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Headlight and taillight condensation

 
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Old 12-07-2018, 05:58 PM
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Headlight and taillight condensation






I heard it’s common for the taillights to have condensation. Is it also common for the headlights to have condensation too?




I noticed these dark spots on the headlight and was not sure what it is. Could condensation lead to this and in the long run, damage the headlight and bulbs?
 

Last edited by lovingit; 12-07-2018 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:26 PM
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It’s more likely to fry the electronic control board for the LEDs. Read this thread.

https://www.6speedonline.com/forums/...eadlights.html

btw. The goretex patches I’m using toward the end of 5he thread solved my headlight condensation issues.
 
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:29 PM
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Is anybody that has fixed their LED strip doing these as a paid repair? Yes, my passenger white LED's went sometime last week ;/
 
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:26 PM
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Does anyone else know of or has these dark spots?
Cause for concern or not?
 
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Old 12-08-2018, 05:58 AM
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Are the dark spots on the lens or on the silver metallic headlight shroud? - tough to tell from the photo. In any case you mention moisture. Moisture will kill the electronics inside: see here:

https://www.6speedonline.com/forums/...t-working.html
 
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Old 12-08-2018, 09:42 AM
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The dark spots are on the silver metalllic shroud.
 
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Old 12-08-2018, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by lovingit View Post
The dark spots are on the silver metalllic shroud.
The silver colored headlight shrouds are coated with a very delicate metallic coating. Just handling without gloves, the oil from your fingers will strip the finish. You can't polish them either - the finish just rubs off. If you know the headlights have not been opened and handled you might have had a drop or two of water drip on them and the black plastic underneath is starting to show. The marks won't effect the headlight operation. I'd worry more about the moisture prevention.
 
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Old 12-08-2018, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by BMW-North View Post
The silver colored headlight shrouds are coated with a very delicate metallic coating. Just handling without gloves, the oil from your fingers will strip the finish. You can't polish them either - the finish just rubs off. If you know the headlights have not been opened and handled you might have had a drop or two of water drip on them and the black plastic underneath is starting to show. The marks won't effect the headlight operation. I'd worry more about the moisture prevention.
i donít believe the headlight have been opened but there is no way to verify since I am not the first owner. I know previous owner babied the car. When I did the PPI, he said that there was condensation in the taillights and one of the headlights. He said he was not concerned because he sees it all the time. I wasnít sure how common condensation in the headlight are. I heard about the taillight issue but not the headlights. I donít want to have an issue down the road when Iím washing the car and need brand new lights because they are expensive. But it doesnít sound like there is a way to prevent that other than taking them out and sealing it.
 
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Old 12-08-2018, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by lovingit View Post


i donít believe the headlight have been opened but there is no way to verify since I am not the first owner. I know previous owner babied the car. When I did the PPI, he said that there was condensation in the taillights and one of the headlights. He said he was not concerned because he sees it all the time. I wasnít sure how common condensation in the headlight are. I heard about the taillight issue but not the headlights. I donít want to have an issue down the road when Iím washing the car and need brand new lights because they are expensive. But it doesnít sound like there is a way to prevent that other than taking them out and sealing it.
As I pointed out in the 2 separate linked threads the problem I believe is two-fold.
1. The headlight housings are poorly sealed from moisture (rain, washing etc.)
2. The headlights when properly sealed do not provide adequate breathing to prevent natural condensation

I found out problem two after I made sure I had addressed problem one. I never had condensation on my headlights from simple temperature differentials (outside air vs. inside air) till after I thoroughly sealed the headlights. - Then the condensation would occur when the outside air was much colder than the air inside the housing.

The Goretex patches initially described by Rich worked perfect for me to allow the air temps to equalize and to allow a sufficient transfer of air in and out of the housing while preventing moisture penetration. I just had to do much bigger patches and drill several holes on the headlight covers to achieve this.

