What to do?? Condensation in headlights...

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Tinsley
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Bought my lovely Seat Ibiza end of January, passed test in March and told them Feb time about he condensation in the headlights. It had to go up for its one month courtesy check anyway, but they had no time to do the lights then as by Seats policy they have to be dried out for x amount of time.

Anyway, day after I took it up to them for the whole day (spent £17 on the humber bridge!), the condensation is back in one light on the front and one of the back ones

They are doing it for free as the problem was there when I bought it, do I go to Hull again so they can have another go, or give it to my local VW and pay for a new headlight?

Not sure how much it will cost so will ring them up, but pretty sure the Hull garage cba with me now, but I don't want condensation in the lights, its not tiny, it covers well over half of the whole thing...

The steering wheel was not alligned with the wheels either when I got it. The tracking was perfect, but the steering wheel didn't line up with the wheels, when they were straight the steering wheel was about 2 inches turned to the left. I'm wondering if it was actually in a little accident or something, people I spoke to said they had no idea how the steering was so out and I know the garage had to take the whole of the front of my car apart to do it...

I don't know whether the garage in Hull are just gits and cba to do a proper job, I wouldn't have thought it would have passed its MOT with condensed headlights, the handbrake with as much travel as it had, and the steering wheel being so out of allignment, but it did
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terpineol
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Steering wheel out of alignment is really nothing to worry about for an MOT assuming everything else is ok, mine is a good 45 degrees out.

A bit of condensation in the headlights is fine, lots of it can be an issue for an MOT, but its easily removed by driving to the MOT with the lights on...

Handbrake travel has to be huuuuge before the MOT lot take issue with it also.

In short, doesn't sound like you have anything to worry about to me.
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Tinsley
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(Original post by terpineol)
Steering wheel out of alignment is really nothing to worry about for an MOT assuming everything else is ok, mine is a good 45 degrees out.

A bit of condensation in the headlights is fine, lots of it can be an issue for an MOT, but its easily removed by driving to the MOT with the lights on...

Handbrake travel has to be huuuuge before the MOT lot take issue with it also.

In short, doesn't sound like you have anything to worry about to me.
Thanks.

Handbrake went up 10 notches and they adjusted it on two occasions as they said it was too much to adjust it in one go, goes up 3-4 notches now

The condensation really is quite bad It was about 2/3 up each light and covering them up to that point, now the drivers side one is fine, but passenger side is a bit better but almost as bad as before. Not sure whether its worth taking it all that way again or to just buy a new headlight, can't get hold of them I think everywhere has shut early today!
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Walter Ego
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Open the bonnet, pop the back covers off each light (where you access to change bulbs) and position a hair dryer to blow warm air into the light. Go for a cup of tea. Repeat for each light which needs it. Alternatively, remove whole light unit from car, remove any fixing screws and put unit in oven (REALLY !) for 10 minutes at about 100º. Pry the light apart. There will be loads of stringy black (usually) stuff holding them together which is Caulk. Add a load more, or silicone sealer, pop back in oven to reheat and then push back together, refitting any fixing screws. Then hope it worked as you won't know until it either steams up or it doesn't. Alternative #2, scour eBay, net spare part search sites, or the local scrapyards for replacements. Alt #3, pay through the nose for new.
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Tinsley
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(Original post by Walter Ego)
Open the bonnet, pop the back covers off each light (where you access to change bulbs) and position a hair dryer to blow warm air into the light. Go for a cup of tea. Repeat for each light which needs it. Alternatively, remove whole light unit from car, remove any fixing screws and put unit in oven (REALLY !) for 10 minutes at about 100º. Pry the light apart. There will be loads of stringy black (usually) stuff holding them together which is Caulk. Add a load more, or silicone sealer, pop back in oven to reheat and then push back together, refitting any fixing screws. Then hope it worked as you won't know until it either steams up or it doesn't. Alternative #2, scour eBay, net spare part search sites, or the local scrapyards for replacements. Alt #3, pay through the nose for new.
Thanks for that, have also heard people have drilled tiny holes into the back cover small enough that no real bad dirt can get in but air can circulate, that will be plan number 2 I think I will see if I can get the backs off and dry them out myself..!

Failing that I think I can get a new headlight for about £50 if I really can't do anything with it, tbh I think the seal isn't very good but not sure how to have a proper look to know what to look for, will have to investigate this weekend..!

Thanks
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Walter Ego
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Euro Car Parts and GSF stock Seat light units. Might be cheaper than a main dealer ! Also try Andrew Page.
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Tinsley
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(Original post by Walter Ego)
Euro Car Parts and GSF stock Seat light units. Might be cheaper than a main dealer ! Also try Andrew Page.
That's fantastic, thank you! So far I'd found somewhere that did VW lights which has them for £50 each, others are about £70-£80.

Rep is on its way and I will look at those links, thank you very much
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gbduo
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Its a Seat Ibiza? That is perfectly normal.

They all do it, mine included. Seat just say use the headlights more and it is because the car is designed for warmer climates (i.e. Spain).

