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Please Help: Nearside parking lights turning on by themselves and won't switch off!

Discussion in 'A4/A4 cabriolet/S4 forum(B6 chassis)' started by JohnC, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. JohnC
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    JohnC Member

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    [Oct 23, 2011]
    Hi Folks

    I'm back in a B6 (my third) after a three year hiatus in a B5. Previously I had a 2001 1.8T quattro Sport and then a 2003 S4. The latest is a 2001 2.5TDI quattro Sport.

    I've had the car just over a month and I'm experiencing a frustrating and annoying problem I've not encountered before in five previous Audis. Periodically, the nearside parking lights turn on by themselves and cannot be switched off by any means. This occurs randomly, and without anything obviously triggering it. It happens after I've driven the car with the lights on and without, and on a number of occasions the lights have turned on all by themselves during the day or night, leaving me with no option but to disconnect the battery in order to avoid draining it. Usually, doing so kills the light only for it to return again randomly sometime later after re-connecting. It will also re-ignite straight away if I re-connect the battery shortly afterwards, but not always. The problem has disappeared once or twice for several days in a row, and then re-occurred daily over the following few days - there's no pattern to it.

    The parking lights work perfectly normally in isolation, with the buzzer sounding when it should (stalk down or up with key out). Equally, the lights themselves all work as they should and there are no other obvious electrical anomalies.

    I had the car scanned for DTCs at ADI and it showed the following:

    01561 - Ross-Tech Wiki

    01562 - Ross-Tech Wiki

    01134 - Ross-Tech Wiki

    The guy who scanned the car felt that these codes weren't necessarily related to the problem with the lights, and as I hadn't had the car long I had no way of knowing if these were old stored faults. They were cleared but unfortunately I don't have easy access to VCDS so I don't know if they've since re-appeared. All the doors and the boot lock and unlock normally as I would expect them to. There's no water in the plenum chamber and no damp passenger footwell carpet, so no obvious signs of CCM water ingress.

    When I first noticed this problem and realised that all attempts to turn off the lights were futile, I removed the rear light cluster and pulled the bulbs. As soon as I did so the offside tail light lit up instead, together with the offside front side light which also came on in addition to the nearside one already lit.

    All my Audi-owning friends are stumped (including past and present B6 owners), so I'd be very grateful to anyone who may be able to shed any light(!) on this or offer any suggestions as to a solution. This is spoiling what is otherwise a very good car.

    Any B6 owners out there had this problem? Thanks.
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  3. quattrojames
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    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 23, 2011]
    I've heard of most things, but that is a new one on me. I'd hazard a guess at an indicator switch fault, making the car 'think' the left hand indicator is on, which when the ignitions off will trigger the parking light. I'd try a new/another stalk first I think.
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  4. JohnC
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    JohnC Member

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    [Nov 2, 2011]
    For now the problem seems to have gone away by itself, which is strange given the fact that darkness, rain and lack of time have prevented me from properly doing anything about it. Since last Thursday the light has behaved itself and only turns on when I want it to. Obviously I'm expecting it to rear its ugly head again at some point as these things always happen for a reason!
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  5. marktdisport
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    marktdisport Active Member

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    [Nov 2, 2011]
    a lot of vw have problems with dust getting down the stalk and making lots of wierd issues........ try a tin of contact cleaner probo around £3 and take the steering wheel cowl of and spray all around and inside and leave for an hour to dry... my seat had similar issues but the indicator was ticking badly without the indicators flashing......... worth a try for a little half hours work
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  6. JohnC
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    JohnC Member

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    [Nov 3, 2011]
    Thanks, I'll give that a go. Someone else suggested similar too. Did it solve the problem on your SEAT?
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  7. Tooks
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    Tooks Active Member

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    [Nov 4, 2011]
    There's a unit called a voltage controller (J517) that sits under the dash near your right knee.

    My father in laws b6 avant was playing all sorts of tricks with the nearside light cluster (brake light not working/tail light working one minute, not the next etc), and changing that worked for his. Basically, power for the lights goes through that box, so might be worth a check?

    None of my father in laws faults ever showed up on VCDS either, so it was difficult to track down.

    Might be worth checking the rear light clusters for good contact/earth too, I know on some cars dirty or corroded contacts can cause havoc. Sounds like you've already checked those though.
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  8. marktdisport
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    marktdisport Active Member

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    [Nov 4, 2011]
    yes m8 it cleared all my faults and worked perfectly then after was told by many people this is a big issue with vag's in general i brought a tin from maplins m8 around £3 just cained loads in there and left for 1 hour yo dry....
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  9. alpesh26
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    alpesh26 Member

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    [Nov 4, 2011]
    Could a failing voltage controller cause my headlights to flash when I lock my car? It's a strange fault, when I lock the car after about a minute or so the headlights flash once. It doesn't do it all the time just intermittently.

    My dads a4 used to do this too, but his used to flash when the car was running
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  10. Tooks
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    Tooks Active Member

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    [Nov 5, 2011]
    Unlikely I think, but then you never know!

    I say that because my memory of the wiring diagrams for the B6 when I was checking my father in laws car was that the headlights didn't route through it.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
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  11. alpesh26
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    alpesh26 Member

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    [Nov 5, 2011]
    Hmm wonder what's causing it? Maybe it's an "undocumented feature"?! I'm not too fussed about it, its not causing any damage just curious as to why it's doing it
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