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RE: Electrical woes & Hot switches/bulbs

Chances are that your headlight switch (and possibly the electrical
connector that connects to it may need to be replaced... unfortunately,
excessive heat can create additional oxidation which increases resistance
which makes the resistance higher and the contacts hotter.  You might be
able to help things out by using something like deoxit, but it may not help
much.  One thing that you may want to consider is adding a headlight relay.
This will eliminate the primary source of high current from the switch ...
and might even get you better voltage at the headlamps, with the associated
brighter light.  By doing this you may be able to reduce the amount of power
required to pass through the switch to the point where you won't need to
replace the switch/connector.  

One other thing that adds to the warmth of the switch is the fact that some
headlight switches have a small bulb which illuminates the headlight switch
whenever the ignition switch is on.  

You also report that some of your light bulbs are cooked ... this may be a
sign of a bad connection and/or water in the light.  Pull out the tail lamp
units and make sure that all of the connections to the bulbs and to the
wiring loom are in good shape.  There are issues with the grounding at the
point where the loom attaches to the taillamp units which have been
discussed in the past ... hopefully an archive search will get them for you.

Steve Buchholz
San Jose, CA (USA)

> ----------
> From: 	Jonathan Monetti[SMTP:jmonetti@us.net]
> Sent: 	Monday, April 12, 1999 11:40 AM
> To: 	quattro@coimbra.ans.net
> Subject: 	Electrical woes & Hot switches/bulbs
> hey gang,
> everything seems to be hitting at once, and i'm sure that's no
> comincidence.  
> my old headlight switch (drum type) took a dive after getting so hot as to
> melt the plastic housing that plugs into it.  i replaced, and voila!
> lights all around again.  however, i noticed it was still getingt very
> warm, sometimes hot, to the touch when the lights are on.  The other day
> (at the inspection station, of course) I lost the rear parking lamps.  
> took the car home, cleaned the connections at the switch , and all was
> fine again. But it's still hot as hell.
> Also, I have been burning out bulbs like mad.  And they're not just burnt
> out, but they are *smoked*.  Looks like a small war went on inside the
> bulb.
> So over the weekend, I checked and cleaned all my connections (at least
> the ones that don't require major heroics) and replaced my severly worn
> voltage regulator.  All lights burning brightly then.
> This morning, i lost a headlight on the way to work, my headlight switch
> is almost untouchable form the heat, as is the spot above the backlight
> for the heater controls and the ashtray light.
> What gives?  Where is all this resistance coming from?  and being an
> electrical nincompoop, how do i find out? 
> TIA   
> Jonathan "The Volt" Monetti
> 86 CGT 122k & burning brightly