Tech Article Title Author Date
X-Pel Headlight Protectors Dave Wruck 2001

These instructions are for the X-Pel (3M) headlight protectors sold by Clair, but will apply to most every other made from the 3M product as well.

1. Make sure your work environment is relatively clean and well lighted.

2. Mix a solution of 1/3 rubbing alcohol to 2/3 water in a spray bottle.

3. Wash hands thoroughly with a non-lotion soap.

4. Get a hair dryer plugged in next to your car. Make sure you can reach both headlights with it.

5. Open the package making sure to preserve the plastic bag because you're going to use it as the area to remove the backing and wet the adhesive.

6. Clean your headlights thoroughly then use a spritz of the solution and wipe off the headlights one more time with a lint free cloth. Do this on each headlight just as you're getting ready to work on it.

7. Turn on your headlights for a couple of minutes. You'll need to start your engine if you have Xenons, so don't do this in an enclosed space. :)

8. Separate the two headlight covers and set one aside. Select one and do a trial fit to make sure you've selected the correct headlight for it.

9. Warm the cover with a blow dryer then flip it face down on the plastic bag it came in.

10. Spray your hands with the alcohol solution then begin to peel the backing off the headlight cover. Immediately spray the corner you've exposed then continue to peel and spray until the entire cover is exposed.

11. Spray the headlight thoroughly with the solution.

12. Spray your hands thoroughly with the solution.

13. Pick up the cover and orient it over the light using the inside (toward the grill) top corner as the reference point. Align the top edge around the light until the outside top corner is basically in the right position. IMPORTANT: Don't be overly careful with this and don't worry that there are all kinds of ripples and protrusions around the edge. These will be smoothed out soon.

14. Push the rest of the cover down "informally" with your hand over the light.

15. Using the squeegee provided, begin working the solution out from beneath the cover ALWAYS working from the center outward. Start with a few low pressure strokes from the center outward to see which points are going to easily stick and where you're going to have to work. You'll have to apply more and more pressure over time as you work you way outward.

16. Now, as you begin working the protrusions and ripples, have the hair dryer on and handy so you can warm the areas as you squeegee over them. The key here is that you're trying to get the solution out because once that adhesive hits the headlight, it's going to stick. The dryer both warms the cover and helps the solution evaporate.

17. Don't hesitate to lift the cover to let a bubble out or to reposition it. Just be sure to wet your fingers and the back of the cover when you do this.

18. Keep working the rippled areas ALWAYS OUTWARD until they all lay flat. Be sure to work all air and solution bubble out. Dry the area with a cloth and you're done.

19. Repeat from step 9 for the other cover.