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Old 4th January 2010, 14:06   #1
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Default Mud/Grime coated headlights, any solution?

Recently, I had a real scare. It was a dark not so stormy night. Just light drizzle, and NHAI ensured that the entire road was coated with grime and wet mud.
I noticed that the headlights are getting dimmer. And dimmer. Soon it was like driving on candle power.
Driving a Tata, I feared the worst. A dying alternator. It brought back memories of indica alternator failure, and slowly I followed traffic to a toll gate, where I knew we would be safe from robbers and like.
Got down to inspect. And guess what it was. The headlights were coated in wet mud. Buses and trucks had thrown up so much grime. For the windshield I had wipers, but the safari does not have them for the lights.
Two other cars stopped too, their owners got down and started wiping.
I wetted a tissue, and cleaned the lights.
this game me another 1 hour of driving before I was driving blind again.

So is there a solution to this? Of course one can get down every hour or so to wipe the headlights, but it seems incredibly impractical. Moreover, only high end cars have headlights with washers. I always used to wonder why cars have these, but now I know, they are a must in such conditions!

But for cars without these, apart from dIY, what else? Is there a solution or coating which can be grime repellent?
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Old 4th January 2010, 14:31   #2
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I saw turtle wax coating at a shop. It was for INR 275. It avoids dirt and water marks for windshields and other glasswork. Not sure if it’ll be effective against grime/sludge

Last edited by bblost : 4th January 2010 at 14:52. Reason: Font tag removed. Thanks
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Old 4th January 2010, 14:50   #3
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One possible home remedy would be to apply the liquid from the centre portion of banana leaf. Also tobacco is said to to be usefull. I have tried the banana leaf on the wind shield and it defenitely works. It forms a layer of insoluble laquer and whatever liquids falls on it will become droplets and roll down.
One more option would be stick some layers of transparent plastic and keep removing one by one as they get dirty. But I am not sure it works very well in dirt and grime / mud.
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Old 4th January 2010, 14:54   #4
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I face a similar situation with insects getting splattered on my bike's headlight.

The only solution so far is to clean the headlight every two hours or so.
Since night riding/ driving is more tiring under such circumstances. These stop overs come in handy to just relax out as well.

But I am sure a solution for this would be a great help.
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Old 4th January 2010, 14:56   #5
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Smear some polish to minimize the sticking, apart from that if its not raining hard nothing much you can do to keep the lenses cleaned. I usually wash and wipe them when i take the breaks, when am driving in the rains.

Or else fix a head light washer from another car and hook it up to the wiper wash.
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Old 4th January 2010, 14:59   #6
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My friend has installed a pair of headlight washers in his safari 3.0 dicor from an old mazda (or maybe a nissan) that he got from a scrap dealer in Assam. He has connected it to this windshield washer using tubes from an aquarium air line and cross joints. I used to own a safari then and had inspected the same in detail when i visited Guwahati. Didn't take him more than 15 minutes to install. Looks great too. Though he said there was a 25% drop in pressure and he was going to try to install another pump in parallel.

Let me ask him how it went and for some pics too.

AFAIK, the older TCIC safaris used to have them. Maybe you can source the same if you can find them.


EDIT:

Maybe you can install a very small lip (like a bug deflector) in front of the light (on the bumper) and hope it reduces splatter. The driver's side wiper already has a built-in bug deflector in the safari.

Last edited by Tejas@perioimpl : 4th January 2010 at 15:03. Reason: see edit
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Old 4th January 2010, 15:01   #7
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i did a DIY few years ago on my alto i think it may help
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/modifi...mp-washer.html
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Old 7th January 2010, 00:44   #8
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3M make a windshield liquid that you can try...

Last edited by AbhiJ : 7th January 2010 at 00:46.
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Old 7th January 2010, 01:02   #9
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Teflon based repellents are not all that useful as the mud/grime will quickly start drying thanks to the bulb heat. They can delay the inevitable but cleaning periodically is the only way to go.

Faced a similar situation but with salt. Was driving from Quebec to Montreal and thought I had blown my headlight bulb. After stopping, noticed a dry layer of salt exactly over the headlight lens. It was relatively much cleaner elsewhere.

A DIY washer assembly should fix things like these and given your history, am sure you will find many more places to use it at.
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Old 7th January 2010, 19:06   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCR View Post
One possible home remedy would be to apply the liquid from the centre portion of banana leaf. Also tobacco is said to to be usefull. I have tried the banana leaf on the wind shield and it defenitely works. It forms a layer of insoluble laquer and whatever liquids falls on it will become droplets and roll down.
I go with this remedy, cheap and best. Alternatively, cut a potato in half and rub the entire glass with it. Has the same insoluble laquer effect.
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Old 7th January 2010, 20:18   #11
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how about mounting some foglamps on the roof?
cost: 4.5k
Available in delhi

details here
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ml#post1648601

Last edited by greenhorn : 7th January 2010 at 20:20.
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Old 7th January 2010, 20:31   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
how about mounting some foglamps on the roof?
Oncoming traffic would then have reduced visibility !!
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Old 7th January 2010, 20:46   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
Oncoming traffic would then have reduced visibility !!
Also its illegal to mount any light higher than the stock headlights.
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Old 7th January 2010, 20:46   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
Oncoming traffic would then have reduced visibility !!
1. I suppose one should use it as required only , just like a high beam
2. Well, to put it selfishly, its either reduced visiblity for you or reduced visiblity for others. Your choice
Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
Also its illegal to mount any light higher than the stock headlights.
its an OE acessory for the xenon. If its ARAI approved, i dont think there will be an issue

Last edited by greenhorn : 7th January 2010 at 20:48.
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Old 7th January 2010, 21:32   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
its an OE acessory for the xenon. If its ARAI approved, i dont think there will be an issue
Am not sure if its ARAI certified, but definitely not RTO approved. RTO can catch you without a second thought, ie if they want to

This is a very common and simple issue to resolve, how much does stopping for a minute and a wet rag gonna cause inconvenience. For this why endanger fellow road users with blinding lights.
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