Headlight Cleaner or Protectant for a new Prius Plug-In

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by thx123, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. thx123

    thx123 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    21
    8
    0
    Location:
    CA, USA
    Vehicle:
    2014 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base

    Just puchased 2014 Plug-In Prius. I love it!
    I see a lot of products and articles for "restoring" hazy and yellow headlight, but I do not see any good product recommendation for properly cleaning and protecting the headlight like you should wax the car. So you don't have to use the restoration kit later.

    Can I use regular car wax(I use Zymol) or is there a special cleaner / protectant that you use recommend?


    Thank you.
     
  2. Tracksyde

    Tracksyde Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    1,429
    758
    0
    Location:
    So Cal
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    I looked into this a while back and found some info on a car detailing forum.. but the members there were testing two products.. one was called Opti-Coat. Its about $60 for a syringe-ful (it needs to be air tight). Its actually a coating for car paint (that lasts a long long time). The other was, and don't laugh, Minwax.

    Headlight sealant: spar urethane vs. opti coat 2.0 - Auto Geek Online Auto Detailing Forum

    It seems as the thread progressed, people were trying other products too. And it seems the maker of Opti-Coat now makes a product called Opti-Lens specifically for headlight plastics.

    I havent done it, but I may do the Opti-Coat since I have a bit left. But since I've owned my car, I've just used Plexus after every wash to keep some UV protectant on it. I think most plastic polishes you buy in the store (from Mothers or Meguiars) all have anti-UV properties. There's always Aerospace 303 too..
     
  3. thx123

    thx123 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    21
    8
    0
    Location:
    CA, USA
    Vehicle:
    2014 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    Thank you so much for the info. I'll look into both Opti-lense and Plexus product.
     
  4. alekska

    alekska Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    435
    135
    0
    Location:
    Atl
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Clear coat on the car paint and the coating on the lens are very similar. Car wax has a UV-protecting properties, so I always wax my headlights, and they are in pretty good condition. If they get dirty between waxing, I use Lemon Pledge (yellow can) to clean. I have used it on many cars on all kinds of surfaces and never had any problems.

    - Alex
     
  5. donbrownplug

    donbrownplug New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2014
    15
    3
    0
    Vehicle:
    2014 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    WAX headlights !

    The restore stuff is the similar to toothpaste ... fine grit to polish ... just wax it.
     
  6. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    6,644
    2,410
    0
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    Whatever you use, look for something with UV protection or inhibitor.

    Wax might actually cause discoloration due to buildup.

    SCH-I535
     
  7. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005
    3,118
    2,204
    0
    Location:
    CA
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    I've found that installing PPF over the headlight assemblies to be the only way to keep them clear.

    Do not apply Opti-Lens under the film before installation. There may be long term adhesion problems if the coating is not fully cured before the film is applied.
     
  8. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    9,104
    4,217
    0
    Location:
    Clearwater, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Have used Meguires Mirror Glaze Clear Plastic Cleaner for 7 years on my car's headlights and they still look perfect. Think I got it at Walmart.
     
  9. priusenvy

    priusenvy Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    1,765
    13
    0
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    That yellowing and cloudiness you see on some older cars' headlights is due to the clearcoat on the lenses failing, and then UV exposure causing the plastic to yellow. Most mfgrs seem to have gotten their act together wrt headlight lenses, as this problem seems much less common on cars built in the last say, eight years or so. The headlight lenses on my 2005 Prius are still crystal clear.

    Restoration for me consists of wet sanding, followed by polishing with progressively finer polishes until all sanding and polishing marks are gone. At this point, as long as the lens hasn't yellowed, the lens is clear, but with the clearcoat gone, the clouding and yellowing will soon reappear on the unprotected lens. At this point you could take your headlight enclosures to a body shop and have them shoot some clear on them, or for a DIY approach, applying a UV-inhibiting coating on them, like Optimum Opti-Lens (I have no experience with the headlight coatings included with the restoration products sold in auto parts stores, or using spray-on clears available in "rattle cans" on headlights).

    All I've ever put on my headlights is a little Opti-Seal paint sealant. I have not used Opti-Lens, although I would if I had to go through a complete headlight restoration. My priority for protective coatings is first the paint, then wheels, then glass, and last headlight lenses.
     
    alekska likes this.
Loading...