LIGHTEN UP

Performance Vauxhall - - QUESTIONS & ANSWERS -

@ I’ve got an As­tra Turbo with the fac­tory fit­ted Xenon head­lights but they are very dull look­ing and the glass seems to be a sort of yel­low colour. I’ve tried clean­ing them and also tried to give them a pol­ish with T-Cut but it hasn’t made much of a dif­fer­ence. I was won­der­ing if this can be fixed or if not, how much it would cost to have new lights fit­ted as the light they emit is really quite poor now. Thanks, Henry.

AHi Henry. First up, with­out know­ing how old the car is, we can’t give spe­cific fig­ures but re­gard­less of age, re­place­ment Xenon units are very ex­pen­sive so we’d pretty much dis­re­gard that op­tion for the time be­ing. The good news how­ever, dull and dis­coloured lenses can be im­proved fairly eas­ily. Un­like older mod­els, the Mk4 As­tra on­wards has plas­tic lenses and thus th­ese can be care­fully pol­ished to re­move the marks. Granted some marks are just too deep and if the plas­tic it­self has turned milky, there’s noth­ing can be done but as­sum­ing the dis­coloura­tion and marks are on the sur­face, this can be ad­dressed.

There are a few be­spoke kits which con­sist of an abra­sive pol­ish and some ap­pli­ca­tors. T-Cut is no use and should be re­lo­cated to the near­est bin. You can also use a cut­ting com­pound and a ma­chine pol­isher but be aware that much like the paint work, over-en­thu­si­asm and too much pres­sure or speed can ac­tu­ally burn the lights. One op­tion is to use a fairly ag­gres­sive com­pound and with a low speed se­lected, slowly buff the lights and re­move the marks. A finer com­pound will re­fine the fin­ish and a good pol­ish will help keep them clean. Some peo­ple have had good re­sults with us­ing in­creas­ingly fine wet & dry pa­per too. It’s worth know­ing that it won’t last for­ever but once they’ve been done once, it’s far eas­ier to keep them clean. This ap­plies to pretty much any car with plas­tic head­lights.

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