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Old 01-10-2006, 10:16 AM   #1
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Really need some help today!

I'm out of town and my wife has the Box today. She just called and says she can't get it to start. Naturally this kind of thing only happens when I'm not around and generally "fixes" itself when I show up. Given that it ran just fine last night - and hasn't previously shown this type of issue - I could really use some advice. Unfortunately, I don't have much info (she had to take a cab to work so I couldn't quiz her much) so I'm kinda looking for info on what SHE might be doing wrong. I'm starting on the premise that I didn't leave the lights on last night and kill the battery. She got into the car using the remote. She's only driven it a couple of times - so.... What do you think! I need some possible solutions within the next 6-8 hours (it's 1:13 here in Chicago) to trouble-shoot by phone when she gets off work.

It's a '99 with a manual. Less than 15K miles. Mild weather today. Driven every single day.

Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2006, 10:43 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denverpete
I'm out of town and my wife has the Box today. She just called and says she can't get it to start. Naturally this kind of thing only happens when I'm not around and generally "fixes" itself when I show up. Given that it ran just fine last night - and hasn't previously shown this type of issue - I could really use some advice. Unfortunately, I don't have much info (she had to take a cab to work so I couldn't quiz her much) so I'm kinda looking for info on what SHE might be doing wrong. I'm starting on the premise that I didn't leave the lights on last night and kill the battery. She got into the car using the remote. She's only driven it a couple of times - so.... What do you think! I need some possible solutions within the next 6-8 hours (it's 1:13 here in Chicago) to trouble-shoot by phone when she gets off work.

It's a '99 with a manual. Less than 15K miles. Mild weather today. Driven every single day.

Thanks!
Hi,

I assume that she pressed the Clutch to de-energize the Starter Lock-Out Switch?

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
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Old 01-10-2006, 10:50 AM   #3
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Yeah, I asked that question to which I received the following response, "This isn't the first car I've driven!". But, to your point - she is quite short and maybe didn't adjust the seat yet - would not fulling depressing the clutch cause the problem?
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Old 01-10-2006, 11:07 AM   #4
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Pete,
I live in Denver (Westminster, actually) and would be happy to take a look at the car this evening, or even this afternoon if that can be arranged.
I have no particularly great mechanical expertise, but I do have a '99 Box as well, so maybe I could at least noodle out some things that it isn't.
Feel free to call me if you wish. I will send you a private message with my phone no.

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Old 01-10-2006, 11:14 AM   #5
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This also happened to me and my wife one night in the middle of February when it was cold as . . . well you know. It turned out I had to have it towed and the main computer had to be replaced.

This was a dinner thing, drove to the restaraunt, had dinner, came out and turned the key, and nothing!

Good luck is all I can say. Luckily warranty covered ours, but I can tell you, my dinner sure didn't sit well that night!!
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Old 01-10-2006, 11:18 AM   #6
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Ronzi,

Wow, that's an incredibly nice offer. Unfortunately, I'm not sure when she's going to be off work (probably 8-10 this evening). That and I don't want to overwhelm her. I was hoping to get some possible tips and then have a friend of mine come by (he only lives a block away). That way if it's a stupid mistake (which I think and hope it is) then she won't feel too terribly embarrassed. Plus I know he can swing by on a moments notice if need be.

Do you have a manual? If so, does it give any basic trouble-shooting advice? You know, like is the clutch depressed (depress clutch), is the car under water (swim to surface and call search and rescue), those sort of things???

Seriously - I really appreciate the offer.
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Old 01-10-2006, 11:19 AM   #7
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Is the steering wheel locked?
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Old 01-10-2006, 11:24 AM   #8
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Blinkwatt,

I asked that question but I'm not sure what she said. That would keep the key from going to ignition wouldn't it? Would it also keep the radio from coming on?

I feel so stupid trying to remember things that happen "naturally" when you're in the car - but I can't seem to get the details down!

