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Old 10-17-2009, 11:35 PM   #1
jaymeister
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Default Chronic fog / condensation in rear tail light (driver side)

Fellow mazda3 owners,

I'm trying to find a remedy for this fog/condensation that's been plaguing my rear tail light on the driver side. Unlike other owners, mine appears to be consistent and unchanging over time. There's water trapped on the inside, and, because it's only in one tail lamp (the other is crystal clear), it looks terrible. I've tried plugging the gap between the bezel and the car's body (accessible when the trunk is open)... but no luck. Any suggestions? On the flip side, my front headlights are awfully yellow. I realize my car is not as nice as it was when I bought it new in 2004, but I know it's fixable.

Would appreciate any help. Thanks!

2004 Mazda3s 4-door
2.3L Titanium Gray
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Old 10-17-2009, 11:41 PM   #2
Hank3
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Default Re: Chronic fog / condensation in rear tail light (driver side)

Hmmm...knowing the info from this TSB and the fact the tail lights are not recommended to be opened/baked, you might have to keep living with it
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Old 10-19-2009, 03:27 PM   #3
Initialjoe
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Default Re: Chronic fog / condensation in rear tail light (driver side)

The yellow headlights is a normal thing...I have an 06 and it is starting to yellow. I am taking it to a place to get them cleared up soon.

As for the fog in the tail light, have you opened them recently? If the fog is unchanging it may mean that the seals are still good. Maybe try taking the entire assembly off the car, drying it out, and reattaching it. Hopefully the fog won't return.
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:10 PM   #4
Cesaros
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Default Re: Chronic fog / condensation in rear tail light (driver side)

open them up, clean, reseal with silicon or whatever is recommended.
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:46 AM   #5
Hank3
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Default Re: Chronic fog / condensation in rear tail light (driver side)

From what I read, other members have discouraged baking and opening the tail lights due to a different type of seal. A few people tried baking the tails (like the headlights) and they wouldn't budge. They kept trying and trying and they ended up melting them. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

Wait - just found someone else's post regarding this:

Quote:
The reason why you can't bake them is because they are not sealed with glue . . . the lens is fused to the housing (read: housing is melted along the edges, then lens is stuck on it to while still hot). Or so it would seem from looking at it. The easiest way to open it up would be to cut around the outside very carefully. Not sure what the best way to do that is though since when I was grinding mine down, the plastic tended to melt and turn kind of gooey rather than turn into dust like you'd expect it to. It dremmels like styrene . . .
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Old 10-21-2009, 09:18 AM   #6
Cannondale
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Default Re: Chronic fog / condensation in rear tail light (driver side)

If there's moisture inside, that presumably means the housing has a crack somewhere. If you leave it as is, you'll get corrosion in the circuitry. Can you remove the bulbs from the housing to let it dry out, then inspect for the crack and seal it? You might have to pull the housing from the car to find the crack.

Good luck!
Patrick.
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:43 PM   #7
IBrakeForNobody
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Default Re: Chronic fog / condensation in rear tail light (driver side)

One trick I read about (possibly on here) to deal with condensation in the taillight is to drill a really tiny (like 1/32&quot hole in the bottom inside corner of the taillight. This allows the moisture to drain out very slowly (if it's that bad) and also allows the humidity to escape, therefore clearing up the taillight. It takes a week or two (or longer) to see any results though.
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Old 11-16-2009, 02:05 PM   #8
Rocketeer
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Default Re: Chronic fog / condensation in rear tail light (driver side)

My 2004 just started doing the tailight thing last month.....
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:07 PM   #9
jaymeister
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Default Re: Chronic fog / condensation in rear tail light (driver side)

All good points. Thanks boys. I think I'll try taking the actual lights out, and if that doesn't work, I'll maybe try drilling the hole. I hate that they're not an easier fix for this.

As for the yellowing headlights, anyone recommend a way to clean them (seeing as it's a rather vital part of the car that I'd rather not inadvertently make worse)?

Thanks
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Old 01-05-2010, 09:12 AM   #10
Hank3
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Default Re: Chronic fog / condensation in rear tail light (driver side)

I have had great results with the 3M Headlight Lens Restoration Kit. I've done three cars now and the results have been great. There are good reviews on Amazon, and many on the Subaru forums have raved about it, too. Only thing is you need a 1200-1600 rpm drill. If the headlights aren't that bad, then you can also try Meguiar's PlastiX. It didn't take off the heavy yellowing on my father-in-law's Caravan, but it did work pretty well with lightly hazed lights.

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