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Latest Porsche Repair and Headlights Installation Advice

CarJunky AutoAdvice

75 Porsche 914 1.8L Left Side Marker Lights Always On

Showing 6 out of 13 Posts | Show 7 Hidden Posts
Question From Grump on 75 Porsche 914 1.8L Left Side Marker Lights Always On

It's normal to have the ignition off, light switch off, and when activating the left or right turn signal lever, that side marker lights will come on. Why these cars were designed that way, who knows. Anyway, 2 days ago while filling up gas tank (under front hood), I reached inside to pull hood lever and bumped 3 fuses out of the fuse block. Of course, the cover wasn't on. I waited until I was home to put fuses back in. After putting them back in, I noticed the left side marker lights were on. I pulled fuse #5 and they went out. 12V is getting to that circuit somehow. I changed light switch, hazard switch, disconnected turn signal lever, lights still on. I have a good wiring diagram but lack the knowledge on reading it. All the grounds are good, bulbs are good, no blown fuses. I have the wiring diagram in pdf if that will help. I can send it by email but don't know how to put it on here. Thanks... Bill

Response From Grump

I'm sure that all of us with this "feature" would agree that it's not very useful. However, it has been working fine for all these years until I bumped the fuse panel. What I can't figure out is where this circuit is getting the 12V without the turn signal lever in the left turn position. It works fine for the right turn. If the fuse for this circuit is left out, all other accessories work fine and car runs normal. I guess I'm looking for someone with diagram reading knowledge who will take a look and suggest possible solutions. I'll send the diagram via email. Thanks.. Bill

Response From Tom Greenleaf Top Rated Answer

Bill - I can't know the original intent just that I'm sure of the left/right "parking light" thing as if you parked at a curb you really don't need the curb side lit up draining battery.

If we have misunderstood terms of which lights are on I apologize. Seems there are two or more names used for things all over. Running lights and parking lights are the same thing to me. Some places require a parked car to leave lighting on even here (US) if double parked if you ever had to do that - scary I know. You are blocking another car or two for a couple minutes subject to a fast tow away if not following the right protocol.

Do you have the original owner's manual to this car? Can you find out if not exactly how this is designed to work? Diagrams MAY be very specific to exactly where the car was originally destined even within the USofA now and older than this car you had to meet state rules if you stayed there and registered the car. California Emissions, High Altitude Emissions, lighting for some had to be on the highest part of the roof for plain pick up trucks but not in all states. Amber or red rear turn signals! Some places do not allow red for those so you see both out there now. No shat - NYC you had to have a switch for the horn to be quieter for use in city limits!!!!

It continues with things like window tint not allowed where I am and a must have for some hotter climates.

Powered lighting from a side view was required for model year 1968 and up not just a stuck on reflector for US. Granted this stuff was mostly long ago but it still exists. You need to know what this car was supposed to do and how or altered and that could be a challenge to find out now at the age.

Common to Europe was the flash mode just by pulling a lever for headlights meaning you WERE going to pass and so on long ago most was just pulling on directional lever,


Response From Grump

That makes sense, parking lights not need curb side. If you pull the headlight switch out to the first stop you get both sides illuminated. I don't have the original owners manual, just a wiring schematic for the year. Parking lights and side markers are the same to me. I just need to find out why the left side is always on when it was okay before I knocked 3 fuses out. Thanks.. Bill

Response From Tom Greenleaf

OK - Just some common sense. This all happened when you "bumped" some fuses out? Whatever or how that happened?

There's the place to look. By all chances if this (really think so) is supposed to be able to leave these lights on, no keys in it and car locked even there would be power all the time available. How you trigger that on demand is your guess as good as mine. It may go thru a relay first so look at your diagram and follow it "bat+(pos)" on to that fuse and from it for clues.

I can't say how often someone would want to use this feature or at all but guess you do enable it to on purpose not just by mistake?

