Truly representing the very top level of design work, Audi is known for its sleek, stylish, and yet timeless cars. A marriage of design perfection and trusted German engineering, means Audi vehicles turn heads whenever they hit the road. However, simple elements, like a failed tail light, can become instantly noticeable upon an otherwise top-tier motor. In this article we’ll be clearing up, and explaining the reasons behind a failed tail light and how best to seek repairs.
A Little Bit About Tail Lights
Tail lights and brake lights are located within the same cluster at the rear of your vehicle. Tail lights are illuminated when you switch your car lights on. Brake lights illuminate only when you press your brake pedal, indicating to drivers that you’re vehicle is slowing or stopping.
In Audis, the tail lights are comprised of LEDs, which stands for Light Emitting Diode. Older cars, and some manufacturers tend to use CFL, or Compact Fluorescent Light. LEDs represent a more superior lighting system, as they are more efficient, and environmentally friendly, release little heat, and offer longevity, usually lasting within a vehicle for 50,000+ hours, compared to a CFL bulb at round 10,000+ hours.
Reasons the Tail Lights have Failed
There are four key reasons why LED tail lights may fail: the battery, a cracked casing, a blown fuse, or a faulty or broken bulb. You can identify which one of these may be the problem using some simple troubleshooting methods.
1. Battery Problems
This is basically the car equivalent of checking if an electrical appliance is plugged in. It may seem obvious that your lights wont work if there’s no power going to them, but when diagnosing any issue its best to start with ruling out the basics. To check your batteries performance, all you need to do is honk your vehicle's horn. If it sounds as normal, then this is a clear indicator that your car's’ battery is performing as normal.
2. Cracked Casing
The electronic components in LED light are sensitive to water. If, when you’re checking your vehicle over and you notice cracking or damage to the seal of the tail light casing, then this is most likely the reason for the LED’s failure, or sign that a failure may not be too many more drives away, as it will mean the casing is no longer watertight allowing moisture to reach the bulbs. One simple tip you can implement to avoid cracking, is to avoid jet washing the casings when you clean your car, opt instead to wipe them over manually.
3. Checking the Fuse
As with electrical issues in your home, checking and replacing the fuse of a failed electronic can often be cheaper than replacing the bulb, or item itself. To do this you’ll need to find the control panel on your car, this houses the fuse box. On Audis this is usually located on the driver’s side of the dashboard, though on older models this may be found near the driver’s door. Locate the fuse labelled ‘tail lights’ and replace it. Hopefully this should be the end of your worries.
4. Replacing the Bulbs
Finally, if other troubleshooting methods fail, then your problem is probably the lights themselves. The only solution here is to replace the burnt out bulbs for new ones. First you’ll need to remove the tail light casing, making sure to keep the screws safe for reattachment. Next you’ll need to pry open the LED casing, this can be tricky, and its best to take your time so as not to damage it. Then you can remove the LED strip and replace it. If you’re not confident with repairs, or lack a delicate touch, this may be best done by a professional.
Seeking Professional Help
For complete peace of mind and long lasting results, it’s always best to seek a quality mechanic to mend your prized vehicle. If you’re in Tucson, Arizona or any of the surrounding areas, then come on down to Group One Motorwerks.
Both knowledgeable and passionate about German engineering, we know the ins and outs of Audis, and with years of experience, and highly skilled mechanics, we’ll have your car in perfect running order, and turning heads once more in no time.
* Audi RS 3 Tail Light image credit goes to: rvolkan.