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Weird Xenon Problem?

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by vfr800, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. vfr800
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    vfr800 Active Member

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    [Nov 13, 2012]
    Hi

    I have an intermittent problem with my Xenons.

    When I get in the car, turn the engine on, then switch the headlights on after a few seconds BOTH xenons switch off at exactly the same time.

    It happened yesterday when the car was cold in the evening. Got in switched on they came to life, and then went off, I switched off the headlights switched them back on after a few seconds and they worked fine.

    Tonight, they went off, I switched them off and back on and they came back. I pulled away and got up to about 15 mph and they went off again. I pulled over and switched the switch off and it took a good 15-20 seconds before they'd power up again.

    It's an intermittent problem so I can't test it easily.

    Is this a problem anyone has seen before?

    Each side is fused independently and the fuses are ok. Are there any common electrical circuits or control systems that would affect both lights at once?

    The bulb out warning(s) did NOT come on.

    Are there any relays that might go bad or could it be the headlight switch itself?

    Thanks, Liam
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  3. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 13, 2012]
    Switch?
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  4. vfr800
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    vfr800 Active Member

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    [Nov 14, 2012]
    Thanks. It's a possibility I've thought of - I guess the problem will become more apparent and then I can try narrow it down.

    I've done a lot of googling and not found anyone with the same problem. :(
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  5. Sevv
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    Sevv Pushing the limits..

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    [Nov 14, 2012]
    ive had the same issue (sort off) after change the xenon's mate they turn on then off in a matter of a second.. though putting the old bulbs on fixed it, other suggested it might be the ballast
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  6. @udi A3
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    @udi A3 Site Sponsor Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 14, 2012]
    Try wiggling the switch around with the lights on, possibly a dry contact. Or the relay not likeing the cold/damp ? highly unlikely to be both ballasts or both lights going by your description.
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  7. vfr800
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    vfr800 Active Member

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    [Nov 14, 2012]
    I did give the switch a little wiggle - might wiggle a bit more forcefully tomorrow.

    About once a month I get a xenon that doesn't power up.

    This is both switching off after a few seconds, seeing as both sides are independently fused it's got to be a fault with a common part i.e. the switch or relay.

    Do you know which relay might be the culprit?
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  8. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 14, 2012]
    Not familiar with the A3, but the A4 doesnt have a relay, the switch contacts take all the load.

    The fact you didnt get a bulb out warning also suggests it has to be before the power gets to the bulb monitoring device. Its wired up switch -> bulb monitor > fuses > ballasts > lamps

    If anything after the bulb monitor caused it, you'd expect to get the warning on the dash.
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  9. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 14, 2012]
    My guess is the switch, on my S3, if one of the xenons don't fire up, I get a bulb out warning on the DIS, so I have to flick the switch off and back on again to flick it on. Usually only happens when the weather starts to go cold, like this time of year! It won't hurt to take the switch out and inspect the plugs first. You need to push the switch knob inward, it's spring loaded, the rotate clockwise, then pull the whole thing out.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
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  10. vfr800
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    vfr800 Active Member

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    [Nov 14, 2012]
    aragon, jojo - cheers guys. I'm feeling a bit happier that my car doesn't have an electrical gremlin that will require me to set light to it and buy a new one!
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  11. vfr800
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    vfr800 Active Member

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    [Nov 14, 2012]
    oki so I went and pulled the switch out and the connector came out of the back of the switch without having to press the tabs in ... terminals didn't look burnt or anything so perhaps it wasn't seated properly and I've been lucky/got away with it.

    Liam

    EDIT: Have done a little video showing how easy it is to remove the headlight switch.

