Why do headlight lens get dull? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
 
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#1 (permalink) Old 02-28-2008, 05:55 AM
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Why do headlight lens get dull?

Ok, although this problem is not limited to a merc, but I have noticed it more on mercs, since this is a Merc forum and I am talking about a Merc, can you experts tell me why the headlight lens on older mercs get dull? I mean is it dust or sand, but I have seen it on so many mercs and not on other older brands so i think its something else. for the price people pay for a new merc, this is a unacceptable problem.

I hate those misty lens and have walked away from otherwise nice used deals, i found mine with exceptionally clear lens, don't know if they were replaced by the previous owner or not as I bought mine from a used dealer but why do these lens get foggy and how much does it cost to replace them?

TIA

1998 E430 Sport w/ 94k miles, Brilliant Silver.
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Last edited by mildbrew; 02-28-2008 at 07:03 PM.
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#2 (permalink) Old 02-28-2008, 07:14 AM
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Over exposure to the elements. Ultraviolet rays, acid rain and everyday road grit, salt (sea or road) get together to dull the finish of plastic headlight assemblies. Regular cleaning and keeping the car garaged/covered when not in use goes along way towards keeping the lenses clear and bright.

As far as replacement, it's far less expensive to restore. I'll be doing just that on a GMC Jimmy I just picked up that has VERY cloudy lenses. I'll post some picks of the before and after when I'm done.
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#3 (permalink) Old 02-28-2008, 08:52 AM
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I just polished mine. Here's the thread with before/after images.

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w210...ht-lenses.html
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#4 (permalink) Old 02-28-2008, 09:47 AM
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The "wet sanding"

and re-polishing really does work. I did mine last summer, finishing with Meguiar's "PlastX". When done they looked great.

I have read on the Internet that Mercedes specified a polycarbonate material for the lenses, similar to the material used in make the lenses for optical eyeglasses. This material is strong, but does scratch rather easily.

Some of the "lens restoration" operators/detail guys use a clear coat sprayed on the lens after wet sanding/polishing. I am personally not in favor of that approach as the "clear" from a spray can is really pretty soft and would most likely begin to look bad after exposure to the elements for a period of time.

If the lenses begin to cloud once again after being wet sanded and polished, about 5 minutes with some PlastX has them looking great again. No big deal.

Good luck,

JR
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#5 (permalink) Old 02-28-2008, 10:04 AM
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Dull

do great with a polish per above.Your's are nice so keep them that way with a polish twice yearly with plasx by meguires and then a good wax and buff for protection.
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#6 (permalink) Old 02-28-2008, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by RichardM98 View Post
I just polished mine. Here's the thread with before/after images.

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w210...ht-lenses.html
That is quite a difference? thanks for sharing.

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#7 (permalink) Old 02-28-2008, 07:14 PM
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I was under the impression that our polycarbonate lenses were painted.
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