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Old 11-29-2005, 11:30 AM   #1
BlackMagik
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Default Headlight lenses moisture

My headlight lenses steam up on the inside when the headlights are on. I was wondering how common this is and if GM has a cure. I read one time of a person taking it in and having it fixed but they didn't say how they fixed it.
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Old 11-29-2005, 02:44 PM   #2
OttoNP
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The headlamps aren't sealed so this is normal and will occur under the right weather conditions, should go away after headlamps are on for awhile.
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Old 11-29-2005, 03:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OttoNP
The headlamps aren't sealed so this is normal and will occur under the right weather conditions, should go away after headlamps are on for awhile.
This is total Our Honda CR-V had the same problem with the driver's side sealed headlamp. Honda replaced it under warranty no questions asked and no problem since. The CR-V costs 1/3 that of a C6!
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Old 11-29-2005, 06:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OttoNP
The headlamps aren't sealed so this is normal and will occur under the right weather conditions, should go away after headlamps are on for awhile.

If it did go away I would be OK with it but it doesn't ever dry out. The headlights just burn a hole through it right in line with the beam. It will do it in dry weather summer or winter and I suspect if I were to ever drive it in the rain it could only be worse
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Old 11-29-2005, 08:39 PM   #5
saplumr
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Under certain conditions moisture will appear in headlights but does not last. Headlight system is not sealed. Checked with my dealer, says this is normal.
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Old 11-30-2005, 09:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vetdude
This is total Our Honda CR-V had the same problem with the driver's side sealed headlamp. Honda replaced it under warranty no questions asked and no problem since. The CR-V costs 1/3 that of a C6!
That is the point of an unsealed headlamp, if a sealed headlamp gets moisture in it, it's there forever (in theory it should never get it to begin with) and will have to be replaced to remedy. Like if you've had a "water resistant" watch that has got water in it, it never goes away. With an unsealed system it should go away...I'm sure some people won't like that, but when it comes to moisture in headlamps you have 2 chocies,

1. Seal them, which is probably hard and expensive and may have some issue with durability because of pressure changes, etc.... If they ever get moisture in them, they need to be replaced. Since that assembly is probably like $900 bucks, this would could suck once your out of warranty

2. Don't seal them, durabilities issue are eliminated, cheaper, easier, and sometimes they will fog a little, which should go away since they aren't sealed.

I guess GM took option 2...

Last edited by OttoNP; 11-30-2005 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 11-30-2005, 01:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OttoNP
That is the point of an unsealed headlamp, if a sealed headlamp gets moisture in it, it's there forever (in theory it should never get it to begin with) and will have to be replaced to remedy. Like if you've had a "water resistant" watch that has got water in it, it never goes away. With an unsealed system it should go away...I'm sure some people won't like that, but when it comes to moisture in headlamps you have 2 chocies,

1. Seal them, which is probably hard and expensive and may have some issue with durability because of pressure changes, etc.... If they ever get moisture in them, they need to be replaced. Since that assembly is probably like $900 bucks, this would could suck once your out of warranty

2. Don't seal them, durabilities issue are eliminated, cheaper, easier, and sometimes they will fog a little, which should go away since they aren't sealed.

I guess GM took option 2...

There is a third option. Unsealed but with proper venting, the moisture would clear up with the heat of the headlights. Am I the only one that has them always steamed up when driving at night, no matter how far I drive, or how dry the air is (I do live in WA so at night it is always over 50% humidity) or do other people just not walk around in front of their cars with the headlights on so they don't notice.
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Old 11-30-2005, 01:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saplumr
Under certain conditions moisture will appear in headlights but does not last. Headlight system is not sealed. Checked with my dealer, says this is normal.
Well, OK, then I guess the "certain conditions" in my case would be any time the car is driven at night and true, it doesn't last, it will be gone the next day. So I guess that is, what we call in the business, a perfect design and has no problems.
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Old 11-30-2005, 01:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackMagik
Well, OK, then I guess the "certain conditions" in my case would be any time the car is driven at night and true, it doesn't last, it will be gone the next day. So I guess that is, what we call in the business, a perfect design and has no problems.
If this is a frequent problem see your dealer. GM says it's normal under certain conditions, not frequently. They should be willing to replace the headlight unit(s) under warranty if it happens every day.
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Old 11-30-2005, 03:00 PM   #10
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Maybe I'm missing something here but my thought is that the COVER over the lights is just that, a cover. It is more for areodynamics and style than anything. It is NOT part of the headlight per say, it simply covers the actual projector bulbs and DLR's which of coarse are sealed themselves.

