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Discussion Starter #1
A little insight into the Headlight condensation issue
(Sorry it is long but hopefully helpful)​

I was really getting tired of my 2007 headlights getting condensation in them. The 2007 model year and onwards are “sealed beams” meaning that the clear lens does not separate from the bulb housing as it does in 2005 – 2006. Even when under warranty, I asked the dealer and they said that this is normal. I also checked with Lotus USA and basically received the same answer, telling me that some have it while other don’t and that it is one of those things with these cars. (not acceptable but what can you do).

The entire headlight assembly is held with three (3) - 17mm nuts and one (1) - 8mm nut. Also a point to be noted is that Lotus put moisture absorbent package (quite a large one) inside each of the assembly. There is small hole/slit towards the bottom front of the headlight assembly if you look closely. This is where the condensation usually starts (see picture).

After reading many of the post on how to prevent condensation, I used liquid (windshield) silicone to go around the lens housing to make sure that there were no leaks from where the lens is glued to the bottom assembly. I also removed the bulb covers/dust covers (low and high beams from the back) cleaned and reinstalled them to make sure that there were no leaks. Also checked all the other rubber grommets. But despite all this, I was still getting condensation.

Reading on other posts regarding condensation in sealed beam headlights, I came to find out that that even sealed beams do have a vent hole. While some are clearly seen as there is usually a small pipe attached to one corner, other at times are hidden and difficult to see as they might be some sort of a flap. Basically it is there because the air inside the lens /headlight housing needs to expand when heated and also to allow the venting of moisture rich air inside. I looked on a few headlamps on other cars and found the vent pipes on them. But looking at the Headlamp on the Elise, I did not see any. So after pulling the assembly out once again to try to figure out a solution I saw that at the back of the assembly there are these three grey caps (see picture) covering something. One towards the bottom, one around the center and one towards the top. At first I thought that they must be some sort of adjustment holes but they are not. After I removed the one closer to the front-bottom, I put a little wire inside to see where it goes. It went inside the assembly closer to the hole/slit that is towards the front -bottom of the headlight. As soon as I removed it the condensation started to disappear rapidly!! So I decided to see what this “Cap” was all about. As you can see in the other pictures that there is a black rubber piece inserted within the grey cap. I took it out and on the other side of it is a paper/fabric type of material that seems to be “breathable” meaning that it would let the air pass through without dust getting in. This goes to tell me that for some reason the moisture rich air inside the headlamp assembly is not able to escape and thus condenses on the lens.

So I am going to try two options, one just install the black rubber part without the grey cap and see what happens or remove it all and attach some type of pipe for the air to escape out of the housing (possible a bent pipe as I have seen on other cars.

(UPDATE: Well I installed a “L” shaped pipe but condensation is still there) :mad:

Let me know what you all think (or someone that has figured out a good solution). Hopefully this sheds some light on this issue. It is really bad to see that such a great car has condensation issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Wow no one has anything constructive to say? C'mon people there has to be someone out there with technical knowledge to resolve this.
 

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I had seen this happened on my 2010 Elise a couple of times, too... but it went away pretty quick so I didn't bother to take any action. It would be great if there is a positive firm solution. Thanks in advance...
 

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Subscribing to this thread...

My 2008 does it as well and I'd be curious about a real solution. Not all that high on my "list", though... ;)
 

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Thanks for posting those detailed photos.

The headlights on my 2009 Elise do fog up a bit from time to time but it is not a big issue.

It would be nice if an expert would chime in.
 

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Part of the problem is that you live in atlanta. What is the relative humidity there? At some point, no matter how many vents you have the condensation simply cant evaporate, and escape, because the surrounding air(inside, and outside) is saturated.
 

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I have a 2007 and mine fog up to. And I live in Southern California. Very dry! They fog up when I drive and when I wash it. Would like to find a solution.


Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
 

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Anthony
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I upgraded from '06 to '07+ lights and mine have also been fogging up occasionally. I'm in Los Angeles. They were just purchased early this year from Newport Lotus, so unfortunately Lotus hasn't even fixed the problem in their OEM replacement parts. There really should have been a TSB on this (not that I would be covered!). But, instead, we're told TADTS.
 

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Back to the Future, again
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I have a 2007 and mine fog up to. And I live in Southern California. Very dry! They fog up when I drive and when I wash it. Would like to find a solution.


Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
I don't even need to wash mine. I drive on a cool night, when I get home, as the car cools off, the headlights fog.
 

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I get some condensation in mine too, but I usually ignore it. Quickest way to make it go away, turn on your high beams for a few minutes, the heat will dry it up in no time!
 

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This is common and there are no real fix for this. I had this issue with my Elise and I have it with the new Exige.
 

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Who cares, drive the damn car!!!!

PS. my elise and exige S has the same issues...
 

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According to Lotus, if it goes away after 10-15 minutes, it is normal otherwise, you have a problem.
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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there is a possibility that if you could seal the unit and fill it with nitrogen, might fix the problem. You'ld have to reassemble assemble/seal the unit in a chamber filled with the nitrogen ( like a tig welding box, (with the built in gloves sticking through into the chamber.) Thats how we sealed gallium arsenide microwave integrated circuit amplifiers into their RF cases in Silicon Valley. We welded the aluminum cases together in a nitrogen atmosphere. It's supposed to eliminate all possibility of condensation through any practical temperature range. (It was a long time ago - pretty sure it was nitrogen, but it may have been a different inert, non-flammable gas.)
 

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My headlights no longer fog up!!

After finding out they all fog up, I decided to find a solution, or at least try. I noticed that the lower front is where it always fogs up. The area where the bulbs are get warm and the lower section gets cold causing the condensation. What I did was removed the front breather cap on the bottom of the lights, then added a rubber tube going to a freezer bag, filled with desiccant. I had to drill a small hole (being very careful not hit the oil cooler} where the headlight sits in the clamshell. The bag sites in the area next to the oil cooler, in the void area. The tube goes into the bag about 1 inch, I then wrapped the bag with some duct tape to seal it. I also added a small desiccant bag to the high beam area. Just pulled the round cap and stuck the small bag in. I have driven my car 5 times with no condensation. May have to replace the desiccant after a while, but I believe it will last a few years, we will see. I bought 2 bags from Basspro Shops. It’s used for your gun safe. The pic of my car shows the driver’s side is fogged up and the passenger side area clean with the bags in place. I have done both sides now and no fogging from either side. If anyone tries this and it works, let me know.
 

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Maybe try removing all 3 caps/rubber plugs and replace them with 90 degree tubes that point down to the ground similar to whats seen on other oem headlights to provide more airflow without letting water in. My '07 does the same thing, its annoying.
 

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Do you have to remove the headlight to access those air port holes?
 

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hmmm...my Elise did that on the drivers side only...Evora has no issues...any one have exploded view of Evora assembly for the difference?
 
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