Cadillac Owners Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
2001 cadillac sts
Joined
·
285 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Can anybody give me advice on how to clear up my foggy headlamp covers, without buying new ones for 400$ a peice? There are tiny heat cracks all over them, I have a 2001 STS with HID's on all the time. People around here are trying to get me to pay $80-$100 for some treatment.....what works?
 

·
Registered
Sedan de Ville, CTS
Joined
·
4,764 Posts
I don't know about the treatment. Keep watching ebay. Occasionally, you will find some real bargains. I just bought a 17" CTS polished alum rim for $50 + $20 shipping. Typically sell on ebay for $250 or more. Just need to keep on looking.

I have always wondered how long the headlight treatment lasts. I personally am suspicious about the treatment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
198 Posts
As a last ditch effort and one thing that will help for a while...

Take them off and wash the face very very well with dishwashing soap and water. Then run water on them until no soap film is left.

Dry them such that no spots show, then take a can of clear paint (well shaken) and put several thin coats on the face. (try to support the headlights such that the face is pointing stright up to keep the paint from running or puddling) Keep the coats lite and you'll be supprised at how clear they look afterwards.

I recently did this to the fogs on my 01 eldo and they look brand new!

Rich
 

·
Registered
1993 ETC, in Windsor, Ont.
Joined
·
301 Posts
Sorry to poo poo the idea, but while that sounds like a good fix, The clear won't last long, and will quickly yellow with the heat. You will then have to replace the lenses because they're all chipped and yellow.
The best option is to use a very fine polishing compound (for paint) on the surface. Follow that by a plastic polishing compound (like Plast-X) with a cloth buffing wheel. You won't get anywhere NEAR the results if you attempt it by hand, the fabric wheel works wonders. You can do the first step by hand if you want though.
Good luck!
 

·
Administrator
2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
Joined
·
69,052 Posts
:rolleyes: Obviously no one read your post......."HID's on all the time.......". Welcome to the world of polycarbonate lenses, UV, and high temperatures. Combined with road abrasion, UV from the sun and the HID arc, it's a wonder your lenses last 6 months. Any lacquer or clearcoat you install will be softer than the OEM lens, so that's a short-term cobble. Meguiar's PlastX might help for a while, but the damage (cracks) is done, so you're looking at complete replacement. Any guesses as to the actual temperature in the hi-low lens area with HID capsules?
 

·
Premium Member
2006 STS V8 AWD, '95 Ford Ranger
Joined
·
28,969 Posts
Choose any product carefully that you intend to apply to polycarbonate. This stuff is extremely sensitive to solvents in paints and cleaning materials. I've seen polycarbonate crash helmets break in half from being dropped after a fancy paint job. The tiny cracks you describe are called crazing and are a sure sign of impending failure.
 

·
Registered
2001 cadillac sts
Joined
·
285 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
WOW! Thanks everyone...I will try the polishing with a dremmel and plast-x. Hopefilly that works a little bit, while Im looking om E-bay for some reasonable priced replacements.
 

·
Registered
02 STS
Joined
·
1,262 Posts
WOW! Thanks everyone...I will try the polishing with a dremmel and plast-x. Hopefilly that works a little bit, while Im looking om E-bay for some reasonable priced replacements.
No! Do a search... This too is a common problem with an easy fix...

Plast-x (or mothers mag wheel polish) are the right products (I've personally had success with both)... But No to the power tools... if you search this you will find several unhappy customers who went at this way to aggressively. You want to do this by hand and really slow and carefully...

If they are pitted you will what to have at them with some 1000 (or used up 600 grit) followed by 2000 grit sand paper... but again, as above, heat will cause the plastic to fog again or flake off in chunks... if you need to sand them... Lots of water... go slow... take your time... DO NOT push hard and DO NOT use power tools for the sanding OR the polishing... If you are good you can use the dremel... But it is too risky IMO
 

·
Administrator
2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
Joined
·
69,052 Posts
:confused: Ur7x.....Read his post again. He has heat cracks (checking or crazing) in the polycarbonate lens cover. You can't fill them in and you can't polish them out. I'd guess that if you looked at the lens on an angle in the sunlight, you would see many fine, reflective microcracks in the lens. Just like an old acrylic bar glass. Polishes will help, Meguiar's is fine on a low speed drill foam pad, but it's a temporary fix. HID's are HOT, and any "plastic" will last only so long. You oughtta see the canopy on a F-14 after six months in the desert.......
 

