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Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 119K miles NOKIAN WR G3 30K miles
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Maximize time with high beams to heat and evaporate the moisture. There are vents in the assembly.
 

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You can also remove the headlight assembly from the car and use a blow dryer to dry it out. Of course you will need to figure why it's getting water inside before you reinstall it but that's going to be an easier proposition when it's off the car.
 

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2003 Z3 3.0
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
But how easy/difficult is it to remove it? I’ve seen a YouTube video of someone removing it on a newer BMW and that was a nightmare! Just removing the plastics to get to it and the hidden screws is like a 45 minute ordeal or at least it felt that long!
 

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Removing it from the car itself is no big ordeal, 2 top screws, and 2 back screws that you only loosen, and the headlight lens comes off with a bit of a wiggle dance and back and forth

Sent from my moto g(100) using Tapatalk
 

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Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 119K miles NOKIAN WR G3 30K miles
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23,099 Posts
I would be more concerned about how water got there in the first place. Seems to me that, if not corrected, it will happen again.
Operating the headlight warms the assembly, expanding the air and venting excess volume/pressure. When the headlight is shut off the assembly cools, contracting the enclosed air and drawing humid environmental in to equalize the pressure. The humidity moisture condenses in the interior and the droplets have no way to run out and accumulate for you to see the ‘wetness’.

The headlights are not pressure sealed.

Headlights are fogged over
Repair notice for assessing condensation in the headlamp
The images show the difference between mild and severe condensation in the headlamps of various vehicles.
Note:
  • A headlamp with substantial condensation can be recognized by the formation of droplets on the inside of the headlamp unit.
  • The appearance of moisture immediately following cleaning in an automatic car wash or after the vehicle is driven in heavy rain can point to severe condensation and possible indicate a headlight that is not effectively sealed. (Usually occurs only on one side)
  • The condensation phenomenon is promoted by damp, humid air that penetrates into the headlamp from the outside by entering through the ventilation system. This then evaporates in the headlamp while it is still warm, and when the unit cools it then precipitates to form condensed moisture of the inside of the headlamp lens.
  • This neither causes corrosion damage to the headlamp, nor does it exercise a negative impact on the intensity of the light that it emits.
Insect protection conversion
Information on the conversion of the insect protection system
1st operation:

Disassemble outer and inner ventilation on both headlights by pulling it off.
Overview of xenon headlight ventilation
 

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But how easy/difficult is it to remove it? I’ve seen a YouTube video of someone removing it on a newer BMW and that was a nightmare! Just removing the plastics to get to it and the hidden screws is like a 45 minute ordeal or at least it felt that long!
As kevace82 suggests, it's very easy to remove the headlight assembly. You will need a torx bit with a long extension to access the rear screws that only need to be loosened 1 turn.

Removal of the lense is not required to dry it out. Simply remove the two or three rear access panels and blow the air through there to dry out the housing. You can then inspect the lense seal and make sure that the vent tube is clear. Mud dauber wasps like to plug the vent tube because it's the perfect diameter for them to lay eggs in.
 

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Also, if you do want to remove the headlamp assembly, it helps to remove the front rubber seal (it's just held in with clips) and undo the four bolts holding in the top of the bumper cover (directly above the kidney grills). This will allow you to flex the bumper cover a bit, making it much easier to wiggle the headlamps out of the car. It's not a nightmare; it's a 10 minute job to remove both, tops.

Some BMWs (the 1-series comes to mind) do require removal of the entire bumper cover to remove the headlamp assemblies. Fortunately, the E60 was not designed in such an annoying manner.
 

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I'm not sure about your model. I have a 2012 528 (F10) which had water in a headlight a few months ago. There is a simple round cap on the top of the headlight assembly. I popped that off and stuck a blow-dryer into the hole for a couple of hours. It cleared right up. I also purchased (for around $15) a new cap, just in case that was the root cause of how the water got there. A simple solution for somebody who is not DIY when it comes to cars.
 

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2003 Z3 3.0
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I don’t think the 2006 has the same assembly. Wish it was that simple. You actually blow-dried it for 2 hours?! That’s really long. I would’ve given up after 20 minutes.
 

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I don’t think the 2006 has the same assembly. Wish it was that simple. You actually blow-dried it for 2 hours?! That’s really long. I would’ve given up after 20 minutes.
Apparently I exaggerated; it took a little over one hour. I just left the blow dryer in and checked it a few times, moving it once or twice.
 

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