Rubbish excuse if you ask me, but if you look at any Ibiza, Leon, etc they all have condensation in the headlights.

So don't change them!!! Its normal. If the garage say they will fix it though, you are doing better than all the Seat dealers I went to about it, so might be worth the trek. How old is the car? If it is less than 3 years old you can try and get it sorted at any Seat dealer, but I highly doubt they will do anything. It is a VERY common problem.

You can see the condensation in my headlights in this pic (if you look hard!):-

Image

If it is anything like that, or slightly worse then that is completely and utterly normal. Obviously, this was done in the sun, but it gets worse in cold weather when the headlights have been on for a while, headlights get hot, then cool quickly.

Graham
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Tinsley
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Thanks, I had heard it was a common problem!

Problem is the guy at my local VW said it actually did look like it was affecting my main beam and that it would be good to see if they could do anything about it because of that.

Its a Seat dealership and they had my car in the reference version available and a couple in different colours, all of them were OK at the time it was just mine.

Thanks, nice knowing its a bit normal still! I also discovered all bonnet leavers are a bit loose in the Ibiza's and all the compartments just to the right of the steering wheel are quite stiff too, they compared it to the four they had in and they were all the same :p:

Its a 56 plate so not too old, they sold it originally in Nov 2006, then it came back to them April 2007, they sold it a couple weeks after and it went back to them Dec 2009, then I bought it from them in the January of this year (2010).

Nice alloys btw, did you buy it with those on or get them yourself? I'm on steel wheels :p:
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shark67
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(Original post by Walter Ego)
Open the bonnet, pop the back covers off each light (where you access to change bulbs) and position a hair dryer to blow warm air into the light. Go for a cup of tea. Repeat for each light which needs it. Alternatively, remove whole light unit from car, remove any fixing screws and put unit in oven (REALLY !) for 10 minutes at about 100º. Pry the light apart. There will be loads of stringy black (usually) stuff holding them together which is Caulk. Add a load more, or silicone sealer, pop back in oven to reheat and then push back together, refitting any fixing screws. Then hope it worked as you won't know until it either steams up or it doesn't. Alternative #2, scour eBay, net spare part search sites, or the local scrapyards for replacements. Alt #3, pay through the nose for new.
Thats just stupid advice.
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tomc87
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My Leon has condensation in both headlights from time to time, I haven't really seen it is an issue though. If the VW dealer is charging you for repairs/replacement, that's probably why they told you it was an issue! There's nothing to say it will be any better if they replace the light units, either.
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Tinsley
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(Original post by tomc87)
My Leon has condensation in both headlights from time to time, I haven't really seen it is an issue though. If the VW dealer is charging you for repairs/replacement, that's probably why they told you it was an issue! There's nothing to say it will be any better if they replace the light units, either.
Nah the VW said give the dealership I bought it from a call I said how much the VW garage charge me to fix it as they are more local, and he said tbh I wouldn't bother we would have to replace it just go back to the dealership and let them see what they can do as it will be free (only just bought it etc).

I've heard and science tells me there is probably something up with the seal around the light, and I read that its easy for the Seat ones not to be fitted right or to come loose, nothing to do with the actual light unit, and I had a look on the job list for my car from the day it went it, and they put a new seal on the driver's side light but not the passenger one, and the drivers one is fine currently, its the passenger one being the problem

I might see how it goes and have a go drying it out myself, right now just gone 11am, there is condensation 3/4 up the light and covering the space below it, driver's side is fine, and one of the rear lights has condensation spots on, the other is fine
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gbduo
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(Original post by Tinsley)
Thanks, I had heard it was a common problem!

Problem is the guy at my local VW said it actually did look like it was affecting my main beam and that it would be good to see if they could do anything about it because of that.

Its a Seat dealership and they had my car in the reference version available and a couple in different colours, all of them were OK at the time it was just mine.

Thanks, nice knowing its a bit normal still! I also discovered all bonnet leavers are a bit loose in the Ibiza's and all the compartments just to the right of the steering wheel are quite stiff too, they compared it to the four they had in and they were all the same :p:

Its a 56 plate so not too old, they sold it originally in Nov 2006, then it came back to them April 2007, they sold it a couple weeks after and it went back to them Dec 2009, then I bought it from them in the January of this year (2010).

Nice alloys btw, did you buy it with those on or get them yourself? I'm on steel wheels :p:
The alloys are OEM fit on the Sport models.

I would monitor the problem, but it is normal to have condensations in all the lights, especially after they have been used/cold nights.
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HarryTheGoat
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Open the light up from the hatch at the back and get a hair dryer. Put it to a low heat setting then keep moving it around the passage of the headlight. Do this for about half hour and it will remove most of the condensation.
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RogerOxon
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(Original post by HarryTheGoat)
Open the light up from the hatch at the back and get a hair dryer. Put it to a low heat setting then keep moving it around the passage of the headlight. Do this for about half hour and it will remove most of the condensation.
This is a 10 year old thread ..
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