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Replacing Your Porsche 911 Carrera Ignition Switch Steering Lock

Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Your Porsche 911 Carrera Ignition Switch Steering Lock


4 hours4 hrs






Torx driver set, mini screwdriver

Applicable Models:

Porsche 996 Carrera models (1999-05)
Porsche 996 Turbo, GT2, GT3 (2001-05)

Parts Required:

Updated steering lock assembly

Hot Tip:

Porsche redesigned this part"use the latest version

Performance Gain:

Reliable starting

Complementary Modification:

Replace headlamp switch, replace gauge bulbs

One of the most common electrical items to fail on some of the older Porsches is the ignition switch. This failure can show up in any number of ways. The car can refuse to start some of the time, the key may not turn too easily in the ignition, or strange electrical problems may appear. Either way, the correct solution is to replace all or part of the ignition switch.

First the 1998-2005 996 Carrera.

The switch itself is comprised of two separate sections, one that holds the key and the lock mechanism and another that contains a somewhat complicated electrical switch that controls the starter and the other electrical systems of the car. The good news is that the electrical portion of the ignition switch can easily be replaced. Typical cost of this part ranges from $15-$40 depending upon which brand part you choose. If your key doesn't turn too well in the ignition, then chances are you have a worn out tumbler. You can attempt to rekey and refurbish the tumbler yourself, but the process can be quite difficult. It requires that you drill out a pin that has been pressed into the housing. If you make a mistake, you can damage the entire assembly. In other words, the ignition switch assembly wasn't really designed to be taken apart.

Early Carreras had some problems with the ignition switch/steering lock assembly, and Porsche subsequently redesigned the part. If you're having problems with your ignition switch (as many 911s do), I recommend that you replace the whole mechanism. The electrical portion of the switch is different for this upgraded assembly, so be sure that you purchase the correct electrical switch to match what you have in your car. You may need to take some photos and compare what you have to the photos online in order to determine if your switch assembly has been upgraded or not. If you purchase an entirely new assembly, it should come complete with the electrical portion attached.

If you are replacing only the electrical portion of one of the early steering locks (part numbers 996-347-017-05 thru 996-347-017-06), then use part number 4A0-905-849B. For the later steering lock, which was first used on 2004 cars (996-347-017-07), use part number 4B0-905-849 for the electrical portion replacement. If you're unsure of which one you have in your car, remove it first--the part number should be printed on it.

If you are only replacing the electrical portion of the switch (1999-2004), the project is quite easy. Simply remove the heater ductwork described in Figure 1 (it should pull out from underneath the dash with a few tugs). Disconnect the electrical plug by pulling it out of the back of the switch. Then, simply unscrew the set screws that hold the electrical portion to the back of the switch, and replace it with a new one. The switch has a locating pin cast into the housing, so there is only one way that it can be put back together.

Replacing the electrical portion could most certainly solve some ignition and starting problems. Electrical systems flickering on and off as you turn the key are a good clue that your switch is worn. Also, a bad switch sometimes causes unexplainable starting problems where the starter solenoid doesn't even click. I even had an experience with one car (not a 911) that wouldn't shut off the starter after the engine kicked over. Both the engine and the starter kept running together--even after I had removed the key!

If you are planning on replacing/upgrading your ignition lock assembly, then follow the steps laid out in Figure 2, 3 and 4. You will need to remove the headlamp switch (Pelican Technical Article: Porsche 911 Carrera Headlamp Switch Replacement) and also the gauge cluster (picture 3) in order to gain access to the steering lock assembly.

For 2005 and later 997 models, the entire ignition switch/steering lock assembly was removed from the car and replaced with an electro-mechanical solenoid that locks the steering rack instead. You can only remove the locking mechanism after dismantling the entire steering system. In addition, removal of the locking device is only possible in the unlocked state. As of spring of 2012, I haven't heard of any reported problems with these solenoids needing replacement, but these cars are only seven years old right now. In addition, the electrical switch is an entirely different and simpler design and is easy to remove. Simply pull off the rubber surround, as shown in Figure 6 and then unscrew the large nut underneath. Unplug the switch from underneath the dash and then remove it.

