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Thread: Xenons and driving abroad

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    Vertigo1's Avatar
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    Xenons and driving abroad

    As you may or may not know, Xenon lights need to be adjusted for driving abroad on the right hand side of the road, so that they don't dazzle oncoming drivers. You can't use blockers or beam benders with xenons like you can with halogens, plus it's more important that you adjust them than it is with halogens as the dazzle can be quite severe.

    One thing that really annoyed me about the 8P was that there was no way of making this adjustment from within the DIS menus. You needed to either visit a dealer to get it done and pay for the privilege, or else use VCDS to do it yourself. There was no excuse for this, as it was simply a setting which needed flipping and which lowered the beams slightly to avoid dazzling. There was no reason this setting couldn't have been exposed via the DIS as it was in some other models.

    With the new 8V, I was fully expecting this to be a user-changable setting via the MMI or DIS but, interestingly, the manual clearly states that Xenon lights do not need adjustment for driving on the right. It says they do if you have the adaptive lights but that standard xenons don't.

    This has got me thinking. The light must be dipped a bit for driving on the right, there's no getting around that, so if you don't have to do anything yourself, does this mean the car does it for you? Does the car use it's GPS to work out where it is and adjust the lights accordingly?
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  3. #2
    That's an interesting one. What if the car has Xenons but not Navigation. Does it still have GPS?

    With my 8P I have to change it using my VCDS but I know some Audi models can do it using the DIS.
    Dave R (h5djr)
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  4. #3
    I have just had a looked at the Owners Manual for the current Skoda Octavia. This is the 'cheap' model in the VAG range which will be replaced by a new model in 2013 and will be then based on the same platform as he new A3, Golf VII and the new SEAT Leon. Skoda, unlike Audi, make the Owners Manuals for all their models available on the internet for anyone to download.

    In the manual it describes how to change the headlights to Tourist mode using their DIS system which is much more straight forward that the procedure I have to use on my 'top' of the manufacturers model. It says...

    This mode makes it possible to drive in countries with opposing traffic system,
    driving on the left/right, without dazzling the oncoming vehicles. When the mode
    tourist light is active, the side to side swivel of the headlights is deactivated.

    The mode tourist light is activated/deactivated via the information display in the menu:
    ■ Settings
    ■ Lights & Vision
    ■ Travel mode
    ■ Off
    ■ Switched on
    Dave R (h5djr)
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    i'll bet they are the same for rhd and lhd
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    Dave: yeah I know some other makes within the VAG group and indeed other models within the Audi range allow for the changing of the lights within the DIS, but the A3 never did. I always presumed they'd add this with the new A3 but my surprise is due to the fact that there is no such option and the manual says it's not necessary. The only possibility I can see is that it's done automatically.

    Ste_Nova: The lights you mean? No, they illuminate much higher to the nearside just as before - it's very noticeable when there's a hedge or something at the left of the road and how it brightly illuminates road signs. There's no way this would be the same for LHD cars as it would dazzle badly so the lights must be changed to drive on the right.

    My first thought was that it must use the GPS to work out where it is and change the lights accordingly, but then I wondered about cars without nav and thus no GPS. Then I heard somewhere (don't take as read) that all models include the necessary hardware for basic SD card nav as standard, and just the SD card with the maps, and possibly some form of activation key, is required, allowing you to purchase this later to add nav to a card which wasn't ordered with it. If this is the case then every A3 has GPS, although possibly without any maps to go with it. Still, it wouldn't be hard for it to work out whether it was in the UK or mainland Europe, even without actual road maps.

    I'm just curious more than anything
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    have you got highbeam assist?
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    Nope
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  9. #8
    I will have a word with my Audi Master Tech friend when when I next see him to see if he knows how the new xenons work.
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    I think this what Audi mean by "vorsprung durch technik"
    This is what does all the magic.






