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DocE

Cleaning Headlights

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DocE
I need to clean the headlights on my rigs.
Some say to use brake cleaner
Some say to use brake fluid
Some say that either of these will ruin your headlights
Some say to let Wal Mart do it for $30
 
What say you all ?
 
.

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Wet Dog

I've used baking soda.  Add some water and make a think paste and rub it on like a wax or polish and rinse.

 

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topdog1961

On many vehicles just replace them. No matter what u use, they yellow quickly. U can delay that by a good waxing. I replaced both headlight units on my 98 F-150 for $48, with far superior to stock performance. It was an easy change and greatly improved its looks. Youtube the change for your vehicle to get an idea how hard it is. If you don't have to drop the fascia to get to the mounting bolts, it's typically easy. 

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Wildcat

I agree with topdog

In the interim I have polished them (plastic lens) with polishing compound, it comes in various grades of coarseness. Mid grade works well, followed with wax. As the lights get older they yellow very quickly and it makes sense to just buy new lens.

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jeff88

DocE, do you mean the actual headlight halogen lamps or the headlight clear plastic covers?  If headlamps, TopDog gives good advice.  For those aerodynamic covers, that's different.  Both our rides have those over the Xenon lamps; halogen lamps can also be housed inside covers as well such as on our '04 Expy.  Xenon's don't fade or yellow like halogens and replacing them is no small cost.  Typically they're under the clear plastic covers which tent to scratch and get foggy over time due to exposure and road refuse.  Restoring them is not as easy at home as I'd like.  Our '05 G35 had them, after two attempts at home, gave up on doing a really good job.  $30 at Wal-mart or similar seems like a good deal to me, the kits can be about half that cost.  Maybe CostCo or Sam's does this too?  Try it at home and if it works for you, send me the name of the kit and I may try it one more time.  We are close to being due for this on our '11 G37.

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bobman

WD 40 will take the oxidation right off just spray it on a paper towel and wipe it on

 

try and keep it off the paint

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Virgil Kane
12 minutes ago, bobman said:

WD 40 will take the oxidation right off just spray it on a paper towel and wipe it on

 

try and keep it off the paint

 

Keep it off the paint unless you have tar or bugs stuck to your paint and then WD-40 will remove those.

 

Virgil

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john mcg
40 minutes ago, bobman said:

WD 40 will take the oxidation right off just spray it on a paper towel and wipe it on

 

try and keep it off the paint

I've tried it and it doesn't work for crap.

 

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bobman

worked on my Toyotas Tacoma and camry very well and only so so on my jetta

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River19

I've used the "kits" from McGuires etc. and they work for a while.....like 4-6 months maybe, but then you need to grab the drill and pads and go through the process again.

 

I'm resigned to getting new housings and lenses when I get annoyed enough on my old Tundra

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john mcg
31 minutes ago, River19 said:

I've used the "kits" from McGuires etc. and they work for a while.....like 4-6 months maybe, but then you need to grab the drill and pads and go through the process again.

 

I'm resigned to getting new housings and lenses when I get annoyed enough on my old Tundra

I've tried the kits as well and had the same experience. I think the plastic just gets a thousand points of pitting along with oxidation and its all she wrote.

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max2

Around these parts I have seen a number of body shops advertising lens cleaning . I would go to a body shop as I can remember when younger  actually  seeing a friend who worked in a body shop take a buffer to his watch crystal. The thing was glowing when he was done.   

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bobman
2 hours ago, River19 said:

I've used the "kits" from McGuires etc. and they work for a while.....like 4-6 months maybe, but then you need to grab the drill and pads and go through the process again.

 

I'm resigned to getting new housings and lenses when I get annoyed enough on my old Tundra

 

You should try the WD 40 on your tundra it really was amazing how well it worked on our Toyota’s maybe it’s the same type of plastic 

 

I sprayed some on a piece of folded paper towel and it wiped the cloudiness right off

 

I saw this on YouTube and had to go out and try it

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Speaks

Yea I tried one of those buffing kits and it was great for like 3 months. Not worth the effort, might try the wd40 but I am not optimistic. I always thought it was more the pitting than anything else that caused it. 

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stripersonfly

Full disclosure, I have not tried it, but I am going to.  I have been told, and if you google you can find videos, that say to use toothpaste.  Toothpaste, like buffing compound, is full of tiny abrasives.  They will remove the oxidation  from the lens of the headlights.  Here is one of the videos.

 

 

 

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