For the 996

First disconnect your battery (<a style=color:000080 href=http://www.
Figure 1

First disconnect your battery (Pelican Technical Article: Porsche 911 Carrera Battery Replacement Trickle Charger Installation).The electrical portion of the ignition switch can be accessed from underneath the dashboard. First, you need to remove the heater air duct (inset photo), which blocks your access to the switch. Pull out the connector and then loosen up the set screws that are located behind the red marking paint (blue arrow is pointing to one of the screws). Use a miniature flat-head screwdriver--access is tight, but the screws can be removed.

To remove the ignition key cylinder, first begin by pulling out the rubber ignition switch surround (upper left).
Figure 2

To remove the ignition key cylinder, first begin by pulling out the rubber ignition switch surround (upper left). Then, turn the ignition switch to position 1 (ignition ON), and insert a large paper clip into the release hole in the key cylinder (shown by the orange arrow). Push the paper clip in as far as possible, insert the key, and that should release the mechanism and allow you to pull out the assembly. Finally, disconnect the small connector that attaches to the immobilizer induction coil (red arrow).

Here are the steps for removing the gauge cluster.
Figure 3

Here are the steps for removing the gauge cluster. A: Pull out the microphone cover and remove the Torx screw underneath. B: Pull out the hazard switch button and remove the Torx screw underneath. C: Using some long pliers, grab the white plastic part of the hazard switch (shown in B) and pull it out of its plug (press on the two black tabs on either side of the white plastic switch and pull in the direction of the red arrow). Then, slide the black connector in the direction of the green arrow. D: Lift the gauge cluster up so that you can disconnect the wire harnesses on the back.

This photo details the steps required to remove the ignition cylinder/steering lock assembly.
Figure 4

This photo details the steps required to remove the ignition cylinder/steering lock assembly. A: With the headlamp switch and side dashboard piece removed (Pelican Technical Article: Porsche 911 Carrera Headlamp Switch Replacement), pull out the heater duct (blue arrow). B: Remove the nut that fastens the lock assembly to the steering column (yellow arrow). C: From the left side of the dash, remove the Torx screw that holds the small bracket to the dash. D: Using a small screwdriver, push down on the push lock pin to release the lock assembly from the steering column (purple arrow). E: Unplug the immobilizer harness (green arrow). F: Pull out the entire lock assembly from behind the steering column.

Shown here is the updated ignition cylinder/steering lock assembly.
Figure 5

Shown here is the updated ignition cylinder/steering lock assembly. The assembly typically includes an electrical ignition switch (shown attached at the rear of the assembly and separately in the lower right).

This photo shows the ignition switch for the 997.
Figure 6

This photo shows the ignition switch for the 997. To remove the assembly, insert a trim removal tool under the plastic ring around the switch. Remove the ring and unscrew the nut underneath. Press the switch inwards and remove from below the dash. Unplug the switch and replace.

