Austin Mini - what is that switch for?


Asked by Nuno Sep 26, 2011 at 04:17 AM about the 1980 Austin Mini

Question type: General

I have a left hand drive 1980 Austin Mini 1000. Right to the left of the steering wheel there's a pull/push switch and, for the
life of me, I just can't figure out what it does.

It's not the choke because that's in the dashboard center. Also, it's different from any other switch in the car. Could it be
some modification a previous owner installed?

Most Minis I've seen don't have that switch, but I have seen a few that have it. Unfortunately, the owners weren't around so
that I could ask what it did.

I include a photo showing the infamous switch. Can anyone help?

Best regards,
Nuno Branco

3 Answers


not a standard switch. you'll have to follow the wires. possibly something like spotlights, fog lights or heated rear window as these were sometimes fitted aftermarket as not fitted standard.


Yes Lee, I'm pretty convinced it's not a standard switch. I've tried to follow the wires but got no results. I do know it doesn't have anything to do with fog lights (doesn't have them) or heated rear window (this is standard and has its own switch). And the funny thing is I've seen it on other Minis, though not many.


Admittedly my mini is right hand drive but in the corresponding position on mine is the REAR fog light switch, could it have had one fitted at an earlier time and it been removed now? When I first got mine it had had a new rear valance fitted and the previous owner had not replaced the fog light fitting.

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