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Instrument lights

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by medicineman, May 30, 2006.

  1. medicineman
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    medicineman Member

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    [May 30, 2006]
    After months of looking at my dials and deciding if they are lit or not I have come to the conclusion that there is light sensor which determines light and level during the day when the side lights are off. Now this system seems to work the wrong way round, surely the dials should light up in the dark and dim in the bright sunligh, mine don't they work the other way round. Is this a fault or design feature?
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  3. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [May 30, 2006]
    Eh? You need more light in the sunshine, and less when it's dark i.e. your head unit dims when the lights are turned on so it doesn't ruin your night vision.
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  4. medicineman
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    medicineman Member

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    [May 30, 2006]
    Yes and I know I'm probably been thick but the way dials are set out means they require a different form of lighting to say an headunit? It would seem more obvious that in the dark the dials would require backlight whereas in the sun you can see them (i.e. they don't rely on contrast as much as say an lcd screen)
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  5. daveflynn
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    daveflynn Member

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    [May 31, 2006]
    Normally in all cars the instrument cluster is always lit.

    When the headlamps go on the instrument cluster lights are dimmed, often the ICE will also dim. This is so you can see in the dark.

    Our eyes work better in the dark if there are no bright lights, hence the reason that you don't drive with your interior lights on.

    If there is a lot of contrast, ie bright and dark, the detail and depth of vision is reduced as your iris will close.

    My PDA satnat has to have the same done, very bright in day, almost off in dark, so I can see the road, as I am not yet a Jedi /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
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  6. Eeef
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    Eeef Lord of War

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    [May 31, 2006]
    It takes a whilew to suss out what they are doing /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    1) They are lit during day light, to counteract the shading of the console and possible low(ish) level light that doesn't require headlights.
    2) Then when the light drops below a certain level the dash lights drop further so the driver is aware it's getting dark and needs to put there headlights on.

    Stage 2 is missed out if you have the auto headlights.
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  7. johnmv55
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    johnmv55 Member

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    [May 31, 2006]
    Mine do odd things with the auto headlights, just around the corner from where I live the road is quite dark due to overhanging trees, depending on the ambient light before I enter this "tunnel" sometimes the headlamps pop on but the insts only light up the pointers, with no backlight at all.
    Other times the headlamps don't come on but the whole instrument panel is lit up.
    I know later cars have different auto lights programming, early cars like my first A3 8P would be putting the headlamps on/off far too frequently, quite dangerous really, sometimes only coming on for about 15 seconds
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  8. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [May 31, 2006]
    Perhaps in the not too distant future when we all have to drive with our headlights on all the time, some of these problems will go away.
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  9. mfspen
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    mfspen Member

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    [May 31, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]
    ...I know later cars have different auto lights programming, early cars like my first A3 8P would be putting the headlamps on/off far too frequently, quite dangerous really, sometimes only coming on for about 15 seconds

    [/ QUOTE ]

    My auto lights and instruments also behave like this, and my A3 is an 06 reg. I don't use the auto setting any more.
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  10. medicineman
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    medicineman Member

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    [May 31, 2006]
    Thanks for the replies so far but...

    In the dark (my garage) the instrument lights are off and in bright sunlight they are on which I don't get. Surely it would be better for them to be on in the dark so I can see the dials and off in bright sunlight where I can see them due to the sunlight.
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  11. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [May 31, 2006]
    So are you saying you can't see the dials at all at night?
    That's obviously not right. But if they just dim at night then that's how they're supposed to be, you can increase the brightness using the left hand stalk, maybe someone has just turned it right down low, and with headlights off this setting is bypassed
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  12. Eeef
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    Eeef Lord of War

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    [Jun 1, 2006]
    left hand stalk? It's a twidly dial on the dash for me mate. Next to the height adjusters.
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  13. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jun 1, 2006]
    I stand corrected, sorry was thinking of my A4
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  14. imported_Redwing289
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    imported_Redwing289 Guest

    [Jun 1, 2006]
    If you're in the dark and don't have your headlights on the instrument lights will go off as a reminder to turn your headlights on.
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  15. Eeef
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    Eeef Lord of War

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    [Jun 1, 2006]
    ? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/noidea.gif
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  16. wilko
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    wilko Top Gear

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    [Jun 1, 2006]
    /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/bang.gif
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  17. imported_TuffLittleUnit
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    imported_TuffLittleUnit Guest

    [Jun 1, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]
    Perhaps in the not too distant future when we all have to drive with our headlights on all the time, some of these problems will go away.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I have a mate who's convinced that in the not too distant future the government will nanny us into wearing crash helmets in cars.


    I guess the upside to this is that I won't get annoyed at women missing green lights because they're putting their lippy on or watching the guy in my rear view mirror pick his nose then eat it.
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  18. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jun 1, 2006]
    It'll never happen as they wouldn't then be able to recognise who's driving for their wonderful life saving/stealth taxing speed camera's.
    Unless of course we have to have our driving licence number across the visor.
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  19. imported_Redwing289
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    imported_Redwing289 Guest

    [Jun 2, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]
    ? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/noidea.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Instrument Lighting
    Page 87 of owners manual

    "The instrument lighting is dimmed automatically as the daylight starts to fade; it is switched off completely when the light conditions become very poor. This function is intended to remind the driver to switch on the dipped-beam headlights in good time when light conditions become poor"

    /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/book.gif
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  20. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Jun 2, 2006]
    If all else fails, RTFM.
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  21. johnmv55
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    [Jun 2, 2006]
    I've just had a brain wave, I must write and tell Audi,
    I have decided I don't need their "auto headlamps"anymore ( I didn't spec these it was a demonstrator) ,
    After 32 years of driving I have at last figured out when to put the headlamps on, I know when to do this because I can't see where I am going.................
    #20

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