Comments and Suggestions:
Jiggz3000 Comments: Hi - some advice needed please! My Dynavin N6 head unit which, to be honest, has been superb until now has suddenly developed a weird fault, if I can even call it that... The unit will not power down - even after removing the key from the ignition. Last night, I parked up, powered down the unit using the power button but this morning noticed that the illuminated surround on the buttons were still on. And had almost totally drained the battery. I removed the fuse, and put it back, which worked... until I got out and shut the door, at which point the surround lights came back on again.
Have you experienced this before, and if so, how did you fix it?
Thanks in advance - it’s driving me nuts!
December 22, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check the ignition feed to the radio. if it does not have voltage with the key off, the radio is faulty. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Nick Comments: word to the wise, the replacement requires a very small common screwdriver =/- 1.5 inches or so and a very small upper body! I am 210 lbs and barely fit between the seat, wheel, floor and dash-had to use one hand only for the replacement-60 minutes unfortunately!
September 6, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Sanj Comments: '98 Carrera 2 - My key turns the ignition on but doesn't spring back to it's resting position has to be done manually by hand twisting it back slightly.
Could you tell me which part needs changing, the part number and how difficult this should be?
September 2, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Most likely the mechanical switch. I would say it is a 4 out of 5 in difficulty. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Craigh Comments: I called my mechanic because my key was sticking, not moving back from the starter position after engine started starter still running also hard to get key into position to remove. He said entire assembly likely bad because mechanical issues with Key. I decided to try the $30 Oem Electrical portion of the assembly. Works fine now. A bit cramped to work under easy but I saved a $550 shop bill.
August 28, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
WindS Comments: I am not clear on how you keep the tumblers/keyed portions so I can use my current key.
July 22, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: They are ordered and matched to your vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
AC Comments: I replaced the electrical portion of the switch 2002 996 last year after the key would only come out of the ignition after several trieswith no rhyme or reason why it would come out when it did. This year, car is running fine, but I've noticed that lights stay on speddometer etc. after i pull the key and it drained the battery overnight. Trickle charge fixed the battery. IF I lock the car with the remote, the dash lights go off and there is no problem with battery drain. Your thoughts??
Thank you
June 27, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be the door switch keeping interior lights on, not allowing vehicle to power down. or a faulty light control for the cluster. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
WendyS Comments: Thanks for the instructions. I replaced the electronic switch because my ignition key turned hard and the radio works intermittently. However, key is still sticky. Upon trying to remove lock cylinder per instructions, it appears I have the same issue as Rob, the small hole is at the top not the bottom like in your picture. I turned key to #1, tried to release cylinder with paperclip & nothing. I don't feel the paperclip is pushing anything. If it makes a difference, I have the newer ignition switch #4B0-905-849 with an Audi symbol. Tells me that the ignition assembly is not original and possibly somebody installed lock cylinder upside down. I tried spinning the lock with a pick, but it won't budge. Might you have any other ideas? Car: 2002 996 Turbo. Thanks.
May 6, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Place the lock tool into the hole with the key in the acc position. Wiggle it around, see if it will come out that way. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Rob Comments: I can't get the key cylinder out of the assembly. My little hole to put the paper clip into is located at a 1 o'clock position and seems to be 180 degrees off. Any advice for how to either fix this or get the cylinder out? It looks like its just a silver top cover but it won't rotate separate from the inside guys and I can't get anything to slide where it should release the clip
April 21, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Use a small pick and see if you can rotate the cover with the hole to the right position. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
wade_t Comments: battery drains to quickly... had on a trickle charger all winter.. as soon as i took it off the trickle the battery drains down within a day.... even if i drive the car around for a while.. what could this be? could it be the ignition switch as that is the only going on that i know of.. tuning it is not right... its loose feeling... no dead stops on turns... could this be draining the battery down? please help..
April 3, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Most likely a bad battery. have it tested before digging too deep. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
zaldy Comments: i have a 997 carrera s 2008, my problem with my car is the ignition switch when its cold its ok to remove the key from the ignition switch but after a few hours of driving and when i stop the key will not come off from the ignition switch, i have to wait to cool it down for at least 15 to 20 mins. Any idea what causing this/ i order the ignition switch already but i haven't tried it.
one more thing if i replace the ignition switch do i need to bring it to car Porsche dealer to re program the system? thank you
October 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Weird one. Maybe the ignition switch is failing, overheating and expanding with the key in it.

Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Porshy Comments: My 2003 911 had one Phillips screw to remove at the air vent. Then pulled on vent and came off. Two flat screws were at side of ignition switch. Had red paint over it. Scraped it off then exposed 2 screws. Just loosen screws so the switch can come off.
August 21, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Tom Comments: Don,t immediately think that the tumbler and key assembly is at fault, for ignition sw woes. My 2002 C2 coupe key "felt funny" with no lights and A/C. The rotary "Contat" portion solved the problem, which is the cheapest fix.
August 12, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Joe Comments: I have a 2002 996. The last several weeks I noticed the ignition key very hard to pull out. Still starts and no electrical problems noted. Lubercation on key, on switch or replace switch. Thanks
July 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: if you have a spare key, try it to see if it is the key or lock cylinder. If not, you have to guess at which. If the key doesn't look worn, it is likely the lock cylinder. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tbiller Comments: Thanks for a great write up, and pic's. Found out 1 thing the hard way. Figure 4, step D. This locking pin can only be depressed, if the ignition key is turned to unlock the column. Thanks again
July 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your installation process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Aly Comments: Correction: I did a clear on the P0621 DTC code, and the Por II said it was cleared, but after I read the DTC codes and it still appears. It has a line, status: CURRENT, that I am not sure what it means.
Does current mean the condition is current? Unfortunately the Por II user manual does not say what that means.
In regards to "Instafatnick"'s comments, I replaced the ignition switch module, and the car now knows the key is inserted and unlocks the steering wheel. My key still turned in the new switch, and starts the car without reprogramming the key which my local Porsche dealer's parts guy said it can't be done again. I think it can, but they want to sell me a new key for total price of $420. The transponder in the key is read from a sensor in the instrument panel that is connected to the OBC on-board computer that knows the key code and will make the car turn off after it starts if the key code is incorrect.
June 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: current means it is a hard code, or a code that has a current fault.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Aly Comments: Hi Nick, thanks for your input. I returned the iCarsoft i690 for Porsche not a generic code reader but a diagnostic scan tool customized for all Porsches. You select your model. I purschased the iCarsoft Por II, the next gen scan tool from Porsche because it can clear some things like the "service now" message that comes on for an oil change every so often. The tool has two diagnostic modes, one is generic OBD2 systems and the other is for Porsche unique systems. Using this I was able to eliminate the get service now message, but I still have two messages to resolve. One is the check battery or generator message, and the other is the check airbag message or close to that shows on the tach's digital display.

