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Old 11-21-2009, 04:16 PM   #1
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Need help, intermittent starting problem

Eventually, I'll get it to start.Guys, I need some advice. In the last 4-5 months, my 2000 Boxster has had this intermittent starting problem. I'd put the key in, turn it to try to start it, nothing happens. The lights on the dash all come on, the radio comes on. I'll turn the key to the off position, then try to turn the key again and it may start or not. This has been happening more and more lately.

I changed out the battery that was 4 years old thinking it could be a battery problem. No dice. Still happens. I just replaced the ignition today thinking that this would fix the problem. No dice. Same exact thing happens (or rather doesn't happen).

The only other "easy" thing I can think of is the clutch switch (anyone have the switch part number?) so I may try that next, but I was hoping that the experts on this board could help with what may be happening. Any idea guys? I'm almost out of ideas to try to fix this.

The only symptom is that the car won't start. It won't even try to start. It's not like the starter tries to start but can't turn the car over. It simply does nothing.

Thanks in advance
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Last edited by JonnyBGood; 11-22-2009 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:12 AM   #2
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it could be your ignition switch those do go bad and cause alot of strange problems
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:56 AM   #3
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Yeah, I replaced the ignition switch yesterday. That didn't fix it.
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:28 AM   #4
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When you turn the ignition key to the start position, are you hearing any action at all from the engine bay behind you (clicking, cranking, nothing at all)?

If you are hearing nothing at all, try removing the clutch safety switch, and cleaning it, or jumpering the switch connection wires and see if you can then start the car with the shifter in neutral.

If the car starts with the wiring jumpered, then the switch is your culprit.
I think I remember someone saying once upon a time that the switch can be taken apart and cleaned. Or maybe that's just the brake switch.

BC.
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:18 PM   #5
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Intermitent Starting Issues

You could have a bad ground. Next time you have the problem, hook a jumper cable from your ground on your battery to the frame or even the engine if your cables will reach. If it starts then this could be your culprit.

I have also had the nut on the power wire from solenoid to starter come of a starter before (not my porsche) which created intermittent starting problems as well.

Good luck!

Chris
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bladecutter
When you turn the ignition key to the start position, are you hearing any action at all from the engine bay behind you (clicking, cranking, nothing at all)?

If you are hearing nothing at all, try removing the clutch safety switch, and cleaning it, or jumpering the switch connection wires and see if you can then start the car with the shifter in neutral.

If the car starts with the wiring jumpered, then the switch is your culprit.
I think I remember someone saying once upon a time that the switch can be taken apart and cleaned. Or maybe that's just the brake switch.

BC.
WHen I put it into the start position, all the lights on the dash go off and I hear nothing. (I think all the lights normally go off until the car starts anyway). I may have to try jumpering the switch and see if that starts it up everytime.

Does anyone have the part number for the clutch switch?
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky
You could have a bad ground. Next time you have the problem, hook a jumper cable from your ground on your battery to the frame or even the engine if your cables will reach. If it starts then this could be your culprit.

I have also had the nut on the power wire from solenoid to starter come of a starter before (not my porsche) which created intermittent starting problems as well.

Good luck!

Chris
I'll try the clutch switch first then try this if that doens't work. How in the world do you fix a "bad ground"?
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Old 11-24-2009, 06:12 AM   #8
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How to fix a bad ground

Quote

I'll try the clutch switch first then try this if that doens't work. How in the world do you fix a "bad ground"?

Answer
I agree with you clutch switch idea, but sometimes that is not the problem either. To fix a bad ground you either replace the ground cable on your battery if it is extremely corroded or you clean the ends where it hooks to the battery and the chassis. This is pretty easy to test with a set of jumper cables though

To test you clutch switch don't just replace it. Just take your multimeter and set it to "beep to check continuity" and press the switch. If your meter beeps or shows continuity then it is not your clutch switch.

Good luck!
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Old 11-24-2009, 06:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnyBGood
WHen I put it into the start position, all the lights on the dash go off and I hear nothing. (I think all the lights normally go off until the car starts anyway). I may have to try jumpering the switch and see if that starts it up everytime.

Does anyone have the part number for the clutch switch?
I hope the clutch switch turns out to be the culprit, because the next idea is to check the wiring on the battery terminals, and their connection points, and then check the wiring on the starter.

If all the wiring is tight, then I would smack the starter a couple times with a hammer and rod in order to see if it frees up and starts engaging again.

If anything, tighten the battery terminals just a bit more.

BC.
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:27 AM   #10
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I would have guessed the ignition switch. The previous owner of mine said he had his replaced 3 times over 11 years at $400 a pop. I expect mine to fail again.
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Old 12-04-2009, 11:15 AM   #11
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Culprit found

Okay guys. I finally found some time to test the clutch switch. I made a little bypass wire and plugged the 2 wires that go to the clutch switch into eachother. The car starts every time now. It's definitely the clutch switch.

