GM Minivan Headlamp Condensation


#1

My 2003 Olds Silhouette has always collected water/vapor since new. I’ve pulled it, dried it out several times and checked the gasket around the bulb. All looks fine. I’ve not been able to find a Technical Bulletin on it. Help?!


#2

First problem is that it is a GM product. GM hasn’t made anything reliable since the mid 70s. The seal around tha lamp cover is bad. The entire assembly will have to come out and new seals put on it all the way around. GM is famous for little nickel and dime defects. Get rid of this car as soon as you can.


#3

well. you could follow norms advice, or…

take it to your local mechanic, they can drill two or three small weep holes into the underside of the housing to let the moisture OUT.

then again, you could sell it, lose money on the deal, and buy something else.

if you are “handy” you could drill the hole yourself. but you will need to go get an 18" drill bit. a 1/4" will do. just be sure to only drill into the bottom of the light housing, and not drill anything else. ensure you drill on the bottom of the lens, and not on the front, so that the wind (from 60 mph) doesn’t force water IN there.


#4

I’d go with the 1/4" drill bit - the 18" bit won’t fin in my drill :slight_smile: If you don’t have a 1/4" bit a 1/8" will do just fine <:o)

(sorry cappy - I just couldn’t resist)


#5

Another stupid comment from beefy. We get it, you don’t like GM. What does your opinion have to do with his problem?


#6

actually that is an 18" LONG X 1/4" diameter drill bit. since it can be quite tight in the area under the plastic cowling, and amongst all stuff under there.


#7

That makes a lot of sense. Can I remove my foot now?


#8

some of my best most satisfying meals have been shoe leather!


#9

None of the posts will work. I’ve tried it in my 2000 and it doesn’t work.
The only cure is to replace them and if you do, you’ll spend too much money.

I just said to hell with mine and let it fog up.

Some things ain’t worth the aggravation.


#10

Why bother willey? You won’t get a sensible answer.


#11

not that this means it is gospel, but i’ve done this in three cars, and my brother did it to his. it worked on all 4 these.


#12

I had this problem on my 2000 Blazer a few years back. I removed the headlight housing from the truck and used paper towels and a hairdryer to remove all traces of moisture from the interior. I then removed the chrome trim from the headlight housing which covered the joint between the clear lense and the back of the headlight. I ran a bead of silicone over the seam around the entire housing and put the trim back on. I never pinpointed the exact location of the leak, but I haven’t had any problems with condensation since.

Good luck,

Ed B.


#13

Is the outside temperature near the dew point often? It might just be that water condenses out of the air when the temperature drops below the dew point. I also have a 2003 Silhouette and have not noticed this problem. How much water collects in the lens assembly, and does it affect the light beam?


#14

The actual amount of water is usually mimimal, less than 1/2 an ounce. The problem is that that small amount of water will vaporize and condense over 1/3 of the entire lens, thereby diffusing the focus of that portion of the beam. So it actually defeats that percentage of the lens’ beam turning it into a ‘fog’ lamp. So I think that it’s prudent to fix the problem since many of us tend to “over-drive” our headlights at night. I think that I’ll pull the lens, dry it out completely (usually involves pulling the lens, and placing it near the furnace overnight) and silicone over every seam that I can recognize. Interestingly, I have pulled the lens and filled the housing with water and never could identify a seam problem! But if the silicone does not work, a couple of 1/8 inch vents holes will be next on my list. Now where’s the best location for these holes so as not to provide a path for new water entry???!!!

It’s too bad that GM is not aware of the problem (other than lens replacement via the Parts Counter!).

Thanks everyone.


#15

Excuse the sarcasm, but “GM is not aware of the problem”?

Uh-huh. Just like they took 7 years to become aware of faulty intake manifold gaskets in all their engines (mainly the V6s from 1996 to 2003.


#16

I did the same thing with a 97 GMC pick up that ED B suggested - did it 4 years ago and have not had condensation yet - I used a hair dryer to blow out and dry and a 2 dollar tube of clear silicone from Wal Mart - dealer wanted $200 for new headlight housing -Auto Zone wanted $150 - cost me two bucks