EM TuningChris Nott
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  1. #1
    PTTM's Avatar
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    Opinions on Best Retrofit Xenons to go for!!!

    Hey Guys,

    After looking at previous threads i still dont have a clue on what are the best after market Xenons to go for.
    Obviously I want them to be brighter than the standard lights and I want them to be reasonably reliable. The last thing I want is to install them and then for them to blow in a week.

    Any ideas on products would be welcome, especially if you have them installed yourself. Wheres the place to buy also?

    Are they difficult to install?

    BTW A3 2.0TDI S-Line 3dr 140 S-Tronic Black!

    P.S. Dave I am aware they are possibly illegal but to heck with it I need brighter lights!

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  3. #2
    Khufu's Avatar
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    guess it will depend on your level of skill in fitting them and your access to VAGcom. I'd prefer the bi myself but that was before i knew the car need recoded for them.
    2003-2008 1998 Red A3 8L 1.8 Sport
    2008 -> 2003 Akoya Silver A3 8P1 2.0 FSi Sport

  4. #3
    benw123's Avatar
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    Why not try and find a pair of OEM xenon lights and fit those? It has been done on this forum before (do a quick search), and I can certainly vouch for their performance - excellent lighting quality at night.
    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

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    Last edited by mitch78; 17th March 2009 at 23:32.
    Ex 8L S3 driver

    also A3, 320, Golf, Clio, Astra, Focus, Mondeo, Laguna, Escort, Calibra, 220, others and now back to a Focus...

  6. #5
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    choices are:
    1) standard housings with xenon kits - best are mtec japanese but are about 150 for a kit instead of the 50 fleabay specials

    2) oem housing/bulbs/lights - cost about 300-350 for a pair, you need to take off the bumper and engine tray to change the lights and recode your car with vagcom

    3) angel-eyes housings with a hid kit - forget the silly angel eyes sidelights but they have a projector lens system which works well with the electric (manual) headlight adjusters and takes either normal or hid h7 bulbs - these cost about 150 for the housings plus the hid kit
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  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by PTTM View Post
    P.S. Dave I am aware they are possibly illegal but to heck with it I need brighter lights!
    There is no 'possibly' about it - aftermarket kits are illegal.

    So if you car gets stolen you'd be quite happy if the guy said "I know it's illegal, but what the heck, I needed a new car"

    Go for OEM headlights and all the kit that goes with them and stay legal.
    Dave R (h5djr)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A3 8V 2.0 TDI-184 Sportback Sport s-tronic quattro - Silver + lots of options - my 9th A3

  8. #7
    PTTM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by h5djr View Post
    There is no 'possibly' about it - aftermarket kits are illegal.

    So if you car gets stolen you'd be quite happy if the guy said "I know it's illegal, but what the heck, I needed a new car"

    Go for OEM headlights and all the kit that goes with them and stay legal.
    lol I knew i would get some comment from you sooner or later. Just to inform you there is a grey area on this Aftermarket light issue. There isnt on stealing.

  9. #8
    There is no Grey area. Just read the DfT document and you will see that they regard the fitting of aftermarket units as illegal. It's only a grey area to those who want to justify breaking the law.

    But what the heck, Nobody is concerned about breaking the law these days!
    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
    Khufu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by h5djr View Post
    But what the heck, Nobody is concerned about breaking the law these days!
    We our politicians arent concerned, so should we be too?

    I must confess I had the S3 xenons on my old A3 without levellers and washers

    If I fit them to my new car I will do it right ths time.
    2003-2008 1998 Red A3 8L 1.8 Sport
    2008 -> 2003 Akoya Silver A3 8P1 2.0 FSi Sport

  11. #10
    golf's Avatar
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    Dave you sound like a right barrel of laughs...

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by golf View Post
    Dave you sound like a right barrel of laughs...
    Why, because I think should be done correctly and within the law..

    Too many aftermarket xenon kits are badly fitted and with no auto-levelling they can be a danger to other roads users. But these days too many people are only concerned with themselves and don't seem to care about others.

    There is a excellent way to fit good quality xenons available - OEM units, but it's costs more than these cheap kits but at least it does the job properly. Why fit cheap illegal accessories to a decent car. Do the job properly as a number of members of this forum have already done.
    Last edited by h5djr; 26th July 2008 at 17:06.
    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

  13. #12
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    Dave I had a look at doing the sensible thing and going for OEM, however i was quoted 1350 for them to be installed which imo is a joke. Whilst I want them to be the proper ones, i cant afford them atm. 1000 difference is too great a barrier to rise too. (Your thinking, cant afford them dont get them done!)
    I can get standard HID for 300 or less installed.
    Until the pigs (police) start to check them rigourously or audi drops the cost of xenon parts I think I am going down that route.
    I am not like most people who lease their car and so change cars every 20,000 miles allowing for change in spec. Mine is bought and paid for and I will keep it for a long time, however cash is low atm and every penny counts nowadays.
    I appreciate where your coming from and I respect your opinion. Always have done on here, you give your honest opinion on everything.
    However the possibility of having something done that will greatly improve my car is a great temptation at that price.
    Lets be honest it wont affect other drivers that much, as even OEM xenons are blinding!

