Lexus: How to Repair Foggy Headlights

Foggy headlights can completely ruin the look of the Lexus. Here's how to repair them yourself.

By James Karuga - February 26, 2016

This article applies to the Lexus IS, ES, GS, LS, and RX (2005-2013).

With time, the headlights of your Lexus are going to get foggy, yellow, and cloudy due to exposure to light from the sun and other elements. This gradual wear can obscure the light output from your headlights by up to 40 percent. When that happens, driving at night or in foggy situations can be dangerous as headlight lenses release little light and limit your view. Learn how to restore your headlights by following some DIY instructions, and avoid possible road carnage due to poor lighting.

Materials Needed

  • Knife
  • Gloves
  • Sandpaper: 1500-2000 grit
  • Screwdriver
  • Headlight restoration polish
  • An oven
  • Dupli Colo Acrylic Enamel

Restoring Foggy, Oxidized Headlights

Use 1500-2000 grit sandpaper to wet sand the lens. Keep on spraying the headlight with soap as you wet sand it. Spray on three coats of Dupli Color Acrylic Enamel two, light coats and one medium wet coat after 10 minutes. Using two 2000 grit sand paper soaked overnight with soap, wet sand until the orange peel is removed. Then, buff any remaining orange peel with Meguiars Ultimate compound and a smooth surface is left.

Figure 1. Using wet sandpaper on headlight.

Cleaning the Projector Lens and Glass

Covered by the outer headlight glass is a projector lens that focuses light into a strong beam. If your Lexus' lens is stained, dirt scatters light in different direction and its output is hindered by 40 percent. Scattered light beams cause accidents by blinding oncoming drivers. First, remove the headlight with a screwdriver and put it in an oven heated at 300 degrees Fahrenheit to loosen the glue holding the outer glass and projector lens assembly together (about 10-15 minutes). Use gloves or hot pads to handle the heated assembly, and work carefully to remove the two screws holding the projector glass to access the lens. You may want to wait five minutes for it to cool down before handling it.

Clean the glass and the lens, then buff them to remove finer dirt. If you are able to look through the lens clearly, then cleaning process is successful. Reattach the screws to secure the glass when finished cleaning. When you are done, attach the headlights back on the car.

Figure 2. A stained headlight causes light to scatter.

Cleaning Up Condensed Moisture on Headlights

At times moisture may build up or condense in your headlight's interior assembly, hindering their effectiveness. This may require only removing the whole light and putting it in oven heated to 225 degrees Fahrenheit to melt the moisture. Alternatively, you can wrap the headlight with three garbage bags and dip it in water heated to 100 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 15 minutes. Both processes remove the condensed moisture easily and for little to no cost.

Figure 3. A headlight with condensed moisture.

Featured Video: How to Restore Foggy Headlights in Lexus

Related Discussion