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  1. #1
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    S3 Xenon bulb fault???

    I'm having a bit of a mare with my 52 S3. One of the Xenon bulbs doesn't always come on first go (the other one always does). Audi dealer suspected dodgy battery so fitted new one and made no difference. General feeling now is that it's the ballast on said dodgy headlight. Audi dealer quoting 408 +vat for whole new headlight!! Have contacted hids4u.co.uk and they think they might be able to supply a new ballast, but say it could be the bulb (or even the igniter, if it has one).

    Anyone else had similar problem?
    Does anyone know what type/make of ballast is in the S3?
    And (finally) can I remove the headlight without removing the bumper?!!!

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  3. #2
    rodenal's Avatar
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    Audi replaced a battery because one headlight bulb was flickering/not coming on prperly?????

    Go and ask for your money back

    It probably will be the ballast - i'm sure this has came up on here before try diong a search there should be quite alot of info.

    You need to take the bumper off to get facelift headlights out, taking the bumper off takes me literally 2 minutes now tho i've done it that many times lol
    *Gone* 1997 A3 1.6 facelift headlights, 16"1.8t Alloys, full rear tints. 110k

    You built a time machine.........out of a delorean!?!?!

  4. #3
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    Thanks - didn't pay for the battery btw - they put the old one back in when it didn't sort the fault! How much work is it to remove the bumper?! Someone recommended swapping the bulbs to test them - would you recommend this (don't want to lose a finger!)? I'll try another search but anyone got a picture of the S3 ballast?
    Cheers

  5. #4
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    Hi. I know what you mean about the headlights. I had problems with mine when I first got the car, but fortunately for me, unplugging everything and plugging it back in sorted it out for me.

    There is some discussion in this thread about removing the bumper.
    How to remove the front headlight
    Jason
    2001 Nogaro S3 (daily driver)

    1958 replica Porsche 356 Speedster (summer posing)
    1997 Seat Cordoba SX 16v (track day toy) replacing (t)rusty 1994 Seat Ibiza GTi RIP

  6. #5
    rodenal's Avatar
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    swapping the bulbs over would be an idea, if the problem stays at that side then at least this eliminates the bulb - dont touch the glass tho it can potentially damage them.

    Might be an idea to get a voltmeter out to see what kind of draw each xenon is taking, which could also help get to the root of the problem.

    Check the link posted above for bumper removal

    basically all you need to do is

    4 clips running along the top (push the middle through then prise them out)

    Unscrew the guard from the bumper underneath the car(if it still has one)

    Unscrew the bumper from the arch linings at each side(might need to put each wheel on full lock to get in at them) T25 torx iirc

    a bit of manhandling and the bumper will come off.

    Obviously just reverse this to put it back on
    Last edited by rodenal; 5th November 2007 at 12:33.
    *Gone* 1997 A3 1.6 facelift headlights, 16"1.8t Alloys, full rear tints. 110k

    You built a time machine.........out of a delorean!?!?!

  7. #6
    jcs356's Avatar
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    Slight edit to Rodenal's excellent instructions - to get the facelift bumper off you have to remove the front part of the wheel arch lining to get to some bumper screws behind it. To do this, you may find it easier to jack up the car and remove the front wheels.

    Life is slightly easier for the pre-facelift guys
    Jason
    2001 Nogaro S3 (daily driver)

    1958 replica Porsche 356 Speedster (summer posing)
    1997 Seat Cordoba SX 16v (track day toy) replacing (t)rusty 1994 Seat Ibiza GTi RIP

  8. #7
    rodenal's Avatar
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    oops yes that's correct lol

    You might find they arent there tho lol, depending on wether the bumper has been off before
    *Gone* 1997 A3 1.6 facelift headlights, 16"1.8t Alloys, full rear tints. 110k

    You built a time machine.........out of a delorean!?!?!

