There are a number of different types of car enthusiasts out there. Some just like to keep their favorite car clean and may go no further than changing their windshield wipers or changing the engine oil. Then there are those who know nearly every part of piece of their ride and love getting in deep with a wrench in hand.
Either way, we just love automobiles and can appreciate your involvement no matter how much or how little. Regardless of our mechanical and detailing ability, none of use can stop the harmful effects that our environment has on our vehicles. Thankfully, companies like Mequiar’s make it possible to help combat these harmful effects and slow the aging process of our vehicles. Ultimately, they can stay looking newer for years to come.
For most of the automobile’s history, headlights have been built with a glass exterior. However starting about 15 years ago, most manufacturers began constructing polycarbonate headlights. While they certainly offer enhanced safety and cost savings, they can be damaged from the sun, turning them to a yellowish-brown haze.
Aside from being very unsightly on a beautiful car, it decreases the amount of light emitted from your headlights, creating a safety concern. Typically, we have had two separate means to deal with this issue. The first being a simple liquid which temporarily improves the look of the lights for only a week or two.
The second being an in-depth process that can take several hours of labor to sand and polish the lights back their original clarity. While this will last much longer than the liquids, your headlight now has no protection from the sun’s harmful rays and the yellowing soon returns. Mequiar’s has your new solution.
According to Meguiar’s, “The Perfect Clarity Headlight Restoration Kit requires only two easy steps, simply clean, then coat! The first step removes oxidation by using Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity Cleaning Solution along with the Cleaning Disc. Once all oxidation is removed, simply spray two coats of the Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity Coating on to the headlight to reveal crystal clear results with durable protection that has been lab tested to withstand up to a year’s UV exposure. Enjoying restored, like-new headlights that stay protected longer from future oxidation has never been this easy.”
All things considered, we figured we would give this a shot. For this process we utilized Meguiar’s kit, some paper towels, and painters tape. The wax applicator pad was used for a separate product used afterwards.
While there are certainly worse headlights out there, the tops of these headlights were in bad shape, and the fronts had really began to lose their clarity. To start with, we taped off the headlight with painters tape, making sure the edges were accurately covered.
We took the supplied products and sanded the headlights as directed by hand. After a few minutes of sanding with the supplied product, we wiped the headlamp clean showing the sanding marks evenly across the surface. We then went back to cover the surrounding areas with paper towels to ensure no overspray got onto the grille, bumper or body panels.
The next step is where the real magic happens. Per the instructions we sprayed a medium coat of the headlight coating evenly across the headlight, overlapping the previous pass by about 50-percent. We then waited five minutes, and applied a second, full coat. After another five minutes, we removed the tape and masking, and wiped all the nearby surfaces down with Meguiar’s Quick Detail. It’s was as simple as that!
The next product in our trial was Meguiar’s Paint Protect that provides up to 365 days of protection to your paint. Those of us that love detailing our cars can certainly continue to use the other great compounds, polishes, and waxes that Meguiar’s offers, but this product can be a separate solution.
For those that simply don’t have the time or the desire, this product will protect your vehicle’s finish when you can’t. For those of us that do wax our cars every few months, this product is a great additional product to apply in between waxes due to the speed of application.
Unlike other products that take a fair amount of elbow grease, this product simply wipes on, cures in minutes, and wipes off. For those that can’t stand the look of dried wax on black plastic car parts, this product is ideal as it does not create the unsightly white haze. You simply need the Paint Protect product, an applicator pad, and a clean microfiber cloth.
To begin, we washed the hood with a strong detergent soap ensuring all previous waxes or other products had been removed. From there we used a clay bar to remove any stuck-on contaminants.
After reapplying water and using an automotive squeegee to remove water from the lower half of the hood, you can see how the water just lays flat across the paint surface, neither beading nor sheeting off. We then dried the remaining portion of the hood and applied a strip of painters tape to divide the hood into two equal halves.
We applied Paint Protect to the passenger side and a typical wax to the driver side and allowed them both to cure. After a few minutes, we wiped and buffed the respective halves then coated the hood with water showing how each behaves with water. As you can see the Paint Protect side sheets off water, nearly drying itself while the wax side beads the water.
While there is nothing wrong with the beading that wax provides, this shows that a truly “wipe on, wipe off” product provides amazing paint sealant properties that can sheet water off for continued protection from your environment. All in all we were extremely satisfied with both products and will continue to purchase them in the future for our other cars and trucks.