I took the clutch switch off (part number PA6-GF30 991129) and tested it on my multi-meter. When the switch is pressed all the way down, the resistance is about 100ohms and goes down to 0ohms in about 5 seconds. If I press it down slightly (after the click) the meter reads about 30ohms and slowly goes down to 0ohms.

This seems like a bad switch to me, and someone said that it can be cleaned. I can't seem to open up the switch. Anyone know how I should open the switch so that I can clean it up on the inside? Does anyone know where I could just buy a new switch?

Thanks for everyone's help.
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Last edited by JonnyBGood; 12-04-2009 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 12-05-2009, 05:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnyBGood
Okay guys. I finally found some time to test the clutch switch. I made a little bypass wire and plugged the 2 wires that go to the clutch switch into eachother. The car starts every time now. It's definitely the clutch switch.

I took the clutch switch off (part number PA6-GF30 991129) and tested it on my multi-meter. When the switch is pressed all the way down, the resistance is about 100ohms and goes down to 0ohms in about 5 seconds. If I press it down slightly (after the click) the meter reads about 30ohms and slowly goes down to 0ohms.

This seems like a bad switch to me, and someone said that it can be cleaned. I can't seem to open up the switch. Anyone know how I should open the switch so that I can clean it up on the inside? Does anyone know where I could just buy a new switch?

Thanks for everyone's help.

If I can find the one I took out of my car Ill send it to you...Don't hold your breath because I think I threw it away but if not you can have it. Or just leave the wries jumpered and dont worry about it. You can also ground the wire back in the trunk and make it a little cleaner.

Chris
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Old 12-05-2009, 06:35 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by amondc
If I can find the one I took out of my car Ill send it to you...Don't hold your breath because I think I threw it away but if not you can have it. Or just leave the wries jumpered and dont worry about it. You can also ground the wire back in the trunk and make it a little cleaner.

Chris

+1 on just leaving the wires shorted. You can start the car without pushing the clutch in which is easier on the engine.
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:04 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by amondc
If I can find the one I took out of my car Ill send it to you...Don't hold your breath because I think I threw it away but if not you can have it. Or just leave the wries jumpered and dont worry about it. You can also ground the wire back in the trunk and make it a little cleaner.

Chris
Chris,

Thanks for the offer. If you find it, let me know. Don't knock yourself out looking for it though. I'll figure something out.
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:05 AM   #15
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+1 on just leaving the wires shorted. You can start the car without pushing the clutch in which is easier on the engine.
Yeah, it doesn't bother me. I'm just concerned about if/when I sell the car for the next person.
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:58 AM   #16
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The clutch switch is a "must have" safety in my books. Imagine forgetting to depress the clutch and hitting the ignition... then your car smacks the garage wall, or another car, or a person... it can happen in a split second. If you leave it bypassed don't ever let your wife take it to the grocery store
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:04 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by texomawaves
The clutch switch is a "must have" safety in my books. Imagine forgetting to depress the clutch and hitting the ignition... then your car smacks the garage wall, or another car, or a person... it can happen in a split second. If you leave it bypassed don't ever let your wife take it to the grocery store
Safety is an issue, but since I can't find the part, I'm not sure how I'm going to go about fixing the issue. I'd rather put the relay switch back, but I can't have the car not start because I can't find the part.

And my wife doesn't drive the stick I tried teaching her, it was a very frustrating day.
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:43 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnyBGood
Okay guys. I finally found some time to test the clutch switch. I made a little bypass wire and plugged the 2 wires that go to the clutch switch into eachother. The car starts every time now. It's definitely the clutch switch.

I took the clutch switch off (part number PA6-GF30 991129) and tested it on my multi-meter. When the switch is pressed all the way down, the resistance is about 100ohms and goes down to 0ohms in about 5 seconds. If I press it down slightly (after the click) the meter reads about 30ohms and slowly goes down to 0ohms.

This seems like a bad switch to me, and someone said that it can be cleaned. I can't seem to open up the switch. Anyone know how I should open the switch so that I can clean it up on the inside? Does anyone know where I could just buy a new switch?

Thanks for everyone's help.

You know I was having an intermittant staring issue like the one you describe. It was a clutch switch problem. I wish I had seen your post earlier....sorry.
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Old 12-09-2009, 08:38 PM   #19
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You know I was having an intermittant staring issue like the one you describe. It was a clutch switch problem. I wish I had seen your post earlier....sorry.
Hey, it's no problem. Everyone has been helpful. Did you get the part replaced or did you just bypass the switch?
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Old 12-10-2009, 03:34 AM   #20
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Replaced the switch and also bled the clutch system to ensure good engagement.
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