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petalique

SUV headlamp UV fogged. Suggestions

petalique
2 months ago

I have a very old SUV and the plastic headlight lenses are foggy. Two years ago, I treated them with a headlight restoring product that abraded the fogged plastic, made a newer surface, the I sealed it with the enclosed UV protectant. The tried to avoid parking SUV towards sunny horizon. Doing that was not fun, I don’t have much hand strength, so DH helped. I think there was about 70% improvement.


The lenses are foggy again, DH seems to have too much to do, and keeps promising to get around to it. I’ve been thinking that there are not enough lifetimes for us to do all the work ourselves.


I have a car/boat “buffer” — made for waxing & buffing. Think or know if I can use that 6” electric buffer gizmo instead of my puny muscle power to polish/abrade the headlamp lense? DH can tend towards the negative, and said “no” without even seeing the buffer or really hearing me. Maybe, he’s correct.


Or, can one buy and install just new plastic headlight lense component?


Or, should I buy completely new headlamps Toyota and we install replace ourselves.


Or, get mechanic or autobody shop to polish out the SUV headlamp fog, then SEAL with whatever?


Or, only drive in bright sunlight.


I hope someone of you has had to deal with this. Ideally, a new or newer vehicle. Another thing DH is going to get around to thinking about.


Thank for any help from experience..






Comments (20)

  • sushipup1
    2 months ago

    My 2006 Honda Odyssey's front lights are bad. I've priced it, and two new headlight assemblies should cost about $200 total. My local mechanic can install them. You don't replace the cover, but the whole assembly.

    petalique thanked sushipup1
  • petalique
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Thanks. It will be the only not rusted thing on the car besides the windshield and radio.

    I’ll see if uncle China has any for sale. DH is getting foggy too maybe. Or tired. He isn’t bothered y this sort of thing. I am. I don’t drive much, and so not much night driving either, but I’d hate to run off the road or into something. Guess a dollar store won’t carry this. I may just try the buffer. Nothing much to lose — grumpy DH, maybe.

  • S Rodriguez
    2 months ago

    New lights.

    petalique thanked S Rodriguez
  • petalique
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    About $110 per pair at Jeff’s (Amazon). Catch might be the hidden mystery screws ;)

    Maybe someone at YT knows.

  • dees_1
    2 months ago

    A lot of car detailing places offer this service. In all likelihood, this approach is the least costly. New headlamps would be great but costly.

    petalique thanked dees_1
  • petalique
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    We should have gotten new ones 2 years if not 5 years ago. DH is too phlegmatic about these things. EF and others are exactly right. it is a safety issue. I’d feel horrible if I hit someone or something like a moose.


    Elmer, the Haze builds up on the exterior from UV Exposure, weathering and oxidation. The $14neadlight restorer kit s work okay, but between if you do it before lenses have been on the car 20 years. The car get parked facing the SW (until recently). I don’t mind working on things like this, but some injuries and a resulting arthritis have left me with less endurance and strength.

    A friend said he got his wife a headlamp ($30) at Jeff’s. He said they can be tricky to replace because of “hidden” screws.


    BTW, if anyone reading has a yellowed white sewing machine or appliance, the same kit will help remove the oxidation (yellow). UV light is hell on plastic, from rope to sailboats.


  • krystalmoon2009
    2 months ago

    Try Mother's Mag and Aluminum polish, works pretty well and may work even better with a buffer. We have only applied by hand and removed with a microfiber cloth and that worked pretty well for us.

    petalique thanked krystalmoon2009
  • petalique
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    I found a YouTube video with instructions. Beyond my sore body to do, maybe. It might complicate things that were missing a few clamps (car is too /s) and duct tape is holding the bumper up. Maybe our mechanic would have fun with this. I’ll have to check before buying any parts — what’s that saying, you don’t bring your own sandwich fixings to a coffee shop.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkJj0svSB6Q


    These pros make everything look easy. I particularly like how there is no cussing and gnashing of teeth while looking for parts that didn’t get put back, or swatting black flies.


    I think I’m going to start insisting that whenever we buy tools, we buy an extra for when we can’t find the one we never returned to its spot.

