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Must the last letter of part no. be exactly same on replacement instrument cluster?

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Jonno1234567, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. Jonno1234567
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    Jonno1234567 New Member

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    [Jan 31, 2013]
    Hi,

    The instrument cluster on my A3 1.9 TDI Sport has gone haywire and needs replacing. Part number on the back says 8P0 920 980P, but I can't find a second hand one with the 'P' suffix. Worthing main dealer want £700+ to fit their recommended part. However, my local garage have all the necessary kit to recode a replacement for little money if I can find one second hand.

    I can see numerous ones on eBay etc for sale, except the last digit is different, e.g. a 'Q' instead of a 'P'. So how important is it for this last letter to be the same, I.e. will it completely not work, or will I just lose some non-essential functionality.

    For those interested, I've posted a short video on YouTube called 'Audi A3 dashboard fault 12345' (posted 12 November 2012 by jonno1234567) - Link below - which I uploaded for BBA-REMAN. Alas, their attempted repair didn't work.

    Audi A3 dashboard fault 12345 - YouTube

    Any advice gratefully received. Thanks for looking.

    - Jon

    P.s. The fault originated after a new alternator was fitted. Cedar Garage, Worthing, are convinced it is a dodgy instrument cluster.
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  3. Sandra
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    Sandra MODERATOR Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jan 31, 2013]
    Hi jon, welcome to audi-sport.net. Any pics of the car? Im sure one of the guys be along shortly to advise you. Have a read at the faqs thread at the top of the page, lots of useful information in there. Enjoy the forum. :) x
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  4. @udi A3
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    @udi A3 Site Sponsor Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Jan 31, 2013]
    That looks like a dodgy connection somewhere, acting like the ignition has been switched off. If it started when the alternator was replaced, then take it back to them. Does VCDS pick any faults up at all?
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  5. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Jan 31, 2013]
    Give me a shout mate as I'm brighton way, I have some clusters available & I can look into the wiring to see if anythings a problem at rear, if need be, I can get a used one fitted etc for less than £700, also could upgrade it to the white dis version awell for less than £700, done numerous other members rides.
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  6. Jonno1234567
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    Jonno1234567 New Member

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    [Jan 31, 2013]

    Thanks @udi A3,

    The garage have spent numerous hours with me using their diagnostic equipment (think that's what you mean by VCDS. they plugged LCD typr diagnostic gadget into footwell socket) to try and diagnose exactly what the fault is but can't definitively say, other than they've seen these Audi dash problems numerous times before, that they're notoriously difficult to pinpoint, and replacement has usually been necessary.

    I've tried to keep the relationship unconfrontational as I don't want to lose their cooperation in finding a solution. The string of events was my car just stopped one evening, RAC diagnosed failed alternator and relayed me back home. The next journey in it was a week later(was busy with work so used my van in the interim) 1 mile to the garage under its own steam after a jump start(it stalled and wouldn't start again on arrival) . Garage replaced alternator, and immediately after collection I have these problems. I know for a fact the instrument cluster damage/problems have occurred as consequence of something they've done whilst in their care, but how do I prove it? After breakdown the car didn't go straight to the garage as wanted to do my usual ring around for best price, so doubt RAC stating it was just alternator faulty would be sufficient evidence, as garage could say problem was pre-existing.

    They insist the correct alternator is fitted, but did say a surge of power from the full-strength new alternator could have ruptured a weak connection on the circuit board.

    Like I said in my original post, BBA REMAN have had it, said they found and corrected a fault, but problem is the same. My garage said they've had similar experience with BBA REMAN, with half the supposedly repaired clusters still being faulty.

    It's annoying. To add irritation, this particular Cluster part No. 8p0 920 980p seems as rare as hens teeth, hence my question whether the last digit makes a lot of difference.

    Thanks,

    Jon
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  7. mjr901
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    mjr901 Parts Manager - (Main Dealer)

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    [Jan 31, 2013]
    If you dont know who NHN is in the post above BTW, he is otherwise known as "the omega" or "God".

    Really worth talking to him.
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  8. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Jan 31, 2013]
    Thanks for the words, I wouldnt call me either of those things lol, but I know a few things that may be able to fix his problem :)
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  9. Jonno1234567
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    Jonno1234567 New Member

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    [Jan 31, 2013]
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  10. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Jan 31, 2013]
    Done.
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  11. mjr901
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    mjr901 Parts Manager - (Main Dealer)

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    [Jan 31, 2013]
    I've never heard of any thing thats been thrown at you, that you've failed to fix.

    And I read this forum......ALOT.

