2007 Dodge Caliber - Fixing a Leaking Taillight Bezel Assembly

Our 2007 Dodge Caliber had a taillight that would get foggy looking. We could see water on the inside of the taillight, that couldn't be good for the electrical connectors. I took the light out once (two black plastics "screws" inside the trunk area -then remove the three bulbs from their sockets), emptied it, dried it and looked for cracks. I couldn't find any, so I put it back int the car.

Same problem of condensation inside the lens, after the next rain. I figured I had little to loose if I caulked the taillight.

First, I made the assembly was fully dry. I used a hair dryer through the bulb holes to get all the condensation out of the taillight. I used 100% silicone bathroom caulk. A good quality sealant, that could be used to seal much tougher things.

Here is the taillight removed (shown from the back side). See the two tabs where the screws held it in.
Start a silicone bead in the upper part of the Caliber taillight assembly. I filled the channel completely, between the read lens and the black plastic back assembly.
Continue sealing around the whole outside of the tail light lens assembly.
Work around the outside putting a thin bead silicone between the red and black plastic tail light lens parts.
Just use your finger to smooth it out. I let it dry overnight and then put the taillights back on the Dodge Caliber. This saved the expensive prospect of replacing an otherwise good taillight, due to some hairline crack that wasn't even visible to the human eye.

If you see water in your Caliber's taillight, hopefully you can just drain it, dry it, and seal it like I did.
I used 100% DAP clear silicone caulk to seal my tail light assembly. It's been 6 months since I did this and the Dodge Caliber's tail light assembly hasn't been foggy or had any water in it since.
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Comments

  1. Thanks for a clear description plus photos as to how to tackle this problem. I have the same identical problem with my '07 Caliber and the same tail light (left). So I will attempt to seal it and see if that takes care of it.

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  2. why does it seem to only happen to the left tail light, i had the same problem with a 2006 model and now with my 2007 model... :) - thanks for the fix-it-yourself guide.

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  3. I agree with you about the left taillight. I notice more times than not the left taillight on the Caliber that I'm following has water (or condensation) in it. The right light often times seems to be fine. Only the company that made the taillights for Dodge would know for sure :)

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  4. Great post... I have the same problem with my passenger-side tail light.

    I was curious if you would know if those black plastic "screws" can be replaced. I struggled in pulling those out and actually managed to break one of them.

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  5. Those screws should be pretty easy to get at any autoparts store or the dealer. I have several cars that all use the same fastner. I did a search and found these at Grainger. I'm sure there are other places to get them:

    http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/PushIn-Rivet-5ZMC8?cm_mmc=GoogleBase-_-Fasteners-_-Rivets-_-5ZMC8&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=5ZMC8

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  6. Thanks for the info, I just put my left tail light back on after caulking last night and look forward to seeing if it works! Curiosity tho why are a majority of them are the drivers side-manufacturing error? I took my car in for scheduled maintenance awhile back and showed the dealership the tail light-they gave me an esitmate of $133 for new tail light...I had my smart phone on me and showed them that I could get the same for $48 at at least 4 different websites...fingers crossed I won't need to replace!!

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  7. It's pretty obvious there was a problem with the driver side Caliber taillight. Min'e holding up well after sealing out the moisture with the silicone caulk. It's been almost a year since I did it and it's been leak free since. Hope the information save you money and the hassle of replacing it.

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  8. Didn't work for me caulked it two days ago, put back in yesterday, washed car last night, went to leave late this AM and have condensation. I removed again caulk looks great no gaps anywhere in it -thick and smooth so cleaned my bulb seals and housing and put it back on hope it works!

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  9. Had my local mechanic do the same thing to my taillight and it is again collecting water today after a rain...what do I do now - replace entire taillight?

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  10. I am trying mine one more time with the caulk...globbed it on and smoothed it out on everything I could, all edges, around the two prongs that go into the body and over that "blue dot" at the top which I discovered with a needle goes thru to the lights...if it doesn't work this time will order another from the internet for $48....fingers crossed...tired of dealing with it!

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  11. My light is no longer getting water/condensation in it. Review of another web site for same issue the fault is the seal/washer around the smallest light assembly it is too thin...replace it or add a second to it and no more water/conendsation!

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  12. Thanks for posting a write up. I have water in mine (wow what a shock...) and as a contractor use clear silicone for [almost]EVERYTHING. I wasn't sure if the leaks were coming from around the lens as you have shown they do or if it was coming in from around the lamps. I was going to silicone everything I could but rather not the lamps. Glad your trick worked. Now I know what needs to be sealed.

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  13. I am looking a buying a 2008 Caliper with passanger side condensation in the tail light. oddly enough, I stopped to look a some other Calipers and one of them had the same issue... passenger side.

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  14. It's the seal for your reverse light. The gasket is by default too thin. Buy a thicker one or put some silicone below the seal, so that when you install the reverse light into the housing, the gasket will press into the silicon and do it's job.

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