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Old 01-06-2009, 09:28 AM   #1
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DME control

Hello all. I took my 98 Boxster to the dealer and he tells me the DME (996 618 601 04) Control is shot. $2700 for a new one. I found them used on the internet for as little as $250.

My questions:

1) Will this work?
2) Can I trust a used DME unit?
3) Can you recommend a place purchase?
4) Do I need a '98 unit or will any year work?

huge THXX !

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Old 01-06-2009, 11:40 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macyfilms
Hello all. I took my 98 Boxster to the dealer and he tells me the DME (996 618 601 04) Control is shot. $2700 for a new one. I found them used on the internet for as little as $250.

My questions:

1) Will this work?
2) Can I trust a used DME unit?
3) Can you recommend a place purchase?
4) Do I need a '98 unit or will any year work?

huge THXX !
Hey Bro,

I called Oklahoman Foreign about your DME problem and they said you can swap out just the DME but someone (the dealership) might be able to re-flash the unit and have it work, but if it doesnít work you get to buy another. They said you should swap out the DME, the alarm box under the driverís seat and the key head as a set unit. They have a set as long as you have the M35 option. The cost is $850.

If you would like to talk to them directly their number is 1-405-799-0644.

Good luck
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:42 PM   #3
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Don't buy any used DME w/o having the 6 digit DME programming code - it cannot be re-programmed w/o it.

Also, you'll need your current 16 digit immobilizer code so that it can be programmed into the 'new' DME - car will not start w/o it. You should have the dealer supply this before disconnecting the old DME.

Also, you'll need your car's VIN to enter into the PST2.

You do not need a new alarm module or key head (but you will need the existing key head code).
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:31 PM   #4
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As LB stated below, you will need all that information to reprogram your new DME because without it the alarm, key head and DME won't talk to one another. And that's why OK Foreign told me you need the set, that the re-flash doesn't work all the time and if it doesn't work you get to buy another DME (ever see a sign that said no returns on electrical parts?). The safe fix is buying a set unit.

Hey, at this point you haven't spent any money yet. Call around and get as much info as possible and make an informed decision. I don't want to see you get burned.
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:22 AM   #5
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dme

well, i bought a used control unit because the dealer seemed confident he could make it work. $300. the wrecking yard said they won't give a refund, but will exchange it if it doesn't work. pretty generous. I'm now nervously waiting to hear from the dealer to see how this plays out.
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:36 PM   #6
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reprogram

The conclusion: dealer could not get replacement DME to work, but made an attempt to reprogram the 'bad' one and was successful. So my car runs again, but it appears i am stuck with a Control Unit that is of no use to me. I will attempt to return it for store credit.

so fyi on two notes: one) bad control units can sometimes be saved if the dealer is persistent. two) when feeding power into your boxster via the lighter, use extreme caution, as it can clear the data on your control unit if you get the polarity backwards.

Lastly, what does everyone think is a fair price to get a new plastic window stitched into my cab top? The local upholstery guy (who regularly does these) is asking $600.

sg
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macyfilms
when feeding power into your boxster via the lighter, use extreme caution, as it can clear the data on your control unit if you get the polarity backwards.

sg
sg,

Glad to hear you are back on the road.

Can you explain what you were attempting to do that caused the problem and what exactly you did wrong?

Thanks,

ddb
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:41 PM   #8
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There is a curious design flaw in Boxsters wherein if you have locked the car, then the battery goes totally dead, there is no (easy) way to unlock the hood to jumpstart the car because you can't unlock it manually via the intended method. Thus, one of the options is to feed power into the car another way. By connecting power to the cigarette lighter receptacle, you can power up the car again and thus unlock the hood/trunk.

the problem is that if you get the polarity wrong, it can cause damage. you can also cause problems by turning the ignition key while doing this. thus, i cleared the data on my control unit. sadly, i had been warned of this but made the mistake anyway.

if you are going to leave your car sitting a long time, put on a battery tender, or disconnect the battery, or just leave it unlocked. i'm sure i'm about the 1000th person to go thru this ordeal.

does that explain it?
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:15 PM   #9
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I figured you were trying to get your hood open by getting enough power to your battery via the cigarette lighter. I haven't had a dead battery issue yet, but if and when I do I'm planning on using the same method.

What I still don't quite understand is how exactly you reversed the polarity. I have a small, self-contained battery jump-starter that has a set of traditional battery cables as well as a cigarette lighter plug that I planned on using someday if needed. I haven't really studied how to use it, but I assumed it was a plug 'n play procedure that even I couldn't screw up.

So once you hooked up to the cigarette lighter what exactly did you hook up to on the other end? Directly to another car battery?

Thanks for an explanation. I'm trying to be somewhat prepared when my battery fails. It is over 4 years old and it isn't unusual for my car sits for a week or two. Thus far no problems but I'm sure my luck will run out at some point.
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:56 PM   #10
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@ddb,

why not just go ahead and replace the battery?

4 yrs. old means that it's definitely on the far side of the hill service lifewise.

seems a $60-$100 battery beats $300 for DME reprogramming, or more if it needs replacing, especially if the day of reckoning is relatively close at hand.
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Old 01-08-2009, 03:10 PM   #11
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LB,

I don't disagree that replacing the battery now would be the smart thing to do. Especially if the choice was as simple as paying around $100 for a new battery versus reprogramming or replacing the DME.

I however think that is a false choice. I guess there is always a chance something could go wrong when attempting to get the front trunk open via power through the cigarette lighter or one of the other methods that I've read about. This thread was the first time I've read about a DME problem occurring while attempting to get the trunk open so it piqued my interest. I've read multiple examples of successfully opening the front trunk with power through the cigarette lighter without causing any damage.

I have a portable battery charger with a cigarette lighter option as well as traditional jumper cables and I wouldn't be afraid to use it if needed to open the trunk. If I ever get around to removing the front bumper I will make the emergency cable more accessible.

Thus far my 4+ YO battery still is starting the car strong despite the car sitting for 1 - 2 weeks at a time. I realize it could start fine one day and be dead the next. But as this point, I'm hesitant to replace the battery until I see some evidence that it is about to go. I'm just trying to be prepared if I get caught.

Thanks,

ddb

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