3-Series (E46, E90)Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.
There is moisture in the headlights because the seal around the headlights have a leak path(s). It could be small, it could be big. Since the condensate stays in the headlight unit, I am going to assume it is a small leak path (pin-hole).
When headlight is on, the air inside gets warm so the air expands. If there is a small hole, the air will leak out. When headlight is turned off, the air inside will cool and contract. Sucking outside air in, along with additional moisture.
There is no way that you would get all the water out unless you take the whole thing apart and clean it out, then find the hole and seal it.
I found it!
Very small under the bottom of the passenger side lens.
Very small 1/4 of an inch, no hole just very fine crack.
I think I am going to leave it alone, would be nice to fix it but too much cash.
I think your right with the idea that the lights heat up the air inside then when it cools it contracts and sucks in outside air, bringing in moisture which cause condensation on the inside of the lens.
Oh well what can you do.
The rice idea would be good I might look into it.
Not sure if I could get a couple pieces throught the daytime running lights hole?
Thanks for trying!
Just remove the headlight from your car and 1) have somone fill in the plexi-glass crack (if its on the front), or 2) If the crack is somewhere along the seam, reseal it with some clear rtv or something, so long as it isnt visible from the outside of the car.
The crack is visible looking down on the lens, its blocked by the bumper.
Is there and easy way to get the whole unit out the seal it?
I asked the dealer, they're response was $1400 for the part.
Saying you have to replace the whole unit, lights and all!
He said it with a straight face too...like I am going to fork over $1400 just for the part then labour to install it on top of that!
I just drove away...Damn BMW stealerships!
I am once again speculating but on typical cars, you could remove the lens quite easily to replace the bulb. How does in work on BMW? Does the lens have to me removed or do you pull out the bulb from behind?
Eitherway, there has to be a way of accessing the inside of the lens.
I do not know how well it works but the cracked windshield repair liquid should be able to fill the lens as well. If you leave the crack unattended, the crack will surely propagate, leading to replacement in the future.
Instead of putting some rice in there (great idea by the way), get some cheese cloth, put in rice grains, tie it up with a string, then put it in to dry it up. Then pull it out when lens is try. This is assuming that to replace light bulb, you have to remove it from behind which leaves an access hole to insert/remove rice 'ball'?!?
The lens still must be sealed in order to prevent reoccurence.
OK. Sorry to say this, but the dealer is full of it! I get condensation in both of my headlights every time I get carwash, so I have to take the compartments apart and wipe the moisture out with paper towels.
It is so easy to do it, that I finish the whole task within 60-120 seconds! In fact last Saturday, I had my car at the carwash and got ready to go to a party. My friend dropped me off at the carwash to pick my car up, and of course there was the notorious condensation! So, the task of cleaning it up is so easy, that I managed to do it within less than 2 minutes with a suit on!
Here is how you do it:
1. Take the lower brow, which is body colored out, by pulling on it.
2. Open the hood so that you can see the plastic seal on top of the headlight compartment. You can easily find out how to press on each clasps to release it, I think there are 4 or 5. And then you can pull that out to.
3. Now you have the lens cover exposed, so release all the latches. I believe 3 on top, 3 at the bottom and 2 on the side. And Pull it out.
4. Now wipe it with a paper towel and put it back in the same way you pulled it out.
So your saying you can remove the plastic lens clean it then re-install it...
So that means I can buy a new lens without buying the whole headlight assembly.
I am going to go back to the stealership and raise some hell!
I wonder how much a new lens would cost?
Yep! just follow those instructions! You might want to give the dealership hell-raising a second thought. Because sometimes they will try to throw stones our way by claiming that you voided your warranty.
So just quietly remove the cover, clean it, seal the hole and re-install it. It will take probably 15-30 your first time. And will cost however many cents it costs to buy a piece of crazy glue or any other type of sealant.
DO NOT PAY MORE THAN a few dollars to have your problem fixed!!!
The AutoGuide.com network consists of the largest network of enthusiast-owned enthusiast-operated automotive communities.
AutoGuide.com provides the latest car reviews, auto show coverage, new car prices, and automotive news. The AutoGuide network operates more than 100 automotive forums where our users consult peers for shopping information and advice, and share opinions as a community.