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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In addition to the interior panel alignment issue that has been bugging me, but others saw that can be fixed, I have this new issue after this past week's rains in San Diego..
IMG_1192.jpg
See the condensation inside the lens? I can't wipe it off, since it's inside the lens itself.

Scott
 

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In addition to the interior panel alignment issue that has been bugging me, but others saw that can be fixed, I have this new issue after this past week's rains in San Diego..
View attachment 2924
See the condensation inside the lens? I can't wipe it off, since it's inside the lens itself.

Scott
From your photo it looks like a bit of minor condensation (as opposed to an actual water leak into the lens)

Some exterior lamps, such as cornering, turn signal, backup, headlamps or tail lamps may exhibit very small droplets of water, a fine mist or white fog (condensation) on the inside of the lamp lens. This may be more noticeable on lamps with “multi-lens” designs and may be normal during certain weather conditions.

Condensation occurs when the air inside the lamp assembly, through atmospheric changes, reaches the “dew point”. When this takes place, the moisture in the air within the lamp assembly condenses, creating a fine mist or white fog on the inside surface of the lamp lens.

Most exterior lamps on General Motors vehicles use a vented design and feature a replaceable bulb assembly. They are designed to remove any accumulated moisture vapor by expelling it through a vent system. The vent system operates at all times, however, it is most effective when the lamps are ON or when the vehicle is in motion. Depending on the size, shape and location of the lamp on the vehicle, and the atmospheric conditions occurring, the amount of time required to clear the lamp may vary but once the weather clears up and the car is driven for a few trips it should dissipate.

Your condenation, apears to be down near the bottom at the vents, so really nothing to worry about (it doesnt significantly affect lamp visibility) other than a temporary cosmetic annoyance...

If it gets a LOT worse or persists after 4-5 days of driving once the weather improves you could certainly visit your dealer but the diagnostic process for such condensation effectively states that for "condensation" issues replacing the lamp assembly will generally NOT permanently alliviate the concern as it's considered "normal" behavior and very climate/weather depandant.

WopOnTour
 

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Mine was on the drivers side, the forward of the two lenses, and it was replaced by the dealer under warranty. In the meantime, it might help to warm it a bit with a hair dryer....don't melt it!
 

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In addition to the interior panel alignment issue that has been bugging me, but others saw that can be fixed..

Scott
Have your dealer contact "Paul at GM Technical Assistance". That's what my Volt Advisor had me do and the dealer was able to make the adjustment without difficulty.

I also had a persistent issue with the brake fluid cap leaking a drop or two on the outside reservoir. The dealer replaced the cap and so far, so good.
 

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Mine was on the drivers side, the forward of the two lenses, and it was replaced by the dealer under warranty. In the meantime, it might help to warm it a bit with a hair dryer....don't melt it!
Yes, replacing it ALWAYS "fixes" it LOL
So unless there WAS actually something WRONG with your lamp assem that doesnt mean teh condition wont just return when similar atomospheric conditions return :(
So it can snowball into a CS nightmare...
WOT
 

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I assume that this amount of condensation is not normal.
View attachment 2936
Hmmm well that depends...
What were the conditions in which this water has formed?
Was it temeprature related condensation? or heavy rains? or??
(even directing high-pressure car wash wand directly on the lamp in just the right fashion might have contributed to it taking on this much moisture)
Does it "clear up" after driving the car over period of nice weather? or is it this state permanantly?

Don't get me wrong.
It still of course doest hurt to bring it to your dealers attention. (especially if it's always the same lamp, for long periods of time or not under conditions that might warrant its presence) They might just replace it to make you happy, but hopefully they still create a TAC case for it. (just case there's more to this, and if enough cases are being brought forward, they might come up with some sort of remedic action that is more permanent.)

