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Old 12-03-2009, 01:54 AM   #1
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instrument lights odd behaviour

Hi folks - I wonder if anyone can help me with a worsening problem with my '94 986? When I turn on the headlights, the instrument lights don't come on. For a while. A few miles later and suddenly everything fires up. The lights involved are the instrument backlighting and all the switchgear illumination. My first thought was a bad connection somewhere, but the curious thing is, that once the lights come on, they stay on - I had a 5 hour drive the other evening and they stayed on the whole time. If there was a bad connection, then you'd expect intermittent operation, but it just doesn't happen that way - once the lights are on, they stay on. If you turn the headlights off however, even a quick "dip" from main beams to side lights, to thank another driver for example, then the instrument lights don't come back when you turn the headlights back on again, until a few minutes have elapsed. When this all started a few weeks back, the delay was quite short - a couple of seconds or so - but its gradually getting worse and is now about 10 minutes. I have checked the obvious suspects - waggled the lighting switch and the dimmer control, but with no obvious effect. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions I'd be very grateful for them, because this looks to me the kind of problem that is going to make my local dealer a happy man.....
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:04 AM   #2
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The headlight switch is known to be unreliable in the boxster. I'd try replacing that. The ignition switch can also cause issues, does yours feel healthy? ie, key not sticking in the start position, etc.

-james
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Old 12-04-2009, 01:46 AM   #3
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Thanks for that. I guess that the headlight switch is the prime candidate - I notice that the panel lights go out when switching from main beam to side lights and I don't think that they should. And that's without touching the ignition switch, so I suspect that's OK. I'll give it a try!
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Old 12-04-2009, 04:55 AM   #4
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I would go with the ignition switch, it can bugger up all kinds of things, its a pretty easy replacement.


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Old 12-04-2009, 10:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edevlin
I would go with the ignition switch, it can bugger up all kinds of things, its a pretty easy replacement.
A big +1 on that.
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Old 12-09-2009, 10:51 AM   #6
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Thanks for your kind advice, folks. Does the ignition switch have a seperate feed for the panel lights? How could it be responsible for what seems to be a panel light only problem otherwise? Does anyone know where I can get hold of a wiring diagram, please?
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:02 PM   #7
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I don't think the panel lights are supposed to flicker between stops on the light switch, so starting with the light switch replacement is probably best. Although the ignition switch part is only $20ish online, so it might be a good "while you are in there" repair. I hear you need small hands to do it though.

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Old 12-09-2009, 03:15 PM   #8
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Old 12-17-2009, 01:32 AM   #9
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DOH! - I meant '04, sorry! Ah well, it's nearly Christmas and I can take my brain off-line for a few days R&R..... Thanks to everyone for their help and suggestions
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