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Thread: How to get rid of condensation/fogging

  1. #1
    New Member HID Newbie
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    How to get rid of condensation/fogging

    Hey people, after having my headlight get condensation in it and searching through numerous threads on how to get rid of/prevent this from happening, I thought it would be a good idea to start a thread dedicated on how to fix this for those that have run into this problem before. Perhaps after everyone contributes the mods can sticky this in the HID University for those who'll have this problem in the future instead of having to search?

    Most of what I've seen involves drying the headlight either by using a blowdryer or for the daring, taking your headlights apart. In either case you'd have to reseal your headlight with lots and lots of silicon to prevent humidity/temperature changes which cause the condensation.

    Another way to do this is provide more venting to the headlight, thus equalizing the atmosphere inside. Yet another technique involves putting silica gel packs in the headlight or near the problem areas to absorb the excess moisture.

    One technique for cleaning the inside was to pour high grain (95-99) rubbing alcohol inside the headlight assembly to clean out the grit and whatever else might have gotten inside. My passenger side headlight is currently having this condensation problem and before I reseal it I want to try this alcohol technique to get rid of all the condensation and droplets on the inside, but I'm worried that the alcohol might burn off the chrome reflective surface for my signal lights and DRL. Would this happen if i used alcohol?

    Comments and help would be appreciated, I kinda went bare bones on this so if anyone can provide more detail or insight to what I posted, feel free to add!

  2. #2
    Senior Member HID MASTER JSMexUsa's Avatar
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    I will open headlights and clean them really good both lense and chrome reflector with a microfiver towel and glass lense cleaner sold at Costco for $7 and free refills as long as you comeback with bottles; then glue it back, put tons of silicon around and make sure you got original stock openings or drill a couple small holes, if space available add some silica gel bags.

  3. #3
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    I would try to put more vent holes in the light. The problem maybe not enough heat escaping from the housing. Kindof like a house in the witner time, it's warm inside cold outside, it causes condensation on the windows. I have 97 maxima headlights, but my shroud on my e55 is light pvc and it covers up the projector in that fashion except for a couple pin holes for vents. No issues there and only have the 2 stock drainage vents. I would say the pvc sucks up most of the heat so condensation isn't an issue. You may need to add a vent or 2 on the back rear of the headlight near the top (because of course heat rises).

    I would think the alcohol would evaporate with no ill effects, rubbing the chrome housing however with it could be catastrophic.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member HID Nut maximus96's Avatar
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    the problem with silica packs is that you'll have to take them out every now and then and bake them for them to keep on absorbing. thats what i've heard, i don't use them myself since i'd like to avoid periodically removing and baking my headlight. my maxima lights seems to be fine using the 2 stock vent holes and haven't fog up yet.

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    have u had any problems with your TC?
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  6. #6
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    great suggestions guys, keep 'em coming. As for the alcohol rubbing off the chrome, is there any other way to clean the inside of the headlight lens without taking them apart? Lol I wouldn't be rubbing them chrome with it, but say I poured in some alcohol through the hole where the high beam bulb would sit, I slosh it around on the inside of the lens to get the dirt or whatever that may have gotten on it, then I pour it back out through the high beam bulb hole. If I do that, then the alcohol will come in contact with the chrome reflective surface. My question is will simply TOUCHING the chrome with the alcohol cause it to dissolve/flake off or would I have to actually vigorously rub it for it to come off?

  7. #7
    Senior Member HID Nut felixadacatz's Avatar
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    Pour alcohol in and swish it around, if u dont want to wait, then blowdry it after u drain the alcohol out.

    alcohol on chrome is ok, i dont think it will touch the inside of your projector bowl unless u are drenching it or u are pouring it directly into the projector.


    Do not use anything to wipe ur projector bowl. use compressed air, most people dont realize that majority of the time, wiping your bowl will scratch it up.

    Silica gel packs should be used only depending on the environment you live in. I live in houston, it can get up to 1/4 cup of water or more overnight, rather the best scenario for my case is equalizing temperatures.

    If you want to use silica gel packs, i recommend making a plug that would allow u to take it out without taking the headlamps apart so u can bake them again and again.

    DO NOT use silicone glue, use polyurethane Sealant.

  8. #8
    Senior Member HID Learner
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    alcohol will evaporate pretty quickly so just leave it upside down and wait.. u can blow dry it to speed it up if u want. if it contacts chrome.. u need to rub it to really leave scratches.

  9. #9
    Senior Member HID FANATIC linuxglobal's Avatar
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    similar problem

    I have a similar problem. Just to clear things up..

    1. Does rubbing alcohol cause any chrome peeling?
    2. Will alcohol scratch or harm the chrome in anyway? Ive used window cleaner on an old flashlight and it caused the chrome to feel off with time. I know window cleaner has ammonia, not sure about rubbing alcohol.

    Has anyone tried this out, any pics & results.


    Thx, Ciprian

  10. #10
    Senior Member HID FANATIC linuxglobal's Avatar
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    to answer my own questions and others'

    1. Alcohol does cause chrome peeling, if rubbed. I tried this on an old flashlight. Headlights may have better chrome applications, however this experiments' results must also be take into account

    2. Chrome peels. Damages reflective surface.

    The only suggestion, from a chemical standpoint is to use filtered/purified water, since it will dry clean and not leave any stains.

    here are somy pics of the alcholo damage.







    all the best, Ciprian

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