[8L] Cockpit background lights and needles don't work

Hi All,

sorry for posting in English, I am not from Germany, although I speak some German I couldn't explain my problem very well to you… :slight_smile:

So, here we go. I use a 1999.12 Audi A3, 1.6b, 5 door.
It happened to me two times before, that in colder mornings the cockpit lights and the two main needles on the cockpit 'turned on' only ca. 5 minutes after starting the car, while I was already in traffic (I thought at first, that the battery needed some charge or what.)

Now, suddenly, the cockpit lights (rev, km/h) won't turn on at all, the needles don't move at all, no matter how long I use the car. (So no dependency on the car battery.)

I am sure, this must be a computer error. Besides, the car works fine (If I turn on headlights, the symbol appears on the cockpit, index shows up as well, A/C and radio lights are ok) - but without properly working needles and backgrund lights.

What do you think the problem might be?
(If I didn't explain well you are free to ask questions:))

Thanks a lot,

The problem might be a "cold" solder joint (don't know the technical correct word, I don't have my tech dictionary with me :slight_smile: ). The are repair sevices for the instrument cluster. a full repair costs about 200 Euro. You can also get a replacement part at your dealer.

Thank you for the quick comment!
I think I more or less understand your explanation.


i had the same problem about 1 year ago. i checked the headlight switch. this switch consists of two separatet parts, clicked into each other. both parts must fit well into each other otherwise some features wont work well…



Thanks, I will check, but in my case it seems like it's a bit more complicated:
I think for some reasons the central computer (or what) is simply not sending data to the cockpit.

So not only the manual backlight is gone, besides the 'dead' rev and speed needles I have a blank data/hour and km diplay as well - these are digial displays.

@gee-em : I think that's not your problem. The Problem with malfunction needles shortly after the start is well-known. If they work after few seconds or minutes, then it's most likely the cockpit.