Water in the Headlights
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Cadillac STS Forum - 2005 through 2012 Discussion, Water in the Headlights in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I had ALL the bulbs that require the facia to come off my car replaced when one of them blew. ...
  1. #1
    maiahsdad's Avatar
    maiahsdad is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Water in the Headlights

    I had ALL the bulbs that require the facia to come off my car replaced when one of them blew.

    The dealer assumes no liability, but I have lots of water in the drivers side now. I am forced to have it repaired. I've been told that they didn't reseal the access doors properly.

    I'm told that I can do this. It I'm without tools and space.

    Is there anyone near Indianapolis that can do this for me? I don't trust the dealer anymore. And it cost $200 to get the lights replaced. I'm so frustrated.

    1badcadsts is such a great friend, and will help me. But he's MANY hours away and I don't have the leverage for that length of travel.

    Thanks for any help. PM me if Ur willing to help.

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  3. #2
    Douglass Harroun is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Water in the Headlights

    Same thing happened to me. Dealer charged, like $600 to change the main bulb, water started appearing after that. I partly removed the front bumper, found a piece of 2x4 the dealer had used to pry the bumper forward without proper unbolting, lying on the belly pan, found the headlight "door" gasket partly out of its track, straightened the gasket with a heat gun, re-installed carefully---> no more water.

  4. #3
    ddalder's Avatar
    ddalder is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Water in the Headlights

    There are two access covers on each headlamp assembly. One on the side and one on the rear. My guess is they weren't careful either removing the access cover or reinstalling it. The foam gasket/seal can be fragile depending on how old the car is. When I had mine apart, I gently cleaned them with some Meguiar's #40 Vinyl & Rubber Cleaner. I'm hoping this will keep them from drying out too much between bulb changes.

    You can purchase the access cover separately from the headlamp and I believe it comes with the seal, in the event yours has been damaged. You might want to check with a parts department to confirm and also ask if the seal is available separately. The technician may have tried to cut corners and with limited access, didn't have room to do the job carefully.




  5. #4
    maiahsdad's Avatar
    maiahsdad is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Just got diagnosis from new Caddy dealer. Foam gaskets good, access panels sealed properly. Am told that water is getting in from behind the bulbs themselves. Replacing is only option per their head service tech. $1200 each and $200 labor. I JUST got this damn car. And now I'm stuck AGAIN! This has been a nightmare.

    Guess I'm just letting the bulbs all burn the hell out til I get rid of the car and GM vehicles.

    $2700 to replace HEADLIGHTS? Yeah right...
    rh1231979 and rh1231979 like this.

  6. #5
    BaTu is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Water in the Headlights

    Quote Originally Posted by maiahsdad View Post
    Just got diagnosis from new Caddy dealer. Foam gaskets good, access panels sealed properly. Am told that water is getting in from behind the bulbs themselves. Replacing is only option per their head service tech. $1200 each and $200 labor. I JUST got this damn car. And now I'm stuck AGAIN! This has been a nightmare.

    Guess I'm just letting the bulbs all burn the hell out til I get rid of the car and GM vehicles.

    $2700 to replace HEADLIGHTS? Yeah right...
    Don't let that happen. The headlights are Easily resealed and you want to do that before the reflector becomes damaged by the water. There are Numerous threads here on how to do it. It's a cheap and fairly easy fix (removing the housings is actually more complicated than you'd Ever imagine though )

    I'm not sure the "door gasket" even could be responsible for many of the leaks..... I mean, how much water is getting to the Back of the housings? It's not like tire spray hits there, it's All behind cover. I've never seen mud or any evidence of water behind my bumper so, I donno, I believe the water intrusion into the housings are mostly due to a failure of the seal between the lens and housing (I know it was in my case)

    Anyway, do a Search here and read-up. Fix it now before it does permanent damage and you can end the problem

  7. #6
    1BadCadSTS's Avatar
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    The bulbs are sealed in behind the door how is water getting inside the bulb without getting past the door?!

  8. #7
    maiahsdad's Avatar
    maiahsdad is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1BadCadSTS
    The bulbs are sealed in behind the door how is water getting inside the bulb without getting past the door?!
    He said thrill the HID vents.

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    THRU the HID vents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BaTu

    Don't let that happen. The headlights are Easily resealed and you want to do that before the reflector becomes damaged by the water. There are Numerous threads here on how to do it. It's a cheap and fairly easy fix (removing the housings is actually more complicated than you'd Ever imagine though)
    I don't have tools or space to work on this ether one. And this is my only transportation.

    ----------

    Nor do I have help.

  9. #8
    maiahsdad's Avatar
    maiahsdad is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    And that's not all.eaking rear pinion and small oil leak somewhere he said. Not good. I dnt even know what a pinion is.