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    Having just had a look ETKA, halogen and normal xenon lights have different items for left hand drive and right hand drive, but the adaptable xenons on have different items for the left or right hand side of the car. So it seems it's somehow related to the ability of the headlights to move internally, but that still leaves the problem of how does the car know which setting it needs. Perhaps it sets them low enough or without a kerb following feature that it does not matter. Interesting!
    Dave R (h5djr)
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    Vertigo1's Avatar
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    Well I can't be sure but I do get the impression that they're not quite as high on the nearside as before, so maybe they have just set them so they won't dazzle when driving on the right.
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  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Vertigo1 View Post
    Well I can't be sure but I do get the impression that they're not quite as high on the nearside as before, so maybe they have just set them so they won't dazzle when driving on the right.
    Perhaps Audi think with the cornering ability of the lights it's not so important to have the 'kick-up' on the kerb side.
    Dave R (h5djr)
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    Quote Originally Posted by h5djr View Post
    Perhaps Audi think with the cornering ability of the lights it's not so important to have the 'kick-up' on the kerb side.
    That's only with the adaptive lights though, which I don't have and which, according to the manual, do require adjustment. All very confusing.
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    The 62 reg A6 i had as a loaner while my A6 was being repaired had the adjustment in the mmi to dip the headlights for the continent. this was an sline with the led strips with standard xenons not adaptive xenons
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    All the VCDS settings does is ‘flat beams’ the headlights (removes the kick up on the left), my Superb has the ability to change them to ‘tourist light’ (or words to that effect) in the Maxidot (DIS) but the TT does not.

    FWIW anyone going abroad who wants them coding, I live between the channel tunnel and Dover docks and I have VCDS.
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    On my 8P, the tourist mode, or whatever you want to call it, just used the levelling system to lower the beams generally by a little bit. Didn't alter the beam pattern or remove the kick-up on the left, just lowered the lights a touch.
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    The MMI on my a5 allows for in-car adjustment. Although, annoyingly, it drops both headlights to the extent that I feel is dangerous. The left headlight is the only one that needs lowering, but I guess they cannot work independently. That's vdt for you.

    Who gives a monkey's about dazzling on coming traffic, anyway?! Every second car in this country has them so badly adjusted that they dazzle. And least said about those aftermarket HIDS on reflector lenses the better. And Mercs, I've found, are set up to dazzle straight from the factory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karcsi View Post
    Who gives a monkey's about dazzling on coming traffic, anyway?! Every second car in this country has them so badly adjusted that they dazzle.
    So your solution of everyone blinding everyone else is the answer then??

    Lets just hope you never have a head on crash because your lights were blinding the oncoming car.
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    Annoying as the chavs with their aftermarket HID bulbs in standard reflector housings are, they're nothing compared to proper xenons shining in your face. They're ridiculously bright and this is why all cars supplied with them from the factory have to have automatic levelling systems by law in this country. That said, some manufacturers do seem to take liberties with their alignment.

    My biggest pet hate lately is BMW and Mercedes LED brake lights - they're insanely bright and, when stuck behind one at night in traffic, it's almost painful.
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    MiT
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vertigo1 View Post
    My biggest pet hate lately is BMW and Mercedes LED brake lights - they're insanely bright and, when stuck behind one at night in traffic, it's almost painful.
    thats what it was then, i was behind this big merc the other day and the only thing i could think about was the big break lights.
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  22. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Vertigo1 View Post
    My biggest pet hate lately is BMW and Mercedes LED brake lights - they're insanely bright and, when stuck behind one at night in traffic, it's almost painful.
    The problem is compounded by the fact that a lot of drivers sit in traffic with the foot on the brake rather than use the handbrake. When I was taught to drive my instructed always made me use the handbrake whenever I stopped in traffic so that I did not 'blind' the driver in the car behind, especially if it was dark. This is even easier these days with electronic handbrake which automatically release when you move forward.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmo68 View Post
    So your solution of everyone blinding everyone else is the answer then??

    Lets just hope you never have a head on crash because your lights were blinding the oncoming car.
    It's called being facetious - i.e. not to be taken seriously. :rolls-eyes: My lights are and have always been properly set.

