DIY Auto Body - Polishing Your Tail Lights

By Chip Roth

To most folks having a clean and shiny car is as important as having a clean home. Countless hours and money are spend each year in maintaining that shine by washing and waxing. Sometimes when even that is not enough some people go beyond and have their precious car repainted making the body look like it did when it rolled off the assembly line. But what about your cars tail lights and other lenses? Years of polishing and washing can cause them to fade and scratch ruining the look of your car. We will be covering what it takes to renew the look of your lenses to complete the look of your car.

This is a fairly simple project that does not need a whole lot. Most of the materials you probably have around your home already. The rest can be easily obtained from a local store or on our websites online store. First and most important you are going to need some good 400 grit sand paper. Make sure its for wet sanding. Your also going to need a buffer and buffing wheel, plastic polishing compound and a clean terry cloth towel.

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.

Now that you have finished sanding the lens, its time to wash it. Use soap and water and clean it thoroughly. Your best bet is to use normal dish soap as its de-greasing properties will allow it to remove any left over wax that may be on the lens. Make sure it is completely dry before moving on.

Once the lens is dry, its time to start the polishing process. Spin the buffing wheel and start to pick up the polishing compound you got from the auto body repair supply house into it. Do not take to much compound on the wheel, just enough to start to change the color of the wheel. Start applying it to the lens, but be careful not to sit in one area for to long as this will cause a over heating issue which can lead to a warped and melted lens. Move quickly back and forth over the lens and you will avoid this issue all together. Wipe any excess compound off with the towel. If you start to get black blobs on the surface its a sign that you are using to much compound.

At this point continue buffing until you see desired results. It wont be long now until your old lenses have a new glass like finish! Sit back, relax, and enjoy your results. - 29952

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