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Old 09-20-2012, 10:45 AM   #1
mingstah
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Default 2004-2005 tail light water leak

Hope I put this in the correct thread. Anyways I just picked up a set of 04-05 tail lights for my bug eye and the driver side has massive water pouring leak after I washed my car. I don't see any cracks what so ever. I did some quick searches but didn't really see what I was looking for. I was wondering if improper installation could have caused this? Maybe not tightening the tail light nuts correctly? Also I put this on at the same time I put on my wingless. Please help because I live in California and love washing my car. Thanks
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:59 AM   #2
satrya
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Check areas around the gasket. Water running down the side channels of the trunk goes down to the taillight area, and can enter into the taillight if the gasket area isn't properly sealed. Water can come in through the openings for the bulbs.
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:07 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response. When you say gasket do you mean that big black foam piece?
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:27 AM   #4
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Foam piece seems kind of loose. Half of it comes off but it's not ripped or cracked. Should I reseal that foam piece back on? What should I use to seal?
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:56 PM   #5
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Yes, the black big foam piece with holes for the bulbs. Loose is ok, as long as there is enough pressure by the taillight onto the trunk sheetmetal.

Could the bolts be accidentally shimmed by washers or something, preventing the taillight from sitting flush onto the sheetmetal?

Test by removing the gasket temporarily, and see if there are areas where the taillight won't sit flush.
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:09 PM   #6
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I retightened everything. The nuts I have didn't come with washers. I Spent a good hour blow drying the tail lights but now I'm hesitant to get a hose and test it out. Would not tightening those nuts cause leaks? I don't think I tightened it that much the 1st time around.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:01 AM   #7
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Washers shouldn't make much of a difference in this context. If the gasket does its job, a slightly loose nut should be ok.

How does the gasket look compared to your oem ones? I mean in terms of firmness, thickness, cracks, etc. Maybe it has weathered more than your oems.

The safest test is to take out all the bulbs, tape the bulb openings with painters tape, and tape a piece of paper on the bulb opening areas. Then, install the taillights as you would normally (minus the bulbs), and apply water on your rear windshield, so water runs through the side channels on top of the rear fenders (on the sides of the trunk door) down the top of the taillights, and then to the trunk opening/bumper cover. If the gasket & nut aren't doing their job (e.g. broken gasket, nut not tight enough), then one of the pieces of paper should be wet.

If they are still dry, then maybe the taillights have been cracked before, or it was previously opened, and the reseal isn't complete.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:02 PM   #8
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Good tip. I'll give that a try this weekend.
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:34 AM   #9
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Default tail light not working

i had body work done and in that work both of my tail lights had to be replaced. yesterday (the day i picked my car up from the shop) i was driving in front of my friend and they told me that my rear right tail light is out... i know it isnt the bulb that is out bc its brand new. im guessing its an electrical problem but i have no way myself to diagnose that problem. by the way i have a 2008 subaru impreza 2.5i.
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:22 AM   #10
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^
Try swapping the bulbs left & right just to be sure, and check all fuse boxes. On the bugeye, the one under the engine hood isn't the only fuse box. Not sure how it is on the 2008.
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:01 PM   #11
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If the lamp-housing itself is not leaking, then either:
a) replace the neoprene foam seal - buy one from a dealer (this is the best solution for most), or
b) obtain and use 1/8" neoprene foam-tape and install onto the body of the car to make a seal

Do not attempt to glue or reseal the neoprene foam seal to the housing - you will only make a mess of things and have the same leak problem.
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Old 10-13-2012, 02:20 AM   #12
mingstah
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Not sure what I did but I just reinstalled it and it started raining hard but no leaks . Not sure what happened but not going to mess with it to find out. Thanks for all the tips
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:26 PM   #13
satrya
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Probably one of the gaskets, bolts, or bulbs not seated right, generating a gap for water to seep in. Reinstalling probably altered whatever it was.
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:23 PM   #14
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yep i think it just wasn't seated right lol. D
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