Headlight 'Glass' Cleaning results?

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Warrior
Joined: Tue 11 May, 2010 11:02
Posts: 402

  Z3 roadster 3.0i

Headlight 'Glass' Cleaning results?

Post by Warrior » Sat 04 Aug, 2018 23:03

Looking for advice regarding the expectations I should have for headlamp cleaning kits?

For some reason my nearside headlamp glass is becoming increasingly dull.

The drivers side whilst not pristine is perfectly acceptable for the age of the car but there's a marked difference between the two.

My concern is that if I attempt to clean the nearside glass what are the chances of me getting it to a similar condition as the other?

If I clean both can I expect remarkable results or a slight improvement?

Would I be better off buying replacements? (Apart from the cost! :D )

Boosh
Joined: Sun 30 Nov, 2014 22:40
Posts: 315

  Z3 roadster 1.9i

Re: Headlight 'Glass' Cleaning results?

Post by Boosh » Sat 04 Aug, 2018 23:19

Hi, depending on the condition, if it's not too far gone, a cheap solution might be to to polish your headlight with toothpaste on a rag. My headlights were quite good for their age, and turned out even better! I know some cleaning kits are available for possibly better (or at least faster) results, but it is worth giving toothpaste a try, is it?
Hope that helps,

Boosh.

John Wilson
Joined: Fri 12 Jun, 2009 13:11
Posts: 250

  Z3 roadster 2.0
Location: Diss

Re: Headlight 'Glass' Cleaning results?

Post by John Wilson » Sat 04 Aug, 2018 23:51

I did mine with wet and dry paper with various grades down to 2500, then finished with Plastx polish. I took the headlights off the car first and used a block to keep the surface flat. It worked really well but takes a nerve when starting as the surface becomes immediately opaque at first.

Bumpa
Joined: Fri 23 Jun, 2017 21:31
Posts: 42

  Z3 roadster 2.2i

Re: Headlight 'Glass' Cleaning results?

Post by Bumpa » Sun 05 Aug, 2018 09:51

If you Google "Cleaning opaque headlights" you will get loads of advice and Youtube videos. You can buy a kit of cleaning products from 3M with full instructions if you want.

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wonderloaf
Joined: Mon 02 Aug, 2010 21:55
Posts: 499

  Z3 roadster 2.2i
Location: Basingstoke

Re: Headlight 'Glass' Cleaning results?

Post by wonderloaf » Sun 05 Aug, 2018 11:11

I used the Autoglym headlight kit, uses a sanding process and took about 30 mins per side. Results were like new, well worth the money and enough to do the wife's car as well. Also good for getting scratches out of the hood window.
2001 Titan Silver 2.2 Sport
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Gazza
Site Admin
Joined: Tue 04 Oct, 2005 21:58
Posts: 9311

  M roadster S54
Location: East London/Essex

Re: Headlight 'Glass' Cleaning results?

Post by Gazza » Sun 05 Aug, 2018 13:17

Does it last ?

I’ve done the lights on my van a few times and they eventually fade again. In the end I bought new light units from eBay.
Gazza

"Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car, oversteer is when you hit the wall with the rear of the car. Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall and torque is how far you take the wall with you"

S54 M roadster Image, BMW Z1, BMW M3 CSL, Z4M Coupe
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Bumpa
Joined: Fri 23 Jun, 2017 21:31
Posts: 42

  Z3 roadster 2.2i

Re: Headlight 'Glass' Cleaning results?

Post by Bumpa » Sun 05 Aug, 2018 19:57

I was going to use the 3M kit on my recently purchased Z3's lights, but then discovered that the adjusters were all broken and the left dip beam pointed directly at the ground in front of the car. So I bought a pair of replacements made in China for a fraction of BMW price. They look great and seem to work well, with a good spread of controlled light. Pleased so far.

Warrior
Joined: Tue 11 May, 2010 11:02
Posts: 402

  Z3 roadster 3.0i

Re: Headlight 'Glass' Cleaning results?

Post by Warrior » Sun 05 Aug, 2018 22:58

Thanks all.

I've tried the toothpaste with some success but as would be expected the good one came up well, the bad one not so good.

I've a relative who works for BMW so will get a trade price for replacements before having a go with a cleaning kit. If anyone can mess a job like this up I can :)
:dunce: :D

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Z3crazy
Joined: Thu 04 May, 2017 14:37
Posts: 44

  Z3 roadster 1.9i
Location: Breda, The Netherlands

Re: Headlight 'Glass' Cleaning results?

Post by Z3crazy » Mon 06 Aug, 2018 09:45

Hi Guys,

My "other" line of work is doing guitar setups and repairs and I've been using Micro-Mesh pads for years to polish frets end remove haze from paintwork on instruments.

That's one application........... but cleaning fighter jet and helicopter canopys is another (you really want to see that incoming SAM or enemy aircraft).

https://micro-surface.com/products-by-a ... itary.html

My son-in-law to-be (if he's lucky) did his MX-5 lights and they look like new (from yellowish brown)

Easy to buy online and it goes down to 12000 in the regular grades

Dave
If it ain't broke, don't fix it
Z3 1.9 2000, Cosmos Schwartz

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