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Old 01-21-2008, 10:13 AM   #1
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Won't start

Hey,

My 01 S has been having issues starting for the past week. No issues with the remote unlocking/locking or with the battery since all is functioning electronically as expected. I depress the clutch (all the way I hear the clutch switch engage) and turn the key, nothing, I hear the fuel pump but no cranking at all. Any idea what is going on here? Thanks
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:38 PM   #2
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it's a bit strange if you don't hear a sound. is the headlight pretty bright when turned on? sometimes battery may be weak even though all electrical stuff are working. obviously, it is electrical or no gas issue. could be battery, bad clutch switch, or bad gas pump...try jump starting for a few minutes. otherwise, try to push start. could also be bad ignition switch but you will usually have other symptoms like weird wiper or headlight operation etc. let us know.
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:41 PM   #3
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tboyer,

I know you don't suspect the battery, but that is where I would look first. If your car still has the OE battery it is due for a replacement, especially in this cold weather.

The other common problem is a faulty ignition switch. Do a search and you will find a lot of information on the subject.

Good luck and let us know what you find.


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Old 01-21-2008, 01:34 PM   #4
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Hi,

I would have to agree with the other folks.

IMHO, I would try the following:

(1) Hook it up to a trickle charger (1 amp) that plugs into the wall (if you have one) for at least a few hours (2-3 hours). (re: BTW, I have only tried this with a Schumacher, 1 amp trickle charger)

then,

(2) Completely remove the charger from the outlet and then try starting it. If you hear clicking, but no turning over it's probably the battery. So, repeat the above for another few hours.

After you've done the above, and the car still doesn't click or turn over, then you may have a problem with the ignition switch.

Lastly, +1 on the search on the forum for more info.

Good luck and let us know what happens!
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Old 01-22-2008, 06:47 AM   #5
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I think just jump start the car real quick and see if it works. I am incline to think it is a weak battery but let us know.
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Old 01-22-2008, 06:54 AM   #6
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There's been much discussion on whether jump starting our cars can cause more harm then good (re: too expensive to fix in general), so IMHO, it would be a safer bet to use a trickle charger.

But, you can certainly do what you think is best for your car.
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Old 01-22-2008, 09:46 AM   #7
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Turns out the problem was a bad ignition switch which is actually an Audi part. With that in mind, don't call a Porsche parts department expecting to buy just the switch, they'll only sell you the entire lock mechanism which is suppose to eliminate this issue once and for all. Since my last switch has lasted 68,000 miles (I know this because the red paint you scratch off was in tact) I decided a new switch would be the better option. You'll have to contact/head over to you Audi/VW parts department in order to purchase a replacement. I've seen them online for $11.00 but decided to purchase at stealership markup which was $70 + tax.

My DIY for replacing (DISCONNECT THE BATTERY, HAVE YOUR RADIO CODE HANDY):
If your key isn't stuck (a common issue with this problem) make sure you are in the 0 position (key turned all the way off) before starting

1. Grab a flexible light, and the tiny screwdriver that comes with an eyeglass repair kit (you need a tiny screwdriver to remove the switch)
2. Crawl under the dash, remove the air tube that sits between the center console and the left hand vent. A decent tug in either direction will allow you to pull it out, there are no screws holding this tube in place
3. Locate the wiring harness that attaches to the ignition switch
4. Locate the tiny screws covered in red locking paint, scratch off the paint to expose the screws
5. Loosen the screws until you are able to slide the switch out, DO NOT remove the screws!!!! I can't even imagine how hard it would be put those screws back in
6. I put the screwdriver in my left hand in order to have enough room to slip up and under the dash to loosen the screws
7. IF you drop the screwdriver behind the fuse panel carpet, don't panic, remove the four screws holding the cover in place to locate your screwdriver
8. Before you put the new switch in place, visualize how the switch will sit in place First, play with the direction of the turn in the switch while outside of the car with your key. The idea here is to make sure the switch goes in the 0 position behind the key mechanism. Luckily I was able to get it right the first time. My guess is that you could install the switch upside down or not in the correct position which would cause undesired results
9. Slide in the new switch, tighten the screws. Some people report leaving the locking paint scratched off (I did) others use nail polish, whatever you do don't make it so if you have a future problem you can't remove
10. Connect the battery and start the car, if it worked congrats! Reinstall the vent tube and buy yourself a latte, you just saved yourself a flatbed tow and several hundreds of dollars.

Here are some additional links/pictures that helped me out

Link 1
Link 2

Also doing a search on 986forum was helpful
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:06 AM   #8
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Nice job tboyer! Glad you're up and running again!
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:46 AM   #9
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congrats on the DIY and thanks for the steps.
I have read many threads related to dead / replace battery and the radio codes.
Can you tell me more about that? What / where are the radio codes and what do I do with them?
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Old 01-22-2008, 11:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FTD
What / where are the radio codes and what do I do with them?
Not sure about '04's but on my 01 the radio code is provided on a business card located with the manuals. When you disconnect the battery, the radio will lock requiring the code to unlock. Without the unlock code your radio will not work. Lost radio codes can be retrieved by calling your dealer with the radio serial number. A good DIY can be found here Again not sure about later model Boxster's and whether this is applicable or not.
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:56 AM   #11
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tboyer - thanks very much.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:50 AM   #12
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Tboyer- I'm glad you got your car fixed. I think those ignition switches last around 40-60K miles. Yes, you can buy them online for $10 or so or get it Audi dealership for $20-30. Just curious, did you have to remove the front driver's seat to get under the dashboard? Seems like removing the front seat gives easir access.
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porschedude
Just curious, did you have to remove the front driver's seat to get under the dashboard? Seems like removing the front seat gives easir access.
I did not, I found the best way to access is to just have my head under the dash, leaving most of my body contorted outside of the car. This allowed me to maneuver my arms around behind my head, a must when trying to reach up to loosen those screws. I put a flexible desk lamp behind me so I had good lighting. One thing I forgot to mention, protect your eyes when scratching off the lock red paint or it will end up in 'em.
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