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Old 07-14-2013, 02:05 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Austria
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Problem to start the engine

Hi everybody,

I am from Austria, Europe. My English in note my first language... Sorry for the mistakes I can do.

Since 7 months, I have the pleasure to be the owner of a 986 S 3.2, year 2004 (last year of the 986 generation), my first Porsche. This car is an American one, delivered brand new in the USA in April 2004, and was imported to Austria 4 years ago by the previous owner.

The car is really nice and a pleasure to drive, specially on the little roads, with a lot of turns.

The only strange thing I pointed till now is the following one:

Since the beginning, it takes time to start the engine, principally when the engine is cold. First, the system measures the oïl level; fine. But after that, nothing. I must try again and again, sometimes during some minutes, and then suddenly, the engine starts. But now, it is worse and worse: yesterday, I must wait 40 minutes till the engine starts! But when the engine is on, there is no problem, and it does the job normally.

I do not understand this strange situation. Do you have an idea of the reasons? Do you think this could be linked with the level of oïl (I must soon add some oïl)?

Thank you in advance, and "bravo" for this site, which is full of passion and information.

Best regards

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Old 07-14-2013, 03:49 AM   #2
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It is normal to show the oil level at start-up and that would not be your problem.

By saying it doesn't start do you mean the engine turns over but doen't fire or nothing happens when you turn the key?

Do you have any problems with the key in the ignition switch? ie. sticking or difficulty turning it?
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Old 07-14-2013, 04:22 AM   #3
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Nothing happens when I turn the key.

I have no problem to turn the key.

I do like that:
1) I turn the key to the max (the third position, B position is the name I think);
2) the system checks the oil level, normally during 5 seconds, then shows the result during a few seconds;
3) I keep the key turned to de B position all the time, till about 15 seconds after the result of the oïl checking, but the engine doesn't start;
4) I stop the process, turning the key to the position 0, and wait a minimum 10 seconds;
5) I turn again the key to the B position and the system checks the oil level again;
6) and so and so, till the moment when the engine starts;
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Old 07-14-2013, 05:21 AM   #4
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It sounds like the car is acting as if it thinks the key is in the run position and has not been turned to the start position. The oil measurement only happens if you turn the key to run and leave it there without starting the engine. Waiting to let the computer check the oil level is not mandatory and should not effect your ability to engage the starter. Your Boxster should start just like any other car.
I think if you search on this forum you will find a lot of posts about faulty ignition switches. I'm betting that is your problem. They usually start out intermittent and then get worse.

See this recent thread for more information for example:
Dave S.
2003 Boxster S

Last edited by Dave S.; 07-14-2013 at 05:40 AM.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:26 AM   #5
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On my car, since I have it, the oil measurement is mandatory. So If I put the key and turn into the position 1 (run) or 2 (start), the system takes the time to measure the oil level (making the noise bip, bip, bip, etc.). In the position 2, after the measure, the engine possibly (this word is the problem) starts. And now it takes more and more time and/or attempts to start.

In all the others cars I drive and drove, when the key is turned to the position 2 (start), the engine starts immediately.

Why not in my 986? There is a problem, but I do not know which one.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:25 AM   #6
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I added some oil last evening, and this morning, the engine started relatively rapidely. Good, but it is not perfect, because in my idea, on every cars, the engine must start immediately, which is not the case with mine. I don't know if adding oil was the solution, but at this stage, I guess that this was perhaps the point. Anyway, the fact is that on my car, when you turn the key on position 2 to start the engine, the system begins to mesure the oil; the engine never starts before the end of the measure. This appear a speciality of my car, and so this is not normal and a problem. I will soon bring the car to a Porsche dealer, to check that and for a service. I will keep you informed.
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:32 AM   #7
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I don't think adding oil to it everytime is the answer, could be ignition switch, loose ground, starter going bad. Try plugging in an OBDII diagnostic scanner and see if you have any errors.
Take it in for proper checkup. Is this problem repeatable every time?


Last edited by soucorp; 07-17-2013 at 08:35 AM.
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