Drilling Hole in tail light to drain water

Discussion in 'Prius c Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by dwillem, Apr 10, 2021.

  1. dwillem

    dwillem New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2021
    21
    6
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    Where exactly do I drill a hole to drain this standing water in my tail light? I have searched and read posts but I need a little more specific direction. Do I need to remove the whole thing? When people say drill at the bottom, where specifically are they referring to? By the way, I'm in California. The car hasn't been washed for 2 weeks, it's been 80+ degree weather and I can't even remember the last time it rained so this water seems pretty trapped. Thanks..
     

    Attached Files:

    #1 dwillem, Apr 10, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
  2. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2018
    1,471
    1,154
    0
    Location:
    Taylors, SC
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Two
    Right; at the lowest point.
     
    fuzzy1, Mendel Leisk and Raytheeagle like this.
  3. dwillem

    dwillem New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2021
    21
    6
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    OK, That actually helps. I get it. Take it off and drill at the lowest point on the bottom. Thanks.
     
  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    43,008
    30,775
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    Oh lord, that you needed to say that. :ROFLMAO:

    sorry, sorry...
     
  5. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    14,646
    8,092
    90
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    I'm not seeing a need to take it off the car first. Just leave it in place for drilling.

    On my old Accord, I also added a duct tape bridge over the top of the lens assembly to the body, so that water flowing around the hatch rim would flow over the top and outside of the lens assembly, not go down the space between assembly and car body to find the little gap that had formed in the foam seal as it aged and dried and shrank a bit. Not having had this problem in a Prius, I haven't looked for a similar water intrusion point.
     
    RobAustin likes this.
  6. dwillem

    dwillem New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2021
    21
    6
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    dude obviously I know how gravity works. I wasn't going to drill a hole on the top of it. I wasn't sure if the hole goes in the bottom or the lower face of the lens where it is visible. I would think the hole needs to be "under" the lens at the very bottom. Like I would need to remove it.
     
    #6 dwillem, Apr 10, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
    Mendel Leisk likes this.
  7. dwillem

    dwillem New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2021
    21
    6
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    so without taking it off do you mean drill here? where the blue dot is? I thought it was going to be more underneath InkedIMG-5992_LI.jpg
     
  8. dwillem

    dwillem New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2021
    21
    6
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    oh I should drill from the side, opening the hatch for access, not on the front right? probably a dumb question, I know.
     
  9. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    14,646
    8,092
    90
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    I drilled through the face on my Accord lens, just as your blue dot is placed. I think it was a 1/8" drill bit, or very similar.

    But I offer that only as what I did, not what you should do. And nothing happened to make me regret it. But my case is just a single sample, let others chime in with any additional experience or observations.

    My spouse's Integra later had a similar problem. For that, I ended up pulling the bulb out, placed a small tube in, and suctioned the water out. Left one bulb out for a week or two for better air drying (that car has 2 brake/tail light bulbs per side, so this left an active bulb on each side during this drying week). And duct taped over the suspected water path to prevent more coming in. If your 2012 'c' has replaceable incandescent bulbs, this might also work. But if it has non-replaceable LEDs, then there may be no similar access path to insert a suction tube.
     
    #9 fuzzy1, Apr 11, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
  10. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    4,978
    2,022
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius c
    Model:
    Four
    Actually nobody said to "take it off" because that probably is NOT necessary.
    You should be able to drill a tiny hole in the very bottom of the lens where the water is accumulating.
    Then it might take a few days for it to all clear out. Sitting in the sun will help speed that process.

    Note: No offense intended but given what you have already said, maybe you should find a friend who is good with a drill to do this FOR you.
     
  11. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    4,978
    2,022
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius c
    Model:
    Four
    Yes. Exactly.
     
  12. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    4,978
    2,022
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius c
    Model:
    Four
    Front ?
    NO. Drill the hole right where your blue dot is; the lowest point that will access that cavity.
    You are trying to make this MUCH harder than it really IS.
     
  13. Kenny94945

    Kenny94945 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2016
    667
    344
    0
    Location:
    Sausalito
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Four
    Let us know how this goes.

    And how is water entering the assembly?
    (Some epoxy may help as a seal)
    In my experience if you drill a hole and leave the hole open, you will have a fogging/ moisture issue.

    FWIW I would drill more inconspicuously and drill the housing not the lens.
    From the bottom surface or at an angle from the side on the liftgate side.
    Repeating, not drilling through the lens face.
    Not sure if the asm. need to be removed to do this more stealthy or not.

    Good luck.
     
  14. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    4,978
    2,022
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius c
    Model:
    Four
    And that would not be a good idea because trying to make it too "inconspicuous" might also make it ineffective.
    And something might get broken in the process.
    Likely that nobody in the WHOLE world will notice a tiny little hole in the lens except the person who put it there.

    There already is an air leak somewhere from a faulty seal.
    Trying to find and fix that is NOT worth the trouble.
    Except maybe for hybrid owners with a bad case of OCD. :ROFLMAO:
     
  15. dwillem

    dwillem New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2021
    21
    6
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    So I used a 3/32 and drilled a hole in the face (well, two holes because I felt my first could have been lower). When I said "front", I actually meant "face". I just used the wrong terminology. It came out OK. As you said sam spade, I'm not good with a drill and I walked the bit slightly when I started and made a tiny, mostly unnoticeable, scratch. Most of the water came out immediately. I'll have to wait and see if all the moisture dries up. I'm guessing it will dry up in the hot afternoon sun but then re-accumulate overnight. Honestly, between all the moisture and dirt sitting inside both lens, I might ultimately just buy new tail lights. They are $76 each locally. At least I don't have water sloshing around for now.
     
    RobAustin likes this.
  16. dwillem

    dwillem New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2021
    21
    6
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    I liked your idea of doing it inconspicuously but I was afraid of damaging something.
     
  17. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    4,978
    2,022
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius c
    Model:
    Four
    No accumulation. Maybe just a tad bit of "fog".
    Under most conditions, you should see nothing at all once it dries out.

    UNTIL there is a heavy rain again........which is likely where the water came from in the first place.
     
  18. RobAustin

    RobAustin Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2018
    103
    49
    0
    Location:
    Austin, tx
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius c
    Model:
    One
    For what its worth:

    I went with new lenses from a discounttoyotaparts website. $75-80 each.

    I love the look of the brand new lens.

    Also, removing them off the car to drain was quick and easy. I just didn't like pondwater residue left behind.
     
  19. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    14,646
    8,092
    90
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    If you can find the right place to add some duct tape, then the water won't return.
     
  20. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    4,978
    2,022
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius c
    Model:
    Four
    AND.....in the process of doing that, did you find and fix the spot in the gasket where the water was coming IN ??
    If not, it likely will happen again.

    AND.....Duct tape is NOT a good way to fix that.
    A new gasket or some proper gasket sealer is much better.
     
Loading...