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Thread: Headlight issue

  1. #1
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    Headlight issue

    On my rs6, my hid lights have a hard time igniting when it gets cold outside. I have replaced both ballasts with Oem ones and I run true Phillips 6000k bulbs. I have to turn the light switch a couple times to get one sometimes both to come on in cold weather. Do the c5 model audis have any issue with poor headlight wiring that could cause issues in cold weather. In warm weather, no issues. Thoughts by anyone?

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    Registered User Other_Erik's Avatar
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    Are you turning on lights while the engine is cold / just after startup? If you're still running SAI, that pump pulls 12v/40A, and the ignition amperage for the bulbs is pretty high (like 12v/30A each IIRC). May just be a subtle hint to you to let the car warm up (as per Audi recommendation) before taxing the electrical system. If it still does it after waiting >90 seconds from startup, the headlight relay and/or fuses may be on their way out - would be time to dig into it with a probe to check volts/amps being delivered when you flip the switch. If all else fails, check the voltage and amperage output from the alternator - anything less than 13.8v / 144A on the charging cable going to the battery points to replacement of the voltage regulator, possibly refurb'ing the alternator itself.

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    It is still an issue after even a few minutes. It has no problem in warm weather even with engine off. My impression is that as soon as the engine bay warms up, it turns on with no issue. Sometimes the issue is with one light, other times with both.

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    Registered User kruat's Avatar
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    I have no input on OPs question, but has anyone done a HID retrofit/update on a RS? I dislike the performance of the factory lights and was thinking of upgrading.
    -Mike-
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  5. #5
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    Has anyone ever run a relay with power to ballast directly from battery. I have this setup in my 95 s6 which was needed when I added hid due to poor wiring in those cars

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    Registered User lswing's Avatar
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    Guessing you've googled "hid issues on cold start". I could see the gasses in the bulb being slower to ignite the cooler the temp, but it seems like that's well below freezing. Lots of threads from all types of cars. Personally never heard of this in 5 years now. I'm in NY so will keep an eye out this winter, but still no issues when around 30 degrees. Maybe water or wiring issues?
    Ace/Edge TC - Tozo Trans - MTM TCU - REVO/ME7 tune - Wagner IC's w/ Venair Hoses - Aux Radiator delete - Hotchkis Sways - Hawk HPS Pads - Koni Sport Struts - Scroll KO4 Turbos - Devil's Own WM - 421whp/452wtq on Mustang Dyno - http://www.audirssix.com

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    Registered User hahnmgh63's Avatar
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    Never had a problem with the cold start-up here in Washington. Maybe a couple of seconds longer to get to full brightness than in the warmer weather but hardly a perceptible change.
    2003 White RS6 2013 Midnight Blue S5
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    It has been suggested to me that the aftermarket bulbs could be the problem, but they are genuine german phillips 5000k bulbs which are decent. In any regards, some research came across HID capacitors that are used in certain aftermarket HID settings to help with firing. I would be interested in thoughts by the forum if that might be something to try and help give the bulbs a little extra charge to fire in the cold. They are cheap so I might give it a try.

    http://www.hidextra.com/hidextra-uni...apacitor-pair/

  9. #9
    Registered User lswing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbagge01 View Post
    It has been suggested to me that the aftermarket bulbs could be the problem, but they are genuine german phillips 5000k bulbs which are decent. In any regards, some research came across HID capacitors that are used in certain aftermarket HID settings to help with firing. I would be interested in thoughts by the forum if that might be something to try and help give the bulbs a little extra charge to fire in the cold. They are cheap so I might give it a try.

    http://www.hidextra.com/hidextra-uni...apacitor-pair/
    So you replaced ballasts before trying OEM bulbs? I'd just try the exact OEM bulb and go from there. About $60 a piece or something? Your aftermarket bulb seems to need some extra power to start.
    Ace/Edge TC - Tozo Trans - MTM TCU - REVO/ME7 tune - Wagner IC's w/ Venair Hoses - Aux Radiator delete - Hotchkis Sways - Hawk HPS Pads - Koni Sport Struts - Scroll KO4 Turbos - Devil's Own WM - 421whp/452wtq on Mustang Dyno - http://www.audirssix.com

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    I installed a set of Philips 85122C1 4200k recently. Not too pleased with the color temperature (slight yellow hue) but it's been consistently below freezing here and they fire every single time. And I'm not running around with one eye anymore.

