Changing Audi A3 S3 8L OEM Headlight Lense to Depo Headlight Lense Unit
First things first, I will apologise in advance if someone has already posted what I am about to post but I cannot find the same thing so bare with me on this...
Now I have been trawling this forum for the past months trying to find out if anyone knew about changing the headlight lens on a Facelift Audi S3.
Now ive stumbled across different threads on people who have taken cloudy/pitted/dull lenses of and cleaned them up to look near perfect, but wanting the easier option, I wondered if I could just get hold of a new lens.
The issue started when I first got the car, as the driver's side xenon unit looked pretty damn new, and the passenger side or near side looked old and tatty. Now it didnt take me long to realise that for whatever reason, someone previously has changed the unit over for some reason, and that got my worrying as my first thought was 'front end collision'. Now ive had the car fully checked after purchasing (two years ago) and their was no sign of any crash....and no paperwork for any repair or the new unit (which must costs around £760 from Audi). (or a very good cover up)
After almost hijacking a few threads to try and get an answer from people, a few guys got in touch and said it can be done and or they have done it....So I called up Audi (stupidly thinking they would help) and asked if they could get my just the lens and I was 'politely' reminded that they are a business and therefore they would only ever recommend buying the whole unit and not just the cover (which they also said I would not be able to get hold of)
- To cut a long story short I followed steps on sanding down and buffing the lens which ive tried and it really didn't do much at all (3 solid hours of buffing)...So I wanted an alternative
Here are some pictures of the headlamps, although in the photo, the bad one (near side) doesnt look as bad as it does in person and the good one doesnt look as good either... :/Attachment 23564Attachment 23563 Attachment 23565
Now not wanting to pay nearly £1000 for just a lens, I then went about asking "would the facelift halogen OEM unit have the same lens" as from a first glance they look identical (although the projector lens of the xenon unit itself has a slightly smaller diameter lens then the halogen).
So I did my rounds and called up several different people, and found out the Hella make the lens and that because of the higher heat generated from the xenon unit, the lens was thicker/stronger then the same lens of the halogen. I was very convinced by this as three separate people confirmed this and one even told me I would melt the lens.
So I put the question on here and finally I got a response from someone who had done it and it worked a treat. Silly thing was that I had a 99 A3 TDi prior to the S3 and I fitted HID's in the standard light units and nothing ever went wrong....in fact the HID bulb was the first thing to go after some years of use...so this backed up me theory that it was probably more of a sale pitch and money motivated answer, more than anything else.
After finding this out and another call to Audi, and hearing that the OEM halogen unit cost nearly £300, I thought im still paying all that just for a lens...this is crazy and their must be another way.
This is where Ebay came into play, as I found the Hella OEM complete unit for £150 and even better was the DEPO Aftermarket Unit which cost £45 delivered to my door.
So I sat back and asked some more questions and had mixed responses...
Some people rightfully said that although aftermarket parts may look the same at a first glance, the actual fit may differ slightly and that I should at least go for the OEM halogen unit...and well weighing it all up, if I was to buy the DEPO unit and it didnt work, Ive only lost £45 and I could probably sell the unit on again (as long as I didnt break anything)..and then I would go with Hell OEM halogen for £150.
So today (20/11/2013) the unit arrived and it looks very good...im amassed at what you can get for your money as a few drinks and some food down the local will easily be more then £45. My plan is to take a few photos along the way and hopefully enlighten anyone else who wants to change the lens completely as opposed to sanding/buffing/sanding some more and finally spraying UV coat on their existing unit... (and in my case failing)
I will upload pictures as I go along...
Here is the new DEPO Unit:
Attachment 23566 Attachment 23567 Attachment 23568 Attachment 23569 Attachment 23570 Attachment 23571