One DTC code I get is the Porsche code P0621 gen lamp/term circuit message. I have a 8007 code gateway incorrect coding, 8003 passenger's head airbag above upper limit, 8009 door h button, inner sh stroke, 8042 front luggage compartment unlocking, C102 CAN single wire operation "comfort", and for DME, P0621 generator lamp/L term circuit.

I did a clear on the P0621 DTC code, and the Por II said it was cleared, but after I read the DTC codes and it still appears. It has a line, status: clear, that I am not sure what it means. Maybe it means it still exists. So clearing this did not eliminate the check battery or alternator message, and the code still shows when read. Since the battery is definitely good, and is being charge at 13.5 to 13.9 volts when driving, I am not sure what is actually wrong. I drive around with a voltmeter connected to the lighter/accessory receptacle so I know this. I need to find out what the L Terminal is on the alternator and see if it is making good contact or has an intermittent connection.

In regards to the airbag light, I think it would turn off if I could clear the P0621 code, which I did, yet it still shows up, maybe because the passenger's airbag is disconnected somewhere. I think this is the one in the dash, and the resistance value is too high because it is disconnected or the control module for it does not work.

One thing to note is this 2006 911S had its engine replaced with one from a 2008 911S Targa with less miles. I suspect that the OBC reads the wrong code from it and it needs to be dealer set to the different engine. The other 8009 and 9042 codes are not concerning at this time. I just want to make certain the charging system works right and the airbag system does as well.
June 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you have charging issue, the airbag system may set a fault codes, due to low voltage. However, the head airbag code will not remedy. You will need to repair that fault.

I would check the L terminal as you mentioned and look into the airbag fault closely.

- Nick at Pelican Parts
Instafatnick Comments: On my 911 997 2006, whilst you have partially answered my question I hoped you could clarify.
I have the issue with my ignition switch in that it does not always recognize the key is inserted and therefore does not release the steering lock & switch on the ignition.

To solve the problem I am looking to swap the switch.

I have two working keys currently and would wish to keep these and therefore could you advise:

aIf I buy and install a new switch only, will the switch work with my existing keys? or can you swap the barrel only?

bWill I need to get the switch programmed to work with my existing keys?

cIs it easy to swap the switch?
May 27, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The lock cylinder is not serviceable, so you will need the entire unit. Which should not require programming, as noted in the article. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Aly Comments: I did connect a scan tool/code reader and it shows no codes indicating anything is wrong. The warnings I get are on the OBC display on the tachometer and they are messages. One says "Check Battery or Alternator" and the other says "Check Airbag". I can push on the control lever by the steering wheel and then get a "Get Service" message and one more push on the lever and I am at the normal display that show the digital speed. These messages are repeated when I first turn on the car every time, but don't show again when driving. I think they need to be cleared and am hoping the Porsche i690 scan tool or order will let me clear them and see if they come back. Also, the airbag light on the instrument panel is always on, so something was or is not right with the passenger airbag. No error codes read with my current scanner. Battery is strong and alternator is charging the battery at 13.5 to 14.5 volts.
May 19, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No codes in the DME or full vehicle? If you have messages, there has to be faults stored. A generic code reader will not query the entire vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Aly Comments: Update
I was able to change the ignition with help from a friend mechanic that works on high profile cars Ferrari, Porsche, etc. and he found it pretty difficult to get the panel under the dash off. There were hard to get to bolts holding the top of it on so he said. He was able to get the cable from the back of the switch un-clipped so the ignition switch would pull out from under the panel. Then the tight connector could be pulled out of the switch and connected to the new switch, and installed.
I researched an online Porsche 911 repair manual for this car and year, and it mentioned removing the lower panel to take out the instrument panel, but had no description I could find as what was holding it on and how to remove it! When the three obvious screws are out, it is still held firmly, but no more external screws can be found on the front side.
So car is up and running now. Just one new ignition switch is all it needed. Hope this helps someone.
Now does anyone know if the system ECM/PWM that gives warnings not OBD2 error codes stops showing these warnings after the problem has been resolved? I got one that pops up saying to check the battery/alternator and I turn it off with the control lever. I think my battery was weak so I was getting the warning car was not driven much before I bought it. I made sure it had enough water in it and slow charged it. It seems strong, turns over starter fine, bright headlights when not running, and battery is getting 13.6 volts or so when the engine is running. I don't think anything is wrong and have read the OBD codes and systems. No codes, systems good, but it does not show alternator system in I/M. Thanks for replying Nick!
May 9, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.

