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Author Topic: Headlights . .  (Read 2368 times)

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Mister Rog

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Headlights . .
« on: 28 November 2017, 10:56:55 »



The headlights on my Volvo XC70 are incredibly dim, at night on unlit roads I use the spotlights.

The covers/lenses seem to be plastic not glass and are opaque and rough to the touch. I've read about various methods of cleaning, polishing etc, some of them using sandpaper which sounds a bit scary to me with a risk of ruining them. Sandpaper, toothpase, bicarb, specific kits, brasso, God knows what else

Any sensible suggestions ?

And is the opaqueness actually the cause of the dimness ?

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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #1 on: 28 November 2017, 11:00:36 »

I noticed, while I was in ECP last week, that 3M do a kit for cleaning them. But someone will be along to rubbish that in a minute.
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #2 on: 28 November 2017, 11:19:51 »

Try the 3M kit, use a drill to speed things up. Basically sanding the lens down with rough then smooth and smoother paper, comes up really well!
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #3 on: 28 November 2017, 11:28:25 »



The headlights on my Volvo XC70 are incredibly dim, at night on unlit roads I use the spotlights.

The covers/lenses seem to be plastic not glass and are opaque and rough to the touch. I've read about various methods of cleaning, polishing etc, some of them using sandpaper which sounds a bit scary to me with a risk of ruining them. Sandpaper, toothpase, bicarb, specific kits, brasso, God knows what else

Any sensible suggestions ?

And is the opaqueness actually the cause of the dimness ?

If HIDS or LED they should work reasonably well once sorted.
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Field Marshal Dr. Opti

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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #4 on: 28 November 2017, 11:33:04 »



The headlights on my Volvo XC70 are incredibly dim, at night on unlit roads I use the spotlights.

The covers/lenses seem to be plastic not glass and are opaque and rough to the touch. I've read about various methods of cleaning, polishing etc, some of them using sandpaper which sounds a bit scary to me with a risk of ruining them. Sandpaper, toothpase, bicarb, specific kits, brasso, God knows what else

Any sensible suggestions ?

And is the opaqueness actually the cause of the dimness ?

Your car has cataracts. :)
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #5 on: 28 November 2017, 11:59:01 »



The headlights on my Volvo XC70 are incredibly dim, at night on unlit roads I use the spotlights.

The covers/lenses seem to be plastic not glass and are opaque and rough to the touch. I've read about various methods of cleaning, polishing etc, some of them using sandpaper which sounds a bit scary to me with a risk of ruining them. Sandpaper, toothpase, bicarb, specific kits, brasso, God knows what else

Any sensible suggestions ?

And is the opaqueness actually the cause of the dimness ?

Your car has cataracts. :)

The ride is also a little soft and the engine lacks real poke   ::)

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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #6 on: 28 November 2017, 13:11:11 »



The headlights on my Volvo XC70 are incredibly dim, at night on unlit roads I use the spotlights.

The covers/lenses seem to be plastic not glass and are opaque and rough to the touch. I've read about various methods of cleaning, polishing etc, some of them using sandpaper which sounds a bit scary to me with a risk of ruining them. Sandpaper, toothpase, bicarb, specific kits, brasso, God knows what else

Any sensible suggestions ?

And is the opaqueness actually the cause of the dimness ?

Your car has cataracts. :)

The ride is also a little soft and the engine lacks real poke   ::)

If it also runs on canal boat fuel perhaps a scrappage scheme would be appropriate.  :)
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #7 on: 28 November 2017, 15:34:55 »

The opaqueness is due chiefly to oxidisation of the top surface of the plastic, which has to be removed.The guide on here looks very drastic but it works. The lenses will go very opaque before eventually coming back to clear condition.
Assuming the roughness to touch doesn't mean exceptionally bad deterioration of the surfaces, the results will astound you.
It's hard work, but you've just got to be brave, (and use plenty [copious amounts] of liquid/paste). If using a drill with a pad from a kit, take care not to overheat the plastic. ie. keep it moving.
Take care with adjacent paintwork also.
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #8 on: 28 November 2017, 15:46:49 »

I noticed, while I was in ECP last week, that 3M do a kit for cleaning them. But someone will be along to rubbish that in a minute.