This isn't a feature I personally would use at all myself. Those I do see doing that double parking thing usually leave 4 way flashers on like for a quick delivery or something.

Chances are your diagram even if not exact would show the idea but not necessarily the location but you know this happened from whatever that bump was with the fuses so check there first for physical issues,


(PS on edit) Does this still use those porcelain fuses with the metal that would blow/burn on the outside? Did one drop that off and create a connection you don't want perhaps???????????

Response From Grump

Thanks. I don't use this feature but I know it worked before I bumped the fuses reaching for the hood release. Yes these are the old type and I'll check for an end cap that may have broken off. I know what circuit it is and what fuse (#5), and I follow path to the light switch and another path to the parking light switch. I had another switch but that didn't resolve the problem. My first guess was that the headlight switch was bad. I unplugged the turn signal harness, no difference, thats a separate circuit anyway. After the fuse, the path goes to the 4 bulbs on the left side. Fuse #6 is the same only for the right side which is ok. I could just pull both fuses and not have this feature and all other systems would work. It's challenging me to find the cause, and I think it's something simple. She runs and drives without this circuit but I want it to work as it should. I would appreciate it if you would take a look at the schematic and look at the fuse 5 circuit and let me know what you think as to where you think it's getting the 12V without the turn signal on. I'll need your email though. It's probably too big to put here and I wouldn't know how anyway.. Regards.. Bill

Response From Tom Greenleaf

No personal emails - sorry. Seriously, it just broke so LOOK. Take fuse panel if detachable down and look for wires messed up behind it, burnt - things touching.

It worked before is the key.

If you must try to post a diagram this site is tricky to do. Try a pic of it real sharp and link to it from a hosting site like photo bucket.

My gut instinct is this part enabled or a short that didn't make a fire is physically the issue. Those fuses if like I think suked new never mind this old. Truth is there weren't many of these cars around to mess with at all but similar games in VWs, some Benzos forget the BMW 2002 older than this now.

Just in general these type cars just do things a bit differently and always did. It's still around which speaks volumes for some care for it actually quite a bit or would have been long gone,


Response From Grump

Thanks. I've been looking for 2 days and I'll continue. It's become a challenge and I must resolve it. I'm retired and have all the time in the world. I'll probably find it by accident while working on something else. I may post the problem on the 914 site if it's not resolved within reasonable time. I'll try to find a publication which explains diagrams and how to troubleshoot. This auto is probably too old for most site visitors here. Hell, it may be too old for me. In my opinion, Porsche's are way over engineered. There is nothing simple about them, probably the same could be said for any German make. The Caddy Catera I had was German engineered, and it was a pain to maintain. Enough ranting.. Regards.. Bill

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Quote from the top post ">> I reached inside to pull hood lever and bumped 3 fuses out of the fuse block. Of course, the cover wasn't on. I waited until I was home to put fuses back in. After putting them back in, I noticed the left side marker lights were on."

That says it all. YOU bumped it, fuses fell out (shouldn't), cover wasn't on? When you put fuses back left side marker lights went on just putting fuses back.

That alone so strongly suggests that is exactly where this problem lies if it were any car, vehicle or thing out there of any make or age.

Agreed for the best help as to how this happened and what is likely a site dedicated to these cars would really help. If that easy to cause this it's happened before and may end it right there.

These were NOT my cars then and actually drove a fairly new one about that year from 'burbs of Boston to Myrtle Beach, SC in a fool attempt to save gas NOT taking a nice LAND YACHT that I owned one of these would fit nicely in the glove box of.

About this exactly and by year........