the warning lights should go off. However, if the fault codes are still present they may not. Not exactly the best answer, but it depends on exactly what is stored. Time to connect a scan tool.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Aly Comments: I determined that the under instrument panel trim needs to be removed on the 997 to replace the ignition switch. Yes the instructions say it can be pushed in after the trim and plastic ring around it is removed, but the switch cannot be reached with your arm through the opening under the panel and cannot be pulled back to unplug the switch because the wiring to it is too short. The connector can't be pulled off the back of the switch this way, so the under instrument panel panel needs to be removed. I removed the three Torx screws on the underside of the panel, but it is still firmly held in place. How do I remove the panel? I need to get this switch replaced quick!
May 4, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your experience.

I tried to locate a procedure for the panel, I could not find it. I recall there being a few Torx screws, then the panel is pulled down and away from the instrument panel.

I will try to have the article updated.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Aly Comments: For the 997 ignition switch removal, does the panel need to be removed in order to get the switch out? The instructions say to remove it you just push it in and remove from underneath. The plastic panel goes underneath 8 inches or so, so it seems like it may not be able to pull it out. If the panel does need to be removed, does it just need the 3 Torx head screws to be removed?
May 4, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It looks like you remove the 997 switch from below, after pushing it into the instrument panel. You may have to remove the footwell trim, if equipped.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799.- Nick at Pelican Parts
DWM Comments: Thank you for the idea and directions- I replaced the electrical switch as suggested and it fixed my 1998 996 cab that had the issue with the sluggish key, non locking steering wheel, wipers not working, battery draining, etc. Removing duct was easy and just needed a small screw driver to get the two screws out after I unplugged the cord pictured above- 15 minute fix and I am a novice.
April 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Claud Comments: I have a 2004 911 Turbo and I cannot insert the key at all and also have a dead battery. i tried jumping the car and the lights and gauges turn on but I cannot insert the key at all and get a message stating that the key cannot be inserted. I had the car towed to a Porsche dealer and they have told me that I must have a new ignition made in Germany and shipped back to the States to the tune of $2500. Is there an alternative ?
March 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would assume not. Porsche will know best what is wrong with the vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
josh Comments: I have a 2000 996 cab manual trans. I lost the battery due to disuse a year ago and the PASM and ABS light came on the dash when the battery was replaced and will not reset.
The ignition switch now does not turn off the lower dash array lights when I turn the key off and remove from the key cylinder and the steering wheel lock doesn't engage at shut off. Related problems? Replace both the electrical and mechanical sections of the ignition?
January 19, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Start with the ignition switch, it may be the root of all the issues. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Flat6Driver Comments: I have a 2003 996. For a while the engine wouldn't turn over when it was hot, and sometimes when it did the starter would buzz as if not released immediately. Now when I remove the key sometimes most of the lights go out but the engine still runs! Have to stall it to stop it, ugh. I'm guessing this is the electrical part of the ignition?? Key inserts, releases fine.
January 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like the electrical portion of the switch to me. It is likely internally shorted. I would replace it. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Ron Comments: I have a 2001 911 Turbo with 11,000 miles. Getting ready for winter start!!! Just a clicking sound from the starter motor. The battery is fully charged, i.e., the headlights work as well as most of the other electrical components I checked. The amp hand does not move, even with a fully charged battery. What might be the problem?
December 22, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: COuld be a faulty battery cable. VOltage drop the cables to the battery, engine and starter. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Anthony 996 Comments: I have a 2002 996 S4. Problem started with no headlights, then when it rained I noticed the wipers were also not working, However when I turned off the car the wipers jumped, so I figured out the switch just needed to be turned slightly counter clockwise and all systems would work. Now my key gets stuck in the ignition, it does not turn easy and feels like your fighting it to turn off the car Springs back from off position. What part of the assembly is has the spring tension, can it be cleaned and lubed? or it it time to replace?
December 18, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The mechanical portion of the switch. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Medevack1 Comments: The car is a 2004 911 40th anniversary and here is my problem I put the key in the ignition, I turn the key to the on position all my lights come on, but when I turn the key to start the car nothing happens, with the key still pressed on the start position the car finally starts after 30 seconds to a minute sometimes longer, I change the ignition tumbler order it from Pelican parts i replaced it and still doing the same thing has anyone come across this issue and can someone please help me I have disconnected the battery and reconnected thank you in advance also once the car starts it runs smooth and perfect until i turn it off and back to the same problem.
December 6, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Two things to check.