What the hell were you doing there, got lost???
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #9 on: 28 November 2017, 15:55:51 »



The headlights on my Volvo XC70 are incredibly dim, at night on unlit roads I use the spotlights.

The covers/lenses seem to be plastic not glass and are opaque and rough to the touch. I've read about various methods of cleaning, polishing etc, some of them using sandpaper which sounds a bit scary to me with a risk of ruining them. Sandpaper, toothpase, bicarb, specific kits, brasso, God knows what else

Any sensible suggestions ? SAME AS THE OMEGA... TRY G3 compound and elbow grease before digging out the wer and dry.

And is the opaqueness actually the cause of the dimness ?ON A VOLVO, Yes.
Apologies for shouting, but it's a bit noisy here ::) ;)
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #10 on: 28 November 2017, 17:04:39 »

which sounds a bit scary to me with a risk of ruining them.
They're breaked anyway ;)
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #11 on: 28 November 2017, 17:20:46 »

The opaqueness is due chiefly to oxidisation of the top surface of the plastic, which has to be removed.The guide on here looks very drastic but it works. The lenses will go very opaque before eventually coming back to clear condition.
Assuming the roughness to touch doesn't mean exceptionally bad deterioration of the surfaces, the results will astound you.
It's hard work, but you've just got to be brave, (and use plenty [copious amounts] of liquid/paste). If using a drill with a pad from a kit, take care not to overheat the plastic. ie. keep it moving.
Take care with adjacent paintwork also.

Ah, something helpful and constructive !  :y

Well went along and got one of these to see how it goes. Even if it doesn't work it's not an arm & a leg and not too drastic. Just need the rain to stop so I can use it.

http://www.halfords.com/motoring/car-cleaning/clay-bars-detailing-products/meguiars-one-step-headlight-restoration-kit




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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #12 on: 28 November 2017, 17:22:25 »

which sounds a bit scary to me with a risk of ruining them.
They're breaked anyway ;)

 . . . ever the optimist   ;D
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #13 on: 28 November 2017, 17:41:09 »

Meguiars products are usually very good quality.  :y
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #14 on: 28 November 2017, 17:41:16 »

Having done loads of headlamps, I can't agree with using compound before wet&dry to save elbow grease.


A few strokes of 1000grit paper with soapy water actually moves the grot off the lens, and then you can use the compound to do what it is designed for: making a smooth, clear finish. It's no work at all to refinish by hand a small plastic surface like a headlamp. 10 minutes tops. Still attached to the car, in the dark.
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #15 on: 28 November 2017, 18:08:21 »

Having done loads of headlamps, I can't agree with using compound before wet&dry to save elbow grease.


A few strokes of 1000grit paper with soapy water actually moves the grot off the lens, and then you can use the compound to do what it is designed for: making a smooth, clear finish. It's no work at all to refinish by hand a small plastic surface like a headlamp. 10 minutes tops. Still attached to the car, in the dark.

So, are you saying use 1000 paper + water first, and then the kit ? I don't mind a bit of elbow grease, I just want a decent result.
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #16 on: 28 November 2017, 18:16:35 »

Having done loads of headlamps, I can't agree with using compound before wet&dry to save elbow grease.


A few strokes of 1000grit paper with soapy water actually moves the grot off the lens, and then you can use the compound to do what it is designed for: making a smooth, clear finish. It's no work at all to refinish by hand a small plastic surface like a headlamp. 10 minutes tops. Still attached to the car, in the dark.

So, are you saying use 1000 paper + water first, and then the kit ? I don't mind a bit of elbow grease, I just want a decent result.


Always. If you have to buy paper, get some 1200 or 1500 as well. A sheet of each will be enough for several cars; I would expect change from a quid. I wouldn't buy a kit to do this, as it's an expensive way to buy small quantities of products that I already have. And as I've posted many times, I don't see any need to complicate things by using power tools to do the job.
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #17 on: 28 November 2017, 18:17:16 »

Having done loads of headlamps, I can't agree with using compound before wet&dry to save elbow grease.


