Not only does it make them appear unsightly, having moisture in your headlights can have a significant impact on nighttime vision and therefore has real consequences for your safety. This could happen due to a minor flaw during installation or perhaps the moisture has seeped in over time. Either way, this is typically a fairly easy problem to fix. You can restore the original condition of your headlights if you act quickly.
If you happen to notice that there is moisture in your headlights or that you aren’t getting the quality of night vision that you’re used to, follow these different ways on how to get moisture out of headlights:
1. Understanding the impact moisture has on your headlights
Before we get into the details of how to remove it, let’s take a look at why it is important to eliminate headlight moisture in the first place. When it comes to driving at night in particular, moisture can dim headlights and potentially even produce blind spots if left unattended for too long.
As this clearly has an impact on the car’s ability to function safely, it could also mean that the vehicle won’t be able to pass a basic safety inspection and that you could even be pulled over for not meeting the safety standards of a road-worthy car.
2. Avoid breaking the seal
As you work to get moisture out of the headlights, be careful about breaking the seal. Until you understand the extent of the problem, it is best not to immediately go ahead and break the seal around the headlight when trying to determine the cause of the moisture. Keep in mind that it will be fairly easy to break the seal between the headlight lens and the housing but fixing it and getting the seal secured again is a more complicated matter.
If you’re not able to create a firm seal, you’ll simply end up with the same problem (if not worse down the road. If you’re comfortable working with sealant, it can still be an at-home repair job but read on to ensure you check out all your options before making things more complicated than they need to be.
3. Getting rid of minor condensation by checking the housing vent
In many cases, moisture in the headlights is caused by moist air that creates condensation when it is heated and cooled off alternatively due to the heat emitted by the headlight bulb. This process will result in a clouded lens that gets worse over time. You’ll want to deal with this without having to break the entire seal, which can make the repair process a lot more complicated.
Check your headlight’s housing vent. The precise location of the vent will vary depending on the make and model you have, but most headlight units have a vent to help prevent condensation buildup.
4. Carefully remove debris
If you notice a relatively modest amount of condensation, there’s a good chance that it is being caused by some type of debris. Whether the result of dust or spider webs, any type of blockage will prevent the vent from working properly.
In order to remove it, you’ll want to gently wipe the vent or use compressed air to blow it out. Work slowly and be mindful not to push any of the blockage into the headlight housing. If this does end up happening, you’ll have to break the seal in order to remove it.
5. Dealing with major condensation
If you’ve got a serious condensation problem on your hands, chances are that you’re going to need to remove the headlight unit in order to really get to the source of the problem. If you’d like to try tackling the problem yourself, it is wise to get out the service manual.
You should be able to find clear instructions about removing the bulb, electronics, plugs, and any additional components you’ll need to take off. Once the headlight housing has been removed, you have a few options you can try to deal with the moisture.
6. Get out the hairdryer
Once you have the headlight housing unit inside, you can use a hairdryer to blow hot air into the vent. Generally speaking, the heat will cause the moisture to evaporate and your headlight will become dry. Always wait until the unit has cooled off before determining whether or not the strategy was effective.
7. Last resort – remove the seal
If nothing else has worked, it is time to remove the seal and find out what is going on. Again, you should consult the directions in your manual to see how to do it and follow each step closely. Keep in mind that you’re going to need more supplies for this method, such as sockets, a screwdriver, silica gel packs, and sealant.
Make sure you read through everything first, that you have everything you need, and that you’re confident going through with the repair on your own.