Headlights restoration is a scam - Mazda 6 Forums : Mazda 6 Forum / Mazda Atenza Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-14-2018, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Headlights restoration is a scam

Headlights restoration is one of the biggest ripoffs in the auto industry. Once the headlights clearcoat peels and they haze/yellow, you cannot restore them. You can polish, buff, sand, wet sand, apply new clear coat. It will NOT last. The only way to repair hazed headlights is buying new ones and protecting them from start, applying a sealant every 2 weeks or better yet, applying a protective film such as Lamin-x. Although, some people have complained about these protecting films cracking the headlights.

Safer bet is applying a sealant every 2 weeks. Or you can use Meguiar keep clear headlight coating and the sealant every 2 week on top of it. Supposedly, the coating lasts up to 1 year.

https://meguiarsonline.com/forums/sh...dlight-Coating

99% of headlights restoration businesses are going to rip you off. All they will do is wet sand and apply cheap spray can clear coat, which will not last. They do this to make a bigger profit. It will look good for a few months, maybe even 1 year, then it will return.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-15-2018, 07:31 AM
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If they were scamming people then they wouldn't stay in business....Asking people for money to do the labor that you're too lazy (or don't have time/tools/technique) to do is called owning a business. People won't pay for something they don't think is worth it. #capitalism
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-15-2018, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Byakuya View Post
If they were scamming people then they wouldn't stay in business....Asking people for money to do the labor that you're too lazy (or don't have time/tools/technique) to do is called owning a business. People won't pay for something they don't think is worth it. #capitalism

They stay in business because most people are ignorant and unaware of what headlight plastic really is.

This kind of work never comes with life time warranty. Once the headlights haze up again 1 year after the "repair", there is nothing you can do to get your money back or get them fixed. You would have to pay again. Even if the repair lasts 2 years, you are still losing money in the long run, you can only polish and sand headlights so much before they crack. The point is that people refuse to accept that they need new headlights. Those $100-150 they spent on "fixing" their headlights temporarily, could have been used towards new headlights that can protected from the start with a coating and sealant.


They have damaged headlights because they never cared about protecting them. Same goes for paint clear coat failure. Many people look for cheap and easy solutions, when this could've been prevented in the first place with proper auto detailing. Now, own up to your mistakes and pay the big bucks for a respray which is the only solution.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-15-2018, 08:26 AM
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Not disagreeing with you, but pointing something out here:

Actually, many of the hazed headlights you see on the road, like almost every Dodge Neon ever for example, are because of the grade of plastic they used not holding up against simple aging, heat from the bulbs, UV exposure, acidic rain, and all the other crap a car gets exposed to outdoors. In those cases, it has little to do with how well you maintain your vehicle. The manufacturer just used a poor material. Choosing a UL 746C compliant material and keeping interior temperatures down inside the light housing would go a long way toward fixing most of those issues. Hazing is a much harder repair than simple surface scratches because it penetrates deeper into the material, sometimes all the way through, and can sometimes even start on the inside of the lens which you normally can't get at to repair. This a chemical process the lenses go through and owners can't really do much to prevent this other than never taking the car outside, which is obviously not realistic.

The sealant you're talking about is usually a hard-coating, not just a simple clear coat. It's a similar material that is used on Blu-Ray discs to make them harder to scratch than normal plain, untreated polycarbonate DVD. It is meant to help harden the surface of the material to make it harder to scratch which is a separate issue from the hazing aspect. These hard-coatings commonly used now have a UV-blocker ingredient in them to help act as a sunscreen of sorts which help prevent, or at least delay, the hazing from setting in. Surface scratches are about the only thing you can do anything about, but you're right that it's only going to be a temporary fix because of the reasons you've stated. The best fixes are going to involve a reapplication of some kind of hard-coating with some UV protection built in. I've heard some people try using some of that clear bra 3M film on their headlights before, but I've never heard anything on how well it does or doesn't work. If internal heating of the light is one of the problems, then I'd think it could make things worse by adding a layer of insulation. I would expect some impact on the light it throws out, too, by adding some distortion and/or reduced range of the beams. It might be illegal in some places, too, if caught with a film on there.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-15-2018, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vipre77 View Post
Not disagreeing with you, but pointing something out here:

Actually, many of the hazed headlights you see on the road, like almost every Dodge Neon ever for example, are because of the grade of plastic they used
This.

My wife's Mazda 3 was made in Mexico with super cheap plastics and her headlights, despite everything I've tried, continue to yellow. I've restored headlights in the past and kept them perfectly clean on other cars, but her plastic is just crappy quality and there's only so much I can do.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-15-2018, 10:22 AM
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I think this issue presented itself with the Gen1 cars. My 2005 6s headlights weathered much better than any I saw on a 2006+ (Gen 1.5) car. Seemed like those were trashed inordinately quickly, due no doubt to inferior materials. I chalk it up to supplier issues.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-15-2018, 11:40 AM
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I'm curious, what is the point of your post. Why is it that someone has to do anything?

If done correctly by a reputable person/business, HL restoration is not a scam. I don't see anyone offering a guarantee. I think people realize that they will eventually yellow again or haze over. Why is it that anyone has to own up to their HL's turning yellow.

I bought a $15 3M product and restored my Sister's HL's a year ago. Spending the money for new HL's was not in her budget. She's very happy and realizes they will need restored again at some point.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-15-2018, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GerryB View Post
I think this issue presented itself with the Gen1 cars. My 2005 6s headlights weathered much better than any I saw on a 2006+ (Gen 1.5) car. Seemed like those were trashed inordinately quickly, due no doubt to inferior materials. I chalk it up to supplier issues.

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To add to this point, their cheapness extended into the 2nd-gen models, since the headlights on my '10 were cleared up once (and needed it again when I traded in), while my 2004 went 6+ years without even a scratch.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-15-2018, 12:18 PM
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You're somewhat right, the issue will likely happen again but that doesn't mean it's a scam. It's an option for people to do other than spending $100+ on new headlights. There's a wonderful detailing shop here that does Headlight Restoration (not sure what he treats them with currently because he just got new products) and he has a lifetime guarantee on them.

Some people just don't have the money/don't want to spend the money on new headlights.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-15-2018, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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I said the Meguiar Keep Clear coating is a coating. It says so in the name 😂. The sealant I was talking about, the one I said you should apply every 2 weeks, is Meguiar Ultimate Liquid Wax. Despite the "wax" name, this is a sealant.

Using this sealant in conjunction with the coating once a year, or if you live in a sunny area. I would do the coating every 6 months. This should make the headlights last at least 5 years.

Yes, some manufacturers cheap out on the plastic, but the reality is most people don't take care of the headlights. Most people take their cars through the car wash, which damages the headlights even more.

Headlight restoration is a rip off because you are paying at least $100 for a repair that is only temporary. Same goes for these diy headlight repair kit. Most of these, all they do is buff, sand, polish, and some cheap clear coat. It will not last. Most people are unaware of this. They don't realize you can only polish, buff and sand the plastic so much.

Most if not all of this don't come with lifetime warranty.

The headlight restoration businesses take advantage of the fact that most people don't know better and are unwilling to buy new headlights. They always advertise, don't buy new headlights when you can repair them for a fraction of the price.

One time I was at Walmart, I saw a guy hustling people like he was fixing their headlights, all he did was spray them with some clear coat lol and of course, they will look instantly clear but it won't last at all.

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