A friend of my has '74 Beetle, she is having trouble with it inconsistantly starting.  The problem seems to be at the cylinder the key goes into at the steering colume.  If you move the steering wheel you can get it to start, (most of the time).  Has anyone encountered this issue before.  Thanks a million in advance.  I have not had a chance to touch the car personally but one of her neighbors is my friend, and he is checking it out for me...

'72 Super. Paint-7/20/09, 400+k miles, New engine case "41" Brazil, rebuilt German heads, new Bosch electrics, new Solex German carb. new German silencer. Built by Steve Tims Performance/Enterprises, Riverside CA. '73 OEM airfilter, (Fram elemement), chrome stock wheels, daily driver, 25.46-27.50mpg, driven 20+years.
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Sounds like a bad ignition switch.  One year, when I was bringing MY72BUG out of storage, I had a no power at the coil which I traced back to a bad ignition switch.  The good news is that these switches are readily accessed by removing the horn pad and the big nut which holds the steering wheel onto the steering shaft.  You may need a puller to get the steering wheel off.  Mine came off with minimal effort.  Once you dig into there past the turn signal switch you will see that the ignition switch is a separate little item that hides behind the ignition key cylinder.  You can order up a replacement for about $20.00 or you can first try to wiggle the individual wires to see if the live to the starter motor or the coil  ( is it a no-crank or no-spark situation; or both ? ) is not properly connected.  Always a good bet, since dirt is the enemy here, is to buy a spray can of circuit/electronic cleaner available at any automotive store.  Get it into the openings there and give it a good dose of cleaner, then blow it out with compressed air.  You wouldn't believe how often this little trick cures problems with electrical switches, motors, light sockets etc.  I found that with the ignition switch on my ' 72 you could actually take the switch apart and clean the inner contacts.  It is a bit fidgety but bless those VW engineers the switch was not your usual sealed unit.  I removed the sand-blasting grit from the body shop and the ignition has behaved itself ever since.  Give it a try.  Dan (MY72BUG) in Goderich
I'd rather have a partial bottle in front of me than a partial frontal lobotomy.
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I spent a couple of hours trying to get a friends Beetle started and it turned out to be the switch. The electrical portion of the switch wears about eventually.

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