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My 2007 Rav4 Sport 2.4L has yellowed / oxidized headlight lenses. I have regularly cleared them up with the Turtle Wax headlight kit, and each time I do, the fix lasts less and less time before it ends up looking even worse and more oxidized than before. It's time, I think, for new headlights.

It would be great if I could just replace the lenses and not have to buy an entire headlight assembly. However that is a lot easier said than done. It is possible though, as there is this company who sells headlight lenses for not just the Rav4, but tons of makes and models:

Toyota RAV4 Headlight Lens Cover Haze Plastic Lampcover Shell Replacement Cleaning

I tried to get past the fact that English is not this company's first language, and emailed them asking for prices for shipping to the U.S. They responded saying that with shipping, the headlight lenses pair was $110 USD.

I then asked if this included the seals necessary to do the job. I also asked them if they had any instructions or video to demonstrate how to do this. They responded that seals could be included for an additional $18 USD. Oh, and as for an instructional video, here is what they sent me:

How to uninstall a headlight lens :

How to reinstall a headlight lens :

The username of these YouTube videos is "burningpoop". You can't make this up. A company stands behind their product with videos uploaded by someone reminiscent of burning fecal matter.

Needless to say, I am not going to buy this, as it requires many hours of tedious work to install, all at the risk of damaging either your headlight body, or the new lenses.

SO I'm left with factory options. I can see the part numbers for the Sport are different from the Base/Limited.

Headlamp Assembly, LEFT
Part Number: 81170-42371

Headlamp Assembly, RIGHT
Part Number: 81130-42371

Not cheap. Ugh. I've glanced through the Sticky thread discussing some Japanese headlights, but my brain hurts reading it. I'm not all that interested in messing with aftermarket headlights, unless anyone can vouch for their quality and workmanship. (not to mention, their fitment with the Sport model, as these have a different part number.)

Thanks for any advice here.
 

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There are headlight restore kits that sands down the head lights which will give much better results than other cheap versions. I had good results using 3M Headlight Restoration Kit.
Agreed. I did this as an additional service when I detailed for a living. Are you using any power equipment designed for this or just elbow grease? When properly done it can last six months before it starts to become opaque again.

I do admit there are some lenses too far gone and need to be replaced.
 

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I do headlight restoration as well, but like RTexasF said, some headlights are simply ruined. Not everything can be repaired, unfortunately.

Replacing the whole assembly is probably easier than figuring out how to replace just the lens. As it has been said, ebay is full of headlight assembly replacements for your model year. At least you have that option. I guess the assembly is different enough in 09 that nobody bothered to make aftermarket options. If my headlights need replacing then I'm stuck with finding junkyard parts or paying several hundred dollars for replacements. I'd much rather spend 200 and get some aftermarket projector lamps with halos than what my current options are. I wish the parts were compatible...

Anyway, if your damage is on the inside of your lens, then they need to be replaced. It simply isn't worth the time and effort to pull them apart and try and fix it. If it is just some damage on the outside then you can always go pick up a headlight restoration kit at AutoZone and give it a try yourself. It may be as simple as polishing them with a compound or it could be more complicated and require some wetsanding. I've never restored a headlight that took more than 30 minutes to perfect, so that would be the direction I would go. No, actually, the direction I would go is with some aftermarket projector headlights with halos. But failing that, I'd polish or sand them clear and call it good.
 

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I just used the 3M kit with good results, but need to seal the lens. What are my options product-wise? TIA!

-kj-
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I decided enough was enough and bought new factory headlight assemblies. The dealer matched the lowest price I could find for the same parts from other dealers / online.

I know I could have tried something more but I think my headlights are pretty far gone for it to be worthwhile. Hoping the face of this Rav4 will look essentially brand new when done.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That was a heck of a job, but it's done. I'm glad I did it. It looks like a new car.

I found various dead links on this forum regarding how to do the job, but could not find any working links.

Also my hands were much too dirty to be taking photos as I went, but the jist of it was that there was one or two nuts on the left/right side of the headlight assembly that are not accessible unless you remove the bumper. Here is the summary, and sorry if my vocabulary or terminology is incorrect:
-- Pop hood, -- Disconnect battery terminals
-- Remove plastic top cover from front above the grille. (10 or so pop brackets.)
-- Remove plastic gravel pan cover underneath.
-- Remove front plastic wheel wells. (This was necessary to access both the fog light cables and the screws holding the bumper to the fender.)
-- Remove brackets/screws holding front grill in place. (These are accessible from top/front of engine bay area easily. You can't remove the grill alone, the bumper and grill are screwed together, but you do have to remove the screws on top of the grill as I said here.)
-- Disconnect fog light cables (these are mounted to bumper, so they have to be disconnected.)
-- Remove the two #10 nut screws that hold the bumper to the fender.
-- Pull bumper off. It has to kind of "pop" off to get free from the headlight edges. Otherwise there are no more fasteners, it will come right off.
-- Remove all screws holding headlight in place. There are about 5 I believe.
-- Remove the two ballast bulb holders and turn signal bulb holder.
-- Remove #10 bolt that holds front grill bracket in place. (This horizontal bar I'm talking about is also where you horns are mounted. Had to remove it one side at a time since the bar was obstructing me removing the headlight.
-- Remove headlight. When out, remove headlight's turn signal bulb and install it into new headlight assembly.
Reinstall in reverse of the install.


