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Thread: Smashed headlight cover

  1. #1
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    Angry Smashed headlight cover

    So last Friday I collected my new car - a used 2013 A3 1.8TFSI S-tronic, trading in my previous A3. Loving the car completely, although there are a couple of minor niggles when comparing it to the last one, which have been well documented elsewhere - lag when pulling away (resolvable by changing from D to S), nowhere to put your right foot when using cruise control (really annoying!) and lack of handy storage compartments, like a coin tray. But in general a fab car, although I've been trying to work out what options I have, as they don't seem to all follow any packs. I have tech plus and B&O, which are great for gadgets, but no DAB it seems. I've got interior lighting upgrade and luggage pack, but not Xenon headlights. Had S-tronic but no cruise control, but that was easy to add before collection.

    Anyway, I collected the car Friday, and on Sunday morning met a suicidal pigeon at approx 70mph. It flew across the car and hit directly onto the off-side headlight. A big plume of feathers, but unfortunately it has made a large hole in the plastic headlight front cover. All lights are still working. Really annoying, but could have been worse I suppose.

    So a couple of questions. Does anyone know if it will be possible to replace just the plastic cover, or am I looking at a whole headlamp unit? And if the latter, I'm wondering whether it's possible to upgrade from Halogen to Xenon headlights, and if so - what the difference in cost would be. It seems like it might make sense to do the upgrade if it's possible and get something good out of this mini disaster!

    Any thoughts would be welcome.

    Thanks

    Paul

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  3. #2
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    Not sure on the light upgrade/replace, but having been a similar situation (luckily avoiding major damage - well apart from too the pigeon) I can certainly sympathise!. Bit suprised you mention no DAB. Have you tried changing the wavelength whilst in Radio function? I thought I didn't have it myself till I checked that!, then you need to check a setting so it picks up all the relevant stations..
    2013 A3 SportBack 181 2.0TDI. Shiraz Red - Panoramic Sunroof, Privacy Glass, Heated Seats, Comfort Pack, Interior Light Pack, Audi Sound System, Hill Hold Assist, Folding Mirrors, Debadged.

  4. #3
    Daveotto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smk82 View Post
    Bit suprised you mention no DAB. Have you tried changing the wavelength whilst in Radio function? I thought I didn't have it myself till I checked that!, then you need to check a setting so it picks up all the relevant stations..
    DAB was not standard until MY2014 builds so after June/July time 2013, prior to that it was £200 - 250 option
    A3 Sportback 2.0TDI S-line, - Daytona Grey, comfort pack, interior light pack , aluminium roof rails, Audi speakers, folding door mirrors, hill hold, sport suspension, no smoking pack.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_Oxon View Post
    So last Friday I collected my new car - a used 2013 A3 1.8TFSI S-tronic, trading in my previous A3. Loving the car completely, although there are a couple of minor niggles when comparing it to the last one, which have been well documented elsewhere - lag when pulling away (resolvable by changing from D to S), nowhere to put your right foot when using cruise control (really annoying!) and lack of handy storage compartments, like a coin tray. But in general a fab car, although I've been trying to work out what options I have, as they don't seem to all follow any packs. I have tech plus and B&O, which are great for gadgets, but no DAB it seems. I've got interior lighting upgrade and luggage pack, but not Xenon headlights. Had S-tronic but no cruise control, but that was easy to add before collection.

    Anyway, I collected the car Friday, and on Sunday morning met a suicidal pigeon at approx 70mph. It flew across the car and hit directly onto the off-side headlight. A big plume of feathers, but unfortunately it has made a large hole in the plastic headlight front cover. All lights are still working. Really annoying, but could have been worse I suppose.

    So a couple of questions. Does anyone know if it will be possible to replace just the plastic cover, or am I looking at a whole headlamp unit? And if the latter, I'm wondering whether it's possible to upgrade from Halogen to Xenon headlights, and if so - what the difference in cost would be. It seems like it might make sense to do the upgrade if it's possible and get something good out of this mini disaster!

    Any thoughts would be welcome.

