Cleaning headlight lenses

The lens and the reflector of the headlight will become dirty after some years. One of the forum members (gfgf) of the Dutch Saab Forum has developed a method to clean the headlights from the inside. Gfgf, thanks for your good idea and the photos .

It is adviced to remove  the headlights. Otherwise it will be very difficul to do the job.

The cleaning of the lenses will take about 3 to 3.5 hours of work. Purchase a micro fiber cloth and a firm but flexible iron wire (eg VD wire). A flashlight (LED) is recommended.


To remove the headlights to the bumper must be removed. Remove the three bolts from the wheel cover (see right picture) at the side where you want to remove the headlight. (Leave the other side in place)


Remove the 3 screws holding the bumper where the underside of the spoiler shield is attached. (No photo)


Remove the clips where the bumper bar is attached above the radiator. (See photo)


Press the pin in the middle to remove the clipsAfter that you can lift them.

Pull the bumper, starting from the wheel, out of the clamps and leave the bumper as shown at the picture.


The headlight isfixed at the underside with one bolt. With a pipe wrench (10) you can remove the bolt. (Picture left)

Mark the position of the attachment points (pencil, pen) so that the headlight can be placed back in the same position.


Remove the bolts securing the unit to the radiator bar.


The unit is now only held by a hook at the underside. Use a flashlight to find the hook. With a flat object (eg a tool), you can lift up the hook whereafter you can pull out the unit. Remove the connector at the back of the unit. (Red sliding clamp, then pull out the connector).




Fabricate a piece of cleaning equipment with about this form. Use a firm yet flexible piece of wire. Cut a strip from the micro fiber cloth and wrap it around the wire. Put it down to the wire with tape to prevent it from slipping off.


This tool will be used to clean the lenses.

Make a second piece of equipment (or use the end of the first tool) with approximately this shape. Wrap the iron with a microfiber cloth. Fix the cloth with tape.


This tool will be used to clean the edges of the lenses.

Remove the bulbs (low beam and high beam) from the unit. Clean with the first tool the front of the lensInsert the tool through the hole of the high beam and polish the lens. Bend the wire so that you can reach the lensPlace the flashlight behind the hole to see the results.

As you can see, there are remains on the edge of the lens.
Use the second tool to clean the edge of the lens. Check with the flashlight if everything is covered.
Then clean the backside of the lens. Apply the first tool through the opening  of the low beamEventually bend the wire slightly to reach every part of the lensUse the flashlight to check if the entire surface of the lens has been cleaned.
If the lens is clean you can see your tool through the lensOnce you've reached this point you want to see the effect in the dark.
Finally we need to clean the reflector. You can see the reflector through the hole of the lamp. You need to study at the picture but you can see dirty and a clean part of the reflector. With the first tool (maybe you need to bend the wire) you can clean the surface of the reflector.

If you still have time you can clean any debris in the unit. For example, near the parking light.


After cleaning, insert the bulbs back into the unit and put the unit back into the car. Note the markings so you do not need to adjust lights and turn on the unit again. Remount the bumper in the reverse order.

Do you need to clean the other unit? Repeat the entire procedure



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