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D2 - Lights Headlights, xenons, foglights. Everything outside the car that glows

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Old 21st October 2023, 04:32 PM
HPsauce HPsauce is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Chilterns, almost over HS2!
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Default Quick clean of headlight front surface

One of my headlights (nearside) is noticeably yellow and cloudy compared to the other. I decided it was may be time to do something about it.
So I read all the various threads I could find on this and other Audi forums about polishing the headlights; all seemed quite lengthy and brutal.

Looking at the headlights it seemed as if the nearside had some sort of very thin somewhat sticky layer on top that had yellowed and degraded; I wondered if it had been coated at some time in the distant past (before my ownership) whereas the other had not or had even been replaced.

So I decided to start with a gentler approach and in the end set to with Brasso and Silvo! Both are VERY fine abrasives, Silvo the finest, just working by hand.
Amazingly it seemed to work in just a few minutes, all I could manage between showers today.
I did test it first on the outer (indicator) section first before moving onto the section in front of the main beams.

The errant unit is looking a lot clearer and brighter though still has signs of a coating that hasn't yet totally gone. So I'll go back another day and give it some more elbow grease.

It might be worth editing a summary of this into one of the relevant "stickies" which do describe a whole list of varying grit abrasives. I can't find an equivalent measure for Brasso/Silvo though. I also wondered if it was worth trying the stainless steel polish I use on the tailpipe as I assume that also is a mild abrasive.
2003 D2 FL S8. Irish Green Pearl/Beige. Solar sunroof, auto-dim mirrors, electric rear seat functions, ski hatch retrofit; extended leather. Aftermarket DVB-T, reversing camera and full XCarlink (Bluetooth etc.).
2016 Volvo V40 T5 Cross Country (4WD) with ALL the toys including adaptive cruise etc. etc. Osmium Grey with Blonde/Charcoal leather interior. Polestar performance "optimisation". (A much rarer model than a D2 S8 by the way!) Oh, and a brand new engine at just under 30,000 miles on the factory one!
Finally: gone, but not forgotten.....
1998 D2 PF S8. AgateGrey/Platinum. Every option (I think) except electric rear seats, tiptronic steering wheel, ski hatch, towbar & dimming door mirrors.
e.g. Cruise control, NavPlus/TV, Bose, GSM, Xenons, Solar roof, Parking sensors, Alcantara/leather everywhere of course. (internal dimming mirror added later)
1998 (very early) Ford Focus 1.8 Zetec; ABS/TCS, Heated screen/mirrors, Aircon, Auto-dim mirror, Leather, Trip computer, Cruise control, OEM Ford SatNav with CD changer.
And before that a lot of Rover 800s, a few oddities, a lovely Triumph Dolomite 1850HL with Overdrive and way back in my schooldays an Austin Seven aka Mini 850!

Last edited by HPsauce; 21st October 2023 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 21st October 2023, 09:09 PM
Ronin Ronin is offline
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Wales
Posts: 847

To do it properly you'd have to sand the clear coat off completely and then apply UV resistant clear coat again just like at the factory. I never understood why people Polish headlights, its like painting over mould.

Having said that my favourite lazy method is acetone vapour:
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