding areas. I myself am a big fan of the UC 105 the SMAT stuff is much easier to work with than the old diminishing abrasive stuff....

Dec 7th, 2011, 05:11 AM
If you don't have a DA you can try a 3 or 4 inch pad on a drill with some M105 and M205, then work you way up to wet sanding. Always try the least aggressive method first.

I recently did a resto on 98 Honda Accord headlights that were worse than those, but the customer supplied a resto kit from Turtle Wax which came with compound, sanding discs, sealant and a MF cloth. I was surprised how well the TW kit worked.

Jan 30th, 2012, 11:15 AM
I just used the Heavy Duty Series Headlight Restoration kit G3000 with great results