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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone else noticing the plastic headlights peeling? Looks very cheap and tacky. I'll have to see if Honda will cover this under warranty before mine expires later this year.
 

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It sounds like someone sprayed clear laquer on your lights before you got the car. All modern headlights are molded of high quality plastic and there should be no "layer" to peel off! This would be a safety issue so, if the lights are somehow defective they should cover it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I bought the car new in 2001. I believe this so called high quality plastic DOES have a layer to it. Hardly a safety issue as it doesn't block light from the headlights. I understand they would most likely be covered under warranty. I posted this to find others with the same problem.
 

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peeling headlights

Hi,

The only peeling headlights I've seen so far are on a friend's 12 year old Dodge. They've gotten pretty cloudy - except for where they already peeled they are totally clear. Kinda weird. Maybe yours are just defective plastic? How about some used ones from a parts yard or from someone who's parting out an Insight?
 

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Re: peeling headlights

Jim said:
Hi,

The only peeling headlights I've seen so far are on a friend's 12 year old Dodge. They've gotten pretty cloudy - except for where they already peeled they are totally clear. Kinda weird. Maybe yours are just defective plastic? How about some used ones from a parts yard or from someone who's parting out an Insight?
that usually happens when condensation gets in the headlights and the owner doesnt take the water out, the best thing to do with old american cars is to drill a hole in the bottom for the water to get out. i did that on my show car it works really good.

Of course there have been many advancements to prevent condensation from getting into the headlight.
 

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Well, Arsenic, why don't you ask Resist whether or not headlights peel? I know what I saw on my friend's Dodge. If it's just a protective coating that is supposed to be removed when the car is sold, it's held up pretty darn well for the last 12 years! Water inside the headlight cover really wouldn't have anything to do with what's happening on the outside of the cover.
 

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Resist, I had this exact same thing on my 2001 when I got it last August. I thought maybe the previous owner had done something or gotten something on them. I used some Plexiglass & Plastic Cleaner and Light Scratch Remover (by Blue Coral) to clean up the entire lens. The edge of the "peeling" area is barely noticable and the whole light really looks much better.

I hope this helps.

PS: I would have replied sooner but I had forgotten about this and had to take a close look at my lights to recall exactly what I had done!
 

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I think we need a picture here. I've never seen a head light peel, the plastic can deffinitely oxidize over time if not kept up, but even this can be taken care of with some clear plastic polish.

BTW, Meguiar's PlastX is awsome for this. If they're really that bad you can wet sand and lightly buff out the plastic so it looks like brand new.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here is a picture of the peeling on the headlight. You can see it on the top area. It's like this on both headlights. It could be possible that the paint protection the dealership put on the car before I bought it, was also applied on the headlight lens. I'm not sure though.
 

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Huh thats kinda strange. I for some reason pictured a much larger section of plastic peeling in my head. I wouldn't think it's any sort of "paint protection" doing that. When dealerships sell you that it's generally just a coat of wax on the car (which as far as I'm concerned any claims they make about it is completely false). I would try hitting it with a plastic polish before anything. Like I said my personal recommendation would be Meguiar's PlastX, it works great and isn't going to hurt anything. You may have to sit down for a while and really work it in, but I would imagine it would be able to help it if not fix it. One of my head lights kinda had a hazey thing going on at one point, I think it may have just been some clay bar residue on it, but I sat down and rubbed some clear plastic polish in to it for like 15 minutes and it made it look brand new again. Whatever it is it looks fixable from the picture.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I just tried a plastic cleaner, which didn't help. I also used my finger nail and was able to remove even more of the layer. You can definately see a difference in the color of the lens covering from the peeled away areas. So there is some sort of layer or coating on the headlight.
 

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Wierd, I would push for new head lights if your still under warranty then.
 

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Since you can pick it off with your fingernal it is obviously some kind of coating like a clear coat. My guess would be that it is the "protectant" that the dealer put on. That would make it their responsibiltity to fix. I suspect that a solvent like methanol would take it off but it might effect the plastic underneath so you would have to experiment on an area that would not show. Let the dealer do the experimenting.
 

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My guess is that somebody has washed the car in a coin-operated car-wash and pushed the "wax" button, coating the entire car, including the headlights, with a cheap, spray-on wax. It's softer than your fingernail and it's clear and it doesn't stick to plastic all that well.

It's just a guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Whatever it is, it's still a warranty issue. There is a definate change in the color of the plastic in the peeled off areas. This is one reason why I hate plastic headlights, I've seen this type of thing before on other cars. Yes it's softer and peels away with my fingernail but it doesn't mean it is any type of wax or sealant. It could just be a defective plastic covering on the headlights. It's not impossible, remember how the rubber window seals on the Insight degrade very easily also.
 

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I work for an automotive paint supplier. Almost all headlights covers are made of Polycarbonate. This plastic is not very UV resistant or scratch resistant. Most if not all manufaturers use a UV Curable coating over the headlight that gives scratch and UV resistance to the Headlamp cover. If the coating is not put on at the right film thickness it could peel off. The discoloration you see on older Chrysler products is the yellowing of the plastic due to to low of film thickness on the protective coating allowing the polycarbonate to yellow under UV exposures. Hopefully Honda will replace the headlight cover but in some cases paint, even clear, is not covered.
 
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