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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Tonight I went to put my car into reverse and it seemed that my backup lights weren't working so I had someone double check and they are definitely not working. So I double checked that my car was fully in reverse as its a little tricky in my car and I also checked the fuse. The fuse showed some corrosion so I sprayed contact cleaner in there and replaced it with a new one but still no dice. Pretty strange to me that they both went out at once so I don't think it's the bulbs. The only thing that I could think of is the auto car wash spraying the underbelly of my car to get the salt off. Any suggestions on what this could be:confused:
 

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Auto or manual? I am going to guess manual for now and suggest that your shifter may need to be aligned since you mentioned it is "tricky" to get into reverse. It may not be fully engaging therefore not activating the reverse light switch. Also could be a bad switch itself.


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Discussion Starter #3
Manual trans. And I have wiggled and the gear engages with no lights. How hard is this switch to replace? Part # please.
 

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It is quite possible for both lights to go out. Probably not at the same exact moment but I bet you haven't checked these lights in a while so one could have gone out prior to the other. Replace them before you go replacing switches and other things that aren't necessary.
 

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I believe this is the part you will need if it is the switch:

Volkswagen New Beetle 2.0 > Lighting > Switches > ES#1895215 Reverse Light Switch - 02A945413C

I read it's a bit of a Pita to get to it. It's located under the battery tray so you need to remove the battery and tray to get to it.

Here is a link that might be helpful:

http://newbeetle.org/forums/2-0-liter-gas/19438-backup-light-switch.html

Here are several options for the switches. It actually shows two different types so I am not sure which type your Beetle will take. The top one looks more
like a brake switch to me.
http://www.ecstuning.com/Volkswagen-New_Beetle--2.0/Search/Reverse_Light_Switch/
 

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switch

I believe this is the part you will need if it is the switch:

Volkswagen New Beetle 2.0 > Lighting > Switches > ES#1895215 Reverse Light Switch - 02A945413C

I read it's a bit of a Pita to get to it. It's located under the battery tray so you need to remove the battery and tray to get to it.

Here is a link that might be helpful:

http://newbeetle.org/forums/2-0-liter-gas/19438-backup-light-switch.html

Here are several options for the switches. It actually shows two different types so I am not sure which type your Beetle will take. The top one looks more
like a brake switch to me.
OEM / Performance Parts for Audi, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Mini, Porsche & Volkswagen - ECS Tuning
I was just there a month ago. It's not too bad to get in there; Remove the air box, remove the battery, loosen the power steering reservoir, remove 4 screws holding the battery tray and you're there. You can also get to that area from the bottom by removing the Plastic Rodent killer LOL :D aka(splash guard)
 
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