Weird Tail light behavior - 2005 A4

OK, here's a weird one... I'm hoping someone else has had the same problem.
Periodically (3-4x per week), I'll wake up in the morning or late at night, and my tail lights will be on. It's only the bulb in the top of
the light assembly closest to the outside of the car (on both sides).
So... I hit my alarm remote and the other lights blink, but these lights stay on. Here's how I've managed to get them to go off (So far):
Open the door (lights went out once) Turn on the headlights Turn the key in the ignition
Stepping on the brakes, and hitting the remote didn't do anything.
Also, the last two times it's happened, it's spread to the light in the rear window.
One last thing (I can't remember if this is normal behavior or not). My headlight switch (dial), is lit when this happens - but the door is closed and I (and the key) am outside the car. Today, after I got the lights to go off, the switch has remained lit.
HELP!!!
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2005.....is it not still under warranty.
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Yes, of course it's still under warranty. But The dealer can't replicate the problem, so I'm looking for some help. Anything that will help me understand or repeat the problem, is a huge step in the right direction.
OhNo wrote:

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OK, I started this off poorly... with bad information. After it happened AGAIN tonight, I realized that stepping on the brake does indeed make the lights turn off. Sorry for the misinformation!
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote: <snip>

<snip>
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That sounds like a bad ground connection.
Nedry wrote:

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I second Tony, look for a bad ground at the light assembly box. Not far from the light in question
wrote:

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Sorry if this is a stupid question, but you said, "not far from the light in question"... It's both tail lights (one on each side) AND the light in the rear window. Plus it appears that the light button is staying lit...
Does that still sound like a bad ground?
Also, it seems to happen after a hard rain (which is every day here in south Florida). Not sure if that helps.
Thanks! Jon
Tony wrote:

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Yes. Still sounds like a bad ground. Bad ground connections can cause strange seemingly unrelated problems. Yes, the moisture would tend to make the bad ground connection intermettent.
The light assembly box should be located behind the side covering inside the trunk. It is probably on the drives side but you could check this with your dealer.
Tony (one of two Tonys) :-)
Nedry wrote:

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A poor ground could explain why his brake lights didn't work, or worked intermittently, but it wouldn't explain why his brake lights remained on after he parked the vehicle.
Sounds more like a brake light switch going to Heaven...
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... or, if it happensafter heavy rain, perhaps some part of the electrics getting flooded?
--
Peter Bell - snipped-for-privacy@bellfamily.org.uk

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Thanks guys! Well, it may be getting worse. This morning when I got in my car to drive to work, it was running really choppy. At first it felt like it was "missing"... but even after I got up to speed, there were a couple of times that it felt like it was running out of gas. The power dropped dramatically (even if I floored it). On the other hand, if I took my foot off the gas, and egaged the clutch...it seemed to idle fine. Also, if I downshifted it seemed to have power... but if I was running at roughly 3k RPM, it just dogged. What it really felt like was once when I had a speed governor kick in (on a previous car).
Its a 2005 with only about 13k miles on it. I had my 15k service on Monday (that's when I asked them to look at the tail lights). I'm taking it back in tomorrow..and hopefully leaving it with them for as long as it takes for them to find and fix the problem.
The plot thickens...
Jon
daytripper wrote:

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swy I asked about the warranty............when you jumped at me.
peps complain when things go wrong jus outside warranty yet when its covered they don't use it.
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I didn't "jump" at you even though I considered it. These postings are to try to find other people with the same problem or who can help understand it. And several good folks have chimed in with suggestions and very useful thoughts. If you had asked about the warranty within the context of some thoughts or suggestions, I would have appreciated it. But your first, and most recent post had absolutely no relavance to dealing with, fixing, or understanding the problem.
If I'm too stupid to take it to a dealer when it's under warranty then I deserve what I get...fortunately, I'm not that stupid...just barely. Either way, pointing it out does no good.
To everyone else, thanks for the tips & info and I'll keep you posted on what the dealer has to say. The lights are going on at night about once every 60-90 minutes now. It rarely happens during the day but that could be because I'm driving frequently during the day. The temp is still around 80F, so I don't think it's condensation at night.
A few final details. I'm experimenting every time it happens now... turning on the dome light, headlights, stereo and wipers have no effect...stepping on the brake OR THE CLUTCH makes the tail lights turn off.
I think the idea of a bad ground is a good one. I just moved to a new area and every time I punch my security code in at the gate I get a small shock... I thought it was the gate... maybe it's my car.
Thanks everyone!

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I didn't "jump" at you even though I considered it. These postings are to try to find other people with the same problem or who can help understand it. And several good folks have chimed in with suggestions and very useful thoughts. If you had asked about the warranty within the context of some thoughts or suggestions, I would have appreciated it. But your first, and most recent post had absolutely no relavance to dealing with, fixing, or understanding the problem.
If I'm too stupid to take it to a dealer when it's under warranty then I deserve what I get...fortunately, I'm not that stupid...just barely. Either way, pointing it out does no good.
To everyone else, thanks for the tips & info and I'll keep you posted on what the dealer has to say. The lights are going on at night about once every 60-90 minutes now. It rarely happens during the day but that could be because I'm driving frequently during the day. The temp is still around 80F, so I don't think it's condensation at night.
A few final details. I'm experimenting every time it happens now... turning on the dome light, headlights, stereo and wipers have no effect...stepping on the brake OR THE CLUTCH makes the tail lights turn off.
I think the idea of a bad ground is a good one. I just moved to a new area and every time I punch my security code in at the gate I get a small shock... I thought it was the gate... maybe it's my car.
Thanks everyone!

mr angry..............sounds like you deserve the fault..............
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