The headlights of the car are the most protruding part of the vehicle. Thus, they are most exposed to mechanical damage while driving (pebbles, ice, sand, road pollution, etc.). In addition to mechanical damage, the plastic of the headlights is also affected by the Sun, temperature changes and poor quality detergents. The result is dim and yellowish lights that are not aesthetically pleasing, but the bigger problem is that the functionality of the headlights is reduced.

When is it time to polish headlights?

It is desirable to polish them when we notice that the functionality of the headlights is reduced, and the deadline is when you get a note on the technical inspection.

What kind of headlights can we polish ourselves?

Plastic only. It is to be expected that the headlights did not suffer significant damage (deep grooves, cracks) when replacing the headlights would be a more adequate solution.

What does it take?

You need sandpaper in 5 grades, about 10 liters of water and an hour and a half.
Gradations are: 800, 1000, 1500, 2000 and 3000
Sandpaper are usually sold in A4 sheets size, but for both headlights a piece of 8x10 cm from each gradation is sufficient.

Why isn't polishing paste and protection tape listed?

If the work is done well with all 5 grades, polishing is optional. Polishing will not give a much better result, and the price of packing polishing paste is not profitable. However, if you already have a polishing paste, be sure to polish the headlight and protect the surrounding varnish with tape beforehand if you are polishing with a machine. No need for protection for manual polishing.

Polishing course

Pour water on the headlight and start sanding with a gradation of 800. Circular movements are desirable, not overly energetic. With more pressure, the job will not be over sooner.
When plastic remains accumulate on the headlight, rinse the headlight.
Don't rush, you are just on the first gradation of the first lighthouse.
You’re done when you’ve evenly “blurred” the entire headlight. After this phase you are probably wondering, what did I need this for, but wait.

Rinse the sandpaper and set aside, you will need it for another headlight.
Take 1000 grade paper and do the same. Thoroughly cross the blurred part, evenly, in a circular motion.
Same for 1500 and 2000.
As soon as you start sanding with 2000 grade paper you will see that the headlight gets “clarity”. If you are doing this for the first time, at this point you know you are on the right track. Thoroughly sand with 2000 paper, rinse and sand with 3000 paper.
After quality sanding with 3k paper, the headlight should be in excellent condition. For perfectionists, a polishing paste follows - apply a little paste on the new sponge and polish the whole headlight in a circular motion.

After polishing

After polishing, turn on the dipped beam headlights on the vehicle and look vertically at the headlights. If you see scratches, the next time you polish, you will need to take the first sandpaper a little rougher, say 600.

That's it. The procedure is not permanent, it will probably be necessary to repeat the whole procedure in a couple of years.