I just wouldnt expect them to just replace it as being defective unless they have weighed it against sound diagnostic princples.
My point was the mere presence of moisture/condensation is not neccessarily a defect or a totally unexpected condition as many might think.
HTH
WOT

PS> ever consider a move to Vegas or AZ?? lol j/k
 

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You know this really makes me upset.. EVERY GM vehicle I have ever owned has had issues in the tail lamp assemblies like this.. Normally though it does not appear for many years down the road (on our 03' Grand Prix GXP it took until 08' to start condensing inside the tail lamps).. It eventually lead to the ruining of those as the plastic was peeling away from the actual assemblies, and water would start leaking in & burning out the bulbs. Same thing on the 08' Grand Prix, and 04' Trailblazer.. The Trailblazer I just took the light assemblies out and used some sealant to seal all the areas where the plastic lense mated with the housing (it is a truck afterall). I figured by now on the Volt they would have solved these issues, but would seem to me that they have only gotten worse looking at the photos as all these cars are fairly new.

The condensation is not harmless though.. With the way GM builds the tail lamp assemblies it will cause the clear plastic to eventually delaminate from the housing. It may take a couple years, but the end result is not pretty. Also it will cause crazing (will look like a fogging) on the inside of the clear piece eventually reducing the transparency of the lense. Need to look on my father in law's Cruze and see if he has any water intrusion as that car is almost a year old now.
 

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That's not normal, no way, it's ugly and looks like crap. None of my recent cars (meaning modern) have ever done this. Needs to be replaced and hopefully it's somewhat isolated. The most likely causes are a manufacturing defect or the seal to the bulb housing isn't seated or sealed correctly. Under the latter scenario when the bulb is cooling after being on it's sucking damp air into the lens from the outside, which in turn causes condensation. Haven't seen that many other complaints with the lenses, so let's hope this isn't a wholesale issue.
 

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Yea, I have never seen that problem where I would call it "within design spec" like WOT is trying to do. But he's just trying to tow the corporate line that avoids companies like GM paying for their mistakes -- can't blame him, but you should still seek a replacement.

Once GM starts spending a ton of money replacing their faulty design, at some point, an exec will order the engineers to improve the design and release an improved version.

So help push them in that direction instead of living with the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
PS> ever consider a move to Vegas or AZ?? lol j/k
I know that your kidding, but in San Diego where the temperature and relative humidity is around 65F and 70% and apart from last week's day of rain there's been no real change...

This should not be happening. I'll see what the Dealer says, but some condensation immediately after rain, I can buy. Still having fogging three days after rain? Bzzt FAIL.

Scott
 

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My Volt's left and right rear tail light lenses also fog up a little when I wash my car. But they dry out after a day or so. I don't direct the water from the hose into the lens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
After leaving my Volt in the Sun for two days, it evaporated. But it was there for 5 days before that... Parked in a garage and in a parking lot (shaded by building and tree.
 

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It happened to my previous ML350's HID headlight housing and MB said it was normal.
just found it happening to mine..... pressure spray. The only thing is
that I have washed the car 10 times before and it didn't happen. This
is not NORMAL and has never happened with any of my other vehicles.
 

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Same problem with mine, took it to the dealer. He just told me that it was "normal". If it were normal, why are the other lights still clear. And mine is also the drivers side, is everyone's the same?
 
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@ Bird44,

Some condensation is normal and should evaporate with the lights on, but if it does not, the light should be replaced.
 

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same thing, this is 32-36hours after rain
 

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Toasty that amount of condensation could be normal for a day after a rain, depending on the temp, humidity, rain that the car is in. I have seen that and never gave it a second thought as it was gone in about two days.

I might suggest this to the thread, when using L to slow down the VOLT uses it's brake lights a lot less than a conventional car. It is true that bulb use does heat the inside of the lamp assembly and that heat does help to shorten the condensation "drying" process. So VOLT drivers using L to slow down (which I do a lot) may require more time to have the lamp assembly dry out since less heat is generated. Now heat is generated at a stop light with the foot on the brake but I know my brake lights are used a lot less than conventional ICE cars both from my experience and just observing other cars how much physical hydraulic brake usage there is while driving in L avoids a lot of braking.

But I will agree that if the condensation never goes away or if there is water in the bottom of the assembly then there is a leak somewhere or the Gore-tex patch that is often used, to allow a one-way vent, might not be properly installed. And then you likely need to let a dealer check it out.
 
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