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Old 04-11-2004, 06:54 PM   #1
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Unhappy '99 will not start

Hello everyone,

I just got a used '99 Boxster Tiptronic with about 44,000 miles on it. The car arrived with the engine light on, battery unhooked, and no gas in the tank. Once gas was added and the battery re-connected it was running fine though the engine light was still on. After a day of driving here and there (nothing excessive) it would not start again. The lights would come on, the stereo worked, the top was working but it just would not crank ...

I was looking online and it seems that there is a problem with Boxsters once their fuel tank is empty and there is an altitude change. So I dropped it at the dealer to take a look. I should find out tomorrow.

Has anyone else heard about the fuel issue?

Thank you in advance,

DB
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Old 04-11-2004, 07:47 PM   #2
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http://www.986forum.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=750&highlight=catastrophic
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Old 04-11-2004, 08:03 PM   #3
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Alienz,

I hope this is not what I have to look forward to ... crap, I thought that the Porsche stood for some sort of high-end engineering ... crap, crap, crap ... I guess I will find out tomorrow how bad the news are.

Regards,

DB
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Old 04-13-2004, 07:50 PM   #4
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Talking Things are ok

Man,

Reading all the bad things about '99s in this forum had me freaked out. It turns out that the battery was discharged and though it had enough juice to power-up the top it didn't have enough power to turn over the engine.

After a trip to the dealer the battery is re-juiced and the world is a happy place again. Apparently the engine light will also go on when the battery is low ( I wander why the battery light didn't come on though ).

Anyway, I thought that as far as simpler problems go someone else will be able to benefit from this.

All the best

DB
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Old 04-14-2004, 05:20 PM   #5
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Yeah don't get too freaked out about what you read about problems with the Boxster. There are indeed people that have had problems with them and the incidence of engine failures on the '99s is a bit more than you would expect, but the percentage is probably not really as high as you would think. Just relax, enjoy the car and hopefully yours will be a good one. My '99 has 71,800 miles on it. I bought it with 37,250 on the odometer and have had it for two years now. Been trouble-free for me so far and it runs great! I was reading a lot of posts about engine failures and things like that when I first got it and man it really got me paranoid too. There isn't too much you can do about that, if it is going to happen to you, it just happens. Good luck and I hope it turns out to be a good car for you like mine has been for me. Four year old battery (if that is the original you have in there) is gonna go sometime. I have been wondering when mine will go, but it just keeps on going. I may just go ahead though and get a new battery though sometime soon, just to avoid sitting there one day with a dead battery.

Last edited by mjbliemel; 04-14-2004 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 04-14-2004, 05:38 PM   #6
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I bought my car right out of the show room at the dealer and when I first asked to drive the car the salesman had a similar problem getting the car started. The radio still worked, the top went up and down ect. . . but the car would not start. He said this is common for a car in the show room due to people playing with all the buttons and stuff. Anyway, it is apparently not uncommon for the battery to be just low enough to do everything but start the car. BTW mine in an '02
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Old 04-14-2004, 05:43 PM   #7
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Nice sig pic QpQ.

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Old 04-14-2004, 05:57 PM   #8
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Mjbliemel,QPorscheQ

Thank you for the information ... as Mj said it is hard not to get too paranoid with the mentioned engine problems. Getting a Porsche has been the dream of a life time, and it was a real bummer to think that the dream was for not. On the up side everything is fine and I hope to have the same longevity with this car that some of you have enjoyed. It came with about 44,000 miles Black on Black ... it really puts a smile on my face any time I drive it. The only weird thing is that it has an after market exchaust that is sooooo loud in low RPM that I am thinking of changing since my ears ring every time I drive it . Someone said that I should take it to a muffler shop and get some resonators put on it to silence it a bit. Any other options?

... I am also getting inspired by trying my own oil change. I have been reading the various posts and it doesn't seem too bad.

DB
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Old 04-15-2004, 03:16 AM   #9
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It could be something very simple.

