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Old 08-15-2005, 03:54 AM   #1
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Ignition switch

My switch started stcking this weekend - still works, but had a hard time turning the car on. I searched it, read the renntech stuff, changing it out looks pretty straightforward. I've got a couple of short screwdrivers, and a grinder if I need to modify one.
Saw the info on the new "better" switch not fitting the steering lock. So, what's the best part to use on a 2001 these days? thanks!
Porsche, VW and Audi dealers are all in town.

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Old 08-15-2005, 06:12 AM   #2
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If you're going to do it, just replace it with the old switch. With the cost of the new switch, lock and programing you can replace the old switch 5-6 times.

They carry the part at AutoZone for $32 and it's listed under the Boxster.

I found it easier to remove the left front vent and replace it from there. Jeweler's screwdrivers did it from that point since the vent tubing in the way is what requires the stubby screwdriver. You just need a small torx screwdriver (15?) to remove the headlight switch and vent covers if you go in from there.
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Old 08-15-2005, 09:48 AM   #3
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I talked with the guy at Autozone, they have the switch - an electrical piece and the locking cylinder. He was asking whether the problem involves the steering lock. Sort of, maybe, not sure. When I first got in (car had not run for a week or so (had to use the key in the door lock) inserted the key and it would not move in either direction. I turned the wheel back and forth slightly to see if that would free things up. I don't think it did. Then, seemingly randomly, the key turned freely and the car started normally. Drove a while, came home, turned off normally. Got back in later the same day - same routine. Key wouldn't turn at all. Fiddled with the wheel. Then randomly, key worked. The sudden free turning of the key did NOT seem to correspond to fiddling with the wheel. (Had an 80's Volvo, had to move the steering wheel every time to turn the key - know what that feels like.) Is this the steering lock or just the cylinder not working? Any way it could be an electronic/coding issue? Open for ideas -
Starting with changing the locking cylinder seems fairly cheap, if that doesn't do it I could try other things (?)
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Old 08-15-2005, 10:46 AM   #4
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Just the ignition switch will take care of everything. You don't need to bother with the key cylinder. If you replace that, you'll have to get it re-keyed at the dealer. The ignition switch is at the end of the locking cylinder so when it breaks it causes the locking cylinder to act weird. The locking cylinder is metal so it's difficult to mess up. The ignition switch is cheap plastic.

I had the exact same type of problem. A/C quit working, radio freaked out. Then the key was hard to turn. Then it would not go in without a lot of coaxing. Then it wouldn't turn again. Etc, etc, etc. Replaced the little, plastic ignition switch and everything's copasetic.

Unfortunately, it's a very common problem. Enough so that I ordered 3 switches just in case they stop making them. RandallNeighbor just had to do it too and two people on another forum I like to visit. I even ran into one when I was test driving them before we got ours that was doing the "no turn" thing. I didn't know about the problem so I don't know if the dealer figured it out or not.
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Last edited by deliriousga; 08-15-2005 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 08-15-2005, 04:43 PM   #5
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ordered the switch at AutoZone, $31.99, should be in Wednesday. Will let you know how it turns out. thanks.
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Old 08-22-2005, 04:52 AM   #6
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Got back from vacation and the switch worked normally (typical of electrical make-or-break). Got under the dash, saw the switch, didn't look too bad. Removed the vent tube no problem. Now if I had short arms with two elbows in each arm I could reach it.
Can you remove the lower dash cover? How hard? This would really open up access to the switch.
Wonder what the little plastic slot on the lower dash cover is for? Never noticed it...
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Old 08-22-2005, 06:25 AM   #7
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It was easiest for me to remove the left vent cover by the driver's door. The vent will come off after you unscrew the headlight switch. There are two small torx screws on the left side that you can see when you open the door. The knob on the headlight switch itself pulls off then you can see two small torx screws that hold it in. Take those out, slip the switch out then the front cover comes off. There's one philips head screw in the back of the elbow that's behind the vents. Once those are out, you can easily remove the ignition switch with a flathead jeweler's screwdriver.

Before you begin, get some screw locking paint. Don't get the loctite stuff that you put on the threads because you'll never get the little screw back out later. There's some paint that goes on top of the screw to keep it from backing out. Yours is probably red when you look at the switch.

Btw, my switch looked just like the new one when I took it out so you probably can't see any problems with it.

