The headlights on my daughters '98 Ford Contour SE are yellowish. To get new ones would cost $650. Can’t I just replace the lenses or lens covers? Is it worth the money to buy new headlight assemblies?

The lens cannot be replaced by itself. You will have to replace the entire headlight assembly. Check at your local auto junkyard. You can most likely find a replacement unit there. Hopefully, with a less yellow lens.

Just checked Ebay, there is a pair available for $168 new.

The lenses can be “reconditioned.” You’re not going to get them to new but you can polish them and make a significant difference.

Go to an auto parts store & check out the products made for this. I typically just use a thing called Maguiars Plast-X. It works well enough and is just a paste-type polish.

More intensive polishing can be done with things like polishing compounds and very very fine sandpaper (grit measured in the thousands - wet sanding only).

BTW, anything you find in a junkyard will likely be just as bad or worse.

You might try THIS

Just an FYI - the owner’s manual for my RAV4 says to not wax the headlights because it will make them turn yellow. I don’t know if it is an issue for all cars, but it seems to me that unless they’re made of glass, the warning would apply.

Cigroller is right. Lights on my 01 Civic were yellowish as well. I wet-sanded them with 1000 grit paper (tape off the hood/fender/grill around the light first with some masking tape) and then with 2000 grit paper. Then finish off with the Plast-X and they’ll look brand new. It only took me about an hour to do them both and cost me about $15. After you’re done, polish with the Plast-X once or twice a year and they’ll stay clear.

Thanks for the info!