Yellowed and frosted plastic headlight covers

Have you all noticed the number of cars in a parking lot that have damaged (yellowed or frosted)headlamp covers? It seems at least 20% around here have serious problems.

It appears many owners are not maintaining the covers and are driving with compromised plastic covers. They can no longer see as they should at night and may be reducing visibility of oncoming drivers and are especially bad in fog conditions.

Maybe it is time to get rid of the poorly functional lights and go back to glass (sealed beam) headlamps.

Have you looked at your car’s headlamps? Are they frosted? Are you going to replace or polish the damaged headlamps?

What do you think other’s should do?

I was surprised how cheap replacements are for some cars (like $40 each in some cases), so my first step would be to find replacements, instead of polishing, which would be a temporary fix. If the replacements were too expensive, then I’d polish, and put a protective film over it.

I understand your preference for sealed beams, but that’s not gonna happen, seems to me.

I had this problem. I would polish them, the chemical is not expensive and it works. You don’t know how long it will take for the yellowing to come back. It certainly first appears after years. Now, in my case it turned out a lot of the problem was on the inside–inaccessible. I had to buy new assemblies–and it was a lot of money for my Tahoe, like $180.

I’ve had great success polishing headlights with poplishing compound and a drill mounted polishing pad. I use plenty of compound with plenty of water. Sponge polishing pads are best.

I’ve read here that waxing the restored lenses after extends the life of the lenses against this deterioration. I haven’t tried it yet, but I plan to.

My CRX has glass headlights. My MR2 has sealed beam. My TL has plastic, but it’s too new to have developed any hazing.

My SO’s intrepid, however, is another story. It has major cataracts. Once things calm down a little on my calendar, I plan to spend a few hours of quality time wet sanding and polishing her headlights. (Go ahead and snicker. I know you will.)

I personally like my CRX’s approach the best. It’s not sealed-beam, so they were free to make the light look however they wanted rather than having to design around existing sealed beam bulbs, but the front is glass, so I won’t have to deal with the hazing that the newer plastic units get.

Polish the suckers. There are kits available today that include everything but the drill motor.

Hey! I just got an idea! Use the red light cameras to see how far the light is projected on the road and send a public service reminder for those with dim bulbs!