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Bloody LED number plate bulbs won't work - doing my nut!

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by heeman10, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. Daws88
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    Daws88 Member

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    [Feb 19, 2011]
    Ah ok mike lol.
    I shall be getting round to trying to fit them today. Will let you know the outcome, probably with a few frustrations along the way!
    #41
  2. BigBird
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    BigBird Lost in music...

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    [Feb 19, 2011]
    Cheers for that link BlueSpark - I got some of these yesterday & they're great - lovely bright, white & no error messages. They work so much better than the dim, blueish ones I've got in at the moment & the **** PIAA ones I mortgaged up for before that.

    Shame I dropped one of them down the engine bay though...:banghead:
    #42
  3. Daws88
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    Daws88 Member

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    [Feb 19, 2011]
    Well just tried fitting the lights! I gve up after 5 mins!!
    I took the old one out. Fitted the new one but....it doesnt sit in the housing properly. Keeps spinning! Now the reason i think this is due to is that the metal resistor is heavier than the LED part. So as soon as i screwed it back up, i saw the light but wasnt facing onto the plate. By this point i started to get abit annoyed! Try to make the fitting tighter! That werent happening.....Soooo i put the old original bulb in and guess what? That fooker dont work now!! :mad:
    #43
  4. mike foster
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    mike foster Fossie VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 19, 2011]
    Did you put the old bulb back whilst it was still switched on ?
    #44
  5. Daws88
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    Daws88 Member

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    [Feb 19, 2011]
    Yeh I tried that mike.
    Quick update on the process. Had a mate help me out. We got one of the led bulbs working. We then tried the other one. When I took off the old bulb holder it had snot of limescale and corrosion, scraped the **** off. The led didn't come on but the first one was working. We then tried the old bulb again and it still didn't work.
    Possibly a blown fuse? Not sure? But the first one is still working!!
    #45
  6. Daws88
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    Daws88 Member

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    [Feb 19, 2011]
    Yeh I tried that mike.
    Quick update on the process. Had a mate help me out. We got one of the led bulbs working. We then tried the other one. When I took off the old bulb holder it had snot of limescale and corrosion, scraped the **** off. The led didn't come on but the first one was working. We then tried the old bulb again and it still didn't work.
    Possibly a blown fuse? Not sure? But the first one is still working!!
    #46
  7. mike foster
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    mike foster Fossie VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 19, 2011]
    You do know they only work one way round don't you?!!

    The computer has switched the circuit off! You will also have a bulb error on the DIS ? Each side of the car is monitored separately.

    It is unlikely to be a fuse although it could be I suppose.
    #47
  8. Daws88
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    Daws88 Member

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    [Feb 19, 2011]
    I tried both ways mate too no avail.
    Strange how one works and not the other!?
    #48
  9. mike foster
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    mike foster Fossie VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 19, 2011]
    Each side on a different circuit - so not strange really !

    Have you got a warning on the DIS ?
    #49
  10. Daws88
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    Daws88 Member

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    [Feb 19, 2011]
    Ok.
    No there is no warning at all.
    #50
  11. mike foster
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    mike foster Fossie VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 19, 2011]
    Strange !

    Are you able to test if there is any voltage across the terminals ?
    #51
  12. Daws88
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    Daws88 Member

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    [Feb 19, 2011]
    Will do that when I get chance and will let you know the latest!
    #52
  13. jnash123
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    jnash123 New Member

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    [Mar 23, 2011]
    How did you get on with this?

    as it stands i have one led working and the other connection is dead with NO DIS errors?
    #53
  14. Daws88
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    Daws88 Member

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    [Mar 23, 2011]
    I didn't test if there was any voltage, but I had exactly what you have now, no light warning on dash etc.
    So I tried to swap bulbs around, that didn't work, I then tried putting original bulbs I'n and neither did that work. So now both bulbs don't work and I now have the light sign coming up on dash!
    Nightmare. Don't know how to get round it mate.
    #54
  15. Daws88
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    Daws88 Member

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    [Mar 23, 2011]
    I didn't test if there was any voltage, but I had exactly what you have now, no light warning on dash etc.
    So I tried to swap bulbs around, that didn't work, I then tried putting original bulbs I'n and neither did that work. So now both bulbs don't work and I now have the light sign coming up on dash!
    Nightmare. Don't know how to get round it mate.
    #55
  16. mike foster
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    mike foster Fossie VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 23, 2011]
    I think you'll have to clear the fault codes if the originals won't work.

