Fixing the High-Beam Switch | Project Porsche 911

What’s worse than fixing something on your car? Fixing something that you have fixed before.

Okay, maybe we replaced our 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera’s turn signal/high-beam switch a decade ago, but it went on the fritz soon after. 

The problem this time? The high-beams were stuck in the on position, meaning that we weren’t making any friends with our Hellas

Just a touch of finger pressure, however, would turn off the high-beams. Our solution for a while, we’re embarrassed to admit: Just drive around with a bit of finger pressure on the switch.

But that’s not a proper solution.

One proper fix: Simply replace the switch–again. Depending whether going factory Porsche or aftermarket, the part is available for about $200 to $400 from the likes of FCP Euro, Pelican Parts and Stoddard

But, we figured, let’s first try to fix it. We found a few tutorials on the Pelican Parts forum, including one that stood out

Here’s how we fixed the high-beam switch. 

Step 1: Undo the battery and then remove the steering wheel and steering column plastic surround. 

Step 2: After gaining access to the turn signal switch, slightly bend the high-beam contact to provide the necessary space. Needle nose pliers worked well here. 

Step 3: Hook up the battery and test the system.

Step 4: Assuming a successful Step 3, button up everything and enjoy. 

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View comments on the CMS forums
roverguy New Reader
2/22/21 1:39 p.m.

Warning:  This circuit is not protected by a fuse on the switch side; at least not on my '82!

On my way back from Ohio to Boston when I repurchased my 911 we were running in the rain for a good part of the day.  I had my fogs and parking lights on. Somewhere between PA & Western NY a guy passed me; I gave him a flip of the high beams; all of a sudden smoke comes pouring out of my steering wheel! Grabbed the extinguisher.

Emergency pull over, pop the frunk and start pulling fuses; you know how hard it is to get to a 911 battery.

Smoke stops, checked around best we could in the pouring rain. All accessories off; reinstall fuses, OK so far. Nervously restart car; nothing.  Just left it with light off as there was still daylight.

First 20 minutes was nerve wracking. My cousin starts Googling on Pelican smoke from high beam stalk. Sure as heck common issue, the switch could overheat and then the extra amps from the high beams burnt the switch body, i.e. smoke; circuit opened, so smoke stopped.

Read some of the pelican threads. There are 2-3 circuits in the dash that are not protected by fuses.  Easy retro; disconnect power in to switch/accessory and put an inline blade fuse with 2 female spade connectors. An hour or 2 and $10 in parts could save your car!

One of the few design flaws I saw in this vehicle.

Quick search that should lead you to the answers:





David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/22/21 2:53 p.m.

Yes, been there, done that--didn't get the T-shirt, though.

I thought that we wrote about it. Judging by the file info, this happened to us back in 2010. I'll see if I can find out what happened to the update, but here are some photos. We used a pre-made kit (likely from Pelican) just to make it super-simple. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/22/21 2:56 p.m.

Found it! We used the JWest Engineering headlight relay kit. 

Just a quick mention but it's in here

And, yes, a worthwhile fix.

Thanks for bringing it up. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/22/21 3:12 p.m.

Also, yeah, that tape covering the postive lead isn't factory. It was fixed back to proper spec years ago. 

roverguy New Reader
2/24/21 11:21 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Yes, Dave, the relays; which I installed later when I installed my Cibie lights do take some of the load off the circuit, however, the link to the extra in line fuses tied into preventive measures for other "under dash" potential issues.

octavious Dork
2/27/21 9:01 a.m.

Dave, interesting as I think my relay is the same age as yours, but slightly different. 

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