1st Generation Volvo S80 Headlight Condensation

Volvo replaced their saloon car 960 with the executive S80 in 1998, immediately making the S80 the company’s flagship vehicle. The car’s innovative design included state of the art safety features, a unique gearbox, and numerous engine options. Owners of the 1st generation Volvo S80 often report a problem with headlight condensation, leading to a cloudy headlight.

Cloudy headlights make any car look 100 years older than it actually is. Something about that milky film and the inability to just wipe it off leaves an automobile in a deplorable state. The first impulse is to just buy a new headlight cover, but then the new cover will fog up as well, leaving you back where you started. Like any other problem, the first order of business is to figure out just how the issue got started. What is causing the film? Where is it coming from? And, more importantly, how can you stop it?

First things first: the film is usually caused by excess moisture becoming trapped inside of the headlight. Before it turned into the cloudy film, you might have been able to see water droplets suspended from the inside of the lamp, especially after a heavy rain. Usually, each of the car’s headlights will have a rubber seal surrounding it, preventing such a problem from occurring. Over time, these seals can dry out, crack, and begin allowing moisture to invade the otherwise sealed space. The problematic seal might be on the front of the lamp, or it could be along the rear side, by the engine.

What do you do about it? Chances are good that you’re going to need a new headlight, but if the damage isn’t too bad, you might be able to do just fine with a new seal and a towel to wipe the inside of the lamp. Regardless of the steps you need to take, we recommend that you drive to a nearby Volvo maintenance technician who can easily take care of the problem for you.

Search for a local, independent Volvo repair shop with Volvo mechanics that have dealer-level expertise at a fraction of the expense.