    Presumably all other lights work ok ?
    #56
  17. Daws88
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    Daws88 Member

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    [Mar 23, 2011]
    All other lights are fine mike.
    How do I clear fault codes?
    #57
  18. mike foster
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    mike foster Fossie VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 23, 2011]
    VCDS with the help of someone near you or a VAG specialist.
    #58
  19. jnash123
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    jnash123 New Member

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    [Mar 23, 2011]
    just thought id put this out there...... thats so ****!

    im getting jb0o to put my cruise control in next week so ill get him to clear the codes....and i guess put the old ones back in !

    so ****!
    #59
  20. mike foster
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    mike foster Fossie VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 23, 2011]
    Jnash - I don't who you are, or who you think you are !

    I do know that you don't know what you're talking about because you don't clear codes and put the old ones back - you just clear the fault codes !

    When you have posted more than two posts and learned how to behave on the forum then, no doubt, someone may decide to listen to you.

    I should also say that I know Jb0o very well and I don't think he will be very pleased at your rude and totally unhelpful comment !

    You probably don't even know what VCDS is or how many people on here have it and are prepared to help other people for nothing.

    I suggest you take a step back and re-read your post with a view to correcting your attitude in the future.
    #60
  21. jnash123
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    jnash123 New Member

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    [Mar 23, 2011]
    Hi Mike

    I didnt mean to cause offence, quite simply i was saying that it so **** that we cant just put leds in and they work (like every car ive had before)

    When i posted this, i was under the impression that the VCDS is the normal bog standard piece of kit and that seeing the JB0o was sorting out my cruise control, whilst its plugged in, he could wipe the fault. (im still under the impression that its a simple, click read, and clear faults)

    I must say that i do happen to have access to a VCDS also (My Dad has a body shop and the specialist next to him has the full kit) and the last time this happened to me (a month ago when i put the normal white leds in ) we got the fault cleared and i put the old ones back in.

    When i said clear codes i meant clear FAULT codes......My Bad!

    The error on my DIS appeared for a while and after turning off the car they started working again.

    Like i said it was simply a rant that its so hard to replace the bog standard bulbs.

    Didnt mean to offend anyone....
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011
    #61
  22. mike foster
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    mike foster Fossie VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 23, 2011]
    Ok - I accept that what you said was not what you actually meant ! That's the problem with email/text - you can't tell the intonation of the comment. Suppose that's why we tend to use smileys and lol's - just to clarify whether serious or not etc.

    Next time you post, please just have a read and see if anything could be taken the wrong way - as I did your message :icon_thumright:

    By the way, you've now bought an Audi and you will soon see that it's not the same as just any old car.!! lol

    VCDS is a sophisticated diagnostic program that does many things other than just clear fault codes and that is why it costs £250 or so to buy. It is not just a fault code reader that you buy for £20 off ebay.

    Good luck with the cc retro-fit, I'm sure Johnny will sort you out.
    #62
  23. jnash123
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    jnash123 New Member

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    [Mar 23, 2011]
    no problem...

    right pain though, my 1.8 turbo never had any issues with the leds all over the place and a HID kit... cant do anything to my new one... i understand embedded chips are the way forward (im a consultant for microsoft) .... but what a pain in the a$$..

    right now i have one led working, looks soo pants...

    Ill put the old bulbs back in tonight, hopefully the issue will resolve itself if the connection and the voltage is made... one day ill be able to afford a brand new car out of the factory and order the extras im missing so dearly!!!
    #63
  24. mike foster
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    mike foster Fossie VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 23, 2011]
    I see you mention HID kit. There are loads of threads on here about it but let me give you a piece of friendly advice.