    :salute:
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  12. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Jan 31, 2013]
    I'm still learning or I'd get bored lol :)
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  13. BB13
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    BB13 New Member

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    [Jan 31, 2013]
    Hi, i just see your youtube post today as i have just been looking up about this problem as well, as my car has just started to do the same thing. It happened for the first time last night and did it once again today. so i will be keeping a eye on this topic as well as it saves me posting up about the same thing and cluttering the forum up.
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  14. @udi A3
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    @udi A3 Site Sponsor Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Jan 31, 2013]
    White clocks in my 8l tdi?!

    seriously... :D
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  15. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Jan 31, 2013]
    If the immo systems could be made to work, which doubt as different version afaik or just remove immo altogether, which is another whole issue unless you go aftermarket, then next would be the signals to check if they're supported for sensors, speed, abs etc, otherwise stick an 8P engine in the 8L possibly along with ther 8P bits & it would probably work, with a load of modding lol.
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  16. @udi A3
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    @udi A3 Site Sponsor Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Jan 31, 2013]
    I could live with no immobiliser, fit a cat1 clifford or something.
    im sure sensers could be made to work too... when you get 5mins and have a eureeka moment let me know :D
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  17. Jonno1234567
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    Jonno1234567 New Member

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    [Jan 31, 2013]
    Now have the contact details of the hero-worshipped 'NHN' (I could tell you his real name...but I'd have to shoot you) :)

    Will keep string updated.

    Thanks everyone for your interest.
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  18. mjr901
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    mjr901 Parts Manager - (Main Dealer)

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    [Jan 31, 2013]
    Nige'll see u right :friends:
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  19. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Jan 31, 2013]
    I'm no hero, just an everyday Joe making my way in life :)
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  20. Jonno1234567
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    Jonno1234567 New Member

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    [Jan 31, 2013]
    Thanks. Btw, incredibly, the car did pass it's MOT last week despite the problem which is something of a pressure off as my tax runs out today. Still obviously needs sorting though, it's most unnerving. Also, it's not just the instrument cluster lights that go out, but in tandem, all the car's backlit knobs, buttons, and switches, so complete black-out in the car at night, apart from the radio. Cheers
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  21. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 1, 2013]
    Does the radio sound work fine & display & the dials/buttons go out on radio & climate?
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  22. Jonno1234567
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    Jonno1234567 New Member

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    [Feb 1, 2013]
    Hi Nigel,

    I've just uploaded another vid on YouTube (to be watched in portrait view, turned 90 deg clockwise) - link below - which gives a broader picture of lights that fail in the cab.

    Audi A3 dashboard fault 12345 - part 2 - YouTube

    The radio was actually off in this vid, but none of it's lights or audio, or any functionality, is effected. The only other lights that don't go out are the climate control backlights, as the video illustrates, and which you tellingly enquired about Nigel.

    Thanks for your interest everyone.

    - Jon
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  23. Jonno1234567
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    Jonno1234567 New Member

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    [Feb 4, 2013]
    UPDATE



    Ok, I did a rendezvous at Halfords car park with the highly recommended NHN/VCDS(Nigel) on Friday evening for an attempted diagnosis, mainly consisting of the switching of instrument clusters with one Nigel had, and some driving around with Nigel's laptop, and diagnostics software, plugged into my footwell. The short answer is that swapping out the cluster appears to have isolated the fault to the cluster itself, much as expected.


    I'm sure Nigel will put me right if incorrect, but my layman's interpretation of situation is as follows:


    First appearances that a relay or some other module/component was to blame, by it's cutting of power to the cluster, was actually misleading, as the cluster communicates back and forth to these other modules/components scattered far and wide around the car, acting something like a hub or control centre, or 'brain' even. As such, a fault within the cluster - or brain damage - can effectively be telling a relay/module/component to deny it power, i.e. not a fault with the relay/module/component autonomously cutting power. It was basically doing what it was told by the faulty cluster.


    If you recall, my original post was to enquire what consequence would be of fitting a new cluster with the wrong part number, i.e what, if any, functionality would be lost?


    The replacement cluster Nigel fitted has part no. 8P0 920 981B
    This replaced my original cluster with part no. 8P0 920 980P


    There is some loss of function - the fuel gauge doesn't work. Nigel used his software and inherent knowledge to establish that, by changing the fuel-pump, under the back seat, and wiring the new pump up to a different sensor-wire(that Nigel confirmed was present, but dormant, in the bunch of wires that plugged into the back of the cluster) full cluster functionality would be returned.


    So, following Nigel's diagnosis, my 3 options were to, 1) let Audi fit all new for £700+, 2) wait for who know how long until an exact cluster part replacement came up 2nd hand for hopefully straight replacement without need to change pump, or 3) buy Nigel's 2nd hand cluster(£50) and fit new pump at hopefully sub £150. I've taken option 3, which though not the cheapest option, will hopefully return me a fully functioning cluster within a week or so.


    Part of the replacement cluster's sink-test was my 50 minute drive back home to Worthing on Friday night, which it survived without a glitch. IMPORTANT(for laypeople like me): reason the car didn't stall and accepted the replacement cluster was because we started the car with my original cluster, and whilst engine running, swapped clusters, which initially loses you power steering, but was restored - again whilst engine running the whole time - by Nigel recoding the cluster on-the-fly. If you change clusters without the engine running the car won't start. Also, had I stalled on the way home, the car wouldn't have started(with the replacement cluster).


    Latest situation is that I'm waiting for Cedar Garage to open and to hopefully negotiate their recoding in of Nigel's replacement cluster, mileage resetting, and fitting of new fuel pump for 'free', bearing in mind this fault only occurred whilst in their care.


    Although not time to start counting chickens quite yet, it goes without saying that Nigel's diagnostics and deep insight of Audis was critical in finding a way forward. Thanks Nige!


    Will keep you posted.
    #22

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