How to Get Moisture Out of a Headlight

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A small amount of moisture in a headlight is usually harmless. However, the problem could get worse over time, eventually leading to a small pool of water standing in your headlight assembly. Getting moisture out of a headlight isn't too difficult, but you will need to replace the headlight or seal it to prevent the problem from happening again.

How to Get Moisture Out of a Headlight
(Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver or socket wrench (optional)
  • Towels
  • Silicone sealant
  • Replacement headlight assembly (optional)
Step 1

Determine how the headlight is mounted. Open the hood and examine the rear of the headlight assembly. Some assemblies are attached by clips, while others are attached by bolts. Gather the tools you need, if any, to remove the headlight assembly.

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media
Step 2

Disconnect the electrical connection from behind the headlight assembly. Turn the headlamp modules (low-beam and high-beam) counterclockwise to remove them.

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media
Step 3

Snap open the clips or remove the bolts holding the assembly. Carefully pull the assembly out of the engine bay.

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media
Step 4

Place the headlight assembly on a towel on top of a flat surface. Lay it face down, with the rear facing you.

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media
Step 5

Separate the headlight assembly's backing and the lens cover. Most lens covers are attached by clips; push the clip down and pull the two halves apart.

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media
Step 6

Let the excess water drain from the lens cover and the backing. Wipe both pieces with a towel.

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media
Step 7

Examine the lens cover. If you have moisture in a headlight, there are two possible causes. Either the lens is cracked and has a small hole or the weather stripping is bad.

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media
Step 8

Fix the source of the problem. If you can't find a hole, apply a small bead of silicone sealant around the weather stripping. If the lens cover has a hole or is cracked, you will need to replace the entire headlight assembly.

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media
Step 9

Install the headlight assembly by reversing the steps you used for the removal.

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media

Tips & Warnings

  • Letting moisture or water build up in a headlight could cause the bulbs to fail prematurely.
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