  9. #8
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    Thanks all, think I'll get someone else on it for the bumper!
    Is it easy to remove the bulbs for a swap test - not a lot of room on the nearside!
    I'd actually just sold the car - and then this happens. Am hoping it doesn't put the bloke off as he wants it today - but he's got no chance methinks.

  10. #9
    rodenal's Avatar
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    The bulbs are fiddly to get out but a bit of swearing and shouting at them should help - why not just give the guy £200 off the car and tell him at worst he'll need a new ballast n bulb(which will cost less than that)

    Or he can wait and u'll fix it
    *Gone* 1997 A3 1.6 facelift headlights, 16"1.8t Alloys, full rear tints. 110k

    You built a time machine.........out of a delorean!?!?!

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    Thanks rodenal, sound advice. Just one more question!

    I've spoken to hids4u.co.uk again and I need to know if the ballast is a type 1, 2 or 3.... anyone got any ideas?

  12. #11
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    Pass lol
    *Gone* 1997 A3 1.6 facelift headlights, 16"1.8t Alloys, full rear tints. 110k

    You built a time machine.........out of a delorean!?!?!

  13. #12
    golf's Avatar
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    If the ballast was faulty, the bulb would not ignite at all. If the bulb is flickering/coming on intermittently it usually means that the bulb is the culprit. Just an idea before you go and buy a ballast which you might not need.

  14. #13
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    The bulb doesn't flicker - it just doesn't come on sometimes. If it doesn't I turn the lightswitch on and off and then it fires up, but with a slight delay compared to the other one. Once on it stays on and when warm it comes on instantly (due to residue charge?). I think it's a bit like the old flourescent tubes that used to have a capacitor (or ballast) plugged in the side - if that went the bulb couldn't fire properly but sometimes it still would (esp. if whacked - a new approach maybe). If I can just swap the bulbs over....ahhhhh.

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    How did you get on with this?... I have the exact same problem, where the bulb comes on only after a couple of goes... You see the bulb ignite for a millisecond and then goes out, if I keep turning the lights on and off it will eventually come on, but will be dull to start with and then very gradually warms up, and then is never as bright as the other one...

  16. #15
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    Sounds like a ballast to me too, switching the switch on and off has the effect of warming the bulb up which makes it easier to start.
    99 S3 Absolute red

  17. #16
    Trick's Avatar
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    I have a buld issue too, when i swich on the lights the drivers sid flashes for milisecond then nothing at all, and bulb failure error on dash. Take it is just the buld.

  18. #17
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    it the switch. Mine used to do it, turn the light on and the RHD side didn't come on and the dash flash up bulb fault. Turn them off then on again and they worked. Turn out to be the switch at fault and its very common 80 for a replacement and takes all of 2mins to change.

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  19. #18
    Trick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leecs3 View Post
    it the switch. Mine used to do it, turn the light on and the RHD side didn't come on and the dash flash up bulb fault. Turn them off then on again and they worked. Turn out to be the switch at fault and its very common 80 for a replacement and takes all of 2mins to change.

    Don't think it is this as I have switched on and off numerous times and the bulb still does'nt work!

    But get this....my local autoparts quoted me 100! yes 100! for a bulb, a measly little headlight bulb! Please can someone put me at ease by telling me this is not the case.

  20. #19
    NHN
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    Trick I have 2 bulbs spare if you're interested.

    They worked last time I used them so see if they help.

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  21. #20
    Trick's Avatar
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    Ok, just shat myself. Phoned audi and its 119 + vat for a bulb, but its more likley to be an ignighter which you can't buy seperatley for the S3 so its a full headlight replacement for 279 + Vat!!!

  22. #21
    Trick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NHN View Post
    Trick I have 2 bulbs spare if you're interested.

    They worked last time I used them so see if they help.
    Might take you up on that, will swap over the bulbs tonight to see if it is the culprit!

  23. #22
    Trick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisp View Post
    Thanks rodenal, sound advice. Just one more question!

