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A4 B5 facelift dim headlights

Discussion in 'A4/S4 forum(B5 Chassis)' started by lothian, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. lothian
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    lothian New Member

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    Hi all

    This is my first post and I did have a look to see if this is a common problem. Apologies if I've missed relevant previous posts.

    I recently replaced my Mk4 Golf for a 1999 A4 2.8 Quattro. Love the car, but the first evening I drove it I was convinced the headlights had failed they were that dim on the dipped beam setting!

    They're just regular facelift halogen lights - not xenon.

    Previous Audis and VWs I've owned suffered from gradual burning-out of the light switch and wires, I usually added heavy duty relays to cure the problem.

    Is this a general problem with the A4?

    And advice would be much appreciated.
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  2. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator

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    Lots of people think the facelift halogens are dim although i dont think ours are that bad.

    I would fit some decent quality bulbs, and check the voltage on the back of the bulb itself with the engine running and lights on to see if your getting much voltage drop. If there is a lot of drop then your suggestion of relays would help fix that.

    If its still dim once you've checked all that then unfortunately thats about as good as they get.

    You can retrofit xenons, as long as your aware of the legal implications in doing so.
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  3. lothian
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    lothian New Member

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    Thanks - I'll check the wiring and post back.
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  4. ian52
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    ian52 2000 a4 1.8tqs-yellow

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    mine are like this. its very bad if its raining and there is a lot of traffic about.
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  5. Siena
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    Siena Active Member

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    Facelift headlamps with halogens are worse in terms of output, than regular triple-headlamp (glass) on early models.

    I went from triple-headlamps on my '96 to genuine RS4 HID's, so no direct comparison there. But every facelift car I've driven in the dark, has had terrible output, compared to pre-facelift glass ones.
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  6. dieselfitter251
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    dieselfitter251 Blow ma own trumpet?

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    Hmmm. I've got facelift lights and I think they're great. I run phillips blue h7's.
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  7. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator

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    I've noticed that the harness inside the lights is a bit ropey on conductor size, and i suspect they might suffer a bit from voltage drop, which will aggrevate any issues with the lights.

    I need to remember and get the multimeter onto ours and see if this is happening.
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  8. lothian
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    lothian New Member

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    Thanks all for the replies. I had a 1995 A4 some time ago and the headlights seemed fine. If the car has been driven a lot at night, I guess the switch and wiring will have suffered as the full current goes through the switch i.e. no relays (correct me if I'm wrong!). The full beam setting seems fine, and maybe that's because there's less 'wear' in that part of the circuit. I may try an experiment - swap the +ve feeds between dipped and main at the light units and see if there's an improvement.

    ... will report back
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  9. lothian
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    lothian New Member

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    Just a quick update ...

    I decided to have the headlight alignment checked -easier said than done. Three local garages said they would only check it as part of an MOT!

    Ok so if you haven't crashed the car, there's no real reason for the alignment to change is there? What the suspension levelling with age, headlight replaced or the adjusters moved accidentally. All possible.

    I did a 'rough' adjustment using a wall and I must say it has made a huge difference. I feel the dipped beem is now adaquate. Will check the voltage etc next.

    I thought about the much hyped (and maligned) HID kits until I investigated the safety issues.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVuSSdZNsZw

    Thoughts of invalidating my insurance also crossed my mind. The main worry I have about these kits is that our halogen headlings are incapable of projecting a controllable beam pattern with non-halogen bulbs and that's too much of a safety compromise for me.
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  10. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator

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    Theres a good guide floating around on aligning the headlights:

    http://www.audi-sport.net/vb/showpost.php?p=626836&postcount=3

    That has the link and i think the UK declination is actually 1% but its printed on the lamps either way.

    I used it to set mine, and it passed the MOT no problems, so it cant be that bad an approach!
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