    Thanks

    Paul
    Audi only sell the headlights as complete units I'm afraid. According to the ETKA parts catalogue the halogen units are around £200 each and the Xenon units £381 each.
    Last edited by h5djr; 25th November 2013 at 16:39.
    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

  6. #5
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    Are those the standard xenons, or the adaptive ones?
    Sport 2.0 TDI 150 Sportback in Scuba Blue, alcantara/leather, advanced key, audi sound system, comfort pack w/ ACC and park assist, deselect sports suspension, auto-dimming & folding door mirrors, electric lumbar support, heated seats, hold assist, non-smoking pack, side & lane assist, reversing camera, storage & luggage pack, tech pack with audi connect, tyre pressure warning, towbar, variable headlight range control, xenon light pack

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by h5djr View Post
    Audi only sell the headlights as complete units I'm afraid. According to the ETKA parts catalogue the halogen units are around £200 each and the Xenon units £381 each.
    Where can you see the parts catalogue?
    On order (June 2013):
    Audi A3 Sportback Sport 1.4 TFSI, Scuba Blue, Xenon light package, Comfort package, Folding door mirrors & Advance Key
    Confirmed build date early August Built, delivery September for 63 plate, ​collection on 2nd Sept 12pm COLLECTED

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by coolguy View Post
    Where can you see the parts catalogue?
    On my home desktop. It is no longer available to purchase from eBay but in the US there is a website which has the program available and all the updates as well. The US has laws stopping companies from restricting access to such programs. The mods are not keen on us talking about this site on this forum so if you want to send me a PM I will let you have the details.
    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

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by cemerson View Post
    Are those the standard xenons, or the adaptive ones?
    That is the price for the standard Xenons. The adaptive versions are £462.23 each.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by h5djr View Post
    Audi only sell the headlights as complete units I'm afraid. According to the ETKA parts catalogue the halogen units are around £200 each and the Xenon units £381 each.
    Thanks for the info. That's what I suspected, which is rather frustrating as the only damage is to the perspex which is probably only worth a couple of quid!

    I will have to find out if the Xenons can be easily retrofitted in place of the Halogens, and consider if the extra cost is worthwhile or not. But reading other's experiences, they seem to be highly rated.

    Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by smk82 View Post
    Not sure on the light upgrade/replace, but having been a similar situation (luckily avoiding major damage - well apart from too the pigeon) I can certainly sympathise!. Bit suprised you mention no DAB. Have you tried changing the wavelength whilst in Radio function? I thought I didn't have it myself till I checked that!, then you need to check a setting so it picks up all the relevant stations..
    Yes, I can see FM and AM in the waveband select screen, but no sign of DAB. I had thought that DAB was standard, and would definitely have been spec'd on a car with B&O and the tech pack, but it seems not. My own fault for assuming and not checking, though tbh it wouldn't have changed my buying decision.

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_Oxon View Post
    Thanks for the info. That's what I suspected, which is rather frustrating as the only damage is to the perspex which is probably only worth a couple of quid!

    I will have to find out if the Xenons can be easily retrofitted in place of the Halogens, and consider if the extra cost is worthwhile or not. But reading other's experiences, they seem to be highly rated.

    Paul
    I have them on my current A3 and they are excellent. I would certainly not like to drive at night without them. I will always be adding them to the next car I buy. Don't be tempted to go for the cheaper after market xenons as they do actually make your car illegal as they will never have been part of any EU Type Approval for the A3.
    cemerson likes this.
    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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    And most won't have the washer system and self levelling system either which will mean it fails its first MOT as both of these are now checked for.

    I also think the Xenons are worth going for. Don't be fooled by the 'bits of perspex' being cheap either - perspex can be expensive when it has to be precisely made so it's the same thickness all the way through (to ensure it doesn't alter the beam pattern etc).

