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Old 10-08-2005, 06:31 PM   #1
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Convertible top malfunction light on

The convertible top light has turned on ,on my 99 boxster. What does this mean??It goes down and closes still.Could it be the convertible top motor is low on oil or going bad???Also my temperature guage has been reading at the line after the 180 line, what could be causing this??? The temperature goes up quicker when the a/c is on . The coolant resivor is full.Where/ how do I see the motor/ radiator.(how do i get to the motor? /The top is also in the way). thanks

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Old 10-09-2005, 04:31 AM   #2
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Unfortunately, it sounds like you are headed for the Dealer.

I wouldn't mess with the top too much. Of course it is worth a peek under the
cover to make sure everything looks normal. I would look under the back part of the top where the engine cover is and make sure that the straps are connected properly and none of the hydrolic cylinders look moist or out of alignment. If everything appears normal, then it is time to call in the pros.

Cooling system running a little hot may be a few things:

Fluid level.. it seems you checked that.

Air pocket in the coolant system.. can be solved with flushing and bleeding the air out of the system.

Bad fan somewhere.. confirm all of your fan fuses are in order. Also check when you turn the a/c on does the auxilliary fan come on as well.

Stuck thermostat... on the Box, not sure where to find it. This may be stuck and not letting the coolant flow where it needs to go to cool the engine or back thru the radiator to get cooled.

Fan temperature sensor... controls the off and on of the fan system.

None of the above situations are really any large problem and should be easy to
diagnose and repair.

Last question is smell. Do you smell a sweet smell like maple syrup. This can sometimes indicate a damaged heater core or leaking core. This is an expensive fix, but not terribly likely and probably wouldnt make the car run too hot.

Hope some of this helps!
Best of luck,

Joe
01 S
Triple Black
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Old 10-09-2005, 08:06 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porscheguy
The convertible top light has turned on ,on my 99 boxster. What does this mean??It goes down and closes still.Could it be the convertible top motor is low on oil or going bad??? thanks
The relay(s) for the top may be fritzing. You can swap with a Boxster friend to see if that's it or see if a local Porsche specialist has one they use for testing and ask if you can plug it in real quick to see if that's the problem. Tell the specialist you will buy the part from him if that's it and he'll be more likely to help you out. The part may cost you a few bucks more that way, but it's better than buying an expensive relay and that's not the problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by porscheguy
Also my temperature guage has been reading at the line after the 180 line, what could be causing this??? The temperature goes up quicker when the a/c is on . The coolant resivor is full.Where/ how do I see the motor/ radiator.(how do i get to the motor? /The top is also in the way). thanks
Make sure you only check the coolant level when the engine is stone cold.

Here's how to do the things Audioguy suggests plus a few more:

1) Air pocket in the coolant system. Open the rear trunk and remove the oil filler and coolant filler caps. Take a flathead screwdriver and pop the plastic cover that goes around the caps up and pull it out. (Not the rubber seal that's around the edge). Once you pop the cover off, you will see a pressure release valve. Pop the metal "switch' that's on top of that into the up position (pointing straight up). That releases pressure in the system. Drive around a day or two then pop it back down. Check your coolant at stone cold and add water if it went down a little from a bubble coming out.

2) Bad fan somewhere. When you get home and the engine is hot, keep it running and check behind each fender to make sure you are getting a good bit of wind from each of the front fans. Check the passenger side vent in the back to see if the engine compartment fan is on. Next, turn the A/C on and make sure that rear engine compartment fan comes on. If the engine is above 195F and the A/C is turned on, the engine compartment fan should turn on.

3) Stuck thermostat. I don't think this would cause a problem in the Boxster because I think the "failed" position for the thermostat is open. The problem would be not warming up quickly in cooler weather.

4) Fan temperature sensor. This one happened to me causing a problem with the engine compartment fan. You can disconnect the fan and run two wires from the connector to a battery to see if the fan spins. If it does, it's not the fan and more likely the temp sensor. The temp sensor is mounted in the spider on the passenger side. There is a gromet around it and it's wedged in the spider. It has a plug on one end and a small (maybe 1/8" thick) stick that's about 2" long on the other end.

