Tip & How-To about Toyota Starlet

How to clean Toyota Sera headlights

***Note, this is for Toyota Sera, not Starlet!!***

Because Toyota Sera's are both old in age & technology, there are some maintenance techniques around to help to keep them looking their best. One such technique is cleaning tired looking headlights that have clouded with age. New, basic units (no bulbs or rubber covers), cost £90+VAT from Toyota!

The lense of these headlights is plastic, unlike cars of today that are glass. Because of this they become cloudy over time, especially as these cars were first produced in 1990. This causes very dull light and can be an MOT failure

To clean them properly, they need to be taken apart. There are 5 metal clips around the unit, these need to be removed first, as well as all rubber covers on the back and bulbs. The two halves of the unit are glued together with a special adhesive, the only way to get them apart is to put them in the oven, around 130degs C, for about 10 mins. I suggest keeping your eye on them and keep checking to see if the glue has softened, as it is very easy to melt them (I know from experience)!

Once the two halves have been separated, the lens itself is in two pieces, these can be separated by removing the screw at one end and removing the inner plastic lens.

There are a couple of proven methods to clean the plastic lens,

1. Use T-cut or similar product such as Mothers Polish to remove years of ingrained dirt and cloudiness
2. Use the finest grade Wet n Dry paper with washing up liquid and water, rub in one direction gently, followed by T-cut type product.

Finally, polish the inner and outer surfaces of the lens (I use Mer).

Re-assemble the lens, heat the two halves in the oven again until the adhesive softens, assemble the unit together, allow to cool, then re-attach the metal clips, buls, etc. And hey presto, your headlights will look like new again!!


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