Audi A3 LED Interior Light Upgrade DIY

21Mar09

Audi A3 LED Light Conversion – DIY

Finally got around to upgrading my interior lighting in my Audi A3(8p) to LED Superwhite bulbs and I have never been happier. I considered using xenon gas super whites however I made the choice to go with LEDs. After doing hours of research, I couldnt really find anything comprehensive about Audi owners doing this upgrade. What I got were bits and pieces of information from various forums so I decided to do my own RnD and overcome the challenges of this project.

LED's Installed

THE CHALLENGES:

The interior lighting is computer controlled. This made for some challenges due to the cars computer either freaking out or reporting bulb failures.

The next challenge was finding bulbs that would be perfect for the job. I saw many companies offering ton’s different products. ESC Tunning sold LED Bulbs that were ridiculously priced and it was only for the rear license plate lights.

 

BULB INVENTORY

Front Dome Cluster
2 – Map Lights (BA9S) note: Sylvania list these as 64111
2 – Dome Lights (6411)

Rear Dome Cluster
2 – Map Lights (BA9S) note: Sylvania list these as 64111

Sun Visor Lighting
2 – Vanity Lights (6418) note: Sylvania doesnt list them on their website

Glovebox Lighting
1 – Glove Box Light (194 Wedge) note: Sylvania list these as 2825

Trunk / Cargo Lighting
1 – Trunk Light (194 Wedge) note: Sylvania list these as 2825

 

NEW LED LIGHTS
The new LED lights were
purchased from 2 different places.-TunerDomes (http://www.tunerdomes.com)-LEDLight.com (http://www.ledlight.com)
2 – DOME 6411 41mm – Hyperwhite – 2WATT (Usage: Main
Dome Light)Purchased from TunnerDomes.com
4 – DOME 6418 37mm – Hyperwhite – 1WATT (Usage: Vanity,
Rear License Plate Lights)Purchased fromTunnerDomes.com
2 – DOME 194 (T10) – HyperWhite – Hight Power (Usage: Glovebox , Trunk/Cargo Light)Purchased from TunerDomes.com
4 – LED Side Firing BA9S -90 Degree Offset – 1WATT Color: SuperWhite (Usage: Front and Rear Map Lights)Purchased from
LEDLight.com

 

LED Replacement – Do It Yourself Guide

Main Front Dome
Use a plastic trim panel tool to remove the Dome light cover and Map Light cover. Remove the 2 map lights (BA9S) by twisting them til they disconnect and put out. Remove the 2 dome lights by spreading the clips a little why pulling the bulb downward. Remove the 2map lights (BA9S) by twisting them til they disconnect and put out. Replace with the new LED bulbs.
Dome Light Cover Removal Map Light Cover Removal
Stock Dome Bulbs Stock Dome Bulbs
LED Dome Bulbs LED Dome Bulbs

 

Sun Visor / Vanity Light
Use a plastic trim panel tool to pry out the light housing from the head liner. Remove the back metal retainer and slide the bulb (6418) out. Replace with the new LED bulb.
Removal Light Removed
Front View Rear View
Stock Bulb LED Bulb Installed

 

Rear Dome / Map Lights
Use a plastic trim panel tool to pry the dome module out from the head liner. Twist and remove the stock (BA9S) bulbs. Replace with the new LED bulbs.
Removal Light Module Removed
Stock Bulb LED Bulb Installed

 

Trunk / Cargo Lights
Use a plastic trim panel tool to pry out the light housing from the left trunk panel. Remove the black plastic rear cover and slide out the stock (194) bulb. Replace with the new LED bulb.
Removal Light Housing Removed
Light Housing Stock Bulb with Cover Removed
 
LED Bulb Installed  

 

Glovebox Light
Use a plastic trim panel tool to pry out the light housing from inside the glovebox. Its a small space to work in but just take our time. Remove the black plastic rear cover and slide out the stock (194) bulb. Replace with the new LED bulb.
   
Removal Light Housing
Stock Bulb with Cover Removed LED Bulb Installed
Rear License Plate Light
Use a philips screwdriver to remove the the light
housing. Remove stock bulb (6418) and replace with the new LED bulb. Do
the same on the other light housing.
Removal Bottom of Light
Stock Bulb LED Bulb Installed

 

PROBLEMS AND RESOLUTIONS

Front Dome Light ProblemAfter
replacing the front dome and maps lights, the two driver side LEDs
glowed very dimly when it should have been off. Only if I manually
turned the dome light switch to off did it turn off completely. I
believe the dimming circuit was very sensitive to the amount of
resistance of the new bulbs.To resove this issue I went to Radio shack and bought a couple of 100
ohm 1watt resistors. I filed the side of the bulb so that the solder had
a place to grab and soldered a single resistor in parallel to help
reduce the resistance of the bulb. I only had to do this one the driver
side dome light bulb since this was the side that had issues.
Driver side Glowing light problem Close up of Installed 100 Ohm 1 Watt
Resistor
Close up of Installed Resistor in Dome
Light
Temp of Stock Dome Bulb
Temp of LED Bulb without Resistor Temp of LED Bulb w/ Resistor
 
 
Trunk / Cargo ProblemAfter
plugging in the new LED bulb, the light did not turn on. I learned that
in order for this light to turn on you will need to close your trunk and
open it again. When you press the electronic trunk latch release from
the outside of your car, the computer sends current to the light. The
new LED bulb had a much higher impedance than the stock bulb and the
computer thinks the bulb is out. The LED light blinks 5 times then turns
off. I think the computer is tries 5 times to fire up the bulb and gives
up. In order to fix this, you must lower the impedance of the bulb. I
used a ceramic 100 Ohm 10watt resistor.