A few strokes of 1000grit paper with soapy water actually moves the grot off the lens, and then you can use the compound to do what it is designed for: making a smooth, clear finish. It's no work at all to refinish by hand a small plastic surface like a headlamp. 10 minutes tops. Still attached to the car, in the dark.

So, are you saying use 1000 paper + water first, and then the kit ? I don't mind a bit of elbow grease, I just want a decent result.

Recently did mine and the Clio's for MOT purposes .. 1000 grit, followed by 1500, followed by 2000, then farclar G3 paste ... came up lovely . :)  seems a tad strange making them REALLY cloudy with 1000 grit, but it works ... :)
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #18 on: 28 November 2017, 18:30:26 »

Having done loads of headlamps, I can't agree with using compound before wet&dry to save elbow grease.


A few strokes of 1000grit paper with soapy water actually moves the grot off the lens, and then you can use the compound to do what it is designed for: making a smooth, clear finish. It's no work at all to refinish by hand a small plastic surface like a headlamp. 10 minutes tops. Still attached to the car, in the dark.

So, are you saying use 1000 paper + water first, and then the kit ? I don't mind a bit of elbow grease, I just want a decent result.

I don't use a kit of any sort as such. I use fine grit Daisy Pads with plenty of water sprayed from a plant sprayer. When I'm happy that I've been over all of it I wash and wipe them off and then use prep polish on my variable speed polisher. The first time I did them by hand with equally good results but I find it quicker and easier using the polisher. As mentioned, do not stay in one place for too long if using a machine polisher. It doesn't take long to get good results using this method.  :y
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #19 on: 28 November 2017, 19:04:14 »

which sounds a bit scary to me with a risk of ruining them.
They're breaked anyway ;)

 . . . ever the optimist   ;D
Sorry, what I meant is they are knackered, so don't be scared, as nothing to lose :y

I suspect a good going over with the 3M kit (which is what I use because its easy) or various. ever finer grades of wet&dry, followed by a polish, will bring them up as new...   ...and if it doesn't, what have you lost?

;)
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #20 on: 28 November 2017, 19:06:16 »

At risk of repeating myself...


The headlights on my Volvo XC70 are incredibly dim, at night on unlit roads I use the spotlights.

The covers/lenses seem to be plastic not glass and are opaque and rough to the touch. I've read about various methods of cleaning, polishing etc, some of them using sandpaper which sounds a bit scary to me with a risk of ruining them. Sandpaper, toothpase, bicarb, specific kits, brasso, God knows what else

Any sensible suggestions ?  SAME AS THE OMEGA... TRY G3 compound and elbow grease before digging out the wet and dry.

And is the opaqueness actually the cause of the dimness ? ON A VOLVO, Yes.
Apologies for shouting, but it's a bit noisy here ::) ;)
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #21 on: 28 November 2017, 19:11:33 »

I noticed, while I was in ECP last week, that 3M do a kit for cleaning them. But someone will be along to rubbish that in a minute.

What the hell were you doing there, got lost???
A mate wanted the cambelt doing on his V12, and I had a couple of hours spare.
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #22 on: 29 November 2017, 18:14:23 »

I noticed, while I was in ECP last week, that 3M do a kit for cleaning them. But someone will be along to rubbish that in a minute.

It`s a good kit, I got one a couple years ago  :y
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #23 on: 29 November 2017, 18:31:32 »

I noticed, while I was in ECP last week, that 3M do a kit for cleaning them. But someone will be along to rubbish that in a minute.

It`s a good kit, I got one a couple years ago  :y
I concur. Sure, buying some w&d might be cheaper, but the 3m kit is complete, easy, clear instructions, and my preferred option
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #24 on: 29 November 2017, 18:50:08 »

I noticed, while I was in ECP last week, that 3M do a kit for cleaning them. But someone will be along to rubbish that in a minute.

