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Old 03-26-2006, 10:38 AM   #1
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Sometimes starter doesnt engage on start-up...safety feature??

Hi gents, just looking to solve a bit of a mystery. I have had my 2001 Boxster for a few months and on a few occaisions despite having lots of juice battery wise, when I turn the key to the position where it begins to fire up the starter there simply is nothing. After wiping the cold sweat from my brow I usually move the gear shift a couple of times and check to see if my after-market mats are pressing on the accelerator as I was once told that there cannot be anything pushing down on the gas pedal during start-up (not sure thats a buch of hocus pocus.) I havent bothered to try to start the car with the pedal depressed since I still have the car in storage to see if that is the truth. I usually depress the clutch on start-up out of habit but im pretty sure the fail to start situation has happened even while doing that.

If anyone could pinpoint what start-up safety feautures the car has so that I can eliminate going through this embaressing ritual when im showing my car to friends.

Thanks.

Jeff.

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Old 03-26-2006, 10:49 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff740
Hi gents, just looking to solve a bit of a mystery. I have had my 2001 Boxster for a few months and on a few occaisions despite having lots of juice battery wise, when I turn the key to the position where it begins to fire up the starter there simply is nothing. After wiping the cold sweat from my brow I usually move the gear shift a couple of times and check to see if my after-market mats are pressing on the accelerator as I was once told that there cannot be anything pushing down on the gas pedal during start-up (not sure thats a buch of hocus pocus.) I havent bothered to try to start the car with the pedal depressed since I still have the car in storage to see if that is the truth. I usually depress the clutch on start-up out of habit but im pretty sure the fail to start situation has happened even while doing that.

If anyone could pinpoint what start-up safety feautures the car has so that I can eliminate going through this embaressing ritual when im showing my car to friends.

Thanks.

Jeff.
Hi,

There is a Starter Lockout Switch on the Clutch, meaning that the Clutch MUST be fully depressed in order for the Starter to energize. You must make sure to FULLY depress the Clutch in order for this switch to work. Note that these do fail sometimes, not notoriously, but they do. Also, the ignition switch in the Boxster isn't the most robust component and you might also be having issues with it.

You should never depress the gas on any fuel injected Car to start it. Not that it'll blow up, but it's just not designed to start in that manner. You should turn the key to the Run position (to get the Fuel system pressurized and the Fuel Pump going) and then simply turn the key. Let the Starter run no longer than say 10 sec. If the Car fails to start, wait a minute and try again (this is to protect the Starter from burning out). Hope this helps...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

Last edited by MNBoxster; 03-26-2006 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 03-26-2006, 04:26 PM   #3
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Jim is correct to focus on the the clutch.

Also, your ignition switch may be going bad. Some symptoms.
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Old 03-27-2006, 01:59 PM   #4
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Thanks for the responses guys....I will definitely focus on the clutch next time it happens....and here all along I thought I was curing it by sliding my mat back off of the gas pedal. What about the gear shift itself??? It doesnt necessarily have to be in the neutral position on start-up correct?

Jeff.
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Old 03-27-2006, 06:32 PM   #5
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Gear lever can be anywhere (though for safety I recommend it be in neutral - in case you slip off the clutch pedal, you won't be launching into the pool like those 80's Audi "sudden acceleration" claims).

One "feature" of the Boxster ignition is that you have one shot to start the car - if the engine doesn't start on the first crank attempt, you have to turn it all the way back to off (full left) and begin again. Unlike many other cars, you can't simply try the starter again while leaving the ignition energized (try again from "run").

While this saves the starter and flywheel from inadvertant use on a running engine (who doesn't hate that sound!?!), I find it a non-safety (actually, dangerous) feature. Let's say you happen to stall the engine in traffic - you need to either be good enough to roll start the car with the minimal remaining inertia or you have to turn the ignition switch all the way off, which locks the steering, and then proceed to re-start the car. Hopefully you were pointed the right way with the locked steering wheel and/or could stop dead while trying to re-start the car.
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Old 03-29-2006, 07:58 AM   #6
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If it is infact the ignition switch...how difficult is this to replace on my own and what is the approximate cost for a suitable replacement??


Jeff.
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Old 03-29-2006, 10:03 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by jeff740
If it is infact the ignition switch...how difficult is this to replace on my own and what is the approximate cost for a suitable replacement??


Jeff.

Hi,

Not too difficult to replace. You'll be replacing the actual switch, not the Ignition Lock/Tumbler. The switch fits on the back of this. You disconnect the battery, get under the dash, loosen a set screw and the switch pulls away from the ignition lock/tumbler, the you disconnect the electrical connector going into the switch and attach to new switch. Insert it into the ignition lock/tumbler, reconnect the battery and you're done.

Cost varies, but I have a replacement on hand which I got new on eBay for I believe $16.

The Switch is made for Porsche by Meyle Products (an OEM producer for European Automotive Electrical components). The OEM Part # is: 4A0 905 849 B and the cross-referenced part # from Meyle Products is: 100 905 0000. The OEM Part lists for $28.77 and the Meyle Products is a little less. I have the Meyle as a spare and it lists the Porche PN# right on the Pkg. Hope this helps...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
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Old 03-29-2006, 01:57 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info Jim, you definitely went beyond the call of duty there with the complete part #'s....they are definitely much appreciated. I will investigate my problem a little further and rest easier if it is an ignition switch problem as it doesnt sound too costly and too difficult to perform in the comfort of my garage.

Thanks again.

Jeff.
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Old 03-29-2006, 02:46 PM   #9
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Here's a thread from www.renntech.org explaining how to replace the ignition switch:

ignition switch replacement

It helps to be flexible. I did it laying on my back with my feet on the driver seat (which wasn't so easy for me since I'm not all that flexible.) I also removed the air ducts as shown in the thread (not a big deal.) A small screwdriver definitely makes the job possible.
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Old 03-30-2006, 06:13 AM   #10
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...It helps to be flexible. I did it laying on my back with my feet on the driver seat (which wasn't so easy for me since I'm not all that flexible.) I also removed the air ducts as shown in the thread (not a big deal.) A small screwdriver definitely makes the job possible...
Hi,

In the Lotus World, we refer to this as Assuming the Lotus Position since much of the Car's components seem to have been assembled using the Building the Ship in the Bottle technique ...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

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