Car Headlights Cloudy

15
Posted 8th Feb
My Car headlights are yellowed / cloudy. I’ve seen videos on YouTube where people have used Mothers Mag & Aluminium Polish to buff them up with amazing results.

Anyone actually tried this successfully?
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I did it years ago on an old Honda Accord. It had failed MOT due to it and garage quoted £150 to replace them. I used a machine polisher and some rubbing compound to clear them up. Guy at the garage didn't believe me
ander08/02/2020 09:15

I did it years ago on an old Honda Accord. It had failed MOT due to it and …I did it years ago on an old Honda Accord. It had failed MOT due to it and garage quoted £150 to replace them. I used a machine polisher and some rubbing compound to clear them up. Guy at the garage didn't believe me


I don’t have a machine or drill etc to do it that way. Do you think doing it manually by hand could work?
Rub some toothpaste on the headlights and leave for 5 minutes, wash away with water. This may be a short term fix but does work wonders.
natah08/02/2020 09:19

Rub some toothpaste on the headlights and leave for 5 minutes, wash away …Rub some toothpaste on the headlights and leave for 5 minutes, wash away with water. This may be a short term fix but does work wonders.


I’ve seen this method on YouTube too, and its somewhat effective. But the Mothers Mag Polish method is just on another level. It’s like the headlights are new again!
I have done this a few years back. Had to sand the whole thing with glass paper first, making it worse, then wash and rub in some compound and it looks as good as new, amazing results. Took a couple of hours to do properly and cant be rushed.
I used brasso on my car years ago, the type that comes on a pad, worked great, went from cloudy to shining clear, really big difference. Cost under £5. Masking tape the car around the lights so you don't catch your paint. As mentioned try seal it with something after (I used car wax AFAIK). I only did it once in the 4 years I had the car and never noticed it come back. It probably took half an hour per light.

This

tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/products/255655669

39861817.jpg
39861817.jpg
Edited by: "dcx_badass" 8th Feb
Would consider looking into a sealant or UV protection for after as it will keep yellowing. Cheers
colinged08/02/2020 10:16

Would consider looking into a sealant or UV protection for after as it …Would consider looking into a sealant or UV protection for after as it will keep yellowing. Cheers


Agree. Any abrahasive cleaner will do - can be cleaned manually with a good scrub and look very good for a few months but will yellow again as without any UV protection the plastic surface degrades. I have previously sprayed the headlights with a clear PU varnish after cleaning and this did increase the interval before needing to clean again.
Use a cheap tooth paste
I've also done my own with a kit. They were terrible before, I'm not sure toothpaste would've done the job. The kit has fine sandpaper to remove a small amount of thickness from the headlight, they looks as good as new after. I'd say you would need a drill though, they took about 20-30 minutes per headlight, I wouldn't fancy doing it by hand! The kit I used didn't include plastic sealer to apply after, I did read you do need this to prevent this happening again. I didn't apply it and then about 3 years later my car was in for a service & mot and the garage redid them so they has started misting up again. I wonder if this wouldn't have happened if I had sealed them but they only charged me £20 to redo them.
I've used G3 before and fine sandpaper. First sanded them a little, then used a drill and G3 to polish them and they came up like new. With drill took about 2 minutes. I suspect 15-20 minutes via hand polishing.
I always recommend the following guy's channel on Youtube for any kind of "auto" fix. His vids are superb and very down-to-earth and informative.

ChrisFix

He has several videos about headlights (including the "toothpaste" fix) but the one above is the 'proper' method for (almost) permanent clear lights. After working on them, you need to re-lacquer the lens or they colour/fog up again.

Definitely worth taking your time on this one. Quick fixes are great if you don't mind doing it over and over again. I have; in the past; used the "household cream cleaner" (i.e. Cif) and abrasive sponge method which does have a 'kind of' result. As with any of these methods - the key word is "gentle." Very fine rubbing so as not to score the surface (unless they are the old proper glass lens) and plenty or water!

Kind regards, Phsy.
OP the pictured example as provided by someone else is a good example of the process.

However, do it well once & it will be off your list of car fixes for the rest of your ownership.
essentially it is fine sanding the stained / bleached / discoloured & weakened top layer of plastic & rejuvenating it (like sluffing skin off with a facial).
Worth doing with a random orbiter or at least the correct level of grit & a finishing finer grit material with a drill (not talking sandpaper, proper disks for car polishing & a electric (mains) drill with the extra handle fitted as it will take a while to achieve.
(cheaper than a failed MOT)
I use Meguiar's Rx Clear Plastic Cleaner & Polish on my Honda Civic.
Turtle wax do a Product that requires no tools.

carparts4less.co.uk/p/t…BwE

Looks like it may help.
Edited by: "booboy2" 8th Feb
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