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      07-15-2018, 05:39 PM   #1
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Headlight surface speckles

Anyone ever had this problem with their headlights?

It's not pitting from everyday driving... It's too evenly distributed throughout both headlights. Microcracks, maybe?

Any idea how to clean this up?
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      07-15-2018, 08:20 PM   #2
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2009 BMW 128i  [5.00]
You could possibly polish them
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      07-15-2018, 11:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_flies View Post
You could possibly polish them
I used Meguiar's Swirl Remover and it didn't do a thing. Then I tried Meguiar's PlastX and that had no effect, either.
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      07-16-2018, 07:47 AM   #4
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'09 135i  [5.00]
I have the same symptom. Have done my headlights with my DA during paint correction with no change to their appearance.

To me the small spots appear like very small voids in the lens, or spots on the inner surface. On mine the exterior surface is very smooth and clean/clear.
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      07-16-2018, 03:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1and1 View Post
I have the same symptom. Have done my headlights with my DA during paint correction with no change to their appearance.

To me the small spots appear like very small voids in the lens, or spots on the inner surface. On mine the exterior surface is very smooth and clean/clear.
I can't tell if those speckles are on the inside or the outside... I can't feel them with my fingers, so they could be on the inside.

Also, there some areas around the turn signals that seem rough as if there's some coating (UV?) that's coming off. Polish doesn't seem to remove it, but I can scratch it off with my fingernail.
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      07-16-2018, 04:00 PM   #6
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'09 135i  [5.00]
Those areas may need actual compounding, or even wet sanding to resolve what you can feel/scrape off with a finger nail.
Beware however, at that point you're also potentially removing the factory UV coating so will need to re-coat or face repeating the process every 6-8 months
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      07-16-2018, 11:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1and1 View Post
Those areas may need actual compounding, or even wet sanding to resolve what you can feel/scrape off with a finger nail.
Beware however, at that point you're also potentially removing the factory UV coating so will need to re-coat or face repeating the process every 6-8 months
Duly noted.

First things first, though: Let see if I can get rid of those annoying speckles.
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      07-19-2018, 12:59 AM   #8
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It seems like mine are on the inside. One more "quirk" with these cars, the gd headlights!
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      07-19-2018, 09:29 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by icegrill View Post
It seems like mine are on the inside.
It could well be... If that's the case, I'm screwed.
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      07-19-2018, 11:51 AM   #10
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Are you sure its not dirt on the inside?
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      07-19-2018, 05:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smrtypants44 View Post
Are you sure its not dirt on the inside?
Nope, not dirt... It wouldn't be so evenly distributed in BOTH headlights.
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      07-19-2018, 06:20 PM   #12
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'09 135i  [5.00]
Yup-same as mine...
Almost like a heavy scattering of tiny air bubbles in the lens

If only it wasn't such a PITA to pull the lens off
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      07-19-2018, 11:44 PM   #13
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Picked up a 3M Headlight Restoration Kit... Now I'm wondering is it worth the trouble or will I really screw up the headlights.
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      07-24-2018, 09:34 AM   #14
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As others have said, once you remove the protective layer, they will yellow much, much faster. What I have never tried is polishing them and then coating them with that clear body protective film. Mine are fairly pitted, but I suspect it's just rock chips. If I ever decide to polish them, I will try the film and see if that keeps them looking clear longer.
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      07-24-2018, 11:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderguts View Post
I suspect it's just rock chips.
They're not. As I've said more than once, they're way too evenly distributed on the headlight housing.

The more I inspect and stare at it, the more I think they're on the inside of the housing.
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      07-25-2018, 01:29 AM   #16
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The only time I've seen that happen on the inside is when I hit a deer with my car. It separated the headlight housing on the bottom and condensation would form inside after a good rain. When the lights were on for a while, it would evaporate and leave spots. If you have it on both, that's not likely unless you have leaky seals on both headlights.
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      07-25-2018, 10:00 AM   #17
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I was looking into doing something with my headlights. I talked to my trusted body shop and they said they could polish the lenses and then spray clear coat over them.

Then I hit a deer. So I had two new headlights installed. I was still considering doing something about the headlights now that they are new. I decided to have 3M film installed over them. One thing I can say is, it's amazing even with a garage kept car how much of a beating the headlights take. I thought the old headlights were still in fairly good condition even with the pitting from road crap hitting them. But when I first drove at night with the new headlights, it's amazing how much brighter the lights are with new lenses.
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      07-25-2018, 11:25 PM   #18
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Not going to see any deer in my neck of the woods.

At this point, it's more of an personal annoyance rather than anything. If they are microcracks, it might be from heating and cooling over time caused by the halogen bulbs.

I've got to think it's not going to get better and sometime down the line I'll have to bite the bullet and replace both of headlamps.
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      07-27-2018, 10:10 AM   #19
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if you have to compound polish them you "MUST" spray it with a few coats of clear
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      07-27-2018, 10:11 AM   #20
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have you taken the headlight units out removed the bulb and try and see if it is on the inside, because if they are it is TOTALLY pointless doing anything to the outside
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      07-27-2018, 11:21 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaye944 View Post
have you taken the headlight units out removed the bulb
I'm not going through all that trouble to do that, since I'm pretty convinced the problem is on the inside. If I go through all that, it'll be to replace the headlight units.

Quote:
try and see if it is on the inside because if they are it is TOTALLY pointless doing anything to the outside
Well yeah, duh.
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      07-28-2018, 12:22 AM   #22
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dude,
it may have been obvious to some but not to all,
post 5 is where you even mention that it is not on the outside, even I missed that reply.

so your answer is "thanks"
mine would be "your welcome"

c a little bit of courtesy, doesn't hurt does it ?
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