Headlight condensation


weidnerr
03-21-2005, 01:15 PM
I had a problem with headlight condensation inside the lens. A small hole was drilled at the bottom to let air in to dry it out. Now the lens is really cloudy and limits visability when driving at night. Is there a way to take the lens apart and clean it and then I'll plug the hole with silicone?

'97ventureowner
03-21-2005, 10:21 PM
These lenses aren't supposed to come apart or be sepaprated from the housing. The ones on my van though have come off (probably the result of too many touchless car washes with the high pressure stream of water.) I ended up buying some specialty epoxy at a autobody supply shop and that did the trick to keep them together. The glue from the factory is "supposed" to be permanent, and if you decide to try and sepaprate the lens from the housing, I would reccomend using a similar type epoxy to reseal the lenses due to the fact that these headlights are subjected to all kinds of environmental extremes and conditions and you want something that going to hold up. Trying to separate the lenses also poses the risk of cracking the lip of the lens that fits into the groove of the housing. If that happens then it is more difficult to obtain a good seal when you put it back together. If you can afford it, you might want to check on eBay for replacement headlights. Ihave seen them go for anywheres from $24.99 to $49.00 or more. That would save some time and anguish dealing with trying to rid your old ones of condensation. That price is very good since I was quoted $249.00 per side 3 years ago from the dealer to replace, hence my own repair to the unit.

gls02
03-22-2005, 09:59 AM
I would take the headlight out of the van and pour a glass cleaner into the hole that holds the headlight bulb. Fill the headlight about half full and shake the cleaner around then drain, do this a couple of times to remove the haze/dirt from the inside of the lens. Use compressed air to dry the lens off. You can always run a bead of silicone around the outside seam just to be sure that it is sealed. Plug that hold that was drilled to let the moisture out, that is making your problem worse.

I have wondered myself if the problem with the len coming off of these headlights is caused by using a car wash. My 02 headlight has a couple of pieces of plastic that stick out from the len and I have to be careful when washing/drying the headlights as the towel does catch on those plastic pointed pieces. Just a thought.

proteks
03-22-2005, 12:47 PM
I picked the epoxy out and completely cleaned the inside and silicone back together. Worked until the first rain. Some of the cloudiness is the oxidation on the outside of plastic. It was easier for me to replace at 125.00 from dealer. ebay was cheaper. Best of all I can see at night.

'97ventureowner
03-22-2005, 10:22 PM
Yes I have found that these high pressure car washes are in large part to blame for the covers coming off. Luckily both times it happened to me I was able to go back to the car wash and find the covers off to the side of the wash bay. I only wash my van by hand now. I suspect the sealer GM uses deteriorates over time due to the exposure to the elements. When looking for an adhesive to put the cover back on, one should look for something that can stand up to the elements, including UV rays from the sun. The epoxy I have used has given me luck so far... if that fails I may look to a marine supply store to see what adhesives they carry.

denyp
10-13-2005, 09:41 PM
I picked the epoxy out and completely cleaned the inside and silicone back together. Worked until the first rain. Some of the cloudiness is the oxidation on the outside of plastic. It was easier for me to replace at 125.00 from dealer. ebay was cheaper. Best of all I can see at night.

I did this as well - it did not last. I bought OEM replacement headlight capsules - it is nice to see in the dark again!

Deny

'97ventureowner
10-14-2005, 12:17 AM
I did this as well - it did not last. I bought OEM replacement headlight capsules - it is nice to see in the dark again!

Deny
If anyone decides to repair their headlights by re-gluing the lenses back on, I would like to offer a bit of advice from experience. When looking for an adhesive to re-install the lens to the housing, you must use a special adhesive for the repair to last. Silicone and other adhesives you find at your local auto parts stores do not hold up. These headlights are subjected to all kinds of weather, salt, UV rays from the sun, road vibration, etc. so you need to keep this in mind when looking for an adhesive. I went to my local auto body supply store and located an epoxy type sealant that so far, 3 years going, is working excellent for me. It came in a 2 sectioned tube with a plunger. You pushed out a small amount from both sides and thoroughly mix it and then quickly apply it to the groove in the housing. I also applied some to the ridge on the lens. I then put both pieces together because the product sets quickly. That is why it is reccomended to do it in small batches. Make sure you clean all traces of old adhesive from the channel on the housing, and the ridge on the lens to ensure adequate sealing capabilities. The adhesive itself cost around $8.00 , and was enough to do both headlights with a small amount left over.

cdru
10-14-2005, 08:49 AM
My driver side lense fell off doing my intake gasket replacement about this time last fall. I spent some time picking all the old sealant out and prepping the surface, then just used some RTV adhesive. It's been solid for the past year. Unfortunately I can't say the same for the otherside that just popped off one day and I didn't notice until too late.

Kevcules
10-14-2005, 09:20 PM
These headlight lenses are well documented by the dealer for failing and just popping off. My dealer replaced mine after looking at the light with no lense on it and said he would change it for free as a "good will warranty" because the regular warranty had expired some months previous. After market lights are less than $60 canadian. I just priced one the other day as mine got cracked by some dummy in a parking lot.
One of my headlights had condensation in it when I purchased the van used. All I did was drill a small hole in one corner to drain the water and thats it. It will get a little foggy sometimes but doesn't affect performance , not that I can see anyway.

ChoochCharlie
10-15-2005, 07:58 PM
I removed my lights and pured in some Windex. Shake. Then used a hairdrier to dry them out. Silicone on all seams. Havent had much condensation since.

kidfam
11-04-2005, 07:55 PM
This is a really bad design on GM's part. The glue/epoxy whatever it is that holds the lense to the casing becomes brittle over time, cracks and lets water in. The ones on my Silhouette got really bad and even had standing water in them. Best solution is to buy replacements. Ebay is cheapest for aftermarket. They are the best quality and perhaps won't allow for perfect beam alignment but they beat the high dealer cost. If you want to repair what you have, dig out and scrape away all the epoxy. Separate the lense from the casing, clean it but DO NOT TOUCH the mirror panels in the case or the foil will disintegrate. Glue the parts back together with Loctite sealant from the auto parts store.

'97ventureowner
11-06-2005, 09:16 PM
Separate the lense from the casing, clean it but DO NOT TOUCH the mirror panels in the case or the foil will disintegrate. Glue the parts back together with Loctite sealant from the auto parts store.
I ended up touching the mirrored part when I was cleaning it with Windex to shine it back up and it hasn't deteriorated in over 4 years,even after doing so on 2 separate occasions. And if you live in an area that experiences weather extremes, like very cold winters, and very warm summers, I would not reccomend using the Loctite. I used that the first time one of my lenses came off and the repair lasted less than a year. When researching another adhesive to use, a body shop professional told me to use something that can stand up to the temperature extremes, changes in humidity, road vibrations, and most important UV rays from the sun, which deteriorate the other sealants quickly. I found such a sealant at my local body shop supply store after talking with the counterman. If you have such a store in your area, and are doing the repair yourself, it might be worth your while to check it out.

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