    http://www.usa.philips.com/c-p/85122...xenon/overview

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o01_s00

    I would verify everything works as intended with a factory spec bulb before throwing random universal hacks at it. Then work up to the 5000k if so inclined. What you describe is the exact symptom I experienced when my OE bulb was on it's way out. Maybe you ran into a bad set of bulbs?
    03 RS6 Avus/Ebony #905593 resurrected 6MT, 04 Avalanche Z71, 87 T-Bird Turbo Coupe (351W T5), 04 Aprilia RSVR Factory

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    Registered User Bigglezworth's Avatar
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    Bulb or ballast? Where are the ballasts located on our cars?
    '02 S6 Avant Silver - Pokey | Carbon Black/Ebony RS6 w/ stuff - darn quick | '03 Daytona Grey/Ebony RS6 w/ more stuff - quicker yet | '91 NSX CDN issue with 6spd & BBSC - quicker yet and then some | '87 Buick GNX OEM clone w/ lots of stuff - quickest hands down

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigglezworth View Post
    Where are the ballasts located on our cars?
    Mounted with a metal strap and single screw under each headlight assembly.
    03 RS6 Avus/Ebony #905593 resurrected 6MT, 04 Avalanche Z71, 87 T-Bird Turbo Coupe (351W T5), 04 Aprilia RSVR Factory

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    Quote Originally Posted by bethridg View Post
    Mounted with a metal strap and single screw under each headlight assembly.
    Has anyone had any luck or special tricks to getting the headlights out without having to remove the bumper. I know from other posts that people have mentioned being able to do it, but I usually end up just taken the bumper off, especially given the bottom screw is difficult to get to when reinstalling it. It seems that it is the ballast that gets caught up on the frame when trying to squeeze it out with the bumper on.

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    x2 on getting the headlight assembly out without taking the bumper cover off. Can it be done on our cars? Just got 2 new assemblis to replace my 13 year old originals.

  15. #15
    Registered User Bigglezworth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbagge01 View Post
    Has anyone had any luck or special tricks to getting the headlights out without having to remove the bumper. I know from other posts that people have mentioned being able to do it, but I usually end up just taken the bumper off, especially given the bottom screw is difficult to get to when reinstalling it. It seems that it is the ballast that gets caught up on the frame when trying to squeeze it out with the bumper on.
    Quote Originally Posted by 1bad03rs6 View Post
    x2 on getting the headlight assembly out without taking the bumper cover off. Can it be done on our cars? Just got 2 new assemblis to replace my 13 year old originals.
    No, and No. Bumper needs to be removed yes.
    '02 S6 Avant Silver - Pokey | Carbon Black/Ebony RS6 w/ stuff - darn quick | '03 Daytona Grey/Ebony RS6 w/ more stuff - quicker yet | '91 NSX CDN issue with 6spd & BBSC - quicker yet and then some | '87 Buick GNX OEM clone w/ lots of stuff - quickest hands down

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    Thanks. Haven't been on in a while. Any advice or link to a how to on the bumper removal. Seems pretty straight forward, just don't want to miss any steps.

    Thanks in advance.

  17. #17
    Registered User Bigglezworth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1bad03rs6 View Post
    Thanks. Haven't been on in a while. Any advice or link to a how to on the bumper removal. Seems pretty straight forward, just don't want to miss any steps.

    Thanks in advance.
    Straight forward work. Remove inspection pan. Remove both front tires. Remove all Torx screws from the middle of the wheel whell liner to the front of the car (more on the passenger side than the drivers side). Pull liner back so that you can get socket inside to remove three bolts each side that fasten bumper to fender. Remove intercooler grilles, and remove two long bolts that fasten up through bumper support and sandwich each bumper piston. Pull cover off partially to expose inards. Clamp hose from windshield washer resvoir to front headlight washers and unclip at coupling. Unclip horns and DRL's (fog lights for the US folk) from each side. Pull cover off fully.

    Might have missed something small in that list, but that is what I recall off the top of my head having removed the covers on all of my rides here more than a dozen times. Don't quote me on sizes for all the fasteners. Too old to remember that stuff... lol

    Lights can then be removed out through the front of the radiator front clip by unclipping the harnes, removing the two top torx fasteners and the one stuck down inside next to the fender.
    '02 S6 Avant Silver - Pokey | Carbon Black/Ebony RS6 w/ stuff - darn quick | '03 Daytona Grey/Ebony RS6 w/ more stuff - quicker yet | '91 NSX CDN issue with 6spd & BBSC - quicker yet and then some | '87 Buick GNX OEM clone w/ lots of stuff - quickest hands down

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    Thanks. That is a great set of instructions to go by. I helped a friend do it like 5 years ago, but I too am getting old and couldn't remember all the details.

    I really appreciate it!

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