Foggy headlamp lenses? - Kia Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 03-07-2010, 10:48 PM
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Default Foggy headlamp lenses?

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?
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#2 (permalink) Old 03-08-2010, 07:55 AM
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I would say that they will haze over time as most all plastic will. They have a protective coating applied from the factory and using polish will ensure its longevity. I've used polish on all the lenses for years, but on the non smooth surface eg rear taillights, side markers, y6ou'll need to use a soft toothbrush to remove the dried polish.
Time will tell.
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#3 (permalink) Old 03-08-2010, 10:19 AM
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Almost all cars get hazy headlamps even the expensive ones, however usually it takes 3~5 years to show up really bad. Sometimes the seal on the inside of the headlamp is the culprit and the scaling/foggy build up is on the inside of the lamp.

If it's on the outside some of the polishes will remove a majority of the haze, however be careful with the few that call for power drill attachments and such as you can ruin a head lamp if you aren't careful.

You could consider an aftermarket replacement through a parts wholesaler, some pairs of headlamps are as cheap as $80!
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#4 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 08:25 PM
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I remember long ago reading about a clear film that you could apply to your car's front end and rocker panels to prevent gravel strike chips and bug residue damage, I wonder if that would be a good preventative idea. It would have to be absolutely crystal clear to use it for this purpose, and I'm thinking since it has must have some type of adhesive on it, it wouldn't be. If it does work, it might be a good thing for a Kia aftermarket shop to sell, like exact die-cut pieces so you wouldn't have to buy a whole lot of it. Especially if it can be proven that the Kia's lenses do fog over time.
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#5 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott153 View Post
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.

"rehoman'
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#6 (permalink) Old 03-17-2010, 08:40 AM
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There are several vendors of head lamp protectors out there, like these folks: Leader Catalog who sell a sheet you cut to size.

Others out there sell pre-cut sheets but it seems they can get a bit pricey.
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