  Ceramic 100 Ohm 10 Watt Resistor
   

 

BEFORE AND AFTER SHOTS

Before and After Shots
Before and After Shots Before and
After Shots Before and After Shots Before and After Shots Before and

Enjoy!

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17 Responses to “Audi A3 LED Interior Light Upgrade DIY”

  1. 1 Erik

    Hey,
    Great write-up and you’re right, there isn’t much out there about this mod. I was wondering, though, it your interior lights still fade off and on or if they are instantly off and on now. My understanding is that the fading of the lights is controlled by the computer sensing the resistance of the bulb. Hope to hear from you and congrats on your DIY.

  2. 2 Hieu Pham

    I just got an A5 and am trying to do the same—what kind of light did you purchase and what colors did they have—I am trying to do red/blue.

    Regards,

    Hieu

  3. 3 Mark

    Great job putting together this information. I’ve recently purchased a 2006 A3 3.2 and have been looking all over for some mods just like this.

  4. 4 Iggy

    Nice post about the LEDS. I am having the same problem that you had with the LEDs staying on (dimly lit). Was going to try what you mentioned about adding the resistor. I was curious since I am no electrician and never dealt with this before. You mentioned you welded it in parallel? Is it clear on the resistor which side to goes where or doesn’t matter?
    Also my wedge lights are also staying on? (DOME 194 (T10) – HyperWhite – Hight Power) probably no way to get a resistor on those?

    Thanks, and again nice post. I haven’t done my license plate lights yet but after seeing yours about to try to get that tackled also.

    ~Iggy

  5. 5 Audi Man

    This is awesome … i’m going to start working on my S5 now! Thanks a million.

  6. Any chance you could reupload pictures?
    Thanks

  7. 7 will

    hi
    the pictures wew gone
    can u send the pictures to my email
    i really wanna try installing the led lights on my a3
    thank u very much

  8. 8 slachan

    Great post, this is now A MUST in my car… So is the Hawaii license plate, but that’s another story : ) mahalo

  9. Fantástico post.
    Farei o mesmo para a Skoda Octávia.

  10. 10 Frankie Yung

    Any idea where to get the plastic trim to remove the housing? can’t find it at home depot nor ace hardware

  11. 12 Deseronto

    Great work, thanks very much

  12. 13 doug

    great write up and very detailed installation pictures. just wanted to provide an update. david at tunerdomes.com has a complete LED interior light kit for audi A3 with or without open sky. this kit includes replacement LED bulbs for all interior lights. Just purchased hyper white color interior light kit for my 2012 Audi A3 and all LED bulbs were plug’n play. No error messages, no flickering, no glowing as described in this “DIY led installation.” The LEDs work and function just like the factory bulbs except for the hyper white color that provides a very clean interior look as shown in the after installation photos. David is awesome and very knowledagble. LED bulbs are of good quality, and again, i did NOT have to run to radio shack to perform any modification to bulbs. LED replacement bulbs worked perfectly right out of the box!

    of note: when you first install the LED bulb and if they don’t turn on, it means you just got to flip the LED bulb around because you got the polarity of the bulb reversed. as for installation tool, tried to find the plastic trim but was unsuccessful. so, i carefully placed masking tape on the tip of a small philips screw driver and CAREFULLY removed each light cover to install each LED bulb. worked fine.

    • 14 doug

      forgot to mention, david at tunerdomes.com LED kit also includes LED bulbs for the glove box and trunk light because i’ve found other website sites that claim to sell interior LED light kit but does not include a full interior LED lighting upgrade. you guys should definitely check out tunerdomes.com and again david is very responsive and in providing helpful information. (david is the owner).

  13. 15 doug

    wanted to provide another update. I’ve had my interior tunerdome led bulbs in my A3 for about 7 months now and they are just as bright as when i first received them in the mail. Recently, contacted David at tunerdomes to see if he had any LED license plate bulbs that would fit my A3. He did! And they were bright! These are the bulbs that were recommended to me: http://www.tunerdomes.com/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=148. Having said that, like most German cars that use the CANBUS system, these LED bulbs for my license plate did throw a “bulb error” indicator on the dash. To fix this problem the installation of an equalizer (aka resistor is needed) was needed. To install the resistor check out this link: http://forums.fourtitude.com/showthread.php?5332401-DIY-The-17-LED-License-Plate-Fix
    Furthermore, I wanted to add that there are actually 4 torx screws (T20 screw size) that need to be removed in order to remove the plastic panel from the rear hatch. The first two are described in the provided forum. The other two T20 screws are located behind the two small interior plastic panels used to gain access to the reverse back up lights bulbs. After you remove all 4 screws then the plastic panel is just held in by metal tab clips that just require you to give a tug down.
    The look of the LP is a very clean modern white appearance compared to the stock dim yellow look. Of course, the quality of led bulb is bar none.
    Hope this helps everyone out!


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