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Old 04-18-2009, 11:59 AM   #1
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Car won't start yet top will go down?

The boxster wont start. Its sat almost all winter, battery is only 1 year old. It was started about 2 weeks ago to have it waxed and detailed by the detailer. When you open the door all the lights come on pretty bright. WHen you turn the key it starts clicking and windows start going crazy up down up down up down up down up down and lights flickering everywhere. There is enough battery juice to put the top down and back up! I tried my 2nd key just to see if it was the transponder. There is 3/4s of a tank of gas. Any suggestions? I'm thinking the starter but I want to hear from you guys! Thanks!

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Last edited by pteam; 04-18-2009 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:21 PM   #2
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It sounds like the ignition switch has gone bad. It is fairly common, and easy to fix. It would explain the crazy window operation and flickering. I thinks it's a $15 DIY fix, do a search for more info.
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:45 PM   #3
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When the starter clicks, it's generally that the battery can't draw enough current (amps) to start the car.

The clicking is the starter solenoid trying to do its job, but there isn't enough oomph in the battery to actually crank the motor. Other electrical items don't draw nearly as much power as the starter, so things like the windows and top still work.

Drive the battery to AutoZone or whatever car parts store is nearby and have it tested. A buck says you just need a new battery.
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Old 04-18-2009, 01:10 PM   #4
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I think your battery's shot or insufficiently charged. It doesn't matter that it's a year old, lots of year old batteries fail. When they go, they go.

It isn't healthy to have the battery off a maintainer all winter, nor is it good to leave it in the car. The battery can drain and 'sulphate', reducing the surface area of the plates, resulting in less power storage, and more work on your charger or alternator to charge, which for the latter will also reduce your MPG.

A good schumacher maintainer can be had for $20-$25 and will cost less than $5 to run it continuously, which really isn't necessary. I have 2 car batteries and 2 moto batteries on my bench all winter (5 mos.) in a garage which avgs. 35, but rarely drops below 30. I use one maintainer between all 4 batteries and swap the clips each week from one battery to the next throughout the storage period. All the batteries are at least 3 yrs. old (oldest is 7 yrs.) and they are all healthy. As mentioned, have it tested and correct as necessary.

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Old 04-18-2009, 02:48 PM   #5
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Did you try jump starting it or swap batteries with another car? Is your starter froze-up after winter?
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Old 04-18-2009, 03:19 PM   #6
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Well the weird thing is it just started up 2 weeks ago, after sitting all winter. I started it up 3 separate times to move it for the detailer and it started 100% fine no issues no problems not even a hiccup.
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Old 04-18-2009, 04:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pteam
... I started it up 3 separate times to move it for the detailer and it started 100% fine no issues no problems not even a hiccup.
That would be the problem, it's now drained. If you just started it to move w/ out running it 15-30min to recharge... you ain't gots any juice left

Either jump or throw it on a maintainer and once it starts run it for a good 15 min to hopefully let it recharge to the point where it can hold a good charge again.



PS - closing/opening the top requires substantially less "juice" than kicking the starter to fire up the flat 6
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Old 04-18-2009, 06:56 PM   #8
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If you do need to replace the battery I'd suggest an Optima red top and a battery maintainer. Keep it on life support when it's not in use. If you have multiple cars and don't drive them too often it's not a bad idea to keep them on a maintainer. The cost of a maintainer and the juice to run it is far cheaper than replacing the battery every season.
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pteam
Well the weird thing is it just started up 2 weeks ago, after sitting all winter. I started it up 3 separate times to move it for the detailer and it started 100% fine no issues no problems not even a hiccup.

What's so weird about it? Theoretically, the battery contains so many starts. Once you've used those, it figures that the next attampt will result in failure, especially if you've not maintained it in the interim.

You may well be able to recharge the battery and get some time out of it, maybe even a couple years. But, it has been compromised and will need replacement prematurely.

If I were you, I'd charge it and use it - for as long as I could. If it gets you through the season, pull it on storage and place it on a maintainer. Keep it going as long as it will, but be prepared to replace it at any time.

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Old 04-20-2009, 09:06 PM   #10
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If it's only 1 yr old and car has been sitting around for a few months, get yourself a charger (even a small one for about $60 from Walmart) and charge it overnight and you are good to go.

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