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Failed MOT for discoloured headlights, advice on cleaning kits

21
Found 4th Jun
Just got a call from my garage informing me that both my front headlight lenses are too discoloured and thus failed my MOT (with some other issues).
Unfortunately they do not offer a cleaning service for this issue (probably because they cannot guarantee successful results) and due to the extreme price of replacing the parts (he was too scared to look, but from past experience I know it was £180+ each last year, when the MOT mechanic did offer to clean the headlights for a labour charge) and recommended that I try a cleaning kit from Halfords (which is nearby).
I plan to pickup my car and bring it home, then try to clean the headlights with a kit myself, if they cannot be restored then I will scrap the car (as the cost of 2 headlights + the other repairs + two front tyres I need replaced soon is more that the value of the car).

Does anyone have any experience or advice or recommendations for a headlight cleaning kit to help with this? I intend to ask the advice of the mechanic when I pickup the car as well.

A quick search has found these three kits at Halfords:

halfords.com/mot…kit

halfords.com/mot…kit

halfords.com/mot…kit

as well as this one at Amazon:

amazon.co.uk/3M-…J1K

Also my insurance expires midnight on Friday so I need to get this done quick!

Thanks for any input.
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deleted396333
Pick up some replacement headlights from a scrapyard?
What car is it and age I'm guessing its quite a few years old as newer models don't tend to do that now.
I'd maybe look at a scrap yard for replacement ones.
Or even checked your bulbs are OK.
Toothpaste see Here, its a very mild abrasive and can be used to polish glass or plastic, for a couple of quid its worth a try, you can always use it for your teeth afterwards so no waste
Edited by: "ding" 4th Jun
I'd spend on a worthless car to get another year out of it. If the car is mechanically sound and you know the history why wouldn't you. Tyres are just running cost as just paid £80 for 2 new front tyres on ours. Our old car I bought for £500 and lasted us 10 years, cost me £250 for cam belt plus service plus mot at one point. Got £100 scrap. Look on ebay for lights. Watch youtube for cleaning guide. Sort it out and get your mot. Cheap motoring vs monthly payments of £150 plus running costs.
Edited by: "wayners" 4th Jun
It's 2002 1-litre Toyota Yaris petrol. It gets an advisory list a mile long every year and judging by the phone call it'll another one this year. I do intend to try and clean it up myself, I've had it almost 4 years and outside of some corroded pipes and the exhaust back box that were replaced a couple years ago it has been sound mechanically.
Edited by: "RandomUser42" 4th Jun
The Kits work really well, and if you follow the instructions will bring the Headlights up like new, dont bother replacing the Haedlamp units there is no need and your probably end up paying more getting the replacement Headlamps Beam angle adjusted to meet the MOT anyway.

So my advise is got for the kits, or if your experienced on a bit of DIY Body Work repair, ie, Wet and Dry and final Finishing just buy the required sheets of Wet and Dry its the same principle.
Edited by: "zirk" 4th Jun
I believe I used to use Rustin's burnishing cream (intended for producing a mirror finish on their plastic coating) to polish out scratches on plastic like watch faces, it might work on your lights

amazon.co.uk/Rus…TF8
Edited by: "melted" 4th Jun
Even metal polish like brasso or t cut can be used as both are very mild abrasive
Use WD 40 and paper towel! it will look like new again ( for a few days)
My brother had a discount for Halfords so I just bought the one with the best reviews on the way home from the garage, once I borrow a drill with the right RPM range hopefully I can clear up these headlight lens and avoid the need to source replacement parts or scrapping the car entirely.
I used brasso on my wife's corsa and it brought them up nice and shiny
As others have said any abrasive paste will do - even use cif (the kitchen cleaner).

I cleaned up a family members 2001 Toyota Corrola - worked very well. You will see some immediate improvement in less than 5 minutes - spending 30 mins per headlight and they should be as good as new.

Can also use some fine wet and dry sandpaper.

Plenty videos on youtube on how to do it.
ding3 h, 34 m ago

Toothpaste see Here, its a very mild abrasive and can be used to polish …Toothpaste see Here, its a very mild abrasive and can be used to polish glass or plastic, for a couple of quid its worth a try, you can always use it for your teeth afterwards so no waste


I second this. My cars headlights looked 'misted', as it was due for MOT last month my husband used toothpaste to clean them and they came up a treat. Glad to say my car passed it's MOT, with it's minty scented lights.
Edited by: "Beebee18" 4th Jun
ding3 h, 2 m ago

Even metal polish like brasso or t cut can be used as both are very mild …Even metal polish like brasso or t cut can be used as both are very mild abrasive



ding3 h, 2 m ago

Even metal polish like brasso or t cut can be used as both are very mild …Even metal polish like brasso or t cut can be used as both are very mild abrasive



ding3 h, 2 m ago

Even metal polish like brasso or t cut can be used as both are very mild …Even metal polish like brasso or t cut can be used as both are very mild abrasive


T cut and a buffing pad and a lot of patience worked on my 12 year old car to cure misty lenses.
deleted3963334th Jun

Pick up some replacement headlights from a scrapyard?


Can still be veeeeeeeeeeeery expensive and may not be that much better than the ones you already have.

T cut,a buffing pad and a lot of patience worked on my 12 year old car headlights to cure misty lenses.
( dont forger to use masking tape to protect paintwork).
I used autosol on my Astra which had a similar issue. Rubbed a bit on, then used a mop on a drill (was being a bit lazy, but short of elbow grease), spray some water to stop the headlamp from getting too hot and voila!


It was a bit better than before
Used increasing grades of wet&dry on relative's car headlights that were heavily oxidised. Finished with toothpaste. Looked fine (but not new) & no MoT retest issues. Originally tested a small section with nail polish remover but that seemed to make matters worse!
Toothpaste
Try cheap whitening toothpaste and a cheap toothbrush. Seriously it can work if it’s the right type of lights!
I've used the cleaning kit and the headlights look 10x brighter now, there are a few scratches visible when the light it on but I don't think they are any problem, I'll let the MOT mechanic have the final verdict but I'm pretty sure it should pass now.
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