  10. #9
    1BadCadSTS's Avatar
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    Leaky pinion seal. You'll lose diff fluid. Lose it all you'll destroy your rear end and likely lock the tires doing god only knows what more damage to the awd system.

    ----------

    The vents can't allow water to flow in and accumulate a puddle in. To me it sounds like they don't want involved in another dealers issue which is smart.

  11. #10
    malatu's Avatar
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    Re: Water in the Headlights

    If you end up purchasing new headlight assemblies, get a quote from Chris at Rippy Cadillac Dealership, a sponsored vendor here. I purchased one from him and was greatly pleased with the price I got it for.

    Quote Originally Posted by maiahsdad View Post
    Just got diagnosis from new Caddy dealer. Foam gaskets good, access panels sealed properly. Am told that water is getting in from behind the bulbs themselves. Replacing is only option per their head service tech. $1200 each and $200 labor. I JUST got this damn car. And now I'm stuck AGAIN! This has been a nightmare.

    Guess I'm just letting the bulbs all burn the hell out til I get rid of the car and GM vehicles.

    $2700 to replace HEADLIGHTS? Yeah right...

  12. #11
    maiahsdad's Avatar
    maiahsdad is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Quote Originally Posted by malatu
    If you end up purchasing new headlight assemblies, get a quote from Chris at Rippy Cadillac Dealership, a sponsored vendor here. I purchased one from him and was greatly pleased with the price I got it for.
    I reached out to him in the past. Emailed and called. No response.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1BadCadSTS
    Leaky pinion seal. You'll lose diff fluid. Lose it all you'll destroy your rear end and likely lock the tires doing god only knows what more damage to the awd system.

    ----------

    The vents can't allow water to flow in and accumulate a puddle in. To me it sounds like they don't want involved in another dealers issue which is smart.
    Well it's my fault. I shld have NEVER purchased a used car. I got toasted. And I'm on the 5yr hook for this one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1BadCadSTS
    The vents can't allow water to flow in and accumulate a puddle in. To me it sounds like they don't want involved in another dealers issue which is smart.
    lovely.

  13. #12
    dkozloski's Avatar
    dkozloski is online now Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: Water in the Headlights

    Headlight assemblies are vented because if they weren't they'd explode as you drove across Colorado. Everytime you drive up or down hill or the temperature changes, air passes in and out through the vent. The water vapor in moist air can condense inside the headlight. In moist climates it can be very persistant. Ordinarily turning on the lights will provide enough heat to dry out the moisture. Your local climatic conditions can contribute to the problem. LEDs produce much less heat and may make the problem worse. If moisture in the headlights really causes you distress you can always move to a local with a dryer climate like Arizona.

    Even if you replace the lights with new the next time your monsoon season arrives the moisture could be right back. You might consider removing the headlight assemblies and putting them in a household oven set to 120-130 degrees overnight.
    Don't mess with Binky Bear!


  14. #13
    maiahsdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkozloski
    Headlight assemblies are vented because if they weren't they'd explode as you drove across Colorado. Everytime you drive up or down hill or the temperature changes, air passes in and out through the vent. The water vapor in moist air can condense inside the headlight. In moist climates it can be very persistant. Ordinarily turning on the lights will provide enough heat to dry out the moisture. Your local climatic conditions can contribute to the problem. LEDs produce much less heat and may make the problem worse. If moisture in the headlights really causes you distress you can always move to a local with a dryer climate like Arizona.

    Even if you replace the lights with new the next time your monsoon season arrives the moisture could be right back. You might consider removing the headlight assemblies and putting them in a household oven set to 120-130 degrees overnight.
    Moisture doesn't other me. An INCH (enough to cover the little marker penlight) of water certainly does though.

  15. #14
    dkozloski's Avatar
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    Re: Water in the Headlights

    That's excessive but not unprecedented.
    Don't mess with Binky Bear!


  16. #15
    maiahsdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkozloski
    That's excessive but not unprecedented.
    I woulld think that this amount would NOT be evaporated by the heat from the lamps inside, nor from outside in any reasonable timeframe. I would think that the parts inside would rust.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1BadCadSTS
    Leaky pinion seal. You'll lose diff fluid. Lose it all you'll destroy your rear end and likely lock the tires doing god only knows what more damage to the awd system.l.
    seems that I would notice it in the driveway, as well as the oil leak they've indicated. Pinion seal repair will set me back $350 or so he said. And i assume there's no dipstick to see where my differential fluid level is right now. Seems I'm totally hosed.... Unless I'm like many with a pile of cash ready to invest in an old fixer-upper.

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