Are your headlight lenses getting cloudy?


Ever notice all the older Neons, minivans, Intrepids and some Fords on the
road suffering from opaque lenses? I even spotted an older Mercedes
developing the problem. It is unacceptable that we have to constantly buff
or replace cloudy, yellow polycarbonate plastic headlight lenses because
Chrysler and Ford were too cheap to specify a few cents worth of UV
protection in the plastic mix. Headlight performance on these cars was
mediocre when new. It is a downright hazard when cateracts set in.
If you are as mad as hell about this problem as I am, and want to tell
someone about it, click on the link below and let the NHTSA know that you
have trouble seeing road hazards and pedestrians while driving at night.
Demand a recall, an enforced new standard, and a permanent fix. Glass was
good.
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Reply to
Rick
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Your link does not work. Did you try it before you posted or is it only good during daylight hours when headlights are not needed? Oh well, time to buff my headlights. I think I'll start using very abrasive toothpaste since most auto stores don't care the plastic stuff like Meguiar's PlastX.
Reply to
treeline12345
in news: snipped-for-privacy@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com:
The link works fine.
And plain ordinary unsanded ceramic tile grout (mixed as a paste) also works fine to polish the lenses.. and it's a helluva lot cheaper.
Reply to
Backyard Mechanic
Of course, every time you polish or buff these lenses, what you're doing is stripping away more and ever more of the anti-UV hardcoat, which means the lenses then degrade faster and ever faster. :-(
Reply to
Daniel J. Stern
3M has a plastic sheet laminate that is supposed to be placed on headlamps after they have been polished by glass shops that sell 3M window tint. Not all do, It is another product they can sell to customers that need headlight polishing. And the clear plastic laminate(sticker) is cut to fit the model of car. The laminate is supposed to be UV resistant, and has a two year warranty.
Reply to
David
If 3M is still even making that, they go out of their way to make it difficult to find information on it or even a source for purchasing - at least that is what I saw 3 years ago when I sought it out and actually purchased it. Several months ago, I searched the www for adiitional consumer info. and source for purchase, and found it even more scare/difficult to locate - gave up.
Here's what I've come up with under a non-3M brand name:
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I wouldn't be surprised if the material is actually made by 3M, but I have concluded that 3M is not interested in marketing such a product under their own label.
My opinion is, rather than polish up a hazed headlight assy., replace with new, and then install the X-Pels to extend the useable life of the new headlights beyond the life of the vehicle. Worst case, the X-Pels themselves may need replacing every coupla years due to UV damage, but I don't know that to be true - but even if so, a lot cheaper to replace them than the complete headlight assy.
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
Reply to
Bill Putney
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I can't find any mention on the 3M website of a UV protectant film suitable for headlights. They specifically state that the paint protectant films are not suitable for headlights.
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claims they use a 3M film designed for the aerospace industry to make their headlight protectors. I can't really find any info on this particualr film on the 3M web site.
Ed
Reply to
C. E. White
Because they don't make any such a film, though a lot of people *think* they do because of a product called "StonGard" (with a cutesy umlaut over the "a" to appeal to the toffs who think only the Germans make good stuff).
3M supplied only the adhesive and the crack-n-peel backing paper for that stuff. The adhesive and backing paper are fine. But the headlamp "protection" film itself is garbage. It steals about 15% of the light right out of the bag, and contrary to claims of lasting optical clarity, it clouds up and turns yellow. But, 3M gets the blame because their name is on the backing paper. 3M 3M 3M 3M 3M, in green ink all over the back of the stuf.
If you feel a headlamp protection film is worth trying, use the stuff from
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.
Reply to
Daniel J. Stern
The link that I gave in an earlier post in this thread was a source for the X-Pels (here it is again:
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. You're supposed to read everything that I ever post, including looking at all links! 8^)
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
Reply to
Bill Putney
I bought a set of the StonGards (hmmm - sounds like an athletic cup) when I first got my Concorde 3-1/2 years ago. There was a choice of two thicknesses. I bought the thicker ones thinking thicker is better. I never put them on because they were so stiff, I didn't think the adhesive would hold up (StonGards were flat, headlights were contoured). I have a set of X-Pels - haven't put them on yet either - but they are much thinner and pliable - I think an improved product over the StonGard. Thinner also of course means less light blockage, both initially and as they age.
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
Reply to
Bill Putney
You can find Meguia's Plastx (as well as their other products), 3M's plastic cleaners & Mother's at AutoGeek.net
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I never tried Meguia's, is it better then Crest?
Reply to
Dennis
They used too. That is why I mentioned they had something. I was looking at the solar window tint for houses, and looked at some of the auto stuff they had there and I don't remember were the link was but it was for a computer die-cut coating for headlights after re-finishing. And a customer could not order it or buy it. It had to be installed by professionals that did window tint and some other 3M stuff. there was a search function on the 3M site to find authorized installers and there were only two in all of Arizona were I lived.
I searched 3M today also and haven't found it. Probably got rid of it.
Reply to
David
Correct on all counts. Applying the XPel is a great deal more hassle than applying the Stongard junk, but worth the extra effort.
Reply to
Daniel J. Stern
We shouldn't have to apply anything, period. I may be wrong, but I dont see other makes of old cars, like Toyota, with this problem, only Ford and Chrysler. Even GM seems to be immune. Why is that? Is it as preventable as I suspected? Rick
Correct on all counts. Applying the XPel is a great deal more hassle than applying the Stongard junk, but worth the extra effort.
Reply to
Rick
You must not be looking very hard. I see Toyota with yellow lens all the time. SO's old Camry was terrible. I have a '92 F150 with some really nasty looking headlights, but my other recent Fords seem to have held up just fine. And even my '86 Sable had good looking headlight lens after 10 years (traded it then), but the stupid light bar looked pretty bad. I have a friend with an older Buick LeSabre ('91 I think) and it has some pretty nasty looking lens as well.
I suspect some vehicles suffer more than others because of where and how they are driven (because the outer coating is abraded off by grit). For instance my F150 has spent a lot of time on dirt roads and dusty fields. I assume that all this exposure to dust must have eroded the lens' surface - I know the bumper looks like it was sand blasted in some areas (painted steel bumper).
Ed
Reply to
C. E. White
For some reason, the link, when seen on Google groups tacked my signature "Rick" at the end of the link URL. Probably Google's way to save space. It should end with /ivoq as in:
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Your link does not work. Did you try it before you posted or is it only good during daylight hours when headlights are not needed? Oh well, time to buff my headlights. I think I'll start using very abrasive toothpaste since most auto stores don't care the plastic stuff like Meguiar's PlastX.
Reply to
Rick

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