Took me about 4.5 hours. But considering I had no real illustrated guide and I did not lose or break anything major I call that a win. The only thing is I did break about 5 pop brackets on the wheel well in the process, I got the wheel wells back on OK but will have to order some more small-ish pop brackets to fully secure it in places.
 

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Terrific, but it's on backorder, and I am wondering if other locally-available products (think Mothers or Meguiars brands) might do the trick. Searching now...
 

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Terrific, but it's on backorder, and I am wondering if other locally-available products (think Mothers or Meguiars brands) might do the trick. Searching now...
Sounds like a good product. Perhaps it's available at a decent sized auto supply place?
 

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I've been searching all morning, haven't found it locally.
 

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That was a heck of a job, but it's done. I'm glad I did it. It looks like a new car.

I found various dead links on this forum regarding how to do the job, but could not find any working links.

Also my hands were much too dirty to be taking photos as I went, but the jist of it was that there was one or two nuts on the left/right side of the headlight assembly that are not accessible unless you remove the bumper. Here is the summary, and sorry if my vocabulary or terminology is incorrect:
-- Pop hood, -- Disconnect battery terminals
-- Remove plastic top cover from front above the grille. (10 or so pop brackets.)
-- Remove plastic gravel pan cover underneath.
-- Remove front plastic wheel wells. (This was necessary to access both the fog light cables and the screws holding the bumper to the fender.)
-- Remove brackets/screws holding front grill in place. (These are accessible from top/front of engine bay area easily. You can't remove the grill alone, the bumper and grill are screwed together, but you do have to remove the screws on top of the grill as I said here.)
-- Disconnect fog light cables (these are mounted to bumper, so they have to be disconnected.)
-- Remove the two #10 nut screws that hold the bumper to the fender.
-- Pull bumper off. It has to kind of "pop" off to get free from the headlight edges. Otherwise there are no more fasteners, it will come right off.
-- Remove all screws holding headlight in place. There are about 5 I believe.
-- Remove the two ballast bulb holders and turn signal bulb holder.
-- Remove #10 bolt that holds front grill bracket in place. (This horizontal bar I'm talking about is also where you horns are mounted. Had to remove it one side at a time since the bar was obstructing me removing the headlight.
-- Remove headlight. When out, remove headlight's turn signal bulb and install it into new headlight assembly.
Reinstall in reverse of the install.


Took me about 4.5 hours. But considering I had no real illustrated guide and I did not lose or break anything major I call that a win. The only thing is I did break about 5 pop brackets on the wheel well in the process, I got the wheel wells back on OK but will have to order some more small-ish pop brackets to fully secure it in places.
A little late now, but bumper removal is not needed. You undo a couple fasteners that hold the plastic inner wheel well on. That will give you access to the bolts that hold the corners of the bumper on. You undo the top fasteners and then the bumper kinda rotates forward just enough to let you get the headlights out.
 

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I have tried several headlight restoration kits and none of them worked very well. The problem is the inside of the headlight and reflector have aged and yellowed. I put new headlights in and it makes the front of the vehicle look like brand new for the rest of the time I own the car and I probably get the money back at resale time.
 

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I have tried several headlight restoration kits and none of them worked very well. The problem is the inside of the headlight and reflector have aged and yellowed. I put new headlights in and it makes the front of the vehicle look like brand new for the rest of the time I own the car and I probably get the money back at resale time.
I suppose older vehicles would have the insides yellowed and yes, they should be replaced. I made a mistake with my 99 Camry and replaced them with aftermarket units. Absolute junk. Never could get them to fit correctly and can't aim them as they keep moving in their mounts. Very sorry I didn't try a restoration kit.
Newer vehicles with the usual hazing on the outer covers should be just fine with a regular going over with a kit.
 

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I've search high and low for the Diamondite (even emailed them with no response) and can't find it anywhere.

The Autogeek link now redirects to another product. Did they rebrand or something?

Thanks :)
 
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