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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys. Ran into this issue the other day after having my local shop wash the car. I’ve washed it a number of times and didn’t have this issue. Brought it to Audi and they said it may be an outside cause because of how much water is in there. They told me common issues come with removing parts and not installing properly but I haven’t had any work done. Car is still under factory.. any help or anyone else have the issue ? I let my car sit with the lights on for an hour and it cleared some up. But it’s still there.
thanks much.
Below are pictures before and after
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262937
 

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You have broken a water-tight seal on the tail lamp. The dealer is trying to use the excuse of "outside cause" (like removing the light yourself or having aftermarket work done - i.e. removing bodywork for service or to install an aftermarket exhaust). If you have had all service work done at an Audi dealer (and have the receipts to back it up in case their computers don't show the services), and you have not had aftermarket work done that involved removing the rear clip, you need to DEMAND that they replace the faulty part.

There are typically only two reasons (outside of the obvious manufacturing fault / seals that have become weak over time) that a light would become unsealed: Incorrect owner removal, or an incident where the light was hit - could have been a very high-pressure washer or even have been a shopping cart, but usually takes another vehicle tapping it to become unsealed. If it shows no visible scratches or other signs of outside damage, the seal on the light has been compromised and the light needs to be replaced under warranty by the dealer.

Typically, although I have never removed an R8 tail light, there are only two places that water can enter: Where the bulbs are inserted (typically surrounded by rubber seals and a twist-lock), and where the two main pieces of the plastic tail light itself are glued together. Assuming you haven't ever had bulbs changed, the main culprit is the glue. That is not an owner issue, it is a manufacturing defect.

Just my $.02
 

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I would also point out that even IF you had done an exhaust, its on the dealership to show the proof that it is broken due to another cause. Simply saying something has causality, doesn't make it so, and we are protected by the Magnusson Moss Warranty Act in these instances. This is a defect plain and simple.
 

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I had a similar issue with my Lexus and the dealer replaced it under warranty with no questions.
 

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I’ve reworked my car’s taillights, so I can tell you with good confidence that these taillights do not have “seals”. The internals are put in the black housing from the front (hold with screws from the back), and the translucent face is glued on the front. There still is a socket where the taillight cable plugs in, and there are, I think, 5-6 screws holding the white cover in place.

There are also 2-3 breathing holes in the back. These are put in place because the manufacturers know water will make into the housing sooner or later (I think BMW tried fully sealed light housing with no breathing holes, and ended up replacing a good number of them.)

If this is a one of case, I wouldn’t worry. If one uses pressure washing, the water can go in these lights.

If you see it happening frequently, there could be a crack somewhere…
 

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I had the same condensation issue with my gen2 but got a warning light on the dash saying the affected light wasn't working. Dealer would not replace the tail light without the dash warning, once I sent an image of the warning message new tail light fitted without question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I’ve reworked my car’s taillights, so I can tell you with good confidence that these taillights do not have “seals”. The internals are put in the black housing from the front (hold with screws from the back), and the translucent face is glued on the front. There still is a socket where the taillight cable plugs in, and there are, I think, 5-6 screws holding the white cover in place.

There are also 2-3 breathing holes in the back. These are put in place because the manufacturers know water will make into the housing sooner or later (I think BMW tried fully sealed light housing with no breathing holes, and ended up replacing a good number of them.)

If this is a one of case, I wouldn’t worry. If one uses pressure washing, the water can go in these lights.

If you see it happening frequently, there could be a crack somewhere…
I washed the car a number of times. No issue, I had a reputable shop wash it for me and noticed it after. It started to clear up when i kept the lights on, but came right back once temp dropped
 

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If you are out of warranty better be sitting down.The replacement taillight housing price will shock you.
 

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I washed the car a number of times. No issue, I had a reputable shop wash it for me and noticed it after. It started to clear up when i kept the lights on, but came right back once temp dropped
It may take a few days to clear off. After all, the breathing holes are somewhat small.
I am not saying everything is normal, though. If it clears but comes back again after another car wash, it may be time to take it out and inspect it throughly. If there is a crack, it is easily fixable with a rasin based glue. AR962 above is right, a new one is stupidly expensive.
 

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If you ever get it fixed without replacing the full unit, let us know how. I have this exact same issue on my '16 gen2 rear right light. No visual cracks, similar levels of condensation after car washes/colder weather. So far 4 months in, the light is still working though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If you ever get it fixed without replacing the full unit, let us know how. I have this exact same issue on my '16 gen2 rear right light. No visual cracks, similar levels of condensation after car washes/colder weather. So far 4 months in, the light is still working though.
Sounds good. Car is at Audi now
 
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