How to fix headlight lenses... [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

: How to fix headlight lenses...

10-17-2004, 10:45 AM
They are in terrible shape. They lost their original shine over the years and they look terible.
Besides buying the new one is there any other way to fix them, maybe polishing or something like that.

Alex Baumann
10-17-2004, 11:06 AM
Try one of these

Meguiar's PlastX

This one has diminishing abbresives in it, so it's a powerful tool on seriously neglected/oxidized plastic

Novus / NuLife / Renew

10-18-2004, 12:40 AM
Wet sand with 800 then 1200 grit sandpaper, then polish with one of the above (or possibly even toothpaste; I actually used a metal polish).

10-18-2004, 07:28 AM
~One mans opinion / observations~

Removing Oxidation from Vehicle headlights, Brake lights (polycarbonate)
Most vehicles now have a protective, transparent, plastic lens covering the headlights to protect expensive lamps (headlight assemblies range from 500-$700+) from flying stones and road debris. They discolour over time, becoming opaque and cloudy, these lenses can severely restrict the amount of light reaching the road.

This clouding is caused by accumulated exposure to ultraviolet light. If you live in a southern state, this discoloration can become noticeable in as little as two-years

Use a solvent type cleaner (Klasse All-In-One) if this does not remove the oxidation use a plastic polish Meguiar’s PlastX or Renovo Plastic Cleaner
Plastic Cleaners can be used to clean and condition Perspex as well as flexible plastic but is not suitable for use on glass.
Prior to application of a plastic polish ensure that the window is clean and free from dust particles by washing with a soft cloth and warm water.
It is not advisable to use cleaning detergents on plastic windows.
Shake the bottle thoroughly. Plastic polish can be hand or machine applied
Using a random orbital buffer with a 3.5-inch backing plate and a 4-inch (LC White) polishing pad or a terry cloth applicator

Place a small dab (about ˝-inch) of plastic polish on the foam pad or applicator.
Place the pad on the lens surface and turn on the machine (speed #4)
Polish the lens repeatedly in a left-to-right and an up and down pattern.
Continue polishing until all the polish is gone
Wipe the lens with a damp Microfiber towel
Inspect the lens, repeat the polishing process if necessary
Plastic polish will not remove clarity defects that are within the plastic but it will remove external/surface scratching and oxidation (yellowing)

~Hope this helps~

Knowledge unshared is experience wasted
justadumbarchitect / so I question everything/ Jon

10-18-2004, 08:10 AM
On the e46, I believe the plastic headlight covers are available separately for a resonable price.

10-21-2004, 03:16 PM
I used Renovo on a '92 Camry with very cloudy lenses (plastic). It worked great. I bought it as part of a kit online.

10-22-2004, 08:42 PM
I used Renovo on a '92 Camry with very cloudy lenses (plastic). It worked great. I bought it as part of a kit online.

I have not yet tried Megs PlastX but I have used their #10, and #17, with great results. I use Plexus, every other week as part of regular cleaning and that keeps them clear.

Plexus makes you plastic over you gauges disapear. It is touted as the product used for the canopy of the stealth planes.

Here is a picture of a convertible top ('90 Miata) before and after using #10 and #17 only.