All of this is helpful. Any thing else guys? Anything you remember doing back when you first got your Box?
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Old 01-10-2006, 11:26 AM   #9
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sometimes when its really cold and the car has been sitting for a few days I have to push down on the clutch really hard to get the engine to turn. This is only a problem on my car during the winter. Interestingly enough this problem emerged the day after a visit to my Porsche dealer for a preventive full inspection. I thought about bringing it back to say "hey what did you do to my baby?!"

anyhoo You have to have the clutch pedal firmly against the floor board. It may take several attmepts. But it always does the trick. PUSH HARD
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Old 01-10-2006, 11:51 AM   #10
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Is it a tip tranny? Was it left in gear when it was last driven? That'll keep it from turning over too.

If she has buried the clutch, it's in Park, and the wheel has been moved to insure the key can be moved all the way toward 3 o clock, the next thing to check is the battery, eh?

I sure do feel for you. Frustrated wives in non-functioning Porsches push all kinds of buttons inside me!
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Old 01-10-2006, 12:20 PM   #11
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Pete,
I don't have the operator's manual "on me", so to speak. I keep the car in a rental garage from Nov thru April so my wife's car can go in my home garage during the winter.
It's only about a 5 minute drive away if I need to get it though.
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Old 01-10-2006, 01:34 PM   #12
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Okay,

It's about T-Minus 4 hours and here's what I've got:
1) Clutch in to disengage the interlock
2) Ensure the clutch is all the way in
3) Push HARD if necessary
4) Ensure the wheel isn't locked

I'll also have her check to see if I left the lights on (GOD no). It hasn't been cold and I drive it everyday so I don't think it's the battery (unless I left the lights on).

Smoke em if you've got em.
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Old 01-10-2006, 04:23 PM   #13
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If the clutch is pushed in all the way and it's quiet, she'll here a light "click" sound when the ignition defeat switch kicks on.

The wheel will still be locked until you get the key into the "on" position, but when it's pressed against one side or the other of the lock it won't allow the key to turn. Sometimes you have to put the key in and wiggle the wheel while you try to turn the key to start.

Good luck.
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Old 01-10-2006, 04:38 PM   #14
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Sounds crazy but also feel around behind and underneath the drivers seat for dampness.

I had the same thing last winter after I had just bought a very low milage older boxster (01', 13k miles). Turns out there are drains in the front of the car that, if plugged, can leak behind the drivers seat, which happens to be where the electronics control unit is. Well, being that my car sat in parking lots for three years those drains got plugged up from leaves, dumped water into the cockpit and I couldn't start the car. Had to replace the electronics control unit, pray this is not the case.
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Old 01-10-2006, 05:24 PM   #15
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A couple of things come to mind:

1) Not only do you have to depress the clutch, you must depress the brake firmly and then turn the key. (car in neutral, of course)

2) Presuming yours is the transponder type key, (the kind with an electrical component in the key grip), according to the 987 manual, if the ignition is left on for more than 2 minutes without starting the engine, the immobilizer is reactivated. To switch it off, insert the key into the ignition lock and turn the key all the way to the (furthest) left position ( “11 o’clock,” as it were) before starting the engine.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-10-2006, 07:13 PM   #16
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Got It Started!

My wife got it started.

First off - I just want to say THANK YOU to all of you who responded. This thread seems trivial compared to most on here and it was great to see all of the help flow in. Without your help she was planning on renting a car for the duration I am gone. Plus, it eased her frustration and my concerns.

Now then, what happened you might ask?

Well, it looks to be a combination of many suggestions. First, when she gets in the car she generally spends several minutes getting herself settled. I think this might have caused the "reset" mentioned by Biz-z. So, I had her remove the key, reinsert it and "firmly" press the brake while "fully" depressing the clutch to the floor. And TA-DA, the car started! She went through the motions several more times and got it to go each time.

Once again - THANK YOU!
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Old 01-11-2006, 07:11 AM   #17
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Both feet in? I thought that was only for racing when you spin off.
I don't think I've ever pushed the brake in and the clutch while the e-brake was fully engaged. Have been doing something bad all along?
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