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Dull headlights, what’s the cheap fix?

Dull headlight reflector

Where to go for inexpensive, DIY improvement in light?

  • SilverStars?
  • E-code glass?
  • jewel headlights?
  • HID Xenons?

I have a 98 S70 and the headlights are really not very powerful at all. I can drive with my brights on and nobody flashes me. My bulbs are fairly new (within a year) and are the GE halogens they sell at wallmart. I have tried PIAA’s and they aren’t any better.

BEJinFbk, MVS Contributor and all-around car guru:

“If it’s pitted badly enough to affect your light output, I’d think you’d be able to feel it in the glass.
I’ve never heard of a polishing kit for GLASS headlights, just plastic.

I started with SilverStars, changed up to E-code glass and got reasonable, but not terrific lighting.
Short of jewels, HIDs would probably be my next step for improved lights.
But for now, SilverStars and E-code glass made a noticeable improvement on the cheap. :wink:

MVS Moderator MadeInJapan:

“It’s been a while since I’ve posted but found this discussion something I can relate to. Actually, I have a ’98 S70 too and have had the same issues. Although the Silverstars were better, I was burning through them sometimes within a month, then I found the solution! And…it’s fairly cheap!! Change our your whole set-up to HID light bulbs. You can buy the kit for the H7’s here: … 35W-or-55W You’ll have to use a 1 inch bit to drill the hole on the back side of your headlight cover and then just insert the new bulbs that have a rubber grommet to keep moisture out over the hole and then mount your ballasts to somewhere nearby- I used velcro (passenger side, behind the head light and driver’s side onto the battery). Anyway, they work great- I didn’t even upgrade to 55watts and it’s much brighter now!! They look sort of fluorescent but much brighter and I have had none burn out (by the way- a life time warranty!). Check out the bulb color carefully- I stayed with as white as I could get- of course you could go towards the blue spectrum if you want but I found that they look cheesy, especially on a Volvo (personal taste).”

What makes my headlights fade?


What about glass headlights? My wife’s 99 V70 has the same problem. Her headlights are glass lenses and cant be sanded. Aside from replacement, any suggestions?

Frankly, the 3M lense repair kit works great! Made dull XC90 headlight lenses look like new. Great product! I have used on 3 cars so far all headlights. The volvo xc90 headlights have more coating to remove to get under the degraded plastic so be sure to follow the instructions….more passes on the sanding steps.

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