Sometimes, regardless of the manufacturer of headlights/taillights you buy, condensation or moisture can leak into your new lights.
With installation usually requiring 45 mins – 2 hours for headlights or taillights, its pretty frustrating to have a leak develop in your new lights. This procedure will take about an extra 20-30 minutes to do, but will guarantee you wont have to remove the lights due to fogging/condensation buildup.
So, to properly demonstrate the procedure of how to seal the taillights/headlights, we decided to demonstrate on a set of 08+ Dodge Caliber headlights.
First off, heres the headlight we’ll be working with.
This headlight has a clear plastic outer shell on the front, and a black plastic basket surround. The two are sealed together with a heavy duty industrial glue/sealer. However, sometimes with extreme heat, the glue/sealer can come loose, and holes can form that will allow water to enter.
This is the sealer we are using. This is GE Silicone 2, a premium grade silicone sealant. This is a great all purpose silicone that can be used indoors/outdoors and it will never crack, and is permanently flexible so it will seal, but yet flex with heat/cold expansion/contraction. You can buy this in small tubes for about $4 at your local hardware store.
Heres what the initial bead of silicone looks like that we used to go around the headlight. We made sure to apply a consistent bead of silicone across the entire headlight.
The last step of sealing a headlight or taillight, is to make sure that the silicone has a good seal against the two surfaces its sealing. So, with our pointer finger, we ran our finger along the bead, pushing the silicone into the crack, and sealing the silicone to both the inner and outer casings. Notice how there are no globs, and how the silicone nicely fills the void.
Most silicone sealers will take about 1 hour to cure, and about 12-14 hours to fully cure, so be sure to allocate enough time for the silicone to fully dry and seal.