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Old 10-14-2008, 02:29 PM   #1
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HELP! lights dim, air-con fan not blowings, wiper blades not working...

Dear enthusiasts,

I own a 99 Boxster which has 60K miles. Yesterday, when I switched on the engine , I first noticed that my air-cond was not working (blower not coming on). And then I noticed that my front lights were very dim. The high-beam only worked when I manually held it back but not when pushed forward in the lock position and finally, my wipers won't turn...

lights in the cabin look bright, signal turn light are fine, rear lights are ok...

I don't suppose the alternator is bad as I drove 300 miles without the engine dying on me. And if it is bad, it should show up on the dash right?

Please advise and thanks in advance...

lejolierogue

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Old 10-14-2008, 02:36 PM   #2
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sounds like some of the gremlins usually associated w/ bad ignition switch. Couple of questions to help diagnose it...

Key tough to turn or pull out?
If you wiggle it when key is in do these symptoms subside or change?
Do you get key 'ding' even when removed?
Do you get the 'klunk' sound when pulling key out of ignition?
Does radio stay on (for longer than 20 sec when key removed)?

If so, it's a DIY r7R for ~ $30 if you buy part from dealer or < $10 if you buy online at autohousaz.com link here to part

Might also check for water under driver seat.

Bottom line, I agree, doesn't seem like it's your alt...
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Old 10-14-2008, 02:54 PM   #3
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As said, most likely the starter switch (ignition). It still could be an alternator failure, even though you were able to drive 300 mi.But, it's easy enough to rule out the alternator. First, the alternator could have partially failed say at 275 mi. and the battery was sufficiently charged to get you the next 25 mi.

Use a DMM and, engine running - lights on, check the DC voltage between the battery terminals - it should read 13.5-14.5 VDC, if other, your alternator is on it's way out. Alternators often fail progressively rather than all at once. It contains 3 sets of diodes which can fail singly changing the output voltage to the battery without a total failure. I'd do this simple check before ordering any other parts.
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Old 10-14-2008, 02:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burg Boxster
sounds like some of the gremlins usually associated w/ bad ignition switch. Couple of questions to help diagnose it...

Key tough to turn or pull out?
If you wiggle it when key is in do these symptoms subside or change?
Do you get key 'ding' even when removed?
Do you get the 'klunk' sound when pulling key out of ignition?
Does radio stay on (for longer than 20 sec when key removed)?

If so, it's a DIY r7R for ~ $30 if you buy part from dealer or < $10 if you buy online at autohousaz.com link here to part

Might also check for water under driver seat.

Bottom line, I agree, doesn't seem like it's your alt...
YES, I FORGOT TO MENTION THAT TOO! HOW DO I REPLACE THE KEY SWITCH?
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:35 PM   #5
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Key Switch Quick Fix

I've been driving with my bad switch for a year and about 6K Miles.

A quick fix is:

Turn key to start engine.

After starting engine, turn key counter clock wise about a quarter turn til you feel the slot.

That should make everything go back to norman A/C, lights etc...

The exact same thing happen to me.....

Let us know if this works.

Lots of luck,

Junior
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Old 10-15-2008, 05:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lejolierogue
YES, I FORGOT TO MENTION THAT TOO! HOW DO I REPLACE THE KEY SWITCH?
Not sure what you forgot to mention, maybe it was all the symptoms I listed

Anyhow, here's a link on how to r&r the electrical part of the ignition switch
Ignition Switch R&R

Typically, you cannot get the part at a local P-car dealer as most will try to tell [read as sell] you on replacing the entire barrel assembly along w/ the electrical switch. However, it's a common part used in Audi and VW. So you can get it from those dealers as well - probably a few $$ cheaper too

You need to make sure though you get the p/n w/ the B on the end 4A0-905-849-B


Good luck


Quote:
Originally Posted by jrdiesel01
I've been driving with my bad switch for a year and about 6K Miles.
Junior-
Glad your temp fix has worked for some time now. However, I wouldn't bank on it. Once the switch gives out completely, you run the risk of being stranded some place. This could be b/c your lights won't come on (at night) or you could completely drain the battery among other perils. If your battery runs down and is not brand new, you run the risk of discharging it beyond the point where it could ever hold a charge again. Replacement on a Porsche battery, even if you don't go OEM, is not cheap.

Since it seems you have time... I'd order a replacement switch from ********************************AZ to have on hand, if you haven't already. You can either wait until yours completely fails or just spend 25min some leisurely day doing the R&R as cheap insurance.


Last edited by Burg Boxster; 10-15-2008 at 07:02 AM.
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:16 PM   #7
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Thank you all for you help! I managed to purchase the part from my local dealer for $47. I also managed to get a pictorial on how to change the part. Piece of cake. Thank you again!

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