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  1. #1
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    Xenon Adjustment for European Driving

    Hi

    I have had a quick search for previous posts but haven't had any luck.

    I have a zenon (not "plus") car and am heading abroad in September. Before I get fleeced by the dealer, can anyone shed light on how to adjust the headlights for driving on the right please? I had an Audi technician (roadside assistance) out the other week and he said some can be a simple flick of a switch on the unit but others require the laptop treatment.

    I could go my usual black sticky tape route but I will be driving on B roads where every bit of light will be needed this time.

    Any advice much appreciated.

    Cheers
    2006MY A3 Sportback, 3.2 SLine, Manual, Brilliant Red

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  3. #2
    dmaudi's Avatar
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    I found posts on here that said that early ones have the lever on both 8L and 8P but even seeing the drawings it showed fittings mine didn't have so I presume any made from 05 on will be the same.

    You need the dealer or someone to use the VAGCOM software to adjust the motors of the lamps to point the light units the right (wrong!) way then set up the heights using the white screws you will see if you look down on the top of your lights.

    I have just come back from France and it made a big difference having them done, no odd shadows from using beam benders/deflectors on the unlit RN roads at night.

    keep a receipt for the work handy though, I was stopped getting off the Ferry on the first night for not having deflectors, didn't seem to have any way of measuring my beam but said it would be a 60Euro fine (he did have a Gun too!) until I showed him the recepit (40!!!!) seemed that I cheered him up knowing I'd spent so much to not dazzle his countrymen although my dealer didn't charge me to put it back, but it should be that much each time.
    2012 Q3 S line S-Tronic 177 TDI
    2013 MINI GP

    Previously B8 S4, 8P A3 3.2Q

  4. #3
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    Thanks very much for your advice. Good tip about the receipt!
    2006MY A3 Sportback, 3.2 SLine, Manual, Brilliant Red

  5. #4
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    After some calls to dealers and Audi Customer Services, it seems you are right and looks like the only option is to pay 45 (30 mins labour) each way to have them adjusted. Think I will stick with the deflectors this time. Cheers
    2006MY A3 Sportback, 3.2 SLine, Manual, Brilliant Red

  6. #5
    dmaudi's Avatar
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    careful!

    I think there is a danger with using deflectors on Xenons,
    I had dire warnings on another forum for a previous car when I asked this a year or so ago.

    don't they get hotter than normal lamps? and you risk baking them on,

    or is it an old wive's tale?

    I do think you'll get very odd shadows with deflectors with Xenons
    2012 Q3 S line S-Tronic 177 TDI
    2013 MINI GP

    Previously B8 S4, 8P A3 3.2Q

  7. #6
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    Fair point - any other thoughts on this please as I don't want to be scraping melted plastic off the lenses!
    2006MY A3 Sportback, 3.2 SLine, Manual, Brilliant Red

  8. #7
    Aldo's Avatar
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    My mates used beam deflectors on their Xenons on their MINI's, it doesen't get hot enough for them to permanently stick on otherwise it would be a hazard for someone to touch the headlamp lens!

    I on the otherhand did my research and found the switch at the back of the light cluster to switch them across!

    Perhaps you should say you are driving to Germany, and they might not charge you as much as they wouldn't want you to blind their Audi's country of origin!

  9. #8
    I don't have Xenon headlights but when I go abroad I have a pair of Audi plastic headlight protectors to which I attach black patches to the marked area to prevent the 'kerb' part of the beams from blinding oncoming drivers.

    When these are attached there is an air gap between them and the actual headlight glass. Not sure if a pair of these would help solve the problem.
    Dave R (h5djr)
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    A3 8V 2.0 TDI-184 Sportback Sport s-tronic quattro - Silver + lots of options - my 9th A3

  10. #9
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    Dave R - Thanks - Audi said these were available and their official suggestion but were only for Halogen lights not xenons - typical. Wonder why they don't do them for Xenons too. I am off on my Swiss / Austrian travels - hence the need.

    Aldo - I had heard of a switch but wasn't sure if it was for older models (see also da3m's comment before) - come on, spill the beans please! Would be much appreciated.
    2006MY A3 Sportback, 3.2 SLine, Manual, Brilliant Red

  11. #10
    Here are the instructions from the ElsaWin workshop manual for the A3 showing what needs to be done to change the lights for LH and RH traffic. I think the only reason Audi say it must be done by a workshop is because of the high voltages involved. But I'm sure that with everything switched off and possibly even the battery disconnected for extra safety it should not present any major problems.

    Instuctions to change Xenon headlights here
    Dave R (h5djr)
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    A3 8V 2.0 TDI-184 Sportback Sport s-tronic quattro - Silver + lots of options - my 9th A3

  12. #11
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    Dave

    You're a star. Looks like 30 mins at the dealer plus the hassle or 5 mins in my drive. Will check tonight and note your comment on the voltage!

    Thanks very much
    2006MY A3 Sportback, 3.2 SLine, Manual, Brilliant Red

  13. #12
    Aldo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobB

    Aldo - I had heard of a switch but wasn't sure if it was for older models (see also da3m's comment before) - come on, spill the beans please! Would be much appreciated.
    I would, I was referring to the MINI's sorry!

    It wouldn't surprise me though about the dealer charge for hooking up to a Laptop etc!

  14. #13
    benw123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobB
    Dave

    You're a star. Looks like 30 mins at the dealer plus the hassle or 5 mins in my drive. Will check tonight and note your comment on the voltage!

    Thanks very much
    Rob, let us know how easy it is to change the Xenons over. I've also got Xenon lighting and will be making a couple of drives in France later this year.

