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A3 LED Bi Xenon Retrofit and new MOT Regs

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by aky20, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. aky20
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    aky20 Member

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    [Feb 6, 2012]
    Hi All,

    I know I am going to get grief for this posting, but oh well.

    I am looking into getting xenon's retro fitted but have been put off by the associated cost. Due to the new guidance on MOT testing as quoted on another post (see below) would I be fine in getting the headlights done with the authentic headlights rather than a after market kit and would I still get through an MOT as long as the beam and pattern are correct?

    I do too many miles to justify the full retrofit (30k a yr) and do not see it adding the same value as the associated cost.


    Then you've been informed wrongly - if you read the ACTUAL guidelines that are issued to the garages there is NO requirement for either self levelling or headlight washers to be fitted, but IF they are fitted they must work (the requirement for them to work IF fitted is what changed from 1/1/2012).

    http://www.audi-sport.net/vb/a4-a4-cabriolet-s4-forum-b6-chassis/147748-silly-hid-question.html,

    Many thanks
    Aky
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
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  3. 8385HJ
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    8385HJ Member

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    [Feb 6, 2012]
    Link to the actual guidelines?
    #2
  4. aky20
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    aky20 Member

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    [Feb 6, 2012]
    #3
  5. shady-ninja
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    shady-ninja Active Member

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    [Feb 8, 2012]
    the is no specific wording to nullify the fitting of the original AUDI BI-XENON headlight.
    it makes reference to the operation of the jet washers if fitted.
    i will go and ask my local MOT guy.
    #4
  6. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 8, 2012]
    The new 2012 MOT guidelines may well say the auto-levelling and washers need to work if they are fitted but the fact is that for Xenons to be legal at all they MUST have auto-levelling and washers and these MUST therefore be working..

    The MOT may only check for washers and auto levelling if they are fitted but the UK Construction and Use Regulations make no provision for Xenon HID's at all. This means that Xenon HID's are not allowed in the UK.

    Manufacturer's get round this by holding European Type Approval for their designs and vehicles which hold this can be used in the UK as it overrules the C+U Regulations.

    However fitting a non-type approved headlamp unit (ie non-OEM) without the prerequisite auto levelling and washing systems would not meet the European Type Approval and are therefore illegal.

    This is also the reason why all aftermarket HID kits are illegal as they do not have any form of European Type Approval for a particular vehicle.
    #5
  7. N8
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    N8 Kowalski Details VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 8, 2012]
    Bravo Dave
    #6
  8. shady-ninja
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    shady-ninja Active Member

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    [Feb 9, 2012]
    that means its ok to take an OEM headlight from a 2010 s3 and stick it on my 2009 a3 currently with halogens and still pass an MOT.
    #7
  9. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 9, 2012]
    as long as you have headlight washers that work, then yes.

    I don't mean to be a miserable old bastard, but this legislation couldn't come soon enough. I get why people want them, it's only when you have the pleasure of these oncoming on a dark country b-road that you realise how bad they are.
    #8
  10. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 9, 2012]
    and probably more important from other road users point of view, include the necessary self-levelling system.
    #9
  11. Cruiser89
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    Cruiser89 Advanced In Car Tech Site Sponsor

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    [Feb 9, 2012]
    I can't stress this more... If you're gonna do it, spend the extra dollar to do it properly!

    I was unfortunately the victim of somebody who didn't, got dazzled and smashed the front end of my car! There is a reason to have all the needed parts!
    #10
  12. BBlackburn
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    BBlackburn Member

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    [Feb 9, 2012]
    They wouldn't produce the headlights with auto-levelling and washers if they weren't necessary simple.
    Also the regs wouldn't be introduced unless they have a reason to.
    #11
  13. shady-ninja
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    shady-ninja Active Member

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    [Feb 9, 2012]
    but if i can get one like yours i'll be ok till i can get the ither bits in with time??
    #12
  14. Cruiser89
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    Cruiser89 Advanced In Car Tech Site Sponsor

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    [Feb 10, 2012]
    It doesn't work like that my friend.

