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Thread: Relays for lights

  1. #1
    CF Nutter
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    Relays for lights

    Ive seen people change the headlight relays to later vw passat etc.does this make any difference. Cheers
    1990 1.8 16v white

  2. #2
    CF Nutter fendervg's Avatar
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    Not sure what you mean with the Passat relays - there are no relays in the Corrado headlight circuit, just fuses and the main switch and stalk. This is one of the reasons for the low output, as the voltage will have dropped considerably after a round about journey around the headlight loom before it hits the lights. A popular upgrade is to fit a loom direct from the battery via two or three fused relays that are switched by the original loom. This gives more volts and light at the bulbs and has less risk of switches burning out.

    There is plenty of info on the uprated looms here, and on the interwebs and they are widely available, and even not too hard to make up yourself. They are popular for lots of other VAG cars of the era that had the same headlight power supply arrangement.
    Last edited by fendervg; 21st November 2018 at 10:28 PM.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by carrots View Post
    Ive seen people change the headlight relays to later vw passat etc.does this make any difference. Cheers
    I can't speak to relays used in Passats as I've never used them, but a relay is a relay so as long as they are rated to handle the current they should work. Here in the US with our non-relayed crappy US DOT headlights, an upgrade to European headlights along with relays is a massive upgrade. I can't say how much was due to headlights and how much is due to relays, but I'd guess the relays make a significant difference since light output is so sensitive to voltage drop. My headlights are better than almost all new car headlights here in the US, especially my brights. With relayed European headlights, I couldn't be happier with the light output, pattern and coolness of light switch.

  4. #4
    CF Nutter fendervg's Avatar
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    An uprated relayed loom with any of the high output 60/55w bulbs like the Osram Nightbreaker will make a huge difference. I had 9v at the bulb with the original harness, and 11.8v with an uprated loom - the only other weak point would be the reflectors, which can corrode over time - there's a few different companies that can re-silver them if they are a problem.
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  5. #5
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    Ive already got a loom upgrade and beter bulbs.its just ive seen corrados for sale and the say its got a loom upgrade and later passat relays.i just wondered if i am missing out on something.

  6. #6
    CF Nutter fendervg's Avatar
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    Sounds a bit strange - I'd ask them for more info. I've never come across any reference to this, unless they've just fitted the whole loom and relays off a more modern car.

    None of the VAG cars of that era have relays for the headlights, maybe later ones do. The relays used in the loom are just standard 3 way switched ones with the correct rating. There is nothing specific to the relay that would improve light output, beyond using the relays in the first place - the main benefit is that you are shortening the wiring path from battery to bulb and taking the load off the original loom and switches.
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