How can I keep water out of my headlights?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | May 01, 1998

Dear Tom and Ray:

I am a pre-med student at the University of Michigan and I have a constant
problem with my 1989 Ford Escort _ a k a the "Esco-Porsche." (Ha!) The
headlights constantly have about three inches of water in them. They look like
fishbowls. This water frequently burns out the bulbs. Do you have a solution? --

TOM: Sure. Just put duct tape over the headlights, Mark. That'll keep the water

RAY: Actually, you can just drill a couple of small holes in the bottom of the
Lexan lenses that cover each headlight.

TOM: What happens is that as these lenses get old, they get small cracks in
them. And as you drive in the rain at 60 mph, the rain gets forced through those
cracks and fills up the space between the lens and the actual headlight. It
doesn't come out because you never have the equivalent 60 mph force pushing the
water out from the other side-unless you drive on the highway in Reverse!

RAY: So grab a small electric drill or even a hand drill, and drill three or
four small holes at the bottom of each lens, or in the bottom of the headlight
bucket where the lens attaches. The water should then drain right out and your
problem should be solved.

TOM: And if you drill large enough holes, not only will the water run out, but
any fish that have taken up residence in the headlights will also disappear.

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