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Joanne Elves/The Globe and Mail

Mothers Power Plastic 4Lights

Available at: Home Hardware, Canadian Tire, Acklands-Grainger, Performance Improvements, Amazon

Price: $11 for the cream, $25 for the kit.

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Headlights on older vehicles that have a plastic cover will lose brilliance over time because of the slow buildup of oxidation and yellowing of the plastic. Before replacing the costly covers, check out products that will buff up the plastic to take away the dull inhibiting coating. Believe it or not, there is a chance that you can bring back the clarity of an old headlamp and get back that light output needed for safe nighttime driving.

We tested Mothers Power Plastic 4Lights on the headlights of a 10-year-old Hyundai Elantra, where years of buildup had yellowed the covers like a smoky bar window, making highway driving at night precarious. The thick, white paste was rubbed on the plastic shields using a blue shop towel. It took a few minutes but the haze disappeared. If we wanted to go one step further to buff the scratches, the PowerBall 4Lights Headlight Restoration Kit would have been a better idea. However, we were satisfied with the results.

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