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Unread 07-25-2009, 08:28 PM   #1
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Default Plastic Headlight Cleaner Works Awesome!!!

So, my 2000 Neon SE was pretty gritty, looking dirty and I hadn't gotten into it in a long time in terms of cleaning it, I wash it from time to time but the interior still smells like cigarettes from the last owner, and the headlights were all yellowed out and really dim because of that.

So, I spent a good portion of the afternoon cleaning the car out, Febrez'ing the headliner, using foam shampoo on all the carpeting, WD40 on all the door hinges, armor all on all the plastic. This was the outcome:



The floor mats are crap, they came with the car, I haven't decided if I want to replace them, this is just my daily driver. The picture doesn't show how dirty things got before, but I think for 113K miles, the car is looking reasonable inside.

So, after I got everything clean, I got out the headlight restoration kit I purchased for like 18 bucks today at O'Reillys. It consists of like 5 pieces of sandpaper from 1000 grit to 2500 grit, along with a cotton cloth, and a small bottle of "Plastic Restorer". I used the 1500 grit sandpaper across the lens for about 3 minutes, then up and down with the 2500 for another 3 minutes, then polished the lens down with the restorer on the cloth twice. Then I did the other headlight.

I have to say, I was really surprised how good the outcome was.



I didn't expect it to be this good, if I had I would have done some before pictures for comparison, they were pretty bad though. My nighttime driving should be much safer now, although I don't drive much at night because I work like 5 in the morning till 4 in the afternoon and I go to bed early haha.

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Unread 07-25-2009, 08:30 PM   #2
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Here's a picture from last October, you can see how cloudy the right lens is and the left lens is really bad.


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Unread 07-25-2009, 09:09 PM   #3
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I've been meaning to do the same with my rabbit

But it appears, the inside of my headlights need the cleaning. So for $30, I am just going to replace them for new ones. What products did you use for the carpets?

Last edited by mega_option101; 07-25-2009 at 09:22 PM.

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Unread 07-25-2009, 09:32 PM   #4
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One of these days i'll get around to cleaning out my blazer thoroughly. The grand prix never gets driven, lol.

Got a radiator leak there in the third pic?
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Unread 07-25-2009, 09:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mega_option101 View Post
I've been meaning to do the same with my rabbit

But it appears, the inside of my headlights need the cleaning. So for $30, I am just going to replace them for new ones. What products did you use for the carpets?
Well, the carpet was really bad when I bought the car. The people who I bought it from had two young girls, ages like 5 and 7, and the seat in back was literally sticky from soda and candy and whatever else. Someone also smoked heavily in the car. I actually took the seats out and completely soaked them with super hot water.

The front seats weren't too bad, but wow, the back seat just oozed what looked like pancake syrup out for about 10 minutes and finally the water got clear and I was able to get to cleaning the seat with a scrub brush and some liquid Tide.

The carpet was just as bad, but it is thin, so I didn't have to remove it, instead I used about 2 gallons of hot water and actually dumped it on the carpeting and used a stiff bristle brush and more Tide to clean it up as best I could at that time. It did a decent job, but it left a lot of stains behind because of how bad it was to begin with, and I hadn't had an opportunity to get to it till now. (last time I cleaned was in October of 08)

I used Turtle Wax Oxy Power Out carpet cleaner, professional strength, the stuff on the left in this photo:



The nice thing about this stuff is it goes on like a foam, and then the can has a removeable stiff bristle plastic brush that works great for really working the foam in, then I had a big old towel I used to scrub the dirt out, then I would hit it again with the foam and repeat just to make sure things were clean. I think it did a great job, but I'm going to use my stiff bristle brush on it tomorrow to 'fluff' the carpet back up, I noticed it's a little flat after the cleaning tonite but I want to be sure its 100% dry before I do that.

I Febreze'd the heck out of the headliner too, because i think that is where most of the smokey smell is coming from, I also Febreze'd the trunk quite a bit, because I had no intention of needing to clean back there, it is relatively clean but has a musty smell itself.

This poor car was never well taken care of, the last owner said when he bought it, the person before looked like it was one of those people who "doesn't stop backing up till they hit something" type of idiots, and the car needed a LOT of TLC, lots of scratches and minor rust pocks from paint being busted off.

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Unread 07-25-2009, 09:39 PM   #6
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One of these days i'll get around to cleaning out my blazer thoroughly. The grand prix never gets driven, lol.

Got a radiator leak there in the third pic?
No, she has a small oil leak, either the pan gasket or worse, the rear seal on the motor. Hoping just the pan, but to be honest I'm not overly concerned, I park it on the street, it leaves tiny 2" puddles here and there, but you know, 113K miles, I'm not going to get teary eyed about it haha.

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Unread 07-25-2009, 09:50 PM   #7
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I'm torn right now, I want to take the SE out to see the headlights but I haven't driven the SRT in a few days and it's a Saturday night and she's sitting in the garage just begging to be driven haha.

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Unread 07-25-2009, 09:53 PM   #8
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I'm torn right now, I want to take the SE out to see the headlights but I haven't driven the SRT in a few days and it's a Saturday night and she's sitting in the garage just begging to be driven haha.
SRT. Now.
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Unread 07-25-2009, 09:57 PM   #9
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SRT. Now.
There is the issue of a saturday night and cops too hahaha. Well, my wife just took the SE so that kind of limits me. Hopefully not another thread tonite about being pulled over, woo!!!

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Unread 07-26-2009, 01:26 AM   #10
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well, pretty ticked off right now, no ticket or anything, in fact drove rather passively, just enjoying the night, windows down and what not, headed to walmart to get something and came out 10 minutes later and someone had repeatedly spit on my windshield. no idea why, had no run ins with anyone, nor do i really ever.

more on this tomorrow, headed to bed.

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