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E65 Headlight Cleaning (Updated with Pics)

23738 Views 32 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  roadfrog
I am new to this forum. I've got a 2003 735Li recently. I thought the headlights need some cleaning because it looks foggy inside. After many search of topics about cleaning the headlight. Seems there are only two options, either to go and get a new one or cut open the assembly, clean it, then glue it back.
Few days ago the right parking is gone and I have to remove the bumper and take it out to replace it. Just as I put it back and then I might have an idea. What if I remove the high beam bulb and squeeze a small piece of cloth and put a stick in try to clean inside bit by bit. As a result I can clean the high beam area and it do make difference but can't reach to the low beam. Just when I get frustrated, then I thought what if I stitch that cloth to form a small pocket and put a strong magnet in it then seal it. Squeeze it in and then use another magnet to guide the cloth cleaning from outside! I think it will work. And I am going to do it in a few days time. Once finished I will post the result and pictures as well.
I am not a native speaker of English and am sorry for the poor writing!

Update:
So at last, I did it in the car park. For me its a 3hrs DIY job. I can tell you guys you will be amazed by the result. Without spending much but a few dollars(HKD) of the lint-free cloth. In my own experience, there is no way you can pull the headlight out without remove the bumper! Once you find out all the hidden screws its very easy to take it out. I also replace the holder for the side of the bumper(51118223247), it gets brittle after all the years.
I think this DIY not only apply to BMW models(except E46 which the plastic cover id detachable), but all vehicle with plastic headlight cover. I took some pictures while DIYing, hope you guys find it useful!

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Ive done it with the magnet not 100% perfect but way better then used to be
Are you sure your headlights lens arent faded? You may not need to preplace or remove your headlights.
Have you tried polishing the lens
Work your way with a some water and corse sandpaper and then move up with a finer and finer sandpaper.
Then use a polish and then sealer.

Look up headlight polishing on youtube.

Pretty much any hot climate with sunlight beating down all year will cause the headlight lens to fade.
Pretty common here.

I have to polish my headlights at least once a year
Can u show me some photos of your headlamp after it done? I got a foggy headlamp too. Thank u.
I had the same issue and initially Meguiars Plast-X or whatever it was, but it didn't work that well for me. I then used the 3M Headlight Restoration Kit and it work a whole lot better. I attached a photo of how it turned out but I did not take a before photo to compare the 2. Hope it works as well for you.

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Headlamp Automotive lighting


Sent from my EVO using Bimmer App
How much u paid for the 3M restoration kit? Did u do the inside of the lamp?
Its like 20-25$
How much u paid for the 3M restoration kit? Did u do the inside of the lamp?
Pay the hired help to do it for you please
We're seven series owners.......

well most of us
I used a magnet covered in a lint-free cloth. Worked to perfection!
Like CCCP said its no more than $25 but it works well. I only did the outside of my headlight. It had a good deal of pits in it and was very yellow on the side and top part of the headlight. You can do it yourself, its very simple. Just follow the instructions.

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Dont go crazy with 3m stuff u can easily burn the plastic
Like CCCP said its no more than $25 but it works well. I only did the outside of my headlight. It had a good deal of pits in it and was very yellow on the side and top part of the headlight. You can do it yourself, its very simple. Just follow the instructions.

Sent from my EVO using Bimmer App
CJ,
Where did you get a magnet that was small enough to fit thru the opening of the high beam bulb? I'm assuming that's the entry point..
And what cleaning solution did you use on the lint free cloth?
I used a magnet covered in a lint-free cloth. Worked to perfection!
I just did mine with the 3M kit. Came out OK. I think I was the problem because I used a cordless drill motor. As the battery wears down, the RPM's slow. It states in instruction that you need 1200-1600 RPM's. Started with my left headlight and it came out better. 3M kit doesn't include enough sanding disk. I'll buy another kit just for the sanding disk. I think done proper, you can get them as close to new as possible. My inside lenses are clear.
thats my next project as my driver side headlight looks cloudy from inside...used plastic x headlight restorer on outside...cleaned it but its from inside..cheap plastic lights:mad:
I went to a local hobby shop and purchased 2 small powerful magnets. I wrapped both in lint-free cloth, tied a string to one, soaked it it Windex, took a straightened out coat hanger, put the magnet on the end and inserted it in the headlight assembly until the magnet on the outside caught it, and started wiping. VERY easy to do and the results are amazing! My only regret is I did not take before and after pics...
CJ,
Where did you get a magnet that was small enough to fit thru the opening of the high beam bulb? I'm assuming that's the entry point..
And what cleaning solution did you use on the lint free cloth?
That's a McGyver right there!
I went to a local hobby shop and purchased 2 small powerful magnets. I wrapped both in lint-free cloth, tied a string to one, soaked it it Windex, took a straightened out coat hanger, put the magnet on the end and inserted it in the headlight assembly until the magnet on the outside caught it, and started wiping. VERY easy to do and the results are amazing! My only regret is I did not take before and after pics...
I know someone on here took the headlight assembly completely apart to clean them. Looked great. I still like the McGyver way...
Your installing it through the high beam hole?? any dissasembly required>?
No disassembly required. Just remove the halogen bulb and go for it!
+1
no disassembly required. Just remove the halogen bulb and go for it!
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