Originally Posted by scott153
Does anyone know if the '07 Optima's headlamp lenses are made of that cheap material that gets hazy over time like some cars do? I know they now make polishing kits to get rid of the haze, but I was wondering, would applying polish to the lenses every time you wax the car prevent that oxidation from forming in the first place? I have some Turtle Wax ICE polish that looks like water, and what I like most about it is that unlike most waxes it can be applied to plastic/vinyl/rubber and it won't cause any powdery residue or white discoloration on black trim. The instructions actually suggest applying it to the head and tail lenses. Even if some older Kia's headlamps are known to get hazy, it's not a guarantee that modern Kias are still using the same material for their lenses, that's why I specified my year. Can anyone answer this definitively?
You are looking for a definitive answer and I'll say up front that I don't have one. I have a cousin who is a plastics engineer in the automotive industry. She formulates the compounds that make up the lenses for headlights (unfortunately not for Kia). I asked her why some lenses get really hazy looking over time. If you ever see an early Dodge Neon, that is a great example of extreme headlight haziness. Fortunately, she said technological advances have improved all headlight lenses, but there are still varying levels of quality. She said it's a matter of how much the manufacturer is willing to pay, because the longer lasting lenses simply cost more to formulate. So, unless we can talk to a Kia engineer or their headlight supplier, I guess only time will tell. But, since the whole industry has made improvements, I have to hope they won't fade too quickly.
All this having been said, here's my best guess: Since headlight fogging does respond to the polishing kits that are sold, we can conclude that the haziness only occurs on the exterior surface. Application of a wax, which generally includes a light abrasive, would likely fight hazing just as the polishing kit would. I think I'll start applying a clearcoat-safe wax to my headlights.