Headlight Lens Cleaning

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dave_xsara
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Headlight Lens Cleaning

Post by dave_xsara » 03 Jan 2018, 14:21

As I'm tidying the Xsara up, the headlights need to get some attention.

I've done a search on here for headlight cleaning, but nothing has come up - so if this has been discussed before, please point me to the thread.

The lens for the headlights are what I would consider cloudy. The front of the bonnet is peppered with road debris, so I the lens would not have escaped abuse.

I've been looking into the methods shown online for cleaning the lens. Some recommend a kit which has a head attachment (i.e. 3M) and other recommend using various decreasing coarseness of sandpaper by hand to achieve the same outcome. The main thing to take from the things is that it is wasted effort if the UV film/protector is not applied immediately afterwards.
I suspect that the drill attachment would not be overly useful on the curved Xsara lens.

Has anyone done this previously on a Xsara and what method did they use?
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Re: Headlight Lens Cleaning

Post by hirsty » 03 Jan 2018, 16:24

:) Depending on severity, I have always used Brasso. Several applications may be required.. :)

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Re: Headlight Lens Cleaning

Post by Stickyfinger » 03 Jan 2018, 16:42

Curved lens/covers and not a problem as you can move your wrists.............
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Re: Headlight Lens Cleaning

Post by Oldpug » 03 Jan 2018, 18:03

I`ve used normal cutting paste(like T cut) and an electric polishing mop. It worked a treat on various models that have failed an MOT on poor beams.
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Re: Headlight Lens Cleaning

Post by Michel » 03 Jan 2018, 18:07

I used a 3M kit on a C1, a 207 and a C5 MK1, All of which have curved and odd shaped lights. Worked really well.
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Re: Headlight Lens Cleaning

Post by Zelandeth » 03 Jan 2018, 18:09

T-Cut or Brasso worked wonders on the Cappuccino (only car I've had so far with the issue), think Brasso was slightly more aggressive.

Be very careful if using a power polisher to make sure you don't end up causing localised melting of the lens.

I tried one of the 3M kits on a friend's Ford...Can't remember if it was a Focus or Mondeo...My only memory was it being soul-destroyingly boring. Kit worked well enough, but I really didn't see any difference between that and Brasso really.

Just make sure to give it a really good coat of wax afterwards to help muck slide off when the roads are wet.
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Re: Headlight Lens Cleaning

Post by white exec » 03 Jan 2018, 18:22

Turtle Wax Headlight Restorer (kit) works. Just use the cream cleaner if the cloudiness isn't too severe. Kit also contains abrasives and other bits and good instructions.

Mer car polish will also work, or T-cut. Use plenty of it, and lots of elbow grease (or a polisher).

Any yellowing will be at the surface, and should also polish out, more-or-less.
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Re: Headlight Lens Cleaning

Post by Hell Razor5543 » 03 Jan 2018, 21:10

A simple, low cost, and surprisingly effective method is to use a clean face cloth and a mildly abrasive toothpaste. It will need a lot of elbow grease, and a few applications (with tap water to rinse away the residue). OK, Michel did then use his own 3M kit (which works well), but the toothpaste made a reasonable go of cleaning the headlight lenses.
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Re: Headlight Lens Cleaning

Post by wurlycorner » 04 Jan 2018, 21:13

Yep, the 3M and Meguiars kits can be used on curved headlights, no problem

Alternatively you can just use different grades of sandpaper (yes really!) finishing with a very very fine grade (like they use for finish sanding paint lacquer) and then polish over with a standard car polish.
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Re: Headlight Lens Cleaning

Post by white exec » 04 Jan 2018, 22:21

Just a word of caution: don't use any sand/other paper with a coarse or medium-course grit. It could put scratches into the polycarbonate lens which you will struggle to remove. Stick with fine or very-fine abrasive, if liquid won't do the job. :!:
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Re: Headlight Lens Cleaning

Post by Spurious » 06 Jan 2018, 00:02

I did a good job on a Primera perspex light housing.

I used some 2500 grit wet sandpaper, then 3000 grit. Make sure it's well lubricated. Then plenty of T-Cut. Wax to finish off.

It took the best part of an afternoon and my fingers were aching afterwards. Headlights were shiny clean however...
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Re: Headlight Lens Cleaning

Post by van ordinaire » 08 Jan 2018, 22:54

I thought I knew something about this, as it's a real problem most '90's Cadillacs & Sevilles in particular have such poor headlights (even the later HID equpped ones) they need all the help they can get.

A friend who did show standard polishing had limited success but got to the stage he was concerned about how much material was left but I'd had no success with any product, even marine plastic polish. Not been brave enough to try wet'n'dry though!
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Re: Headlight Lens Cleaning

Post by Bandit12 » 14 Jan 2018, 11:09

T cut worked for me
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