    Never, ever try to fit aftermarket HID's because they will blow your wiper motor ! I am serious.!

    If you want them you will have to go OEM and get the self-levelling gear and headlight washers fitted to be legal.

    Honest !!
    #64
  25. jnash123
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    jnash123 New Member

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    [Mar 23, 2011]
    hence the "cant do anything to my new one" im very aware of it and staying well away from it.... the headlights and ballasts i have seen for around the £250 mark on ebay, not sure about the leveling motors and washers, are these plug and play like the actual oem headlamps?
    #65
  26. jnash123
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    jnash123 New Member

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    [Mar 23, 2011]
    which im sure costs loads, ill see how my diamondvision bulbs look when i get them!
    #66
  27. heeman10
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    heeman10 Audi driver since Dec 08

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    [Mar 23, 2011]
    My new tailgate bulb housing/handle arrived in the post today. For your £58 you also get new bulb holders with bulbs fitted. All I needed was a tiny part from inside, but got the whole bloody shebang! I'll fit it soon and report back.
    #67
  28. Maxumo
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    Maxumo Member

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    [Mar 23, 2011]
    #68
  29. mike foster
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    mike foster Fossie VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 23, 2011]
    Thing is mate, now the lighter nights are upon us and we don't use the lights as much they may be ok for some time.

    Those heatsinks are there to make it look like they have addressed the canbus/resistor problem and the heatsink is to dissipate the heat from the (required) resistor.

    Fact is that all finned heatsinks require an airflow to cool them . That's why all computers have a fan !

    If there is no airflow then the heatsink gets hotter than the resistor and will melt plastic.

    Please be vigilant and regularly check the housings.
    #69
  30. Rhyso
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    Rhyso Active Member VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 23, 2011]
    #70
  31. heeman10
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    heeman10 Audi driver since Dec 08

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    [Mar 23, 2011]
    Or a large enough volume of air around them for the heat to be dissipated to the environment, and kept away from heat-absorbing bodies. Sadly, our red hot LED number plate bulbs have neither.

    I drive with my headlights on at all times anyway. Having a dark grey car doesn't help my visibility, and there are so many drivers out there who pull out at roundabouts without even GLANCING to their right that I'd rather improve my chances of being seen as much as possible, than succumb to one of the millions of drivers who prefer to chance it each time they pull out onto a road!
    #71
  32. Farhan
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    Farhan Active Member

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    [Mar 24, 2011]
    I leave my autolights on and they do tend to light up early evenings. Maybe not so much now but i would rather not worry about these troubles. I think after i get that rounded screw out of one of the bulb holders i will go for the mtec bulbs i mentioned and report back.

    they are 10W though which makes me worry a bit :(
    #72
  33. heeman10
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    heeman10 Audi driver since Dec 08

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    [Mar 24, 2011]
    Update

    I fitted my new number plate light housing tonight (including tailgate handle etc) and all is well. I finally have number plate lights again, after a month or more of orange bulb failure warning! Granted, I've got crappy standard yellow bulbs in them, which I HATE, but at least I'm legal again.
    #73
  34. Farhan
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    Farhan Active Member

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    [Mar 24, 2011]
    Good News bro! Im going to stick to nasty yellow ones!

    LOL OR.....HERES THE SAFEST ALTERNATIVE TO ALL!

    [​IMG]
    #74
  35. heeman10
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    heeman10 Audi driver since Dec 08

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    [Mar 24, 2011]
    Self-adhesive illuminated air fresheners? Great!!

    Yeah I'll stick with what I have for the moment, don't fancy another £60 bill to repair the damage done by my LED bulbs :(
    #75
  36. Farhan
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    Farhan Active Member

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    [Mar 25, 2011]
    LOL there those push button leds that you can put in cupboard's bro.

    Safest solution!
    #76
  37. koocuz
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    koocuz New Member

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    [Mar 29, 2012]
    I am just wondering if anyone has tested any new LED bulbs? I would like to update my license plate lights but would like to avoid damaging the vehicle..

