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Old 11-05-2016, 07:13 PM   #1
ironskillet
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pitted headlights repair?

Dealing with this type of pitting in my headlight lenses and it's driving me nuts. As far as I can tell, this pitting is only happening on the outside, but I'm not sure. Almost looks like super fine cracking. Anyone have any idea how to get rid of this, short of replacing the housing? Can I replace/repair just the plastic lens? Any info is appreciated. Am I missing a thread somewhere?
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Old 11-05-2016, 10:37 PM   #2
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Dealing with this type of pitting in my headlight lenses and it's driving me nuts. As far as I can tell, this pitting is only happening on the outside, but I'm not sure. Almost looks like super fine cracking. Anyone have any idea how to get rid of this, short of replacing the housing? Can I replace/repair just the plastic lens? Any info is appreciated. Am I missing a thread somewhere?
My car is a MKV and these lenses are 8 years old. You can sand/polish out most imperfections and make your lenses look pretty decent. I did some light sanding and then polishing. I didn't really do a thorough job but you can't really tell unless the car is stopped and you go up and look for imperfections.

I could get the lens surface pretty smooth but there are still a bunch of what look like tiny fractures. Below I will post 2 pictures, one frontal and one from the side with highlighting in a photo that I have altered slightly to make the imperfections standout that are still there (only see these in certain light and only close up.

You can buy lens replacements but these things are factory sealed and you have to use an industrial heat gun to get the lens off. Not worth the hassle and the risk of damaging the housing trying to pry off the lens. Just sand and polish them up and you will be happy.

1500 to 2000 to 3000 grit paper keeping it soaked in water
Then polish with rotary buffer and regular car polish then something like Meguirs Ultra Fine polish. Keep pressure and do not let heat build up as you can melt the lens.

Mine look pretty good but at some point I am going to buy replacements, OEM is the only way to go and they are about 315 each.



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Old 11-06-2016, 09:07 AM   #3
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That helps. Thanks Giac. I have a weekend project. I'll post updated pics.
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Old 11-06-2016, 10:00 AM   #4
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Dealing with this type of pitting in my headlight lenses and it's driving me nuts. As far as I can tell, this pitting is only happening on the outside, but I'm not sure. Almost looks like super fine cracking. Anyone have any idea how to get rid of this, short of replacing the housing? Can I replace/repair just the plastic lens? Any info is appreciated. Am I missing a thread somewhere?
If they are halogen headlights you could grab a used set for under a hundred and in decent shape. I paid 60 for a set of halogens so I could upgrade my eds reps to add some stuff to those.
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Old 11-06-2016, 12:23 PM   #5
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600, 800, 1000, 1500, Polish with megs m105 several times. If still cloudy, use 2000 grit paper, Polish with m105, m205 using orange pad and imo use a coating such as opti-lens, or just regular opticoat. I detailed a friend's Evo viii 4 years ago and did th red lenses, and they are still in good shape today. Make sure you tape all around the headlight!
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Old 11-07-2016, 01:11 PM   #6
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600, 800, 1000, 1500, Polish with megs m105 several times. If still cloudy, use 2000 grit paper, Polish with m105, m205 using orange pad and imo use a coating such as opti-lens, or just regular opticoat. I detailed a friend's Evo viii 4 years ago and did th red lenses, and they are still in good shape today. Make sure you tape all around the headlight!
I did my brothers PT Cruiser, which seem to have the worst headlights in the history of the automobile. I don't use so many steps with the wetsanding. I do 600 then 1000 straight to M105 and then M205
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Old 11-08-2016, 09:29 PM   #7
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I did my brothers PT Cruiser, which seem to have the worst headlights in the history of the automobile. I don't use so many steps with the wetsanding. I do 600 then 1000 straight to M105 and then M205
You don't have to do all those steps, but if you want the best clarity, it will do better.
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Old 11-12-2016, 12:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ironskillet View Post
Dealing with this type of pitting in my headlight lenses and it's driving me nuts. As far as I can tell, this pitting is only happening on the outside, but I'm not sure. Almost looks like super fine cracking. Anyone have any idea how to get rid of this, short of replacing the housing? Can I replace/repair just the plastic lens? Any info is appreciated. Am I missing a thread somewhere?
Same problem as mine...
http://www.golfmk6.com/forums/showthread.php?t=91265
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:25 PM   #9
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3m has a nice head lamp polishing kit, and it's fairly confidence inspiring to use. i used it on my last car, chucked on some sealant and was very impressed with the results.

(personally, i get a little twitchy using material-removing abrasives on semi-high dollar items)
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Old 04-28-2018, 12:35 AM   #10
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No need to buy new headlight lenses

I know this is an old topic, just wanted to chime in. Tried all the restoration kits recommended, cleaned up a bit, but the pitting remained. Almost bought new lenses, then decided to try one last route.
Wet sanded grit progression: 400, 600, 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000.
Sanded by hand using short side to side movement, same pattern for every grit.
Used 3 step polishing compounds made by Novus for acrylic and plastics.
Sealed using 3M quick clear coat solution.
Lenses look brand new, no pitting, scratches or haze.
No need to buy replacements.
And this is on 8yr old stock headlights.
Takes a long time and some elbow grease, but if you’re willing to put in work, the result is worth it.

Last edited by Rushin2; 04-28-2018 at 12:36 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 11-05-2018, 12:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Rushin2 View Post
I know this is an old topic, just wanted to chime in. Tried all the restoration kits recommended, cleaned up a bit, but the pitting remained. Almost bought new lenses, then decided to try one last route.
Wet sanded grit progression: 400, 600, 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000.
Sanded by hand using short side to side movement, same pattern for every grit.
Used 3 step polishing compounds made by Novus for acrylic and plastics.
Sealed using 3M quick clear coat solution.
Lenses look brand new, no pitting, scratches or haze.
No need to buy replacements.
And this is on 8yr old stock headlights.
Takes a long time and some elbow grease, but if youre willing to put in work, the result is worth it.
Thanks for updating the thread. My headlights are looking very sad and sooner than later Ill have to put some time into them. Ill copy your method, looks like a bit of extra work but Id like them to turn out looking new.
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Old 11-05-2018, 01:48 PM   #12
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'polishing compounds made by Novus for acrylic and plastics'
I will have to look for this. Thanks for posting!
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:50 PM   #13
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From my experience with previously owned cars, once you sand off any protective coating the lens had, your polish job is only gonna hold up for a little while (maybe a couple of months) before the plastic starts to dull and yellow, and you'll have to regularly re-polish to keep it clean and clear. Has anyone else experienced this?
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Old 11-09-2018, 10:21 AM   #14
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From my experience with previously owned cars, once you sand off any protective coating the lens had, your polish job is only gonna hold up for a little while (maybe a couple of months) before the plastic starts to dull and yellow, and you'll have to regularly re-polish to keep it clean and clear. Has anyone else experienced this?
Yeah that's pretty standard for headlights. There are products usually called "headlight sealant" or something similar that claim to prevent this. I have no experience with them. Best thing to do is 2k clear coat for UV protection.
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