It`s a good kit, I got one a couple years ago  :y
I concur. Sure, buying some w&d might be cheaper, but the 3m kit is complete, easy, clear instructions, and my preferred option

Agreed. You do pay a premium for it being so easy, like the drill attachment. Not sure I'd fancy doing it manually, the drill attachment makes it a doddle and nice little job  :)
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #25 on: 29 November 2017, 19:50:55 »

Two pages to get back to where we where in post #2.
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #26 on: 29 November 2017, 20:24:41 »

Two pages to get back to where we where in post #2.

But note that we`re not rubbishing it  :P
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #27 on: 29 November 2017, 20:32:25 »

Two pages to get back to where we where in post #2.

But note that we`re not rubbishing it  :P
Don’t care if you do. I’m always right, ask my missus.  :)
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #28 on: 30 November 2017, 08:44:24 »

Any results to report yet?
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #29 on: 30 November 2017, 09:46:58 »

Any results to report yet?

Nope. No time yet, crap weather, and a busy work weekend ahead. I don't want to rush it
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #30 on: 30 November 2017, 17:57:34 »

I had a similar issue with my drivers side headlight and used auto glym metal polish, it’s basically a cutting polish and the head lamp is at least smooth, I would think the brightness would be restored by removing the dull layer?
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #31 on: 30 November 2017, 18:14:33 »

I had a similar issue with my drivers side headlight and used auto glym metal polish, it’s basically a cutting polish and the head lamp is at least smooth, I would think the brightness would be restored by removing the dull layer?


That's what the wet&dry paper does. Then you restore the finish with whatever abrasive paste you favour, whether that's some specific 'headlight kit', generic plastic polish(probably the same stuff but considerably more economical) or paint refinishing products. The key to any sort of polishing is to use just enough abrasive to start with; otherwise after a lot of work you end up with a poor, but shiny surface.
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #32 on: 04 January 2018, 11:31:07 »


I got a kit in Halfords, just some stuff in a bottle and a drill attachment thingy. Didn't really make much diference to anything. I didn't use the sandpaper inluded with the kit.

After looking on a Volvo forum, seems dim lights are quite common, and new bulbs recommended. Went to local garage down the road, explained everything. He came back to me told me that new bulbs would be about £100 EACH, but then said that they were cheaper from Amazon or whatever on internet and if I bought them he would fit them. He's a good guy  :y Now ordered £47 each. See if they sort things  :-\
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #33 on: 04 January 2018, 12:41:50 »

I got a kit in Halfords, just some stuff in a bottle and a drill attachment thingy. Didn't really make much diference to anything. I didn't use the sandpaper inluded with the kit.
The sandpaper is in the kit for a reason!!  Thats why it made no difference.


As for Amazon bulbs, make sure they are sold and fulfilled by Amazon, or you'll likely end up with £15 chinese HIDs.
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #34 on: 04 January 2018, 18:22:20 »

I got a kit in Halfords, just some stuff in a bottle and a drill attachment thingy. Didn't really make much diference to anything. I didn't use the sandpaper inluded with the kit.
The sandpaper is in the kit for a reason!!  Thats why it made no difference.


As for Amazon bulbs, make sure they are sold and fulfilled by Amazon, or you'll likely end up with £15 chinese HIDs.

I know, but after looking into it all a bit more I wasn't convinced that crapped up lenses were the reason, so I decided to dig deep and try new bulbs. Yes, actually supplied by Amazon, and so far it all seems kosher Osram branded same as those fitted. Delivery tomorrow.
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #35 on: 04 January 2018, 18:44:09 »

I got a kit in Halfords, just some stuff in a bottle and a drill attachment thingy. Didn't really make much diference to anything. I didn't use the sandpaper inluded with the kit.
The sandpaper is in the kit for a reason!!  Thats why it made no difference.


As for Amazon bulbs, make sure they are sold and fulfilled by Amazon, or you'll likely end up with £15 chinese HIDs.


