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      09-26-2016, 02:19 PM   #1
pinco000
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e92 lci headlight condensation

Hi guys! I took my car to a local car handwash and straight after that I got a significant amount of condensation inside the driver side headlight. The passenger side stayed 100% dry.
Any idea what could be the cause and how to get rid of ?
I remember that when I bought my car in manchester and then drove it to london in torrential rain my headlight got moisture in. But that was it for two years. No moisture until last friday.
I have noticed the carwash guy spending more time near the headlamp with the powerwash, could that be it?
Also, there was a fair bit of rain in London and it got worse. Could this be due to the colder weather recently?
Thanks
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      09-27-2016, 04:43 AM   #2
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sure the caps are all there on the back of the lamp? should be able to tell from the bay.
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      09-27-2016, 06:13 AM   #3
Jeff123
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Put a hairdryer on it until the condensation goes. I got condensation on my previous car when cleaning under the bonnet with a hose pipe. Should be fine - but maybe make sure that all the seals are firmly in place.
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      09-27-2016, 06:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff123
Put a hairdryer on it until the condensation goes. I got condensation on my previous car when cleaning under the bonnet with a hose pipe. Should be fine - but maybe make sure that all the seals are firmly in place.
I will need a looong extension for that to happen as Im parking in a resident bay
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      09-27-2016, 06:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bytejunkie
sure the caps are all there on the back of the lamp? should be able to tell from the bay.
havent checked the back yet, just the top which seems ok
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      09-27-2016, 06:54 AM   #6
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I had this on my LCI e92 320d, exactly what you are describing - lots of moisture but only on 1 headlight especially after washing and heavy rain. I ignored it as it would always clear after a couple of days when parking the car underground at work. One day the headlight failed completely after heavy rain, luckily i had the mondial warranty so it was fixed without question - new headlightm, control unit and bulb
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      09-27-2016, 07:47 AM   #7
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I had this on my e90.

Turnd out one of the clips on the back was broken and due to the seal being 11 years old it wasn't sealing tightly enough.

I opened it up on a dry day, placed a silcone bag in for a few hours and used a hairdryer. I then replaced the cover for a new one.

No problems since.

It's because the sealed unit has a high level of moisture content and when the temperature drops it condensates. If you dry it all out you'll reduce the problem.

Anthony
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      09-27-2016, 03:01 PM   #8
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update, I tried to find any loose seal from the bay, but no luck. Hardly anything I can see. So the front bumper will come off tomorrow and the headlight out for close inspection and de-condensation...
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      09-27-2016, 05:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinco000 View Post
update, I tried to find any loose seal from the bay, but no luck. Hardly anything I can see. So the front bumper will come off tomorrow and the headlight out for close inspection and de-condensation...
Can you not access from the wheel well?

Remove the wheel and front liner would be easier, would it not?
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      09-28-2016, 03:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustymage View Post
Can you not access from the wheel well?

Remove the wheel and front liner would be easier, would it not?
cant take it off that way. would be able to get a good view on it though.
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      09-28-2016, 06:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bytejunkie View Post
cant take it off that way. would be able to get a good view on it though.
If it's a broken seal then get a new rear door and replace after drying. The newer seal might help as it's not been compressed for years!
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      09-28-2016, 03:20 PM   #12
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Something else that worked for me - drive around with your full headlights on all the time for a few days. That will cure it.

You probably did the damage with the hose pipe; clear the condensation and just leave it. You may find that this solves the problem and you don't need to start taking bumpers etc off.
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      09-28-2016, 04:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff123
Something else that worked for me - drive around with your full headlights on all the time for a few days. That will cure it.

You probably did the damage with the hose pipe; clear the condensation and just leave it. You may find that this solves the problem and you don't need to start taking bumpers etc off.
I have driven with my headlights on for two days. It got better I must say. But rain overnight and it got much worse again even if not driven around, just parked outside
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      09-28-2016, 05:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinco000 View Post
I have driven with my headlights on for two days. It got better I must say. But rain overnight and it got much worse again even if not driven around, just parked outside
It's because if the moisture can't escape then the moisture content within the headlight does not change. With headlights on you increase the temp of the surrounding air and it's ability to retain moisture increases and you don't have condensation. As the temperature decreases then the air can no longer 'hold' the moisture and it condensates.

This may help, it's from my university text book:

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      09-28-2016, 05:43 PM   #15
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If the seal has gone you are probably best taking the bumper off, removing the headlight and trying to re-seal the headlight. My headlight was regularly like this after rain. I replaced all the caps - top and rear access with new but it was clear the seal around the headlight was failing
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      09-28-2016, 05:49 PM   #16
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I would regularly remove the top access cap to allow the condensation to evaporate as my work underground car park was 26 degrees on a cold day. As soon as I drove home, roughly 30min in the rain the condensation would return. The seal had definetly gone and I just waited for it to fail completely so it would be an easy warranty claim - which it was
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      09-28-2016, 05:59 PM   #17
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mine got bad on the first day I bought my car from bmw , demo car. Was told that it will go and warranty wouldnt apply to headlight condensation. Luckily for me they were right. Until almost two years.
I dont want my headlight to fail as my warranty expired and a new one is not exactly cheap.
The headlight will get out tomorrow and every seal gets checked by my m8 @ BMW dealer bodyshop...
He told me today that even new cars get this problem and that the headlights are not waterproof, however it will take a lot of pressure before it lets in moisture.
Most likely it will be a failed seal or a crack somewhere ( which would be a suprise )
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      09-30-2016, 04:13 PM   #18
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so got my car back from bmw today and im upset. Have driven it in light rain and the condensation is back.
I was told they checked it but after opening the bonnet at home it doesnt seem to me they have taken out the headlight for inspection
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      10-09-2016, 02:26 PM   #19
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just to update guys, the issue was the car wash guy goin too close for too long with the powerwash. And also maybe a bit of dirt between the headlight and the eyebrow. All I did was to dry it and then clean the surface below the eyebrow & tell the guys at the carwash to not go too close for too long with the powerwash ..
Took my car to car wash yesterday and all good

Thank you all for advice
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      10-22-2016, 07:01 AM   #20
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i put a bag of silica gel in the unit just behind the cover and had no issues since
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      10-22-2016, 08:58 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhurd320 View Post
i put a bag of silica gel in the unit just behind the cover and had no issues since
thats a brilliant idea !
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      10-22-2016, 09:59 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinco000 View Post
thats a brilliant idea !
Said that initially....don't leave it there as it'll be soaked within weeks unless you've fixed the reason the water is getting in.
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