    The existing 5W incandescent’s are plugging away and it appears they have melted the housing slightly over the years.

    I have noticed several variations of LED's on ebay with resistors mounted on them and different resistance sizes.. I would of course like to choose a model with the least resistance possible but I am unsure what the A3 requires.
    I tested non-resistive LED’s in my 2006 and they came on for about 2 seconds and just shut off, apparently 2x Led’s still do not consume enough juice to be recognized as bulbs in our cars.

    I was also wondering if they make incandescent bulbs with a blue tint so they appear to be white in color?

    Here are a couple different models I have seen:
    2x 36mm White SMD LED Festoon BMW Bulb Light No ERROR S | eBay
    (39mm, I see 2x 910 and one 151 resistor, much more than others I have seen)
    eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices
    (39mm, No idea of the resistance)
    eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices
    (These are interesting as I only see 2x 151 and 1x 241 resistors, mayby more on the back side? Cant tell..)


    It would be nice to hear from others one how theirs have performed over the years. Also did you go with the 36mm or the 39mm? It seems the 39 is longer than the factory bulb but has a nice snug fit. Any comments on the components used? It looks like some have resistors and other have an additional component.

    Has anyone done any comparitive tests to see what the current draw is for a regular 5W bulb and these LED's? How about resistance?

    Thanks
    #77
  38. mike foster
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    mike foster Fossie VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 29, 2012]
    Current = watts divided by voltage.

    Therefore 5 divided by 12 = approx 0.5 amps (near enough for our purposes)

    LED's current needs to be limited to approx 50 milliamps otherwise they will burn out so assuming 50 m/a each you would need 10 led's in parallel to achieve the same current and therefore stop canbus errors. This is obviously impractical so parallel resistors are required to take up the necessary remaining current. Also you need a series resistance to limit the current for each led to 50 milliamps. On a 12 volt circuit Ohms Law tells us that [current = voltage divided by resistance] with current in Amps. Therefore :- .05 = 12/R; therefore R=12/.05 which is 240 ohms.

    At 12 volts each led requires a series resistor of approx 240 ohms which gives that circuit a total current draw of 50 m/a

    2 led's in parallel would equal 100 m/a therefore the parallel resistor required would need to draw the remaining 400 m/a to make the total circuit draw 0.5 amps.

    Ohms law again shows resistance required is 12/0.4 = 30 ohms. This 30 ohm resistor needs to be approx 5 watts (which is big) to be able to dissipate the heat.

    So, for a two led circuit to operate without any canbus error you would need two 240 ohm resistors each in series with its led and a 30 ohm parallel resistor with a 5 watt rating.

    These figures are of course approximate but give you an idea.

    Sorry for the technical blurb but blame it on Ohms Law, not me !!!!!! lol
    #78
  39. MartayMcFly
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    MartayMcFly Well-Known Member Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 29, 2012]
    I had that problem when I tried fitting my LED plate lights. I bought ones with holders, but when I put one in it didn't work, then put it on the other side and it worked but the original one I had put back in didn't work. Tried both LEDs and neither worked, so put back the original ones in both and neither of them worked. I gave it a wee break so I didn't end up kicking something, and went back out to give it another go. Turned on the car and the 2 original ones were back to working fine.

    I think it's just the connector spring strap bit isn't right on the LED holders, and I'd bent them down a bit when taking them out (or maybe even putting them in) on the original ones so it was just a case of letting them settle back up as they should be, so there was good contact. Not had another go at fitting the LEDs, but since I got new indicator bulbs and fogs to put in, I might give them another chance to not get thrown in a river somewhere.
    #79
  40. Matt_Storm
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    Matt_Storm Member

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    [Mar 29, 2012]
    I fitted standard led replacement bulbs without the resistor to my numberplate over a year ago and they have never worked only if i open the boot which is odd.It was a funny moment during the mot as the guy walked round to check the number plate lights i opened the boot and he looked at me i said there you go mate and pointed at them, passed! :D
    #80

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