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    Thread: **Ignition Switch Replacement DIY**

    1. Member Seanathan's Avatar
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      02-25-2006 03:28 AM #1

      Symptoms
      All car electronics would flicker and the car would come close to shutting off. Idle would severely dip, dash lights would flash, and radio would restart.

      Procedure
      Checked battery, and alternator. All was fine. Did a little searching on Vortex and found that the MKII's and MKIII's have this same issue. With a few MKIV's.

      Went to the dealership and bought a new one. Part # 4B0905849 for a list amount of $84.87 and out the door for $91.62. Argued with the guy at the counter that it's not my alternator but my ignition switch. I told him that when I move my key in the ignition it will also cause the issue. After hearing that he gave in and agreed.

      Replacement

      Ok, I left out some pictures of removing the lower dash because if you are not comfortable removing the lower dash without assistance, then I would recommend leaving this to the dealer. As the replacement is pretty easy and shouldn't take more than 45 mins.

      Tools Used:

      I used just two Torx bits (not sure on the sizes) and a SKINNY flat/philips head screwdriver that I picked up at Pepboys in the dollar bin a while ago. You will need a small long philips head screwdriver to access four screws.


      **Disconnect the negative terminal from the battery first as a safety precaution***

      Start by removing the panel that covers the fuses:


      Then remove the left panel; it pops right off. When you pull it off you can see the screws that you will need to remove the metal panel underneth both plastic pieces.


      Remove the right panel now. There is a small screw at the bottom/middle holding this panel to the metal piece. Remove that screw and the rest pops off:


      Now turn the steering wheel as far right as you can. Exposing a small port for a deepset screw. Be careful removing this screw! It can be stripped easy, as I did just that. This is where that long small philips head screwdriver comes in handy!


      Then move the steering wheel all the way to the left, doing the same:


      Now look underneth, there are two more deepset screws that you will have to remove:

      After you have done this it will be a good idea now to remove the lever so you can pull off the bottom plate fully. There are only two torx screws:


      Now you can pull off the bottom plastic piece:


      On the left you can see the harness and the ignition switch:


      Gently pull off the harness on the ignition swich. Its a bit annoying to pull it off all the way as the wire bundle is in the way, but it will give:


      Here you can see fully the ignition switch with the harness removed:


      **Before pulling switch out make sure your ignition is off, and the key is removed from it***
      Now, this part is what made my replacement of the switch take forever!! I could not for the life of me pull out the switch. I was looking all around for some hidden screws holding the piece in, and playing with different key positions thinking it was locked in. Nada.

      If you look closely you can see VW painted these screws red!!! Remove these and the switch will easily pull out. You will need a tiny flathead screwdriver for this:


      I took a look at the old switch and it looked perfectly normal. I pulled it apart further and again it looked fine! But concidering VW's electronics, this doesn't surprise me.

      Now for installation Just pop in the new switch and reconnect the harness and screws!

      Double check the harness, switch, etc. Make sure everything looks good. Just install the metal panel, then the three plastic pieces in reverse order and you are all set!! Reconnect the battery and don't forget to recalibrate the throttle body! You're all set!!


      Last edited by Seanathan; 03-15-2011 at 07:23 AM.

    2. Member Seanathan's Avatar
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      02-25-2006 03:32 AM #2
      And yes the car is dirty!! i don't want to hear it

    3. 02-25-2006 11:36 AM #3
      Very nice!

      Gary


    4. 02-25-2006 11:55 AM #4
      I believe this is the solution to my issues! Cluster lights flickering, DVD player turning on and off by itself, headlights dimming, idles like crap. And then i would have to get a jump after it dies. Thanks

    5. Member Seanathan's Avatar
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      02-25-2006 11:53 PM #5
      If you replace it let me know how it goes!!! Check your alternator and battery first like I did. Then if they both read fine, this is most likely it!! Also- wiggle your key, if it does it when you wiggle then its this thing!


      Mine did it ALL the time at idle!


    6. Member vrsixt9's Avatar
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      02-26-2006 12:44 AM #6
      just an off track Q. would you be able to "hot wire" it

    7. Member vasillalov's Avatar
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      02-26-2006 12:54 AM #7
      Nice! I am glad to see that you don't have to remove the steering wheel do change the ignition switch, like it is on older cavaliers

      Let me guess, BOSCH makes the switch, correct?

      Quote Originally Posted by MAG58 View Post
      Please consider your audience before saying something sensible. 80% of TCL drivers were actually banned from Formula 1 for being too fast.
      A turbocharger is a device in where exhaust gases go in, witchcraft happens, and then you go faster.

    8. Senior Member abydielsgli's Avatar
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      02-26-2006 12:54 AM #8
      good work man.

      this is what this site is all about


    9. Member Seanathan's Avatar
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      02-26-2006 05:29 PM #9
      Quote, originally posted by vrsixt9 »
      just an off track Q. would you be able to "hot wire" it

      lol I was thinking about that when I was underthere. damn immobilizers

      Quote, originally posted by vasillalov »
      Nice! I am glad to see that you don't have to remove the steering wheel do change the ignition switch, like it is on older cavaliers

      Let me guess, BOSCH makes the switch, correct?

