My headlights, heater and wipers do not come on unless you pull back the highbeam selector arm and hold it..

Asked by Mar 26, 2012 at 11:57 PM about the 1989 Volkswagen Cabriolet

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

10 Answers


Sounds like a warn out or broken wire or contact in the arm itself. As for the heater.... That's run on an entirely different circuit... Not sure on that one.


I had this happen on a was the ignition switch...seems when the positive contact for those accessories goes bad, they find power through the return circuit of the highbeam selector. Check the power coming from your switch in the on position. You'll need the wiring chart for the switch.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

i replaced the whole highbeam blinker switch last night and samething.. i will try the ignition switch right now.. thanks..


This might help.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I wonder if I'm not having a similar problem on a 97 Jetta GLS? I have intermittent loss of the windshield wipers, AC/heater fan and lights (and the brake light is lit even with brake off). I can turn the bright lights on by pulling the lever. Other electronic things work- radio, inside lights, turn signals. Usually if I turn the car off and start over it goes away. Fuses appear ok. No obvious loose wires.


I would be checking all the ground points and consider replacing the fuse block. Sounds like gremlins which can be caused by corrosion...are you in a high humidity environment? Has water intruded the interior?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

It's none of these guys. the lights, wipers, horn and ac are all connected to one rely. I replaced the rely and everything worked well until it overheated AGAIN. the wiring for the lights is inadequate. anyone with the same problem please send me your contact information. GM has a similar lawsuit that they have settled. We need to hold VW USA's feet to the fire and hold them accountable. It is really a dangerous situation. Mike Roberson

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Good luck with that, Mike....better thing would be to add a relay for the high-amperage light circuit going through the ignition switch and relay. Move the 12V output lines that go to the lights over to the new relay. Run a fresh 12V supply to the input of the new relay from the fusebox main bus. Then use the output signal from the ignition switch (for lights) to activate the new relay. Relay kits can be found at most auto supply stores and online parts retailers. With the Vanagon out of production, the chance that VWoA will do anything is basically nil.

Anzmarching!!! My car is in the shop right now for the same and they cant figure it out... I have a 93 vw cabriolet call or text me if you get this and tell me if you got it fixed or not?!?!

Lol sorry got to include the number fir you to call or whatever 304-820- 8916

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