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Can't see at night? Try Restoring Your Headlight Lenses
By Larry Edsall

3M Headlamp Having trouble seeing you way down the road after dark? Your may not need glasses, but you may need to restore the lenses on your car or truck's headlamps.

Over time, the plastic lenses that protect a vehicle's lights get scratched and clouded from exposure to the elements, making it harder for you to see and for your vehicle to be seen.

According to 3M, it can cost $75 to have your lenses commercially restored, or much more to replace those lenses. But the car care division of the Minnesota-based company that produces everything from Post-it Notes and Scotch tape to medical and electronic supplies has introduced a Headlight Lens Restoration System that costs less than $30 and should take the typical do-it-yourselfer less than 30 minutes to restore a pair of headlight lenses.

The kit includes six 500-grit sanding discs, four 800-grit sanding discs, one 3000-grit disc, a foam polishing pad, a supply of 3M headlight lens polish and an adapter that fits into your electric drill. You supply the drill, which the instructions say should provide 1000-3000 rpm speed.

"Our testing shows that we can improve the light intensity of the headlight between 50 and 300 percent," said Larry Lavigne, marketing manager for 3M Car Care. "With a small investment of time and money, you can make your car look years younger and a great deal safer on the road."

The discs are three inches in diameter, small enough so you can maneuver around the bump-like protrusions built into many lenses (such protrusions are used when it comes time to aim your lights and you need to take care not to damage them as you restore the rest of the lens surface).

For information on the headlight restoration system and other 3M Car Care products, visit

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