You can also do it from underneath, but it's a little more difficult and you need a very short screwdriver since you can't take the elbow out from underneath.

Good luck!
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Old 08-22-2005, 06:44 AM   #8
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thanks for the tips, will get some paint and go through the vent cover.
After I pulled the vent duct (comes out easily) you can SEE everything clearly, just hard to reach from the bottom. Think I will still pull the duct and put a shop light underneath to light the area.
Does the wiring harness pull straight off?
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Old 08-25-2005, 05:58 PM   #9
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done

My new ignition switch is installed, and works fine. Could not/would not have done it without deliriousga's help. Many thanks. It's not hard, you just need some pointers. While they are fresh in my mind:

Warning: This is incredibly BORING reading if you are not changing your ignition switch out right now. Don't bother reading it - you can search it when you need it.

Tools needed:
1. No. 15 torx screwdriver: the 3rd screw, the one in the lower right of the black plastic ring on the light switch where the lighted positions are indicated, can only be reached with a screwdriver since the screw is down inside a short tube. A rachet or nutdriver with tip will not go in it.
2. No. 15 torx bit with ratchet handle: the 2 screws on the left side of the wrap-around plastic cover (which holds the light switch and left side air vent) can only be reached with something shorter (the screwdriver above wouldn't fit).
3. To remove the left dash cover: a. remove the 2 screws on the left side using a ratchet. b. remove the light switch knob by pulling it out away from the dash, hold it out, and insert a jeweler's screwdriver up the little slot on the bottom to release the knob. c. using the #15 torx screwdriver, remove the 3rd screw from the lower right side of the black ring on the light switch where the light positions are marked. d. pull the cover out at the botttom first, giving a firm tug to dislodge the friction clamps. Lift the bottom away, then pull the top away. Lay the cover down, it will hang on the wiring harness. Do NOT disconnect the light switch.
4. Remove the left vent duct from under the dash. It is an accordian affair. Compress the accordian, remove the end closet to the center console first, then pull the unit down and out. There are no screws or fasteners!
5. Look in the hole left by the removal of the vent cover. There is a short curved section of air duct held in place by one philips head screw. Remove the screw, and pull out the duct section.
6. Place a shop light on the floor facing up.
7. When I got to this stage - the switch is wide open and I changed it in 2 minutes.
8. Pull the wiring harness off the back of the switch. Scrape the red glue out of the 2 screw holes. A dental pick does this easily. Use a jewelers screwdriver (2nd to largest) and un-tighten the 2 screws. Do NOT remove the screws, it isn't necessary. Just back them out enough to remove the switch. Pull the switch off. I found it useful to use a flathead screwdiver to separate the switch from the ignition tumbler. My technique was one hand in through the hole made by removeing the cover, and the other hand reaching up from below the dash.
9. Plug the new switch in. It can only fit one way. There are 3 plastic positioning tits - one square and 2 round. Line up the square tit first, and you're done. Re-connect the wiring harness.
10. Tighten the 2 set screws firmly. Put a couple of drops of thread sealer on top. I used red to match OEM. Blue and green are available if you're into fen shui.
11. Replace the short curved duct with the one phillips screw.
12. Re-insert the left dash cover, top first then bottom. Test the key at this stage. I did an oil level test since I was inside a garage and didn't want to get asphixiated.
13. Replace the 3 torx screws.
14. Press on the light switch knob. You're done.
Once you get it apart the first time and see how it works, it's easy. Have the right tools on hand the first time. I didn't, took 3 trips to Advance Auto.

This was boring I know. But I labelled it Ignition Switch so you can search it if you need it.
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Old 08-25-2005, 06:14 PM   #10
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Glad to hear it's in and running.

Wow, actually putting something down while it's fresh. What a concept. Can I use your instructions on my website (with props to the writer, of course)? I can add pictures to it when I get the chance.
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Old 08-26-2005, 03:59 AM   #11
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feel free to use the text - unlike the music industry I claim no copyright at all.
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Old 06-02-2007, 11:28 AM   #12
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Ignition Switch

Limoncello - you are my hero. Following your instructions, changing the switch was a piece of cake. I could have never done it without them!

