Water in tail lights - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 02-11-2007, 05:22 PM   #1
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Default Water in tail lights

Hi folks,
After changing my rear turn signal bulb, I discovered ice inside the tail light.
Not sure how water is leaking in there.
The housings and lenses are not cracked, fit seems nice and tight.
This is on both sides, because I changed both bulbs.
The ice is melted where the bulbs would be, obviously because of the heat of the bulb.

Any idea how to fix this? Take them off and silicone?
Not really a big deal right now, but I don't want it to turn into something worse!

(I didn't know if I should have posted in "electrical". There are no electrical malfunctions, so it was sort of a grey area)

As always, your advice is appreciated.

Thanks,
Adam
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:18 PM   #2
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Most likely one of your tail light studs broke and allowed the leak
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:29 PM   #3
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My taillights are not cracked either, but one always fills up with water. I'd definitely check the seal all the way around. Maybe even check the rubber gaskets on the bulb housings?
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Old 02-15-2007, 06:03 PM   #4
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I had this problem..

Fixed it by removing each taillight,
Siliconed around the gasket area,
bolt them back in.

Dry as a bone for about 6 months now!!!

You might also want to check the housings for cracks as well. Shopping carts like to crack 'em.

Good Luck!!

Bob
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Old 02-15-2007, 06:17 PM   #5
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One of mine got water in it between the outer lense and the black part along the edge along the top. I checked for the possibility of leaks elsewhere but couldn't find any.
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Old 02-16-2007, 04:15 PM   #6
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My vote would also be for the lens gasket seal.
If you attempt to break the seal, beware. On my '92 SSE and '93 SSEi lenses, the seal is a sticky rubbery substance that'* pretty tough to separate, so be careful if you attempt to separate the lense from the seal and reseal it. You could apply an external sealant such as clear silicone to seal the area from the outside instead, but obviously, you'd want to use a minimal amount of silicone for cosmetic reasons.
And note that the moisture/water leak isn't just a cosmetic problem...over time, any exposed metal inside the lens assembly (for example, the bulb socket contacts) will rust and corrode.
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:30 PM   #7
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I just spent all of last weekend taking my 92 tails off and resealing them, but they still leak! Now I don't think it'* the seal around the lens and the light bulb housing, but I do think it'* the fact that some of the clear outer lens has separated from the plastic black lines and is allowing water in through the top, plus there'* a bunch of dirt or something in the black laminated area where it should be laminated but has come loose. Stupidly, even after reading a few threads on this, I thought the laminated parts had deteriorated enough to break them apart without baking, and now I've cracked one of them because the bottom portion of the lamination was still good. Can someone please tell me the best way to fix this leak for good so I don't have water in the lights flooding my trunk, I'm getting sick and tired of drying out my trunk full of water every time it rains (which is often in Oregon).
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:59 PM   #8
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Anytime you pull the assemblies apart you risk creating leaks or cracking the plastic. Older plastics are UV/weather degraded, and will be much more brittle than you would expect. Use care...or open you wallet for a new one!
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zecc81 View Post
I just spent all of last weekend taking my 92 tails off and resealing them, but they still leak! Now I don't think it'* the seal around the lens and the light bulb housing, but I do think it'* the fact that some of the clear outer lens has separated from the plastic black lines and is allowing water in through the top, plus there'* a bunch of dirt or something in the black laminated area where it should be laminated but has come loose. Stupidly, even after reading a few threads on this, I thought the laminated parts had deteriorated enough to break them apart without baking, and now I've cracked one of them because the bottom portion of the lamination was still good. Can someone please tell me the best way to fix this leak for good so I don't have water in the lights flooding my trunk, I'm getting sick and tired of drying out my trunk full of water every time it rains (which is often in Oregon).
Take the assembly off the car. Seal up the bulb sockets with heavy duty tape. Use a solution of soap and water and spray it around all the seams. Using an air compressor or a tube and your own breath, blow air into the assembly and look for any area where bubbles present. Spray and check the whole assembly.
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:17 PM   #10
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That'* good advice. I've put brand new sealant on the connection between the light bulb housing and the lenses so that'* going to be very difficult to get off, so I'm going to try to isolate the leak with your method and just focus on that because I'm almost certain water is getting in through the top of the taillights where the lamination has broken between the black plastic lines and the clear outer lens. Good news is the left taillight did not leak, and that was the one I put more sealant on the top of the taillight where the lid of the trunk comes to rest.
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