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Crackling noise behind centre console??

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Calibos, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. Calibos
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    Calibos Member

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    [Apr 18, 2007]
    I'm Back!!!

    As some of you may remember I sold my '04 2.0TDI A3 and got myself a new 2.0T TT. Have it about 6 weeks at this stage. I actually sold the A3 to my brother and two things have happened recently that have me a little concerned about the A3.

    First thing was when switching on a desk lamp with a slightly dodgy switch the other day...(stay with me here :) ) , the bulb flickered and the switch/bulb made a crackling kind of noise.

    Second thing that happened was I was moving the brothers car (My old A3) and just like it has done since the day I got it, as soon as I started her up I could hear a crackling noise coming from the centre of the dash area. This usually lasts about 30 seconds or so and then it stops.

    Now this was something I noticed from day one of owning the car and at the beginning I was reticent to have it investigated until I might hear some confirmed info about the noise on here or in an Audi recall or service bulletin. Reason being, I didn't want the interior pulled apart on 'My New Car' by the muppets at MSL Pottery Road here in Dublin. Much safer to go into those eejits armed with the appropriate info rather than have them pull the car apart to diagnose it themselves.

    Well the weeks turned to months and the months turned to years and I never did anything about this noise. Kinda forgot about it especially seeing as the radio would invariably come on when I started the car and would mask the noise.

    Now that I realise that the noise could be the electrics (going on the desk lamp noise) and that its one thing to be lackadaisical about my own safety but I would never forgive myself if my old A3 burst into flames with my brother in it (Worst Case Scenario I know!)

    So.......Anyone else know what this noise is. Any info, service bulletins, Recalls for this?

    Thanks in advance lads.

    Keith
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  3. rich1068
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    rich1068 Member

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    [Apr 18, 2007]
    I sometimes get an odd sort of 'click clacking' noise a few times after start up. I think it's something to do with the air con and vents adjusting. Could it be this? I never hear it again after about five minutes driving. Try starting the car with the air con/fans etc turned off ie turn it off the night before and listen for it in the morning from cold.
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  4. synthdood
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    synthdood Member

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    [Apr 18, 2007]
    You are most likely hearing the solenoids that control the hot/cold mixture that the aircon sends through the vents. My previous car (vectra) did the same only a lot louder. It it more of a "rrrt rrrt click clack" kind of noise than a real crackling.
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  5. EAGLE79
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    EAGLE79 Member

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    [Apr 18, 2007]
    Sounds like you have a loose wiring connection mate and its arcing. get it checked or if it pops out and lands on a metal part it will either blow a fuse or worst case if it is in contact with a meatl part that you touch, electricute ya brother! :jump: :idea: :crying: which will lead to :eiertritt: LOL
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  6. rich1068
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    rich1068 Member

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    [Apr 18, 2007]
    Classic :)
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  7. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Apr 18, 2007]
    Can't see it being a short,can you ?
    A short wouldn't go on for ages.
    It would pop fuses or blow something regularly,not just go on and on.

    Last car I has with a short was a Cavalier Sri,which used to pop wiper blade fuses as soon as you switched them on (very scary..)
    Turns out it was a short on the horn,which was on the same fuse.
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  8. EAGLE79
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    EAGLE79 Member

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    [Apr 18, 2007]
    I never said a short, this is different to a loose connection. You are correct in what you are saying as a direct short would blow the fuse. Arcing is caused by a cable being loose and moving around in a connection which then falses the electricity to 'jump' the air gap to the terminal it is in and thats what creates the crackling noise. If it comes out the terminal though and touches another extraneous conductive part that is earthed then it will blow the fuse.

    It appears that there is not enough movement in the wiring loom at present for the cable to come out of the terminal. the only thing it is doing it arcing to the terminal and basically eroding/ burning it, it will destroy itself eventually. If its been going for years then its probably not a high enough amount of amps to do any serious damage to the terminal.
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  9. Calibos
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    Calibos Member

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    [Apr 18, 2007]
    Its not anything to do with air con because I don't have it. Just Manual Air.

    So the question is, if it is arcing in a terminal and its been going on for 30 seconds every start up for the last 3 years, its not a safety issue??

    Is it not worth pulling apart the dash for??

    I mean if its not a safety issue and its not going to bother me needless to say seeing as I don't drive the car anymore. It hasn't bothered the brother either as I don't think he has even noticed it.

    Is it best left well alone??
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  10. spencerjoel
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    spencerjoel Member VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 18, 2007]
    hey Calibos,
    Is the sound coming from behind the dash or the centre console (where the hazard light switch is)?

    I had a problem with the indicator relay in my A3, clicking and sounding like the indicators were flashing but they weren't.
    Anyway, Audi told me that this is a common fault with the A3 and supplied me with a new hazard light switch (which is also the relay for the indicators).
    After replacing this switch and relay the noise turned into the crackle noise that you describe.

    While its clicking does the noise stop when you turn the indicator on?

    I got mine to completely stop by just disconnecting and reconnecting the cable to the relay.

    The noise seems to be the relay contacts arcing for some reason.
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  11. coupe-se
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    coupe-se Member

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    [Apr 18, 2007]
    If something has been arcing on a low voltage/high current system like a car for 3 years it most definately would have blown the cable/connection by now AND blown a fuse.

    The arcing is basically high resistance and the arc itself would get bigger as the ends where the arcing took place eroded ....... the extra current drawn in the arcing to bridge the ever growing gap would blow a fuse in time.

    It would be highly unusual for there to be no obvious or noticable fault if the arcing was going on for this long. The arcing would generate heat and most likely a cable/connection would smoke and produce quite a pronounced acrid odour in a car.

    My friends Impreza had an arcing fault which rapidly made itself known by the car dash acting up quickly followed by smoke pouring out of the dash 2 weeks later. In his case he ended up with a new wiring room for the dash.

    As I said 3 years is on hell of a time to have a fault of this nature and not exhibit itself in any way.
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