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F10 / F11 (2011 - 2016)
The sixth generation of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) was produced from 2011 - 2016 with LCI updates arriving in 2014. In the US BMW offered a hatchback 5 Series Gran Truismo (F07) and the rest of the world also go a Station Wagon/Touring version F11.

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  #26  
Old 01-18-2020, 03:13 AM
Darkgraphite Darkgraphite is offline
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Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
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Originally Posted by Darkgraphite View Post
My quick and cheap hack has been to place 40 gram silica packs in the housing. It removed the condensation and the error codes. I've had my car for almost 6 years and this problem just developed last year.
What do you do when the silica gel packs are saturated?



Dehydrating silica gel is exactly the same as drying the condensation from a headlight assembly; 250F for an hour.
I replace once I notice the condensation returning-usually every 4 or 5 weeks. This issue only has presented itself in Winter fortunately. It takes about 5 minutes to swap out.
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  #27  
Old 01-18-2020, 03:27 AM
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  #28  
Old 01-20-2020, 10:51 AM
gtmaster303 gtmaster303 is offline
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Small update, I put the top cap back on after letting it dry out and the Condensation came back after 2 days.
So I think the problem lies in moisture getting out, not getting in...
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  #29  
Old 01-21-2020, 05:09 PM
njlou njlou is offline
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Possible solution.

my prior car was a VolvoS80. It was a good car and we had it for ~10 years. To be honest it was very much like our 528. I digress.....The car had a bad habit of getting water in the headlights. Finally Volvo fixed it by installing a modification to the back of the light assembly which I think was achieved by using an existing hole(?). Anyhow, the opening hole in the back was covered by a piece of Gortex a fabric that lets moisture out, but not in(bugs too). YES it is the same stuff used in camping equipment.
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  #30  
Old 01-21-2020, 05:38 PM
xuhangyu xuhangyu is offline
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Mine started to have the same problem 3 year ago. It's 2012 535ix and it's primary on the driver side. When it's bad, it gets all kind of error code and it contains lots of water inside. Errors will be gone when it's dry. I removed it to dry once on every winder when it gets bad. You cannot believe how much water stuck in! I sealed it all around it and it didn't work. I thought to replace the whole unit that costs 1k just for the unit and the whole car doesn't worth much. I don't suggest to drill the holes. I would just deal with it and live with it. It helps to dry if you let headlight face to sun with top cap off when you park it during the day. That's not just bmw's issues. My dad's 15 toyota highlander has that on tail light, my 15 cayenne has it on both headlight and tail light. wife's 16 lexus gx has it on one of frog lights and one of backup reverse lights. Those light manufactures seriously need to do better jobs.
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  #31  
Old 01-21-2020, 06:02 PM
craess craess is offline
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Remove the light from the car and disassemble. Go to real oem and there is a seal kit available for the light housing it is just foam seals., these are not for the lens. dry out the light with a blow dryer while it is apart. Install the new seals then use black silicone to seal around the edge where the lens meets the light body. I did this a year ago on the drivers side light and it has been perfect.
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  #32  
Old 01-21-2020, 06:26 PM
craess craess is offline
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The seal kit# is 63117268653 and vent and cover kit 63117296902
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  #33  
Old 01-22-2020, 03:52 AM
Mrandolini93 Mrandolini93 is offline
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Check The Wheel arch , the cover off the xenon bulb might not seal , i had this issue since i fixed it its good
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  #34  
Old 01-26-2020, 09:47 AM
smokeyyy smokeyyy is offline
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I had a similar problem. As others have stated, there are 2 round covers per headlight and the rubber seal shrank over time making them not completely water tight. I removed the top cover, applied a rubber conditioner and put the covers on tight. Seems to have fixed the problem. If you pour water in the channel that is on the fender, you will see a lot of water running off over the top of the headlight assembly around the cover. I have 2012 528i with 85k miles.
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  #35  
Old 01-26-2020, 05:42 PM
tz693 tz693 is offline
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I had similar issue and similar fix too. So far so good.
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  #36  
Old 01-26-2020, 05:43 PM
tz693 tz693 is offline
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Originally Posted by smokeyyy View Post
I had a similar problem. As others have stated, there are 2 round covers per headlight and the rubber seal shrank over time making them not completely water tight. I removed the top cover, applied a rubber conditioner and put the covers on tight. Seems to have fixed the problem. If you pour water in the channel that is on the fender, you will see a lot of water running off over the top of the headlight assembly around the cover. I have 2012 528i with 85k miles.
I had similar issue and similar fix too. So far so good.
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  #37  
Old 02-13-2020, 12:08 PM
gtmaster303 gtmaster303 is offline
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Update:
Can anyone tell me what the top cover does specifically? I took it off and the headlight cleared out after a few days and no water has come back since. Even in heavy rain and highway driving, headlight is still clear and no water has gotten in from the top. I would say it's unlikely given there's a plastic flap right over it and weather stripping for the hood area. If I put the cap on, condensation comes back after a few days.

