Replace The Break Light Bulbs on a AUDI A4 S4 RS4, B7
Car owners, welcome !
Let me bet... When driving you have probably press the break pedal as per usual but heard a "warning beep" and seen an orange light with a cross barred bulb (between two arcs) logo enthroned in the middle of the dashboard :x I know how you feel : "F*** ! This is not the right time..." DON'T WORRY, a cheap brake bulb is simply burn out / BE HAPPY, Audi board computer alerts you to a taillight fault to prevent an accident :) I've seen so many incomplete forums or tutorials and sometimes with risky advices ! So I've written this article to prevent breakage of the superior lateral tail lights fixation. => If you follow my advice, change of bulbs is easy, WITHOUT RISK OF DAMAGE. It requires about 20 minutes.
- Screwdriver from Audi genuine tool kit (otherwise classic flat screwdriver will do the job)
- Trim clip screwdriver (WIDELY recommended so as not to break the tail light clips!)
- Pair of gloves (recommended)
- Scissors (recommended)
- Sponge, soapy water (recommended)
- Soft rag (recommended)
- Bulb P21W (12V 21W) (x8 units recommended)
While breaking and the warning light comes on the dashboard, and just under it would be written during few seconds, "Left brake light" or "Right brake light". You could also have a look at the rear of the car while pressing the brake pedal to confirm the side where the lighting fault comes (for example : with the help of a reflection on a wall or a wide window...). This article illustrates only the left side because it's EXACTLY THE SAME for the right side :)
Simply open the car trunk (also known as "car boot" or "luggage compartment") and, at the height of the tail lights, identify the 2 carpet disks (the first on the left and the second on the right) :
For now, let's focus on the one positioned on the left side :
Properly insert a flat screwdriver under the superior part of the carpet disk (it's important to insert into the superior part in order to not tear it off the carpet link) :
Leverage the superior part of the carpet disk with the flat screwdriver and move away gently so as not to tear it off the carpet link.
Slowly lower the carpet disk :
Front view of the black plastic screw (Audi original reference 8E0 945 246):
Insert the flat screwdriver at the bottom of the black plastic cylinder :
Holding down the screwdriver, unscrew counter-clockwise. It turns easily !
Extract the fixation.
Here we are in the most sensitive part of the article : just be patient and methodical. Above all, don't try to pull too hard the tail light without listen carefully to the advice below ! Otherwise you risk to brake the base of the (B) binding.
To understand how it works, have a look at the picture below. Two black rubber rings are inserted into the chassis and round black ABS bindings (A) & (B) are integrated on the white bulbs support.
Insert the clip trim screwdriver between tail light and chassis, at the middle of the two bindings (A) & (B).
PULL HORIZONTALLY the screwdriver to remove the tail light. Well, the most sensitive phase is done !
Separate the rear light from the car.
By levering with the screwdriver, unplug the electrical harness connector :
By levering with the screwdriver, unclip the two plastic tabs.
Separate the bulbs support.
Retrieve the faulty bulb (upper left of the tail light). We notice that all the bulbs look worn...
Push slightly and turn 1/4 counter-clockwise and finally pull to extract it from the support.
Gently open the new P21W bulbs packaging with scissors :
Insert the brand new bulbs with gloves to avoid deposit fat on the bulb glass, push slightly and turn 1/4 clockwise. Repeat the procedure for each bulb.
It's recommended to replace bulbs in pairs. Replacing parts in pairs can ensure vehicle is properly balanced and functioning safely.
Furthermore, each lateral tail light contains four P21W bulbs. A renowned brand bulb costs about 1,80 euros. If you replace all of them (x8), you'll be quiet for a while, and so don't risk to brake anything later ;)
When refitting, take care to properly reposition the black sealing gasket
Start the car and press the brake pedal to certify the dashboard orange warning light has disappeared.
Check that rear lights are working properly.
All is OK. It's done !