A4 dipped beam - Dave Croker
I've have just bought a 99V A4 avant,and find it's dipped beam the worst i've ever come across. So I put xeon 30% brighter bulbs in and also tested the voltage to the bulbs in case there was a drop through the loom, but it made no improvment. Audi UK and my local main dealer say they have never heard of any problems, so am I alone with this problem, or have any of you managed to improve these lights?
ps the main beam is very good.
Dave C
A4 dipped beam - John S

It's worth checking if the main and dip beams can be adjusted separately. It's quite possible that the dip units are set rather low, and optimising the aim of the dip beams will improve their performance.

I've found that cars can happily come out of the factory will poorly adjusted lights, and as the car's suspension settles this can compound the problem. Readjustment can be very effective.


John S
A4 dipped beam - jc
It sometimes happens this way:the 98 Fiesta had a better dipped and main beam than it's facelift did.
A4 dipped beam - Cyd
As mentioned, dipped beams oftem are set way too low. This does not constitute an MoT fail, so they never get adjusted. Living in the sticks I often find myself behind cars dawdling along dark lanes because they cannot see where they are going because the dipped beam cutoff is about 25 metres or less in front of the car.

Having your beam adjusted is probably the first port of call. Personally I do my own and always adjust so the cutoff is only just below horizontal.

If you can find some flat level ground up against a wall: park front to wall with lights on; make a chalk mark where the centre of the light is; back the car away about 25 feet or so (dead straight); adjust headlights so the top edge of the 'sweet spot' falls on or slightly below the chalk mark. This is best done in the dark - so you'll need a torch to see under the bonnet with.
A4 dipped beam - Dave Croker
I think I should mention that the dipped beam hight is fine, the problem is lack of light, and not the angle of the beam.
I think the problem is due to the fact that the dipped beam is projected through a lens and not a reflector like the main beam.
If this is a design fault I still don't know why I seem to be the only person who finds it a fault.
In this day and age on a car from a high quality car maker should not be let down by it's lights. I can name a long list of cheaper/older cars that have much better lights.
PS my next car won't be an Audi.
A4 dipped beam - Tony N
Your absolutely right, my '96 A4 has got the worst headlights since my old 80 sport! I think its a VAG thing as Golfs tend to have pretty rubish headlights too (not the mk IVs though). I know someone with a '99 A4 with HID lights and he says that they are spot-on, as he used to have '96 with rubbish lights too. A mate of mine reckond that the lights on the 80 where wired up directly to the switch with no relay so that might be it. I've never checked if this is true or if its the same on the A4 but it would make sense as it looks to be like there's a deficiency in voltage across the dipped bulb. What sort of readings were you getting for voltage across the bulb when compared to the battery voltage at the same time? In comparison, my Focus has normal non HID lights and they are FANTASTIC compared to the A4's...
A4 dipped beam - Big John
VW/Audi cars dont use head light relays , ie all the current passes through the headlight switch & dip/main stalk. When the car is a couple of years old you start to get voltage drop accross the contacts. They are very expensive to replace.

To cure insert two high current relays, one for dip one for main into the wiring. This needs to be done before the dim dip circuit ie close to the steering stalks. The two wires are usually thick and one coloured yellow and the other white.

You will need an earth and a high current fused feed direct from the battery. Feed the inputs into the relay coils along with the earth(from stalks) Feed the high current feed onto one side of the relay out with the other contact feeding the headlights.

This make a huge!!! difference 2.4V at the bulb on my old Passat.
It also protects your headlight and stalk switches. If you dont do this the switches eventually burn out - very expensive!

PS fitting high wattage bulbs before fitting the relays can make it worse due to the current drain. Also the switches will burn out!!!
A4 dipped beam - Dave Croker
I have tried feeding one of the dipped beam bulbs direct from the battery so as to give it a good chance shine at it's best.
This proved to be no better than the other bulb that was fed via the loom and switch, so I still think it's a design fault.
The other night I had a lift in a new Astra SXi and was very impressed with that car's dipped beam.
A4 dipped beam - Dave_TD
I know it sounds daft, but the headlight lens is clean, isn't it? I only ask this because a colleague finds his Calibra dipped headlights become very dim very quickly when the lenses get dirty, as they only have a very small surface area. (Similar size to your A4.)
You could try Philips Visionplus bulbs, these have up to 50% more light output and make a great difference to the headlights on my Octavia.


It looks like Audi changed the bulb type on the A4 in 1999 from H1 to H7, the former are £19.50 a pair, the latter £27.95.



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