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Lawn ornament XT
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Lenses aren't available separately, and even if they were it's a bit labor intensive to split & re-seal one.

Polishing the lenses works extremely well, but you need to apply a protective finish to keep UV light off. The UV exposure is what fogs the plastic in the first place, and polishing the lens removes the remnants of the factory coating. Without a fresh coat they'll re-fog very quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
i did poolish it a couple of times but i think its maybe beyond that now...(the pic u see is the "before").
i ill give it another try since re-sealing them sounda like a pain.

BTW- is it just my outbcak or all of them have really weak lights upfront?
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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Subaru is among several manufacturers that headlight systems that have tested poorly. kinda depends on which year and model.

what they said up there about a UV 'sealant' after polishing is critical.

or shop for replacement units. I THINK some folks have gotten - is it TYB ? - anyway, some brand from ebay. I'd also check amazon and rockauto - shop by reviews/ratings I guess.

I'd even consider spraying the new units with UV protectant, in case they have no, or poor, coating.
 

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2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
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181 Posts

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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Lenses aren't available separately, and even if they were it's a bit labor intensive to split & re-seal one.

Polishing the lenses works extremely well, but you need to apply a protective finish to keep UV light off. The UV exposure is what fogs the plastic in the first place, and polishing the lens removes the remnants of the factory coating. Without a fresh coat they'll re-fog very quickly.

...after doing this you need to put something on the lens...Laminex covers work great. They can be tricky to put on depending on the shape of your headlight...but they work. Used them on our old ‘04 TDI...Kept them looking new.
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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So did you apply a protective coating after you polished them as others have been suggesting? I don't think just polishing is a long term solution - you need to protect the work you did by polishing.

This kit includes a protectant: https://www.amazon.com/Sylvania-HRK-BX-SYLVANIA-Headlight-Restoration/dp/B00429NKWK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1508256524&sr=8-2&keywords=sylvania+headlight+restoration+kit
I used a big-brand rattlecan with a clearcoat paint that included some kind of UV protection.

I put that on my wife's car a year or two ago, still looks like I polished them yesterday.

My Subaru is just getting to the point where it is worth doing the first-ever polish. 12 years and 185k miles before I'm ready to say "officially sun-damaged." Not bad, Subaru...
 

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2011 Outback Limited. White, Sunroof, 2.5, CVT. Bought 2/15/11. Love it! Broke 109K, 2/20.
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Funny but I always felt that Subaru used a good plastic since my headlights and all the ones I've ever seen always seem crystal clear. This is the first time I've seen any reference to clouding. And my opinion of the standard headlights is that they are VERY good. I've had bad, and the Subie is not one of them. I was expecting to see that the OP lived in the desert southwest, but it says Pennsylvania and I've spent my years on Long Island or in Massachusetts, places I'd expect to be very similar in sun and weather to PA.
 

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2015 Outback 2.5i Limited, Ice Silver/Black
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I may be wrong but I don't think this is sun damage. I have never had this happen to any of my cars. I traded 2 cars (12 and 13 years old) for my '15 and both sets of headlights were perfect (less a gravel nick here and there). Maybe it's because I only use an auto car wash once or twice a year. Even though garaged at night, both were out in the sun all day. Never clouded like this. Reminds me of old convertible plastic windows. I was told never to use anything like Windex on them. Always just used plain water and never clouded. Maybe it's ammonia.
 

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2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited, with custom-added always-on auxillary power for an inverter, 3x DC jacks, and a radio transciever.
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I may be wrong but I don't think this is sun damage. I have never had this happen to any of my cars. I traded 2 cars (12 and 13 years old) for my '15 and both sets of headlights were perfect (less a gravel nick here and there). Maybe it's because I only use an auto car wash once or twice a year. Even though garaged at night, both were out in the sun all day. Never clouded like this. Reminds me of old convertible plastic windows. I was told never to use anything like Windex on them. Always just used plain water and never clouded. Maybe it's ammonia.
I tend to agree - I've seen lights start to fog over on cars that are garaged all the time.

I'm thinking it has more to with miles and slowly getting sand-blasted by the road funk - I'm thinking my 2012 with 121K miles will need new headlights soon and my roomate's 2003 Mazda with 130K miles we replaced her headlight housings last year. She had tried some of the "restore" things but they didn't seem to do much. A couple hours of taking stuff apart the bumper and putting it together looked like a brand new car and was over-all less work we think.
 

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2015 Outback 2.5i Limited, Ice Silver/Black
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I tend to agree - I've seen lights start to fog over on cars that are garaged all the time.

I'm thinking it has more to with miles and slowly getting sand-blasted by the road funk - I'm thinking my 2012 with 121K miles will need new headlights soon and my roomate's 2003 Mazda with 130K miles we replaced her headlight housings last year. She had tried some of the "restore" things but they didn't seem to do much. A couple hours of taking stuff apart the bumper and putting it together looked like a brand new car and was over-all less work we think.
Not sure. The cars I traded, one with 211K miles and the other with 160K were showroom fresh. 60 mile commutes, 30 on expressway.
 

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2005 2.51, 2012 2.5i, 2016 3.6R
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I just replaced the headlight assemblies on my 2005. I got the replacements on Ebay - they are TYC brand. I saw some negative comments about them but pulled the trigger anyway. They fit fine, look great, and work perfectly. And they have all the bulbs already in them which is a bonus. I paid $215 total - not cheap, but the old lights were so bad I had no choice.

Installation is not trivial, but it is also not particularly difficult. Yes, you drop the bumper, but it's not that big of a deal. Look on youtube for others who have done it - there are a handful of videos out there, each incomplete in its own way. Among them all, you can get the whole picture.

For me it was all about the clips - those plastic hole filler things that press into place and pop out with a screwdriver. There were 2 that were tricky and the others were obvious - the tricky ones were up in the wheel wells behind the well wall. The way I approached it was I did my best to save as many of the clips as I could, but some of them were just seized solid - so they broke. Once I had everything apart, I tallied up what I broke, went to the dealer, and spent another $15 to get replacement clips. Done. Some people talk about ordering them on Amazon - yes, they cost me $3.50 each which was downright ridiculous but at 200K miles already, it's a one time purchase for me. And I read some reviews on Amazon that indicated that those clips may not fit perfectly.

Anyway, the whole thing goes back together easily enough and you can salvage the bulbs from the old assemblies for future use.

A deep set socket set with extensions is what you need to remove the grill and the 2 frames that hold the light assemblies. A small screwdriver and needle nose pliers may be necessary to separate the wire assemblies - mine were pretty well melded together with road grime.

A rare project for me that actually came out better than I expected it to. A few hours of my time and it cost me less than half what the dealer would charge me...
 

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2005 Outback R LL Bean 3.0 H6 w/ 5 speed sport shift
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Seriously, I have to remove the front bumper in order to replace the headlight lenses?

This is surprising to me since most of the repairs I've done on my 05 OB seems to be engineered to be fairly easy to replace.

I've done the wet sand, polish and clear coat but I'm not very happy with the brightness still......
 
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