Tinkering for tinkering's sake - LED indicator bulbs

I decided to change my front indicator bulbs.

Now I appreciate that this is very small beer indeed in the context of stage 3 tuning, a bigger turbocharger, coilovers, spacers, beefy anti-roll bars and stretched tyres on 20" 10J alloys , but it is what it is.

For months and months the way the original orange bulbs reflect in the... erm... reflector couldn't have bothered me less, but then all of a sudden it did. I've no idea why.

The indicators went from being perfectly functional and entirely satisfactory things which flashed orange to make other road users aware of my intentions to being a bit naff and ever-so slightly cheap-looking.

Now I don't take replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs in a car with a particularly complicated electrical system lightly.

Not at all.

Over the years I've been there and done that with LEDs that didn't work properly, flashed too fast, flashed too slowly, didn't flash at all or simply stared darkly back at me, refusing to do anything whatsoever. I've bought cheap ones, expensive ones, ones which are non-polarity sensitive and even - though not in this particular application - ones which would work on both AC and DC without causing an epileptic seizure in anyone susceptible to such things who happened to be passing by.

If changing the bulbs had meant removing wheels, wheel arch liners, bumpers, wings, radiators, gearboxes or engines I wouldn't have bothered and turned my attention to something else completely unnecessary, but removing them is a refreshingly (and surprisingly) speedy operation which takes no more than thirty seconds, tops.

So I thought I'd give it a go. The first candidates were a pair of Philips PWY24W Silver Vision incandescents , but I couldn't find any for less than about nineteen quid each. £38 for a pair of indicator bulbs which only work 50% of the time even when they're on is just nuts.

Instead, I bought a pair of these.

There was a five quid off voucher on them at the time, so I reckoned I could swallow the loss of £7.95 if they didn't work.

They turned up two days later. It was raining at the time and continued to rain for the rest of the day, so I left them in the spiffy silver envelope until the next morning.

When the next day arrived it wasn't raining, so I removed one of the original bulbs, replaced it with one of the new ones and very gingerly turned the hazards on.

Nothing went pop, there were no sparks, no smoke, no rattle of multiple fuses blowing, no warning lights and no robotic Frau shrieking "Achtung! Nein! Nein! Gott in Himmel! Remove ze bulbs immediately! Your modifications are not in order! Schnell, schnell!"

The flash rate was normal, the colour was bang on, the light snapped on and off instantly rather than wheezing into incandescent life, and that orange reflection in the indicator unit when they weren't working had gone.

Ace!

A question then. Has anyone here replaced the incandescent rear indicator bulbs (WY16Ws) with the LED equivalents?

There are a few about, and I suppose I could always just get a pair and try them, but I thought I'd ask first on the off chance. I don't want those nasty 'super bright' 1000 lumen Cree jobs that float about on eBay because they'll be pants, fry my wiring, make me look like a tasteless chav, make my car look like a souped-up Corsa and are probably illegal to boot.

Maybe I'm pushing my luck in attempting to change all four, especially in view of the fact that you can't really see the fronts and rears at the same time, but I was so encouraged by how utterly whizzo the fronts turned out that I thought I'd give it a whirl.

If I can make a success of it, I reckon I might even try installing a set of those nifty metal valve caps with the Audi logo on the top next.

.
 
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Seanchadwick2k3

Audi A6 C6 2.0tdi 2011 Sline Special Edition
Not sure what year your car is but if it has the bulb check facility you may find that your lights strobe every 30 seconds when your lights are off. I know it does this on my number plate leds.
 
Not sure what year your car is but if it has the bulb check facility you may find that your lights strobe every 30 seconds when your lights are off. I know it does this on my number plate leds.
It's a 2017 MY 2.0TFSI Sportback with xenons, and everything works as intended at the moment.

At the moment...

I do appreciate that it's a bit of a minefield, though. Having said that I managed to fit LED sidelights and number plate lights to a 2004 allroad with a bulb check and it never batted an eyelid.

.
 
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Seanchadwick2k3

Audi A6 C6 2.0tdi 2011 Sline Special Edition
Mine doesn't complain about the LEDs and they work fine but when the lights are off the car sends a pulse of electrical through to check if a bulb is present and working. The pulse is tiny so doesn't light a normal bulb but causes LEDs to flash on. Maybe your car isn't so fussy mine is a pain
 

Svenedin

Registered User
If you do fit the metal Audi valve caps make sure you put some lithium grease on the valve threads or you may well find they seize. That is what I do after getting annoyed at how difficult they are to remove. These are the genuine ones, not cheap copies. Plastic is more practical in this instance but not so pretty.
 

wobbly box

Registered User
I decided to change my front indicator bulbs.

Now I appreciate that this is very small beer indeed in the context of stage 3 tuning, a bigger turbocharger, coilovers, spacers, beefy anti-roll bars and stretched tyres on 20" 10J alloys , but it is what it is.

For months and months the way the original orange bulbs reflect in the... erm... reflector couldn't have bothered me less, but then all of a sudden it did. I've no idea why.