    My headlights were spec'd from factory and they need to have auto-levellers and washers which mine do.
    #13
  15. 964kevin
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    964kevin Member

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    [Feb 10, 2012]
    For me its far more of an issue having a damn Range Rover in the rearview with HID's, the auto dim rear mirror function has a mind of its own....
    #14
  16. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 10, 2012]
    I agree. You should not fit the Xenons (OEMs or not) until you can do the washers and self-levelling AT THE SAME TIME. For a start your car will be illegal and you will be a pain to other road users. If you cannot afford to do the job properly don't do it at all.
    #15
  17. c_w
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    c_w Active Member

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    [Feb 10, 2012]
    Do not agree at all. Why do lack of washers cause a pain to other road users - they do nothing at all - it's like cleaning your car by pointing a hose pipe at it! The levellers are primarily for loading, a correctly aimed set of xenons will cause no more dazzling than halogen.

    As someone has said a tall car like a Range Rover can cause CONSTANT dazzling to someone in a low car.

    The MOT rules also give benefit to cars with stiff suspension and limited load carrying capacity [for not requiring self-levelling].

    By all means chastise those who fit HID kits in to open reflectors that cause massive light bleed, but in a properly aimed projector + HID kit is just not an issue in reality!

    IMO the current new extra-bright LED DRLs pose more of an issue, especially in dusk conditions where they go from bright to dazzling.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
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  18. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 10, 2012]
    If the headlamp washers do nothing why are they required by the European Type Approval. The washers clean the front lenses to stop the scatter of the very bright xenon lighting to help to stop it dazzle to other drivers. Unless of course the driver is prepared to stop and clean the headlight lenses every few miles in mucky weather. Xenons will cause more dazzle than halogen units because they generate a lot more light output which is why we buy them in the first place.

    If a car has very stiff suspension then it may well be that the MOT will accept that no self-levelling system is there but as I made the point earlier if the correct lenses, light units, washers and self-levelling are not ALL present then the car does not meet the European Type Approval that was granted to Audi for an A3 fitted with Xenon headlights and therefore the UK C+U regulations apply which DO NOT allow Xenon HID units on any cars.

    Your comment about LED powered headlights is just the reason why these require the same washer system and self-levelling to get European Type Approval and are again only allowed to be used on UK roads if these are fitted and working correctly.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
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  19. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 10, 2012]
    I had a fault with the levelling system on my 8P2 S3 and drivers were continually flashing me as I bounced merrily along totally unaware there was an issue. After I couple of weeks I thought, why do people keep flashing me, so I took the car to Audi and they had to adjust something(?????), but afterwards I never got flashed again.

    These kind of lights are blindingly bright when they are set incorrectly, and whilst I take the Range Rover argument on board, I think it's right to question if an innocent party driving in the opposite direction was temporarily 'light blinded' by incorrectly adjusted xenon / HID's is it acceptable (s)he could potentially have an accident as a result when he'd been minding his own business? I know the chances are probably one in a million, but people only tend to get passionate about these issues if they or a close member of family suffer because of it.

    I've always been curious about the washer situation, and assumed that if they didn't need to be there they wouldn't be.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
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  20. Charlie Ford
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    Charlie Ford Member

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    [Feb 10, 2012]
    ok i bought my car with auto leveling xenons but it has no washers? was this retro fitted or a factory option??
    #19
  21. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 10, 2012]
    Are you sure they're xenons & yes if they have no washers then its been retrofitted & will potentially fail an mot, but these things can be corrected, albeit at a cost but thats life for us all I'm afraid to say :)
    #20
  22. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 10, 2012]
    Audi have never fitted xenons to any cars without headlamp washers because they would not meet with their European Type Approval. So your car has either retro fitted ones or factory fitted ones and someone has changed the front bumper for one without the washers
    #21
  23. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 10, 2012]
    There was quite a detailed article in one of the car magazines a while ago where a lighting engineer explained about the need for washers on very powerful car lights and the fact that the light can be scattered quite badly by dirty front lenses and thus cause dazzle to other drivers. I must admit that until I had read that article I could see the point of the auto-levelling but not so much the requirement for the washers as well.
    #22
  24. c_w
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    c_w Active Member

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    [Feb 13, 2012]
    I would still maintain that washers are there just to make them feel better; if they were combined with a wiper like old Volvos I would agree that is a proper cleaning system. If anything a layer of grim will dull the output (I'm sure we all see this when we wash the car the lights seem much brighter and crisper). The pressure is only of a normal wiper system after all.

