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Old 03-26-2016, 02:05 PM   #1
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Help With Odd Electrical Problem

My 1999 is dead, here is the situation:

-Was letting my family member drive the car, she is just learning to drive a stick
-Car died while trying to leave a stop sign, re-started the car to try again.
-Car died again, but when trying to re-start this time: starter turned about 3 times, all gauge lights came on, flickered then went off
-Now none of the electronics are working: no radio, no horn, won't crank, etc.
-Gauges are all stuck where they were when the car died, even with the battery disconnected

Any suggestions?

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Old 03-26-2016, 02:12 PM   #2
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Happened to me once. I found out it was the ignition switch. There's a thread here about the same problem. You can replace it with a part from VW which is cheaper than a Porsche dealership.
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Old 03-27-2016, 04:55 AM   #3
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http://986forum.com/forums/general-discussions/46411-ignition-switch-replacement-holy-crap-2.html#post346988
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Old 03-27-2016, 07:29 AM   #4
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Why is that?
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Old 03-27-2016, 07:32 AM   #5
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Ignition switches can be the root of a lot of electrical problems. They're cheap and fail a lot. Pick a new one up and see if it solves the problem, they're like $12 iirc. It's possible it broke when you tried restarting it?
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Old 03-27-2016, 09:11 AM   #6
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Don't know if this helps point to anything, but it seems like something is shorted out. When the car died, it sat for about 30 minutes before we towed it home. The battery was HOT.
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Old 03-27-2016, 10:07 AM   #7
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That is a common problem too for the switch to fail. Mine actually fused one ground and positive together and melted plastic parts around it. It also blew a couple fuses. I plan on installing a start push button on mine. Then, I will only need to put the key to the ON position and push the button to start it. I believe that will help mine from failing again.
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Old 03-27-2016, 05:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VWTortuga336 View Post
Why is that?
Not my thread title, this just shows you how to do it.
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Old 03-28-2016, 09:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinnaker View Post
Not my thread title, this just shows you how to do it.
I'm with you now. When I looked at it the first time, it was on my phone and not hyperlinked. I thought you were warning me of the torture to come.

Thankfully, I got the old switch out in about 5 minutes. New one ordered and should be here on Wednesday.

When I first had the issue, I had big sparks when connecting the wires the battery terminal. With the switch out, there are just very small sparks (hopefully just from the radio pulling current or something similar). So, hopefully the switch was to blame.

If it isn't the switch and I have to take the car to the shop to be fixed, does anyone have a guess for how much I'm looking at spending?
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Old 03-28-2016, 09:59 AM   #10
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Just keep an update after installing the new ignition switch. I strongly suggest you keep the battery disconnected and also check for possible burnt out fuses. I'm sure someone will be here to help you...
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Old 03-28-2016, 06:54 PM   #11
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Don't know why it double post what I just typed...maybe an iPhone problem again lol. Still waiting for your part???
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Last edited by 9ate6; 03-29-2016 at 07:47 AM. Reason: Double post what I wrote earlier
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Old 03-30-2016, 07:37 AM   #12
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New ignition switch should arrive today and hopefully I'll have time to install it this evening. However, I'm not very confident that this will fix my problem. The old switch didn't show any signs of damage - so we'll see.

Does anyone have any advice on whether I should continue to try to track this down on my own, or if I should just let the shop handle it? I've got no issues working on mechanical issues, but electical ones are a different story!

Last edited by VWTortuga336; 03-30-2016 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 03-30-2016, 06:39 PM   #13
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Just installed the new ignition switch - still no power to anything. Tow truck is taking it to the shop on Friday. I'll keep everyone posted on what they find.

On a side note, I have read about how much trouble others have had with removing the switch. I did mine in about 5 minutes, but only because I had this bad boy. I don't think I could have done it with out the flexible extension. I would highly recommend one of these. It was like 8 bucks at Advance Auto.
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Old 03-30-2016, 07:28 PM   #14
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1) Check all fuses.
2) Check voltage at battery.
2) Check voltage at current distributor (before and after fusible links).

That's where I'd start.

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