Relaying dim-dip headlights - Type 44

rob hod rob3 at
Tue Dec 10 18:40:51 EST 2002

    Hi Kent,

    HeHee, looks like I've started one that could run and run!

    Ok, I'll try and knock out a few easy translations here, so as to
minimise the potential for more confusion.
> British American
> ---------- -------------
> main Beam = high beams

> dip low beams
> dim parking lights only (no headlights)
        Not sure, We use the term 'Sidelights' for what you may call parking
lights. Reason I guess cos they're generally sited towards the extremities
of the vehicle. I can understand why they'd also be called parking lights as
they are more to do with marking your vehicle out in the dark than for
seeing with.

    In my car I would call sidelights the first switch position - 5w bulb in
headlights and tailllights and number plate lights on.

    Alternatively there is the feature that leaving the indicator on with
the ignition off will leave the 'sidelights' on that side of the car on. We
would call that parking lights as again you are marking out a hazard for
other traffic and I beleive that was an EU requirement at one time (may
still be).

> full-dip low beams only
        No, dipped is dipped, no concept of full-dip here. But read on!

> dim-dip both low beams and parking lights
        Well yes, according to Audi.
        Dim-dip is a feature fitted at least on the type 44 from about '87,
maybe in europe but certainly in the UK. All it does is send a reduced
current (via a resistance) to the low beam filaments when the ignition is on
and the sidelights are switched on but not the low beams.

     I guess this is to prevent the possibility of people cruising around at
night with just sidelights on, but I don't find it very usefull. Driving as
night falls means I put first the sidelights on as dusk falls, - on come the
dim 'low' beams. After a while I start mentally cursing my crappy low beams
and then remember that I've never actually switched them on. So I switch  em
on properly. (Then I mentally curse my crappy low beams for real, and
resolve to relay them! Doh!)

    Maybe if it features in US spec cars, who knows, it may be called
dim-low beam.

> city lights low-wattage bulbs within some Euro-spec headlights
> (they are not parking lights)
    Oh, maybe these are our sidelights!!

    Phew. So what I'm asking about is maybe something not fitted to US cars.
Can anyone shed 'light' on that?


----- Original Message -----
From: "Kent McLean" <kentmclean at>
To: <quattro at>; "rob hod" <rob3 at>
Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2002 4:47 PM
Subject: Re: Relaying dim-dip headlights - Type 44

> "rob hod" <rob3 at> wrote:
> >    1, dim-dip. If I use the feed to the dip beams to trigger the relay,
> >then the dim-dip relay will mean that I get full-dip when running on
> >lights rather than dim-dip. I can live with this, but just wondered if
> >anyone had gone to the bother of preserving the dim dip feature, and how
> >they did it.
> >
> >    2, I haven't looked closely, but with the lightswitch on dip and the
> >ignition off, is any dim dip applied?, or are only the parking lights
> >enabled?
> I've had dim sum, but not dim dip. Is that for your potato chips
> ("crisps" to the Brits, I believe) or corn chips?
> Seriously,  in the good old USofA, there are "high beams", "low
> beams", and "parking lights".  High beams are the brightest (most
> watts) and often work in conjunction with the low beams. Parking
> lights are on anytime the headlights (low or high beams) are on;
> they can also be on by themselves, without the headlights on.
> I'm just guess here, but let me take a stab at translating this:
> British American
> ---------- -------------
> main high beams
> dip low beams
> dim parking lights only (no headlights)
> full-dip low beams only
> dim-dip both low beams and parking lights
> city lights low-wattage bulbs within some Euro-spec headlights
> (they are not parking lights)
> Someone please correct this.  Then maybe I can help.  But if you've
> seen my work, you'd know why I pay someone to fix my car.
> Kent
> '89 200 TQ, "Bad Puppy"

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