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2014
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  12. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 14, 2012]
    Good work Liam, lets hope that's a fix! Just edited my post above to rotate clockwise for release of headlamp switch! lol
    Your headlamp switch looks rather worn though mate.
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  13. vfr800
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    vfr800 Active Member

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    [Nov 14, 2012]
    Yeah it is rather worn BUT I just searched ebay for my switch's part number and found a brand spanky new one being sold by Cardiff Audi for £20. So I bought it! :p

    Thanks for your help!
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  14. The Doctor
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    The Doctor Well-Known Member

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    [Nov 14, 2012]
    Wow that sounds like a bargain Liam. I consciously try not to catch the outer lip around the headlight switch with my fingers when I put the lights on, so that I don't wear the grey coating off. OMG my OCD is becoming more and more "O" with every passing year. By the time I'm 40 I reckon I'll be putting on white cotton gloves before I even get into the car.

    Anyway, post an update to let us know if this has solved the mystery.

    Oh, I like your updated signature by the way!
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  15. vfr800
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    vfr800 Active Member

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    [Nov 15, 2012]
    Hi

    Thanks. I've got nothing very interesting to post about my car except my loss of power :p

    It really bugs me that the coating is coming off the switches, I have also been watching ebay for similar aircon and radio controls so I can swap the facias over. You interior is amazingly mint - very jealous.

    lol so I don't have to be too OCD with my motorbike I bought an extra set of fairings, had them resprayed and stuck them in the loft so I can scratch the bike now and don't need to give a sh*t. :)

    I think you'll find cotton gloves might be a bit too abrasive ;) but I think the oils or grease on fingers might also break down the coating as is seems to have gone a bit gooey over time.

    The problem didn't re-occur yesterday so I think it was the connector not being seated properly. I will post back if it comes back.

    Liam
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  16. vfr800
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    vfr800 Active Member

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    [Nov 15, 2012]
    Just arrived in the post :wub: not bad considering I ordered it yesterday afternoon.

    [​IMG]
    #15
  17. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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  18. vfr800
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    vfr800 Active Member

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    [Nov 15, 2012]
    Minter! Need a new lower dash though to match it now though.
    [​IMG]
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  19. IFFY_77
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    IFFY_77 Member

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    [Nov 15, 2012]

    I been getting this same problem when one left xenon lights up right does not and bulb warning light on dash. Just got flick it on n off again to sort it out. But is thr a permanent fix to this or is right bulb on its way out any av you fixed urs. ( it's also a intermittent problem) little thugs annoy me....:-s
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  20. Sevv
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    Sevv Pushing the limits..

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    [Nov 15, 2012]
    i have the same problem but thats after changing my bulbs so put the old ones.. check the connections and fuses. blown fuse possibly?
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  21. vfr800
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    vfr800 Active Member

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    [Nov 15, 2012]
    Hi Sevv.

    This problem was particular, both lights were going off/coming back on together and I wasn't getting a bulb out warning.

    If you read my original post you'll see I did check the fuses.

    Thanks, Liam
    #20
  22. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 15, 2012]
    if your getting the bulb out warning, then its not the switch.
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  23. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 15, 2012]
    Not really fixed it bud, I hardly use the car enough to warrant fixing this problem, it's not major in my opinion. The first thing you need to do if you really want to fix it is to swop the xenon bulbs around to see if the problem is still there. Of course it's not easy, as it only never comes on when everything is stone cold! If the same side doesn't come on, then it's the xenon ballast, if it's the otherside that doesn't come on, then it's the bulb.
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  24. IFFY_77
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    IFFY_77 Member

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    [Nov 15, 2012]
    Cheers jojo mite just do sum bulb testing on my days off to find out cant b that hard....
    #23
  25. Vex182
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    Vex182 Guess what I drive...

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    [Nov 15, 2012]
    I had to get one from Audi directly as mine packed up the day before my MOT and I had no working fogs, paid about £90 for it!
    #24
  26. Sevv
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    Sevv Pushing the limits..

