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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 F10 Technical Topics Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs Clear coat on headlights?
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      01-04-2019, 11:14 AM   #1
Dcm1952
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Clear coat on headlights?

I've got a 2014 535i and on one of the headlights it looks like a film or clear coat of some kind is starting to flake off. I really don't want to spend the $1,000's required to replace a headlight. Can these be "repaired" by doing the multiple step sanding and polishing process?
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      01-27-2019, 11:30 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Dcm1952 View Post
I've got a 2014 535i and on one of the headlights it looks like a film or clear coat of some kind is starting to flake off. I really don't want to spend the $1,000's required to replace a headlight. Can these be "repaired" by doing the multiple step sanding and polishing process?
Ask around about headlight polishing. Any experienced restorer will show past work examples, and allow you to speak with customers. JFYI, no matter how good the restorer is, the headlight will not be the same as new.

Another option is to buy a used headlight.

If you get it polished, please post pics.
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      01-28-2019, 08:56 AM   #3
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I would start with a headlight restore kit and see how that works.
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      01-31-2019, 06:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dcm1952 View Post
I've got a 2014 535i and on one of the headlights it looks like a film or clear coat of some kind is starting to flake off. I really don't want to spend the $1,000's required to replace a headlight. Can these be "repaired" by doing the multiple step sanding and polishing process?
It's true repaired is never like new. Since you are seeing hardcoat failure, though, you have little to lose.

They can be made quite a bit better with polishing, and there are variable quality re-coating products out there. I've had decent looking results from a kit with an aerosol top coat - don't remember the brand - used it on a friend's non-BMW car that was REALLY bad and they were just shooting for "better", not perfect.

There are other coatings out there which are pretty much "the real deal" like Opti's Opti-Lens. The catch is the smallest quantity you can get that in will do about 50 cars I think.

You'll get best results removing the light assembly from the car and working on a bench. You can ask in dedicated detailing forums too if you'd like to DIY.
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      01-31-2019, 08:40 AM   #5
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Update

I got the coating off and used a headlight restore kit to polish. Not "like new" but acceptable. Passes the six foot test. Just can't justify the cost of replacing with new. Thanks for the input.
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      04-27-2019, 10:29 AM   #6
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The hard coat protects the plastic from UV degradation as well as making the plastic surface harder and more abrasion resistant. If you just polish the surface to remove the old hard coat and plastic oxidation, the plastic that remains is just going to degrade that much quicker. I would highly recommend putting a clear protective layer over the lens after polishing and something with UV protection built in... (I am a Plastics Engineer and did a lot of automotive stuff years ago.)
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      08-10-2019, 07:30 AM   #7
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What you recommend to me? I was in detailing center i guy told me to change the lenses,which is about 320 euros.
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      08-13-2019, 01:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno112 View Post
What you recommend to me? I was in detailing center i guy told me to change the lenses,which is about 320 euros.
2K clearcoat
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