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Old 04-21-2013, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,724 posts, read 21,268,734 times
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Just wondering. I've got a 2000 F250 that I bought new. It's sat outside now for nearly 13 years. It's white and the finish still looks good, so I've never bothered to wax it. (Yeah, I know I should, but if it still looks shiny when washed, what the heck.) My question is about the headlamps. They appear dull. Does this reduce the night visibility? Anyone know for sure? If so, should I just wax them?

Sorry for the dumb question. I've always waxed my cars regularly, usually garaged them, and never kept any vehicle quite this long, so this problem(?) has never come up before.
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:26 PM
 
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The sanded WY roads really did a number on my wifes Jetta over the ~80k miles we drove while living back there. Her brother is a bodywork/paint guy and when we had him fix all the rock dings and paint chips on the front bumper and leading edge of the hood he also took out the headlights and gave them a good sanding (polish), then sprayed them with clear. *MUCH* improved light output from the hazy white they were before. Made the car look lots better too...

I'm afraid wax isn't going to do anything if they're already dull ~ though if you want to keep that paint on the truck, some paint sealant will help (think of it as sunscreen for paint ~ one application will last ~6 months and it's a spray on, wipe off deal). To restore the headlights you'll need to sand and coat them again. Skip the "kits", it's just marked up sandpaper. If you're not interested in DIY, ask a local bodyshop what they'll charge (both if you drive in-out and if you just bring them the headlights separate) ~ I think my Brother-in-Law said he charges $60 to do headlights.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:14 PM
 
Location: New Haven, CT
1,030 posts, read 4,284,897 times
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I would just look for new headlight assemblies

refinishing them works, but in most cases, it will cost only a little bit more for brand new lights.

Light output will be multiplied once they are refinished/replaced.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:23 PM
 
Location: La Jolla, CA
7,284 posts, read 16,714,844 times
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It does hurt night visibility substantially.

You can purchase headlight restoration kits at the auto parts store. The wax idea is a good one, but you need some more heavy abrasives to cut through the oxidation on the headlights. I have successfully restored Lexan windows and windscreens on boats, using rubbing compound, then polishing compound, then wax. It leaves minor swirl marks, but not bad. Very fine wet sanding works well too, with finer compound applied after sanding.

The replacement idea is a great one, by the way. You can definitely restore your headlamps so that they look good and work well, but you can buy new ones for common cars, for a very cheap price. Even the cheapest aftermarket ones aren't that bad, and they'll probably last years before oxidizing again. Plus the older headlamps often yellow. The plastic is actually yellowed, not just the surface. You can't ever polish that out. New lamps have nice clear plastic, obviously.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:33 PM
 
545 posts, read 1,488,204 times
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+1 on the refinishing kit. It worked really well for me. Replacing the headlight assemblies wasn't an option for me at over $800 for each side ('01 BMW with factory xenons). Mine were starting to yellow and were hazy across the whole lens. I used the 3M kit from Amazon for $15. No complaints. It looks much better and it wasn't hard to do at all. Most importantly, the light output is much improved. It was easier for me to remove the entire headlight assembly than to try and do it on the car.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:46 PM
 
1,290 posts, read 2,572,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoNewk View Post
Just wondering. I've got a 2000 F250 that I bought new. It's sat outside now for nearly 13 years. It's white and the finish still looks good, so I've never bothered to wax it. (Yeah, I know I should, but if it still looks shiny when washed, what the heck.) My question is about the headlamps. They appear dull. Does this reduce the night visibility? Anyone know for sure? If so, should I just wax them?

Sorry for the dumb question. I've always waxed my cars regularly, usually garaged them, and never kept any vehicle quite this long, so this problem(?) has never come up before.
Less than $22 a piece will get you new headlamps from RockAuto Parts Catalog

They are TYC, which is a major aftermarket manufacturer. I put two new one in my car for less than 30 bucks each. I've done the polishing thing, but never will again. Check em out man.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:34 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,724 posts, read 21,268,734 times
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Thanks guys. I will do something. I might just try the sanding/buffing/waxing route on one first, since I'm sure I've got all the stuff I'd need in the garage left over from a VW Bug restoration done several years ago. If that doesn't work I'll order a new pair.

I'd not really noticed them until last fall when I backed into a post and crunched a taillight. The new one sure was purdy compared to the old one! LOL Yeah, the headlights are pretty dull -- one step away from milk glass.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:11 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,554 posts, read 87,128,165 times
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You can do them in five minutes with white tooth paste.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,954 posts, read 20,709,430 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
You can do them in five minutes with white tooth paste.
Yep, there is ultra fine pumice in toothpaste to clean your teeth.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,724 posts, read 21,268,734 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
You can do them in five minutes with white tooth paste.
I'll try it... when I can get to the truck. We must have gotten another foot of snow last night!
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