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The A3/S3 LED Bulb "how to" Guide!

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by tobycruse, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. Scott
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    Scott Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 3, 2009]
    Just my opinion though mate - if I thought I could do a good job with cheap LED's from Maplin I'd do that rather than spend £50-60 which I have done, good luck. :beerchug:
    #81
  2. AuldReekie
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    AuldReekie Member

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    [Aug 3, 2009]
    #82
  3. Gryphon001
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    Gryphon001 Active Member

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    [Aug 4, 2009]
    #83
  4. brissett
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    brissett Member

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    [Aug 4, 2009]
    As discussed in the black edition thread, i may end up having to do this retrofit myself. I'm not exactly a dab hand at this kind of stuff so i'm a little nervous. Anyone in the surrey area fancy making a few bob?
    Also i order LED lights from Bimmian.com (sent em an email and they assured me no resistors etc would be needed) so hopefully that will make this installation a little bit less dramatic :)
    #84
  5. Scott
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    Scott Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 4, 2009]
    Fitted most of the LED's tonight. I already had the footwell bulbs fitted and working fine. I have now fitted puddle bulbs, front interior and front/rear map (more on these later). I tried the boot and could only get it to stay on with 2 x 150ohm resistors, but the heat was too much (was very hot, burnt my finger numerous times and it was burning paper instantly on touch). Front/rear map are no good because of the type of bulb that I bought, the light does not go towards the lens properly, but I have ordered additional bulbs to hopefully fix this. I haven't tried the glovebox yet.

    2 notes -
    when soldering resistor onto rear map bulbs, cover the plastic lens with something (kitchen foil) as I managed to drop some solder onto the lens and melt it slightly, but it's not noticable - luckily!

    for the boot, you need to close and reopen boot to 'reset' the light after unplugging or messing with it and cutting the connection - common sense but took a min to figure out


    I may go and give the glovebox a try quickly.........
    #85
  6. brissett
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    brissett Member

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    [Aug 4, 2009]
    You got picture of your work-in-progress scott?
    #86
  7. Scott
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    Scott Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 4, 2009]
    Sorry mate I don't as it was raining so I was getting soaked doing it lol.

    Fitted the glovebox light now, that was easy. Now just for the boot... and waiting for the new reading bulbs... :)
    #87
  8. Scott
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    Scott Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 5, 2009]
    So for anyone who got their boot led working, how'd you do it??? I wanna get this done tonight and can pick up anything I need from Maplin when I finish work. I have the bulb. I tried with no resistor, it didn't work. Tried with 1 x 150ohm resistor, didn't work. Tried with 2 x 150ohm resistors and it worked and stayed on indefinitely, but the heat produced was really hot (hot enough to burn paper on touch) and I'm scared that it will either cause damage/fire or melt the bulb, so any ideas? Thanks
    #88
  9. drsilviuro
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    drsilviuro Member

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    [Aug 5, 2009]
    Try with 1x100ohm... I did and it works fine... no insane heating...
    #89
  10. Hitharder
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    Hitharder Member

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    [Aug 5, 2009]
    so to clarify... if you dont have the map reading spotlights then you dont need to use a resistor?
    #90
  11. mac1403
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    mac1403 Member

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    [Aug 5, 2009]
    No you won't need a resistor. The resistor is to stop the map reading lights remaining on dim when you are driving. Only place you will need a resistor is the footwell lights. I used one 150Ω resistor in the passenger footwell
    #91
  12. Scott
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    Scott Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 5, 2009]
    Hi mate, I tried this earlier and it worked, but it still got extremely hot. (hot enough to burn paper if held on the resistor, so gotta be careful)
    I took it off and put the standard in again, but I am going to solder the resistor to it so I can place it further away from the plasic. Question, did you leave the basic plasic cover off or did you put it back on, even with the resistor inside?

    Also guys, realised earlier that I actually fit a resistor to both footwell bulbs. Is it worth taking one out and removing or shouldn't I bother since it's working OK?

