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Discussion Starter #1
Today I noticed that there is condensation in both of my headlights. Anyone else notice this happening on theirs? This is the first time I have noticed any. It shouldn't be happening should it? I thought they were supposed to be sealed. My last car had seals on the caps but I wouldn't know with the Malibu because you can't see them without ripping the front end apart.
 

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None of these car have sealed headlights, there's an air vent on them and it is possible that condensation can get in there, a little is no problem but if the headlight has standing water in the bottom then there's something wrong, I.E. cracked or broken seal or damage to the rear of the housing.
 

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I've been thinking for a while that the lights on mom's '08 looked slightly fogged, ever so faintly, whether it be on the inside or out--especially once I got my '09 and could do a side by side comparo.

Her '08 (very slight, kinda cloudy upper half...easier to notice in person):


My '09:


Then yesterday while washing hers, the horror, I noticed the passenger's side light all of a sudden (it may have been like this for a little while, but not long) had quite a bit of moisture on 2 large areas inside the lense. I wondered if it might dissipate at all with sunlight and warmth today but, no dice, it almost seems more noticeable after a dry day.




So yeah, one of ours now has the same issue. Once she finds out it will likely head in and I presume a replacement of the assembly. 2 cars ago, she had an '02 Avalanche that developed the exact same kind of moisture in one of the lower foglights and that was the remedy.
 

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Let us know what the dealer says. I'll wait until mine gets really bad before I take it in. With my luck they'll tell me its normal.
 

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Let us know what the dealer says. I'll wait until mine gets really bad before I take it in. With my luck they'll tell me its normal.
These things are generally pretty simple when it comes to moisture in the lights. Unless there's a clear TSB, etc. from GM saying something just needs cleaned or sealed, replacement is the norm. At least I'd assume the same will be true here. Not my car and I'm still surprised I'm the only one who's noticed it, so I'll let it hang too until then.

Now...anyone else but just the 2 of our cars out there with wet headlights, inside?
 

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I am having the same problem in both headlights. The moisture is showing up like in your picture, beach; along the side of the front blinker and above it.

We had a good rain here and I touch-free washed the car and it got even worse. At night, after I am done driving long distances with the head lights on, the moister is built up in larger droplets near the high beams and the entire assembly seems fogged over like an old Dodge Neon.

I brought it up when I got my oil serviced a few weeks ago and they said that it was normal (of course, it always is!) and that when it starts drying up it'll go away. I have had this problem since October, and we had nearly a month-long period with no rain and I did not wash it and it never went away.
 

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No moisture in mine yet! Thank God.. I'm glad to see these pics though.. not because of the moisture but you notice how the headlight has a blue surrounding? I was worried mine was all screwed up!

Good luck with your investigation though.
 

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None of these car have sealed headlights, there's an air vent on them and it is possible that condensation can get in there, a little is no problem but if the headlight has standing water in the bottom then there's something wrong, I.E. cracked or broken seal or damage to the rear of the housing.
For most of cars and trucks that have the daytime running lights you will see condensation after the headlights have cooled down from them being on. This happens with most of them that have the DRL system, some not as much as others. Remember what happens when glass or plastic cools down from a warm temperature to a cold temperature, condensation forms. So when they say it's normal on this they are not joking, and as I've mentioned there is a vent on these housings.
 

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Another week of sun, cold, warmth and lots of driving daytime & at night with the lights on, and the passenger's side light depicted above on our '08 looks exactly the same. I noticed it again today as I was backing down the driveway towards it.

Not normal, I'd say, just like it wasn't with our Avalanche's fog light. It'll eventually make it to the dealer, but no rush in the meantime.
 

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I cannot see how condensation is normal. However, I have spoken to a friend's father whom is a mechanic. He told me it looked like the seals where the lights are (he said that, by the markings, it could be any lights since I drive with lights on always) need to be replaced or do not fit properly. I asked him about "air vents" or some other slits or holes aside from where the bulbs go in and he laughed and asked "Why would you have those?"
 

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I cannot see how condensation is normal. However, I have spoken to a friend's father whom is a mechanic. He told me it looked like the seals where the lights are (he said that, by the markings, it could be any lights since I drive with lights on always) need to be replaced or do not fit properly. I asked him about "air vents" or some other slits or holes aside from where the bulbs go in and he laughed and asked "Why would you have those?"
There are vents on these, and on any make or model car with composite headlights there are vents, every manufacturer has them. I've taken apart a few cars and seen these vents with a piece of a rubber hose that has a slit on the end allowing air in, condensation will form when the headlights cool down, that's nature for you.
 

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my lights are both fogged and have a lot of condinsation in them as well, i'm going ot hte dealer ans will let everyoen know what they say. IMO, i think it looks like crap and is unacceptable to have a brnad new car with this problem.

the think that sucks is that the dealer will have to take the entire front end apart to get the lights out and i'm willign ot bet that it will not be put back together correcetly.....
 

