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REVIEW Headlight restorer cream

Factory headlights shouldn’t be overlooked, by simply bolting on driving lights, and I found a great way to clean mine

After moving out of the city to a regional area, it became more obvious that the headlights on my car were not up to their best. Driving after dark with little or no street lighting focussed my attention on what they were attempting to illuminate.

The headlights are good bi-xenon (HID) units that in 2006 or so were high-tech from Volvo, from Sweden, where the winters are dark and long. A bit like Lithgow where I now live. Of course, I would have a hard time spotting elk from Lithgow, but I was having a hard time spotting any local wildlife too, so I went in search of a remedy.

Any visit to an auto chain store will show you boxes of solutions to transform your tired lenses into a showroom-new look gleaming headlights.

I bought one from a well-known name in auto finishes. It contained two bottles (one lubricant, one polish) and numerous little buffing discs with grades of wet n dry paper. Essentially it was a more organised version of the next method I’d try that involved buying wet n dry paper and just sanding with finer and finer grit up to 3000. While both methods worked, it’s the maintenance of the finish that’s the problem. The first I sprayed with 303 Protectant, the second I baulked at applying the clear coat as advised in the specialist auto paint shop. So the headlights returned to a virtually opaque finish.

So whether the Facebook spies listened in on my conversation, soon enough ads started appearing on my feed for similar headlight-restoring products. One caught my eye, with a simple video showing marvellous, and instant, results. The big seller though, was the one-step operation: wipe on, rub and wipe off. Done. (If you insist that’s three operations you need to leave the basement more often.)

The two previous methods I’d tried were intensive and messy, with masking-off to protect the paintwork. The liquid that inevitably ran down the Volvo’s plastic bumpers stained it and meant further expenditure on specialist trim polish.

The new product was Headlight Restorer Cream from Peak Chemicals, based in Victoria. I read a few of the customer reviews and feeling satisfied that I could stand to lose $24.95 (delivered); I ordered one sachet. The only downside to the ordering process was the time it took to arrive with emails informing me of a letdown to Peak by AusPost and a switch to a courier firm. Peak mentioned that I might receive two shipments and I could keep, or give away, the second but sadly that didn’t happen. (You can always rely on Australia Post.)

I spoke to George Papadopoulos from Peak Chemicals after I had made the video. Peak has been in business for about 13 years, in the world of adhesives, before a diversion a couple of years ago to make all sorts of cleaning and rejuvenation products. The headlight restorer cream has been available for about a year.

George told me, “The key difference with our product being a cream is that it is an easy-to-use, one-step way to restore and maintain the clarity of your headlights, instead of using a multiple-step kit. Our cream incorporates the correct minerals, abrasives and durable waxes so that anybody can easily restore their headlights at home.”

While my lenses are polycarbonate, the cream works on plastic and glass equally as effectively. As I’ve mentioned, I had been advised to add a clear coat spray following the last method I tried, but Peak states its finish should hold up very well without a separate coat.

“We don’t include a polymer clear coat as with our product; there is no need for one. The waxes we use in our product are durable and have lasted on our test vehicle (a D22 Navara, driven daily) for 12 months so far with no change in appearance,” George told me.

“With a DIY clear coat product, there can be problems with surface preparation by an inexperienced user. This causes the clear coat to delaminate and flake off prematurely, causing more interference with light transmission than before the headlight was treated. Our product is very easy to re-apply. Similar to the way you protect the paintwork on your car, we recommend applying our product yearly to your newly restored/brand-new headlights to prevent any deterioration or hazing.”

With HID headlights like mine, it’s important to maintain a clean cover. That’s why they are made with a headlight washer, to help avoid light refraction that will upset oncoming drivers. I have found that since cleaning them with the Peak Restorer Cream, the output on dark roads is brighter, especially to the sides of the car – important for spotting Aussie critters (or indeed elk).

Sure, I could buy driving lights, but it’s not a cost-effective exercise on this vehicle, so the fact that I am easier to spot, have better vision, and won’t strain my eyes as much while driving at night, all for $25 is good news to me.

RRP$24.95 delivered. For more information see peakchemicals.com.au

AN IMPULSE PURCHASE TRANSFORMED my
NIGHT-DRIVING SAFETY

WORDS TIM SCOTT

BEFORE AND AFTER Pretty obvious really!

Although the camera work isn’t ideal, I am happy with the improvement in light output. Remember these are headlights, not driving lights, from 2006.