    As pointed out, modern car lights are far brighter than they used to, and, in my opinion, that they need to be. 10 or so years ago, on a single carriage way, you had a good chance of seeing something of the road ahead, beyond the lights of on-coming traffic. Now you are practically blind for a second or so until the car passes. With a line of cars approaching, particularly with badly aligned lights or just plain illegal hids, you see nothing of the road ahead without the aid of cats-eyes, good condition road markings or overhead lights. I wonder where being dazzled sits in the stats of causes of accidents, but my guess is that it doesn't as it is difficult to evidence when the front of the car is smashed up.

    Anyway, back to the A3 and adjusting the lights for Euro travel: I am quite annoyed that despite Audi's claims of such attention to detail, such things are missed. A crap roof design on my A5 coupe is another - rain water pooring off it onto the front seats when you first open the door.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karcsi View Post
    Anyway, back to the A3 and adjusting the lights for Euro travel: I am quite annoyed that despite Audi's claims of such attention to detail, such things are missed. A crap roof design on my A5 coupe is another - rain water pooring off it onto the front seats when you first open the door.
    They haven't missed anything - the manual simply states that adjustment is not necessary. I'm just speculating whether this is because the lights adjust themselves when driving abroad or whether they're set in such a way that they won't dazzle even when driving on the right.

    I love xenons and couldn't go back to halogens now - they just work so well. I do agree on the issue of poor conversions and chavs with their ebay HID bulbs - this needs to be stamped on far more than it is at present (i.e. not at all).

    Then again, as an example of the other end of the scale, as I was driving home tonight in dark and torrential rain, I saw an idiotic old lady in her Micra with no lights on at all. I wish the police would spend more time patrolling and pulling over morons like this rather than setting up endless speed traps to catch people doing 31 in a 30.
    s33nyboy12 likes this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vertigo1 View Post
    They haven't missed anything - the manual simply states that adjustment is not necessary. I'm just speculating whether this is because the lights adjust themselves when driving abroad or whether they're set in such a way that they won't dazzle even when driving on the right.
    If they are GPS-adjusted, I am sure Audi would be shouting about it. I wonder whether they no longer follow the traditional light pattern, but instead have an even 'reach' across both lights and so no adjustment at all is needed. That would make for better lighting on the continent (not having to be artifically lowered). But isn't there good reason why near side headlights had a longer reach - cyclists, pedestrians? It would also suggest that a LHD car could use the same headlights as a RHD car, but h5djr says that the EKTA part numbers are different (unless something else needs to be different).

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    Xenons and driving abroad

    Quote Originally Posted by h5djr View Post
    The problem is compounded by the fact that a lot of drivers sit in traffic with the foot on the brake rather than use the handbrake. When I was taught to drive my instructed always made me use the handbrake whenever I stopped in traffic so that I did not 'blind' the driver in the car behind, especially if it was dark. This is even easier these days with electronic handbrake which automatically release when you move forward.
    This is fair enough but you also have to remember that a lot of the time, like with mine, the stop start function only works while you're pressing the brake. If you put the handbrake on and take your foot off the brake then the car restarts... I think it's a silly way of doing it because it does annoy people!
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    I am currently driving an A4 Avant, 59 plate.
    Mine works differently from what you describe.
    Pull up at traffic lights put on electric handbrake, foot off foot brake pedal, into neutral (manual gearbox), foot off clutch, engine stops.
    Put foot on clutch, engine restarts, put into gear and drive away!
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    Quote Originally Posted by TreborA4 View Post
    I am currently driving an A4 Avant, 59 plate.
    Mine works differently from what you describe.
    Pull up at traffic lights put on electric handbrake, foot off foot brake pedal, into neutral (manual gearbox), foot off clutch, engine stops.
    Put foot on clutch, engine restarts, put into gear and drive away!
    That's how both my 8P and 8V A3s have worked too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vertigo1 View Post
    My biggest pet hate lately is BMW and Mercedes LED brake lights - they're insanely bright and, when stuck behind one at night in traffic, it's almost painful.
    AUDI rear LEDs are just as bright (A4/5 etc).

