Foggy headlamp covers

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The front headlight covers on my 96 Sable have gotten foggy and lost their original crystal clarity - to the point I think that they are a DANGER. At night the light is half as bright as other cars on the
road. Didn't FORD realize that this would happen? Probably poor quality materials that couldn't tolerate solar U-V light. Glass would have not resulted in this serious problem. Personally I think this is a RECALL issue.
Anyway, is there a simple way of solving this problem? I've got a good selection of wetsand paper, buffer etc. but I'm not sure how to proceed.
Or would it work to just spray clear paint over the lenses?
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46erjoe wrote:

The plastic lenses are 10+ years old, and the oxidized surface needs renewal. Plastic polish works, Bon Ami (make a paste) works, and there are even "kits" available for this at places like A-Z & W-M.
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wrotF:

Building on what you 2 have said, just for the heck of it, I tried Brasso. WOW! It worked great. You need to use a little elbow grease and several applications, but the headlamp covers came out as clear as glass. I sealed them with a good wax and for added usefulness I coated them with Rain-X. So, I'm set to go. I can't believe I didn't do this years ago. They look like new. My wife when she saw them chewed me out for spending money on buying new headlamps for a 10 year old car. ;->
Pass this info on to anyone who has the same problem.
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I had the same result with good quality UNSANDED wall tile grout, mixed as a paste. No one seems to believe me.
It also acts as a good polish. And you can also use it like "Barkeepers Friend" on stove tops and sinks, and tubs.. and obviously to shine ceramic tile.
And a lifetime supply, as a polish, costs ten bucks
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I've just been using Turtle wax and elbow grease and they come out great. For the really clouded one's try a buffing attachment on a drill and turtle wax. Cheap and great results.
On Thu, 28 Sep 2006 19:11:32 GMT, Backyard Mechanic

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A polymer, like NuFinish, works best to keep lenses clear. Apply three of four times annually.
wrote:

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Rain-X is an extremely bad idea for some plastics. I completely yellowed a motorcycle windshield with Rain-X. Several applications of Meguiars plastic cleaner and polish over a period of days got that back to clarity.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I used Meguiars PlastX on a 98 Chevy Metro with headlight lenses so cloudy that high beam was useless. Just one easy application and it was amazingly clear. I tried the same stuff on a Dodge D50 pickup with almost no effect. The Dodge almost looks like the problem is on the inside of the lens.
Meguiars was on the shelf with the rest of the auto polish at Kragen's. http://www.meguiars.com/?clear-plastic-care/PlastX-Clear-Plastic-Cleaner-Polish
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On Fri, 29 Sep 2006 16:12:39 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@XReXXFoggy.usenet.us.com wrotF:

Thanks for the tip

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Actually clouded lens are generally a result of poor maintenance and will occur on any brand that are not properly maintained. Go to a motorcycle shop and get come of the stuff they use to clean lemon cycle windshields. If that does not work use paint rubbing compound. After you have the lenses cleared use a polymer polish like NuFinish to keep them clear.
mike hunt

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and the lesson is.......protect the headlamp lenses on your new cars (or after you guys use Brasso & rubbing compound on the old ones).
accessory houses, eBay etc. have a variety of headlamp protectors: expensive, molded ones........to self-adhesive sheets.
I found self-adhesive mylar sheets at a local office supply store.....so just cut sheets to cover front lamps,,,,,,,,easily peeled-out and replaced if they get nasty.
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Itsfrom Click wrote:

Pity it's illegal to put any covering over the headlamps, no?
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And if it's a clear cover, what's the harm? Jim
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Clouded lenses are a result of improper preventive maintenance. Use a polymer polish on the lenses three of four times a year and they will not cloud. We serviced fleet cars for five or more years old, with 300k or more on the clock, and the lenses look fine because we use a polymer like NuFinish
mike hunt

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Then virtually every manufacturer will need to recall many of their vehicles. My Sisters '97 Civic has headlights that are practically gray. I have two neighbors with Toyotas (one late 90's Camry and one mid-90's Corolla) with completely fogged over headlights. My SO old '98 Chrysler van did to (she replaced hers).
Things wear out. If it is unsafe, YOU are responsible. They are not hard to replace. Should Ford recall your Sable because the brake pads wore out? That is probably a bigger safety concern than worn out headlight covers.

New headlights! You can polish the old ones, but without a UV coating, they will fog back over in short order. There are companies that sell the coating (or claim to), but I don't think they are worth the trouble.

NO!
Ed
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[snipped]
they
coating
[snipped]
What do you do if the lens is dirty but on the inside of the headlight?
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Ford Driver wrote:

At this point it's time for new ones. About 2 year ago I purchased new aftermarket headlamps for a 92 Tempo. They were about $35-40 each. Less than $100 total with new bulbs. There are some that aren't available aftermarket though.
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Take off the lens and clean the inside.
Jeff
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good
Duh!!!
How do you do this when the only access is through the little hole through which the bulb is inserted? Is there a special tool?
Thanks.
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Newby wrote:

It's like washing a bottle. See: http://faqlight.carpassion.info/hl-general.htm
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lost
are a

coating,
the
headlight?
through
Thank you. The link you posted was most helpful.
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