The indicators went from being perfectly functional and entirely satisfactory things which flashed orange to make other road users aware of my intentions to being a bit naff and ever-so slightly cheap-looking.

Now I don't take replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs in a car with a particularly complicated electrical system lightly.

Not at all.

Over the years I've been there and done that with LEDs that didn't work properly, flashed too fast, flashed too slowly, didn't flash at all or simply stared darkly back at me, refusing to do anything whatsoever. I've bought cheap ones, expensive ones, ones which are non-polarity sensitive and even - though not in this particular application - ones which would work on both AC and DC without causing an epileptic seizure in anyone susceptible to such things who happened to be passing by.

If changing the bulbs had meant removing wheels, wheel arch liners, bumpers, wings, radiators, gearboxes or engines I wouldn't have bothered and turned my attention to something else completely unnecessary, but removing them is a refreshingly (and surprisingly) speedy operation which takes no more than thirty seconds, tops.

So I thought I'd give it a go. The first candidates were a pair of Philips PWY24W Silver Vision incandescents , but I couldn't find any for less than about nineteen quid each. £38 for a pair of indicator bulbs which only work 50% of the time even when they're on is just nuts.

Instead, I bought a pair of these.

There was a five quid off voucher on them at the time, so I reckoned I could swallow the loss of £7.95 if they didn't work.

They turned up two days later. It was raining at the time and continued to rain for the rest of the day, so I left them in the spiffy silver envelope until the next morning.

When the next day arrived it wasn't raining, so I removed one of the original bulbs, replaced it with one of the new ones and very gingerly turned the hazards on.

Nothing went pop, there were no sparks, no smoke, no rattle of multiple fuses blowing, no warning lights and no robotic Frau shrieking "Achtung! Nein! Nein! Gott in Himmel! Remove ze bulbs immediately! Your modifications are not in order! Schnell, schnell!"

The flash rate was normal, the colour was bang on, the light snapped on and off instantly rather than wheezing into incandescent life, and that orange reflection in the indicator unit when they weren't working had gone.

Ace!

A question then. Has anyone here replaced the incandescent rear indicator bulbs (WY16Ws) with the LED equivalents?

There are a few about, and I suppose I could always just get a pair and try them, but I thought I'd ask first on the off chance. I don't want those nasty 'super bright' 1000 lumen Cree jobs that float about on eBay because they'll be pants, fry my wiring, make me look like a tasteless chav, make my car look like a souped-up Corsa and are probably illegal to boot.

Maybe I'm pushing my luck in attempting to change all four, especially in view of the fact that you can't really see the fronts and rears at the same time, but I was so encouraged by how utterly whizzo the fronts turned out that I thought I'd give it a whirl.

If I can make a success of it, I reckon I might even try installing a set of those nifty metal valve caps with the Audi logo on the top next.

.


Do you have a picture showing the difference between the standard bulb and the LED.
 
Do you have a picture showing the difference between the standard bulb and the LED.
I'll sort you out a few over the weekend if I get the chance.

I've found some WY16W LEDs which are a straight - and relatively inexpensive - swap for the rear indicator bulbs too.

No errors, no comically fast flashing and not absurdly (and possibly illegally) bright either. The whole effect is much better because the new front and rear indicators snap on and off smartly in the same way as the repeaters in the mirrors, and you lose the orange reflections when they're off.

.
 

wobbly box

Registered User
thanks, I done my reversing lights with LED's and they look smart, nice bright white away from the standard yellowish light. was also thinking of fitting the dynamic wing mirror indicator in place of the standard indicator.
 

CHEZ

moderately amusing
Supporter
If you do fit the metal Audi valve caps make sure you put some lithium grease on the valve threads or you may well find they seize. That is what I do after getting annoyed at how difficult they are to remove. These are the genuine ones, not cheap copies. Plastic is more practical in this instance but not so pretty.


Huh?
 

Mikeso51

Registered User
+1 for the indicator bulb changes. I also changed mine for leds recently, and I’m very pleased with the results. Also swapped the reverse lights and interior dome lights and glove box light for leds. Again, a great improvement.

Whilst in bulb changing mode, I also swapped the standard halogen all-weather bulbs for xenon-white equivalents, so they now colour-match the xenon headlights

All bulbs came from Trups (E M Tuning). Pleased to recommend.
 

wobbly box

Registered User
Yeah, I done the interior dome lights as well, not done glovebox yet, not sure if I will bother doing it. Im also in the process of fitting a full set of Osram cool blue intense front bulbs. side lights W5W super easy to change, DRL and Main beam H15, will do dipped beam tomorrow H7 I ran out of daylight. I struggled with the H15 on the passenger side . I could t fit the bulb back into place while it was connected to the terminal. On the driver side it was as though the terminal was held in position and all I had to do was twist the bulb. Very easy. Ant tips for changing the H7’s

Looks like you will need skinny hands to access the indicator bulbs.
 
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