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Discussion Starter #1
If you have an older car and the plastic headlights are looking a bit 'foggy', here's a tip that worked well on my car. I picked this trick up from my Brittish car days and plastic convertible top windows.

Get some "Happich" brand German made metal polish, yep, metal polish known as Simichrome polish. Get an old t-shirt or similar soft cotton cloth and a couple hours time. As you apply the polish, keep using the same area of the rag so that the polish builds up on the rag. As you are polishing away, the rag will become hot under your fingers! This indicates you're getting somewhere with the effect. After working the polish in for a while, take a clean area of the rag and buff the headlight where you've been polishing and you'll find the road film / 'fog' to be reduced or eliminated! It won't however, remove heavy scratches like were on my headlights, but it does make scracthes a bit less noticible.

Makes the $200.00 ( Each!) for the headlight pods postphoned a while longer!

P.S. DON'T use a power buffer! It'll probably melt your headlight!!


Happy MPG! 8)
 

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If you polish your headlights you will end up removing the UV coating on them. Mine peeled off on their own and I had them replaced under warranty. If this coating comes off then the plastic will break down, yellow and crack due to UV exposure.

Something to think about.
 

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My headlights started to fog and yellow a little bit, mainly on the top horizontal surface. I attempted to get them warrantied, but was told they wouldn't because it's from environmental fallout, and really didn't feel much like pursuing it. Well I had actually been letting them yellow in hopes they'd warranty it.

So the other day I decided to try a little something. I've found Meguiar's PlastX to be by far the best plastic polish I've ever had and it worked quite well. I was using a cheapo microfiber towel and worked a small drop in to the yellowing part of the housings and when I wiped it off I was actually pulling yellow off in to the towel! Two applications and the yellowing is all gone now!

I know the proper fix would be to wet sand them and then polish, but I am somewhat concerned about removing the remaining UV coating that's left. I think I'll just let it die a natural death before getting too crazy. Also, it is possible to use a buffer on plastic, but it has to be a good one with a controllable speed and done slowly as to not burn and warp the plastic. One thing I'd mention though, PlastX can remove 3000 wet sand marks by hand with ease. I may get temped to try it.
 

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Rick said:
I was using a cheapo microfiber towel and worked a small drop in to the yellowing part of the housings and when I wiped it off I was actually pulling yellow off in to the towel! Two applications and the yellowing is all gone now!
The yellowing I was referring to is not something that can be rubbed out. It is the plastic actually changing it's composition just before it becomes brittle. What you had was something else. Glad it worked out for you though. My lights looked like this, you can see the upper portion peeling. The dealership had no problems covering it under the warranty.
 

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Mine are just like that, but a lot worse. The corrosion started at the same place and spread to about twice that size then started to turn yellow. I also have a lot of small rock pitting in them. One even has that sort of thing starting on the middle front of the light too. I tried to prevent this by waxing them when I waxed the car, which is quite often. And up until this year I'd kept the car covered (Year old doberman puppy decided he wanted to play with my cover, I need to get a new one). I guess the Arizona sun won, but the PlastX polish took it down to about the level yours appeared to be at, just a larger spot. From 10 feet they look great now.
 

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This is why I absolutely hate these covered enclosed headlights. Glass headlights never did this. But now most new cars use these enclosed plastic headlights. So not only do they peel, yellow and evenually crack, they cost more.
 

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I think a good solution would be to find a UV filter either film or spray on. Does anyone know of anything like this? There must be a spray on film or something like it since the stock headlights have this and it just wears down. It would be great to just replace the UV coating.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If you have a warranty!

'Course if your car is still covered by the warranty, go for having the light pods replaced! If. on the other hand like my car, the warranty is long gone, then a bit of polish will keep the lights clear for a bit longer. The fogging and discoloring is happening because the UV coating has faded out or got removed somehow in the past.

Experimentally, I suppose one could try some sort of clear polyurethane (on a small inconspicuous spot) as a try for replacement of the original coating. Number of things might conspire against or work for you on this idea, like how the poly might react against or work with the headlight material. And how evenly the poly went on.

Hmm. Might just turn out to be a big mess. :oops: But if the lights are already 90 % needing replacement, wouldn't be much to loose giving it a shot.
 

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Hmm, just had an idea I'll be tempted to try once the uv coating gets much worse. First I'd just wet sand it down to whatever was needed to make it look right, polish out properly with a rotary buffer. I experimented on some 58 Corvette tail lights last night. I 1500, then 3000 wet sanded them and put my buffer in a vice, set it to 1000 rpm and with the foam pad I was using I'd be willing to say it's almost idiot proof. They came out really nice. Ohh and I saved the $575 it would have cost to replace them with reproduction ones too!

Anyways, after all that's done, clear coat them. I don't see why it wouldn't work, and the top layers of paint are what contain the UV protection in automotive paints anyhow. Plus after you laid a few coats down you could again go back over and wet sand the clear coat, then really polish them up to a high gloss. Thoughts?
 

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"Ricky

92 Saturn SC2 Electric, Arizona Alt fuel plate "ZEROGAS" "

Ah! I know you. You're on evalbum, and you're on EVDL. I once e-mailed you asking for some advice on lead-acid batteries. It's a small, scary world. :lol: Sorry if I freaked you out!
 
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