2018 XC90 headlights condensation
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    1. #1
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      2018 XC90 headlights condensation

      Dear all,

      I received my XC90 on 23rd October 2017. After months of driving, I started to notice my XC90 headlights are having condensation inside. I complained to the Volvo service in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. Upon checking, they said the condensation in the headlights is 'normal' and I believed them. Only after my friend bought his XC90 recently, he told me his XC90 do not have condensation problem with his headlamps.

      I went back to the Volvo service centre in Kuching for three times to complain on my headlights condensation issue, time and again, they checked and told me its normal for Volvo headlights to have condensation inside.

      Now, the condensation in my headlights is getting more serious. I am frustrated by the Volvo Malaysia customer service. In fact, yesterday morning the electronic in the left hand side headlight was damaged due to moisture.

      I always thought that Volvo cares so much on the safety of their customers. I repeatedly telling Volvo Malaysia that the condensation in my XC90 headlights is excessive and they continuously telling me the condensation conditions are normal and rejected my warranty claim.

      Unfortunately I don't know how to attach photos here to show the seriousness of the condensation issue.

      Any advice would be appreciated.

      Thanks.

      Cher

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    3. #2
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      Quote Originally Posted by knchee View Post
      Unfortunately I don't know how to attach photos here to show the seriousness of the condensation issue.
      If you use the TapATalk Android app, posting photos from your phone is extremely easy.
      2019 XC90 T8i (OSD 2018 July)
      “Scientists study the world as it is; engineers create the world that has never been.” - Theodore von Karman

    4. #3
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      +1 on posting photos. With the condensation you are not alone however and there are multiple posts here and other places . Here are some from Sweden day of delivery. Even the factory told they won’t do anything about it and that it is normal even tho mine was the only one on the lot with the problem.


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    6. #4
      Junior Member satrya's Avatar
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      +1 on posting the image.

      For what it's worth, condensation like shown in post #3 _can_ happen on any OE headlights (& taillights). Just because there are other identical vehicles around that do not exhibit condensation doesn't necessarily mean that there is a defect in that particular headlight housing. OE headlights are not designed to be sealed (in the waterproof sense); rather, they are more like splash-proof and have a series of filtered vents (filtered so that dust won't collect onto the sensitive optics) that allow gradual equilibration of water vapor between the inside of the housing and its ambient environment.

      Older headlights that use halogen low beams will likely remove the condensation faster, because the beam emitted from the bulb through the headlight housing lens contains a good amount of heat. Heat affects the dew point, thereby reducing the conditions favorable for condensation. Older halogen headlights also tend to use freeform reflector design, where light is harnessed by a wide area of reflectors (instead of narrower ones in HID projectors or LED reflectors). This means that the space inside a headlight housing is more "airy", which facilitates circulation inside.

      HID low beams contain more UV than IR (i.e. heat) compared to halogens, but is still relatively high enough to eliminate the condensation after a few moments of use. LED light practically emits no heat, as the heat is generated on the back end, around the circuit board where it is mounted at, and cooled by massive heatsinks on the rear. This means that the inner surface of the OE headlight housing lens do not get that benefit of forced equilibration by heat exposure.

      For anyone that is curious, headlight modification forums have discussions about condensation and means to minimize it.

      Having said that, it is possible that 1 or more of the vents may be clogged. The vents are not easily visible, for the same reason that it has to be hidden enough from accidental water splash, drip, and dust from collecting around it. In older OE headlights, the vents might look almost obvious, like a downward drainage spout placed at the back side of the headlight housing. These would be facing inside the engine bay, protected from direct water & dust exposure. Some vent designs look like a subtle button, with the vent openings not visible from any direct angle (even if you were to completely remove the headlight housing from the vehicle). The vent will likely have a filter-like material, like a gore-tex patch. This material is not likely to be placed on the outside of the vent. If that material is damaged, it might not allow the vent to work properly, possibly prolonging condensation before it equilibrates. I'm can't speculate on what could cause the vent(s) to be clogged.
      Denim Blue 2018 xc90 T6 Momentum+

    7. #5
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      My concern with condensation is that moisture can carry impurities that is later deposited on the lens. Since the headlight is not a fully sealed system, as moisture condenses, there are particles within it. As it leaves, the particles remain. Over time, it can affect the look and clarity of the lens from the inside. I have seen examples of this.

    8. #6
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      2018 XC90 headlights condensation

      My issue is with light passing through the fog/water droplets. Anything that is between the source and the road will degrade the light. My2c, I could be wrong. Aesthetically it sucks baaaaaad. Sadly I do not agree that 1 out of 20 cars on the lot has the moisture and it’s normal or that anyone should be cool about it. The delivery dealer stateside couldn’t find one car on his lot with the issue. I will bring it up at my first service. I red the articles and understand the venting and the physics of evaporation on halogen vs led vs hid. Show me 50-80% of the vehicles on the lot and I will swallow the problem without a hiccup. Most of the posts I read about the led Volvo moisture were tested by dealer to be venting correctly and replacement denied.
      I have heated, humidity controlled garage and the lights are clear today, and no problems during short trips 200-300 miles. Will report back after my trip to Canada. Fingers crossed it will not get worse than it was.

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      Last edited by rkohou; 02-01-2020 at 02:35 PM.

    9. #7
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      no headlight is fully sealed. if they were they would crack when temperature fluctuates. volvo technical journal 17076 which basically says run headlights for 30 min. if condensation clears, no problem. if it does not clear then perform visual inspection for damage and perform leak test. but they will develop some condensation and this is normal

    10. #8
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      2018 XC90 headlights condensation

      Well, I guess I qualify for the test as I crossed Sweden Germany and half of Czech Republic and the fog was still there for the ride. And yes as I mentioned before I do understand how headlights operate and that they are not sealed. Heck I use to bake them back I the day.


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