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    [Nov 16, 2012]
    yeah im getting the bulb out warning sadly so not sure how to diagnose ill have to check you previous thread as i think im just gonna change the fuses and see how it goes. i dont understand why old lights work fine but the new ones dont...to add to my mishaps i accidentally broke the bulb from the inside ***clumsy me***

    the best part i called Audi Five dock here in Sydney they wanted 660$ thats with a 100$ discount for me :keule:
    #25
  27. Tooks
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    [Nov 16, 2012]
    I just replaced my headlight switch, a lot more than £20 though, that was a bargain!

    I replaced mine as it was all scratched up, and also because the red lights were flickering on and off.

    Interestingly, when I replaced the switch, the dark corners on my DIS also disappeared. I thought the DIS was failing, but when you see how many wires go into the headlight switch, and that the rheostat controls the lighting, I wonder if the switch was the culprit? Certainly, all the lights seem brighter on the dash pod/radio/doors everything.

    Generally speaking, when I've had a Xenon that wouldn't fire up it has been the bulb. Once it was the ballast/igniter.

    With both switching off, it would point to the switch or a relay.

    Hope it's fixed for you!
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  28. vfr800
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    vfr800 Active Member

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    [Nov 16, 2012]
    Thanks. Yes it seems to be all good now. Bit of a result as I wanted to replace the scratched up switch any way.

    Liam
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  29. The Doctor
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    The Doctor Well-Known Member

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    [Nov 18, 2012]
    Nice one Liam, glad it's sorted, especially as it's basically dark most of the time at this time of year.
    #28
  30. Sevv
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    Sevv Pushing the limits..

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    [Nov 23, 2012]
    can anyone advise me wether these bulbs would be fine to fit.. they are genuine phillips 6000K bulbs 81522 WX

    Philips D2S 6000k 85122WX Ultinon | eBay


    i tired my old bulbs out so switched the old one on either side at it would light up just fine just these crappy morimoto ones wouldnt so i came to the conclusion its the bulbs.. now to choose another .. just dont wanna bloody waste another 100$
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  31. vfr800
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    vfr800 Active Member

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    [Nov 23, 2012]
    Hi

    They're D2S so should be fine. Philips is a good make IMHO.

    EDIT: I wouldn't go for 6k - ok so it's a pretty blue light but they're sh*t for seeing where you're going.

    Liam
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  32. Sevv
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    Sevv Pushing the limits..

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    [Nov 23, 2012]
    thanks mate appreciate the reply i hope they work fine lol... driving without lights at night really sucks ill check the 4300K thanks again Liam

    Seb
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  33. vfr800
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    vfr800 Active Member

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    [Nov 23, 2012]
    No worries. Thanks for the heads up on the Philips bulbs, I've just searched in the UK for those bulbs and they're about £55 for two. I might get some nice new ones @ 4.3k.

    Where in Aus are you? I'm flying to Sydney on 5th Dec for a 6 week holiday.
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  34. Sevv
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    Sevv Pushing the limits..

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    [Nov 23, 2012]
    wow dont forget ur shorts lol its gonna be bloody hot.. i live in Sydney 15 mins from the city.. where abouts in sydney are you staying
    #33
  35. vfr800
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    vfr800 Active Member

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    [Nov 23, 2012]
    Yeah I know - I'm not looking forward to it. I hate hot weather, I'm more of a cold weather person.

    Er... dunno where exactly, I'm staying with friends, I do one night in Sydney and then do a two week tour up the east coast, back to Sydney for one night, then off to Tasmania for Christmas. Melbourne just after Christmas and do the great ocean road over NYE. Then back to Sydney for a week or so to doss around.

    Liam
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  36. Sevv
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    Sevv Pushing the limits..

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    [Nov 23, 2012]
    nice.. if we have time we should meet up :)
    #35
  37. vfr800
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    vfr800 Active Member

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    [Jan 6, 2013]
    I'm in Sydney now!

    Having humassive withdrawal symptoms - haven't been in my S3 for over a month now ;( Just drove up the Great Ocean road from Melbourne to Adelaide in a Hyundai i20 - what a piece of junk - awful steering, it didn't like going round corners and wouldn't track in a straight line.

    Liam
    #36

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