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Old 04-04-2014, 05:29 PM   #1
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Headlight cleaning

I replaced the OEM headlights with Hella E-Codes quite some time ago.
In 2006, I renewed both H4 bulbs when one failed, keeping the one that was working as a spare.
Lately, Iíve noticed that the lights do not seem as bright as they once were.
In inspecting the lights, there looked to be some sort of film on the glass.
I cleaned the exterior glass with rain-x X-treme Clean, but the film looks to be on the inside.
I renewed the headlamp harness with an upgraded version as well as the bulbs just to see if that would help, but it did not.
Was wondering whether or not anyone else has experienced this.
If so, were you able to correct?
Here is what Iím hoping isnít as naive a question as it seems:
Am considering removing the lights and attempting to clean the interior lens surface with something like isopropyl alcohol. Thinking of removing the lamps, pouring some alcohol into the bulb opening and swirling it around.
As the Jeep isnít a daily driver, I can afford to wait as long as I want to permit the alcohol to fully evaporate before reinstalling the lamps.
Is this a really dumb idea; one that is likely to land me in the Darwin Awards?
Is there a better option for a solvent than alcohol?
Should I count myself lucky that I got more than ten years out of this set of E-Codes and just spring for new headlamps

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Old 04-04-2014, 10:44 PM   #2
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Not knowing how the reflectors were coated, I would suggest just leaving them be. Alcohol or other liquids can cause etching, delamination of the reflector coating, peeling, or other damage. Physical wiping will scratch the coating as well.

Incandescent bulbs do dim as they age. The filaments out-gas as they burn and the interior of the bulbs become coated with the tungsten alloy. For maximal output, replace the bulbs at least annually if you drive a lot at night.

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Old 04-05-2014, 06:53 AM   #3
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Good info re possible etching.

I already renewed the bulbs, but Thad did not help as the film is still on the inside of the lens.
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