But I'm still concerned about leaving it off permanently. I'm sure it serves a purpose of some kind. Any advice? Thanks

Last edited by gtmaster303; 02-13-2020 at 12:11 PM.
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  #38  
Old 02-13-2020, 04:07 PM
dvdit dvdit is offline
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Originally Posted by gtmaster303 View Post
Update:
Can anyone tell me what the top cover does specifically? I took it off and the headlight cleared out after a few days and no water has come back since. Even in heavy rain and highway driving, headlight is still clear and no water has gotten in from the top. I would say it's unlikely given there's a plastic flap right over it and weather stripping for the hood area. If I put the cap on, condensation comes back after a few days.

But I'm still concerned about leaving it off permanently. I'm sure it serves a purpose of some kind. Any advice? Thanks
I have a 2013 535ix with 51k miles on it and I have the same problem like you. Took it to the dealer and SA said I need to replace the headlight as the seal is creaked and they recommended I do it pairs even thought only the driver side is affected. Cost $5400 + tax. YEAH RIGHT!

I did the same thing you did. Remove the headlight and it completely dries out in 4 hours or less. Even though that seem like a solution, I am afraid to drive around without the cover. Same question, what is the purpose of the cover? Does it matter if I drive with it? It would be difficult for water to get into the headlight from the cover.

One other idea, I picked up from another thread is to buy a spare headlight cover, drill a few small holes into the cover. Better than leaving the cover completely off. The person who posted that solution said it works and works better than a silica gel. But I still would like to know the purpose of the headlight cover, anyone?

The silica gel solution seem to work for those who tried it. Just make sure if check frequently, you don't want a wet silica gel packet torn and leaking =BAD.

Last edited by dvdit; 02-13-2020 at 04:11 PM.
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  #39  
Old 02-13-2020, 04:30 PM
buuza33 buuza33 is offline
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Originally Posted by buuza33 View Post
I have the same issue with my left headlight. I recently took off the headlight, dried and sealed with silicone all around the housing. Seems not helping, as housing itself has 5 or 6 holes in the back for ventilation. after 3 days, moist is back
It actually worked!! There were moisture for a few days, I guess that was water residue. To this day, there is no moisture anymore, silicon fixed the issue!))
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  #40  
Old 02-13-2020, 04:35 PM
tz693 tz693 is offline
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Originally Posted by tz693 View Post
I had similar issue and similar fix too. So far so good.
The moisture came back. It is driver side.
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  #41  
Old 02-13-2020, 06:32 PM
gtmaster303 gtmaster303 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvdit View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtmaster303 View Post
Update:
Can anyone tell me what the top cover does specifically? I took it off and the headlight cleared out after a few days and no water has come back since. Even in heavy rain and highway driving, headlight is still clear and no water has gotten in from the top. I would say it's unlikely given there's a plastic flap right over it and weather stripping for the hood area. If I put the cap on, condensation comes back after a few days.

But I'm still concerned about leaving it off permanently. I'm sure it serves a purpose of some kind. Any advice? Thanks
I have a 2013 535ix with 51k miles on it and I have the same problem like you. Took it to the dealer and SA said I need to replace the headlight as the seal is creaked and they recommended I do it pairs even thought only the driver side is affected. Cost $5400 + tax. YEAH RIGHT!

I did the same thing you did. Remove the headlight and it completely dries out in 4 hours or less. Even though that seem like a solution, I am afraid to drive around without the cover. Same question, what is the purpose of the cover? Does it matter if I drive with it? It would be difficult for water to get into the headlight from the cover.

One other idea, I picked up from another thread is to buy a spare headlight cover, drill a few small holes into the cover. Better than leaving the cover completely off. The person who posted that solution said it works and works better than a silica gel. But I still would like to know the purpose of the headlight cover, anyone?

The silica gel solution seem to work for those who tried it. Just make sure if check frequently, you don't want a wet silica gel packet torn and leaking =BAD.
I might try drilling a few holes in the cover. That will allow constant airflow but prevent a majority of water and dirt getting in
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  #42  
Old 02-14-2020, 10:18 AM
buuza33 buuza33 is offline
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It's funny, just saw 5 series f10 on a parking lot with wet headlight, just like i had before
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  #43  
Old 02-14-2020, 06:38 PM
tz693 tz693 is offline
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Today I removed the driver side head light for the water leak. I removed the head light top lamp cover for two days and the head light is completely dry.

Upon removed the head light assembly, there are two possible leaking spots. The back lamp cover and the electrical connector. The rubber seal of the back lamp cover and the electrical connector were wet. Look like water had penetrated in.