      Yup. Its Bosch made. Of course. In the Mkiii's you have to remove the steering wheel to access this, so I see VW predicted this issue

      Quote, originally posted by abydielsgli »
      good work man.

      this is what this site is all about

      Thank you!!!


    10. Member Seanathan's Avatar
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      03-01-2006 05:53 PM #10
      *update* haven't experienced the problem lately so I assume this fixed it

      Also- on the manufacturer, I believe the original part was Bosch, not too sure though. But world Impex.com says the manufacturer of the new part is FEBI.


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      03-01-2006 06:01 PM #11
      Quote, originally posted by vasillalov »
      Nice! I am glad to see that you don't have to remove the steering wheel do change the ignition switch, like it is on older cavaliers

      ever change one on older VW's? same thing, steering wheel removal.

      Another thing, the new ignition switch costs $90??

      mk2 ign. switches are like $7...


    12. 03-01-2006 06:12 PM #12
      I can get this same OE new part for $ 54.95 plus ship. Let me know if your interested.

    13. 03-01-2006 06:55 PM #13
      what about the throtle body. is something that needs to be done when the battery is disconnected? if so , how?

    14. 03-01-2006 08:17 PM #14
      The car will perform the throttle body adaptation on its own. You can speed up the process by doing it manually, but there's no need to.

      Gary


    15. 03-01-2006 11:38 PM #15
      Two quick things.

      1. The left lower dash panel doesn't need to be removed. You can change the switch without removing it.

      2. The battery doesn't need to be disconnected.

      EDIT: Nor does the right lower panel, or the steering wheel height adjustment handle need to be removed. You'll get pelnty of room to access the switch with it on.


      Modified by SeaBiskit at 11:40 PM 3-1-2006


    16. 03-02-2006 03:15 PM #16
      ^^^Makes it easier for the Dummies<<<

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      03-02-2006 03:18 PM #17
      Quote, originally posted by SeaBiskit »
      Two quick things.

      2. The battery doesn't need to be disconnected.

      Modified by SeaBiskit at 11:40 PM 3-1-2006

      In a sense you are right, it is all low voltage. Regardless, there is some current running through those contacts, and it is probably best to disconnect the battery. Excellent DIY.

      Mike

      Chapter 11 Dubs: Member #001
      http://www.chapter11dubs.com
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    18. Administrator BHB's Avatar
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      03-02-2006 04:27 PM #18
      excellent DIY.
      Current: 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.7 Hemi 4x4, 2013 BMW 650GS Sertao, BMW 1150RT
      Gone: 2010 Audi S4; 2008 GTI; 2007 Audi A6; 2004 Audi allroad 2.7T; 2001 Audi A6 2.7T; 1999.5 Mk4 Jetta VR6; 1991 Jeep Cherokee 4.0 4x4

    19. Member Seanathan's Avatar
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      03-03-2006 01:22 AM #19
      Quote, originally posted by SeaBiskit »
      Two quick things.

      1. The left lower dash panel doesn't need to be removed. You can change the switch without removing it.

      2. The battery doesn't need to be disconnected.

      EDIT: Nor does the right lower panel, or the steering wheel height adjustment handle need to be removed. You'll get pelnty of room to access the switch with it on.

      In my experience of working on things its easier to take the time to remove things that allow easier access to parts being worked on, than trying to save time by working around things

      And the battery is just a precaution. I didn't disconnect the battery when I did it, but when posting on Vortex its a standard precaution


    20. Member Seanathan's Avatar
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      03-03-2006 01:24 AM #20
      Quote, originally posted by bhb399mm »
      excellent DIY.

      thanks

      Btw for everyone disconnecting the battery to recalibrate the throttle body, first hook up the negative terminal again, then turn the key in the igntion to the "on" position, but DO NOT start the car. Wait until you hear the throttle body stop clicking. Now you can start the car


    21. 03-03-2006 01:49 AM #21
      nice write up and the effort for the pics
      this will come in handy for the mk4 community

      edit: missing brake padel??


      Modified by kynko at 10:51 PM 3-2-2006


    22. Member VW LVR's Avatar
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      03-03-2006 01:52 AM #22
      nice job!

    23. Member Jurgy's Avatar
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      03-03-2006 03:08 AM #23
      I'll keep this in mind; I've had a horrible cold start issue with the car, and if the reflash/new maf/coolant sensor/battery ground doesn't solve it, I'll give this a shot.

    24. 03-03-2006 03:29 AM #24
      dude LOL. I dont care WHAT HAPPENS. I HAVE LEARNED MY LESSON.

      I will NEVER EVER remove my dash or under-dash pieces again in my life. Ask anyone who knows me why.

      its great you actually took pics of it removing the panels, and such which we were in need off for some FAQ's who dont show clearly.
      You should have made a DIY while you were at it, on just how to remove and PUT BACK the panels. Some other DIY guides that mess with the dash down there dont show good enough pics.

      Sorry dont know if what I said makes sense, but oh well.


