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The switch away from sealed-beam headlights helped us all. Seriously. There’s nothing crappier than having to search around all weekend for a bulb that’s EXACTLY the right shape and size for your 280Z. (Yes, I’ve been there.) But that’s the upshot. The downside: Over time the plastic covers over modern headlights starts to develop a fuzzy film from scratches and weather wear. And this dims your lights. Plus it looks totally crappy.

So why not take some time this weekend and polish ’em up? A number of companies sell tools to help you do the job, and they’re all pretty effective — assuming you get started early enough. (Hint: If your headlight covers are yellowed, you’re probably screwed. That’s a chemical change that you can’t polish away.)

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Occasionally you’ll sully your car with something that just won’t come out in the wash — for instance, overspray from spray painting in the yard on a windy day.  A clay bar kit provides the easiest answer; it’s less work than the elbow-grease alternative and less likely to mess up the finish.

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Thankfully manufacturers are starting to spec glass rear windows in many newer convertibles — or crazy-cool retractable hard tops — but if you’ve got one of the “vintage” models, you’re probably graced with clear plastic.  After a while they get scuffed no matter how carefully you protect them, and then you’re faced with the big question: Do I try to clean it?  And with what?

Back when I worked at an airport, I saw people deal with this on an uber-basis.  What do you do when you have the same problem, but with a $30,000 Learjet window?  We often used two of Meguiar’s products: Mirror Glaze Clear Plastic Cleaner and Polish.  Good enough for Learjet = good enough for Miata, in my book.

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