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xTooltipElement
Service Information 2008 Chevrolet Malibu | Malibu (VIN Z) Service Manual | View All Bulletins | Document ID: 2127719
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

#01-08-42-001F: Exterior Lamp Condensation and Replacement Guidelines - (May 2, 2008)


Subject: Exterior Lamp Condensation and Replacement Guidelines


Models: 1993-2009 GM Passenger Cars and Trucks (including Saturn)

2003-2009 HUMMER H2

2006-2009 HUMMER H3

2005-2009 Saab 9-7X




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This bulletin is being revised to add the 2009 model year. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 01-08-42-001E (Section 08 -- Body & Accessories).


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following information is being provided to better define the causes of condensation in exterior lamps and includes guidelines for determining the difference between a lamp with a normal atmospheric condition (condensation) and a lamp with a water leak.

Some exterior lamps, such as cornering, turn signal, backup, headlamps or tail lamps may exhibit very small droplets of water, a fine mist or white fog (condensation) on the inside of the lamp lens. This may be more noticeable on lamps with "multi-lens" designs and may be normal during certain weather conditions.

Condensation occurs when the air inside the lamp assembly, through atmospheric changes, reaches the "dew point". When this takes place, the moisture in the air within the lamp assembly condenses, creating a fine mist or white fog on the inside surface of the lamp lens.

Most exterior lamps on General Motors vehicles use a vented design and feature a replaceable bulb assembly. They are designed to remove any accumulated moisture vapor by expelling it through a vent system. The vent system operates at all times, however, it is most effective when the lamps are ON or when the vehicle is in motion. Depending on the size, shape and location of the lamp on the vehicle, and the atmospheric conditions occurring, the amount of time required to clear the lamp may vary from 2 to 6 hours.

Completely sealed headlamp assemblies (sealed beams) are still used on a limited number of models being manufactured today. These lamps require the replacement of the complete lamp assembly if a bulb filament burns out.

Condensation
2006 TrailBlazer Shown




A Fine Mist or White Fog on the Inside Surface of the Lamp Lens Occurring After a Period of High Humidity
• May be located primarily in the lens corners (near the vents) and SHOULD NOT cover more than half the lens surface.

• The condition should clear of moisture when the vehicle is parked in a dry environment, or when the vehicle is driven with the lights ON.

• A comparison of the equivalent lamp on the opposing side of the vehicle indicates a SIMILAR performance.

If the above conditions are noted, the customer should be advised that replacement of a lamp assembly may not correct this condition.

Water Leak
New Style Pickup Shown




Numerous & Various Size Drops of Water Collecting on the Inside Surface of the Lamp Lens After the Vehicle Has Been Exposed to Rain or a Car Washing Environment
• A condition that covers more than half the surface of the lamp lens.

• An accumulation of water in the bottom of the lamp assembly.

• A condition that WON'T clear when the vehicle is parked in a dry environment, or when the vehicle is driven with the lights ON.

• A comparison of the equivalent lamp on the opposing side of the vehicle indicates a different performance.

Any of the above conditions would indicate the need to service the lens or lamp assembly.

GM bulletins are intended for use by professional technicians, NOT a "do-it-yourselfer". They are written to inform these technicians of conditions that may occur on some vehicles, or to provide information that could assist in the proper service of a vehicle. Properly trained technicians have the equipment, tools, safety instructions, and know-how to do a job properly and safely. If a condition is described, DO NOT assume that the bulletin applies to your vehicle, or that your vehicle will have that condition. See your GM dealer for information on whether your vehicle may benefit from the information.

WE SUPPORT VOLUNTARY TECHNICIAN CERTIFICATION


© 2009 General Motors Corporation. All rights reserved.
 

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xTooltipElement
Service Information 2008 Chevrolet Malibu | Malibu (VIN Z) Service Manual | View All Bulletins | Document ID: 2127719
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

#01-08-42-001F: Exterior Lamp Condensation and Replacement Guidelines - (May 2, 2008)


Subject: Exterior Lamp Condensation and Replacement Guidelines


Models: 1993-2009 GM Passenger Cars and Trucks (including Saturn)

2003-2009 HUMMER H2

2006-2009 HUMMER H3

2005-2009 Saab 9-7X




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This bulletin is being revised to add the 2009 model year. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 01-08-42-001E (Section 08 -- Body & Accessories).


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following information is being provided to better define the causes of condensation in exterior lamps and includes guidelines for determining the difference between a lamp with a normal atmospheric condition (condensation) and a lamp with a water leak.

Some exterior lamps, such as cornering, turn signal, backup, headlamps or tail lamps may exhibit very small droplets of water, a fine mist or white fog (condensation) on the inside of the lamp lens. This may be more noticeable on lamps with "multi-lens" designs and may be normal during certain weather conditions.

Condensation occurs when the air inside the lamp assembly, through atmospheric changes, reaches the "dew point". When this takes place, the moisture in the air within the lamp assembly condenses, creating a fine mist or white fog on the inside surface of the lamp lens.

