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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Standard NON-Xenon

Anybody else having issues with this?

I can't believe how bad the plastic covering on the headlights is looking. Is that repairable? Is it cracking?

Are new XC90 standard headlights still the same plastic?
 

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Re: headlight plastic aging very badly ? (pattyweb) - Lens Polish

I have an 07 XC90 with no problems yet but my 01 gold had clouding on the lens.

There is a headlight cleaning kit to take the cloudiness out of lens. I have never used . It is supposed to take the cloudiness out of car headlight lens.

Maybe someone has had some experience with it. Bascially, you polish the with a special polish that takes scratches and cloudiness out of lens
 

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FWIW the cloudiness of the plastic headlight lens is typical given the damaging effects of the sun's UV rays.

What happens is that the plastic material the headlight lenses are made from is actually quite UV sensitive and requires an anti-UV coating applied at the time of lens manufacturing to slow down the onset of UV related damage that *will* happen eventually. This anti-UV coating is damaged by both high heat and UV rays from constant sun exposure on the outside of the lens and, when the headlights are on, high heat and UV rays coming from the halogen bulb or HID capsule damage the inside the lens. Plus, as a value added bonus, when the vehicle is driven regardless if the headlights are turned on or off, the headlight lenses are effectively sandblasted with road debris over time which wears away the anti-UV coating.

Without the anti-UV coating, the clarity of the lens goes to hell in a hurry and polishing the lens destroys all remnants of the anti-UV coating and merely postpones the inevitable: the headlight lenses *WILL* turn cloudy and piss yellow with time. So when the headlight lenses are polished for the first time, they will then have to be repolished again and again for the life of the lens now that there is no anti-UV coating to protect what's left of the lens plastic. The only sure fire way to restore the lenses back to factory new condition is to replace them, of course with genuine Volvo parts--low quality aftermarket equivalents are all too often not manufactured to the same quality standards with the same quality materials as OEM parts.

Not to worry, Volvo is not alone here: there are many millions of cars on the road built by various automakers with plastic headlight lenses that already have or will soon enough suffer the same fate.
 

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Re: (Dextrobrick)

I had the same issue on my 05. At 48k, mine were replaced under warranty. I was told it's a very common problem on the XC90's especially on the upper edge as it curves down.

The zenons are a grand EACH, so it was nice to have Volvo pick up the tab. If you're still in the factory warranty, ask your dealer.

Tim
 

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Re: headlight plastic aging very badly ? (pattyweb)

I've used Maguire's lense polisher with excellent results.

It's not specific to Volvo. I've co-workers who drive Hondas, Passats, Jettas, Toyotas that have the same issue.
It's a maintenance issue more than anything.

I'm always amazed at the dealerships that say this is a normal problem to Volvo and replace such items under warranty - which is great, I suppose. But it's not due to faulty materials, it's simply the nature of such materials to "weather" over time absent maintenance on the part of the owner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: headlight plastic aging very badly ? (1sttimevolvo)

Both lenses are showing it very badly on the top edges to where it curves down.

I will try some lense polisher.
 

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Re: headlight plastic aging very badly ? (pattyweb)

Quote, originally posted by pattyweb »
Both lenses are showing it very badly on the top edges to where it curves down.

I will try some lense polisher.

May take more than one application if it's very bad.

A poster hereon had a severe enough problem that he used some 2000 grit sandpaper and water prior to the lense polish and had excellent results.

The only problem I see with warranty replacement is that they're replacing them (same with the aluminum trim) with the same item. There's nothing faulty about the replaced item at all. The replacement will do the same thing in about the same time.
 

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Re: headlight plastic aging very badly ? (1sttimevolvo)

Quote, originally posted by 1sttimevolvo »

But it's not due to faulty materials, it's simply the nature of such materials to "weather" over time absent maintenance on the part of the owner.

The corporation absolutely has an obligation to replace these defective parts.

I agree that these parts are probably not sub-standard compared to what was specified by the engineers. On the other hand, the engineers (or corporate bean counters) intentionally or unintentionally specified parts and materiels that do not last as they should. If they deteriorate unacceptably under normal use, they should be covered under warranty.

The fact that other manufacturers also use inferior materials is not justification for Volvo--or any of these companies--not to stand behind their products.
 

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Re: headlight plastic aging very badly ? (Ljungeld)

Quote, originally posted by Ljungeld »

The fact that other manufacturers also use inferior materials is not justification for Volvo--or any of these companies--not to stand behind their products.

That this is a normal reaction with these materials when exposed to the elements over a period of years does not dictate they are substandard.

That there are products on the market that can restore/refinish these items speaks to that, to a degree.

Certainly automobile finishes aren't meant to last forever, else there'd not be the myriad of car polishes and the like on the market.
 

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Re: headlight plastic aging very badly ? (1sttimevolvo)

Quote, originally posted by 1sttimevolvo »


That this is a normal reaction with these materials when exposed to the elements over a period of years does not dictate they are substandard.

That there are products on the market that can restore/refinish these items speaks to that, to a degree.

Certainly automobile finishes aren't meant to last forever, else there'd not be the myriad of car polishes and the like on the market.

I agree that a car will not last forever, but assuming the original poster's vehicle has not been subject to abnormal use, I would not think that three or four years exposure to the elements should result in visible degradation of the headlight material, any more than I would accept that fading paint or peeling chrome should be evident in a car only a few years old.

I should have mentioned earlier that this is just my opinion, and that I'm no expert on product liability, but I would think we could expect more from a product like this, with its premium aspirations.

Perhaps "substandard" was a poor word choice, if it's true that many other manufacturers offer similar quality. To me that still does not validate the choice of a material that performs this poorly.

Kudos to the dealerships that take care of customers with this problem.
 

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Re: headlight plastic aging very badly ? (pattyweb)

Quote, originally posted by pattyweb »
I can't believe how bad the plastic covering on the headlights is looking. Is that repairable? Is it cracking?

Local dealer is advertising some process to restore them:

http://www.stadelvolvo.com/vie...s.htm
 
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