Headlights...Finally!

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by Alex225, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. Alex225

    Alex225 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    As it's been nice and sunny, I thought I'd finally get my headlights sorted out again.

    I sorted them out when I first got the car but over the last 18-24 months they have tarnished again leaving it looking like this...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    To be honest, not terrible but considering the car is in such good condition otherwise it would be a shame to leave them. So I grabbed the two stage Meguiars kit I used before. It basically consists of a cleaner which claims to remove oxidation but effectively just gives a clean surface for the coating.

    So a quick wipe over with this

    [​IMG]

    Quick bit of masking up to minimise overspray and applied a thin layer of the coating. Rolled the car out into the sunshine afterwards and looks a hell of a lot better. Not 100% but you can see the results.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That should last another 12 months or so and still plenty of the coating left in the can for next time. :)
     
    zipdip, C Class Al, NDFR and 2 others like this.
  2. Dizz

    Dizz Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I had some success with the Meguiars one step cleaner on the wife’s Honda (took a lot more effort though!)
    [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
    Alex and Alex225 like this.
  3. Bobby Dazzler

    Bobby Dazzler MB Club Veteran

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    I read somewhere on the Interweb that wiping cloudy headlamps with a cloth or kitchen towel with WD40 on it has the same effect. Never tried it though.
     
    Alex225 likes this.
  4. Dizz

    Dizz Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I don’t know about WD40 but I did read that using toothpaste works on headlights ...it didn’t, don’t believe everything you read on the internet
     
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  5. clk320x

    clk320x MB Club Veteran

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  6. MancMike

    MancMike Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    WD40 is just an illusion. It's just "wetting" them.

    Toothpaste is a mild abrasive, like a cutting compound.
     
  7. Dizz

    Dizz Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I think that’s the problem, it’s just too mild to make a difference on badly oxidised/fogged lights.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Alex225

    Alex225 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Yeah toothpaste has a slight abrasiveness to it so may shine them a little.

    I did try the other Meguiars kit that has sand paper, will polishing drill bit etc. It helped a bit but the coating is a lot quicker but maybe less permanent.
     
  9. Dec

    Dec Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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  10. Jrattan

    Jrattan Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    [​IMG]

    Fine sand paper 1000 grit (depending) working up to 6000 grit and then a cutting compound worked well for me.

    Should’ve coated with lacquer but sold both the cars now :)
     
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  11. OP
    OP
    Alex225

    Alex225 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Certainly does look good, I suspect if I'd perservered with the sanding and gone more and more fine like you I'd have got there. I'm too impatient.

    Odd thing is that my CLS and my other half's CLS headlights are absolutely fine, yet my E's headlights ended up looking rubbish. I know they're younger cars than my W211 but surprising.
     
  12. Jrattan

    Jrattan Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    As you can see from the pics. Doing 4 headlights took longer than expected and hence the ‘final’ pics were in the dark.
     
  13. clk320x

    clk320x MB Club Veteran

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    Depends on how much uv exposure it’s had I think?
     
  14. DSM10000

    DSM10000 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    WD40 seems to be most efficacious for almost everything except for that for which it was developed :)
     
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  15. OP
    OP
    Alex225

    Alex225 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I did think that although my CLS63 despite being low mileage wasn’t garaged all the time but not sure on previous owners. I cover it when not in use so I suspect that helps.

    My other half’s CLS350 may have been but no since we bought it. It’s a facelift from 2009, not sure if that makes a difference. Either way I’m not complaining.

    UV is definitely the killer though and yet not for all headlights or brands.
     
  16. AltonAnt

    AltonAnt Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I wonder if it is caused by additives to certain plastics as a flame retardant.
    I solution was found using household or easily obtainable chemicals that reversed the discolouration in old computer and games console equipment and was termed Retr0bright.

    Retr0bright - Wikipedia

    Polishing away the top surface can only be done so many times.
     
  17. Petrol Pete

    Petrol Pete Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    And where and when the headlamp was made, I had an X reg Astra, one headlamp was cloudy as hell while the other was perfect. I knew they were original as my late father in law had the car from new and it stayed 'in the family' until I sold it less than 2 years ago.
     
  18. Jrattan

    Jrattan Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Definitely the case with paint hence why depth gauges are used.

    Here there is no “top” surface other than the plastic itself, which is very thick as you can imagine.
    You’re scuffing the plastic up then slowly bring it up refining all the micro scratches. The process arguably lasts longer than a detail so I don’t think there’s any issues of going through the plastic.
     
  19. Wolfie1

    Wolfie1 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Use a machine polisher with some cutting compound for a permanent fix fot the lenses
     
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  20. Sprint-Man

    Sprint-Man Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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