Headlight & Taillight Cleaning


We had recently purchased a late model used car that had seen too many trips through a brush-style car wash - a no-no for any real car enthusiast. But, for the majority of the populace, quick gas station car wash machines are a mite bit tempting.

The whole car had taken on a patina from the swilling automated car wash brushes. We knew that we would be able to restore the paint work in short order with Meguiar's brand products sold by Eastwood. However, we wanted to concentrate at this time on the plastic taillight, headlight and decorative trim. The objective was to rejuvenate these areas to a "like-new" finish. We selected AutoSol Paste for this project (Item-no# 13175) (though you may prefer the 100gm Tube (#13170) as this stuff goes a long way).

We first set about carefully washing the entire vehicle, eliminating dirt, grit and contamination. Turning our attention to the taillights, we applied AutoSol by hand with a clean dampened cloth, and, with only a small amount of pressure and elbow grease, we could see our taillight lenses rejuvenated before our eyes. A quick final polish with a clean rag had all but eliminated the car wash brush marks.

If you are interested in a solution that takes less sweat, try this: Apply AutoSol to the taillight lenses with a damp rag. Use an Eastwood loose 40-ply 4" buff wheel (Item-no# 13042) attached to a Wheel Arbor (Item-no #13064) on your electric drill. Buff the surface at 90° angles. Be sure to occasionally check for heat build-up. Though you'll most likely find very little, better to be aware of the potential for heat build-up than to not pay attention to the possibility at all. Within a few minutes your taillight lenses will be transformed to like-new condition.

After the taillights, we turned our attention to the plastic headlamp lenses that suffered from the same problem as the taillight lenses. The AutoSol cut through the dullness in short order. Deeper stone chips could not be removed, but, overall, our headlights were as clear as ever.

Next, we applied the same procedures to detail the car's ornamental plastic grille lens. The results were equally wonderful!

AutoSol has many excellent applications on metals, too. We will be discussing those applications in future editions of Eastwood's Shop Talk…an exclusive online feature.