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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Australian, Perth
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Popup headlight problem

Just wondering if you kind fellows could guide me in the right direction. Basically my popup headlights don't work. They popup and stay up fine, the high beams also work, but low beams do not work at all. If tested the light related fuses and there is definetly no power going across the left or right low beam fuses.

Knowing this, what could be the possible cause of the problem/ where should i be looking for potential ones?

A past auto electrican said the switch was starting to go bad, basically around one of the plug connections the plastic has melted. So would replacing the switch help the cause?

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.
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'83 Porsche 944
Old 10-01-2004, 06:05 AM
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Looks like your switch packed up. However, I had a similar problem with my old '84 944 several years ago, and it turned out to be a faulty ground (earth) wire. Was an easy fix but took mt FOREVER to isolate the problem area. Replace your switch and see what happens.
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Old 10-01-2004, 07:32 AM
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Replacing any melted wiring is always gonna help!
If there's no juice at the fuses then (obviously) the problem is between the switch and the fuse... It may be that the wire has oxidised and you may have to replace the switch and the wire as far as the fuse box. I would check the connectors at the bulb end too if this is the case as one problem very often indicates another about to happen.
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Old 10-01-2004, 07:35 AM
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Neither dipped beam works but both main beams work. There are no headlight relays in stock configuration. So I would say your grounds are OK since they are common and I would center my attention on the switch.

Due to the lack of relays all the current goes through the switch contacts and carboning or melting them is not unusual especially if someone use overwatted bulbs at some point in the car's life on the stock wiring. If the switch fails it is upstream of the fuses, though I'm not 100% sure on a ROW '83 NA. But that would be consistant with what you are seeing.
Old 10-01-2004, 12:28 PM
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I had exaclty the same prob and a few prongs on the switch melted the plastic, replacing the switch should fix it (the switch is a non serviceable item - believe me I've tried) dust / dirt builds up inside the switch eventually causing it to burn out.
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Old 10-01-2004, 02:57 PM
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thanks for the replies, im going to get a new switch next week sometime and tackle the problem.

i hate having to head home before the sun goes down like i am now.

By the way, how simple is the switch replacement? definetly a possible at home job?
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Old 10-02-2004, 06:05 AM
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definitely, very easy.....from memory you can either pull the switch from its cover in the dash - from behind - ie switch and wiring will appear toward footwell (it will either have a black or brown cover depending on dash colour). Alternatively you can pull the cover out from the front by prising edges with a screwdriver then take the cover off and change switch. Taking from the back prevents damaging the dash but can be a pain especially if you have an immobiliser fitted to the switch cover.
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Old 10-02-2004, 07:45 AM
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This switch can be fixed. My 86 had the headlights on at high beam all the time! You may want to try removing the switch and drilling out to the copper rivets. Clean all of the contacts, reassemble everything, rerivet everything and check all of the circuits with a ohm meter and with luck it will be as good as new. This procedure worked for me and I saved some$$$
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Old 10-22-2004, 03:09 PM
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Okay, ive taken a photo of the problem im having just to show u'se exactly where im getting melting plastic. As you can see its not actually melting on the switch itself but more so what it plugs into. I got a new switch delivered today but its the wrong one which doesnt help. I was thinking i might try cut away some of that melted plastic and try get a better connection between the two components.

Any further ideas??

I also found my bill from the last healight repair and saw that the auto electrican guy found a faulty wire and no power running from the fuse box to the switch so i may also investigate that this afternoon.

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Old 10-25-2004, 07:42 PM
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Oooh! that doesn't look very good! Trouble is, what caused it to do that? Could be loose connections (make sure all connections are clean and tight) Or it could be too high wattage/faulty bulbs. If the actual switch looks like that too, I would advice changing the switch too. Check the plug on the back of your headlight bulbs and also check the brown (ground) wire is making a good connection to your chassis (clean and apply copper grease if necessary.

Good luck!
Misty
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Old 10-26-2004, 06:41 AM
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