  • Coco
    2 months ago

    Dh used something on his headlights, but it didn't last long. I'm so glad my 4Runner has glass lights.

    petalique thanked Coco
  • Richard (Vero Beach, Florida)
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I bought a pair of new aftermarket headlight assemblies from HEADLIGHTSDEPOT on Amazon. I must have grabbed them when the price was down because I only paid $67.99 for the pair.

    The hardest thing about putting them in was breaking the rusted adjusting screws loose. I should have been more patient and allowed penetrating oil time to work because I broke one adjusting screw. Replacing the screw cost me $13.49.

    So $81.48 after replacing the screw but I ended up with crystal clear headlights.

    ETA, buffing wasn't an option for me because one assembly was filled internally about half way with water. :)

    petalique thanked Richard (Vero Beach, Florida)
  • joann_fl
    2 months ago

    I don't know about this product but its worth a try Headlight cleaner restorer. My son buys something from truck supply he calls it Miracle whip it works from him.

    petalique thanked joann_fl
  • maifleur03
    2 months ago

    As mentioned above find someone to detail them. In this area there are detailers that will come to your home but they tend to be more expensive than the detailers that are associated with the various full service car washes. There are other place but those are what I have used. Be aware that removing the haze even with the coating will last only for a year or two. Also be aware that while the UV light can cause deterioration of the surface any pitting can be caused by many things. The normal "car dust" from tires and road surfaces. Was badly hazed driving through a dust storm.

    petalique thanked maifleur03
  • Elmer J Fudd
    2 months ago

    Wow, I love to learn new things. Thanks. I've never had this problem happen and have never heard of it but if it ever happens, I know what to do. Looking on You Tube, it looks like there are several ways to clean off the haze by hand, all appear to be successful.


    Thanks again and good luck.

    petalique thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • Elizabeth
    2 months ago

    Give them a good scrubbing with a thick toothpaste solution

    petalique thanked Elizabeth
  • Jasdip
    2 months ago

    I've tried toothpaste, tried some shine kits but none worked.

    My passenger lens was yellowing I called the dealership to see if I could get a new light assembly but it was a horrific cost, hundreds of dollars.

    I called my mechanic and he buffed it out. Cost $60. Well worth it to me.

  • petalique
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Thanks so much everyone. Richard, darn those rusted fasteners. We’re in New England, lots of road salt!


    I think since our car is so old, we’ll see if our mechanic will do it. DH agrees. I want new lights, because, as maifleur pointed out, it is the UV damage, but also abrasion from pitting. We’ve had windshields replaced because when the roads here get salted, they also get sanded. You don’t want to see the hood ;)


    I rarely drive, very rarely at night, But I want bright headlamps. i think I will nag DH to follow up w mechanic. It will probably be on a gorgeous cool day with good winds for a sail. Or working outside.


    Next appointments I book, I’ll say only on rainy days. Sure. Do rabbits really see well at night? I have a bunch of them here. Just need to give them driving lessons.

  • always1stepbehind
    2 months ago

    They can be buffed out. But they will yellow/fog up again. I need new headlight too. New highlight assemblies are a couple hundred dollars each. I plan to keep my car awhile so I will probably end up just replacing them.

    petalique thanked always1stepbehind
  • foodonastump
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I’ve often wondered how well those polishing kits work; seems like too good to be true infomercial stuff!

    I’ve also wondered if the plastic formulation has changed over the years. The older lenses, from the 80’s when we moved away from sealed beams thru the early 2000’s seemed particularly prone to hazing. By the time I gave away my 2001 F150 at ten years old the headlights were pretty bad. Now my 2011 F150, also ten years old, they’re crystal clear save a few scratches. Hazed headlights are rare enough to where they really stand out, IMO.

    petalique thanked foodonastump
  • maifleur03
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    From the feel of the headlights the plastic formulation has changed. Todays type seem to be flexible enough not to crack the way they used to when I lived in an area with gravel roads. To be flexible the plastic needs to be softer. Some manufacturers for a while put the headlight assembly inset into a softer plastic or rubber liner that was cupped the headlights and allowed adjusting easier. Not certain if current car's headlights can even be adjusted other than perhaps up and down. Which would have removed some of the strain on the headlight cover when hit by something.

    petalique thanked maifleur03
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