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Headlight Condensation/Water Ingress.

Discussion in 'Leon Mk3 (2012-2020)' started by Mr Pig, Nov 23, 2019.

  1. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig Active Member

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    Just picked up my 2016 Leon FR today.

    I noticed in the dealer's advert that the off-side headlight had condensation in it. The dealer said that they would sort it and when I picked the car up the light looked fine.

    However, after driving home, an hour of light rain, both lights have water in them. The near-side light is pretty bad.

    Has anyone else had this issue and what was the outcome? I/m expecting the dealer to fob me off with some 'it's normal' bullshit but we've had the other Leon for nearly six years and never seen water in the lights.
     
  2. RYANBRZ

    RYANBRZ Active Member

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    I have had the same and apparently it is common for these cars. There was an old thread about this topic last year on this forum.
     
  3. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig Active Member

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    I'm googling it just now and reading the stories!

    Lot's of 'it's normal' comments but how come our other Leon has never had it? Surely, if it was 'normal' they would all do it?

    And the near-side light is not just a little condensation, it's big drops of water. It's wet in there.
     
  4. BoomerBoom

    BoomerBoom Active Member

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    My 2018 FR developed a light misting in both after delivery, but removing the rear caps and letting them dry out over a warm sunny day solved it and the problem hasn't returned.

    Droplets of water in just one light sounds like it's sprung a seam and is continually sucking moisture in.
     
  5. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig Active Member

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    Both lights looked fine when I picked the car up. It was a few hours later I saw the water, after driving in the rain for an hour or so. I'll be interested to see what they say about it. The other Leon got water in the tail lights while it was still under warranty and the dealer didn't want to know. JUst said it was normal.
     
  6. ZK_FR150

    ZK_FR150 Active Member

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    If it's condensation in the headlights then yeah that is normal although it's poor, the LEDs don't generate enough heat to dry it out like halogen or xenon lights do, so you get misting on the lens.

    However if water is actually pooling in the lens then there's a fault with the lights, I had a similar fault where a incorrect bolt was used to fix my headlight which had then punctured it from the top.
    Rain would go down the top of the inside rail of the wing and then drop into the light.
    Eventually the light failed with the water ingress and needed a new light.

    Rear lights shouldn't have water in either but it's common due to overtightened bolts which caused cracks at the edge, mine was replaced under warranty.

    If the dealer is a Seat dealer and still under warranty and you're not getting anywhere take photos of the lights and contact Seat UK customer services and raise it through them and hopefully they should sort with the dealer or another one.
     
  7. Rockbox

    Rockbox Active Member

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    Mine is the same drivers side worst of all line of water at the bottom fogging over much of the rest of the light.
    Passenger side one is not as bad.
    Dealer said seat says this in normal. IMG_20191028_112151.jpg IMG_20191028_112151.jpg
     
  8. ZK_FR150

    ZK_FR150 Active Member

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    @Rockbox, I'd advise the same as I said for Mr Pig above.
    Although yours looks more like the normal condensation just a lot more of it.

    You could try and either pull the inside caps off and drive around for a week and the heat from the engine should dry it out or get some silica gel packets like you get inside shoe boxes and stick it inside then put the caps back on and this should soak up any moisture.

    If it comes back then could suggest a leak or poor seal somewhere.
     
  9. ZK_FR150

    ZK_FR150 Active Member

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    The one with the excessive moisture isn't normal which suggests there maybe a leak somewhere, normal condensation is more like how your other light is.

    Go via Seat customer service and don't be fobbed off as those droplets will run down and just pool inside and may blow the light like mine.
    I was out of warranty so had to pay over £300 just for one light :(
     
  10. RUM4MO

    RUM4MO Active Member

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    I just feel that it is very disappointing, in the past with halogen bulbs you could dry them off okay, but with LEDs not so easy.
    Did someone not mention that SEAT either did not bother to fit vent pipes, or still did but started fitting something over the end of them in the past and now have stopped doing that as well?
    I even needed to re-bond the tail light clusters on my daughter's previous late 2009 Ibiza SC - which was also a common complaint with earlier Leons I think.
     
  11. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig Active Member

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    What I'm most annoyed about is that light wasn't like that when I collected the car. The off-side light has cleared and misted up again but the bad light has stayed like that, it does not clear, so I reckon they dried it out so it looked ok prior to being collected.

    I'll find out what they plan on doing, if anything, tomorrow.

    The car is over three years old so Seat won't want to know. If the dealer isn't helpful I might contact Seat anyway but I can't see them doing much. Although the car did come from Seat UK so maybe.
     
  12. Rockbox

    Rockbox Active Member

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    It doesn't help that the lights aren't the best for output so anything on the inside of the lenses clearly isn't going to help.
    Don't know if you'd have a case to reject the car not fit for purpose maybe worth looking into.
     
  13. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig Active Member

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    I like the car. I just want the lights fixed.
     
  14. ReddStripe

    ReddStripe Active Member

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    I wish I head read this earlier. There is a specific Technical Service Bulletin on SEAT's ErWin site that deals with this. There is also one about dust particles in the LED lights which I seem to have, and I downloaded that along with the TSB about kangeroo-ing. As I don't have condensation I didn't download a copy unfortunately.

    In summary the TSB about water ingress advised the dealers to reject any customer claims under warranty repairs. The theory is that it is likely due to the rear headlight cover being removed at some point and not relocated correctly thereby making a good seal (possibly after changing a bulb if they are the halogen type lights). It also said that it could be due to customer's use of power washers forcing water into the headlight and even just natural phenomena.

    The long and short of the advice was that yes, SEAT can replicate the condensation, but it will clear up by itself and (according to SEAT) did not affect the operation of the headlight.

    As you say SEAT themselves will probably say this is not a defect. Might be worth having a good look around the lights to make sure everything is closed and there are no cracks from stone chips.
     
  15. ZK_FR150

    ZK_FR150 Active Member

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    What a cop out, there's no way water should be getting in these, even the manual says they are sealed for life and maintenance free.
    Even if the cover is removed its covered with the bonnet and last time I checked water went downwards not sideways so I can't see how water would enter from the rear cover.

    Light misting that clears after a bit you can accept, but full on condensation that drips and pools in the light is unacceptable and should be fixed under warranty.
     
  16. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig Active Member

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    I've mailed the dealer today and told them I want the near-side light unit replaced. I'll call tomorrow and see what they say.
     
  17. ReddStripe

    ReddStripe Active Member

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    Yeah definitely agree. Most of the bulletins I ended up reading were along the same lines. Including the dust in the headlights. Seems they have a stock answer of no it's not a defect. At least you can be forewarned that might be a avenue they go down first.
     
  18. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig Active Member

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    The dealer is an hour away. I've made it clear that they've already wasted my time as this issue was flagged up before I collected the car and they told me it was fixed so I'm really not up for being messed around any more.
     
  19. RUM4MO

    RUM4MO Active Member

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    During a period in time maybe only in the past, SEAT used to fit tamperproof stickers across the headlight rubber covers, certainly back in late 2009 the Ibizas were delivered with stickers on them - this nonsense has been going on that long, if stickers are longer fitted it can only be due to cut backs???
     

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