I was surprised at how much brighter the £15(for a pair, delivered) xenons are, than the 18 Y/O originals. No, I don't expect them to last as long, but then the rest of the car won't either.


It doesn't matter how good the bulbs are if the lens is cloudy/dull.
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Mister Rog

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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #36 on: 04 January 2018, 18:54:31 »

I got a kit in Halfords, just some stuff in a bottle and a drill attachment thingy. Didn't really make much diference to anything. I didn't use the sandpaper inluded with the kit.
The sandpaper is in the kit for a reason!!  Thats why it made no difference.


As for Amazon bulbs, make sure they are sold and fulfilled by Amazon, or you'll likely end up with £15 chinese HIDs.


I was surprised at how much brighter the £15(for a pair, delivered) xenons are, than the 18 Y/O originals. No, I don't expect them to last as long, but then the rest of the car won't either.


It doesn't matter how good the bulbs are if the lens is cloudy/dull.

Understood. Cash paid, bulbs ordered, try them and see, if all still crap get then I'll get the sandpaper out  :-\

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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #37 on: 04 January 2018, 18:59:57 »

Can you link me to those £15-a-pair specials please Nick?
Mine are the originals, as far as I know, or at least ten years in my ownership.....

Ron.
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #38 on: 04 January 2018, 19:23:59 »

I used one of these on mine, did one on each of the Dipped Beam area and one each on the Full Beam, only took about 3 mins to do, excellent bit of kit, worked a treat.        ....for a while.




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STEMO

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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #39 on: 04 January 2018, 19:28:13 »

I used one of these on mine, did one on each of the Dipped Beam area and one each on the Full Beam, only took about 3 mins to do, excellent bit of kit, worked a treat.        ....for a while.





That’d do the trick  :y :y :y
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #40 on: 04 January 2018, 23:02:36 »

Can you link me to those £15-a-pair specials please Nick?
Mine are the originals, as far as I know, or at least ten years in my ownership.....

Ron.


No, because they weren't £15.


 They were £12.50 :y 


  LINK 


I went for those because they claimed UK stock, and I wanted them quickly. Which is what happened they arrived in 3 working days.
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tunnie

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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #41 on: 05 January 2018, 12:12:01 »

I got a kit in Halfords, just some stuff in a bottle and a drill attachment thingy. Didn't really make much diference to anything. I didn't use the sandpaper inluded with the kit.
The sandpaper is in the kit for a reason!!  Thats why it made no difference.


As for Amazon bulbs, make sure they are sold and fulfilled by Amazon, or you'll likely end up with £15 chinese HIDs.


I was surprised at how much brighter the £15(for a pair, delivered) xenons are, than the 18 Y/O originals. No, I don't expect them to last as long, but then the rest of the car won't either.


It doesn't matter how good the bulbs are if the lens is cloudy/dull.

Understood. Cash paid, bulbs ordered, try them and see, if all still crap get then I'll get the sandpaper out  :-\

As mentioned, you need to use the sand paper! That's what strips the dull elements off, mentioned before 3M kit is brilliant. Not the cheapest, but easily most convenient. Again, that's just drill attachment, sand paper and some gunk.
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #42 on: 05 January 2018, 14:00:26 »

I was surprised at how much brighter the £15(for a pair, delivered) xenons are, than the 18 Y/O originals.
Yup, even decent HIDs degrade over time, from the very first time they are used.  The decent ones degrade less.  On an Omega, they are piss easy to change, assuming you have already fixed your adjusters, so the only inconvenience is when the cheap chinkys refuse to strike.

Yer pays yer cash, and takes yer choice.
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #43 on: 05 January 2018, 16:25:35 »

Mine are about as much use as a candle currently, so hoping they are OK at MOT (or that the new adjusters arrive so I have the confidence to fiddle). Oh, and I'd probably better polish up the lenses, again. Seems to become an annual thing once you've done it once. >:(
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TheBoy

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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #44 on: 05 January 2018, 16:44:58 »

Mine are about as much use as a candle currently, so hoping they are OK at MOT (or that the new adjusters arrive so I have the confidence to fiddle). Oh, and I'd probably better polish up the lenses, again. Seems to become an annual thing once you've done it once. >:(
If you've never changed the bulbs, you'll notice a big difference when you do, particularly on those dark lanes with oncoming traffic when you suddenly realise that you can't even see if your lights are on.

