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Old 09-12-2020, 10:19 PM   #1
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Another Intermittent Not starting thread...

I've spent about an hour googling though and haven't found an answer, so - I think it's time to make a post.

I just got my Boxster back a week ago (was living away for about a year and a half) and have experienced this issue again. The symptoms are as follows:

-Ugly "kazoo" noise at startup - starter motor hanging on the flyweek too long, from my diagnosis - needs to be lubricated, possibly replaced?

-Occasionally has a tougher time starting

-After filling gas once, would not crank. 12.5-12.7V on the battery, all lights on the dash, lights went off as though it was trying to start, but no click or crank or anything. I tried jiggling the key, moving the steering wheel all around, etc. I put it into service mode as I thought it could be the starter finally going kaput, and about 10-15 minutes later, it fired up - no jumping, no checking of fuses, no moving - all I did was put the top into service mode.


Now I've seen this could be a number of things - immobilizer, ignition switch, starter, fuses - but I'm hoping that the fact that without doing anything, just a few minutes later it was able to start fine helps narrow it down? If immobilizer, I can do the rubbing alcohol trick. if fuses, I can replace, but if the fuses were out then it wouldn't start later right?

The car is a '98 5-speed Boxster, ~95k miles

In the last 15k miles, I have replaced the ignition switch and battery - so I am more confident that this is ok.

Any advice is appreciated!

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Old 09-13-2020, 06:58 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by chromecarz00 View Post
I've spent about an hour googling though and haven't found an answer, so - I think it's time to make a post.

I just got my Boxster back a week ago (was living away for about a year and a half) and have experienced this issue again. The symptoms are as follows:

-Ugly "kazoo" noise at startup - starter motor hanging on the flyweek too long, from my diagnosis - needs to be lubricated, possibly replaced?

-Occasionally has a tougher time starting

-After filling gas once, would not crank. 12.5-12.7V on the battery, all lights on the dash, lights went off as though it was trying to start, but no click or crank or anything. I tried jiggling the key, moving the steering wheel all around, etc. I put it into service mode as I thought it could be the starter finally going kaput, and about 10-15 minutes later, it fired up - no jumping, no checking of fuses, no moving - all I did was put the top into service mode.


Now I've seen this could be a number of things - immobilizer, ignition switch, starter, fuses - but I'm hoping that the fact that without doing anything, just a few minutes later it was able to start fine helps narrow it down? If immobilizer, I can do the rubbing alcohol trick. if fuses, I can replace, but if the fuses were out then it wouldn't start later right?

The car is a '98 5-speed Boxster, ~95k miles

In the last 15k miles, I have replaced the ignition switch and battery - so I am more confident that this is ok.

Any advice is appreciated!
Do a search here on the forum.
There are three or four threads currently discussing the issue.
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Old 09-13-2020, 07:09 AM   #3
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Start ruling things out, check the fuses first, that's the easiest/cheapest. I suspect you have more than one issue going on, so try to focus on one set of issues first. Not cranking after driving (when the engine is warm) indicates the CPS sensor is bad, but long cold start sounds like the starter may be bad. It's probably not the ignition switch, they tend to cause random electrical issues, more than starting issues. Good luck!
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Old 09-13-2020, 08:17 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by blue62 View Post
Do a search here on the forum.
There are three or four threads currently discussing the issue.
First line - most of the other threads have different symptoms
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Old 09-13-2020, 08:20 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by rick3000 View Post
Start ruling things out, check the fuses first, that's the easiest/cheapest. I suspect you have more than one issue going on, so try to focus on one set of issues first. Not cranking after driving (when the engine is warm) indicates the CPS sensor is bad, but long cold start sounds like the starter may be bad. It's probably not the ignition switch, they tend to cause random electrical issues, more than starting issues. Good luck!
Thank you - I thought since the problems were ittermjtant, it couldn't be fuses - my thought was starter, but cms could be a thing too.

Row c1-c4 is the fuses to check right?
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Old 09-13-2020, 08:49 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by chromecarz00 View Post
First line - most of the other threads have different symptoms
With any automotive problem you want to start with the simplest things first.

So these are the steps I would start with.

Make sure the battery is good. If it is more than a few years old have it load tested.

Check that the battery cable connections are clean and tight.

Check that the negative battery cable connection at the car body is clean and tight.

Reference the other thread where the poster (Gilles) describes how the positive cable is connected to the junction box Make sure it is clean and tight.

There is a small plastic black box next to the power steering reservoir which has a ground connection in it that has been known to cause electrical problems. Make sure it is clean and tight.

Make sure you connections at the starter are clean and tight.

I would change out the starter relay in the trunk. The contacts in them carbon up and can cause issues.

As to the "ugly kazoo sound" you have.
You need to isolate that sound and determine what the problem is.
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Old 09-13-2020, 09:08 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by blue62 View Post
With any automotive problem you want to start with the simplest things first.

So these are the steps I would start with.

Make sure the battery is good. If it is more than a few years old have it load tested.

Check that the battery cable connections are clean and tight.

Check that the negative battery cable connection at the car body is clean and tight.

Reference the other thread where the poster (Gilles) describes how the positive cable is connected to the junction box Make sure it is clean and tight.

There is a small plastic black box next to the power steering reservoir which has a ground connection in it that has been known to cause electrical problems. Make sure it is clean and tight.

Make sure you connections at the starter are clean and tight.

I would change out the starter relay in the trunk. The contacts in them carbon up and can cause issues.

As to the "ugly kazoo sound" you have.
You need to isolate that sound and determine what the problem is.
Appreciate this list a lot! I'll go through that list and will add fuses to it as well.

From what I've seen the kazoo sound aligns with videos and posts about the starter not popping back into place, so I'm thinking either re-lube or get a new starter.

Thanks again and will report back
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Old 09-13-2020, 09:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by chromecarz00 View Post
Appreciate this list a lot! I'll go through that list and will add fuses to it as well.

From what I've seen the kazoo sound aligns with videos and posts about the starter not popping back into place, so I'm thinking either re-lube or get a new starter.

Thanks again and will report back
It could very well be a problem with the starter. Or?????

But always go with the simplest most basic things first and work your way up step by step.

Sucks to replace something that can cost a few hundred dollars and then find out it was a corroded or bad connection all along.

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