Confirm the starter is getting the signal from the ignition switch. Voltage drop test the battery cables to the starter.- Nick at Pelican Parts
Butter Comments: I have a 99 996, when I turn the key on all the lights on the dash are on but no start. After several time taking key out and in and turning on and off it then starts sometimesI have replaced the ignition electrical switch in back and it still does it. What do you think is causing this? Should I replace all of it?
Please help
December 4, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Two things to check.

Confirm the starter is getting the signal from the ignition switch. Voltage drop test the battery cables to the starter. - Nick at Pelican Parts
Eric Comments: I had one issue that was eventually trumped by a second:
1 The engine seemed to crank slowly/sluggish even with a new battery showing 12.4+ volts
2 One day the key could not be turned in the ignition.

After reading this article, I called Pelican and spoke with a technician. He recommended just swapping the electronics and not the entire ignition. Great call!

Swapping out this part has resolved both issues. Not often I find a $10 part with 45 minutes of effort brings me this much relief!
One note: various gymnastic moves required to remove/install the set screws. I wound up using a screwdriver for working on computers to get into the tight areas.
Love this company and their resources! Both online and the people!
November 20, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
James Comments: I am confused, that is if my problem is the electrical switch or the tumbler. In short I put my key in and start the car quite easily but I noticed there is little slack in the turn of the key. I also noticed the fan/air-con does not operate unless I turn the key slightly anticlockwise and that engages the fan and air-conditioning. If I go to far the engine will switch off. The key goes in and out easily with the spring action release. Can you please provide your thoughts as to my problem. Thank you
November 19, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: it the switch is moving too far, that is the tumbler. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
JW Comments: We just replaced the headlamp switch - take off vent near ignition switch.

Key was still in ignition whilst fitting but when tried starting the car nothing.

Took key out out in again started ok so thought was a glitch but later after car parked started again just clicked not start started after third time

Could it be damaged or short circuited ignition key electrical part - or disturb the wires ?

Thanks for your help!

August 14, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You may have disturbed a failing electrical switch and accelerated the failure. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jeffak Comments: I have a 2000 C2 Cab that was recently take out of hibernation. Aside from a broken emergency brake switch that prevented the top from opening from within the cabin, my ignition swich would not allow reinsertion of the key for a brief time after car was shut off and the key removed. Lately, it's been ok but I want to make such a critical function reliable prior to several road trips this year.
April 18, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I have seen a few of these which acted up in this manner. The ignition lock cylinder would actually spring back after removing the key, making it necessary to insert the key slightly while turning the key to the left, once the key stops turning then the key will slip right in. If this is the case replace the steering lock assembly ASAP, not only can this leave you stranded it can also cause a problem where you battery drains while the car is parked. - Casey at Pelican Parts  
Gabs Comments: 2002 996 Targa 3.6 - I have 2 strange electrical issues that I hope will be cured by a new ignition switch: The cruise control works intermittently. When you start the car, you have a 70/30 chance of the cruise control icon illuminating on the speedometer. If you shut the car down and restart it, most times it will illuminate and you can use the CC.
Problem 2 - The security system seems to be confused as to the status of the door locks. The doors will lock and unlock with the remote and with the lock/unlock button on the dash. However, when you use the remote to unlock the car, you get 2 horn beeps 75% of the time. Also, if you use the dash button to unlock the doors, you'll get 2 beeps and the interior light will come on, even if you are going 50mph!
If replacing the ignition doesn't help, I'll have the codes read and see what it is saying. All locks are working, and the glove box and center console storage doors are shut properly. Very strange...
March 6, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The cruise control on that car is relatively bulletproof, the ONLY problem I have ever seen was when the clutch pedal helper spring was bad, the clutch pedal would not fully return to the extended position which is a requirement for the cruise control to function. A quick way to check to see if this is an issue would be to fully depress the clutch pedal, then SLOWLY release it. Once you take your foot off of the pedal listen carefully while pulling the pedal back away from the firewall. If you hear a switch clicking and notice the pedal feels sloppy the clutch helper spring is likely bad. This was a common failure and Porsche has updated the spring.

