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Old 08-03-2014, 07:32 PM   #1
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Boxster Mystery

Here is a mystery that I expect to get an answer on Monday.

Friday afternoon my 1999 Boxster with 216800 plus miles would not start. I had driven it to run an errand (about 8 miles total). Parked the car for no more than 20 minutes and when I returned it would not start.

It appeared to be a dead battery. Very slow to turn over and then the click click of the starter not getting enough juice. The lights, radio, windows and A/C fan all worked.

I called my insurance company for road side assistance. And since I told them I needed a jump (dead battery) they sent out one of those Pop-a-Lock guys to give me a jump (using his portable jumper box). He attempted many times but the starter would not turn and all the lights on the dash would dim out. He told me my battery was good and that each time I attempted to start it the battery dropped down from 12Volts to under 3 volts. He told me it was either my starter or my alternator.

So, I called for a wrecker and explained to the wrecker driver my problem. He laughed and said the Pop-a-Lock guys don't know what they are doing. He attached his jumper box to my car and it started on the first try. I felt like Homer Simpson.

He told me my battery was OK and my alternator was charging/working fine.

I drove my car on to his flat bed and he took it to my local mechanic. I explained everything to the mechanic and asked him to sort out whatever was the issue. I should get an answer sometime Monday.

Oh by the way, it started right up when I drove it off the flat bed at the auto shop. According to the wrecker driver, the battery cables were not loose. I did not leave anything on when I originally parked the car (lights, radio, etc.). I don't think it is a bad ignition switch. My local dealer replaced my ignition switch back in 2010 without my permission (that was going to be my first DITY repair). I no longer go to Porsche dealers.

I purchased the car with 104,000 miles in Sep 09. I believe the starter and alternator are original to the car. The battery is no more than two years old.

MNC-I

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Old 08-03-2014, 08:21 PM   #2
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Sounds like my symptoms. Sometimes it would start just fine, but got more frequent where it would just click click click and not turn over. I have a new Crankshaft Position Sensor (CPS) waiting to be DIY'ed...
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Old 08-03-2014, 08:52 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by stateofidleness View Post
Sounds like my symptoms. Sometimes it would start just fine, but got more frequent where it would just click click click and not turn over. I have a new Crankshaft Position Sensor (CPS) waiting to be DIY'ed...
Exactly what happened with my wife's BMW X3. Ordered a new one and replaced it at home. Never happened again. That was at least 2 years ago.

CR
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Old 08-04-2014, 12:40 PM   #4
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Boxster Mystery

Here is the rest of the story.

My battery was totally flat.

New battery and I am good to go for a few more years.

MNC-I
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Old 08-05-2014, 05:28 AM   #5
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Man, i didn't even get a chance to chime in on this one. I'd call this one a battery all day long before even reading the fix. If it was dropping to below 3 volts (assuming it was reading over 12) while starting you have at least one bad cell if not more inside the battery. I would agree with the tow truck driver - the first guy on scene had no clue and a dead/bad jumper box. It's not surprising the car would start again shortly after jumping, even with a bad battery. I suspect if you let it sit overnight it would be hit or miss if it would start again. Sure signs the battery is done. Change it and you should be good to go!

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