Pontiac Solstice Forum banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have any ideas how to get the foggy look out of these covers? Tail light covers are fine but for some reason the front ones look they are a product of avid rain.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,547 Posts
Plastic headlights break down from exposure to UV light, and it is common with any car built in the last 25 years.
The surface can be ground and polished, and there are kits available to do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,948 Posts
I think I recall someone using a polish kit like you'd use for plexiglass small aircraft canopies. It is a range of increasingly fine sandpapers that takes some time to use but usually works pretty well. I've used it on old plexi race car screens I didn't want to replace.

Rob is right - there is probably a service that will do this for you if you don't want to do it yourself. Look at the detailing businesses.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,518 Posts
If you don't want to spring for a kit, you can use any sort of metal polish such as brasso. You can also go on Ebay or Amazon and buy a small jar of cerium oxide (jewellers polish) that will last you the rest of your life. No matter what you buy, there three things to remember. They all work, they all require patience and elbow grease, and they all last about a year.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,547 Posts
I agree that if you already have most of what you need, and know what else you have to get, the kit is unnecessary.

If you don't, the kit gives you most everything you need. It is up to you whether the convenience is necessary and worth the extra cost.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Plastic headlights break down from exposure to UV light, and it is common with any car built in the last 25 years.
The surface can be ground and polished, and there are kits available to do it.
Thanks. I am going to try the buffing and clear coat solution first. I see where there are about 8 registered members in here with a combined wealth of knowledge about cars that would rival a google search...my hat is off to all of you.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,396 Posts
The fogging is a result of UV damage to the plastic material covering the headlights. You can remove it using any process you like. The surface needs to be physically removed. I have seen people use toothpaste. :)
I have done it using a commercial kit which includes a tool that mounts in your drill and has progressively finer polishing material.

once you have returned the surface to high visibility, you will need to treat the it with UV protectant. From the manufacturer they are coated with protectant but over time it breaks down thus the fogging. There are various treatments you can purchase. I have used a rattle can UV clear protectant with some success.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
The fogging is a result of UV damage to the plastic material covering the headlights. You can remove it using any process you like. The surface needs to be physically removed. I have seen people use toothpaste. :)
I have done it using a commercial kit which includes a tool that mounts in your drill and has progressively finer polishing material.

once you have returned the surface to high visibility, you will need to treat the it with UV protectant. From the manufacturer they are coated with protectant but over time it breaks down thus the fogging. There are various treatments you can purchase. I have used a rattle can UV clear protectant with some success.
Thank you Sir. I will check Auto Zone to see if they have his kit. Toothpaste, really...lol😁
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,077 Posts
Gonna try your solution...got 6 replies to my question so this must be a hot item...lol. I'll let you know how I make out.
use 1500/2000 wet sandpaper to remove the oxidation and/or old coating (there usually is a protective coating from the OEM) and then use a VERY Good quality clear coat paint to finish. unless you have the tools/skills, i suggest you have an automotive painter spray the clear coat. the crap you get at an auto parts store in a spray can is mainly that, CRAP. and those do-it-yourself kits are not much better...

Bill
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,396 Posts
If you have the money, paying someone to do it for you is fine. I have used the kits several times and they work fine if used properly. As to spray can paint, my experience has been that there are a lot of different levels of quality in spray cans and its really all about preparation. No solution will last forever as evidenced by the fact that the factory protection fails over time. I have seen it last for several years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
use 1500/2000 wet sandpaper to remove the oxidation and/or old coating (there usually is a protective coating from the OEM) and then use a VERY Good quality clear coat paint to finish. unless you have the tools/skills, i suggest you have an automotive painter spray the clear coat. the crap you get at an auto parts store in a spray can is mainly that, CRAP. and those do-it-yourself kits are not much better...

Bill
use 1500/2000 wet sandpaper to remove the oxidation and/or old coating (there usually is a protective coating from the OEM) and then use a VERY Good quality clear coat paint to finish. unless you have the tools/skills, i suggest you have an automotive painter spray the clear coat. the crap you get at an auto parts store in a spray can is mainly that, CRAP. and those do-it-yourself kits are not much better...

Bill
Bill: Thanks for this. Guess it's hotter down where you are than up here in NC. I will try this too. Seems like the responses are all over the map...lots of interest but conflicting views. Too bad the plexiglas headlamp covers do not simply come off so I could take them to an auto painter and let him handle it...:p...Mike
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,518 Posts
Bill: Thanks for this. Guess it's hotter down where you are than up here in NC. I will try this too. Seems like the responses are all over the map...lots of interest but conflicting views. Too bad the plexiglas headlamp covers do not simply come off so I could take them to an auto painter and let him handle it...:p...Mike
The headlamp assembly does come out. very easily. If you do the job yourself, I would recommend removal to avoid damaging your paint.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
The headlamp assembly does come out. very easily. If you do the job yourself, I would recommend removal to avoid damaging your paint.
I was joking when I said too bad the covers do not come out. Little did I think they could. That changes everything as that is definitely what I will do. Now I don't have to worry about harming the finish...and I have lots of toothpaste and elbow grease. Thank you...thank you...thank you. We had tstorms just a while ago and what with the rain we got from the tropical storm our well stream should be pretty full. Stay safe and stay well during this Covod-19 time as I think it will be with us until at least late 2021.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,077 Posts
I was joking when I said too bad the covers do not come out. Little did I think they could. That changes everything as that is definitely what I will do. Now I don't have to worry about harming the finish...and I have lots of toothpaste and elbow grease. Thank you...thank you...thank you. We had tstorms just a while ago and what with the rain we got from the tropical storm our well stream should be pretty full. Stay safe and stay well during this Covod-19 time as I think it will be with us until at least late 2021.

even if you use toothpaste (which will work), use a buffer wheel to make it easier. AND, remove the entire headlight assembly from the hood before doing anything...

you don't have to clear coat the cleaned-up headlight, but it will make it last a LOT longer...

Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
even if you use toothpaste (which will work), use a buffer wheel to make it easier. AND, remove the entire headlight assembly from the hood before doing anything...

you don't have to clear coat the cleaned-up headlight, but it will make it last a LOT longer...

Bill
Thanks Bill...just waiting now for two dry days so I can do this as we have had rain every day here from the recent storm and after. Don't want to get caught in the rain as I have no garage. Also have to get a buffer attachment for my variable speed cordless drill. Stay tuned for the results...Mike
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top