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Old 11-18-2004, 08:57 AM   #1
plunk10
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Default What causes headlight lenses to turn yellowish? (non-subaru)

I have a Nissan 200SX where one of the headlight assemblies had a cloudy yellowish tint to the lens. I've noticed that some older cars have this issue. Does anyone know what causes these lenses to look cloudy as they age?
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Old 11-18-2004, 09:00 AM   #2
dr_wheel
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Oxidation?
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Old 11-18-2004, 09:04 AM   #3
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Mosty of the time it's moisture that has gotten in the lens. It will first cause a white cloud, then over time to turn yellow.

Some cars are know for this, and require cleaning regularly, or if it has turned yellow, a replacement. It can be prevented by checking all the seals when the moisture is first seen.
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Old 11-18-2004, 09:16 AM   #4
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The plastic discolors over time from heat and UV exposure, in addition to moisture. There are some products that are specifically made to clean and renew yellowed clear plastic, I don't know the names offhand but I'm sure someone does.
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Old 11-18-2004, 09:19 AM   #5
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that makes sense. Its a 96 model that has never been garaged since I and the original owner have had it. Thats pretty sweet that there are products out there that can take care of the issue. I contemplated finding a used set of aftermarket clear transparent lenses, but the last thing I want to do is rice out my beater
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Old 11-18-2004, 09:23 AM   #6
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Like I said, oxidation.
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Old 11-18-2004, 09:27 AM   #7
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are you wanting to de-yellow your headlights? click here
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Old 11-18-2004, 09:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRex
are you wanting to de-yellow your headlights? click here
I've done this several times to plastic lenses (my escort and my gf's Legacy), and they've all turned out well.

My preffered method is to take my socks & shoes off, roll up my pant cuffs, and soak my feet in the bathtub while I wetsand the lenses... then follow up with a heatgun/hairdryer (gently) on the inside of the lenses to dry them.

If you use some 1000 grit between coats of clearcoat, you can build it up nicely. It will make your headlights sparkle better than new, and resist yellowing for longer.
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Old 11-18-2004, 09:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaverboy
I've done this several times to plastic lenses (my escort and my gf's Legacy), and they've all turned out well.

My preffered method is to take my socks & shoes off, roll up my pant cuffs, and soak my feet in the bathtub while I wetsand the lenses... then follow up with a heatgun/hairdryer (gently) on the inside of the lenses to dry them.

If you use some 1000 grit between coats of clearcoat, you can build it up nicely. It will make your headlights sparkle better than new, and resist yellowing for longer.
Do you always operate power tools while standing in a pool of water?
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Old 11-18-2004, 09:53 AM   #10
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urine usually will cause that
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Old 11-18-2004, 10:18 AM   #11
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I've heard that nail polish remover can clear up a set of yellow plastic headlights. Don't know how true that is.
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