Needles jumping and lights flickering on A3 dash

Hi
I have a 2001 (X) Audi A3 1.8 SE and I'm having a problem with the dashboard lighting and speed, rpm, fuel and temp dials.
Initially from a cold start (despite the warm weather) the needles were
jumping back and forth and the rpm and spedo backlights flicker. The clock and mileometer displays also flicker. After the car has warmed up (5 mins approx) the needles and displays return to normal. This has been happening for 3 days.
Today for the first 10 mins of my journey the needles remained on 0 and the lights off. Eventually they flickered for a while and came back to life. First the display lights return, then the fuel/temp needles returned to normal, then finally the rpm and speedo dials.
I also noticed that while the dash lights are flickering the radio continues to work but it's lit display gets dimmer and brighter.
Does anyone know what could be causing this? A component on it's way out or a lose wire somewhere?
Thanks, CP
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I would lean towards a poor contact or loose wire.
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Thanks
I wondered about a component slowly dying (capacitor or something) since it seems ok after it's warmed up. Bumps etc don't have any impact and I would expect that to make a difference if it was a bad contact or loose wire.
Do you know if it's easy to take the instrument panel off to check behind it?
Thanks, CP
Lez Pawl wrote:

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Even though my diode display is fading (yes, that common Audi prob) I would not have the **lls to remove it.
I have heard of problems with circuit board tracks where when cold track(s) are broken yet when warm/hot they join back together.
It might even be a dry/iffy solder joint.
dj A4 2.4 SE '98
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I've had my car fixed now so this is an update for anyone reading this posting later.
I took my car to Audi and they said there was an electrical fault with the Dashpod. They replaced the entire instrument cluster. Part cost 218.42 + VAT
Before I got my jumping needles and flickering lights issue resolved my car gained a second problem... the alarm kept going off 30 seconds after locking the car. I tried turning off the interior mobility sensor but this didn't help. Audi said the only way to prevent the audible alarm going off would be to remove the fuse because it cannot be disabled. They stuck the car on their computer and it turned out to be a defective Alarm Interior Monitoring Control Unit. This required replacing the control unit and reprogramming all my keys. Part cost 203.31 + VAT
In total parts + labour + VAT cost me over 800 :-(
I did get to see the removed parts but they then had to send the instrument cluster back to Audi. I kept the alarm control unit - it's a small black box with a PCB inside - no visible problems.
Audi also managed to scrape my bumper and wheel arch while my car was being fixed so it's back in for bodywork repairs!
Hope no-one else has the same fault.
-CP
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