Tip & How-To about Chrysler Town & Country

Headlamp lense Restoration

For the past year I have been experimenting with different ways of restoring hazy and yellow headlamps to there original crystal . This is an easy project for the do it yourselfer and would take approximately an hour or two to make them like new.

First step is to clean them with any mild detergent. Glass cleaner will work just fine. Next I tape off all of the painted areas that I don't want to accidentally hit with the sand paper. Now the fun begins. Starting with 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper I wet sand each lens until all of the degraded plastic is removed. You will see what I am talking about once you start to sand. I then clean the area again to remove any grit leftover from the sanding. Then I go to 500 grit wet/dry sandpaper and generously sand each lens again. You will start to see the lens begin to have an even white frosted look.

I then move on to 800, 1000, and finally 3000 grit sandpaper. Making sure to wipe down the lenses after each sanding. Throughout these stages you will start to notice the lens getting clearer and clearer. the key to these three sandings is patients and be thorough. These three will determine how good the lenses look after the final polishing.

There are many kinds of plastic polishes available. Maguires and 3M are pretty good, I personally use a product that Cornwell Tools has. This will be the most labor intensive part of the job. I have a mini polisher so it goes pretty quick for myself but it can still be done by hand with the same results. Polish until crystal clear! You may notice a few places that you missed after polishing, just repeat the above steps and they will look like new.

The last step is to seal the lenses. Wynns makes a headlamp restoration kit that is well worth the money just for the sealer. Apply 3 coats of this stuff and the lenses will keep there like new look for easily a couple of years. Make sure the lenses are clean and dry before you wipe it on.

Here are the latest before and afters. This was a 99 Chrysler Town & Country and took me about an hour to get them 99% perfect!!

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If your headlamp lenses are plastic, and they don't have moisture that has gotten inside of them, then the yellowing is most likely due to the plastic itself glazing or turning a yellow hazy color due to sunlight and weathering. There is a kit made that we use quite often to polish these headlamps back to a reasonably clear condition. It consists of round abrasive pads that you install on a cordless drill to polish the lenses in several stages until they are clear again. If you stop in most any quality auto parts store and tell them what your problem is they can steer you to the right product. Follow the instructions to the letter as that's how you'll get the best results. IF however your lamps have moisture or water inside them then it's nearly impossible to clean them and keep them that way as the seal that keeps moisture out has failed somewhere. Usually replacement is the only fix when this happens. Good luck, hope this helps a bit!

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