Ever since I purchased my Audi A3, I spotted a fault with broken wiring in the Drivers side door harness that had been poorly repaired. This has both annoyed me because it looks unsightly, and from experience with VW family vehicles, any kind of wiring issue is another point of failure to look at on the car.
I was moving the wires whilst at my place of work a couple of days prior, when going home my car developed a problem and I knew it was the wiring. After a quick inspection the brown wire had seperated from the insulation tape which broke the connection. I initially suspected a power wire due to lack of Electrics, but I believe VW use the brown wire as a ground to complete the circuits. Either way, it was dead.
I had the following problems:
- No electric window control
- No central locking (on drivers side)
- Door open alarm light up on dashboard
Due to the lack of central locking, I was having to lock the car manually. Although it was the lack of Electrical windows which has been bugging me more. I decided to carry out a quick bodge to TEMPORARILY repair it and restore functionality to the car until I can get a loom ordered and a rubber shroud to create a better repair
Please note, this repair was only temporary. I know it’s poor quality. It wasn’t designed to do anything other than complete the circuit. The existing wires are rusted which further makes it harder to solder. So don’t comment on the poor quality soldering, I know it’s rubbish. I’m not happy either, but it works. That’s all I care about
Once I purchase the loom, I’ll be writing a full repair article for my repair guides once I replace the loom completely.
The below repair took me about 30 mins to do, 15 mins of it was spent trying to disconnect the harness with my podgy fingers. Once I figured out a technique the repair was done quickly
How I repaired the broken wiring on my A3
- First things first, I had to disconnect the harness from the door. This was the technique I used above. I used one hand to pull on the connector at the edge on the opposite side, and pryed away from the bottom position using a thin screwdriver at the following spot. I initially tried at the top, but it came away easier from the bottom. Having the connector off made the repair process easier.
- This is the opposite side of the connector. Above my thumb next to the wire is the plastic I was pulling against with my finger. Probably makes it a bit easier to visualise removal if you know what you’re holding against. In the above picture you can see my index finger just touching the edge of it during removal.
- As you can see above, this is the quality of the connector that I had to work with. When I had the problems on the car, I temporary taped up the brown wire to prevent it earthing out on the car. Other than that, all of the tape/broken wires you see above was how the harness looked when I purchased the car. You can see the broken/rusted wire and why I need to completely rewire it all.
- As you can see it was a very poor quality repair. The rusted wires on the OEM loom didn’t exactly help. It was windy as hell so my soldering iron wasn’t working the best as it was cooling it down quickly, and the rust made it poor adhesion. In the end I soldered it enough to form a strong link
- After I carried out the fix, this was what I was left with. You can see it’s about 1″ longer on door loom now, it’s also introduced a rigid point so will eventually break. It was however, far superior to the previous one. For safety I added heatshrink onto my soldered connections
After I carried out the repair I then put insulation tape over the wiring and reconnected it. I tested out the central locking, and the Electrics all working. The first picture is actually after I carried out the repair, just wanted to give an idea where to pinch against
This was only a TEMPORARY repair as noted, I plan on purchasing a new harness connector and new wires then resoldering it all back together. There’s a common problem with the Audi A3 door loom where the wires break as they’re too short, and the constant flexing over the years. The repair looms remove this problem.
I will write an updated article once I do this and update this post