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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone had any issue with headlight condensation. I'm suffering quite bad on the drivers side as you can see from the image. I know a phone call and trip to the dealers will put light to the issue but just wanted to ask here first.

The light has been repaired by the KIA dealer before for a DRL failure, I suspect it hasn't been sealed correctly. I'm concerned about future damage cause by leaving it, more so as car is out of warranty at the end of the year.

I will update as I progress with this.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Spoke to dealer, they said they can take a look and if there is a fault under warranty then they will rectify it otherwise £130 for the work just to diagnose. I'm all for supporting the dealer network (which I have done through services and repairs) but £130 seems excessive to me.

Anyway.

I read this in the manual 7-91, not sure what I'm experiencing is normal now, through odd the other side and passenger side at that isn't affected. I can imaging the passenger side more with all the puddles.

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I have the work booked for late this month, but wanted to see if I can clear and see if it comes back. How would you suggest I clear it away. I have changed the main dipped beam bulb 2 months ago, I couldn't be certain it wasn't there before. Could that be letting moisture in? I wanted to see if there is actually a fault and save us all some time.

Is it the fact that moisture is being let in or that it cant get out i.e ventilation?
 

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There is a plethora of posts about condensation in lights; I know because I have replied to a few!

I'd recommend the next sunny and low moisture day we have, park the car facing the sun and take the cover(s) off the back of headlight unit and remove the bulb(s). The heat of the sun should be enough (even in March) to drive out the moisture. But if needs be, help it along with a hairdryer. But do make sure you get the covers back on before the sun goes down! And of course make sure they are seated correctly. Other than that, you might want to get a bag of silica gel and attach a thin strong, thread (fishing line?) to it and leave it inside the unit for a while (some KIA headlights actually have these built in).

If the moisture returns after that, you may well have a split in the unit as you suspect. £130 sounds like one hour of workshop time, which obviously you'll only pay if they find no fault. It's a bit of gamble, so I think you are right to try to dry them out.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
gdh300 - I have cancelled the Kia appointment. I feel that I would just handing over £130 for them to tell me I need a new headlight and dread to think how much that costs. I would rather put that to an actual fault with the car rather than a minor cosmetic issue that can be managed.

Anyway, I have managed to dry off most of the existing moisture build up (like you said) running with the bulb cover off for 24 hours and combined with a dry spell, it has mostly gone now. The picture below was last Thursday with only a couple of spots of moisture left., it is even less now. Most of the moisture was being held in the indicator bulged section, and obviously causing condensation and spreading to the rest of the headlight. I would hope the DRL is isolated from the cavity above and the main reason for the worry was the DRL being affected by the moisture.

I will monitor if this returns and deal with hopefully with out cost, I'm thinking of getting some small desiccant packs to put in the bulb cover lid to see if that helps in anyway.

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Well, we are slowly getting into warmer weather, hopefully the problem will go away (until October, anyway!).

Meanwhile, may be worth just keeping your eyes on ebay for any scrappers selling suitable units, just in case. If one comes up for £50, worth buying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Spoke too soon, we had rain yesterday and the condensation is back. I decided to investigate further in this extra daylight we have, well because I R #Mechanic.

So (and I have attached lots of photos) there seem sot be a noticeable gap between the headlight casing and lens cover, big enough more or less aross to run your nail cleanly in and in some placed (pictured) to wedge a 10p piece in there. Now checking the "ok" headlight the gap is sealed a such and up and down the join looks much better, so it does appear that when the DRL was fixed sometime back that the re-seal wasn't great to start with and has worsened over time and with stresses of the car being used. Hopefully what I can see is coming across in the photos ok. I cannot see if there is an issue under the light as not prepared to attempt removal as you have to take the bumper off.

I still don't want to take it back to the dealers as they aren't interested in looking at it with me. They want me to leave the car with them all day, no idea if they will accept a warranty claim or charge £130. I would rather attempt a fix myself and deal with the consequences.

So next to ask what to re-seal with? Thinking some clear bathroom type sealant maybe, I have seen this on a general headlight repair on YouTube. Car is out of warranty in November. I will of course dry out the headlight before doing any re-sealing to avoid trapping moisture in there.

Gap below

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You can see the light through this gap

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I can fit a 10p piece in the gap

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Opposite side, hard to tell but this look sealed.

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Again opposite side, I cannot fit a 10p piece in the gap

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I’ve used this stuff in the past on an older car to cure water ingress to a rear light cluster. It might do the job. You can get it in black or clear. Not expensive either and the reviews seem ok.

 

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if you look on toolstation or screwfix you can get silicon sealer, try and get one with a high degree of flexability to allow for vibration and movement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just to update, I applied the silicone sealant quite liberally to be honest. It cant be seen and smoothed it over the best I could with no bleed in to the light area. Prior to this I dried out lens with an hair dryer for 30 minutes on a low heat and then any remaining drops were extracted by sillica gel bags over night with the caps in place, now removed.

Upshot is that, the light is now moisture free and looking good. I also washed the car after and plenty of water and suds got sprayed and covered that area and remained dry. Wether it stays like that and moisture is getting in from under light but I seriously doubt that as, it is encased with wheel arch liners and engine under trays, time will tell.

Lastly, after a good wash/clean inside and out since something like November. Really liking the car again, despite having it over 3 years already. Just waiting for my mechanic to let me know when I can take it in for a underneath rub down and anti-rust treatment on the subframe and suspension components as stating to look crusty in places under there. This is one car that I'm hoping to hang on to.

Thank you for your replied on this.
 

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