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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have a 2013 r. The inside of the headlight lens is clouded as if at some point water go in there. Has anyone had this issue. Also, the headlight assembly is only available from VW at about 900.00 each.

Three questions: How did the water get in there? Can one remove the lens to repair or replace it? And why are the assemblies so expensive.
Thanks,
Chuck
Love the r1
 

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It is theoretically possible to remove the lens but practically very difficult and likely to result in damage to the housing.

Replacement parts are expensive because Euro car tax. Just keep searching the part number you may get lucky. I got a OE replacement for “only” $3xx on eBay. Another option would be used. Try www.car-part.com and see what your local dismantlers have in stock.

how did water get in there? I had one of the rubber caps disappear and water was able to get in and fry the HID ballast module. Try removing the whole assembly, stripping it down, and lightly baking it to dry it out completely. That is also the first step to softening the glue that secures the lens.
 

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Water usually gets in from access plugs that aren't properly installed. There are vents (one is obvious just above the electrical connector) with rubber boots on them to keep water from getting in. These headlights are susceptible to damage to the modules mounted on the bottom of the headlights, so you do need to make sure you figure out where water is coming in, and be very careful with pressure washing.

With some headlights you can remove the projectors from behind and get at the lens with a microfiber cloth and cleaner if you are careful. I am not sure that it is possible on these though..

On my car, the right headlight had been replaced before I got it as the previous owner had hit some road debris that took out the headlight and grill. The left had the normal CO rock chips and haze inside. It looked odd having one new and one worn headlight when everything else was new, so CAREFULLY removed the lens from the housing to deal with it. There are four clips and four staples put in at the factory, in addition to the glue that holds them together. First you remove the clips, and pry/pull out the staples, then you can put the headlight in a warm oven 175 or so, and work on prying and cutting the glue holding the lens on. It takes patience, but it can be done with minimal damage to the housing and lens if you are careful.

I got a set of replacement lenses (ebay I think), but they are actually designed for a halogen headlight I believe, and have some extra bosses inside that you have to remove to get them to seat on the HID housings. They also have slightly different parting lines visible in the lens. It is very subtle, but it is there. I ended up cleaning, sanding and buffing my original lens and I think I might re-use it. The haze cleaned off and pattern "burned in" from the HID projector came off of the inside of the lenses with some polishing compound. It looks pretty much new.

Here is a picture of the headlight with the new lens set in place, still wrapped in plastic.

Automotive parking light Vehicle Grille Car Automotive lighting
 
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