Headlight condensation repair

I had a go at solving the ubiquitous condensation issue with the headlights, and it seems to have worked. here is what I did, If other wants to give it a try.

I removed the headlights, two screws, and pulls out forward. Rear cover clips off, cable connector and all the bulbs, careful to not touch the Halogen bulb glass with your fingers, as it reduces the life of the lightbulbs.

I used a hair dryer to dry out any residual moisture within the lens, I then separated the outer rubber seal, marked in red that surrounds the front edge of the headlight. I gave the join area of the lights a good clean, especially the little join areas with grim built up over the years. I used a toothbrush, a some soapy water and finally a quirt of throttle cleaner to get rid of any oil etc. Placed black silicon gasket sealant on the join area between rear and front headlight components, marked in green, you can see the clips and joint area, and also put a thin bead of the sealant between clear lens and rear plastic join, marked in blue, as there seemed to be a glued seam there, which potentially could leak, probably overkill but saves having to do it again if it is the source of the leak.

Seems to have worked, as no condensation over the last week, even with the biblical levels of rain we have seen.

Hope this helps.

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DJ 190

Member
There's two basic types of headlight. The earlier type which can easily be separated and the later, bonded type. It's possible to separate that later type by placing the complete headlight in an over set to 120 deg C for 20 minutes. This softens the adhesive and they will readily come apart. I'm saying this because the interior of the headlight can then be thoroughly cleaned and also accessed for modifications such as fitting DRL's . When re-assembling, future condensation will be prevented if some bags of silica-gel are deposited in the rear of the headlight ....

David
 

Aktiv8

Member
This is great - thanks @quantumtokoloshi . I'm going to give this a go.... Our car is 2002 1.4 Petrol - anyone hazard a guess as to whether the lights will come apart easily or whether I need to oven bake it :) @DJ 190 what are "DRL's" and why do I want them in my life/car :) ??
 

audifan

A2OC Donor
I think the one piece headlights were introduced some time in 2001/2002 not exactly sure if they were on particular models first, or done for the build year, so you will have to check yourself. DRL's are the Daytime Running Lights as fitted to all recent cars and mandatory in some form or other in many countries. Do you need them or want them, well that is entirely up to you. You can get aftermarket ones that you fit into the grilles or into the fog light locations as well as the ones that stick externally to the light lenses if you do not want to open up your headlights for internal ones.
 

Aktiv8

Member
This is my headlight - It doesn't look like it will come apart without breaking into a number of pieces....any suggestions? Thanks again everyone....
 

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audifan

A2OC Donor
Looks like the later one piece headlight. They will need to be cooked to soften the glue to enable the "glass" to be removed from the shell. What exactly are you trying to achieve with the headlight(s)?
 

Aktiv8

Member
Looks like the later one piece headlight. They will need to be cooked to soften the glue to enable the "glass" to be removed from the shell. What exactly are you trying to achieve with the headlight(s)?
I want to clean and polish the inside of the lens to get rid of all the marks and yellowing
 

H-M3

Member
Guys sorry to jack this thread, had a look at my headlights which are also misting up badly. They seem to be the early type that can be separated. Is there any diagrams to show how to dismantle and what could be the cause of condensation? Thanks
 

DJ 190

Member
There are a series of clips holding the front cover in place. Incidentally that's how you can see if it's the early type by checking how many clips there are ..... if there are just four then it's the later type. Just unclip the front and open up the headlight! It's as simple as that!. Purchase some silica gell bags from Ebay. Clean the inside and insert the gell ... Re-assemble and job done!

David
 
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