    Cheers
    Scott
    #92
  13. drsilviuro
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    drsilviuro Member

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    [Aug 6, 2009]
    I kept the black plastic cover and it didn't melt or anything... It's like this for over a month and it's all good.
    I have problems with puddle lights... It keeps throwing me DTC's on scans... But they work...
    #93
  14. Digzz
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    Digzz "Started From The Bottom" VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 6, 2009]

    I've been using 2 x 150ohm and it's been fine....only problem is it don't come on sometimes because there not a lot of space for everything....eg. resistor and led bulb. :o.k:
    #94
  15. Davidd003
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    Davidd003 New Member

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    [Aug 9, 2009]
    Hi all,

    Just finished fitting the LED Globes to my A3 3 Door.

    A big thank you to tobycruse for his excellent instructions, and the same to the others in this thread, whose discussion has helped reslove my problems. :applaus:

    The puddle lights were a pain as the connectors did not extend throught the hole. One Screw and some gentle levering of the door trim and I got them back in.

    On Tip I can give, that I have not read anywhere, is use the Footwell lights as a tester for the Boot, Puddle and Glove Box, the connectors are the same if they work there, they work in the orginal position.

    In my case, having the puddle lights working before trying to refit in a tight space, saved alot of grief.

    David
    #95
  16. martinivw
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    martinivw :)

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    [Aug 9, 2009]
    Anyone used bulbs from bimmian yet?? as they seem to be sure that NO resistors are required with there led's:yahoo:
    #96
  17. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 9, 2009]
    I took the door cards off to do mine. Much easier! :arco:
    #97
  18. Davidd003
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    Davidd003 New Member

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    [Aug 9, 2009]
    I had to learn the hard way Staz, I wrongly assumed they would have surplus length like every other light!
    #98
  19. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 9, 2009]
    I did too, but after ages of trying and pants dexterity I went the easy route! Only takes 2 minutes once they've been off before.
    #99
  20. Davidd003
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    Davidd003 New Member

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    [Aug 9, 2009]
    Agree, but its the concern of doing it for the first time that does your head in.

    Mind you, you only need to release the bottom, still fiddly, but saves the nerves alot!

    Oh and strangley 2 watt resisitors seem to be an oddity in AUS, can get 1 or 5 watt easily. Ebay is your friend, but delays the process somewhat. But got there in the End.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2009
  21. mac1403
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    mac1403 Member

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    [Aug 9, 2009]
    I managed to do mine with the door cards on. Made a little tool out of a bit of bent aluminium with a slot in the end. To get the puddle light back in just hooked it around the back of the plug to hold it in place while I pushed the bulb holder back in. The real ass was just after I did this I had to remove the door cards to fit the illuminated Bose speaker grills LOL. I agree with the others, removing the door card on a new car is a bit daunting, but they come off real easy once you know what you are doing.
  22. ST09
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    ST09 ``!!$al ---

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    [Aug 24, 2009]
    Hi,

    Big thanks to the creator of this and all other members who contributed to this thread .. Been following this thread for last few weeks but Im still not sure which LED bulb to order for reg. plate as there have been mixed reviews. So can someone please summarise it all and tell me which LED bulbs to buy for reg. plate that works perfectly fine whithout any heat and error problems .

    Thanks
    Sal
  23. ST09
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    ST09 ``!!$al ---

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    [Sep 11, 2009]
    Hi,

    Finished upgrading the interior lights ad the number plate lights to LED today but im getting a number light error . I used 2 150Ω resistors for number plate lights and its throwing an error .. even tried just 1 150Ω resistor but still no luck .. Can some one please advice .

    Sal
  24. gixxer600k4
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    gixxer600k4 Member

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    [Sep 11, 2009]
    try three resistors! i used 330 ohm resistors and i think i had to put two on!
  25. ST09
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    ST09 ``!!$al ---

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    [Sep 11, 2009]
    Hi Mate,

    Thanks for yo reply .. still no joy .. i tried 2 330 ohm resistors but it still giving me an error .. even tried 3 150 ohm resistors and no joy.

    Sal
  26. gixxer600k4
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    gixxer600k4 Member

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    [Sep 11, 2009]
    have you turned the bulbs the other way round as i think there is only one way to fit them!
  27. ST09
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    ST09 ``!!$al ---

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    [Sep 11, 2009]
    Bro the bulbs are working fine .. its just getting an error in DIS

    Sal
  28. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 11, 2009]
    Try 2 150s or just 1 mate. The idea is to get the highest resistance with the least amount of current flow but you need to at least have enough current anyway.