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by PTTM View Post
    Dave I had a look at doing the sensible thing and going for OEM, however i was quoted 1350 for them to be installed which imo is a joke. Whilst I want them to be the proper ones, i cant afford them atm. 1000 difference is too great a barrier to rise too. (Your thinking, cant afford them dont get them done!)
    I can get standard HID for 300 or less installed.
    Until the pigs (police) start to check them rigourously or audi drops the cost of xenon parts I think I am going down that route.
    I am not like most people who lease their car and so change cars every 20,000 miles allowing for change in spec. Mine is bought and paid for and I will keep it for a long time, however cash is low atm and every penny counts nowadays.
    I appreciate where your coming from and I respect your opinion. Always have done on here, you give your honest opinion on everything.
    However the possibility of having something done that will greatly improve my car is a great temptation at that price.
    Lets be honest it wont affect other drivers that much, as even OEM xenons are blinding!
    Yes I do see your point about the cost. It's much more than having them on a car from new and I think I would baulk at that sort of price. I am the same as you and have to pay all the costs of my motoring myself. I may be in a similar position in a couple of years because when I next change my car, unless Audi UK change their mind you can only order a new S3 with xenons as standard and as an option on the S-Line. This may change over time but as I prefer the SE model I shall have to have normal halogen headlights. If that's the case I will change the halogen bulbs to the greater output versions, which at 60w, as still perfectly legal. I have used these on all my previous A3s and the do make a noticable difference.

    I think the main thing with xenon either OEM or aftermarket is to make sure they are properly adjusted and with aftermarket ones without auto-levelling make sure you can only move the lights down with the headlight adjustment control in the car. At least that way you should not be a danger to other road users. As your's is not a new car at least the beam settings will be checked each year at the MOT.

    When I did correspond with the DfT about aftermarket xenon kits they did say they hope to add a check for non-OEM xenons to the MOT test in the future so you may find you have to change them back to normal halogens for your car to pass the MOT.
    Dave R (h5djr)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A3 8V 2.0 TDI-184 Sportback Sport s-tronic quattro - Silver + lots of options - my 9th A3

  15. #14
    Khufu's Avatar
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    I always kept mine on the lowest setting and they were still better. Under normal driving circumstances are they really going to be moving up and down much as it relies on the compression of the suspension?

    Does that price include new bumper and related parts for headlight washers too?

    It would be a lot cheaper to do it yourself, especially if you can source 2nd hand parts.
    2003-2008 1998 Red A3 8L 1.8 Sport
    2008 -> 2003 Akoya Silver A3 8P1 2.0 FSi Sport

  16. #15
    PTTM's Avatar
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    Not that I know of Khufu.
    HazzyDayz quoted me and told me the price for the job completed.
    Doing it myself is an option however experience in this department is against me and the last thing i want to do is cock it up! I do too many miles! lol
    If there was a step by step guide i may consider it!
    May have to go and speak to CMS (Cleeve Motor Salvage) in Gloucester for parts!
    They may be able to help me!

  17. #16
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    Sorry to butt in with such a noob question, but as an IT bod I'm used to OEM meaning something slightly different I think. I take it that it still stands for Original Equipment Manufacture but does that mean:

    1/ you go into your local Audi garage and walk out with a box containing all the bits to fit Xenons and the reflectors and levelling bits

    2/ You get those bits from the people who make them for Audi

    3/ You can only get some of those bits from one of the above sources.

    And you have to fit them yourself and do stuff with VAG COM so that the car doesn't blow up or reject them like a replacement kidney.

    And in the case of Audi A3's HID=Xenon?

  18. #17
    Khufu's Avatar
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    the context we use it is just that its the same parts as fitted by the manufacture, so 1/ is the closest. Sadly its not always that simple as even though you buy the actual parts, the wiring in often not present making it more complicated.
    2003-2008 1998 Red A3 8L 1.8 Sport
    2008 -> 2003 Akoya Silver A3 8P1 2.0 FSi Sport

  19. #18
    benw123's Avatar
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    Khufu is right - the wiring isn't likely to be present, and I seem to recall that the Xenon lights have some sort of ballast resistor to change the voltage (Xenon lights run high voltages apparently).I did see a pair of Xenon lights go for around 60 on eBay once (no joke - they were so cheap I was considering them as spares!). I don't think buyers realised what they were.

    Regarding the legality of the aftermarket HIDs, they are illegal in the DfT's view UNLESS they meet certain criteria (i.e. self-levelling, self-cleaning etc). It's all in an article here:

    http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roadsafety/drs/hidheadlamps
    Last edited by benw123; 5th August 2008 at 08:37.
    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

  20. #19
    Khufu's Avatar
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    the ballast ignites the filamant using a high current but once the light is on the power consumption is a lot lower that the regular bulbs. On my old car I wired them straight to the battey via a relay and fuse. The light switch in the car triggered the relay to power them.
    2003-2008 1998 Red A3 8L 1.8 Sport
    2008 -> 2003 Akoya Silver A3 8P1 2.0 FSi Sport

  21. #20
    Caesium's Avatar
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    I've had this discussion again and again, I have posted various legal documents prescribing the usage of lighting on road vehicles.
    HID retrofit kits are for show use only, they dazzle oncoming drivers much worse than OEM units which will have a CE mark.
    OEM units have a dynamic beam level adjustment which constantly adjusts the angle of the beam to limit dazzling.

    If you want HID's then buy the correct parts, it shows gross inconsideration for other road users to retro fit them to a non conforming headlight.

    If you can't see at night properly with your halogen headlights then you shouldn't be driving at night and should inform the DVLA of your sight impediment or not drive so fast that you cant see properly.

    HID Conversion....Any Good?
    Last edited by Caesium; 5th August 2008 at 10:44.
    Chris

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