    25. 07-29-2007 09:19 AM #25
      Do you know if there is an ignition relay, I had a similar problem yesterday. I went to go start my car and the dash started clicking (time and odom. was flashing), the radio went dead. I put the key in the off position and restarted it after a min and so far okay?
      You play PC Video Games, click on this!
      http://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Hate...14689205221694

    26. 10-30-2007 02:14 PM #26
      thank you for the DIY post. it was really helpfull.


      My symptoms were the wipers, blickers, heat, horn and lights didnt work. Although my high beams did work if the were held down.

      I also had a problem switching the switch which was my fault.

      the problem was a bad ignition switch. although when it was taken out one of the wires had melted, then the new ignition switch was installed and the second when also went bad. The reason it was bad is because the connector of the wire that had melted was not replaced. So, i'll replace the switch again this afternoon and the wire will be replaced to make sure it wont happen again.


    27. Member RacerX7624's Avatar
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      11-11-2007 02:46 PM #27
      my symptom is quite simple....my car wont shut off.....i have to pop the clutch to shut it down and disconnect the battery or my lights and stuff stay on as if the car is in the on position..

    28. 11-11-2007 02:49 PM #28
      very nice man! needs to be added to the DIY list

    29. 11-11-2007 02:54 PM #29

    30. 12-11-2007 07:07 PM #30
      good to know as I payed my mechanic $150 todo this for me..... I was too nervous as I opened the top of the columb and saw all the wires and was like ah it will be worth the $100 not to **** this up....

      but next time if needed I'll DIY


    31. Member theswoleguy's Avatar
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      01-09-2008 08:28 AM #31
      Wanted to update to this with another symptom of a faulty switch so if someone searches they will be able to acquire that info. Below is an email i got from a fellow dubber.

      Josh,
      Long time no talk to. I am not a member of any VW forum, but I know you have been for some time. I had a problem recently with the GTI, and searched the web to no avail. First let me explain the problem.... The car starter would not crank over when the outside temperature was under 30 deg F. The dash idiot lights were on, fuel pump on, ignition on, turning the key to start would not engage the starter. Once it warmed up outside the car started just fine. Checked schematic on he car, only interlock is the Clutch pedal which reports to the ECU. Troubleshooting, by passed the clutch (with a jumper wire) same problem. , added a wire to the starter solenoid (used a push pin soldered to a wire to +12v) to check if the starter was the issue. Started worked fine !!!, only thing left was ignition switch. Called dealer to find out parts price, and repair $390.00, part was $95.00. This repair is due to the fact that u have to remove the SRS steering wheel. Also found out from dealer that these ignition switches start to breakdown over time, and will cause this starting problem when it gets too cold. Found a VW parts place here in town, got the ignition switch for $28.00 (same price as the net or Ebay) Looked at the cowling around the steering wheel. Decided it could be done without pulling the steering wheel.

      Procedure on 2003 VW GTI
      1. Remove negative battery terminal
      2. Pull steering wheel tilt mechanism down, and pull steering wheel toward you.
      3. Working from the lower cowl, Remove the 2 front phillips screws, then remove the torx screw in the center
      4. The top cowl will now come up, move it up slightly out of the way, but do not remove it from the steering column
      5. The lower cowl will not come off due to the 2 screws holding it in the front (at this point one should remove the steering wheel), but I took a small screw drive, and pulled the plastic back, until the screws let go both sides, be careful not to break the plastic cowl. (I found that the cowl stays in place just fine without these screws.
      6. Once the lower cowl is loose move it out of the way.
      7. Looking from the front of the steering wheel, u will see the ignition switch on your left side.
      8. Make sure the steering wheel is pulled toward you, this will give you room to pull the switch out.
      9. Grasp the black plastic connector where it connects to the plastic ignition switch. (the connector is just pushed on, no clips), you may have to move the turn signal harness slightly to gain proper access the the switch.
      10. Once disconnected, loosen the plastic ignition switch from the metal ignition lock. This is done by loosing the upper and lower screws, these screws could have some RED paint on them. You will need a small long flat blade screw driver to clip the paint off then access the screws
      11. Remove the switch, install the new one, make sure the switch orientation matches the one you just removed.

      Once I did this the car started just fine !!!!!!


      Modified by theswoleguy at 8:29 AM 1-9-2008

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    32. 01-12-2008 03:41 PM #32
      Thanks!! I really appreciate you and others like you who take the time to post information like this. I just bought myself a 97 GTI and it had this issue from the start (I got a really good deal because of it, and it looks like it's gonna pay off ). My symptoms are the ABS light, wipers, headlights, heater, and the high beams only come on if i hold down the switch. Slightly turning the ignition forward a bit makes them work again. I will be doing this this week. Thanks again!!!!

    33. 03-20-2008 05:44 PM #33
      just did this today, but my new switch was beat too, gotta wait til tomorrow

    34. Junior Member
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      03-27-2008 11:02 AM #34
      Thank you very much!

    35. Member
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      03-27-2008 12:06 PM #35
      My car had a starting issue a while back where all dash lights would flicker at a high cycling rate. I would havr to turn the key 10-30 times before the car started after which there were no problems.
      Turns out it was a bad ground to the tranny!

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