    How much do you know about resistance?
  29. ST09
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    ST09 ``!!$al ---

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    [Sep 11, 2009]
    Hi Staz ,

    Thanks for reply .. So far ive tried :

    - 2 2w 150 ohm resistor i.e one in each
    - 1 2w 150 ohm resistor i.e just one
    - 3 2 w150 ohm resistor i.e 2 in one and 1in one
    - 2 2w 330 ohm resistor i.e one in each
    - 1 2w 330 ohm resistor i.e just one
    - 1 2w 220 ohm resistor i.e just one
    - 4 2w 150 ohm resistor i.e 2 in each

    At the moment ive got 2 2w 150 ohm resistors and its throwing an error ... and answer to ur question is ' not much '

    Thanks

    Sal
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2009
  30. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 11, 2009]
    And none of those worked? Or did some work but also threw an error?

    Quite strange this as I used a 150 ohm in each and it worked. They got hot enough to melt one of the LEDs until it failed though.

    When putting resistors in parallel to work out the total resistance you do:

    [​IMG]

    When you had 4 150 ohms in the total resistance was only 37.5 ohms. That should have easily drawn enough current.
  31. ST09
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    ST09 ``!!$al ---

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    [Sep 11, 2009]
    Thanks bro ... the led bulb works with and without resistors but it gives an error in DIS with all the setups used .. i will try again tomorrow and if it doesnt work then i'll order the ones mitch is using as per him he doesnt get an error and he also aint using any resistors. Unless you can advice further .

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/2x-36mm-Hi-Po...3dcda1eac&_trksid=p3911.c0.m14#ht_3061wt_1167

    Sal
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2009
  32. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 11, 2009]
    I'm surprised that he gets no error as that auctions makes no mention of them working with CAN bus.

    I guess it's new on an 8P3 too as mine would come on and then switch off and flag an error. Not a lot else I can think of mate. It worked for me and others :think:
  33. ST09
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    ST09 ``!!$al ---

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    [Sep 11, 2009]
    Thanks Bro .. will try diff resistors 2mrw ..btw will the number plate light error effect the ecu or etc .. I might leave the leds on for few days till i get the replacement .. oh yes i forgot to mention .. if i use normal bulb in one fitement and led plus 150 ohm resistor in other .. lol i dont get an error in DIS :think:

    Thanks
  34. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 11, 2009]
    No effect to the ECU no other that there will be a fault code logged in the system but that had no effect.

    It's normal for the lights to still work with 1 filament in and one LED yeah. It's as if 1 bulb has blown.
  35. gixxer600k4
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    gixxer600k4 Member

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    [Sep 11, 2009]
    o right, thats weird because, as said earlier, if it comes up with error then the bulb usually turns of as the computer things there is no bulb there so need need to but a current there! i take you have tried without any resistors. what are they type bulbs you are using?
  36. ST09
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    ST09 ``!!$al ---

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    [Sep 11, 2009]
    One of these but the one i got is the single chip one as they didnt had the 2 chip one in stock

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/2-x-WHITE-39m...s_SM?hash=item53dabb0275&_trksid=p3911.c0.m14

    Sal
  37. jb0o
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    jb0o North East Forum Moderator Regional Rep Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 17, 2009]
    Staz, in page 1 which has a photo of your number plate lights -- what colour is that?
  38. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 17, 2009]
    You mean the colour of the LED? It was just the white of the original LED bulbs which melted in the end so I wouldn't bother with them mate. Get the metal cased ones recommended in the OP. Although I have them now and I'm having trouble with them as they seem to break pretty easily.
  39. Xerohour
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    Xerohour Member

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    [Nov 18, 2009]
    Hi Guys, ive just been reading through this thread and i thought just came to me.

    I recently had a courtesy car from Audi which was a new 09' A4 Allroad. It had footwell lighting that was LED. Now is there anyway we could check what the bulbs are and maybe if their compatable with the A3?

    I took some pictures of the A4's LEDs, i throw them up if i can find them.
  40. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 18, 2009]
    That's good thinking! I suspect that they have adjusted the bulb checker circuit but it's worth a go.

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