Most exterior lamps on General Motors vehicles use a vented design and feature a replaceable bulb assembly. They are designed to remove any accumulated moisture vapor by expelling it through a vent system. The vent system operates at all times, however, it is most effective when the lamps are ON or when the vehicle is in motion. Depending on the size, shape and location of the lamp on the vehicle, and the atmospheric conditions occurring, the amount of time required to clear the lamp may vary from 2 to 6 hours.

Completely sealed headlamp assemblies (sealed beams) are still used on a limited number of models being manufactured today. These lamps require the replacement of the complete lamp assembly if a bulb filament burns out.

Condensation
2006 TrailBlazer Shown




A Fine Mist or White Fog on the Inside Surface of the Lamp Lens Occurring After a Period of High Humidity
• May be located primarily in the lens corners (near the vents) and SHOULD NOT cover more than half the lens surface.

• The condition should clear of moisture when the vehicle is parked in a dry environment, or when the vehicle is driven with the lights ON.

• A comparison of the equivalent lamp on the opposing side of the vehicle indicates a SIMILAR performance.

If the above conditions are noted, the customer should be advised that replacement of a lamp assembly may not correct this condition.

Water Leak
New Style Pickup Shown




Numerous & Various Size Drops of Water Collecting on the Inside Surface of the Lamp Lens After the Vehicle Has Been Exposed to Rain or a Car Washing Environment
• A condition that covers more than half the surface of the lamp lens.

• An accumulation of water in the bottom of the lamp assembly.

• A condition that WON'T clear when the vehicle is parked in a dry environment, or when the vehicle is driven with the lights ON.

• A comparison of the equivalent lamp on the opposing side of the vehicle indicates a different performance.

Any of the above conditions would indicate the need to service the lens or lamp assembly.

GM bulletins are intended for use by professional technicians, NOT a "do-it-yourselfer". They are written to inform these technicians of conditions that may occur on some vehicles, or to provide information that could assist in the proper service of a vehicle. Properly trained technicians have the equipment, tools, safety instructions, and know-how to do a job properly and safely. If a condition is described, DO NOT assume that the bulletin applies to your vehicle, or that your vehicle will have that condition. See your GM dealer for information on whether your vehicle may benefit from the information.

WE SUPPORT VOLUNTARY TECHNICIAN CERTIFICATION


© 2009 General Motors Corporation. All rights reserved.
Now there's finally an article that backs up what I've been saying.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
When I had the car in for the steering problem they asked if I had any other problems. I mentioned the condensation in my headlights that would happen and last for a couple days at a time. The tech said he would need to see it. I said I had pictures but didn't have them with me. I let it go that time and figured I'd get back to it sometime.

I had to take my car in for the rear passenger door lock not working and the tech asked me if I had any other problems. I mentioned the headlights again and I said I had mentioned it to the other tech but he said he would need to see it. He asked me how long it lasted, etc. and said he'd order a couple of headlights with the door actuator too. I wasn't expecting that but I will follow up if I have any other problems with the lights.
 

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My 08 LS has the exact same problem but only on the pass side. It just recently started, and looks like water has been sprayed inside the lense. I have had it parked in my garage for several days and it does not appear to be going away. Does anyody know of any recalls or service bulletins on this issue.
 

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Does anybody have or still have this problem? I had my passenger light replaced last year because of water build-up in it. The driver side fogs and then goes away after time, really looks like CRAP when it is fogged. GM will only replace it if there is a lot of water collecting in the bottom of light. The Passenger side were they replace the headlight does not fog at all now, not even a little. I wonder if they had redesigned the headlights after the 08 model or after some complaints? Now you can see that one light is new because the other does not look as clear as the other headlight. I know that GM is searching online sites to address and correct problems with current GM vehicles and I thought of this and was wondering if the 2009-2010 are having this problem? I like my Malibu but there are a few complaints that I do have with the car and this is one of them. I have not had or noticed this problem with any of my cars that I had owned in the past. Note: Have had owed alot more than a few in the last 25 years of driving.
 

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UPDATE: Are there other owners with the condensation problems in their headlights still? I still get this problem on the driver side of my car. It will last for days at a time but will sometimes clear-up. As soon as it clears it comes back again and sometimes worse than other days! You can see the water on the inside of the headlight and it fogs up too! They had replaced my passenger side and it is like night and day! The one light replaced does not get any condensation at all and does not fog up at all. I just don't understand why they did not or would not replace both? The Dealership claims that their has to be a puddle collecting on the bottom of the headlight before GM will replace it! Ridiculous! This has to be a safety issue along with possible problems with electrical later down the road! Now I hope Michelle from GM Customer Service can convince my Dealership to replace it as they should! Problem/issue # 1
 

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So long as it's still under 3/36 it should be covered. If not, find another dealer.
 

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I have had this problem before, however I've been fortunate with my Malibu not to have too many problems so far.

What I did to an other car was I drilled a small hole (1/16"-3/32") in the bottom corner of the light and it seemed to solve the problem for me.
 
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