 
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by lovingit View Post


I noticed these dark spots on the headlight and was not sure what it is. Could condensation lead to this and in the long run, damage the headlight and bulbs?
Just so you know: on the low beam the silver orifice can be rotated by 180į - So if you open up your headlights for whatever reason, you could make the "dark spots" dissapear by a 180į rotation.

 
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by BMW-North View Post
As I pointed out in the 2 separate linked threads the problem I believe is two-fold.
1. The headlight housings are poorly sealed from moisture (rain, washing etc.)
2. The headlights when properly sealed do not provide adequate breathing to prevent natural condensation

I found out problem two after I made sure I had addressed problem one. I never had condensation on my headlights from simple temperature differentials (outside air vs. inside air) till after I thoroughly sealed the headlights. - Then the condensation would occur when the outside air was much colder than the air inside the housing.

The Goretex patches initially described by Rich worked perfect for me to allow the air temps to equalize and to allow a sufficient transfer of air in and out of the housing while preventing moisture penetration. I just had to do much bigger patches and drill several holes on the headlight covers to achieve this.
Some additional notes on the above mentioned issues:

Here we see an example of badly executed seal between the headlights glass and body:



There is an original "membrane thing" in the headlamp body, on the inner side towards the engine bay:
view from outside



view from inside



However , I dont know if this "membrane thing" really works...
And even if it would work, I believe it's in the wrong place.
I made a thermal image of the headlight during operation (view of headlight from the engine bay side, as 2nd picture), it is easy to see that most of the heat is released towards the back (where the bulbs sit).




So putting a ventilation membrane to the upper part of the back opening lid is most likely the better place, as there the hotter air (with higher water vapor content) is located.
Thereby more humidity will be moved out of the headlight during heating up.

Thomas
 

Last edited by TR-Spider; 12-09-2018 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 12-09-2018, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by TR-Spider View Post

So putting a ventilation membrane to the upper part of the back opening lid is most likely the better place, as there the hotter air (with higher water vapor content) is located.
Thereby more humidity will be moved out of the headlight during heating up.

Thomas
I believe the factory membrane concept works - it is just too small and in the wrong location. I added large Goretex vents here (see pics) - on the rear headlight housing access access covers. Easier to work on as it did not require removing the headlights and if I want to reverse the modification I can easily seal up the drilled holes in the cover with epoxy. The vents are also close to the main source of heat.


Goretex Vents in AM Vantage headlight housing

Link to full photos and description
 
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Old 12-12-2018, 03:50 AM
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Hello
i think your patches are waterproof and don't let the air through ...

Gore tex...yes but only AVS9 or AVS100 patches :

https://www.gore.com/products/gore-a...erior-lighting

but where to buy them ??
 
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Old 12-12-2018, 05:50 AM
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As I could not find specific patch, I will try those (3 per headlamp)
PMF200125 - Pressure Compensating Element Snap-In PBT Black - W.L. Gore
You can buy those individually in electronic shops for ~6 Euro/piece.
They are quoted to be sufficient to vent a volume of 5 liters each.



data sheet for reference see here:
https://www.distrelec.de/Web/Downloa...XS_eng_tds.pdf
 

Last edited by TR-Spider; 12-12-2018 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 12-12-2018, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil57DBS View Post
Hello
i think your patches are waterproof and don't let the air through ...

Gore tex...yes but only AVS9 or AVS100 patches :

https://www.gore.com/products/gore-a...erior-lighting

but where to buy them ??
Incorrect. The patches are breathable. 3M Goretex patches are specifically sold for this very purpose:.
Goretex patches allow your headlights to exhale, but won't let moisture in. Used on many OEM Headlights, they're especially perfect for retrofitters
https://www.theretrofitsource.com/go...hes-53792.html
https://www.hidretrofits.com.au/inde...patches-detail

They're available from custom headlight builders or Amazon. I looked at valves but I wanted a bigger area of breathing.and didn't want to install 15 of them per headlight to get the same air transfer capacity. .
 

Last edited by BMW-North; 12-12-2018 at 06:57 AM.

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