    I've spoken to hids4u.co.uk again and I need to know if the ballast is a type 1, 2 or 3.... anyone got any ideas?
    99% sure its type 1: 120 - Out of stock
    Does'nt look like a sealed unit though, might be worth taking your old one apart and checking all the soldered wires ect?



  24. #23
    NHN
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    Dont take the old one apart, just replace, if it has any residual current in it you'll get a blast for sure, I remember when I took a canon ixus apart years ago, didnt realise it had a capacitor inside, feck me did that give me a kick & it was tiny, damn man still feel it now, lol

    & yes thats the correct ballast for the 8L.

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  25. #24
    Trick's Avatar
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    Its worth a blast, or a shock lol wear rubber shoes lol

  26. #25
    Trick's Avatar
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    Anyone know what wattage the healights are? Sorry, ive totally hi-jacked this topic

  27. #26
    NHN
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    xenons I believe are 35w

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  28. #27
    Trick's Avatar
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    How come your so clued up on this subject? lol

  29. #28
    NHN
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    7 years of having an S3 8L, 2 years of S4 B6 Avant, 1 year of A3 8P & untold years of mk3 golf's, plus countless hours on mods, I consider myself fairly technical, there are others on here that are also as if not more than me tbh.

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  30. #29
    Trick's Avatar
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    ooohhhhhh. alright dear calm down. Who stole the jam out your doughnut?

    jus kiddin cheif. Appreciate the help.

  31. #30
    NHN
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trick View Post
    Who stole the jam out your doughnut?.
    Classic movie phrase, lol

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  32. #31
    dollface's Avatar
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    i had my xenon bulb change brought xenon bulb of ebay 6000k as (standard ones are 4300k) and found a guy who fits them he also do xenon kits if you wanted xenon light

    to put the xenon bulb in only cost me 50 his name is max 07767 838052 he is from leeds is also mobile van ( motolextro vehicles systems ) tell him jenna give you the number to get the best price

    he is brilliant fitted bulbs in 40mins on my audi A3 quattro 3.2 sportback 2005

    so happy with the 6000k much better than the standard xenon bulb 4300k

  33. #32
    golf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dollface View Post
    i had my xenon bulb change brought xenon bulb of ebay 6000k as (standard ones are 4300k) and found a guy who fits them he also do xenon kits if you wanted xenon light

    to put the xenon bulb in only cost me 50 his name is max 07767 838052 he is from leeds is also mobile van ( motolextro vehicles systems ) tell him jenna give you the number to get the best price

    he is brilliant fitted bulbs in 40mins on my audi A3 quattro 3.2 sportback 2005

    so happy with the 6000k much better than the standard xenon bulb 4300k
    How so? 6000k actually produces less useable light than the OEM 4300k. There's a reason why ALL manufacturers use Philips or Osram bulbs rated at 4300k (or thereabouts) and not any higher. I bought a set of D2S 5000k's, and IMO any bluer and they'd look silly. The xenons on the 8L S3 are appalling, the ones found on the 8P are infinitely better, why did you change them?

  34. #33
    dollface's Avatar
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    yes your right , i took out the 6000k now they wasnt much light after trying them at night it was dull and too blue , i got the standard audi bulb philips d2s bulb in now not sure if they are 4300k or 5000k it dont say , i would think 4300k would be yellow .

    xenon bulbs can last up to 10 years but they fade over 2years and become more yellow , my car is 3year old (2005) the xenon lights wasnt as good as when i got the car

    the bulbs are expensive for dealers but there is a site who sell the same bulbs philips d2s not a copies

    http://www.convert2xenon.co.uk/produ...?id_product=70

    amazing price and warranty on there products seems good to me

  35. #34
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    Thought I'd bring this thread back to life!

    I see Trick has said you can't fit a replacement ballast, only buy a new headlamp and ballast together. Is this correct?

    Many thanks,
    2000 Facelift S3 8L
    Looking for a n/s XENON HEADLAMP ASSEMBLY!!....please pm me!

 

 

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