>> http://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?&id=HN.608006209370130310&w=300&h=300&c=0&pid=1.9&rs=0&p=0<<

(picture may not cooperate?)
In short your problem is right where you bumped it by all odds. Take the whole fuse assembly out or look behind it where wires go in a bet you find the trouble and then look for what you need to do to fix it. No point in diagrams this has been damaged hard enough somehow to have those fuses fall out so what else touched unseen because of that - any vehicle or thing that's where I'd be looking,


Response From Grump

Thanks for your reply. This starts day 4 of trying to solve this. I have the whole fuse panel dropped down and have looked at every wire and fuse (12), trying to find anything out of place, shorted, or grounding. Also dropped down the headlight switch, hazard switch, fog light switch, thinking maybe I pulled a connection off. I removed all the fuses, sill get the 12V. The diagram shows this circuit continues to a relay for the seat belt warning system (also prevents the starting) which is located under the passenger seat. This circuit has been disabled by previous owner. Thats where I'm heading this am. Maybe I have a short or ground there. As you, I also believe the problem is at the fuse block, it's just not readily apparent. The ignition was of and only 2 fuses are hot when it's off, maybe one fuse I hit slid over and made contact with another, they are close enough to each other to do this. Regards.. Bill

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Whew. This may take some digging into still by YOU. Seems you may not be sure fuses are in correct locations which MAY have been on that missing cover or in the owner's manual you don't have. Dang. Add that you changed out a switch (did you mean on steering wheel?) and now that a questionable area.

TMK the seat belt on and no starting car thing was for US destined model year 1974 cars only and think that was recalled to quit that and disable that by dealers quickly as some folks stalled at dangerous locations with groceries on a passenger's seat and car would re-start and were killed so that idea went south fast. Didn't think any did that in model year 1975 or even part year of 1974.

I doubt that's involved just intuition if the car starts and runs at all. Sometimes no telling what each car maker routed some tricks like that thru also?

This may take some real help from an auto electric specialty place that also takes on both old and Euro cars. Those fuses mentioned were lousy from the get go which is why I asked. Connections on about any vehicle get brittle, slight or lots of corrosion and wiring insulation plain brittle as raw pasta sometimes.

I'm probably done being able to help myself just do remember these new and then used now antique by vehicle standards.

The one thing I really think you should find out is how the system is supposed to work to leave on one side of parking lights when vehicle is off. I don't think but that's a guess you do it by mistake but rather something you assertively do to make them do that.

Do keep a log book history of things on cars this old just to be handy for something later.

Just off the wall with strange things with age: Relays if you take a junk one apart you can see how they work with points inside and an electro magnet pulling against a spring of some sort. They can fail to stay on, stay off, connect but no or inadequate power thru them to item intended next item. I don't think any except for specific reasons were air tight or water proof so subject to growing old like us all!


Response From Grump

Thanks for your reply. The short version is that when the headlight switch is pulled out to parking light position, the right side lights come on and the left goes out. When switch turned off, right goes out and left comes on. Don't now think that the European parking light feature has anything to do with the problem. I have an extra headlight switch and the same symptoms remain. Same with the hazard switch. It's has to be something I moved, dislodged, grounded, shorted, crossed, burned, or whatever. I'll find it eventually.. Regards.. Bill

Response From Tom Greenleaf

TMK many exactly so called German made vehicles came equipped to leave either right or left "parking" lights on to save battery drain for exactly the purpose, parking lights.

Not Porsche but a Benz had a switch for left or right or all (I recall vaguely) but also required you had requested parking lights to stay on at all.

Other issue is many of the more pricey cars such as this folks brought over Euro versions thru most of the 1970s with a very favorable $ exchange to cover costs could confuse what switches and wiring was intended for which. US required 5 MPH bumpers for all model year 1973 and up which were very costly to the car and Euro cars didn't. If you have a mix of whole parts now that would confuse things from any diagrams you have at hand.

So I think something with this "Parking Light" idea and set up is the source of the problem. TMK only the German cars did that meant for use in Germany. I knew of several military folks bring home to US a new one shipped with their belongings and made bucks doing that or even if at own expense worth it. Not certain but think you would have to swap out odometer to read miles not kilometers and that's about all and only if you cared,