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Old 07-09-2020, 12:30 PM   #1
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Question 05 Boxster: replaced key fob shell, all buttons work, car does not start

So I had one key held together by tape from previous owner and one that came apart very easily. After reassembling the one without tape a few times I decided to just replace the key fob not thinking anything of it. Iíve since found it brings many unpleasant scenarios of not working right. Unfortunately I did both keys at the same time thinking it would be a great improvement.

The key fob guts are exactly the same; worked before the change; and after replacing the shell the buttons all work exactly as expected and the light lights like it always did when unlocking/locking the car. When I try to start the engine nothing happens.

I searched and found a few things I tried but I think they were all from slightly earlier models.
1. Put key in drivers door, turn left, turn right, remove, press a button. Didnít work.
2. Put key in ignition turn left to accessories, hold down the hazard light button. Didnít work.
3. Tried #2 with key turned to on (right) Didnít work.
4. Tried #2 while holding down central key lock button instead of hazard. Didnít work

Iím hoping that since the buttons all work that Iím just missing a step here and someone can help me out. Any ideas?

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Old 07-09-2020, 12:32 PM   #2
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I also tried to flip the battery polarity for a few seconds and then flipped it back and it did not work.
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Old 07-09-2020, 12:56 PM   #3
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Not sure about 987 but on 986, 996, you would need your transponder ‘pill’ swapped over to new fob. The pill is what’ll allow the car to start.
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Old 07-09-2020, 01:07 PM   #4
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Verify that you have the transponders in each key fob. No pill, no start.

Germany made transponders mandatory Jan 1998. The rest of Europe fell in line shortly. I believe the insurance companies championed the cause to cut down on theft/losses.

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Not sure about 987 but on 986, 996, you would need your transponder Ďpillí swapped over to new fob. The pill is whatíll allow the car to start.
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Old 07-09-2020, 01:18 PM   #5
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Thank you for the info! The fob housing is a bit different from the one in the image but I get the idea. Iíll go back and see if I missed this pill in the old housing.
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Old 07-09-2020, 02:12 PM   #6
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That was it! There was a small plastic rectangle in one of the moldings. I took the piece out to the car and held it really close to the keyhole while using the key and the car fired up! Really appreciate the info guys!
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Old 07-09-2020, 04:03 PM   #7
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Great news. For future reference, to replace that little 'pill' requires a trip to a dealer and +/-$400.
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Old 07-10-2020, 07:25 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Secret Mountain Lair View Post
That was it! There was a small plastic rectangle in one of the moldings. I took the piece out to the car and held it really close to the keyhole while using the key and the car fired up! Really appreciate the info guys!
Now you can spend that $400 elsewhere... for your car.

Glad to hear it worked out!!!
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Old 07-10-2020, 08:06 AM   #9
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I was able to get a spare key made locally (ekeys4cars, North Andover) for $100, and while it didn't have the electronics, it did have the pill to start the car......

Call around, and make sure you let them know the year. It seems they couldn't make a key for newer than 986's......

-Eric

99 986
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Old 07-10-2020, 02:58 PM   #10
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Follow up for those who don't know; the key blade can be had from multiple places. The transponder 'pill' needs to be coded into the car's memory with a PWIS. Typically only available at a dealer. This can't be done with a Durametric. That is what drives the price accordingly.
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Old 07-11-2020, 12:56 PM   #11
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I took some time to retrieve the pill from the old key housing, for me it was only removable by carefully clipping away the plastic housing around it. I included a few pics of the pill and where it went in the replacement housing.
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