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S3 Xenon bulb fault???

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by chrisp, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. chrisp
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    chrisp New Member

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    I'm having a bit of a mare with my 52 S3. One of the Xenon bulbs doesn't always come on first go (the other one always does). Audi dealer suspected dodgy battery so fitted new one and made no difference. General feeling now is that it's the ballast on said dodgy headlight. Audi dealer quoting 408 +vat for whole new headlight!! Have contacted hids4u.co.uk and they think they might be able to supply a new ballast, but say it could be the bulb (or even the igniter, if it has one).

    Anyone else had similar problem?
    Does anyone know what type/make of ballast is in the S3?
    And (finally) can I remove the headlight without removing the bumper?!!!
    #1
  2. rodenal
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    rodenal Active Member

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    Audi replaced a battery because one headlight bulb was flickering/not coming on prperly?????

    Go and ask for your money back

    It probably will be the ballast - i'm sure this has came up on here before try diong a search there should be quite alot of info.

    You need to take the bumper off to get facelift headlights out, taking the bumper off takes me literally 2 minutes now tho i've done it that many times lol
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  3. chrisp
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    chrisp New Member

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    Thanks - didn't pay for the battery btw - they put the old one back in when it didn't sort the fault! How much work is it to remove the bumper?! Someone recommended swapping the bulbs to test them - would you recommend this (don't want to lose a finger!)? I'll try another search but anyone got a picture of the S3 ballast?
    Cheers
    #3
  4. jcs356
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    jcs356 Brum brum

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    Hi. I know what you mean about the headlights. I had problems with mine when I first got the car, but fortunately for me, unplugging everything and plugging it back in sorted it out for me.

    There is some discussion in this thread about removing the bumper.
    http://www.audi-sport.net/vb/showthread.php?t=46553
    #4
  5. rodenal
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    rodenal Active Member

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    swapping the bulbs over would be an idea, if the problem stays at that side then at least this eliminates the bulb - dont touch the glass tho it can potentially damage them.

    Might be an idea to get a voltmeter out to see what kind of draw each xenon is taking, which could also help get to the root of the problem.

    Check the link posted above for bumper removal

    basically all you need to do is

    4 clips running along the top (push the middle through then prise them out)

    Unscrew the guard from the bumper underneath the car(if it still has one)

    Unscrew the bumper from the arch linings at each side(might need to put each wheel on full lock to get in at them) T25 torx iirc

    a bit of manhandling and the bumper will come off.

    Obviously just reverse this to put it back on
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  6. jcs356
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    jcs356 Brum brum

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    Slight edit to Rodenal's excellent instructions - to get the facelift bumper off you have to remove the front part of the wheel arch lining to get to some bumper screws behind it. To do this, you may find it easier to jack up the car and remove the front wheels.

    Life is slightly easier for the pre-facelift guys
    #6
  7. rodenal
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    rodenal Active Member

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    oops yes that's correct lol

    You might find they arent there tho lol, depending on wether the bumper has been off before
    #7
  8. chrisp
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    chrisp New Member

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    Thanks all, think I'll get someone else on it for the bumper!
    Is it easy to remove the bulbs for a swap test - not a lot of room on the nearside!
    I'd actually just sold the car - and then this happens. Am hoping it doesn't put the bloke off as he wants it today - but he's got no chance methinks.
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  9. rodenal
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    rodenal Active Member

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    The bulbs are fiddly to get out but a bit of swearing and shouting at them should help - why not just give the guy £200 off the car and tell him at worst he'll need a new ballast n bulb(which will cost less than that)

    Or he can wait and u'll fix it
    #9
  10. chrisp
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    chrisp New Member

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    Thanks rodenal, sound advice. Just one more question!

    I've spoken to hids4u.co.uk again and I need to know if the ballast is a type 1, 2 or 3.... anyone got any ideas?
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  11. rodenal
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    rodenal Active Member

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    Pass lol
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  12. golf
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    golf ***** rent boy

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    If the ballast was faulty, the bulb would not ignite at all. If the bulb is flickering/coming on intermittently it usually means that the bulb is the culprit. Just an idea before you go and buy a ballast which you might not need.
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  13. chrisp
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    chrisp New Member

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    The bulb doesn't flicker - it just doesn't come on sometimes. If it doesn't I turn the lightswitch on and off and then it fires up, but with a slight delay compared to the other one. Once on it stays on and when warm it comes on instantly (due to residue charge?). I think it's a bit like the old flourescent tubes that used to have a capacitor (or ballast) plugged in the side - if that went the bulb couldn't fire properly but sometimes it still would (esp. if whacked - a new approach maybe). If I can just swap the bulbs over....ahhhhh.
    #13
  14. carlo
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    carlo New Member

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    How did you get on with this?... I have the exact same problem, where the bulb comes on only after a couple of goes... You see the bulb ignite for a millisecond and then goes out, if I keep turning the lights on and off it will eventually come on, but will be dull to start with and then very gradually warms up, and then is never as bright as the other one...
    #14
  15. neil.c
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    neil.c Senior

