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Old 01-17-2010, 06:13 PM   #1
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Battery Issue

Well.

My car died tonight. 99 Boxster 2.5L

I jumped it and it almost immediately died. I am less than thrilled to say the least. I left it parked somewhere.

Before this I saw the ABS light and the occasional battery light. I mean like in the previous 2 miles. I was -><- close to being home too.

Anyways, I'm just thrilled. I was thinking about buying a new battery and at a minimum take it to the shop to check the alternator. Can O'Reileys do this? With the battery hooked up?

I guess that does it for now.

I tried to start it in gear and got nothing too. It also has been like 20 here the last 2 weeks which probabily was hell on the battery I'd guess. I live in Mobile, AL for your information.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!!!

edit: I just changed the ignition switch on Thursday. I checked and it is more than tight and such....Not sure. I already threw the old one away too.


Last edited by rangersplash; 01-17-2010 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 01-17-2010, 06:24 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rangersplash
Well.

My car died tonight. 99 Boxster 2.5L

I jumped it and it almost immediately died. I am less than thrilled to say the least. I left it parked somewhere.

Before this I saw the ABS light and the occasional battery light. I mean like in the previous 2 miles. I was -><- close to being home too.

Anyways, I'm just thrilled. I was thinking about buying a new battery and at a minimum take it to the shop to check the alternator. Can O'Reileys do this? With the battery hooked up?

I guess that does it for now.

I tried to start it in gear and got nothing too. It also has been like 20 here the last 2 weeks which probabily was hell on the battery I'd guess. I live in Mobile, AL for your information.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!!!
First thing to check is if you broke the belt. And then start thinking about an alternator.
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Old 01-17-2010, 06:25 PM   #3
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I can check this by pulling the cover behind the seats correct? How do I get this cover off?
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Old 01-17-2010, 08:04 PM   #4
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I can check this by pulling the cover behind the seats correct? How do I get this cover off?
Very easy, just remove the carpet behind the seats, which will expose a metal access panel. There are about 8-10 bolts holding the cover in place. You'll need a rachet and 10mm (I think) socket. A short extension will be useful as well. The belt will be right in front of you as you remove the cover. If your belt is broken, it's surprisingly easy and inexpensive to replace yourself.

If your belt's in good shape, the next think I'd check is the alternator. Your flickering battery and ABS lights make me think this is the problem. Ditto for the immediate shutdown after the jump. Replace your battery, which you said you were thinking about doing anyway. Search for the site for posts on troubleshooting your alternator. If you know your battery and belt are good, testing the alternator with a simple digital multimeter is easy.

My alternator recently died with absolutely no notice at ~71k miles, not more than a week after I installed a new battery. Repeated jumps got me a few miles each until I got home. I replaced the alternator with a remanufactured unit and it's been fine since.

BTW, you didn't mention your car's mileage.

Last edited by gschotland; 01-17-2010 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 01-17-2010, 08:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gschotland
Very easy, just remove the carpet behind the seats, which will expose a metal access panel. There are about 8-10 bolts holding the cover in place. You'll need a rachet and 10mm (I think) socket. A short extension will be useful as well. The belt will be right in front of you as you remove the cover. If your belt is broken, it's surprisingly easy and inexpensive to replace yourself.

If your belt's in good shape, the next think I'd check is the alternator. Your flickering battery and ABS lights make me think this is the problem. Ditto for the immediate shutdown after the jump. Replace your battery, which you said you were thinking about doing anyway. Search for the site for posts on troubleshooting your alternator. If you know your battery and belt are good, testing the alternator with a simple digital multimeter is easy.

My alternator recently died with absolutely no notice at ~71k miles, not more than a week after I installed a new battery. Repeated jumps got me a few miles each until I got home. I replaced the alternator with a remanufactured unit and it's been fine since.

BTW, you didn't mention your car's mileage.
Thanks for these tips. I have a DMM that I'm going to bring home from work tomorrow to use. I am thinking if I can get it running I can check what is going into the battery. I am at 86k or so. Maybe 87, not really sure

I know the battery is about 5 years old so that will be a good part to buy regardless.

I'll let everybody know how it goes. Oh, the headlights went out just before this happened along with the radio too. This is why maybe I'm thinking either the alternator or belt.

