Fix Instrument Light Dimmer
In addition to flopping around when I first got it, the headlight
switch in my beetle didn't work right in terms of dimming the
instrument lgihts. It's the style that you pull out one notch to turn on the
running lights, and another notch out to turn on the headlights. But
you also turn the knob to dim the instrument lights.
When I got my car, when you turned on the running lights, the
instrument lights (basically illuminating the speedometer) came on as
expected. And the knob on the lights switch did turn. But the only
levels of the light was either full on or off. If the lights switch
was turned all the way clockwise, the instruments lights were on. But
turn it just a little bit counterclockwise, and the instrument lights
would go off.
The problem on this one turned out to be simple. The resistor/spring
in the light switch was broken; I don't know when or how. I didn't
take the switch out until I had a new one to put in. The new one had
a spring all the way around the shaft. With the new switch in, the
dimming function of the lights switch works just fine.
To remove the lights switch, you have to remove the knob and then
remove the special retaining nut with the switch removal tool (but
FIRST disconnect the battery ground! The wire that powers the running
lights is UNFUSED!). Once the retaining nut is removed, then lower
the switch down and get at the wiring through the opening where the
radio sits. I guess for me this repair was easy because I have taken
my radio out. You need to be very careful to put the wires back
correctly, and have the switch fastened tightly to the dash board
before reconnecting the battery.