Actually, the head light model is not fully environmental seal. There is a drain hole at the bottom corner.

Hopefully the information help. On the street, have seen moisture on many F10s and particularly on the driver side.
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Last edited by tz693; 02-16-2020 at 05:45 PM.
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  #44  
Old 02-14-2020, 07:37 PM
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ezaircon4jc ezaircon4jc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tz693 View Post
Today I removed the driver side head light. for the water leak. I removed the head light top lamp cover for two days and the head light is the completely dry.

Upon removed the head light assembly, there are two possible leaking spots. The back lamp cover and the electrical connector. The rubber seal of the back lamp cover and the electrical connector were wet. Look like water had penetrated in.

Actually, the head light model is not fully environmental seal. There is a drain hole at the bottom corner.

Hopefully the information help. On the street, have seen moisture on many F10s and particularly on the driver side.
That "drain hole" on the right looks like a vent.
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  #45  
Old 02-15-2020, 04:39 AM
dvdit dvdit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tz693 View Post
Today I removed the driver side head light. for the water leak. I removed the head light top lamp cover for two days and the head light is the completely dry.

Upon removed the head light assembly, there are two possible leaking spots. The back lamp cover and the electrical connector. The rubber seal of the back lamp cover and the electrical connector were wet. Look like water had penetrated in.

Actually, the head light model is not fully environmental seal. There is a drain hole at the bottom corner.

Hopefully the information help. On the street, have seen moisture on many F10s and particularly on the driver side.
That was helpful. Thank you.
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  #46  
Old 02-15-2020, 04:41 AM
dvdit dvdit is offline
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Originally Posted by gtmaster303 View Post
I might try drilling a few holes in the cover. That will allow constant airflow but prevent a majority of water and dirt getting in
Let's us know how that works out.
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  #47  
Old 02-15-2020, 05:44 AM
gtmaster303 gtmaster303 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ezaircon4jc View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by tz693 View Post
Today I removed the driver side head light. for the water leak. I removed the head light top lamp cover for two days and the head light is the completely dry.

Upon removed the head light assembly, there are two possible leaking spots. The back lamp cover and the electrical connector. The rubber seal of the back lamp cover and the electrical connector were wet. Look like water had penetrated in.

Actually, the head light model is not fully environmental seal. There is a drain hole at the bottom corner.

Hopefully the information help. On the street, have seen moisture on many F10s and particularly on the driver side.
That "drain hole" on the right looks like a vent.
We know that the covers are supposed to be a tight seal. Then maybe it's the vent that's clogged...
Still almost any intervention requires removing the headlight which is not an easy job. A bit torn on what to do
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  #48  
Old 02-16-2020, 04:02 PM
IrishCreamPuff IrishCreamPuff is offline
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Hey I had this problem a few months ago. Severe condensation mixed with freezing temperatures actually broke my headlight. $2200 including labor to replace it.
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  #49  
Old 02-22-2020, 08:40 PM
gtmaster303 gtmaster303 is offline
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Ok everyone I have an update....
I drove around with the top cap off for almost 2 weeks with no issues. In that time the headlight completely dried out. No extra moisture ever got in, despite driving through a rainstorm and so forth.

While the cap was off, I decided to let wash it off with just some water. There was a lot gunk and grime caked on after so many years and miles. Let that dry for over a week.

Randomly I decided to put the cap back on and it works. Condensation doesn't come back, headlight is super clear.

I think water vapor here is the main culprit. Make sure the whole assembly is bone dry (give it at least a week after all condensation has gone before putting back together). I'm sure wetting the seal and cleaning the cover also helped rejuvenate it's water proofing abilities

Last edited by gtmaster303; 02-23-2020 at 01:46 PM.
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  #50  
Old 02-29-2020, 08:05 PM
dvdit dvdit is offline
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Originally Posted by gtmaster303 View Post
Ok everyone I have an update....
I drove around with the top cap off for almost 2 weeks with no issues. In that time the headlight completely dried out. No extra moisture ever got in, despite driving through a rainstorm and so forth.

While the cap was off, I decided to let wash it off with just some water. There was a lot gunk and grime caked on after so many years and miles. Let that dry for over a week.

Randomly I decided to put the cap back on and it works. Condensation doesn't come back, headlight is super clear.

I think water vapor here is the main culprit. Make sure the whole assembly is bone dry (give it at least a week after all condensation has gone before putting back together). I'm sure wetting the seal and cleaning the cover also helped rejuvenate it's water proofing abilities
Thanks for sharing. I will leave the cap off for a while and see if I get lucky.

When you say 'While the cap was off, I decided to let wash it off with just some water", do you mean you washed the cap?
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