2010 VW GTI (MK6)

Mr. Merk

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Just added a new commuter to the fleet. The car is equipped with the HID lamps, fog lamps and non-LED tail lamps. The lenses on all of the front lamps are all starting to degrade. Vision still "appears" to be superior to my other vehicles, but I'm sure it could be better. What's the good word on lamps & bulb options for this car?

Right off the bat, I have a right front side marker and an inner rear tail lamp out to lunch. Those need immediate attention.

I can easily add rear fog lamp function to this car. It uses the HID lamps as DRLs. I can reprogram the DRL to the fog lamps, add low-speed cornering light function to the fogs as well, but I'm not sure if either of these are advisable.


EDIT: Apologies to the moderators. Please move this thread to Automotive, Motorcycles Included.
 
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-Virgil-

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The lenses on all of the front lamps are all starting to degrade.

If it's just minor haze, you can probably clean it up. Don't just polish it off and walk off, though, you have to reapply protective coating to the lens or it will toast to death. There are many products/kits on the market, most of them don't live up to the claims (or the necessities). This is an unusually good, reliable kit.

If you can't successfully reverse the degradation/haze, then you'd want to install new headlamps. OE-brand parts! Doesn't matter if they come in a VW box or a Hella (in this case) box, but they are significantly enough better than all the off-brand/aftermarket units to be worth whatever cost difference.

Bear in mind that projectors themselves eventually lose their reflectors (small reflectors close to hot bulb = finite life). In the absence of a clue this might have happened, like an inexplicably dim beam pattern, you sort of have to "trust in God" about it unless you're prepared to strip down/disassemble the headlamp, which in most cases ruins it. Of course, if you wind up installing new headlamps, then you can take apart the old ones and do a post-mortem including close examination of the condition of the projector reflectors.

Vision still "appears" to be superior to my other vehicles, but I'm sure it could be better. What's the good word on lamps & bulb options for this car?

You probably should put new HID bulbs, unless this car has very low miles. HID bulbs deteriorate with operating hours, in such a way as to put extra load on the ballasts and less light on the road. Get Philips X-Treme Vision Generation-2 D1S bulbs, or the Osram Night Breaker competitor.

Right off the bat, I have a right front side marker and an inner rear tail lamp out to lunch. Those need immediate attention.

You could upgrade those, but only if you are prepared to spend money (single-source...one obscure company in Japan (maybe Korea? I'd have to dig through my files) makes a good, safe halogen high-output replacement for the W16W bulbs in your brake+tail lights. Other'n that, just use a reliable brand of W16W bulb. The American type 921 is close, but not the same. It will work, but not as well.

I can easily add rear fog lamp function to this car.

You'd need a new left inner taillight unit, equipped with a rear fog lamp, for starters...

It uses the HID lamps as DRLs. I can reprogram the DRL to the fog lamps, add low-speed cornering light function to the fogs as well, but I'm not sure if either of these are advisable.

Low-speed cornering is a nice add-on, though you already have a nice, wide beam from the HID lamps.

I'd probably just stick with the HIDs as DRLs. Fog lamps aren't officially recognized as a DRL option in the US. Some of them work OK for the purpose...some of them don't.
 

Mr. Merk

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I can probably snag some Osram 194, 7440, and W16Ws from my suppliers unless you have a better suggestion.

The rear fog is a little more difficult than my previous 2004 GTI but should be accomplished for a couple hundred bones.
 

-Virgil-

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Gain a rear fog lamp...good once in a while.
Lose one of your reversing lamps...bad every time you back up at night.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for rear fog lights; they are lifesavers when they're needed (and used properly). But I also truly despise the recent trend toward miniature and/or useless reversing lamps (getting a bit better since the advent of back-up cameras, which need at least some light to work well) and one of any kind of reversing lamp is only half as good as two.
 

RHS-113

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There might be a way to have better DRLs on the 2010 by purchasing the OEM HID headlamps from a slightly newer 2013 VW Golf GTI (VW part numbers 5K0-941-753-C and 5K0-941-754-C) as they have a seperate LED DRL. However, this suggestion might require more work then you may be willing to do as I don't think they are a direct plug and play.
 
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Mr. Merk

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Yes, I was wondering if the later headlamps and tail lamps would be considered an upgrade or just fashionable modifications. I have a VAGCOM so any necessary coding is easy.
 

RHS-113

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Yes, I was wondering if the later headlamps and tail lamps would be considered an upgrade or just fashionable modifications. I have a VAGCOM so any necessary coding is easy.
If you mean swapping to LED taillamps, neither the OEM ECE LED tails or Osram's LEDriving taillights seem to have rear side marker lamps or rear side reflectors. There may be a bit of red light that manages to show to the side, but that may not be sufficient. You can keep your DOT compliant albeit non LED taillamps and have a rear fog light by only swapping the inner left taillight/reverse light assembly. (I think VW part number ‎5K0-945-093-AA is for a non LED, RHT/LHD taillight/rear fog light). It's also cheaper and easier to do that than buy a whole set of LED taillamps.
 

-Virgil-

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neither the OEM ECE LED tails or Osram's LEDriving taillights seem to have rear side marker lamps or rear side reflectors. There may be a bit of red light that manages to show to the side, but that may not be sufficient.

Definitely not sufficient. Also, the brake light and turn signal intensities may be below the minimum North American intensities (far below, in the case of the turn signal).
 

Mr. Merk

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I thought there was an OEM North American LED tail lamp option, but I seem to have been mistaken. I can only find the European option.
 
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