    My issue is with DRLs which are too bright IMO, and at dusk if the lights are left off become dazzling as there is no beam direction. Why they didn't just set the dipped beam to come on all the time instead of adding fairy lights I'll never know!(some cars now have like 4 lights on all the time and it looks stupid to me).

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    Quote Originally Posted by TreborA4 View Post
    I am currently driving an A4 Avant, 59 plate.
    Mine works differently from what you describe.
    Pull up at traffic lights put on electric handbrake, foot off foot brake pedal, into neutral (manual gearbox), foot off clutch, engine stops.
    Put foot on clutch, engine restarts, put into gear and drive away!
    That's because mine is s-tronic, not manual though. The other half's dad has a Golf with the DSG and it works the same as mine...
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  31. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Daggerit View Post
    That's because mine is s-tronic, not manual though. The other half's dad has a Golf with the DSG and it works the same as mine...
    I also have an A3 (8P) with s-tronic and if I stop for more than a couple of minutes and the Stop/Start cuts the engine I move the centre lever to Park and take my foot off the brake. There is no need to apply the handbrake as the s-tronic locks the transmission. This often happens when I arrive at a level crossing and the barriers are down. When the barriers go up I put my foot on the brake pedal and move the centre lever back to drive, release the brake and I'm away.

    The only thing I think is a bit silly is the the Stop/Start cuts the engine a bit too quick. If I stop at a junction to check the traffic, the engine cuts out and then starts again almost immediately as I pull away. Sometime I can hold the car still with a very light touch on the brake but other times it seems to cut out anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by h5djr View Post

    The only thing I think is a bit silly is the the Stop/Start cuts the engine a bit too quick. If I stop at a junction to check the traffic, the engine cuts out and then starts again almost immediately as I pull away. Sometime I can hold the car still with a very light touch on the brake but other times it seems to cut out anyway.
    Thats how the salesman explained the stop/start worked to me. He said every time you come to a standstill with your foot on the brake , the engine will cut out, even if you are nudging along in traffic it wil be on and off all the time. I just thought 'I'll switch that off then!'. Just couldn't see it working usefully - if it worked on the parking brake or something maybe it would be better.
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  33. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff777lufc View Post
    Thats how the salesman explained the stop/start worked to me. He said every time you come to a standstill with your foot on the brake , the engine will cut out, even if you are nudging along in traffic it wil be on and off all the time. I just thought 'I'll switch that off then!'. Just couldn't see it working usefully - if it worked on the parking brake or something maybe it would be better.
    The engine is not supposed to cut-out with light pressure on the brake pedal, only if you push quite hard. Most of the time this works but every now and then it will cut out when I only apply very light pressure. I must admit I always release the pressure only the pedal just before I actual stop so as not to make the car jerk to a stop, as I was taught to do many years ago. Watching other cars stop these days it seems drivers are no longer taught to stop in that way.
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    I've noticed over the last few weeks people do seem to think i have my full beam on!!! they must get a shock when i flash them back lol.

    This is my first car with xenons and driving down country roads they really do come into there own!!!! with my full beam on i can see for miles!!!

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    Since 2001 for me, not had a car since without them.

    The 8V adaptives are not sided btw, I did mention this last year, but I do suspect the manual is wrong, but it would be a tidy feature to be correct huh.

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    Can xenons be retro fitted?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NHN View Post
    Yes they can, are you looking to do it, if so give me a shout
    Haven't got my car yet, I've had to order the sport as the s line was just a little out of my budget so no xenons. How much would that cost including fitting? Would they work just the same as if they were spec'd at order? Thanks

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    Can the LED DRL strip and rear LEDS be retro fitted also? Thanks again

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aidy06 View Post
    Haven't got my car yet, I've had to order the sport as the s line was just a little out of my budget so no xenons. How much would that cost including fitting? Would they work just the same as if they were spec'd at order? Thanks
    Far more than if they were added as an option I'll bet
    A3 S-Line 1.4 tfsi | Daytona Grey | Heated Seats

 

 
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