    I'm hoping it really is just five minutes to change, so I can do the work while whizzing along the tunnel!
    2004 A3 Sportback 2.0TDI SE, RNS-E Sat Nav SW0650 TMC, 17" Star Alloys, Xenons, DIS, Rear Mats & Sunblind, Alu trim, Ebony Black pearlescent
    2006 Honda Accord EX i-CTDI, Arctic Blue, Leather, Sat Nav, XCarLink

  15. #14
    dmaudi's Avatar
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    NO LEVERS ON MINE

    Sorry to dissapoint but I have not got these levers on my lights, I did check before going to see my Dealer and they confirmed that on mine a 54 2005 model it needs them to do it, left to right is controlled by motors not the mech on older ones

    excuse the quality of picture can't get far enough away in A3 engine bay to get decent pic or lighting



    you can even see the fixing the lever is supposed to attach to I think
    2012 Q3 S line S-Tronic 177 TDI
    2013 MINI GP

    Previously B8 S4, 8P A3 3.2Q

  16. #15
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    Never got a chance to look over the weekend. Hopefully tonight. Mine is 06 model on a 55 plate, so could be the same. Will confirm when I can.
    2006MY A3 Sportback, 3.2 SLine, Manual, Brilliant Red

  17. #16
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    You did well to get a photo like that! In the 3.2 engine bay there is hardly any room to see anything behind the lights. I had to use a small mirror and a torch to see into the unit properly. I didn't have Dave R's diagram with me at home but having just now checked again, both lamps do have a small white lever inside which looks like the ones in his pictures. The date stamp on my lights is 07/2005. I'll take a photo if I can to show you the levers. I will see what I can do tonight in the dark with the levers to see if they do make a difference.
    2006MY A3 Sportback, 3.2 SLine, Manual, Brilliant Red

  18. #17
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    Right, I've been abroad and have a recommendation.

    I tried doing using the guidance in the technical manual page that Dave R kindly found, but unfortunately it looks like there is more to it than this. The beam pattern does change a bit but there must be some additional alignment needed as the beam is way too low on the dirver's side still and doesn't light up the kerb as you would expect.

    However, my recommendation is to buy the light deflectors available from Halfords for £6.99 which now show you where to attach them on the new A3 xenon lights. They worked very well especially when needed on the Alpine passes, I didn't get a single flash from oncoming cars in about 1,500 miles of "lights on" driving and they peeled off at the end very easily - just needed a bit of glass cleaner to remove the odd sticky bit left on. Or you can spend £90 and 2 trips to a dealer to align them for you...

    Lastly, da3m - the picture you posted above does have the white levers I had by the looks of things - they are shorter than Dave R's diagram suggests and you need to put your fingers right in to the lens housing to reach them.
    2006MY A3 Sportback, 3.2 SLine, Manual, Brilliant Red

  19. #18
    Hi Rob. I have just read your posts both on the headlight adjustments and the factory trip. You obviously enjoyed yourself. I have visited the factory in Ingolstadt three times over the last 15 years and enjoyed each one. Mind you the whole Audi complex has changed a lot over that time.

    I don't know whether you agree with me but driving in Europe is a whole lot more enjoyable that driving in the UK. Anyone with a reasonable car who enjoys driving should try it.
    Dave R (h5djr)
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    A3 8V 2.0 TDI-184 Sportback Sport s-tronic quattro - Silver + lots of options - my 9th A3

  20. #19
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    It was great. Thanks for your advice a while back too on the Audi factory too.

    I have driven thousands of miles over the last 15 years all over western Europe and driving discipline is in a different league in all the countries I visited (France, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Italy). Lane changing, indication, observation, courtesy are all way ahead of the UK. Across many of the countries on 2 lane stretches of motorway, trucks are limited to the inside lane too, making it easy to maintain a decent speed. It makes for a really relaxing and enjoyable drive. The scenery helps a bit too! The only exception I found was the Italian's "got to get past the Brit at all costs" mentality and the French assumption that a left hand indicator permanently flashing on the motorway means they expect you to move out the way, even if you are already travelling at 90mph, overtaking other cars and they are in a van, which will only do 91mph.

    The worst bit by far was the return journey to Dover. Middle lane at 60mph is the norm and there seems to be some deivce that becomes activated once on British shores that prevents the use of indicators.

    I'm sure I'll be heading back and would recommend anyone who enjoys their driving to give it a go.
    2006MY A3 Sportback, 3.2 SLine, Manual, Brilliant Red

  21. #20
    dmaudi's Avatar
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    Your almost right Rob with my lights

    I've actually found that my lights are missing the levers but they can be adjusted with a screwdriver,

    Portsmouth Audi actually replaced my headlights under warranty after I questioned the missing levers only to fit the same with no Levers, 4.5hours to get back where I was!!!!!!!!

    the Vagcom is apparently to add or subtract the flicked up part of the beam you see on the top of each side, this is the bit that is moved left to right depending on where you drive the car, if you just move the lever apparently you lose the flick-up bit, making your beam too low.

    I am awaiting a resolution, the only good news is they have agreed to adjust mine for free any time I want until they sort it out, two trips this year already one more planned for a trip to the ring and two for Jan and April for alpine Holidays, I might leave it as is.

    totally agree on the quality of driving on the continent,

    I actually got a smiley wave and two thumbs up from a group of bikers I had a happy 20 mins with last week on a trip to western France... that sounds seriously dodgy I know but I love driving in France so much I almost don't care.
    try playing with most people over here and the best you get it the straight ahead treatment or the finger!!
    2012 Q3 S line S-Tronic 177 TDI
    2013 MINI GP

    Previously B8 S4, 8P A3 3.2Q

 

 

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