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Old 05-07-2019, 05:25 AM   #1
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Possible ignition switch issue

I wanted to confirm/get opinions on something. I went to start my 04 Boxster on Sunday and it wouldn't start. The key turned freely, dash lit up and the radio turned on but the starter didn't engage -- no clicking or any noise. From what I read this appears to be a ignition switch issue

1. Does that sound right?
2. I was shopping in Pelican and they have a couple choices. The Porsche branded for $80 and OEM brand for $30. I'm confused in the OEM brand is clever naming or actually OEM. What ignition switch do people usually buy?


** of course I tried to start the car last night and couldn't reproduce the issue.
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Old 05-07-2019, 09:37 AM   #2
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Ignition switch issues usually come with more than one electrical gremlin. Your issue sounds more like you didn't have the clutch fully depressed or something.

FYI: Porsche doesn't make ignition switches, their original choice in ignition switch manufacturers wasn't that great and a good replacement runs $20-$25.
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:34 AM   #3
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If it is the ignition switch, stay away from the really cheap ones. They are made of very brittle plastic and will fail quickly. My original switch lasted 13 years. I bought a replacement from NAPA and it lasted 6 months. When the first switch failed, the headlights stopped working. When the second switch failed, the switch kept re-engaging the starter after the car was already running. As Particlewave said, if it is the ignition switch you will see some funky stuff going on.

When you do need to replace the ignition switch, one way to know you are getting a better switch is to figure out if you need the part number part 4B0-905-849 or 4A0-905-849 and buy it at a VW dealer parts counter or from someone that sells genuine VW and or Audi parts.
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Old 05-07-2019, 12:34 PM   #4
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GSY,

A few years ago the same symptoms started on my '07 Cayman S, sometimes no juice to the starter after turning the key but everything else was working ok.

The fact that it was an intermittent issue made it harder to diagnose, I installed a new switch and didn't cure the symptoms (even removed the starter and got it checked for it's proper operation)..

However, by pure coincidence we found the culprit... it ended being the Positive Cable that goes from the battery (through the firewall) to a some type of 'power distribution box' that is located inside the cabin behind the glove box.

The positive cable connects into this box via an unusual "friction connector" you will see what I mean after you remove the cable, on my car, I removed the cable, clean it properly and reinstall it with some dielectric grease, and the issue never showed up again.

However, it drove me nuts since the failure was intermittent..

Good luck!
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Old 05-07-2019, 02:17 PM   #5
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Problem just started without warning last Friday. Left for a doctor's appointment and noticed my AC wasn't working. Got to the parking garage and noticed my lights weren't working either. Fuses?. I took the key out and the steering wheel lock wasn't engaging and the chime was sounding. Couldn't lock with the fob. Key in door to lock and one beep. When I left, I turned the key slightly left and stuff was working.
Got on the Forum and yup - the famous ignition switch issue. Ordered Meyle (thanks posters for suggestion) from Amazon $26. Gonna install it tomorrow.
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Old 05-07-2019, 03:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Tailwind View Post
Problem just started without warning last Friday. Left for a doctor's appointment and noticed my AC wasn't working. Got to the parking garage and noticed my lights weren't working either. Fuses?. I took the key out and the steering wheel lock wasn't engaging and the chime was sounding. Couldn't lock with the fob. Key in door to lock and one beep. When I left, I turned the key slightly left and stuff was working.
Got on the Forum and yup - the famous ignition switch issue. Ordered Meyle (thanks posters for suggestion) from Amazon $26. Gonna install it tomorrow.
Pomona. That's "up the street from me". I know who I'm scouting when the gremilins strike my car.
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:29 AM   #7
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Used Pedro's instructions, and I don't doubt his expertise, but I couldn't get enough leverage to loosen the screws. The left duct was hindering me, so I modified my approach:

Removed left vent ass'y


Removed left duct.



Plenty of room to get my hand in there, plus one can use both hands from above and below. Maybe the difficulty is I'm left handed.

btw - as far as going under dashboards, back in the '60's we used to service car radios, so I'm no stranger to that, but not as agile as i used to be
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:50 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Tailwind View Post
Used Pedro's instructions, and I don't doubt his expertise, but I couldn't get enough leverage to loosen the screws. The left duct was hindering me, so I modified my approach:

Removed left vent ass'y


Removed left duct.



Plenty of room to get my hand in there, plus one can use both hands from above and below. Maybe the difficulty is I'm left handed.

btw - as far as going under dashboards, back in the '60's we used to service car radios, so I'm no stranger to that, but not as agile as i used to be
How long did that take you? Thanks!
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:18 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Starter986 View Post
How long did that take you? Thanks!
Well, I wasted maybe a half hour or so in the initial attempt, but removing the vent is essentially the procedure for replacing the light switch, so using this method, less than a half hour. I'll need to get in there again because I couldn't get the duct back on the left side, so I'm thinking fit the left and lower left duct together before screwing the left duct on. I learned so much doing the suspension; you spend extra time on one side and the other goes smoother
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Old 05-09-2019, 01:41 PM   #10
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I need to do this and I know I would not be able to do going from the underside, bad back and stiff as a board. Going thru the vent looks to be much easier. Did the vent go back in nice?

-Mike
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Old 05-09-2019, 04:49 PM   #11
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The vent goes back in easy enough. The screw that goes into the vent tube is fairly far back. Stick a dab of grease on the end torx driver and the screw will stay put long enough for you to get it started. Take your time as the pieces get marked up easy.
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Old 05-10-2019, 04:36 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by mikeinmass View Post
I need to do this and I know I would not be able to do going from the underside, bad back and stiff as a board. Going thru the vent looks to be much easier. Did the vent go back in nice?

-Mike
It re-installed fine.
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Old 05-10-2019, 04:38 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by dghii View Post
The vent goes back in easy enough. The screw that goes into the vent tube is fairly far back. Stick a dab of grease on the end torx driver and the screw will stay put long enough for you to get it started. Take your time as the pieces get marked up easy.
On my car, the screw was a ST Philips, and it attaches to a metal strip with a hole.
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Old 05-10-2019, 04:48 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Tailwind View Post
On my car, the screw was a ST Philips, and it attaches to a metal strip with a hole.
Are you talking about the left air duct? On my car, the screw was a ST Philips, and it attaches to a metal strip with a hole. The vent assembly has 2 torx on the outer left and one lower right after you take off the light switch.



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