I could not find other threads on headlight "protection" my protection I am looking for is polishes to prevent the yellowing of the plastic. I am not that interested in the films. I have this interest because I own 2 MK4s and got tired of trying various remover/restorer and polishes with them that worked for a year or three. So I finally bought new aftermarket and those were low cost. My MK7 i am guessing will have the same problems unless someone can chime in that VW changed and addressed this issue. As a 40 year windshield motorcyclist these seemed to never yellow, guessing a different type of plastic. But we used specific plastic polishes and "sealers" so wondering if this is a direct crossover. I see on amazon there are so many headlight polishers like I used before. I am looking for UV protectors is my guess. I see with specifically UV protection 3M sells one, Meguiars does, turtle, anyone have any knowledge on these, the Meguiars one has 20,000 ratings at 4.5 average, once a year application. But these may not have the years of use on a VW who has a reputation of yellowing headlights.
Meguiar's G17804 Keep Clear Headlight Coating, 4 oz. – Maintain the Clarity of Your Headlights
I read through the 2k clear coats and am not "clear" about them. I am not sure if they are saying their coating will not degrade from UV or they protect the plastic also from more UV damage.
The products I have found now specifying UV filtering expanding on the trusted name brand Meguiars I have used for motorcycles for 30 ish years are some other major brand names.
and I do not want to sand my headlights as VW may have a coating on them already. so the below I believe I can apply without sanding.
This one claims 2 year efficacity.
Philips Headlight Restoration Kit with UV protection - Complete Kit to restore headlight lenseshttps://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009NOZ5B8
thank you so much for your literally and figuratively detailed "clear" testimony. I did not think I would get that good of historical information. I will go to film and I noticed some companies allow you to buy low cost insurance if you do mess up, I hope it was the 3M ones.My experience with & without headlight film:
I have a 2000 MK4 Golf TDI that had Laminex on the headlights when I bought it in 2014 from the original owner (he installed the film shortly after he purchased the car new), and the headlights were perfectly clear when I removed the film as it had started to release from the edges. I replaced the Laminex with 3M and after 8 more years the headlights remain perfectly clear. They have never been polished or sanded, but you can see that the outer 1/8" around the perimeter is "frosted" where the Laminex had released from being left on too long. I used the 3M film on both of our MK7s within a couple of months of purchase and the headlights are perfectly clear with no crazing, so in my fleet film has a 100% success rate. The Laminex film from the MK4 was really thick, literally 2-3mm IIRC, so ditto the thermal expansion stresses over time theory. No issues with the 3M thin & stretchy stuff, but no experience with any other brands either.
Our 2003 Jetta wagon got nothing until the headlight cataracts were so bad I could barely see the bulbs... I polished and coated them with a kit and they were great, for 8-9 months. Then they fogged fast (the aftermarket protective coating is apparently not as robust as VWs). Each subsequent polish & coat lasted less time until I replaced the units with some well-regarded aftermarket housings and they looked great but the light dispersion was crappy: flashlights taped to the hood would have been just as effective. I replaced the lenses in the original housings with glass ones and put film on to mitigate stone damage.
Moral of the story: Install film as soon as you buy the car, polishing headlights does not need to be routine maintenance!
I did the same thing. If I remember correctly WeatherTech uses 3M. Pretty easy to use. Heat gun with plenty of soap water spray. Don't wait until ambient temperature drops. And do wax the finished product a month later; the wax does offer some protection.I wouldn't use lamin x as there have been reports of spiderweb cracking of the headlights as it ages.
I went with weatherTechs mk7 headlight film. Easy install, still looks great almost 2 years later.