The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 20 of 88 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,195 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I think I finally figured out what that haze on the inside of our headlight covers might be.. Smoke! Condensed smoke and vapors from the..

Burning plastic! :eek:

I walked around the front of my Elise, parked briefly in the California sun, and saw whisps of smoke rising inside the headlights.

The sun was hitting the main-beam focusing lens from above, and like a magnifying glass, forming a hotspot on the black cowl plastic below it. At the intense spot of light, a visible scar was forming in the plastic and smoke rising from the burn! I wish I had a camera to capture the bizzare phenomenon, but judging from the marks in the plastic, it's not something that happens rarely.

When the car was new, I'm certain there were no scars or scratches in the black plastic housing. Now there are dozens of small pockmarks and streaks below the lens, no doubt recording the track of previous days' sun.

I've noticed that most other projector-style headlamps, like Corvette's and Porsche's, have a small tube or shield around the lens. I'm now guessing this keeps the sunlight from hitting the side of it from above, forming a secondary lens effect.

So.. next time you park facing somewhat in the direction of a clear-day sun, check your headlight for smoke and scars.

Pictures are in order for sure, but I'm not anxious to repeat it in the name of science.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
29,081 Posts
It has been discussed before. tadts

We checked 15 Elises at the Carlsbad meet, all 15 had burning. Some pretty severe.

A design flaw.
 

·
shay2nak
Joined
·
25,083 Posts
Wow, that's very interesting. Never really heard of anything like this happening before. Definitely would like to see the pics.

Add to "not to do list" ... don't park in direct sunlight, only park in the shade. rotfl This is getting ridiculous...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
29,081 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,166 Posts
I'll try to remember to get some on Saturday if you don't have time by the end of the weekend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
357 Posts
Ever since the last discussion thread, I've always parked my car pointing away from the sun. Appears to work... No smoke/haze on mine... at least none as of a few days ago?!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,771 Posts
Seems like we need an infrared reflective (visible transparent) coating that can be put on the inside of the headlight cover.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
357 Posts
ChrisH said:
Seems like we need an infrared reflective (visible transparent) coating that can be put on the inside of the headlight cover.
That... or park pointing away from the sun...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
29,081 Posts
Car covers. Park indoors.

Here are the pics showing my car. It has not been outside (uncovered) that much. Like I mentioned, I have seen this on cars only a couple weeks old. It happens very quickly. IMO, it happens when you drive, so parking methods will not solve it. Perhaps best to try to stop it, but barring some solution, I think all the Elises will get this.

You can see in the second pic, how the sun is concentrated and what looks just like the light from a tilted magnifying glass a kid would hold up to burn a leaf.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,713 Posts
Ferrari had the same problem on the early 360's -- sun would hit the lens with the resultant magnifying glass "burn effect". Ferrari during the second year of 360 production redesigned the lens cover with a little eyebrow creating shade from direct sunlight. I would imagine Lotus will replace damaged units on warranty. ;)
 

·
shay2nak
Joined
·
25,083 Posts
Randy Chase said:
IMO, it happens when you drive, so parking methods will not solve it. Perhaps best to try to stop it, but barring some solution, I think all the Elises will get this.
Amazing...

Definitely. Not all the time, I mean depending on your position to the sun of course you'll get burned. Like someone mentioned you could put some sort of plastic cover which would refract the light, which would help I'd think. But I'd imagine such a film would have to be thick relative to Starshield, for example. Or you could just drive around with 2 small towels taped onto each light until dark.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,195 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
At the stadium I put a short strip of painters tape over each headlight, like this:


I think a short tube that goes over the lens element should work fine without blocking any useful light.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,577 Posts
Ha! That's like covering your sofa in thick plastic. Sure you keep it from getting scuffed up and stained, but you never get to enjoy it. :shrug:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,771 Posts
jdl8r said:
That... or park pointing away from the sun...
I don't always have a choice in the direction I park. It depends on the spaces available.

Maybe a small half round shield above the lens (like the visor on a baseball cap, but smaller) that doesn't interfere with the headlight operation, but would block the sun from entering the lens from a direction that causes the burn. That is, I am guessing that the sun entering from straight ahead doesn't cause a problem. I am guessing it is when the sun is up higher, causing the light to be focused just outside the reflector housing. Is that correct?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,221 Posts
I had the same problem and my car has only been outside for a few days of the two months I have had it. It is garaged at home and at work. Initially, I thought it might have been from when I had the dealer re-aim my headlights. But now I see that I am not the only one. I will be addressing this with the dealer when I bring the car in for its 1K service. Here are pictures of mine.
 

Attachments

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,941 Posts
I'd imagine this can happen pretty quickly...most cars seem to have it that I have seen. Many folks don't notice it though and I don't mention it. It might be unavoidable at the moment....because it can happen when you drive the car too, not just if you park it aimed toward the sunny part of the sky. I have thought about removing the cover and either lining or treating it, or trying to do something with the lens itself.
 
1 - 20 of 88 Posts
Top