Problem 2 is likely a door lock module. Do either of the door locks make a buzzing noise when the doors are locked or unlocked? They should make just a hollow clunk noise not a buzzing noise. -
bruceb Comments: I have an active immobilizer .. on my 996 . I had only removed and re installed the engine. Is there any way to find what is tripping the immobilizer. The battery has been disconnected for 60 days
December 14, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: have you tried a second key? A Porsche scan tool will give you the fault code for the immobiliser. That could direct you to why it is set, for example a code for the wrong key. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
O.Gad Comments: I have a Cayman S 2006 987, which has identical ignition switch to the 997, I have random issue with this switch that it doesn't recognize that the key got inserted and it doesn't release the steering The click until some more fiddling with the key for some minutes, my question do I need to visit the dealer to program or cut anything in the switch to work with my keys? or just replacing the part will work straight away? Thanks
November 23, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you buy a new key from Porsche it should work no problem. If you are replacing the switch, you should not need programming. As the code is in the key. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
vange_c4s Comments: i cannot remove the ignition key cylinder because the key will not turn in the cylinder allowing me to put it in the position 1 ignition ON - how else can i turn the key?
November 17, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Break the keyy and drill out the lock cylinder. Might be your only option. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
AA Comments: 996 2002 targa uk. Had the key getting stuck and difficult to extract and needing wiggling to activate electrics. Had the barrel replaced professionally and after a few months became clear i now have electrics able to work after car turned off and key removed e.g wipers operate in rain if stalk left in intermittent setting, fuel filler cap locked, battery drains in 36hrs. Looks like postion 0 not engaging? Is that the switch which i would have expected to have been replaced when the barrel was replaced? Any advice please! Is going back to the garage but want to have a 2nd opinion! Thanks
October 26, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: They would not have replaced the electrical portion unless you needed it. Sounds like you do not. You can always check the work order and see exactly what they serviced. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Matt Comments: I'm considering this repair on 2000 C2 because occasionally on trips with frequent stopping and start up the ignition will not trigger engine start like a dead battery unless I cycle the ignition several times. This never happens on the daily drive with starts hours apart. Ignition switch?

Also, it looks like the steering wheel was removed in pictures above- is this necessary?

July 30, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be the electrical portion. I would check for terminal 15 at the back of the switch when the problem is present. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
G.Smith Comments: I have a 2003 Carrera. A week ago I started having trouble when I turned off the ignition. When I turned it off & removed the key all the electrical stayed on. When I opened the door it started telling me to remove key from ignition the key was in my hand. I did notice when I re-inserted the key & began turning it it was very loose. I had to move the key right/left until it finally clicked into the off position.

My question is do I need to replace the entire assembly or only part of it?

Thanks for your detailed instructions/photos on how to replace this part.
June 29, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This sounds like a faulty electrical switch for the ignition. I would start there. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Joe Comments: 2001 966 Carrera. The car starts up, but right before I turn the key it feels like the steering wheel is in a locked position. I have to turn with a slight movement then it completely engage the starter.
Once the vehicle is off, the ignition key feels like is stuck in the key hole as is not line up to slide back out of place. Im assusming is also the tumbler going bad. I sprayed a light coat WD-40 to free anything that may cause the binding, but it does not seem to help.
What is your advice? Thank you!
June 10, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would remove the tumbler and see if it moves freely. If not, try a different key. Could be a worn key or tumbler. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
DanD Comments: I have what I hope is a simpler problem on my 2003 996. Ignition switch works, but does not fully return to the left after starting as if spring missing. The lights do not come on and a few other electronics do not come on until I turn the key slightly to the left then all is well. What's the fix? Thanks.
February 13, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be a faulty tumbler or electrical switch. I would disassemble the switch, inspect all parts and see where it is binding. Once removed, it is easy to see if the tumbler is binding. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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