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Old 01-02-2012, 01:14 AM   #1
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Headlight snow-buildup prevention.

This weekend I was reminded about the one major downside to HID headlights.... They don't get warm, so snow sticks to them. Really bad sometimes.

Any ideas on ways to keep them clear?

I thought about adding windshield washer jets, with heated fluid, but I'm a little leery of those systems since most of them were recalled (incl. all GM-installed systems).

Think some headlight wipers from something like a Volvo could be retrofitted to the vans?

Any other ideas? I am not willing to switch back to halogens. The HIDs are a huge step up for visibility.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:17 AM   #2
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Re: Headlight snow-buildup prevention.

Have you tried rain-x on the lenses?
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:09 AM   #3
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Re: Headlight snow-buildup prevention.

Axillary incandescent bulb to warm them not provide light?
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:14 AM   #4
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Re: Headlight snow-buildup prevention.

Higher power bulbs of course.

My three Hella auxilliary HIDs put out plenty of heat. I'm surprised your headlights run that cool.


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Old 01-02-2012, 11:51 AM   #5
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Re: Headlight snow-buildup prevention.

If they have plastic lenses like my MDX they do not melt snow when in use. Aircraft windshields use electric heat trace on the perimeter.....just like the rear defrost. If you have an inverter you could use a limited amount of plumbing heat trace on the edge of each light. DIY from Home Depot
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:48 PM   #6
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Re: Headlight snow-buildup prevention.

I'm not an electrician but since heat trace, I've always called it heat tape, is simply resistance wire I'd think it would work with either AC or DC so no inverter needed. With 12 volt instead of 120 volt as the supply voltage you could only use 1/10 as much length. Of course I might be wrong.

If you do go that route note this wiki page "Resistence Wire" lists that solder won't stick to certain kinds of wire so crimping is needed.
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:17 PM   #7
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Re: Headlight snow-buildup prevention.

I have this issue with my HID driving lights on my Subaru. The only idea I came up with was to maybe use RainX to try to get the snow to slide off.

On the SMB, I have Cibie eCode halogens (plenty of light and warm). I will be installin HID driving lights, but good to have the headlights not subject to snow issues.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:38 PM   #8
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Re: Headlight snow-buildup prevention.

Hmmm. I had not thought of rain-x, even though I use it on the windows.

I like the heat trace idea. My mom's Jaguar has it in her front windshield, and it was enough to keep the windshield clear when the climate control valve took a dump.

The aux bulb idea is a good one too. I think I may try the heat trace first if I can find some suitable stuff.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:06 PM   #9
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Re: Headlight snow-buildup prevention.

Many years and miles with Rain X doing a great job , it will also deter road scum residue and muddy water . I have all but eliminated the use of Windshield Wipers using the Rain X . I have found that a double coat with every Van washing and a light intermittent coat now and then when cleaning windows also helps .
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Old 11-15-2013, 02:51 PM   #10
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Re: Headlight snow-buildup prevention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb
Hmmm. I had not thought of rain-x, even though I use it on the windows.

I like the heat trace idea. My mom's Jaguar has it in her front windshield, and it was enough to keep the windshield clear when the climate control valve took a dump.

The aux bulb idea is a good one too. I think I may try the heat trace first if I can find some suitable stuff.
@carringb,

Did you ever do this? I am thinking of running heat tape/trace to the solar panel to keep it snow/ice free.
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