Last post on Nov 27, 2013 at 1:06 PM
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#19244 of 19336 Re: Thanks [xwesx]
Dec 01, 2012 (12:55 pm)
Call me crazy (go ahead, everyone else does!!), but I still buy the imported EU spec premium bulbs from Daniel Stern Lighting (Candlepower, Inc.) for my OBW. Philips Extreme Vision H1. A little brighter, and a very carefully aligned filament to make the best use of the stock housing. Plus, I occasionally polish the exterior plastic housing to make sure it is as close to crystal clear as possible.
When I look at the 'milk glass' lenses that many older cars sport, it makes me want to cry.
#19245 of 19336 Re: Thanks [fibber2]
Dec 01, 2012 (1:21 pm)
How long to those bulbs last, Steve?
Also, what do you use to polish your 2001's housings?
#19246 of 19336 Re: Thanks [xwesx]
Dec 01, 2012 (8:30 pm)
Not long enough, Wes! I average around 2 years or so. 4th or 5th set over the life of the car. I don't keep spares, so end up putting in a basic bulb that I have lying around until I get around to ordering more. The difference is noticeable, so I keep going back for more.
I looked into specific lens polishing kits, but on a lark I tried a microfiber cloth with some Meguires Cleaner Wax. It's a decent wax with a light duty polishing compound thrown it. It's a great general purpose product perfect for those of us who are lucky to find the time to wax their old cars once a year or so! It beads for half a year or more, comes off the rubber just fine (way better than their upscale Gold Class), and takes off the embedded crap that I should be going after with a clay bar but never get around to do.
The mild abrasive cleans off the oxidized plastic haze, and the wax helps to seal the surface. I'm sure the purists will cry foul to what I'm doing, but for me it seems to work great. And it's cheap! 30 cents of the stuff (I think I paid $6 at Walmart for the last bottle) will keep the lenses clean for months.
#19247 of 19336 Headlight Height
Dec 02, 2012 (12:04 am)
I've had an issue with the height of my headlights being too low on my 2010 Forester from day one. The dealer said "they are all like that" when I brought it to him. But...I had a 2009 and had no issues with seeing street signs, stop signs, etc. that I do with this 2010. Does anyone know how to adjust the height of the lights?
Dec 02, 2012 (6:07 am)
I've had good luck with toothpaste but I found an old bottle of polish around here that the former owners left and used that back in the summer. Was happy to see that it didn't dissolve the plastic; it probably dates back to the 80s.
Hard to say if it did a better job than the toothpaste. Probably my imagination, but it seems to have stayed "clearer" longer.
#19249 of 19336 Re: Thanks [steve_]
Dec 02, 2012 (8:48 am)
Some toothpastes are indeed very good. I snatched a tube of Crest Extra Whitening with Tarter Protection - Clean Mint from the cabinet at home for use on coins and other metallic polishing. It's almost as aggressive as one of the Buehler pastes that we use at work (diamond) for metallographic cross-sections. That probably means it's hell on your enamel!
#19250 of 19336 Re: Thanks [fibber2]
Dec 02, 2012 (3:41 pm)
Thanks, Steve. I'll have to try that Meguires. The wax I used on the Forester last summer was an awful choice! If it was a 1969 Chevy pickup, it probably would have been fine. But, with all the plastic trim on that car... ugh. I still can't get the stuff that touched the black trim pieces off. It looks like hell, and I wasn't even being particularly sloppy with it!
After my attempts at exterior auto care last summer, that poor car, which is only three years old, looks heavily aged compared to the summer before.
I don't have any problems with headlight housings right now, but I imagine that if you start caring for them early, you're less likely to have issues later on.
As for the life span of your bulbs, that sounds pretty darn reasonable. Some of the bulbs, such as the Silver Stars, I've heard tend to last six months to a year. I use my lights all the time. Do you, or are yours used only "when necessary?"
#19251 of 19336 Re: Thanks [xwesx]
Dec 02, 2012 (3:52 pm)
Remember that early implementation of DRL's used the low beams at reduced power, so yes, those bulbs are on all the time. Fortunately, the reduced voltage really doesn't impact the filament life too badly, but it is a factor in total life.
#19252 of 19336 Re: Thanks [fibber2]
Dec 02, 2012 (5:45 pm)
Yes, I imagine so. That was the main rub for me when I decided to run lights all the time many years ago. The other was remembering to turn them off every time, as cars from the late sixties don't have auto-off functionality! I remember a time or two, fifteen years ago, getting up at 0530 for work and being greeted by a dead battery. It doesn't take too long to learn that lesson.
#19253 of 19336 Re: Thanks [fibber2]
Dec 03, 2012 (6:44 am)
I snatched a tube of Crest Extra Whitening with Tarter Protection - Clean Mint from the cabinet
No tarter on the lens so it must be working!