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Old 11-16-2011, 06:30 AM   #1
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Boxster 986, 1998, radio cutting out

Hi All,

First time poster so please go easy on me!

I am based in London, England. I have a lovely 1998 arctic silver 986 which is in great condition (only 69000 mi) considering that we don't generally have garages in London which means that our prize possessions are parked on the street (I can almost hear the Americans say "what?"!)

I have had the car for just over a year, as the second owner.

I'd like to seek advice for a problem I am having. The radio NEVER works, when you start the car! However, it ALWAYS works, if the engine is not on and the key is turned to "accessory".

The problem tends to go away on long journeys when the car is a bit warm but even on journeys of hundreds of miles, it can cut out. It also cuts out if you are a bit jerky changing gear.

Sometimes, with the top down, you can make it work by winding the windows up and down in a semi-random fashion...

In February 2011 when I had my service, I asked them to look at it. They said it was just the radio unit that was old, and that in fact there was no electrical problem. (Which I believe, because even in very cold weather, you can leave the car for days on end, get back in, and operate all the electrics like roof, windows and lights, without starting the engine)

But how come the radio issue seems to be linked to warmth or rev speed????

Before I commit to spending £xxxx on a new radio, I'd like to make sure the problem is not within the internal wiring of the car itself...

Anyone have any ideas? Would appreciate any thoughts at all... as I am officially stumped!

Cheers
Redmond

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Old 11-16-2011, 06:49 AM   #2
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Hey Redmond.... Easy to figure out if it is the radio. Find a fellow Boxster owner and swap radios and see what happens. What radio is in the Boxster now?
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:56 AM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply Chuck! We're not friendly in England... ie : we don't talk to strangers and ask to borrow their radios! But good idea - I will see if there are any people around to ask...

The radio is the factory installed one, I believe. It is the CDR-22 (?) made by Becker for Porsche. To be honest, it is time for a new one, but can you imagine spending that dough so for the guy to say "it doesn't work, and you need pay XXX for us to diagnose and rip up the wiring".... horrible thought!
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:01 AM   #4
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Just tossing in here, in between working and not working does it ask for the security code? If not it is not losing power.


Clean, inspect and lubricate the connections on the faceplate, inspect the connector for damage, gently press on faceplate during confirmation stage if repairs do nothing my bet is it's internal to the radio. You might try lubricating the ignition switch as well.
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:10 AM   #5
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Hey Ghostrider... many thanks also for your reply. I will take the nameplate and give it a go... what would you use to lubricate it with though? Are you talking about lubricating the hinges or the actual contacts?
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:11 AM   #6
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Also... sorry I missed the first bit of your question... it never asks for the security code.... it's only ever ask me for the code when the battery has been disconnected.

Many thanks again!
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:52 AM   #7
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I recommend looking at some of the various ignition switch posts that are on here and other forums. The switch it self can be had for as little as $10 and one of the symptoms I believe is the radio and ac not working at times.
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:24 AM   #8
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Hi guys, thanks for all the help. I will try both suggestions and report back! Cheers
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:51 AM   #9
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I 2nd that to the ignition switch. Very common problem. I have a new one in a drawer at home for the 'when' because it's not 'if'.... I'm going to follow this thread if you find out anything. I have an uncle with a '00 986 with a cdr220 that's doing the exact same thing. He had his ignition switch replaced and it didn't fix it... soooo? I took the radio out and did all the checking/cleaning of contacts etc. to no avail. Also, you'll need to go to a stereo or electronics store to get the generic little 'keys' to pull the radio out.

best of luck.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:51 AM   #10
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redmond, I like to use the same lubricants the guns require, very concentrated only a drop. The lube isn't as important as not using too much, especially on the plate contacts. A pencil eraser may be useful if the contacts are dirty or dull. PS VW radio key is same as older style Boxster radio key, can be had on ebay for cheap.
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:24 PM   #11
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My radio does odd things as well, works with key off. Won't come on until the car is warm, if I roll down the windows the radio goes off and then comes back on.

I was thinking of just wiring the power straight to the battery to see if that fixed the problems.
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:38 PM   #12
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Recently, My radio started completely turning off randomly. I found out why.

When I pushed against the face of my radio, it turns back on. When I go over a bump or accelerate hard, the force pushes the face of the radio towards me where it loses its link with the electricity. I just press down against the radio firmly and it turns back on.
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:06 AM   #13
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my car does the same thing, i am looking at the relays but have heard from others that it is the ignition i heasitate to bring it in as i dont want to pay tons of cash for them to learn howto do it.
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Old 03-15-2015, 12:43 PM   #14
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Some fun here

Seems like I've started some fun over here:

Alternator voltage

Hopefully the answer reveils itself.
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Old 03-15-2015, 12:48 PM   #15
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Not the ignition switch.

I'm 99% sure it's not the ignition switch as this was replaced by Porsche shortly after I got the car, as all the locks needed to be replaced after some Nigerians held us up in an armed robbery and took my keys and a LOT of other valuables .
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Old 03-15-2015, 01:54 PM   #16
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if the radio is a cdr 220, or another factory radio, it is 17 years old. chances are it is time for a new one especially if the car has lived it's life outside in a wet climate like I have heard England is. as mentioned earlier, if you are not being asked to input the security code, chances are you do not have a power problem.

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