How to fix headlight moisture – Do you have water or moisture in your headlights?
All cars that are made nowadays come with sealed plastic headlights. The problem with these headlights is that the seals tend to go bad over time and the headlights themselves can crack allowing moisture to enter the headlight unit. This moisture looks really ugly inside headlight lines and it also reduces the lifespan of the headlight bulb.
Usually when the seals go back on the headlight unit you will start to see this by seeing condensation form on the inside of the lens especially after a hard rain. Now if instead it’s a crack you may see the same condensation or depending upon the size of the crack you may actually even see water start to fill the headlight lens.
In most cases that I have personally seen as a certified Honda technician at Capital City Honda, here in Olympia WA, it’s usually a matter of the seals on the headlight lens going bad or hairline cracks. Some manufacturers like Volvo have a seal that goes all the way around the lens that is held in place by metal clamps. These rubber seals are cheap and they will dry out, crack and lose their effectiveness rather quickly when exposed to the elements and some light.
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If you’re headlight lens has a rubber seal like this which you need to do is first remove the headlight assembly. Then remove any metal clamps holding the unit and lens together. Then remove the old rubber seal. In some cases the rubber seal may become brittle and attached like glue. In these cases you may need to take a razor blade or X-Acto knife to cut and remove the seal from the lens or headlight assembly.
Once you have the seal removed clean out the inside of the lens and the headlight assembly. If you think it is time to replace your headlight bulb this would be the ideal time to do that as you have the headlight assembly apart from the vehicle. Next what you will do is use a silicone sealer which can be bought at any hardware store or home improvement store like Lowe’s or Home Depot and apply this to the entire edge of the headlight lens that attaches to the headlight assembly.
Do this slowly and carefully so that you don’t make a mess with it. Then reattach the headlight lens to the headlight assembly. Install all the metal clamps (if any metal clamps have broken or are rusted out and can be reattached a great source to buy replacement ones dirt cheap is your local salvage yard). Then reinstall the headlight assembly and reconnect the bulb wires and you are done.
The reason I’m telling you to use silicone sealer is that it lasts longer than rubber seals will and it is far cheaper. You can buy a replacement rubber seal but you need to get a new one and you’ll only be able to do this through the new car dealers. I have yet to run across an aftermarket supplier headlight assembly seals. There may be one out there I just haven’t come across it yet.
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Now if you’re headlight lens is an actual sealed unit with out seals which means that it’s just two pieces of plastic that are attached with a glue or by heat, then you will not be able to do the above method. In this case you will have to drill a hole or several holes in the bottom of the headlight lens. This is so that the moisture will drain out of the lens. To completely read the lens of all moisture what I recommend is that you take the headlight lens after you’ve drooled the holes in it and place it next to your air conditioning intake on your house for a day or two to completely dry it out and remove all moisture.
After this you will take a tube of silicone sealer and cover the holes that you drilled with silicone. To better seal and hold in place the silicone after it dries card is small piece of duct tape and cover each of the holes. This will not be noticeable from someone looking at your car because it’s on the underside of your headlight lens. Then reinstall your headlight lens just as described above and you’re all set with headlight lenses that no longer have moisture or condensation inside them.
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