Thanks!
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Old 06-07-2007, 10:28 AM   #13
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thanks for the write up. my switch started acting up and i was sure that it was the tumblers! after reading your post, i removed the switch. sure enough, the switch was the problem. just ordered it this morning for $35...should be here tomorrow.

thanks again!
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Old 06-13-2007, 04:43 PM   #14
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I am going to tackle the ignition switch this weekend. I found a good link with some pictures and additional tips on the job. http://industryfigure.com/berkeley/Porsche/ignitionswitch.htm
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Old 06-13-2007, 07:30 PM   #15
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Well , I figured the fact that my car is a 97 with 94k miles that eventually my is going to go so i saw this on ebay and it was really cheap so i figured why not get it now then later. There are two things I have bought in prevention I bought
rms seal and now this.


http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/New-Porsche-Carrerra-996-Boxster-911-Ignition-Switch_W0QQitemZ120131905831QQihZ002QQcategoryZ336 91QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
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Old 07-15-2007, 04:14 PM   #16
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Performed this repair today with the Audi switch and the link provided by makler. I had to order the switch from my local dealer ($35.00). Installation write-up was right on. The only step I did not perform was the removal of the drivers seat. I did have to "create" a driver to perform the removal of the two small set-screws that retain the switch to the housing. Used a 1/8" driver bit and an old R/C truck, wheel lug removal tool to access the screws. This was an easy DIY project if you don't want to pay the Dealer for the repair.
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Old 07-19-2007, 06:24 PM   #17
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I heard this is a common problem. The same thing happened to me and I had it replaced for $135.00. I think I got off easy.
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Old 02-23-2008, 02:53 PM   #18
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Exclamation I fixed it!

Thanks for all the great info here. My car's symptoms go like this: all of a sudden one day I removed the key and the car acted if the key was still it, beeping and radio stayed on. I was able to jiggle the key and made it normal for a couple times, but it eventually became a permanent problem. One night it was raining and I realized I couldn't turn on the windshield wiper. But if I turned the key just a tiny bit it worked!
After reading all the great posts here I figured it's the ignition switch. I called the dealership and was quoted $500 to replace it!
So I followed all your directions, except I didn't remove any seat or dash cover. It did take a lot of contorting your body, but good thing I'm a small built. The screws were not too tight so even with my jewel screwdriver making contact at an angle I was able to unscrew and screw back the 2 screws. Couldn't find any "screw locking paint" so I put some white-out in there not sure if that was a good idea.
I replaced it with the part from VolksWagen ($52) and every thing now worked as before!
The only thing is, the old switch that I swapped out, it doesn't look broken except it got some yellow/red color grease at the white plastic part (looks almost like ear wax!). Does that happen to any of you? Maybe all I needed was to clean out the wax? Anyway, I'm saving this one in case in the future I need to try to put it back in. I didn't do it since it was to late, but I recommend folks replacing the switch to maybe stick a paper towel in there and clean it up before putting the new switch in.
--Ken
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Old 02-24-2008, 01:00 AM   #19
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Most of the Porsche switchgear is made by Meyle. You can save a buck by buying their generic equivalent - absolutely identical in every way.

The Meyle PN# is 100 905 0000 - it cross references with Porsche PN# 4A0 905 649 B
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Old 05-23-2008, 05:04 PM   #20
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I recently noticed the key behaving strangely in the ignition where the gongs when the key is left in continue even when its removed, the blower motor for the A/C didn't work at all and finally a dead battery. A quick search revealed this thread that I remembered from awhile back and everything is pretty much as stated. I bought the ignition switch from a VW dealer - it was the Audi part as described and replaced the exact same Audi part that was originally installed. It's about 45 bucks with tax now. Ignition Switch, Audi part # 4A0 905 849 B


I will say drink a few beers before you attempt to tackle this... the scrapes and bruises on your arms won't hurt as much that way. Man - this was the tightest clearance to fit a tool I've ever had... I actually had my feet on the headrest for awhile trying to position myself so I could see the screws while working. It's really not a hard job at all, pull a tube out and loosen two screws but it still took 40 minutes.The money saved was worth it and now I can get the car to a PCA autox tomorrow (woohoo!) but trust me - drink the beers...

oh and it was mentioned earlier that the switch didn't look broken but had grease on the top... I noticed that the little plastic pin at the top was pushed in farther on the original broken one than on the new one... not sure what that means but it was different and I didnt bother lubing anything on the new one - seems smooth so far.


Last edited by trogdor; 05-23-2008 at 05:08 PM.
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