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Smashed headlight cover

Discussion in 'New A3/S3 (8V Chassis)' started by Paul_Oxon, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. Paul_Oxon
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    Paul_Oxon A3 Sport

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    So last Friday I collected my new car - a used 2013 A3 1.8TFSI S-tronic, trading in my previous A3. Loving the car completely, although there are a couple of minor niggles when comparing it to the last one, which have been well documented elsewhere - lag when pulling away (resolvable by changing from D to S), nowhere to put your right foot when using cruise control (really annoying!) and lack of handy storage compartments, like a coin tray. But in general a fab car, although I've been trying to work out what options I have, as they don't seem to all follow any packs. I have tech plus and B&O, which are great for gadgets, but no DAB it seems. I've got interior lighting upgrade and luggage pack, but not Xenon headlights. Had S-tronic but no cruise control, but that was easy to add before collection.

    Anyway, I collected the car Friday, and on Sunday morning met a suicidal pigeon at approx 70mph. It flew across the car and hit directly onto the off-side headlight. A big plume of feathers, but unfortunately it has made a large hole in the plastic headlight front cover. All lights are still working. Really annoying, but could have been worse I suppose.

    So a couple of questions. Does anyone know if it will be possible to replace just the plastic cover, or am I looking at a whole headlamp unit? And if the latter, I'm wondering whether it's possible to upgrade from Halogen to Xenon headlights, and if so - what the difference in cost would be. It seems like it might make sense to do the upgrade if it's possible and get something good out of this mini disaster!

    Any thoughts would be welcome.

    Thanks

    Paul
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  2. smk82
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    smk82 Member

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    Not sure on the light upgrade/replace, but having been a similar situation (luckily avoiding major damage - well apart from too the pigeon) I can certainly sympathise!. Bit suprised you mention no DAB. Have you tried changing the wavelength whilst in Radio function? I thought I didn't have it myself till I checked that!, then you need to check a setting so it picks up all the relevant stations..
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  3. Daveotto
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    Daveotto Member

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    DAB was not standard until MY2014 builds so after June/July time 2013, prior to that it was £200 - 250 option
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  4. h5djr
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    h5djr Active Member

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    Audi only sell the headlights as complete units I'm afraid. According to the ETKA parts catalogue the halogen units are around £200 each and the Xenon units £381 each.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2013
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  5. cemerson
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    cemerson Well-Known Member

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    Are those the standard xenons, or the adaptive ones?
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  6. coolguy
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    coolguy Member

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    Where can you see the parts catalogue?
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  7. h5djr
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    h5djr Active Member

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    On my home desktop. It is no longer available to purchase from eBay but in the US there is a website which has the program available and all the updates as well. The US has laws stopping companies from restricting access to such programs. The mods are not keen on us talking about this site on this forum so if you want to send me a PM I will let you have the details.
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  8. h5djr
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    h5djr Active Member

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    That is the price for the standard Xenons. The adaptive versions are £462.23 each.
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  9. Paul_Oxon
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    Paul_Oxon A3 Sport

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    Thanks for the info. That's what I suspected, which is rather frustrating as the only damage is to the perspex which is probably only worth a couple of quid!

    I will have to find out if the Xenons can be easily retrofitted in place of the Halogens, and consider if the extra cost is worthwhile or not. But reading other's experiences, they seem to be highly rated.

    Paul
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  10. Paul_Oxon
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    Paul_Oxon A3 Sport

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    Yes, I can see FM and AM in the waveband select screen, but no sign of DAB. I had thought that DAB was standard, and would definitely have been spec'd on a car with B&O and the tech pack, but it seems not. My own fault for assuming and not checking, though tbh it wouldn't have changed my buying decision.
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  11. h5djr
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    h5djr Active Member

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    I have them on my current A3 and they are excellent. I would certainly not like to drive at night without them. I will always be adding them to the next car I buy. Don't be tempted to go for the cheaper after market xenons as they do actually make your car illegal as they will never have been part of any EU Type Approval for the A3.
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  12. cemerson
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    cemerson Well-Known Member

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    And most won't have the washer system and self levelling system either which will mean it fails its first MOT as both of these are now checked for.

    I also think the Xenons are worth going for. Don't be fooled by the 'bits of perspex' being cheap either - perspex can be expensive when it has to be precisely made so it's the same thickness all the way through (to ensure it doesn't alter the beam pattern etc).

    Glider canopies are mostly perspex as well and can run into the several thousands in cost...
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  13. Paul_Oxon
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    Paul_Oxon A3 Sport

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    After further investigation, I think I do have Xenon headlights after all, not the Halogens that the dealer stated. I thought they were a bit good, and then spotted the lack of a height adjustment control in the car. I assume that on a Sport edition, they are probably adaptive, as in the brochure I have, that appears to be the only Xenon option? This makes sense as I think it must have the Xenon light package, as it has light and rain sensors and the interior lighting package. I will have to go for a spin at night and see if I can spot the adaptive stuff working, is it obvious?

    20131126_085137.jpg
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  14. driver_tim
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    driver_tim Member

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    Yes, those are definitely Xenons of some description.
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  15. cemerson
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    cemerson Well-Known Member

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    Yep, Xenons! You can tell by the style of the DRLs as well - the 'eyebrow' style ones are Xenon or LED, the halogens just have a single halogen light as their DRLs. If it's the sport as well then they should be adaptive too - not so good news for your repair costs though :(
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  16. Daveotto
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    Daveotto Member

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    Totally correct about them not being cheap and it is a bit of a cross between art and science to get the injection moulding process correct to ensure consistant clarity and thickness over the whole surface area.

    One minor point of correction though - most headlight "glass" is actually polycarbonate these days and not perspex (polymethyl methacrylate) as it has better high volume manufactuing characteristics more suitable to automotive compared to someothing like glider canopies whch are relatively low volume/one off pieces where perspex is still the better material to use
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  17. Paul_Oxon
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    Paul_Oxon A3 Sport

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    Hopefully glider canopies are slightly more resilient to bird strikes! I was quite surprised how easily it broke, but at least no bodywork damage I suppose. And although it's going to be expensive to repair, at least I have Xenons which is a nice surprise.
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  18. cemerson
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    cemerson Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't be so sure!
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