How to Fix Failed Tail Lights in Your Audi

January 25, 2019
Audi TT RS Tail Light

Sometimes it is hard to notice if your rear lights begin to malfunction or go out completely. We may have a stranger notify us in a parking lot, at a stop light, when we get our oil changed, or we just get pulled over for the police to let us know. Some of us even have to wait until we have been rear-ended to find out that our tail lights were not working properly. To avoid any and all of these situations it is best to have tail lights checked during routine maintenance of your Audi.

Having a failed tail light is much different than just having the light burn out. Most Audis are now also designed with LED tail lights to contribute to their sleek appearance. Replacing the LED tail lights will be different than replacing other vehicle tail lights, so if your first attempt to change the LED lights when you are experiencing tail light issues and you are unsure, you may want to have a professional Audi repair shop do it for you to avoid damaging anything.

Signs Your Tail Lights are Failing

If your tail lights continue to malfunction or just don’t work at all even after putting new tail lights in, then you may have a different problem altogether. It is likely some sort of connection issue within the tail light socket, but it is still not limited to just that. It will be relatively obvious if your tail lights are going out or failing versus just having a bad bulb.

It may be hard to notice yourself when your lights malfunction or go out, but someone will likely draw your attention to it so you can investigate the issue further. If there issue lies within the light socket plate, then you could experience flickering, the lights only working sometimes, or the brake and turn signal lights not working at all. To discover if it is truly a socket issue and not a bulb issue, it is easier to consult a professional mechanic right away.

Causes of Tail Light Failure in your Audi

If you have changed the LED lights yourself and the issue persists, then you will likely need to change the socket (basically just where the light plugs into) or clean out the connections if there is build up there. Although it will be less common than the direct connectors, it is possible that the Audi’s BCM (Body Control Module) could be malfunctioning as well. On some Audi models, the brake lights are controlled through the BCM on a rather complex circuit board. There is a possibility that the lights are malfunctioning due to an issue with the BCM as a whole or simply the tail light circuit within the BCM shorting out.

Once you have made sure that the connection is clean and free of any residue or build up, and that the socket is functioning to the full capacity, then you will need to see if the BCM in your Audi controls the tail light function. The BCM in most Audis will be generally be located inside the vehicle on the driver’s side beneath part of the kick panel (where your emergency brake and release is located). You’ll need to remove this in order to access the BCM. It is also possible to bring your car to a trusted Audi mechanic, as they will be able to give a more direct and in-depth diagnosis of the issue, and hopefully tell you if the BCM will need to be replaced or not.

Audi Mechanic

Trust the Professionals

Tail light failure can be a difficult thing to notice yourself, and if you are not well-versed in how the tail light system in your Audi works, then it can be frustrating when the issue persists. One day the lights may work fine and the next day they may not work at all! To avoid an unnecessary accident, it is important to solve the failure at the source of the problem. This is easily done when you consult a trusted Audi mechanic or specialist. If you live in or around the Seattle or Bellevue, Washington area, consider contacting Landmark Motors for more information on how to address your Audi’s tail light issues.

* Audi TT RS Tail Light image credit goes to: nrqemi.