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Having read the Venture forum posts and problems I am surprised to find nobody has mentioned this as it seems to be a problem with any Venture over 4 years old if my parking lot observations are to be believed.I tried to cure mine by taking out the headlights and put clear sealant around the join of the lense and rear part of the light.Then I drilled a small hole at the bottom of the lense to drain the water ,then resealed it.It came back although not as bad.Where is the condensation coming from and why take so long to show up from new?Any ideas how to get rid of or stop it?
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Funny you should mention this (to me, anyway), as just last week I finally installed a brand new complete set of all four bezels and six new lights that I had purchased (from Amazon or eBay) a few months back. Same issues you're having. Same attempts to seal them. Minimal results.
I wound up drilling 6 holes into the bottom of each headlamp, but they still accumulated water. I tried sealing around the lamp ring but that didn't work either. Honestly, I have no idea where the water (and THAT MUCH water) comes from; rain, puddles, condensation or any combination of these. I have a hunch though:
I believe these are factory installed with some compound gas, possibly nitrogen filled which helps prevent condensation buildup and maintains some amount of pressure therein. Nitrogen, because it is heavier than oxygen will sit towards the bottom if the bezel is rotated. Most people won't remove the entire bezel to lay it flat when replacing a blown bulb, and hence, the gas will escape leaving little left within the bezel.
But that's just a hunch.
My best advice to you is to pick up a new set of bezels. The sets I bought came with the headlight bulbs included and already installed (though I replaced them with high-output lamps). I think, bulbs (6) and 4 bezels were purchased for about $100 and installed in about 20 minutes.
They all do it and I haven't seen anyone come up with a real fix. The aftermarket headlamps actually have a vent hole with a fabric sticker over it, but that only reduces the issue. I found going to HID bulbs helped with the condensation although I had the top of the lights turn hazy/white. It's not heat related as HID's generate less heat than halogens.
The inert gas theory doesn't hold water as you would release the gas when replacing bulbs.
The condensation comes from the outside air getting into the lens. When the lights are on, the air inside gets very hot, expands and some of it will escape. Even if you seal them the pressure inside will creates a hairline crack somewhere in the body of the headlamp, they are not designed to hold pressure. When the lights are off and they cool, the air inside contracts and draws fresh moist outside air back in through any leaks in the body. This fresh air drops it's moisture through condensation and the filling of the lenses begins. You would think that when the lights are on, the water would get hot enough to evaporate, but this has not been my experience. The only solution I've ever come up with is to drill a tiny hole as low as possible in the body and leave it open.
I put a really tiny hole in the lowest point in the body. Sometimes that point is in the lens. You can pull the body out of the vehicle without too much trouble. I think there are a couple of screws under the hood and then the back of the body is anchored with a rubber grommet. I have a set of tiny drill bits in a "pen" drill that work well for this.
I have this same problem with my 1999 Venture. The headlights are also fogged up pretty badly on the outside. Easier just to replace everything or should I try one of those kits to clean the outside of the headlights and then drill a small hole in the headlights?
Also, my headlights seem really dim. I have a Taurus and am a member on a Taurus forum as well. There they suggest a new wiring harness wired directly to the battery for improved lighting power. Is there such a thing for the Venture? Is this even a good idea?
I would have to agree with Tony and reiterate that it's probably best to just replace the bezels and install them yourself. The dealer (cough, cough) wanted over $350 to install just one bezel. I bought all four of them, and the higher-powered 80/100 watt bulbs from Amazon for around $100 complete and installed them myself in about 20 minutes.
Don't waste your time cleaning them or drilling holes. It won't work. Been there, done that, moved on. Just grab a new set of everything and do it yourself.
The headlights were in terrible shape on the 02 I just acquired. I pried the lenses loose from the reflector, cleaned the mating surfaces, and re-sealed them. It was a bit of work but it came out okay.
Same for clearing up the lens. I bought the turtle kit for 12 bucks or so. Used the abrasive pads, then buffed it out with a large lambswool pad on a right angle electric drill. The results were pretty good considering the price of new units.