The reason for dim halogen headlights? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
 
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#1 (permalink) Old 01-24-2011, 08:54 PM
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The reason for dim halogen headlights?

This is my first R-class, and my first car in a long time that did not have HID headlights from the factory. I have hated how dim the headlights are, especially compared to HID. I recently put Silverstar Ultras in my lows and highs, but the lows seemed to still be yellow/dim (high beams are bright and white, by comparison). I took at look and my lows, and thought that my low beam lenses looked dirty. I pulled the bulb, inserted a long cotton swab (which really took some work) and managed to rub the lens a little. The attached picture shows the result (towards the top of the lens). It's no wonder the low beams are so dim - they are filthy!

Now I gotta figure out how to clean the lenses...
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 03:15 PM
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HI, I had the same problem. I used some flexible air tubing with a cotton ball attached to the end with duct tape (very securely attached). I sprayed the cotton ball with Windex and carefully fed the tube into the headlight housing and came up behind the lens. It took a while but I was able to clean it. I had to use a couple of cotton balls because the first one was FILTHY. I don't understand how the back of the lens could have become so dirty. Front of the lens isn't dirty nor is the reflective part of the headlight housing. Could it have come from the factory like this???
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#3 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 11:23 AM
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I too have containment and a film inside my halogen headlight assembly. That is what I called it. I was told from 2 different MB stealerships that this is normal. I protested and asked how was it possible. Apparently the halogen assembly are not totally sealed. There are vents and allow heat/gases to dissipate, however, there lies the issue. If heat can be released - oil and grease from the engine bay and other containment can enter the headlight assembly interacting with the heat air inside the assembly therefore leaving the dirty film observed in the headlight.

There is really no way to clean the lenses. Except if you jerry rig a homemade cleaning tool.

If your are lucky to be under original warranty MB will replace the headlight assembly. If not your screwed.

I have not tried cleaning my headlight and will scourer the internet to find a cleaning tool that will be long, thin and strong and flexible enough to reach the inner head light surface.

Last edited by smxnyc; 02-01-2011 at 11:26 AM.
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#4 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by runbuh View Post
This is my first R-class, and my first car in a long time that did not have HID headlights from the factory. I have hated how dim the headlights are, especially compared to HID. I recently put Silverstar Ultras in my lows and highs, but the lows seemed to still be yellow/dim (high beams are bright and white, by comparison). I took at look and my lows, and thought that my low beam lenses looked dirty. I pulled the bulb, inserted a long cotton swab (which really took some work) and managed to rub the lens a little. The attached picture shows the result (towards the top of the lens). It's no wonder the low beams are so dim - they are filthy!

Now I gotta figure out how to clean the lenses...
Same issue on the OEM Bi-Xenon, I can see similar marks as you have but I haven't tried to clean them yet.

I'll check on my next visit to teh shop what the SA will say, it look strange, my older Audi with Bi-Xenon does not have the same issue...
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#5 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 05:49 AM
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When I took the car in to have my fog lights activated (I installed them myself), I asked about cleaning the lenses. The official reply was that the headlights are sealed beam units and cannot be cleaned. WHAT A LAUGH! First off - if you can replace just the bulb and not the whole headlight, then they aren't sealed beams. Second off, there is an L-shaped tube/vent coming out of the back of the unit.

I was able to get mine fairly clean using a coat hanger SECURELY wrapped on the end by a small piece of cloth moistened with Windex (duct tape was holding everything together). What made it easier was not trying to run the hanger through the opening of the bulb mount. There is actually a gap between the reflector bowl and the lens where you can work in the hanger. This cleaning made things better, but now I wonder just how dirty the reflector bowl is. The light coming out of my low beams is still much yellower/dimmer than the high beams - and they both use Silverstar Ultra's, which are pretty darn white.
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#6 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 07:14 AM
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The 2nd gen R-class if you have noticed has a engineered headlight assembly and I'm sure better access to the headlights. Hopefully, MB has a change of heart and offers a recall of the headlights, but I'm not holding my breath...
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#7 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 07:26 PM
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I hate my r350 halogen headlights too. I guess changing it to HID is the only way to go.
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