5) Check the water pump. You can see it from the front of the engine compartment (see below for how to get in there). With the engine running, you will see water leaking out if the water pump is on its' way out.

How to open your engine compartment:
1) Unlatch the top and turn the key to the on position without starting the car. Stand outside the car so you can see the engine compartment and the "batwing" (cover for the convertible top when it's down). Start taking the top down and watch the batwing to see when it pushes back all the way. When it's all the way back, stop the top. It should be open about 30cm+/- when you stop.

2) There are two cables, one on each side, that hold the back of the top down. One end snaps onto the car body and the other end snaps onto the top. Pop off the connections at the body by pulling directly on the ball that is snapped on. Don't pull on the cable to do this because you can accidentally pull hard on the top and possibly tear it.

3) There is a plastic bar that goes along the back of the top and snaps into two clips on the body. push that bar downward to release it, then you can fold the back of the top torward the front to open the engine compartment area.

4) Remove the storage compartment that's behind the seats. There are two plastic screw down clips that you need to turn then it pulls straight up and off.

5) Remove the insulation cover. There are two of the same type plastic screw down clips that need to be released, then you can pull the cover off.

Picture of open compartment w/ aluminum cover on.

6) Finally, the aluminum engine cover has several metal clips that have to be released, then you can lift the cover straight up and off. Some of them may catch, so be patient and make sure you unscrew them all the way and don't jerk on the cover. Now the engine is exposed.

Removing the front engine compartment cover:
1) Move the seats all the way forward and flip the seat backs forward. You have to remove the storage compartment and the engine insulation cover first (see above).

2) Remove the front engine insulation cover by pulling it straight up then off.

3) Remove the bolts and nuts that hold the aluminum front engine cover on. They are all 10mm bolts and nuts.

4) Pull the top of the cover toward the front of the car until it clears the two studs that hold the bottom of the cover in, then pull it straight up and out. Reverse it to put it back in.

Front of engine:
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Old 10-09-2005, 09:18 AM   #4
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John,

You rock! Nice descriptions once again.

Keep up the good work!

Joe

01S
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Old 10-09-2005, 04:50 PM   #5
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A bit above 180 is where mine (2000) normally runs. That's where all of my cars run. Thermostats usually open around 190.

As for the convertible top light, it will also stay on if not FULLY closed or open. Try holding down the button a few extra seconds after you think the top is down or up. Light should go out.

Everything COULD be ok. I'm guessing you don't have an owner's manual, just like me, and have to learn by trying stuff.

Good luck!
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Last edited by wingboat; 10-09-2005 at 04:56 PM. Reason: additions
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Old 10-10-2005, 07:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingboat
A bit above 180 is where mine (2000) normally runs. That's where all of my cars run. Thermostats usually open around 190.

As for the convertible top light, it will also stay on if not FULLY closed or open. Try holding down the button a few extra seconds after you think the top is down or up. Light should go out.

Everything COULD be ok. I'm guessing you don't have an owner's manual, just like me, and have to learn by trying stuff.

Good luck!
I should have listed my temps for your reference like wingboat did.

Mine normall runs at about 195F-215F range. I use 15W50 oil so mine runs a little warmer than average. 250F is the overheat mark, so you could be running normal.
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2000 Boxster Speed Yellow/Black 5-Speed
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1986 Daughter White/Brown Top (Sold!)
1992 Daughter White/Blonde Top
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Old 10-10-2005, 07:10 AM   #7
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My mechanic says the needle on the temp gauge should be between the 8 and the 0 during normal driving. He said to expect it to go into the 0 or just to the right of the 0 during heavy traffic use, but not over that 200 degree line.

My primary fan was out and that's what caused my car to run a little hot. Sunset sold me the fan for less than half of what my dealership charges.

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