The headlights on my 96 Grand Marquis are seriously faded, enough that the
car is getting unsafe to drive at night now. So I call up my friendly ford
dealer and ask about the pricing on a new set of headlamps. He quotes me
nearly $1100 (canadian) for the pair. After the laughter stopped, I called
UAP/NAPA, who can order them in for about $500 for both.. Getting better.. I
also checked out rockauto.com, and their price is about $290 for their
economy line (for both) including shipping, exchange rate and pre-paid duty
This seems to be a massive price range.. Is there something amiss here? Are
rockauto's economy headlamps garbage? Are the dealer ordered lamps trimmed
in gold? What gives?
the dealer lights are gold plated, the rockauto lights are made in china,
and the quality will show when you try to put them in the car.
save yourself a few hundred dollars, and get some mechanics waterless hand
soap with grit in it, like orange clean, and a rag. put a good amount of
hand soap on the rag, and rub the lenses of the lights with it. or if you
have a hand buffing machine, use that. you will be surprised what a good
cleaning with waterless hand soap with grit can do to faded lenses.
in some cases, it will make then as clear as new, in others, it will clear
them up enough to get a few more years out of them.
i have done my mothers 97 G.M. 4 times now.
i have to do it every 4-5 years, but for the 1/2 hour it takes, it is better
than replacing the lights.
found two deals for my Grand Marquis headlamps (Brand new stuff)
One sells each for 75$ (US), the other one has both for 90$ .
Even if he charges 100$ shipping, it's still an order of magnitude
cheaper than going for the dealer's price...
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
Meguiars was on the shelf with the rest of the auto polish at Kragen's.
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA GPS: 38.8,-122.5
The US MSRP is about $250 a piece - $500 total. Not sure about the exchange
rate and duty, but that $1100 quote sounds totally off.
Online discount Ford dealers have them for about $185 each. Don't know if
they ship to Canada.
The plastic on the headlamps is coated with an UV blocker. After a number
years the UV blocker disintegrates, then the UV starts destroying the
Polishing it will not, of course, restore the UV blocker so the plastic will
discolor again. After polishing, coat with a good plastic wax that has UV
blocker and they will last longer.
And be sure to file a safety complant with NHTSA. As long as the automakers
used glass for headlights, we had no problem. When they switched to plastic
people started reporting this problem, and it is definitely a safety issue.
gets enough complaints they will pressure the automakers to either switch to
or use a better plastic that doesen't do this.
Or here if it wraps: http://tinyurl.com/345soz
I bought these 4 years ago for my old beater CV. They are
probably not as good as the OEM but, I won't pay the half
the value of a vehicle just for marginally more utility.
These seem to work well and they are not starting to
discolor as I write this. BTW, it helps to keep them waxed
and out of direct sun.
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