Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Cloudy Headlights?

My wife's TrailBlazer has been developing the automotive equivalent of cataracts: foggy front plastic that diffuses the light so badly as to make illumination at night poor and broadly directed.  Like human cataracts, this is a UV related issue.  I wish I had taken the before picture, but after MARS fixed them, they were like a new car.  She reports that her headlights are now so bright she had to make sure these weren't high beams.  Jay Van Houten, another ex-HP guy, did this for $60, and it was worth every penny.

I have used one of the DIY kits for this with less than impressive results.  Rotary tools make a big difference.


  1. There are many different kits on the market to refresh the surface of plastic headlite lenses. From $10 to $25. I think some are chemical, but most are buffing compounds with two different grits to polish it. Expect to have to redo this at least every other year, if not every year.
    I suspect that the plastic itself is degrading over time, which is why it doesn't last as long after the first application as it took before it needed it done initially. I've done a couple, and there is always enough left to do it at least once more.
    It helps to cover the surrounding paint and plastic edges with masking tape, to protect them while buffing. Make sure to clean the lens first!

  2. I've used one of those kits with limited success.