X5 Headlamp Refurbishment
I’ve recently acquired an X5. That decision and outcome probably deserves a blog post in itself, but for now I’d like to focus on the only MOT minor fault noted, which was “Nearside Front Headlamp lens slightly defective (4.1.1 (b) (i))”.
Naturally I don’t have a great photo of the issue, but both headlamps were certainly ageing following 80,000 miles and 15 years of battling with the elements. As a result they looked a little misty and marked, so I can see where the MOT tester was coming from.
The problem was most apparent when viewed from above:
The Autoglym headlamp restoration kit was recommended to me by Ste Nelson. His post on this matter probably makes much of my post superfluous, and he certainly did a better job than me:
The first step is to prepare the headlamp for treatment.
The second step is to take 800 grade sandpaper to your headlamps via a drill attachment. It seems to immediately ruin the lamps, and it feels like the only option is a £xxx fork-out for a new set. Imperative to hold one’s nerve.
With hindsight here I can see that I needed more nerve – I needed to go at my lenses longer with this more coarse paper to really remove all the worn outer layer. One day I may get another kit and go over them again to get them looking pristine, but even so, this procedure has certainly taken years off the car.
The process involves using finer and finer grades of paper and ends with a polish.
The results are most satisfying!
I then tackled the car’s left lens a few nights later. As Ste mentions – it is a messy business!
Overall, I’m dead chuffed with the outcome of this process. It is very rewarding to know I’ve already dealt with the main MOT advisory without resorting to a new part; extending the life of the old headlamps with a bit of graft instead.