It is not necessary for the cover to be sealed or air tight. In fact, in order for it to be completely sealed would require other steps like drawing a vacuum once the cover was sealed to remove any air trapped inside. Without doing this, the trapped air would condense with temperature changes and you would still get the moisture inside. If the unit were completely sealed now with the trapped moisture, it would never go away.

I suspect that it is condensation that is causing the moisture inside the cover. When the temperature of the outside surface of the cover is different from the inside surface, the air inside the cover releases its water vapor.

Although I haven't seen this problem on my car at this time, I do think it is normal and probably won't cause any problems down the road.

Last edited by quickride; 11-30-2005 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 11-30-2005, 03:44 PM   #11
BlackMagik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quickride
Maybe I'm missing something here but my thought is that the COVER over the lights is just that, a cover. It is more for areodynamics and style than anything. It is NOT part of the headlight per say, it simply covers the actual projector bulbs and DLR's which of coarse are sealed themselves.

It is not necessary for the cover to be sealed or air tight. In fact, in order for it to be completely sealed would require other steps like drawing a vacuum once the cover was sealed to remove any air trapped inside. Without doing this, the trapped air would condense with temperature changes and you would still get the moisture inside. If the unit were completely sealed now with the trapped moisture, it would never go away.

I suspect that it is condensation that is causing the moisture inside the cover. When the temperature of the outside surface of the cover is different from the inside surface, the air inside the cover releases its water vapor.

Although I haven't seen this problem on my car at this time, I do think it is normal and probably won't cause any problems down the road.

I agree that it will not cause big problems, but, it looks pretty funky to see a car of this caliber with the headlight covers all steamed up on inside except where the light has burned a dry spot. The answer has to be to provide a upper and lower vent, not visible from the outside, to let this moisture escape. I might be the only one that noticed because most people have garage door openers so they don't walk in front of the car with the lights on that often. I need to get one of those someday.
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Old 11-30-2005, 04:02 PM   #12
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Found this on TechLink -

Exterior Lamp Condensation

Moisture inside exterior lamps continues to be a concern. Bulletin 01-08-42-001A, released in November, defines the causes, and provides guidelines for determining the difference between condensation and a lamp with a water leak.
Refer to the bulletin for details. Here are some of the highlights.

Condensation -- Condensation (fog) inside the lamp housing occurs after a period of high humidity, which is an atmospheric condition. The condensation should clear when the vehicle is parked in a dry environment or when driven with the lights on. If condensation occurs, replacing the lamp assembly may not correct the condition.

Leak -- Drops of various sizes collecting on the inside of the lens after being exposed to rain or a car wash indicate a leak. Water accumulated from a leak won’t clear if the vehicle is parked in a dry environment, or when driven with the lights on. Water accumulation in the lamp assembly indicates a need for service.

http://www.gmtechlink.com/images/iss.../TLfeb04e.html

From the referenced bulletin
..
* A Fine Mist or White Fog on the Inside Surface of the Lamp Lens Occurring After a Period of High Humidity May be located primarily in the lens corners (near the vents) and SHOULD NOT cover more than half the lens surface.
* The condition should clear of moisture when the vehicle is parked in a dry environment, or when the vehicle is driven with the lights ON.
* A comparison of the equivalent lamp on the opposing side of the vehicle indicates a SIMILAR performance.
..
http://www.grandamgt.com/forum/archi...p/t-24831.html

I'd think that that "SHOULD NOT cover more than half the lens surface" would be a starting point, if you're seeing more than that. In any case, the issue's been brought up before, so they may have some sort of answer. Or not. Good luck.
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Old 11-30-2005, 05:39 PM   #13
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Won't all these "fogging" and "drying" cycles leave a permanent film or water spots on the insides of the lenses? I mean in 5 years what are the lenses going to look like? Then who pays? I have read that a new assembly costs over $900 ea.

Tom
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Old 11-30-2005, 06:07 PM   #14
BlackMagik
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Thanks Buffy, that is what I was hoping to find out. BTW mine would fall in the category of less than half the lens is foggy and they both match. No droplets. But it doesn't go away driving with the lights on. I will go to your links and this will arm me with info if I decide to take it to the dealer. Thanks much.

Last edited by BlackMagik; 11-30-2005 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 11-30-2005, 06:07 PM
 
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