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Old 05-23-2014, 07:47 PM   #1
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Headlight Switch Bad? Or Worse...

My headlights do not work, the daytime running lights work, the fog lights come on when I pull my switch out, high beams come on when I pull the turn lever towards me but not when I push it forward.

I checked the bulbs and they appear to be fine, (no broken filaments or burnt bulbs), so... Since the high beams come on when I push the turn lever, but no high beams at all when I push it, is the operation of the lever dependent on the position of the light switch itself? Meaning if the power to the low beams is not seen, will the high beams never come on?

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Old 05-23-2014, 09:16 PM   #2
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Sounds like it could be a bad ignition switch. Do the wipers come on when the car is running/on? Ignition switch is a common failure point (thanks, VW part) and is fairly inexpensive to start. I think the headlight switch is a Mercedes part, though.
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:32 PM   #3
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I had the exact problems last month w/ my 2002 Boxster S.

I ordered a new headlamp switch from Suncoast Porsche, PN 996 613 535 00

About a 20 minute swap. Easy.

Pelican Technical Article: Boxster Headlamp Switch Replacement - 986 / 987

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Old 05-23-2014, 10:23 PM   #4
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I had a similar problem about a month ago. Took the switch out and sprayed it with tuner cleaner. It was a little hard to get it inside the switch, but it must have worked as I have had no problems since.

Its pretty easy to remove the switch
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Old 05-24-2014, 06:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTele58 View Post
I had the exact problems last month w/ my 2002 Boxster S.

I ordered a new headlamp switch from Suncoast Porsche, PN 996 613 535 00

About a 20 minute swap. Easy.

Pelican Technical Article: Boxster Headlamp Switch Replacement - 986 / 987

Rick
I'll second that. Easy swap.
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Old 05-24-2014, 07:09 AM   #6
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try cleaning with contact cleaner before buying a new switch . worked on my current and past boxster
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Old 05-24-2014, 08:37 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by jacabean View Post
try cleaning with contact cleaner before buying a new switch . worked on my current and past boxster
Yeah, will do! Gotta be a heck of a lot cheaper than $157+...

Thanks for all the replies!
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacabean View Post
try cleaning with contact cleaner before buying a new switch . worked on my current and past boxster
tuner cleaner and contact cleaner are basically the same.
Tuner cleaner has a lubricant and contact cleaner does not
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Old 05-25-2014, 07:47 AM   #9
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CRC Contact cleaner didn't fix the problem, looks like I'm going shopping...
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Old 05-25-2014, 12:48 PM   #10
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did you actually take the switch apart to spray it?
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Old 05-25-2014, 05:12 PM   #11
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did you actually take the switch apart to spray it?
No, the switch has about 8 tangs folded into the case which made it all but impossible to access.

Unless you have a secret way of opening it...
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:40 AM   #12
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okay....so, you just sprayed the electrical prongs on the switch without taking it apart?
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:49 AM   #13
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okay....so, you just sprayed the electrical prongs on the switch without taking it apart?
And down the knob pin as best I could.
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Old 05-26-2014, 02:09 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by mgfranz View Post
And down the knob pin as best I could.
I sprayed down the shaft and IIRC, there were some holes as well . I know I got cleaner inside as I had to shake it out
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:49 PM   #15
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Not to blow too much dust off an old thread but my new car had this issue last night: high beams flash when the lever is pulled, but don't stay on when the lever is pushed forward.

I also immediately got the scratchy steering column sound (found another thread on that - damn I love this place already).

Rotation of the headlight switch feels a little stiff. Hoping to sort out both issues tonight.
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Old 07-30-2014, 02:01 PM   #16
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Try cleaning the switch with contact or tuner cleaner
Remove the switch from the car
Squirt it in any and all holes you can find and down the shaft, don't worry if it drips out
move the switch quickly through all positions several times

shake out any liquid, it will evaporate fairly quickly anyway

If that does not fix the problem, replace the switch

Don't know what the scratchy sound is
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:15 PM   #17
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scratchy sound is the clock spring.
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Old 07-31-2014, 02:00 PM   #18
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If your lights work correctly when you rotate the switch, then the switch is functioning fine, cleaning it might help with the stiffness, but since there are no mechanical parts in the switch it's unlikely that anything broke to cause that.

FYI, I found a NOS switch for $40 off this forum.
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Old 03-25-2018, 01:40 PM   #19
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I notice my light switch was loosing its "click". It would just mush through the positions. Then one evening, the instrument lights did not come on. Suspecting the light switch, I followed the advice on this forum and cleaned the switch thoroughly with contact cleaner. I worked the switch through its positions but will no feeling of the detents. Once reconnected only the headlights would come on with the ignition and would not shut off. I took the switch out again and shuck it. I sounded like sand inside the switch so I took it apart to see what was going on. The internal plastic was completely shredded. See the picture.
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Old 03-25-2018, 02:31 PM   #20
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Wow! Very impressive!

Time to give Woody (ItsNotaNova) a call!

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