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Old 07-03-2013, 09:29 AM   #1
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Is it the battery? If so, should I replace it myself?

Hello All,
I have a 2001 Boxster S which 80% of the time starts flawlessly.
10% of the time makes a screeching noise lasting about 1/2 a second.
10% of the time does not start at all, I have to retry several time, extract the key, release the clutch, recite a spell, curse (none of which has probably any effect) and then it starts.

The screeching noise is like the ignition motor does not disengage promptly.

I showed to the dealer who checked and confirmed that indeed the noise is from the starter motor not disengaging which sometimes happens and there is nothing to worry about.

The non-starting sometimes is, according to the dealer, because the battery need replacement, which I can have it done for just $280 plus.
I have an OBD reader that gives me 13.5V when the car is running and 12.5V when it is not, which I understand is normal.

Questions for the wisest among you:
1) Do you think it is really the battery?
2) If that's the case, can I replace it myself without resetting the radio, remote entry, and who knows what else?
I might have the radio code, a 4 digit code handwritten by the previous owner on the front of the radio manual, but I'd like to avoid to find out that that's not it

The dealer told me that I can go ahead and replace the battery myself but that the airbag warning light will turn on, which I can have the dealer switch off for $80.
My OBD reader can probably do that as well.

So what do you think?
Shall I go ahead and change the battery?

Any advice is appreciated

Thanks!
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:32 AM   #2
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Do not pay the dealership $280 for this job. DIY for about $100.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:02 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thot View Post
Hello All,
I have a 2001 Boxster S which 80% of the time starts flawlessly.
10% of the time makes a screeching noise lasting about 1/2 a second.
10% of the time does not start at all, I have to retry several time, extract the key, release the clutch, recite a spell, curse (none of which has probably any effect) and then it starts.

The screeching noise is like the ignition motor does not disengage promptly.

I showed to the dealer who checked and confirmed that indeed the noise is from the starter motor not disengaging which sometimes happens and there is nothing to worry about.

The non-starting sometimes is, according to the dealer, because the battery need replacement, which I can have it done for just $280 plus.
I have an OBD reader that gives me 13.5V when the car is running and 12.5V when it is not, which I understand is normal.

Questions for the wisest among you:
1) Do you think it is really the battery?
2) If that's the case, can I replace it myself without resetting the radio, remote entry, and who knows what else?
I might have the radio code, a 4 digit code handwritten by the previous owner on the front of the radio manual, but I'd like to avoid to find out that that's not it

The dealer told me that I can go ahead and replace the battery myself but that the airbag warning light will turn on, which I can have the dealer switch off for $80.
My OBD reader can probably do that as well.

So what do you think?
Shall I go ahead and change the battery?

Any advice is appreciated

Thanks!
Your problems sounds more like a sticking Bendix drive on the starter than a battery issue. This is a common problems and can easily be fixed by cleaning the drive and lubricating it.

Changing the battery will not trip and airbag code. That said, if you did have an airbag MIL come on, you cannot clear it with an OBD II scanner; only a PIWIS or the Durametric software will do that.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:15 AM   #4
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I few weeks back my Boxster has an intermittent noise at start, then a oil leak. The final diagnosis is initial stage IMS failure. How is the situation with the IMS in your car?
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:58 AM   #5
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+1 on the starter drive, the biggest clue is the squeal, no battery can cause that. The dealer sounds like Chucky Cheese. I use a battery tender in the winter but some owners pull their batteries for inside storage. You would have a lot of peeved owners if they had to pay eighty beans to turn an idiot light off every spring.
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:49 AM   #6
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If the battery is fine make sure ground connections between battery, body and engine are completely clean and tight, if you have an manual transmission and starter fails to operate check clutch pedal operated starter interlock switch. In an open circuit voltage test any voltage over 12.6 is fully charged. Perform a load voltage test after applying a200 amp load for 15 seconds at 80F the minimum voltage is 9.6. In may case the extra load for the failing IMS bearing was the problem.
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:19 PM   #7
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Thank you all for your replies.
I have now a better idea of what might be going on.
Sounds like the consensus is that it is not the battery, which I will leave alone.

JFP: When you say that "Your problems sounds more like a sticking Bendix drive on the starter than a battery issue. This is a common problems and can easily be fixed by cleaning the drive and lubricating it." do you mean that it can be fixed by a mechanic or it is something simple that a DIYer (with the shop manual) could do?

Laredo: I am not sure what is the IMS (Ignition Module Switch?) and how would I know its condition? Also, how do I check the clutch pedal operated starter interlock switch? Again is it something for a qualified mechanic?


Thanks
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Old 07-04-2013, 03:37 PM   #8
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Check in this forum, search for IMS o read this IMS 101 | The IMS Solution this just happen to me and I am awere is not the typical presentation. But if you have a oil leak and a noise at start I recommend you ruled out. To start your car you must push the clutch and The interlock switch is activated if is failing your stater doesn't work. Sometimes is just the starter follow JFP advice if doesn't work probably you have to replace it. If you don't feel comfortable find a god Indy.
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Old 07-05-2013, 05:07 AM   #9
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Without an oil leak, and with the sporadic screeching sound that is described, I can't imagine it is the IMS bearing. If it ihas been screeching for a period already, it would have seized by now. As JFP says, it certainly sounds as if the issue is with the bendix for the starter.
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