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Water in tail light assembly

4 June 2004
Redmond, WA
Just drove my car for 2 rainy days and I have water and heavy condensation in the lens assembly. Recommendations on how to remove the water and tips on stopping it from happening again (besides don't drive in the rain!) would be greatly appreciated.

Loren, I had the same problem last year when my body shop took my light out but failed to tighten the tail light bolts.

2 things you should try:
1. Pull back the trunk liners and see if all your nuts are tight. If not, tighten them. Remember, as you tighten one side, the other side will get loose, you have to go back and forth of the nuts to properly tighten them.

2. While you at it, throughly dry the drainage area, and your trunk, as condensation not only accumulate in your light, but the whole trunk. If you can afford not to drive for a week, keep your trunk open in your garage could help too.

The above assumption doesn't apply if you have bad gasket.

1. If you don't mind spending a $120, you may purchased the new gasket from Acura, mine had heavy condensation, and in two weeks time, it went away.

Alternative option: Freelance201's car having same problem the last winter, I finally had a chance took his light out. Instead of spending $120, I went to Lowes and bought some Foam Weather stripper and bascially stick it on the existing, deformed gasket. We have yet seen any effect since I just did it yesterday. (if we know you had the problem, you should come over and worked on it together.) Stay Tuned.

PS. Will you be the next June 4th meet?? I'm looking forward seeing you there.

Thanks for the quick reply. I seems as if the moisture is confined to the tail light lens. Have you pulled your tail lights, if so can you walk me through the steps before I attempt the what looks logical approach?

Also the nylon screws that hold the carpet liner unscrew endlessly without loosening their grip. Must be stripped within the outer nylon anchor. Thoughts?

If I am in the area on the 4th I will come to Claim Jumpers.

Also a lot of people drill tiny holes in the bottom of the lenses.
If the trunk is really damp lay a towel in there to catch the drips from the condensation on the trunk lid and swap the towel out for a dry one every few days.


on the little nylon screws, you should turn it with no pressure apply, and it should come out, last resort would be pry them out. But you are risking at the point of pontential need some new ones.

As most people on Prime recommend: Do not take the taillight apart in attempt of getting rid of moisture. the plastic is too brittle to pry apart. With about couple inches deep of water condensed in my light and it dry off ever since, rest assure that it will go away provide that you have good seal.

open trunk, pull out the rubber trim. (You may left the other half in place.)
Take off all the nylon screws at the back, you might have to pull couple back on the side. Depending on how your CD changer is mounted, you might have to take the bracket out to pull the pass. side one out.

use pryer to remove the wiring clips that's hold on to the tail light's bolts.
then start removing bolts... You do need a deep 8mm socket. Starting by the 4 in the middle, your center lens should come right out. There's like 3 bolts at the triangle end of the tail lens... and 5 or 6 more on one side of the tail lights, You will see them.

When all nuts been remover, start pushing from the triangle end, then move to the middle, yes you need to force it a little, the gasket is very tight. If you want to wait until the 4th, I'll gladly show you all it's needed in person. :)

PS. If you middle one is leaking, we might set up a date to fix it. Since Polar's and Freelance's both had water zipping in. We are planning to do it someday.
Ferrand & Loren,

I had to take my center lens apart about 2 months ago and if I can help anyone with the job, let me know.....

I will probably make it to the next luncheon..... I hope to see you guys there.

Had the same problem on both L & R lenses... Completely solved by removing the tail lights, drilling two 1/8" holes near the bottom of the 'side' of the lens. The 'side' is the side that faces the center lens... So no holes would be visible when the lights are reinstalled. Never had a water problem again since nothing gets trapped.
Gee Whiz guys - I followed the instructions and got the nuts ALL off, on the passenger side , and I cant get the triangle side out! The inside came off pretty easy, but the outside\triangle part has a thick rubber gasket at the top and it doesnt want to come past the lip of the body. Any ideas???


use some force, and I actually will just "loosen" the middle side first, don't pull all the way out, then use a rubber mullet, tapping the triangle part, yes it's a little tough, but make sure getting the triangle side out first.

PS. Freelance201 endue quite some strong rain in last couple weeks, no more water leaking... my $5 fix works!!!
OK thanks for the info I will try that tomorrow, by the wayt the gasket looks fine, just the red part of the lens separated out from the dark part, I think the water is getting in at the top where the seam is. But I don;t know if its 2 separate leaks, or if the lens floods into the trunk if it fills too much.
I couldn't get the passenger lens out so I got frustrated, then I inspected the gasket and it all seemed fine, so I tighented up all of the bolts repetitively on both sides from the outside in, and amzingly - THE LEAKS STOPPED!!!