For example the micro-switch that notices the clutch is always depressed may be busted, or mor commonly , the new owner didn't put the clutch pedal all the way to the floor.

Be aware that these cars don't crank twice without turning the ignition switch off and on. Sometimes if you sit there looking at the pretty lights with the key on for long enough(say 10 minutes), she will go into 'already cranked' mode and refuse to crank until you turn the switch off and then on.
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Old 04-15-2004, 03:18 AM   #10
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sorry about the 'clutch pedal advice' - I reread your note and saw tiptronic.
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Old 04-15-2004, 08:16 PM   #11
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Unhappy Update #2

Well,

Since I started this thread, I may as well keep updating it in case it helps someone else one day. After the dealership charged the battery. I started the car today (it just makes me happy to hear it roarrr) took it out to the office, about 10 min drive. Left it there, pulled the parking break, used the remote to lock it. Came back 10 minutes later ... and guess what? It would not start again!

Same symptoms as before. All the lights fire up except the enginge doesn't make a sound. Can't hear it click or anything. So after trying it a few times, I just left it there. Came back an hour and a half later. Stuck the key in and vroom vroom ... we had action.

Drove it home so that I don't have to call the truck again. So it makes me wander, is it me? Could the battery have drained ... but what is it about a drained battery that would loose its charge in such a weird way?

Anyway, I have an appointment tomorrow with Dr. Porsche and we will see what they say again.

I will keep adding notes until we figure out what the problem is. It is a tiptronic so there is no clutch to push in or anything like that.

Weird!

DB
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Old 04-15-2004, 08:34 PM   #12
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Sounds like a solenoid gone bad.

Scott
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Old 04-15-2004, 08:37 PM   #13
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Scott,

Where/what is a solenoid? ... sorry for my ingorance. Is there only one ... more?

DB
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Old 04-15-2004, 09:04 PM   #14
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Starter Solenoid's are intermitent at times, if your lights gone on the dsh and you get nada when the key is turend I would consider either the igntion switch, and or/the strater solenoid.

If you are not a wrench,let seomone check it out for you. to bad your's is a Tip because you could bump it to start when it does not turn over.

If you could get to the starter which is on top of the motor, you may be able to do an old trick and tap the starter with either a rod or a hammer. Tap not pound and see if it starts. Sometimes the solenoid becomes dislodged and fires up the motor. That is a dead give away for a bad starter.
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Old 04-15-2004, 09:07 PM   #15
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So Scott,

Your diagnosis is:

1. The starter solenoid
2. The starter


Do you think the fuel pump? ... I am going to see the dealer tomorrow it would be good to go there with some suggestions just to same me having to worry about getting stuck some day too far from help.

Thanks for the info .... your explanation makes sense!

Regards,

DB
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Old 04-15-2004, 09:14 PM   #16
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Yes the solenoid and then the starter, I would have little belief or want that the dealer would do you justice.

It is simple to check, for anyone who can find the starter. I would save your money and go to an electrical shop to check it out. It would be cheaper for diagnosis.

It is right on top beneath the intake, kind of hidden. I will try to find a picture for you. I will post in a few minutes for you.
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Old 04-15-2004, 09:16 PM   #17
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Cool,

Thanks Scott ... and how do I test the starter and/or solenoid? I think the local dealer is pretty good too.

Regards,

DB
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Old 04-15-2004, 09:16 PM   #18
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Here you go:

http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=1665

Scott
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Old 04-15-2004, 09:19 PM   #19
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Thanks Scott,

If it is something that I can check then it is worth doing ... what tools might I need for something like that?

DB
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Old 04-15-2004, 09:22 PM   #20
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It would be a tapping you would go, need to have someone turn your key and hold the key, as if turning it on, and then tap the starter. Most of the time you will tap it to start. Unless it is so bad it won't work.

I am assuming you have a new battery and have checked your voltage at the battery. If not that may be the first place to look, no volts no go. 12V or better 12.64 is a number I would see under no drain, but each battery is different with it's back up amperage.
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