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VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs This is a discussion about MKIII-A3/MkIII Jetta/Golf (<99.5) and B4 Passats (96,97) TDI's. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old March 25th, 2013, 14:05   #1
50harleyrider
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Default ignition switch or tumbler is bad?

Just replaced the switch but the guy I sold the car to is experiencing dead ignition. Is there a way I can tell if he has a relay going out, ignition key assembly is going bad or the switch on the end is crapping out again after less than 6 months?
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Old March 25th, 2013, 14:35   #2
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Does the key turn? It isn't the tumbler / lock, then.
Are some items quitting, but others remaining on when driving? Do they come back on if the key is pressed inward towards the column? It's likely an electrical issue in the contacts of the switch.
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Old March 25th, 2013, 18:13   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lug_Nut View Post
Does the key turn? It isn't the tumbler / lock, then.
Are some items quitting, but others remaining on when driving? Do they come back on if the key is pressed inward towards the column? It's likely an electrical issue in the contacts of the switch.
I've seen cars that had bad ignition locks that could turn. They just couldn't turn the last little bit to engage the starter because of excessive wear. The easiest way to confirm is by putting the ignition in the run position and then take a jumper wire from the positive battery terminal to the starter solenoid. The car should start.

This happened to me while on vacation in Florida 10+ years ago with a g60 corrado. I bought a multimeter to trouble shoot and then used a lead to start the car when I couldn't park on a hill and pop start it.
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Old March 25th, 2013, 19:56   #4
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I had this happen about three years ago, manifested itself identical to a bad electrical switch but turned out to be the very tip of the cast tumbler (which removes with a roll pin) sheared off. It gave subtle hints of failure in the 10 or so cycles prior but otherwise went quick. I replaced the electrical switch just in case that was the root cause, which was original.

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Old March 26th, 2013, 06:13   #5
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Question, how do you get the lock cylinder out of the column? I have one I'd like to re-key to match the doors.

I have seen bad ignition switches in very short order by using non-OEM parts.
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Old March 26th, 2013, 08:40   #6
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You have to drill a hole in the aluminum housing and then press down on a spring. It's outlined in the corrado Bentley iirc
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Old March 26th, 2013, 09:39   #7
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Volume 2, page W94-20 in the B4 Bentley will show where to drill the hole Mark.
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110,xxx mile GLX conversion Storm Grey- my first TDI engine rides again.
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Old March 26th, 2013, 09:56   #8
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Thanks, I'll have a look.
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Old March 26th, 2013, 10:42   #9
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The key turns fine and like I said,the electrical switch was replaced<6 months ago with an OEM one from the dealer.
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Old March 26th, 2013, 10:50   #10
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Looks like you're gonna have to open up the column and pull the elec switch and try to rotate it gently with a screwdriver to see if the car will start. Be warned, when you do this you've got to insert the screwdriver deep enough into the elec switch to trip(push) a pin which will allow the switch to be rotated. If you do not do this, I would assume you can damage the switch. You'll see it, it's staring back at you from the engagement slot.
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110,xxx mile GLX conversion Storm Grey- my first TDI engine rides again.

Last edited by TDIDaveNH; March 26th, 2013 at 11:26.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 06:44   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDIDaveNH View Post
Looks like you're gonna have to open up the column and pull the elec switch and try to rotate it gently with a screwdriver to see if the car will start. Be warned, when you do this you've got to insert the screwdriver deep enough into the elec switch to trip(push) a pin which will allow the switch to be rotated. If you do not do this, I would assume you can damage the switch. You'll see it, it's staring back at you from the engagement slot.
We'll probably replace the key lock tumbler assembly on this car. It's had one done somewhere in its 350k past so it's had the hole drilled already.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 07:19   #12
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[QUOTE=50harleyrider;4137574]The key turns fine and like I said,the electrical switch was replaced
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Old March 27th, 2013, 10:00   #13
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The tumbler assemblies on these cars are very easy to rekey. I'd get a new one (mine is original at 430K) and rekey it to your doors so you won't have to carry two keys with you.
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'96 B4V: 298,000 miles Malone 2+, PP520's, 6 speed, 02J S.shifter, E-Codes, G60 brakes, leathers
'96 B4 (wife's): 214,000 miles Malone 3, Sprint 205's, Bilstein TC's
HEX-USB-CAN Vag-Com, A3/A4/B4 timing belt tools & manuals, IP socket, alt & specialty tools.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 15:07   #14
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BTDT, not so easy getting access to the ignition tumbler. You see, once you free it from the housing you had to drill a hole in you've got to remove the bezel. It's pressed on as a one-shot deal and you have to figure out based on what other parts you have available if you want to destroy the bezel getting it off or the tumbler body if you happen to have another one handy. It's a tricky operation but here is how I pressed the bezel off destroying the tumbler body and the last 3 shots showing how I removed the bezel, destroying it...but saving the tumbler body using the same tool btw that I made that removes the steering spline collar








Voila! Basically you need two to make one. Unless of course, just the bezel is available from the dealer which I suspect it may be but can't remember for sure.

Another tip, when pressing the bezel back onto the tumbler body, the snap ring goes onto the tumbler body, not still inside the bezel. Live & learn

@ 50Harleyrider:
Since you've got the hole already drilled, I would almost bet money that the back of the tumbler assembly sheared off like mine. It's real easy now...don't even have to pull off the steering wheel spline collar. Just a paperclip will free it and drive out the roll pin and just replace the removable switch drive. I kinda doubt that the dealer will have that part. When I did mine, I bought the tumbler assembly new key and all because I think the back part (switch drive- what I call it anyway) was not available separately. Somewhere around $95 is what it cost me (2010 dollars) so as usual, you will be better off with junk yard parts.

From a current owner of 2 white B4's to a former owner of same, let us know how this works out.
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Per cogo, non per mico (By compression, not by spark)
329xxx miles; plus suspension and some other goodies, RIP
110,xxx mile GLX conversion Storm Grey- my first TDI engine rides again.

Last edited by TDIDaveNH; March 27th, 2013 at 21:10.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 16:04   #15
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When I ordered a new key tumbler from the dealer, I took it to a local locksmith to have the tumblers matched to the original keys. The locksmith ordered a new bezel from one of his suppliers. The cost of the bezel and the locksmith's labor was around $70 at the time, this was back around 2002 or so.

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