·
Premium Member
2006 STS V8 AWD, '95 Ford Ranger
Joined
·
28,969 Posts
As strange as it may seem, moisture proof padded covers really raise hell with plastic lenses and windshields. They hold moisture in contact with the plastic which absorbs it and speeds the crazing process.
 

·
Super Moderator
White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
Joined
·
86,969 Posts
Use a dremel and you'll likely melt the lens. 1000, then 1500 and then 2000 grit wet sand paper should clean them up nicely (except for the cracks of coarse).
 

·
Registered
1999 Black and Tan STS
Joined
·
753 Posts
Today I spent 4.5 hours with clay bar and 2 coats of wax on my black STS, looks awesome after 7 years of my abuse. While it looked good, the lights lacked any luster so I took out the Mothers Aluminum wheel polish and went to work.. by hand. Rubbed it in with palm of my hand to the point it hurt and heated up. Two coats of wax and added 5 years youth to the lenses! I am pretty happy and I seemed to swear tonight I could see better! LOL
I even did only one first and stared at it from all angles and the results were clear..
 

·
Registered
2001 cadillac sts
Joined
·
285 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Dooman, do clay bats come with instructions? I need that on my car, but Ive always been to scared to try it myself. Ive had the car highspped buffed, and it looks great...but does have some road grime you can still feel.
 

·
Registered
1999 Black and Tan STS
Joined
·
753 Posts
Bought a Meguires kit that came with 2 clay bars, detailing spray (lubricant) and a wax for under $20. I even did my whole car with the trunk and hood done twice with the first bar, never opened the second one. Worth every cent and minute I put in to it. I can not believe how clear my reflection was in the paint and can not find a single issue that I may have caused, seemed foolproof!:bouncy:
 

·
Registered
White Diamond 2001 STS
Joined
·
1,317 Posts
The clay bars are easy to use and provide good results, assuming your car had a lot of junk adhered to the paint. The first time I did it on my '97 Seville, the results were amazing. Next time (a year later), I got almost nothing off.

Regarding cleaning the headlights, I've looked into this a lot recently, as I need to do mine as well. Mine aren't really cloudy, but they're severely crazed in some areas. From what I've read, the polishing may or may not get the check marks out. The deeper ones will persist, but basically, by sanding and polishing, you are trying to remove the outer layer of plastic that has become damaged. Sort of like sanding a bad finish off a piece of wood. You obviously don't want to take a lot of material off, but there are kits out there (that aren't that expensive) that come with a 2 or 3 step process, complete with the chemicals, abrasives, and sometimes even includes the proper grits of abrasive paper.

Various places on the Internet have referenced Janvil's headlight restore system: http://www.janvil.com/headlight_restore.htm

I assume their 2 oz. kit ($13.25) is enough for one pair of light lenses. I have not tried anything yet...I've yet to check my local auto retailers like Autozone or Pep Boys.
 

·
Registered
Cadillac
Joined
·
74 Posts
this is good stuff...a lot of ideas floating around and im going to try some of the proven ones this weekend...thanks for sharing your experiences..
 

·
Registered
1992 STS / 2005 MB G500 / 2003 STS / 2006 XLR-V
Joined
·
11,694 Posts
Submariner is correct. What happens to the Seville lenses is DIFFERENT than what happens to the YELLOWING lenses here in Florida. The Seville lenses DO actually develop thousands of tiny "star" pattern cracks which make them LOOK hazy. I dont think the treatments available to clear haze will correct this problem. There is a 19.99 product at Autozone that MAY help you to shine them up a LITTLE bit *AND* prevent them from getting any further damaged because in addition to the sanding compound it also includes what everyone forgets... A SEALING COMPOUND. By sealing the divots, you lessen the chance they will get any worse.

As far as the HIDs, 95 percent of the temperature is maintained within the capsule and for cars with projectors, within the projector assembly. The lenses dont actually suffer much heat from the capsule. Otherwise, all cars with HIDs would have this problem, and my 98 LS400's lenses look brand new. This is because the SUN is the number one culprit of damage to the plastic housings, especially here in FL.
 

·
Registered
White Diamond 2001 STS
Joined
·
1,317 Posts
The checking/crazing on my '01 STS's housings is primarily on the front exposed side. The sides of the housings (where the turn signals wrap around) looks almost like new. It appears to be as much a "sand blasting" type phenomenon than anything else.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top