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So on my 01 Santy I have what seems to be quite a bit of either oxidation or moisture buildup on my headlamps. Ill put a picture in (crappy quality because of direct sunlight) Any ideas on how to go about cleaning these? Do I need to clean them from the outside, the inside, or both? Thanks in advance.
 

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What you are seeing is UV damage from the sun and it's a very common problem with the 1G Santa Fe but especially so on cars that aren't garaged. You have two viable options here; one is replacement of both headlight units and the other is wet-sanding and polishing the shine back to the lens. I will say that replacement will be the better (but more expensive) choice because when you wet-sand, any remaining UV protection will be stripped off and the lights will haze up again quickly. I was lucky enough to find two brand-new replacement lights on eBay for the low price of $180 so have a look there before you go to the dealer. The dealer will want about $500 for the two...way too expensive. If you do got the eBay route, make sure the lights you buy are for your model year. They changed the connector in '04 so only '01 through '03 lights will work on your 2001 model.
 

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If you can only find housings for 01-03, it's not that hard of a thing to swap out the plugs between the two housings, I had to do that on mine.

Another option is the Meguairs Headlight Restoration Kit. I have personally used this last month and was DEFINITELY impressed with the result. A corded drill, some masking tape, and about an hour is all you should need.
http://meguiarsdirect.com/detail/MEG+G1900
 

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Here in Western Massachusetts, I found out the hard way that you get failed at the yearly inspection if the headlight lenses are too cloudy. The dealer gave me the choice between polishing (about $75 with tax) or new headlight assemblies (about $530 with tax).

I looked around and found replacement headlamp assemblies from RockAuto.com for about $124. That's for the right/left pair, with FedEx shipping, and they arrived with new light bulbs pre-installed!

I just swapped them in last evening. The whole job took about 45 minutes from start to finish. I can't believe how much better the replacements look than my clouded up originals.

At this price, they only have to look good for 3 years and I'll have gotten my monies worth.

With replacements this inexpensive, I really can't see the point in polishing.
 

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I just recently worked on my wife's Tucson headlight housing. We purchased the car used this past spring and the previous owner did something to the lenses because they had deep yellow stripes and surface cracks all over the lenses. I had done some research and found the 3M Headlight restoration kit (comes with drill attachment, sanding pads, and polish) for $20 from Advance Auto. Well I was skeptical since the lenses were horrible. My wife would not even drive the car at night because she could not see while driving. Well after following the excellent directions and taking my time (approx 1.5 hrs) the lenses look brand new. As a matter of fact my neighbor thought I had installed new assemblies. So if your lenses are in really bad shape I recommend this product. I wish I would have taken before and after pictures to show the dramatic difference. The kit will do 2 lenses. Beats having to spend big bucks to have new assemblies installed.

:banana:
 

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mudmanmike.. I also bought the 3M kit like you have and haven't got around to doing it yet, and my lenses aren't yellowed but rather a slight haze and pitted from fine road sand flyng up from big trucks so I am looking forward to trying it soon, do you have or could you take pictures of before or after results? I am curious how it turned out.
 

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ignore the mother's bottle, it was sitting there for another reason, but i just used my buffer and some plastic/plexiglass polish and this is how ours came out...
 

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Hyundai 81, I wish I would have been able to take pictures but I didn't have my camera on me. My lenses were so bad that the dealer wanted me to replace them with entirely new lense assemblies. After reading more about the yellow lense repair I came up with the same conclusion that the 3M was going to be the best on the market for my lense condition. I just took my time in doing each lense and followed the excellent clear instructions. I applied light pressure and moved my drill at a constant rate across the lense. I wiped the sanding pad repeatedly to prevent the sand paper from clogging and then burning the plastic lense. The key is even pressure and clean disc. If your lenses are not that bad just use the green/gray disc and then the foam applicator disc. The 500 and 800 grit discs are for deep bad yellowing. Good luck and remember patience.

:thumbsup:
 

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thanks for the tip madmanmike I am glad to know that I can skip a step or two.. I figure the shape there in I would be crazy to replace them as I was saying in the last post there not too bad.. but just wanna freshen them up to like new again :thumbsup:
 
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