CarStorian and Headlight Restoration

Written by Darren Rayborn

On June 18, 2017

CarStorian and Headlight Restoration


My daughter has a 2001 Honda Accord and it has been a great car. She has almost 275,000 miles on it and has been pretty reliable. Yes, some work was done, but overall not too bad. Through the decade-plus timeframe, the harsh Florida sun had cooked the headlight assemblies pretty well. They were rather yellow and hard to see any light coming from them.


 A few years ago, I tried a few of the headlight restoration kits you can find at most auto parts stores. Some were okay, others not so much and then the one that stood out for me was the Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit (I have no affiliate link or compensation from Sylvania). It costs about $20 to $25USD at our local auto parts store or could be less expensive online.


I checked local store’s website and they carried it. I drove down and started looking in the cleaning and appearance section but could not find it. There were others, but I figured I would keep with what I knew worked. I finally asked the parts guy and he said they were located with the lights. I suppose it makes sense to someone, but for me, it did not. Why would it not be with the rest of the kits? Perhaps both places would be a good idea?


After I purchased the kit, I headed back home to finally get those lenses cleaned up. Of course I had to take the before pictures to see how well the kit performed, which I expected to be quite good. I would also share the after pictures with family and friends. I liken the yellow hazing as to a person having cataracts, which I had and were fixed nicely. Amazing what one can see when it is your vision is not hazy. Besides, aren’t cars people anyhow?


The biggest challenge for me was the reading of the instructions. No, they were well written, I have a problem following directions sometimes, so it was just me. I would recommend reading them a few times all of the way through to make sure you don’t miss anything.


Don’t forget to clean the lenses and use the provided spray. There were three small square pieces of sandpaper; 400, 1000 and 2000 grit you would use sequentially. While using the sandpaper, they are supposed to be used with water. Once done with the sanding, you would use a small dab of polisher to finalize the cleaning process. It did mention to complete both headlight assemblies through the polishing agent before putting on the final clear coat application. I did have to re-sand the driver’s side a bit more due to my lack of enthusiasm and focus of the swirling action. Once that was corrected, I was able to add that final step, applying the clear coat.


From the time of this final application, it is recommended (by the instructions) to not touch the headlamp assembly for about an hour so that it dries completely. Why would you? Of course final curing would be between four and six hours. During that time, one would have to hope for no rain or other forms of moisture to occur or put the car in the garage.


I was not disappointed in the kit at all. I figured it took about 45 minutes from start to finish. The final product was quite what I hoped for; I was able to see the insides of the assemblies quite clearly. Of course, when the lights are turned on later in the evening will be the real test; I don’t feel that the renewed, clear plastic would fail my expectations.  


So, this was an easy fix for the hazy headlights instead of buying a whole assembly and replace the headlight system. I might have to do this again in a year, but again, the cost is reasonable and safety is paramount. It helps a dad (or mom) sleep better.


Thanks for reading and share with whom you think could use this information.




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