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Old 02-14-2012, 03:42 PM   #1
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dash lights stay on - faulty ingnition?

Hello everyone,

I'm new to the forum!
Quick question here. I have a 99 boxster and the ignition switch is going.
I can feel it. It's hard to turn and the key doesn't enter and exit the ignition
as smoothly. Can a faulty ignition cause some of the dash lights to stay
on even after the key is removed? The lights that remain on are the ones
at the bottom of the cluster, ie the ones that light up the odometer.

Also, would anyone have an idea how much it may cost to replace?

Thanks in advance,

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Old 02-14-2012, 04:03 PM   #2
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bingo... faulty ignition switch and in all likelihood just the electrical portion (very common failure). FWIW, the odometer light does stay on for an extended period after key removal in normal operation as well as I recall.

Part can be had < $10 when bought online through auto haus az . com use this LINK
Can also sometimes be bought locally at Audi or VW dealers ~ $40 but call ahead to ensure.

Easy DIY R&R Instructions & Part # Link Here ...courtesy of Mike Focke's compilation

In the mean time... be careful of draining your battery b/c ignition system is still active unless you get the "thunk" when removing the key. So, if parking for extended periods, either put on a battery maintainer or disconnect (-) battery cable (remember to not lock the trunk too ) Keep your 4digit radio code handy b/c each time you disconnect battery you will need to re-enter it since your car is pre-'03 when Porsche switched over to the MOST fiber-optic set up.

Good luck

Last edited by Burg Boxster; 02-14-2012 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 02-14-2012, 04:26 PM   #3
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thanks for your quick response!
I believe that the turning mechanism is going bad too.
Is that possible? The key doesn't turn as smoothly and if I don't
remove the key int he right way I can't get it back in.

I could try to replace the electrical part by myself but if the
cylinder turning piece is going too wouldn't that need to be
replaced too?

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Old 02-14-2012, 04:46 PM   #4
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in the vast majority of instances electrical portion is the issue and yes when it goes bad, it causes key to become hard to turn etc. So, I'd start there as opposed to replacing entire barrel assembly which could run $1000 if done by dealer IIRC. Plus the electrical portion is easily DIY'able...

Cylinder can be DIY'able too but obviously is much more invasive... FWIW, many P-dealers these days won't even offer to do just the electrical portion but instead call for whole barrel replacement... Hmmm, service invoice of $100 or $1000, wonder why?

In all sincerity, sometimes the barrel does need replaced but as said before in the vast majority of cases it's just electrical switch portion. Do a search here and you will see.

Good luck
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:47 AM   #5
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I concur completely with the electrical portion going bad. FWIW, I get the part at my local NAPA store for about $15. When I call them to order, they have it the store the next day...no shipping costs. The part works fine.

I'e used the NAPA part in my 2000S, a 1998 that I bought and resold last fall and my neighbor's 2002 base.
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Old 02-18-2012, 05:21 AM   #6
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Most definitely a bad switch. I picked one up at my VW parts dept. $35.00. Up under the steering wheel is an air duct. Just compress it and wiggle it back and forth to remove it. The switch is then accessible. two screws hold in place. There is sealant over the screw heads that you must scrape off to access the slot. do not remove the screws completely, just loosen them and switch will slide right out. Good luck.
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Old 02-18-2012, 01:02 PM   #7
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The owners manual says that its normal for the lower cluster lights (odometer, etc) to stay on for several minutes after the key is removed and/or the car is locked.

This is separate and not related to a difficult turning key.

1999 996 C2 - sold - bought back - sold for more
1997 Spec Boxster BSR #254
1979 911 SC
POC Licensed DE/TT Instructor
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