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Old 07-27-2008, 03:00 PM   #1
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Dead Battery?

Took a trip to Target Friday night and car was hesitant to turn over after shopping. Got it home and tried to start it back up and when turning the key the dash lights go crazy and the windows shutter up and down rapidly. It did start up with a jump. Does this sound like the battery or maybe the ignition switch? I remember reading something about crazy dash lights with a bad switch. Oh yea, it has been kind of hard to remove the key recently.

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Old 07-29-2008, 02:15 PM   #2
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Ok, so I pulled the battery and took it to a shop, it needed charged for a half hour but checked out ok. Reinstalled the battery and the car started back up with no problems. So, I am thinking it's a bad alternator. If so I need to have it towed around 25-30 miles to the burbs to get it to a Porsche dealership because I read here it's not good to drive without a generator. Anywho, I tested it with a digital multimeter, and here are the results:

Car not running: 12.41v

Car running, no accessories on: 13.52v down to a steady 13.05v after 90 seconds

Car running, A/C and headlights on: a steady 12.65v

Car turned back off: 12.42v

Are the above numbers indicative of a faulty alternator? If not I guess it's on to replacing the ignition switch to see if that fixes the problem.....
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Old 07-29-2008, 03:02 PM   #3
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Assuming you have a 986 (as I have no experience w/ 987s) sounds like your ignition switch is bad - especially w/ the note of key being hard to remove.

A bad switch will drain the battery as it doesn't shut things off as it's supposed to when you pull the key. Plus the #s you post suggest alternator is working. If the alt had a real charging problem and you had a bad battery, it most likely wouldn't run after a jump and disconnecting donor vehicle.....

Here's a link to replacing the electrical part of the switch

Part # needed is: 4A0-905-849-B

It's a common part across VW and Audi too so shop there (as some P-dealers will try to tell/sell you on replacing the whole sub-assembly = $$$.$$). ********************************az sells the part for $8.78 ********************************AZ Link to Part but you can pick it up at local dealers for ~ $30

Keep in mind too that our batteries (OEM) are not sealed and need topped off frequently (w/ distilled water). Proper maintenance will keep a battery for a long time. I shouldn't say this but..... the battery in my '99 is the original (built in 11/98) so it's almost 10 years old. I store it in the winters on a maintainer and top off the fluid just before and after storage as well as check the fluid every month or 2 in season.

Good Luck
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Old 07-29-2008, 04:18 PM   #4
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Burg-

Yep, it's a 2001 986. Battery (non-OEM) had a ship date of 10/2006 on the side, so it's not that old. And a big thanks for the link, I priced that exact same parts number from an Audi dealer this afternoon and they quoted me $61!
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Old 07-29-2008, 05:00 PM   #5
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try a VW dealer too

In the mean time, either disconnect the (-) term when leaving the car (for more than an hour or two) or keep it on a maintainer as the switch issue will get worse. Since it's an '01, make sure you also have your radio code handy before you disconnect the battery terminal.


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