Tested: Mother's NuLens Headlight Restoration Kit
Two things happened to me in the span of a few months. The first was years of slowly killing myself in College paid off and I finally landed a great engineering job that also happens to be in the automotive industry. The second was my trusty 1997 Honda CR-V rolled over to 200,000 miles. Honda engines are dead reliable though: 200,000 miles is a walk in the park for a Honda engine. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Honda automatic transmissions and our CR-V hasn't exactly lived the easy life with us. We knew the transmission was on the back end of its life. Deciding a newer car would make much more sense than replacing the transmission in a 17 year old Honda, I decided to jump into the used car market. I spent weeks searching for the perfect vehicle and I ended up with one of my dream cars: a 2001 Isuzu Vehicross. Why I wanted one of these so badly is another story for another day (spend a few minutes reading about them. We can wait). This particular Vehicross was mechanically solid, but cosmetically unloved. Many people had been turned away by its worn leather interior, faded plastic body cladding, and peeling hood. Not me: after taking a test drive I knew I had to have it. With Vehicrosses being reasonably rare (less than 4000 were imported to the USA and only a few hundred were the Ironman Edition I ended up with) and having fallen in love with the funky trucklet, I decided I needed to bring this Vehicross back to its former glory, starting with the exterior.
We'll tackle the paint, plastic, and leather later on, but restoring headlights should be fairly easy. These days when you walk down your local parts store's body care aisle you'll see a dozen different headlight cleaners. I've used headlight cleaning kits before with very mixed results. In fact the last kit I used made no difference at all to my headlights, even after an hour of polishing. Worse yet, a year later the lights looked even worse than before. So I was skeptical about how well the Mother's kit would work. The Vehicross's lights weren't terrible, but the hazing was noticeable and ruined the look of the nose. The Mother's kit was on sale at my local parts store and I decided “Why the hell not?” It had been a few years since I had tried one of these kits; maybe headlight cleaning technology had improved.