Yellowing headlights

McDonald

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One of my elderly neighbours has a elderly A class (she thinks she's had it 18 yrs). I cleaned it for her a couple of days ago and noticed the headlights were very yellow. I remember reading that someone had brought their headlights back to clear condition and wonder if it's a job I could do. I can't find the post, so any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

Gazwould

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Depends on how bad , Meguires PlastRX or opposite end of the scale by starting with 600 grade .
 

Blobcat

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Plenty of kits available @RhodieBill has done a few
 

LostKiwi

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Or to DIY....
1500 wet and dry, 2500 wet and dry, 3000 wet and dry, brasso and wax of your choice with a bit of elbow grease.
If they're really bad start with 600 wet and dry.
 
OP
McDonald

McDonald

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Thanks All. Very helpful info.
 

AMGeed

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Once polished, they will need a clearcoat sprayed on the lens or the UV will just make them deteriorate again.
Meguiars Headlight cleaning kit comes with the polish and a small spray can of clearcoat to do the job.
https://www.halfords.com/motoring/c...-2-step-headlight-restoration-kit-731707.html
Using varying grades of wet & dry and elbowgrease is a lot cheaper.

I masked the lights on my W211 and used a drill with a buffing pad and the polish to do the job.
They won't look great until sprayed with clearcoat.
 

mioba

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DIY as lostKiwiw says.

Done mine on the w220 about years ago, look good as new.

3 sheets of wet and dry and a can of clear coat is all you need.

Have a hose handy to keep wet as your rub away, start from course to fine, you will see the yellow pour off.

Finish with a spray of UV resistant clearcoat as they will look horribly cloudy otherwise without.
 

LostKiwi

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DIY as lostKiwiw says.

Done mine on the w220 about years ago, look good as new.

3 sheets of wet and dry and a can of clear coat is all you need.

Have a hose handy to keep wet as your rub away, start from course to fine, you will see the yellow pour off.

Finish with a spray of UV resistant clearcoat as they will look horribly cloudy otherwise without.
Disagree on the clear coat. My 210 was done three years ago and whilst they could do with another top up they were never cloudy and were never clear coated. Just plenty of brasso to polish then SRP and wax on every wash.
 

Rappey69

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I watched a guy do a 4x4 he was selling. lenses were a bit misty. He use the Meguiars kit along with a little polisher machine..
Just minutes later it looked like it had brand new lenses !
 

AnthonyUK

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You can polish them until the lens is 1mm thick if you like, but the clearcoat gives the finishing touch and improves the look 100% IMHO.

I would have thought the clue would be in the name and with correctly polished lenses, which really don’t need much of the surface removing, look no different with or without the UV clearcoat.
If you have have to put anything on them to make them clear then they are still crazed. I’ve seen people say WD40 improves them too :)
 

Rappey69

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If the lenses have lasted how many years without clearcoat then clearcoat sounds more like snake oil ?
 

LostKiwi

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If the lenses have lasted how many years without clearcoat then clearcoat sounds more like snake oil ?
They have a clear coat applied at the factory. It's a pain to remove first time you do them.
 

mioba

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Not surr how one can say the UV proof clearcoat is a snake oil.
The UV light is what causes the yellowing.
Thus the clear-coat is a protective measure.
 

Rappey69

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They have a clear coat applied at the factory. It's a pain to remove first time you do them.
Didnt know that. If it has a coat then why does it not visibly flake off over time or is it like when waxing, its there but you cant see it vanishing?
 

LostKiwi

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Didnt know that. If it has a coat then why does it not visibly flake off over time or is it like when waxing, its there but you cant see it vanishing?
It's quite soft so doesn't flake. Clogs sandpaper quite badly when removing it.
 

Adamki83

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One of my elderly neighbours has a elderly A class (she thinks she's had it 18 yrs). I cleaned it for her a couple of days ago and noticed the headlights were very yellow. I remember reading that someone had brought their headlights back to clear condition and wonder if it's a job I could do. I can't find the post, so any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
Late reply but I had the same issue on my w211. Like what @LostKiwi said start with some 600 like what I had too then work you’re way up in grit levels to 3000 then polish them up a bit made a huge difference to mine they’re not perfectly clear but they clear 90% of the yellowing.
But you do have to scrub really had and spend a good solid couple minutes per grit per headlight, but keep the paper wet!
 


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