It’s often easy to forget that headlights are subject to just as much head on abuse as a vehicle’s paint – even the latest and greatest in high density plastics can’t save the most precious lamps from the pitting & chipping that occurs with mileage. Headlight restoration on any vehicle can be a tricky task to tackle without experience – there are a handful of “quick fix” options offered by well known brands sold at auto part stores across the country, and while many might have the ability to clear up a lamp in theory the practice & application of getting the kit to work for you is a fine line between success & needing a replacement.
Also, when the replacement headlight costs upwards of $1,500, the price tag alone is enough incentive for a person to take charge and give it a whirl.
Unfortunately for this particular Gallardo Spyder, this was one of those times when DIY became Do-or-Die. Upon arrival at Cats Exotics, we noticed that the Gallardo was needing more than a handwash & quick vac and wipe down. Prior to Blake working a bit of his signature blak magic, some unlucky individual decided it would be in the Gallardo’s best interest to get a kit and take a stab at it.
The passenger side lamp took considerably more damage than the drivers side – from the looks of it, whoever attempted to remedy the situation realized how much damage they were doing and (fortunately) stopped before things got worse or beyond repair. Sadly, they had already managed to put some heavy scratches & cuts into the light’s surface using what appeared to be some sort of rotary device coupled with a very, very gritty sandpaper. Just look at the heavy fog over the indicator and muted, swirled corners pictured above!
After a quite a bit of buffing and TLC the first light began clearing up. The only visual guff it was sporting now is on a severely pitted black surface of the washer cover flaps!
As with most projects that require that bit of extra care, Blake finished up the first bit of polishing late into the evening and began prepping the 2nd headlight for further restoration that night.
Round 2: with a fully fogged surface, it was time to begin with the smoothing, decontaminating, and cleaning of the driver’s side headlamp back to clear.
Working all the way to the hard edge of the headlight gap & generous taping ensured there wouldn’t be any foggy boarder or hairline scratches on the lamp’s perimeter.
Time for more polish!
To cap off the freshly cleared lamp faces, Blake opted to slice up a couple pieces of clear bra film & install then for additional protection from further scratches, chips, and pitting.
The excess film was carefully trimmed ensuring full coverage over the lamp’s exterior.
After squeegeeing out the air pockets & wicking away the moisture, it was time to turn up the heat!
With the lamps looking as good as new and sporting a bit of added protection, it was time to take care of those nasty, pitted out washer cover flaps.
What better to mask the bad with than a bit of matte black?
After getting the surface smoothed, the matte vinyl is trimmed & adhered to the undersides of the flappers for a seamless fit.
Blake worked over the backs of the flappers quickly and carefully with the torch, making sure not to scorch the vehicle’s surface or the newly restored headlights.
With the lamps looking clear and crisp & the washer cover flappers sporting a nice new matte finish, we sent the Gallardo back over to Cats Exotics where it could shine on the showroom floor.
If you would like more information on the availability of this vehicle or anything Cats has in stock, please visit the Cats Exotics website or call 425-787-6200.
If you have a headlight restoration project for NWAS or have questions about achieving maximum protection for the lamps on your vehicle, feel free to contact us or call 206.920.9730
Thanks for reading!