    A faulty self-levelling system could possibly cause more dazzle than a correctly set manual beam. Assuming that it has gone full height which may well be higher than a normal set beam perhaps. And I would guess this is the MOT rules will pay particularly attention to a present self-levelling system working properly. I certainly have never been flashed in any car with retrofitted xenon as you can clearly see the beam cut off on the road.


    Funnily enough my girlfriend were coming back on the motorway and she was asking me if this car behind us had full beam on, it was a 11-plate Merc and the lights were very bright and probably calibrated a tad too high but then it's got type approval so they must be ok! :p
    #23
    A4_MaJiK and shady-ninja like this.
  25. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 13, 2012]
    Obviously the car lighting experts think differently which why washers are required for Type Approval.

    I still maintain that if you want Xenon headlights do the job properly and fit OEM units with all the required parts. Anyone can do a cheap bog up. If you cannot afford it, stick to high-output halogen bulbs in the standard headlights.
    #24
  26. shady-ninja
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    shady-ninja Active Member

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    [Feb 13, 2012]
    regardless of what you guys say im gonna do mine.
    plus i will attempt to convert from left hand drive to
    right hand drive.
    Any more critics.
    #25
  27. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 13, 2012]
    The headlights or the whole car? Headlights should be straight forward but the whole car may be a little more complicated.
    #26
  28. c_w
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    c_w Active Member

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    [Feb 13, 2012]
    It's not essential, in the same way the Germans will throw away a good tyre just because it's half worn! Type Approval is not really of any interest to me! The Japanese don't confirm to it either as some factory xenons come without washers/levellers. I don't by any means advocate having an unsafe car. I also don't see why anyone would want to conform to EU standards with unnecessary enthusiasm, especially in respect to washer jets pointed at headlights; I'd rather do the job properly and wash the car regularly!



    To convert from LHD to RHD you could open the headlights and dismantle the projector to flip the shield - not a quick job though!
    #27
  29. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 13, 2012]
    Ever couple of miles when on a mucky road I assume. If your not really interested Type Approval and the safety issues that go with it, why don't you go the whole hog and buy a "non-conforming" Japanese car. Why would you want to spend the extra on a decent German Audi.

    I not sure that I agree with the fact that some Japanese car don't conform anyway. I'm sure a Japanese manufacturer would not sell illegal cars in the UK. If they have Xenons they do not comply with the UK C+U regulations UNLESS they have European Type Approval. Without the European Type Approval they would be illegal to use on UK roads.

    If you want to change the headlights from the type supplied when the car was new, why not do the job properly and change them so they would be the same as if they had been supplied as new. Anything less is a cheap-skate way of doing it.
    #28
  30. shady-ninja
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    shady-ninja Active Member

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    [Feb 13, 2012]
    headlights of course.
    i'll leave the rest of the car to you.
    #29
  31. shady-ninja
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    shady-ninja Active Member

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    [Feb 13, 2012]
    ive done before on aftermarket headlights.
    #30
  32. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 13, 2012]
    Good, otherwise I thought life could get rather complicated. Members of the armed forces stationed in Germany have to have LH Drive headlights on their cars by law so when they return home to the UK they have to have them changed over to RH drive versions so I assume it must be quite a straight forward matter of changing the actual headlight units.
    #31
  33. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 13, 2012]
    Further to my earlier post I have just checked on the AA website about Importing a Car and found the following statement...

    Thanks to European Whole Vehicle Type Approval, all cars SOLD in Europe (including the UK) must meet the same minimum standards for crash protection, emissions, lighting, brakes, steering and so on.

    The important item in that statement is "all vehicles SOLD in Europe (including the UK). Therefore cars manufactured outside Europe must still meet the same standards and obtain EWVTA before they can be sold in Europe.

    If there are cars around, Japanese for example, that do not meet the standards they are most likely to be 'Grey' imports and may be covered by Single Vehicle Approval, but must still meet the same standards. If they have been approved then a Minister's Approval Certificate will have been issued. Without that certificate it is illegal to use or sell the car in the UK.
    #32

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