    Glider canopies are mostly perspex as well and can run into the several thousands in cost...
    Sport 2.0 TDI 150 Sportback in Scuba Blue, alcantara/leather, advanced key, audi sound system, comfort pack w/ ACC and park assist, deselect sports suspension, auto-dimming & folding door mirrors, electric lumbar support, heated seats, hold assist, non-smoking pack, side & lane assist, reversing camera, storage & luggage pack, tech pack with audi connect, tyre pressure warning, towbar, variable headlight range control, xenon light pack

  14. #13
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    After further investigation, I think I do have Xenon headlights after all, not the Halogens that the dealer stated. I thought they were a bit good, and then spotted the lack of a height adjustment control in the car. I assume that on a Sport edition, they are probably adaptive, as in the brochure I have, that appears to be the only Xenon option? This makes sense as I think it must have the Xenon light package, as it has light and rain sensors and the interior lighting package. I will have to go for a spin at night and see if I can spot the adaptive stuff working, is it obvious?

    20131126_085137.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_Oxon View Post
    After further investigation, I think I do have Xenon headlights after all, not the Halogens that the dealer stated. I thought they were a bit good, and then spotted the lack of a height adjustment control in the car. I assume that on a Sport edition, they are probably adaptive, as in the brochure I have, that appears to be the only Xenon option? This makes sense as I think it must have the Xenon light package, as it has light and rain sensors and the interior lighting package. I will have to go for a spin at night and see if I can spot the adaptive stuff working, is it obvious?

    20131126_085137.jpg
    Yes, those are definitely Xenons of some description.
    A3 8V 1.8T 6 speed 3 door S line - Daytona Grey. Interior lighting pack, privacy glass, comfort pack, electric folding heated dimming door mirrors, tyre pressure monitor, electric lumbar support, cruise control, acoustic parking system rear, B&O sound system.

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    Yep, Xenons! You can tell by the style of the DRLs as well - the 'eyebrow' style ones are Xenon or LED, the halogens just have a single halogen light as their DRLs. If it's the sport as well then they should be adaptive too - not so good news for your repair costs though
    Sport 2.0 TDI 150 Sportback in Scuba Blue, alcantara/leather, advanced key, audi sound system, comfort pack w/ ACC and park assist, deselect sports suspension, auto-dimming & folding door mirrors, electric lumbar support, heated seats, hold assist, non-smoking pack, side & lane assist, reversing camera, storage & luggage pack, tech pack with audi connect, tyre pressure warning, towbar, variable headlight range control, xenon light pack

  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cemerson View Post
    Don't be fooled by the 'bits of perspex' being cheap either - perspex can be expensive when it has to be precisely made so it's the same thickness all the way through (to ensure it doesn't alter the beam pattern etc).
    Totally correct about them not being cheap and it is a bit of a cross between art and science to get the injection moulding process correct to ensure consistant clarity and thickness over the whole surface area.

    One minor point of correction though - most headlight "glass" is actually polycarbonate these days and not perspex (polymethyl methacrylate) as it has better high volume manufactuing characteristics more suitable to automotive compared to someothing like glider canopies whch are relatively low volume/one off pieces where perspex is still the better material to use
    A3 Sportback 2.0TDI S-line, - Daytona Grey, comfort pack, interior light pack , aluminium roof rails, Audi speakers, folding door mirrors, hill hold, sport suspension, no smoking pack.

  18. #17
    A3 Sport

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    Hopefully glider canopies are slightly more resilient to bird strikes! I was quite surprised how easily it broke, but at least no bodywork damage I suppose. And although it's going to be expensive to repair, at least I have Xenons which is a nice surprise.
    A3 8V Sportback 1.8TFSI Sport S-Tronic in Phantom Black.<br>B&amp;O &amp; Tech Pack, Xenon light package, Interior lighting pack

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_Oxon View Post
    Hopefully glider canopies are slightly more resilient to bird strikes!
    Wouldn't be so sure!
    Sport 2.0 TDI 150 Sportback in Scuba Blue, alcantara/leather, advanced key, audi sound system, comfort pack w/ ACC and park assist, deselect sports suspension, auto-dimming & folding door mirrors, electric lumbar support, heated seats, hold assist, non-smoking pack, side & lane assist, reversing camera, storage & luggage pack, tech pack with audi connect, tyre pressure warning, towbar, variable headlight range control, xenon light pack

 

 

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