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Pelican Technical Article:
Headlamp Switch Replacement
 

 
Time: 1 hrs
Tab: $35
Talent:  
Tools:
Torx socket set, 24mm deep socket
Applicable Models:
986 Boxster (1997-04)
987 Boxster (2005-08)
Parts Required:
New headlamp switch
Hot Tip:
Replace mini bulbs inside switch housing as well
Performance Gain:
Ability to drive at night again
Complementary Modification:
Replace bulbs in gauges
 
   

  This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's new book, 101 Performance Projects for Your Porsche Boxster.  The book contains 312 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to changing your brake pads.   With more than 950+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any Boxster owner's collection. The book is currently available and in stock now. See The Official Book Website for more details.
 

Check out some other sample projects from the book: 

Need to buy parts for this project? Click here to order!
   
     It's not uncommon to experience a failure of your headlamp switch. Years of repeated use and abuse have a tendency to take their toll on the switch. Some symptoms of a faulty switch include headlamps that won't turn on, or perhaps inoperable fog lamps, just to name a few. In addition, there's a few small light bulbs contained within the switch housing that can burn out.

     Replacement is fairly easy, and only requires about an hour of your time. See the photos in this project for the breakdown of the replacement procedure. The only tricky part for some people may be the removal of the large nut that fastens the switch to the vent housing. If you have a 24mm deep socket, then you can simply place this socket on the nut and turn it by hand. If you don't have access to a deep socket this size, then you may have to resort to a pair of needle-nose pliers to remove the nut.

     For the 2005 and later cars, the procedure is super-simple. Press in the rotary knob on the light switch (but not to the limit), and turn the switch to the right. Then pull the entire switch assembly out.

     The part number for the replacement switch is 996-613-535-00 (thru 2004) or 997-613-535-01 (2005-) and it costs about $125 from the online catalog of PelicanParts.com.
Begin by removing the two screws on the leftmost side of the dash with a Torx driver.
Figure 1
Begin by removing the two screws on the leftmost side of the dash with a Torx driver. In the lower right is shown a brand new headlamp switch assembly.
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
Remove the headlamp knob by pressing on the release tab and then pulling off the knob (red arrow, upper left).
Figure 2
Remove the headlamp knob by pressing on the release tab and then pulling off the knob (red arrow, upper left). With the knob removed, you can access the hidden torx screw inside the inner bezel (yellow arrow).
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
Pull off the side vent and headlamp switch together (lower right).
Figure 3
Pull off the side vent and headlamp switch together (lower right). Disconnect the large circular plug, and then the smaller four-wire harness as well (yellow arrow). To remove the switch, simply unscrew the large nut on the face of the bezel (24mm deep socket).
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
See Bonus Photos
Bonus Photos
Looking for more photos? Click to see bonus pictures for this project.
Need to buy parts for this project? Click here to order!
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Comments and Suggestions:
BK Comments: Would have never been able to do this without this site! Too many hidden fasteners and locks - thanks!
September 30, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff:
Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Pete Comments: I just replaced my Boxter's headlamp switch, and I also was stumped when reaching the step, "To remove the switch, simply unscrew the large nut on the face of the bezel 24mm deep socket." For others not yet able to take the old switch out of the vent assembly: Once the 24 mm nut is off, pull the bezel out. You will see a circular circuit board with mini lights behind the bezel. When this is lifted, the switch may be turned to release the lugs from the mount in the vent/switch assembly.

BTW, I used a small spring clamp to remove the nut-worked like a charm once I thought of it, and it holds the nut while you change the switch!
May 25, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff:
Thanks for the additional information. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Bud Comments: Follow up: Figure out how to get the knob back on. Use the knob to turn the light switch to one of the on positions then use a small screw driver to pull the shaft of the switch out, just like turning on the fog lights. At this point, use the knob to push the shaft of the switch back in, like your turning off the fog lights. Knob should catch. No more pull off probably.
February 24, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Happy to hear you resolved the knob installation issue. Your procedure as described will helps others in the future. Thank You.

- Denny at Pelican Parts
 
Mikesz Comments: I changed out the whole vent assembly on my 99. the vent slats were broke and some were missing. FYI the torx size is a T15 and to get the one out in the light switch housing you will need a extra long one which I bought at my local Walmart.
February 23, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: When working on Boxsters a good supply of Torx bits and sockets is needed. These fasteners are being at so many locations buying sets is hignly recommended.

- Denny at Pelican Parts
 
Bud Comments: can't get the headlamp knob to catch when I press it back on. New switch went in pretty easy, but now now fog lights. Help!
February 23, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I sounds like you need to pull the switch shaft out of the switch to put the knob back on it's proper placement on the shaft. Carefully pull it out with a needle nose pliers.

- Denny at Pelican Parts
 
Lukeman Comments: Help! This comment is about the picture at Figure 3. I pulled off the side vent and headlamp switch together but removing the switch must involve more than simply unscrewing the large nut on the face of the bezel. I removed the large nut and still can't remove the switch. The replacement switch has lugs on it. It appears that the old switch has lugs too. Can't figure out how to rotate the lugs to the slots so it will release.

Followup: This is a follow-up to my earlier request for help. I figured it out. The light switch circuit board connected to the harness has to be pushed out to rotate the switch so the lugs can be pulled out through the slots, releasing the switch. Thanks anyway.
July 17, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Cool, thanks for the clarification! - Wayne at Pelican Parts  

Check out some other sample projects from the book: 

 

Got more questions?  Join us in our Boxster / Cayman Technical Forum Message Board or our Carrera 996 / 997 Technical Forum Message Board and ask a question to one of our many automotive experts.

Or, see what other questions readers have asked about this article...
  Applies to: 1997 Boxster, 1998 Boxster, 1999 Boxster, 2000 Boxster, 2001 Boxster, 2002 Boxster, 2003 Boxster, 2004 Boxster, 2005 Boxster, 2006 Boxster, 2007 Boxster, 2008 Boxster, 1999 Carrera, 1999 996, 2000 Carrera, 2000 996, 2001 Carrera, 2001 996, 2002 Carrera, 2002 996, 2003 Carrera, 2003 996, 2004 Carrera, 2004 996, 2005 Carrera, 2005 997, 2006 Carrera, 2006 997, 2007 Carrera, 2007 996, 2008 Carrera, 2008 997
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