If your like me having a clean and sharp looking car is very important. You take your car to get washed and detailed, you may even spend the money to have the car repainted, just to get that showroom floor look. All this washing and polishing may make your paint look great, but can wreak havoc on your tail light lenses. Today we will outline what it takes to polish your tail lights to give them a better than new shine.
The supplies needed to do this project are relatively cheap, some of which you may already have around the house. The rest of them can be easily obtained from your local hardware store or auto body supply house. You will need some 400 grit wet sanding paper, a buffing wheel, a buffer to mount it to, a clean terry cloth towel, and some sort of plastic polishing compound. Several companies have products on the market for this, I prefer the one made by the Eastwood Company.
Begin by taking the tail lights out of the car. If your feeling daring you can skip this step but I personally wouldn’t want to slip while sanding and put a deep scratch into the paint of my car. Once you have them out start sanding with the 400 grit. You don’t have to sand the entire lens, just the spots that have scratches and other blemishes. If you want you can also sand down the DOT lettering and other part numbers at this time as well. This will give it a much cleaner look. Make sure the sand paper stays wet during the whole process.
Once you have finished sanding down the lens, wash it thoroughly with soap and water. I recommend using a dish soap for this part as the de-greasing agent in the soap will remove any remaining wax that may be on the lens. Dry the lens fully.
Now that your lens is dry it is time to start polishing. Fire up the buffer and start to pick up the polishing compound into it. A little goes a long way here so don’t over do it! Once the wheel begins to change color you have enough. Begin buffing it into the lens but make sure you are moving quickly. If you stay in one spot to long it can over heat the plastic and cause it to melt. Quick motions over the entire lens works best. Wipe any excess compound up with the towel right away. If your getting black blobs on the surface you used to much compound.
Continue buffing until you see the results you like. You will know they are finished when they look and feel like glass. Now stand back and admire your results. Your wallet will thank you for not buying new lenses too!