Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Not so Mellow Yellow

Here is a copy of a newspaper article that ran on Jan 5 2008 in the National papers.
It was written by Sharon Peters and was written without any input from Crystalenz. It feels good to get some Great press on a product that I know works really well.

Westerly Sun, The (RI)
January 5, 2008
Section: NewsPage: A16
Article Text:
I have a 1996 Toyota Avalon (best car I ever bought) and the headlight covers are turning yellow with age or sun. I've tried using regular car polish to take the yellow off. Is there any other product that will remove the yellow better?
A: Those covers are made not of glass but of poly substances that are then slathered with a protective coating. Over time, environmental factors, heat, sunlight, road chemicals and a lot of other things cause scratches and oxidation, and that's why you see a hazing, cloudy or yellowing effect.
There are several products on the market that promise to alleviate the problem. Most of them, in my experience, accomplish only a little, and all of them require quite a bit of work.
The one that has worked best for me is a product called Crystalenz. It involves a three-step process that the manufacturers say takes 15 minutes and, in fact, takes at least twice that. But the results are instant and obvious.
If you've got severely damaged finish on the cover, Crystalenz advises you to do a wet sanding process with micro-grain sandpaper, and they'll describe exactly how to do it if you call them (731.986.0664). Let me say that you must use extreme care and caution! if you go down that road. I'm no auto-body artisan, and I've never done the sanding routine (it's more than I want to get into most days), and non-car people I know who have attempted this have had results that run the gamut from nottoo- bad to fairly awful. But it must be acknowledged that all these friends of mine are impatient, instant-gratification people who tend to rush any process. If you're careful and patient you could get good results for just a couple of hours' work and $30 (versus $200 to $800 or so for replacements).
You also can speak with some detailers about having them do the job for you. I've heard really mixed reviews about the success rate here, however. Some shops have used power sanders (with something less than gentle-touch finesse) that, in fact, have made the situation even worse. But if you find an artist who loves this kind of challenge, you may very well get excellent results. Conversing in person with the owner/manager of the place will g! ive you a pretty good clue about just how seriously/carefully the job will be handled there.
But on the replacement front, you don't necessarily have to go the brand-new route for a vehicle that's nearly a decade old (and this cloudiness/yellowing occurs mostly on cars that are at least five years old). Increasingly, as people keep vehicles longer during this economic downturn, they're turning to eBay or junkyards to get replacement parts.
You (or others in the same situation) may or may not find an identical junkyard vehicle of the same age with considerably better headlight covers, and that's the rub. But the parts person at your local dealership should be able to tell you if the same design was used on subsequent years. If so, you can get a more recent model year and the light covers are likely to be in pretty good shape.

1 comment:

Ramona said...

You write very well.