Audi S3 8L Xenon Ballast Replacement

Alex C

Well-Known Member
VCDS Map User
Hi,

Do you know where is best to get a replacement ballast for my headlight? Can you supply them? Are there any worthwhile upgrades I could do (35W to 55W?)

Cheers
Alex
 

Alex C

Well-Known Member
VCDS Map User
Hi

well what happened was...

My xenon dipped beam stopped working so I took it to an Audi Specialist for them to investigate the cause. They told me that the ballast wasn't working and that Audi don't sell ballasts separately so it would cost me a new headlight at ~£600; they then suggested I source my own ballast

So I sourced my own ballast;

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/400517775232?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

I then decided to fit the new ballast my self. The old ballast has the high voltage cable to the HID bulb routed through the underside of the headlight unit through a small ~1"x1" plastic doorway; the plastic door is integral to the ballast and clips into the headlight to form a seal and cannot be removed from the ballast unless I were to careful unwire the ballast --- the ballast was apparently broken so I just cut the high voltage HID cable either side of the plastic door and clipped the door back into the headlight so I still had a sealed headlight unit.

Again I have no way of routing the new ballast in through that little plastic door unless I unwire the new ballast and thread the cable through the hole. What the new ballast does have though is a large rubber grommet; so I can cut a large hole in the back cover of the headlight unit and route the cable in through the back rather than the underside as before - I haven't done this yet.

Before I start cutting things I decided to test if the ballast actually worked - it didn't! Still no light. That was last weekend by which time I was so angry with myself for not testing it prior to cutting the old one out I put the car back together.

Then last Monday I read that the polarity of aftermarket ballasts can sometimes be reversed so yesterday I got back to it.

However before I reversed the polarity I decided to test the voltage in the 12V power supply to the ballast (this should have already been tested by the garage that told be the ballast was broken) F**K!!!!! 0volts. So I've butchered a perfectly decent Audi headlight @~£600 because the Audi Specialist has misinformed me!

So I then test the electrical continuity from the 12V xenon wiring in the headlight and its fine; I check the continuity of the headlights earth wiring and its fine! So the wiring inside the headlight is absolutely fine.

Then I decide to check the voltage across the pins on the wiring loom connector that connects to the headlights and I find that the pin for the Xenon (dipped beam) has no power to it whilst the sidelight gets a healthy 11.6V. Just to double check I check the working passenger side Xenon and the connector had a good 11.6V.

So to summarise I have butchered a working headlight ballast on the advise of an Audi specialist when in fact the headlight wasn't getting any power which they should have identified in about 20seconds when I left it with them to check the cause of my broken lights.

So I am now stuck with having to butcher my headlights even more to route the aftermarket cabling in through the back cover and still I need to find the cause of why the wiring loom has no power

@t8ups If you do have any words of advice or sympathy they will be kindly received. Could I splice the HID cabling on my old ballast back together?
 
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t8ups

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Hi.

yes you can fix the old ballast but I would go down the soldering and heat shrink and make it look all tidy.

I don't get that if the garage had the car apart why did they not put the working ballast from one end to the other to see the issue had moved and gone from there as then that would of lead to the bulb, have you checked the car has no fuses for each headlight?

Trups
 

Alex C

Well-Known Member
VCDS Map User
well I asked them if they had trouble getting the bumper back on (it has a big FMIC under the bumper) and he said no they never took the bumper off.

Given the ballast is only accessible by taking the bumper off I rekon they worked out there was nothing wrong with the bulb so assumed it was the ballast without checking wiring - not impressed.

I think the car has separate fuses each side for the main beams but I think the dipped beams (HID/Xenons) share a common fuse? not sure tbh

I've managed to source a genuine Audi ballast from an S3 from ebay which comes complete with the little plastic door - so at least I can put the headlight back the way it was now; but that is 2 ballasts I've bought now when I didn't need to buy any :(
 
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Alex C

Well-Known Member
VCDS Map User
Hi @t8ups

I took the car back to them and told them every thing that I had done and found and left it with them; they fixed it but it wasn't FoC

When I picked it up they reasserted that it was the original ballast at fault and that the lack of power to the headlight was caused by me fitting an aftermarket ballast that blew the fuse. They replaced the fuse and fitted the 2nd hand Genuine Audi ballast I sourced and it now works fine.

I have no way of proving that it was the fuse that was the cause of the original fault but I don't see how plugging in the aftermarket ballast would have blown the fuse. I'm not happy about it but truth be told I cant be sure that what they said happened didn't happen

Although one way to prove otherwise would be to pull it all apart again and fit the aftermarket ballast and see if it blows the fuse they replaced. Or to splice the wires on the original "failed" ballast and see if it works now the fuse has been replaced

but that's a lot of effort and I don't want to sour the relationship with the garage too much as I get along with them pretty well... live and learn
 

Alex C

Well-Known Member
VCDS Map User
Hi @t8ups

No I never got round to sorting out the bi-xenons; a gearbox rebuild precluded that venture I'm afraid. But I am now much more familiar/informed regarding the lights after this headache

Do you know when your new website might be up and running?

Cheers
Alex
 
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