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No number plate lights !

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Neil C, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. Neil C
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    Neil C Member

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    Hi guys Your help / thoughts / ideas would be much appreciated. First one, then both, my number plate lights have stopped working. I have tried new bulbs, but no change ( bulbs tested & they are fine ). There doesn't seem to be any power at the two terminals in the tailgate, at least my tester didn't light up when connected to them. Suggestions please ? Ta.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013
    #1
  2. Sandra
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    Sandra MODERATOR Staff Member Moderator

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    Maybe a blown fuse?
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  3. Neil C
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    Neil C Member

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    Had thought of that too, but can't find a fuse allocated to the number plate lights. Is there one ?
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  4. sliced
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    sliced Drive safe, stay alive.

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    are they led lights? Need to be the correct way round. Failing that, put in new bulbs, reset errors via vcds and they should work. or disconnect battery wait 10 minutes and reconnect if you dont have vcds.
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  5. Neil C
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    Neil C Member

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    No, not LED, just standard 12v 5w 38mm festoon bulbs. Do they need to be a specific way around ?What are VCDs ?The dash showed no blown bulb when only 1 had packed up, but flashed a warning when the 2nd one stopped working.
    #5
  6. sliced
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    sliced Drive safe, stay alive.

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    hi mate, put in two new bulbs, leave the lights off and car off though, then discconect the battery for about 10 minutes the reconnect it. should clear the codes and work again.
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  7. Neil C
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    Neil C Member

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    Will give it a go. Thanks for all your help peeps.
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  8. Rhyso
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    Rhyso Active Member

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    The contacts on the holders could be corroded. I had to replace the entire units on mine
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  9. Neil C
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    Neil C Member

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    Rhyso, do you mean the clear plastic part the bulb fits in, or the black bit that stays attached to the tailgate ? My local dealer mentioned replacing a unit for £10, but didn't say which bit.
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  10. Rhyso
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    Rhyso Active Member

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    Its a complete unit held in with the most useless screw in the world!That price should be for the complete unit including new bulb. Make sure they order both sides as when i ordered mine the parts bloke was going to order two the same but they are different on each side!!
    #10
  11. Bagley-S3
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    Bagley-S3 Member

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    Haha they certainly are the most useless screws in the world!! :banghead:
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  12. NKenny
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    NKenny Member

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    Mine just been in for MOT at local Indy garage, OS rear number plate light was out due to faulty/corroded connections. Garage cleaned it up and got it going FOC for time being. Apparently this is a common problem with VAG festoon type number plate lamps.
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  13. G19rnt
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    G19rnt Member

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    My 07 a3 is the same I've replaced the holders but still nothing I will try disconnecting the battery to see if this helps although I do know someone with vcds I really need to get them working again as the police seem to be out in force at the moment doing spot checks
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  14. Neil C
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    Neil C Member

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    Apparently the springy terminals on the bulb holders are notoriously difficult to line up with the connection points on the car, and that is why Audi just tend to replace the units.
    I was also told that disconnecting the battery won't help, and may affect engine management / key fob / one-touch windows.
    My first action is now going to be making certain that I have a 12v supply at the connection points.
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  15. Neil C
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    Neil C Member

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    Right, now I'm at a dead end with this.
    I have checked using a tester and there is continuity in the circuit. I've checked both the bulbs and the carriers, and they are all working fine. The problem seems to be a lack of current at the terminals that the units fit in to. All my other lights are perfectly OK though. I have removed the trim on the inside of the tailgate, and it's as clean as a whistle - no muck, no corrosion, nothing. I can't, however, seem to find any wiring that connects to the number plate light unit. everything seems to come from a central distributor, but nothing goes to the number plate lights. There is also no evidence that a wire has broken off.
    Help please !!
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  16. sliced
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    sliced Drive safe, stay alive.

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    have u tried getting it cleared with vcds
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  17. Neil C
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    Neil C Member

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    Don't know where to get vcds clearing done. I presume a main dealer could do it, but would charge the earth for the privilege. Anyhow, up to now all the dealer has been interested in is selling me new light units.
    #17
  18. Chillout
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    Chillout Member

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    You could have broken wires to the boot from the car
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  19. OVRA3
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    OVRA3 Well-Known Member

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    Independant Audi garage should do it, mine charge £20 for a scan on VCDS it would take a minute of two do and clear any faults.
    #19
  20. Neil C
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    Neil C Member

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    Right guys.
    Finally got the problem fixed.
    After checking all the wiring in the tailgate for breaks, and finding none, a live feed was routed directly to the unit that holds both the light units and the tailgate release handle. The lights both came on ( well after a bit of faffing with the terminals ). The feed was removed and both lights then came on with the sidelight switch. Da-daaa !
    Many thanks for all your help.
    #20
  21. MrLapou
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    MrLapou Well-Known Member

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    ECU controller.... had a mind of its own....:banghead:
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  22. Applianceman2010
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    Applianceman2010 New Member

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    Hi sorry I know this is an old post. But I have exactly the same fault. I've tried every solution out there with no luck. Inc. Vcds, whole strip replacement, checking wiring etc. I see in your final post you say you joined live feed into it. I'm assuming you took it from the brown tail light to the brown feed of the number plate, And then removed it afterwards? Is that correct (before I blow anything up! Lol)

    Thanks in advance DJ
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  23. Neil C
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    Neil C Member

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    No, took the live feed direct from the battery.
    Good luck.
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