Where is the Condensation in My Headlight Coming From?
A headlight with condensation or moisture inside does not always need to be replaced, but it can look blurry, foggy, cloudy, and old over time, and it can also lose brightness. Headlights with water and condensation usually have an issue with the vent, seal, or lens. This article covers what causes water, moisture, and condensation to get inside headlights and when to replace them if these elements keep getting inside and/or are fogging up the headlights, and what you can do to try to prevent condensation.
Diagnosing the Cause of Moisture in the Headlight
In older vehicles, sealed beam headlights had sealed glass beams in a circular or rectangular shape. As styles like aerodynamics formed, manufacturers chose to mold headlights with plastic.
Halogen bulbs inside of a plastic headlight assembly get very hot, and the heat can cause expanding, dryness and brittleness, or cracking at the seams, so plastic headlight assemblies need vents to let heat out. If the vent is clogged or the temperature inside the headlight doesn’t match the outside temperature, condensation can occur.
For example, after parking, the hot temperature inside the headlight may be hotter than the cool air outside. The humid and eventually moist air inside the headlight attaches to the cold lens as the colder air outside presses against the plastic.
How to Prevent Headlight Condensation or Moisture
Headlights with condensation do not require new replacements and not much can be done, but they can affect a vehicle’s appearance and the headlight’s brightness as they fog over time.
If headlight condensation keeps occurring, make sure the vent isn’t blocked and that it has an appropriate plug to keep moisture out.
Why Is There a Puddle of Water in My Headlight?
This much moisture in your headlight can be caused by a few things. Vents on the backside of the headlight should have a plug to keep water from getting inside. If the headlight bulb cover has a loose or broken gasket, water can also get inside. Water can also get past a cracked or broken headlight lens.
If there is a puddle of water in the headlight, we recommend replacing the headlight assembly.
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