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Left dipped headlight

(2006 Audi A4 Quattro)
in Northbrook, IL on February 01, 2009
The left headlight of my 2006 Audi A4 quattro has this annoying -- and
dangerous -- problem:
1. The left headlight flickers
2. It then turns itself off
3. The message "left dipped headlight" appears
4. The message is changed to a sign indicating that the lightbulb has

If I turn the light off (Note: We're talking about driving at night
here) and turn it back on again, the light will become normal again,
for about a few minutes and then the cycle repeats itself.

This problem is intermittent. It has been occurring a lot recently
with the cold weather. I can't tell for sure whether it is
temperature related.

My Audi dealer said that Audi knows about this problem but doesn't
know how to fix it -- changing the light bulb doesn't solve the

A number of other drivers seem to have this problem as well as evidenced by the comments on some other forums. Any solutions?
Displaying 8 answers & 5 comments
Popular Answer
on January 05, 2010

on October 02, 2014
I have had exact same problem on my 2006 Audi A4 Quattro, a very annoying situation it also affects safety while driving in dark; I ignored it for few months as it got worst decided to take it in. After multiple visits to the Audi dealerships, finally they suggested to replace both igniters (Xenon Ballast) and bulbs. Since my car was just out of warranty it would be about $1600.

A Volkswagen technician in the area had a solution for it. He took out both ballasts, then unscrewed the top aluminum cover from bottom of the ballast, sprayed dry air with a can of air on the inside to clean and dry thoroughly and then used some adhesive spray all around four sides of the ballast over edge to better seal and put it back together with its original four torox screws at each corner. The Tech. suggested that I change the bulbs as well even thought they were working fine one they were on. I agreed.
He explained to me the mechanism to deliver such high voltage required to ignite the xenon bulbs is prune to humidity. If the seals do not perform well, then combination of change in temperature and presence of high voltage will create humidity in the ballast; therefore a temporary electrical short is most reasonable suspect to cause the headlight to go OFF.
In part I bought his theory since I he was charging me only $150, and in my situation this would happen more frequent if the weather was rainy or cold. I had my skepticism as well since they say you get what you pay for. It has been nearly 2 years since then, I have had absolutely no issues. I feel a lot more comfortable to post this.

It seems definitely a manufacturing design or lack of quality control issue in part of the manufacturer.

I hope this is helpful.
on February 01, 2009
Does your Audi have dual or single stage Xenon Gas Headlights? I have seen a lot of intermittent problems with their Igniters recently which are very expensive (well over $600 plus labor). Is there any oil around your headlight area? Since you said it was the left Headlight, I have seen some Power Steering Over flow issues cause problems with the Headlignts on the Driver's side of the vehicle. Actually on Weds of this week I had one. Bulb replacement will not solve these issues. Also be VERY CARFUL when dealing with these types of Headlights. There are several thousand volts built up in the Igniters and it is recommended ( by Audi ) that you disconnect the negative battery terminal and wait at least 10 minutes before touching any of the Bulb contacts. You can be very seriously shocked.
on December 22, 2010
I had brake fluid leak out then my headlight went out. I replaced the blub but it’s still out. Based on your post is the only solution to replace the igniter?
on December 26, 2010
Really need to find and repair the source of the fluid leak , or else more bulbs will burn out. Then try a new bub, and if no luck a new igniter. I have seen more that 1 Audi have a power steering leak that kept ruining the bulbs and igniter.

on October 22, 2009
Hey Dave-
I have an 05 Audi A4 and have the exact same problem. I procrastinated on getting it taken care of because the dealer blew me off but now it started doing it to my right headlight so I finally took it in & they want $1600 for 2 igniters & bulbs!? Did you get your problem resolved and if so, what was the outcome? I'm on the west coast and looking for answers...I appreciate any help you can provide!
on October 22, 2009
I have not fixed this problem and its still happening. I've taken it in a few times (for regular service) and they "reset" something in the car which doesn't help. ANYONE who has had any luck fixing this please let us know!
on August 29, 2010

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on March 19, 2010
Same flicker problem Dealer replaced mine under warranty last week (car's warranty expires next week) - but it sounds like it may start happening again soon. Bug NHSTA if it's not just a blown bulb.
on April 07, 2010
05 A4. Same exact problem. Even got a ticket from it. I had the ignitors replaced not the bulb and have not had an issue since. I don't remember exactly but I think they were 175 a piece.
on February 03, 2009
The HID lighting system is diagnosable with an appropriate scan tool.
Do you know if there are any DTC's associated with your symptoms?
on October 24, 2010
Same problem happened yesterday. Just filed a complaint through the website VWEB provided. I am wondering how should I proceed with this problem. Can I fix it myself or should I take it to the dealer and burn hell of money?
on May 08, 2014
Does the problem affect high beams? Seems to only affect low beams on my car.
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