REVIEW Headlight restorer cream

After moving out of the city to a regional area, it became more obvious that the headlights on my car were not up to their best. Driving after dark with little or no street lighting focussed my attention on what they were attempting to illuminate.

The headlights are good bi-xenon (HID) units that in 2006 or so were high-tech from Volvo, from Sweden, where the winters are dark and long. A bit like Lithgow where I now live. Of course, I would have a hard time spotting elk from Lithgow, but I was having a hard time spotting any local wildlife too, so I went in search of a remedy.

Any visit to an auto chain store will show you boxes of solutions to transform your tired lenses into a showroom-new look gleaming headlights.

I bought one from a well-known name in auto finishes. It contained two bottles (one lubricant, one polish) and numerous little buffing discs with grades of wet n dry paper. Essentially it was a more organised version of the next method I’d try that involved buying wet n dry paper and just sanding with finer and finer grit up to 3000. While both methods worked, it’s the maintenance of the finish that’s the problem. The first I sprayed with 303 Protectant, the second I baulked at applying the clear coat as advised in the specialist auto paint shop. So the headlights returned to a virtually opaque finish.

So whether the Facebook spies listened in on my conversation, soon enough ads started appearing on my feed for similar headlight-restoring products. One caught my eye, with a simple video showing marvellous, and instant, results. The big seller though, was the one-step operation: wipe on, rub and wipe off. Done. (If you insist that’s three operations you need to leave the basement more often.)

The two previous methods I’d tried were intensive and messy, with masking-off to protect the paintwork. The liquid that inevitably ran down the Volvo’s plastic bumpers stained it and meant further expenditure on specialist trim polish.

The new product was Headlight Restorer Cream from Peak Chemicals, based in Victoria. I read a few of the customer reviews and feeling satisfied that I could stand to lose $24.95 (delivered); I ordered one sachet. The only downside to the ordering process was the time it took to arrive with emails informing me of a letdown to Peak by AusPost and a switch to a courier firm. Peak mentioned that I might receive two shipments and I could keep, or give away, the second but sadly that didn’t happen. (You can always rely on Australia Post.)

AN IMPULSE PURCHASE TRANSFORMED my
NIGHT-DRIVING SAFETY

WORDS TIM SCOTT

Factory headlights shouldn’t be overlooked, by simply bolting on driving lights, and I found a great way to clean mine

I spoke to George Papadopoulos from Peak Chemicals after I had made the video. Peak has been in business for about 13 years, in the world of adhesives, before a diversion a couple of years ago to make all sorts of cleaning and rejuvenation products. The headlight restorer cream has been available for about a year.

George told me, “The key difference with our product being a cream is that it is an easy-to-use, one-step way to restore and maintain the clarity of your headlights, instead of using a multiple-step kit. Our cream incorporates the correct minerals, abrasives and durable waxes so that anybody can easily restore their headlights at home.”

While my lenses are polycarbonate, the cream works on plastic and glass equally as effectively. As I’ve mentioned, I had been advised to add a clear coat spray following the last method I tried, but Peak states its finish should hold up very well without a separate coat.

“We don’t include a polymer clear coat as with our product; there is no need for one. The waxes we use in our product are durable and have lasted on our test vehicle (a D22 Navara, driven daily) for 12 months so far with no change in appearance,” George told me.

“With a DIY clear coat product, there can be problems with surface preparation by an inexperienced user. This causes the clear coat to delaminate and flake off prematurely, causing more interference with light transmission than before the headlight was treated. Our product is very easy to re-apply. Similar to the way you protect the paintwork on your car, we recommend applying our product yearly to your newly restored/brand-new headlights to prevent any deterioration or hazing.”

With HID headlights like mine, it’s important to maintain a clean cover. That’s why they are made with a headlight washer, to help avoid light refraction that will upset oncoming drivers. I have found that since cleaning them with the Peak Restorer Cream, the output on dark roads is brighter, especially to the sides of the car – important for spotting Aussie critters (or indeed elk).

Sure, I could buy driving lights, but it’s not a cost-effective exercise on this vehicle, so the fact that I am easier to spot, have better vision, and won’t strain my eyes as much while driving at night, all for $25 is good news to me.

RRP$24.95 delivered. For more information see peakchemicals.com.au

Although the camera work isn’t ideal, I am happy with the improvement in light output. Remember these are headlights, not driving lights, from 2006.

BEFORE AND AFTER Pretty obvious really!