£1000 for s3 mods - all done! Full report


Registered User
Hi guys, posted about a month ago asking for advice on modding my 2008 s3 for £1000. From reading around on the forum etc I went ahead and got the following done:

1) MY11 rear lights: £175
2) New DRL & side lights from PIAA: £60
3) AMD Stage 1 remap & Milltek resonated cat-back: £778
4) Richbrook "titanium" tax disk holder: £12

So all-in: £1025 :sm4:

Really pleased with how the car looks and drives now!!

First off did the lights yesterday, took me just over an hour for everything. Piece of p*ss in the end, was worried for no reason!! Guys I am crap with DIY and had no probs, so everyone should be able to do this. Firstly used a screwdriver to slot off the little cover in the boot behind each light. Then unscrewed the platic bolt holding it in place. Having read through other threads on this was really helpful to know how its held on. Basically just pull back the light away from the boot and then sort of up and away in order to release it from the 2 "bungs" on the opposite end.

On the front side the DRLs were reasonably easy, screw anticlockwise to release the bulb holder from the slot and pull it out. I found the passenger side lights a bit trickier as it's more of a squeeze on that end, got no idea how any of you manage to change the headlights or even the indicator bulbs through there!!!

The side lights you just pull out, on the driver side where I could see better I used some pliers to grab hold of the bulb holder and pull out, on the passenger side used my fingers.

So far so good, then replaced the tax disk holder, the richbrook one looks mint, really nice!!

The new lights really make a difference in my view, car looks fresher and more vibrant

This morning it was an early wake up and off to AMD Essex with the missus, got there for 9am and booked it in. The guys there were friendly and welcoming, said it would be ready for about 12. Had a bit of a wander around and then off to Ikea which is right next door, followed by Lakeside shopping center (walked to both). At 12:30 got a call from AMD to tell me the car was ready!!

Headed back, saw my car parked outside and had a look underneath, sure enough the milltek cat back was there. Went inside and the guys showed me the results of the dyno tests. With the milltek catback and their Stage 1 map I went from 267bhp to 297bph. I had been hoping to break 300bhp but whatever, the guys explained every car is different and it takes some time for the ECU to adapt anyway. So I paid up and the proof is in the pudding as they say...

WOW!!!!! What a difference. Coming out of the retail park I floored it and the acceleration was noticeably way faster, the car feels much more lively now, lighter even. Hard to describe in more detail but it's really sweet, even the missus said she could tell the difference. She even complained a couple of times about her stomach or something which is probably a good sign! :laugh:

Drive back home was speed camera territory for most of the way (what's going on on the a13 and all the average speed cameras, it's gone crazy!!) but whenever I could I cheekily floored it and the response was not disappointing.

Sound wise the milltek resonated is very similar to the Audi OEM in my view, maybe a little louder around 4k revs, but need to do some more driving to be sure.

I am looking forward to getting some more miles under my belt including motorway driving to get a better feel for the remap but so far so good..

btw, do you know is there any market for my old rear lights? Had a look on ebay and the signs were not very encouraging, but I'd like to get rid of them since I don't have much use for them


DOPE with added OCD
Remap = smiles!!

Nice one mate, glad your enjoying the car!


Registered User
Sounds like 1k well spent there mate! I think the exhaust will get a little bit louder once dirty :eyebrows: but sounds similar to the custom one I had made (although my car is a diesel). Growl starts at higher revs...

Any pics?


Vorsprung Durch Technik
Nice write up mate, good to see your happy with everything.

So any ideas on what you have lined up next?

Get some pics up!


Registered User
I sold my old rear lights on ebay for £40, so there's a small market.

Stuck mine on ebay, see what I get for them!!

Any pics?

Will try and take some tomorrow or latest day after and put them up!

Next am thinking of tinting but I'm in 2 minds about it, need to consider it some more. After that taking a breather been spending too much money lately, and saw a nice leather jacket when out at the shops today as well, lol


Banana Menace!
VCDS Map User
Enjoyed your write up, matey! Nice one, a 'Big G' well spent by the sounds of it. Get some pics up for us. :)

Paula x


Registered User
Sorry for delay in posting some photos, but here they are. Btw for info to others I sold my old lights on ebay for £60 inc. postage. They sold a day after I put them up and I had an email the day after that as well asking if they were still available, so I think I sold them a little cheap :ermm:

Back of car with old lights


New lights



Front with new PIAA DRL bulb



S3 Rav

Registered User
Looks nIce. What does the exhaust sound like now then?


Registered User
rear lights make a real difference much smarter:icon_thumright:


Registered User
looking much smarter!
where did you pick you PIAA's from?


Registered User
Looks nIce. What does the exhaust sound like now then?

It may be my imagination but I'd say it's a little louder than the OEM exhaust but still very respectable. More "throaty" sounding if that's the right word. When flooring it in 2nd or 3rd and the revs go up I'd also say it's noticeably louder

looking much smarter!
where did you pick you PIAA's from?



Kowalski Details
VCDS Map User
Looks good, wish my car modding ended @ £1K :(