Thanks again guys.
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Old 01-17-2010, 08:55 PM   #6
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Your car's mileage and the additional symptoms you describe tell me it's almost definitely the alternator. Get the new battery on the way home from work to rule that out as an issue. You'll need to open the top engine cover to access the test location for the alternator.

Last edited by gschotland; 01-18-2010 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 01-18-2010, 12:01 AM   #7
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A new battery will get you home. But it really sounds like your alternator has failed. (or as others have mentioned, possibly the belt, but then you'd be overheating too).
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Old 01-18-2010, 05:15 AM   #8
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Old batteries can cause all sorts of strange issues. It not only provides stored energy for starting, but remains a voltage buffer for the entire electrical system. My car experienced odd behavior and it all disappeared after replacing the battery.

On another note (not equal by any means), my son's Jeep Liberty was stalling for no reason recently. Battery had plenty of juice to start the car, but it would die at stop lights, not being able to hold an idle. I replaced the battery and all symptoms went away.

You may be fortunately that this is the only issue.
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:05 AM   #9
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Thanks for the tips guys. I am going to pick up a new battery tonight and then take a voltage measurement. Then I'll hook it up and start the car and that should tell me if the alternator is working as I'll see somewhere around 14V.
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Old 01-18-2010, 05:01 PM   #10
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Well battery didn't fix it. Guess I'll go get an alternator tomorrow. Any other ideas guys? I was able to drive it home by the way but the damn lights started to flicker when I got very close to home.

Edit:

Any idea where I can pick one up? I am thinking about doing something local. O Riley wants about $200. Online anywhere? I didn't see it on Pelican parts or Suncoast. Should I stick with OEM for this?

Thanks guys!

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Old 01-18-2010, 07:14 PM   #11
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Try ******************************** or AutoZone. Remember that the factory OEM died after "How many miles?" Do you really want to try them again?
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:39 PM   #12
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A $10 voltmeter would have told the story.....
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Old 01-18-2010, 08:47 PM   #13
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No need to buy OEM from your friendly dealer because it's more than likely going to be the same Bosch remanufactured unit you can buy elsewhere for 1/3rd the price. I don't see the point in paying a premium for a Bosch reman. Like others said, yours failed earlier than it should have.

Although I'm reluctant to buy any new parts off of eBay, I did get a "new" alternator from a seller named california_alternator_starter. They delivered quickly and I was very pleased with the quality of the product, which appeared to be new and included a new pulley. Cost was ~$200 delivered and unlike almost every other seller there was no core charge. Only 1500 miles on it - so far, so good.

I did look at a unit at Autozone that was also ~$200, but it looked nothing like the factory unit. The fan blades were on the outside of the casing instead of inside and the casing looked totally different. If you've got an Autozone nearby where you can see it before you buy, that's probably a good option. Otherwise try PartsGeek.com or ********************************.

There are a number of good threads about replacing your alternator. It's a PITA job (took me 2-3 hrs w/lots of cursing) but overall pretty do-able with the right tools. You will need a special tool for removing the hub that costs $24; search eBay for "Porsche alternator tool".
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:25 PM   #14
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Thanks guys. Doing the alternator tonight. I hooked up a DMM to it last night and it wasn't charging at all. Grrr...So I have a new (reman) alternator in my hands from O Riley Autoparts.

Wish me luck. ha!
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:08 PM   #15
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Took all of an hour. Damn that was easy. Fixed.
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:23 AM   #16
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alternator help

I read your posts and have the same car, 99. I want to replace the alternator also and I looked it up in the manual and it has you going thru the top to remove a couple of nuts on studs. I thought it would be all done thru the front. What was your experience, you said it only took an hour. That sounds reasonable if you are just going thru the front panel. Thanks, Bill
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:45 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by wmtee
I read your posts and have the same car, 99. I want to replace the alternator also and I looked it up in the manual and it has you going thru the top to remove a couple of nuts on studs. I thought it would be all done thru the front. What was your experience, you said it only took an hour. That sounds reasonable if you are just going thru the front panel. Thanks, Bill
Definitly through the front only. Just took out the 2 bolts once I was in there and then rotated it clockwise and it came right out. I was impressed at how easy it was. Good luck.

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