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Replacing Your Audi A4 Tail Light Bulbs and Assembly
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Your Audi A4 Tail Light Bulbs and Assembly

Steve Vernon

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$3 to $300

Talent:

**

Tools:

Phillips head screwdriver

Applicable Models:

Audi A4 (2002-05)
Audi A4 Cabriolet (2003-06)

Parts Required:

Taillight assembly, taillight bulbs, taillight bulb sockets

Hot Tip:

Clean the bulb holder contacts prior to installation of the bulb

Performance Gain:

Working tail lamps

Complementary Modification:

Install new center brake light

The taillight assembly on the Audi A4 consists of a singular unit on each side. Replacement of the bulbs is an easy job and a great way to start saving money and introducing yourself to the world of DIY. Unfortunately changing a bulb involves having to remove the unit, but this is a simple procedure and gives you the opportunity to give the vehicle a good cleaning between the taillight and body.

If you have a bulb that is out or are getting a bulb error message always inspect the electrical connector and the taillight bulb socket before just replacing the bulb. The sockets can get corrosion in them over time which can lead to a bulb not working. Make sure you clean all the sockets with a small wire brush or some Emory paper before installing new bulbs.

This article shows you how to service the right taillight assembly but the procedures are the same for both sides

The taillight assembly on the Audi A4 consists of a singular unit on each side.
Figure 1

The taillight assembly on the Audi A4 consists of a singular unit on each side. To replace a bulb the unit must be removed from the vehicle. Begin by opening the trunk.

There is a single access cover on each side directly beside the taillight.
Figure 2

There is a single access cover on each side directly beside the taillight. Gently pry open this cover (red arrow).

Inside the cover you will find a single Phillips head screw (red arrow); you can also use a 10mm socket but the screw is surprisingly long and you are going to be turning for a while so I find a screwdriver more comfortable.
Figure 3

Inside the cover you will find a single Phillips head screw (red arrow); you can also use a 10mm socket but the screw is surprisingly long and you are going to be turning for a while so I find a screwdriver more comfortable. Either way remove the screw.

This photo illustrates how long the screw is.
Figure 4

This photo illustrates how long the screw is. Audi designed it to fit through the body work but also so it backs out enough to clear the gap so you cannot drop it down between the body panels.

Wiggle the taillight assembly to make sure it is clear of the mount on the trunk side and then gently pull it straight back
Figure 5

Wiggle the taillight assembly to make sure it is clear of the mount on the trunk side and then gently pull it straight back (yellow arrow) out from the two retainers on the rear quarter panel

There are two plastic nipples attached to the taillight (yellow arrows) that sit in two rubber grommets in the rear quarter panel (red arrows).
Figure 6

There are two plastic nipples attached to the taillight (yellow arrows) that sit in two rubber grommets in the rear quarter panel (red arrows). Use care when wiggling and pulling these out as you do not want to break them.

You can unclip the assembly from the wiring connection but I like to disconnect the wiring and work on the assembly away from the vehicle, this way it cannot swing around and damage the paint.
Figure 7

You can unclip the assembly from the wiring connection but I like to disconnect the wiring and work on the assembly away from the vehicle, this way it cannot swing around and damage the paint. Turn the unit over and disconnect the wiring mount (red arrow) and then release the clip on the connection and pull it straight back and off (yellow arrow).

Place the assembly on a rag or clean cardboard so you will not scratch up the lens.
Figure 8

Place the assembly on a rag or clean cardboard so you will not scratch up the lens. There are two plastic clips that hold the bulb holders to the lens housing (red arrows). Gently unclip the bulb holder.

With the clips undone you can remove the bulb holder (red arrow) from the housing (yellow arrow).
Figure 9

With the clips undone you can remove the bulb holder (red arrow) from the housing (yellow arrow).

This photo illustrates which bulbs go where; turn signal (red arrow), back up (yellow arrow), Fog light (green arrow), taillight/running light (blue arrow) and brake/ taillight (purple arrow).
Figure 10

This photo illustrates which bulbs go where; turn signal (yellow arrow), back up (red arrow), Fog light (green arrow), taillight/running light (blue arrow) and brake/ taillight (purple arrow).

The bulbs and sockets are simple push turn pull; to remove gently push the bulb in, turn and pull out.
Figure 11

The bulbs and sockets are simple push turn pull; to remove gently push the bulb in, turn and pull out. You should never touch the bulb glass surface with your bare skin; the oils in your skin can cause hot spots on the bulbs and diminish their life expectancy. The sockets can get corrosion in them over time which can lead to a bulb not working. Make sure you clean all the sockets with a small wire brush or some Emory paper before installing new bulbs. Installation is the reverse of removal.



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Comments and Suggestions:
mik Comments: i have a uk audi a4 2002
your colors are wrong
in my car your purple position is the rear drivers side fog light, the green is brakes and parking side lights
February 17, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'll have someone look into it. However, this article is for IS models. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Elber Gonzalez Comments: I just purchased a 02 A4 1.8T quattro and had some problems with the tail lights, I saw the figure10 here but I think there was a confusion with the order of those arrows on the illustration, because amber lights are not supposed to be to announce a turn?
October 5, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for catching that error. I will have the article updated. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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