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    Sounds like a ballast to me too, switching the switch on and off has the effect of warming the bulb up which makes it easier to start.
    #15
  16. Trick
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    Trick Member

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    I have a buld issue too, when i swich on the lights the drivers sid flashes for milisecond then nothing at all, and bulb failure error on dash. Take it is just the buld.
    #16
  17. leecs3
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    leecs3 thinking about stuff

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    it the switch. Mine used to do it, turn the light on and the RHD side didn't come on and the dash flash up bulb fault. Turn them off then on again and they worked. Turn out to be the switch at fault and its very common £80 for a replacement and takes all of 2mins to change.
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  18. Trick
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    Trick Member

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    Don't think it is this as I have switched on and off numerous times and the bulb still does'nt work!

    But get this....my local autoparts quoted me £100! yes £100! for a bulb, a measly little headlight bulb! Please can someone put me at ease by telling me this is not the case.
    #18
  19. NHN
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    NHN Modmetractor

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    Trick I have 2 bulbs spare if you're interested.

    They worked last time I used them so see if they help.
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  20. Trick
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    Trick Member

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    Ok, just shat myself. Phoned audi and its £119 + vat for a bulb, but its more likley to be an ignighter which you can't buy seperatley for the S3 so its a full headlight replacement for £279 + Vat!!! :tumble:
    #20
  21. Trick
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    Trick Member

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    Might take you up on that, will swap over the bulbs tonight to see if it is the culprit!
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  22. Trick
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    Trick Member

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    99% sure its type 1: £120 - Out of stock :banghead:
    Does'nt look like a sealed unit though, might be worth taking your old one apart and checking all the soldered wires ect?


    [​IMG]
    #22
  23. NHN
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    NHN Modmetractor

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    Dont take the old one apart, just replace, if it has any residual current in it you'll get a blast for sure, I remember when I took a canon ixus apart years ago, didnt realise it had a capacitor inside, feck me did that give me a kick & it was tiny, damn man still feel it now, lol

    & yes thats the correct ballast for the 8L.
    #23
  24. Trick
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    Trick Member

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    Its worth a blast, or a shock lol wear rubber shoes lol
    #24
  25. Trick
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    Trick Member

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    Anyone know what wattage the healights are? Sorry, ive totally hi-jacked this topic
    #25
  26. NHN
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    NHN Modmetractor

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    xenons I believe are 35w
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  27. Trick
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    Trick Member

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    How come your so clued up on this subject? lol
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  28. NHN
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    NHN Modmetractor

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    7 years of having an S3 8L, 2 years of S4 B6 Avant, 1 year of A3 8P & untold years of mk3 golf's, plus countless hours on mods, I consider myself fairly technical, there are others on here that are also as if not more than me tbh.
    #28
  29. Trick
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    Trick Member

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    ooohhhhhh. alright dear calm down. Who stole the jam out your doughnut?

    :laugh: jus kiddin cheif. Appreciate the help.
    #29
  30. NHN
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    NHN Modmetractor

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    Classic movie phrase, lol
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  31. dollface
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    dollface Member

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    i had my xenon bulb change brought xenon bulb of ebay 6000k as (standard ones are 4300k) and found a guy who fits them he also do xenon kits if you wanted xenon light

    to put the xenon bulb in only cost me £50 his name is max 07767 838052 he is from leeds is also mobile van ( motolextro vehicles systems ) tell him jenna give you the number to get the best price

    he is brilliant fitted bulbs in 40mins on my audi A3 quattro 3.2 sportback 2005

    so happy with the 6000k much better than the standard xenon bulb 4300k
    #31
  32. golf
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    golf ***** rent boy

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    How so? 6000k actually produces less useable light than the OEM 4300k. There's a reason why ALL manufacturers use Philips or Osram bulbs rated at 4300k (or thereabouts) and not any higher. I bought a set of D2S 5000k's, and IMO any bluer and they'd look silly. The xenons on the 8L S3 are appalling, the ones found on the 8P are infinitely better, why did you change them?
    #32
  33. dollface
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    dollface Member

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    yes your right , i took out the 6000k now they wasnt much light after trying them at night it was dull and too blue , i got the standard audi bulb philips d2s bulb in now not sure if they are 4300k or 5000k it dont say , i would think 4300k would be yellow .

    xenon bulbs can last up to 10 years but they fade over 2years and become more yellow , my car is 3year old (2005) the xenon lights wasnt as good as when i got the car

    the bulbs are expensive for dealers but there is a site who sell the same bulbs philips d2s not a copies

    http://www.convert2xenon.co.uk/product.php?id_product=70

    amazing price and warranty on there products seems good to me
    #33
  34. marcuss3
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    marcuss3 Member

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    Thought I'd bring this thread back to life!

    I see Trick has said you can't fit a replacement ballast, only buy a new headlamp and ballast together. Is this correct?

    Many thanks,
    #34

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