Headlamp lens clouded on INSIDE any ideas?

caravan

#1

I have a 96 Caravan, the headlight lens is clouded on the inside, I tried the procedures for buffing the outside of the lens, it fixed the outside but for some reason did nothing for the inside. Go figure. Any ideas for fixing this? It is letting less than half of the light through and I am having to drive with high beams on constantly and seeing less than I do with the low beams of other vehicles.


#2

is it etched, or does it have a fog buildup? You can find out by removing the bulb and shooting a hair dryer in there.


#3

It is not moisture, you can clearly see that is it a dry white residue, almost like a calcium deposit would look.


#4

The first Pic is the left lens, the second is the right, The bottom of the left is not so bad but the right is completely covered, the top of the right lens has a tiny bit that is still clear showing what the lens should look like.


#5

remove the light bulbs, drill a hole up through the light housing so any water can drain out, and squirt the hose inside to clean the inside of the lens off.

you may have to squirt in some cleaner (for windows) to help clean the inside since you cant scrub the inside easily, but is should help.

i had to do this to my 90 caravan, because they condensated inside, and woudl get foggy similiar to yours.


#6

i suspect that at some time your lights had moisture/water inside and this is the leftover scum from the water being in there.


#7

i am just guessing you live in the salt/snow belt? and these lights were clean at one point?

the ‘calcium deposits’ you mention sound suspiciously like road salt grime to me.


#8

Composite lenses have this thing going where they seem to become covered with some kind of deposits that cloud the lens. But it’s not road grime, not salt, and not dirt or anything else. It’s the effect of the sun’s rays on the lenses’ composition. If you really wanted to, you could say the lenses are sunburned. This happens because the proper washing/waxxing/protecting was not done to the lenses (or the car as a whole) over a long period of time.

The “sunburn” is practically permanent. There is one product made by Meguires called “Plast-X” that is somewhat capable of repairing the damage. But for the most part, the only way to attain a perfectly clear lens at this point is to replace the lenses with new ones.

You can verify that this is actually your problem by dousing the lenses in lots of water. They should look clear while they’re wet, and then the fogging should begin to reappear as they dry. If washing the lenses even with steam, bleach, degreaser, glass cleaner or anything other than “Plast-X” yeilds the same results after the lenses are rinsed, then this is definitely your problem.

-Matt


#9

“replace the lens with new ones”. Therein lies the problem.

These newer vehicle headlights are assemblies where you can’t replace the lens.

They couldn’t leave well enough alone could they? Sealed beams were the best and still are.

The drivers side headlight had water inside and fogged up quite a bit.

I removed it and held it upside-down while I shook out the water through the bulb entrance.

Think I could find where the water got IN? No way.

I used the wifes’ hairdryer for 45 minutes and the lens did NOT dry off completely.

The plastic around the bulb holder almost roasted so I quit using the dryer.
Replaced the headlight and the next day, right back fogged up again.

I might have to order a pair from a website where they were selling them for 167 bucks a pair plus shipping.

The GM dealer here wants $194 each. I DON’T THINK SO.