Going back with 200 year old filament technology, car’s luminescent number plate lights have annoyingly short life-span and could be frustrating to change if soft mounting screws start to rust. Xenon lights have bypassed these inherited problems of lights and after 2010, most of the vehicle manufacturers adopted xenon light bulbs as standard component in almost all the places where lighting is used in a car. However, LED bulbs or units can be retrofitted in many cars manufactured before 2010 for improved lighting experience.

Check Daytime Running Lights Side Lights Error Message Explained

Apart from achieving a modern stylish look with bluish white bright light, which emits from these new generation xenon bulbs, many car brand manufacturers prefer xenon LED bulbs for their less energy consumption. Xenons lights are 10 times longer than halogen bulbs and can save up to 90% of the electricity. LED bulbs or units may be a bit more expensive than halogen bulbs but they worth spending in terms of their efficiency and advantages.

LED lights are used in many parts within a vehicle and play an important role to make them look stylish, law compliant and safe for others on the road.  Most vehicles have two small lights located directly above the number plate. Number plate lights are also an important light and needs to be working all the time. Otherwise, you will receive a warning message on your dashboard followed by an error in number plate light.  

In this article, we attempt to guide you on Audi Bulb out Number Plate light warning message and how to get rid of it. The procedure and implications are applicable to most of the other brand cars especially similar age Audis and Volkswagen.

How Audi indicates a bulb warning light?

When you receive a text warning message on your dashboard it does not come alone, it signifies the error with a picture of yellow bulb pointing downwards with a cross “X” on it. This indication appears when current going to the light bulbs is disrupted, blocked or stopped. This is known as cold diagnostic. But with LED bulbs this error is usually so common even when the bulbs are lit up because they consume little power and the computer of your car sense there is something wrong.

However, in some of the models this cold diagnostic can be turned OFF from the software just be changing electrical system’s long coding with the use of VAG-COM cable and VCDS but it couldn’t be the case with each model so if modifying the car’s software is not an option; you should not take this warning message easy and resolve this issue to save you from getting a ticket.

Symptoms to a faulty number plate light

There could be a few symptoms as well to let you know the lights are not working properly even if you do not receive any warning message on dashboard.

Number plate lights are solid lights and supposed to be turned ON with the headlights or parking lights without flickering. In most of the cases, number plate light flickers and that is most commonly due to a loose wiring or a connection that powers the license plate light. A flickering light can easily catch a “Fix it” ticket so it is necessary that you frequently check the number plate light by walking to the rear of your vehicle after the car is ignited.

Also, you may notice the number plate light does not illuminate at all. In that case, there is no second thought that the light bulb has gone bad. Now, there could be different reasons for a failure of bulb such as a problem with relay switch or a loose connection or simply the bulb itself.

If your model of Audi has factory fitted LED license plate light units then, you’ll need to replace whole unit with a new unit but if it is retrofitted or has conventional halogen bulbs – simple bulb replacement will do a job.

Why does it fail?

There could be both internal and external reasons for a bulb to fail. Internal reasons may be the completion of bulb’s life. Although LED bulbs are supposed to work longer but like every electronic component they may fail at any time. The external reasons may include moisture or damage to the bulb or unit due to the accident etc.

A simple and quick fix to this issue is the replacement of LED bulb or LED unit with a new one.


Usually this happens for one side, left or right and in very rare cases, you will have both bulbs out of order. Before replacing we recommend that you diagnose which side is problematic since the message doesn’t specify which side has gone wrong.

Installation of LED bulbs in Audi

Since almost all cars have same number plate lights and it is extremely important that license plate lights are always in working condition all the time. There is no exception to number plate lights and installing LED bulbs in replacement of halogen bulbs is quite straightforward and easy if you know exactly what to do and how to do. LED lights you buy for your Audi might roughly look like Xenon or LED day time running lights in color temperature. You just need to install the bulbs to the covers.

Replacement of a faulty bulb with installing a new one may look easier but it can be tricky if the right size and type of bulb is not chosen. You can buy high quality, trusted auto parts from xenons4u as well as schedule an appointment for expert servicing of installation.