The Shaguar needs new bulbs, but having a CBA moment to:
a) get to hellfrauds to buy some
b) look at how to take the bumper off to..
c) fit them
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #45 on: 05 January 2018, 16:47:26 »

Mine are about as much use as a candle currently, so hoping they are OK at MOT (or that the new adjusters arrive so I have the confidence to fiddle). Oh, and I'd probably better polish up the lenses, again. Seems to become an annual thing once you've done it once. >:(
If you've never changed the bulbs, you'll notice a big difference when you do, particularly on those dark lanes with oncoming traffic when you suddenly realise that you can't even see if your lights are on.

The Shaguar needs new bulbs, but having a CBA moment to:
a) get to hellfrauds to buy some
b) look at how to take the bumper off to..
c) fit them

Fortunately I've got an Omega... and not my mate's Renault Megane, for example, where I foolishly volunteered to help him change the front indicator bulb recently. That's an entire evening of my life gone for good....
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Webby the Bear

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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #46 on: 05 January 2018, 18:08:09 »

Mine are about as much use as a candle currently, so hoping they are OK at MOT (or that the new adjusters arrive so I have the confidence to fiddle). Oh, and I'd probably better polish up the lenses, again. Seems to become an annual thing once you've done it once. >:(
If you've never changed the bulbs, you'll notice a big difference when you do, particularly on those dark lanes with oncoming traffic when you suddenly realise that you can't even see if your lights are on.

The Shaguar needs new bulbs, but having a CBA moment to:
a) get to hellfrauds to buy some
b) look at how to take the bumper off to..
c) fit them

Fortunately I've got an Omega... and not my mate's Renault Megane, for example, where I foolishly volunteered to help him change the front indicator bulb recently. That's an entire evening of my life gone for good....

They tease you with the access hole in the wheel arch liner. You then realise bumper still needs to come off  :)
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Kevin Wood

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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #47 on: 05 January 2018, 18:59:15 »

Mine are about as much use as a candle currently, so hoping they are OK at MOT (or that the new adjusters arrive so I have the confidence to fiddle). Oh, and I'd probably better polish up the lenses, again. Seems to become an annual thing once you've done it once. >:(
If you've never changed the bulbs, you'll notice a big difference when you do, particularly on those dark lanes with oncoming traffic when you suddenly realise that you can't even see if your lights are on.

The Shaguar needs new bulbs, but having a CBA moment to:
a) get to hellfrauds to buy some
b) look at how to take the bumper off to..
c) fit them

Fortunately I've got an Omega... and not my mate's Renault Megane, for example, where I foolishly volunteered to help him change the front indicator bulb recently. That's an entire evening of my life gone for good....

They tease you with the access hole in the wheel arch liner. You then realise bumper still needs to come off  :)

.. and then once you've removed the rest of the car and you're left with a bulb sitting on the garage floor, you realise there's nothing wrong with the bulb, it's just come loose in the shitty bulb holder they fitted. >:(
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Nick W

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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #48 on: 05 January 2018, 19:49:09 »

What do you expect? They're French
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ronnyd

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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #49 on: 05 January 2018, 22:16:24 »

I was going to say that but i didn,t want to upset Stemo. ;)
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Fraggles Rock

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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #50 on: 05 January 2018, 23:16:28 »

What do you expect? They're French
Face-lift Vectra C indicator bulbs not much better ::)
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Re: Headlights . .
« Reply #51 on: 06 January 2018, 07:42:21 »

I was going to say that but i didn,t want to upset Stemo. ;)
I wouldn’t get upset. I take our Renault to a Renault garage when/if such menial tasks need doing. Never had a bulb go yet, except for a headlight bulb which takes five minutes to change.  :P
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