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Old 03-30-2006, 09:58 AM   #1
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Angry $250 later... car won't start

so last night I towed my 97Box to my mechanic where they gave me new battery and poped my hood. Dorve the car home just fine. Lterally THE NEXT MORNING the car wont start again. I called the shop and they were far from caring. they just told me to have it twoed back in and they "would be happy to look ta it again." Now i feel totally ripped off. I how can they charge me to fix the car just enough to get it home and not even be able to drive it the next day. I don't think it is the battery, the car tries to start, but just can't get there. And now for the first time since i bought the car the enigne light is on. i can't imagine what on the emgine could have gone wrong over night. do you think the mechanic could have done somthing?? Once again, I need some advice. I have had a long week...


Last edited by rubberduckie; 03-30-2006 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 03-30-2006, 10:13 AM   #2
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Could this be an ignition problem as i read that the 97s had a problem with this and if the previous owner never took the time to change the battery in 9 years, then i doubt that they ever took care of this. Just a thought, I have absoutly no mechanical abilities. But would this explain the engine light or the fact that the car is trying to start??
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Old 03-30-2006, 10:48 AM   #3
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Sorry to hear you're still having problems. It probably isn't the ignition switch since you say that the engine is turning over when you turn the key. You can check to see if the battery cables were re-attached properly. It may be that your starter isn't working. Are you confident using a multimeter? It would be helpful to know what the engine codes are. Do you know someone with an OBDII code reader? I believe that you can borrow one from the Autozone if you leave a deposit. If the check engine light is blinking, then you shouldn't attempt to start it.
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Old 03-30-2006, 11:16 AM   #4
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Could you explain what what a OBDII code reader or a multimeter is? Also, what does it actually mean that the engine is turning over? I can turn the key all they way and the car is trying, but just can't get there. I thought it might still be the battery so i plugged the battery charger and left it charging. How long should it take with a 2 amp charger? Also, the engine lgight isn't flashing, according to the manual i think that is somthing different, it is just on. How much would it cost to fix the starter if that is it? Thanks again
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Old 03-30-2006, 11:21 AM   #5
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I had that same problem w/ my 02. It was the alternator. They said it was the battery. I told them I replaced it w/ a new one. We drove the car and it totaly shut down on me. I had it towed to the dealer and told them that I thought it might be the alternator. They told me Porsche alt's DO NOT go bad. Well, low and behold I was right . They had to replace it. NOT CHEAP! But luckily mine was covered. After all was said and done the bill was $1189!
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Old 03-30-2006, 01:17 PM   #6
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ooooo... don't tell me that!! I am out of warranty so that would be comming out of my pocket!!!Could you give me a little more info? What does the alternator do and what are the signs that somthing may be worng with it? Also, I am thinking about jumping it to see if thay does anything. but if that is not the problem, could that hurt the battery?? Thanks again
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Old 03-30-2006, 01:37 PM   #7
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Rubberduckie-

Don't take this the wrong way...its apparent you have never done ANY type of automotive work, let alone work on an electrical system. I wouldn't advise trying to fix the problem yourself. Dealing with the electrical system in these cars can/will cost a LOT more if you screw up...and it doesn't take much! The computers on cars these days can blow very easily and this will cost thousands to replace. Rather than taking advice from the great people on this board and trying to apply it alone, I think you should either return to the mechanic who supposedly "fixed" it or if not comfortable doing that, go directly to Porsche. The high costs now will seem small in comparison to what can happen.

In the future you can start doing the small things to this car (such as oil changes, brake pad changes, etc.) by following this boards recommendations and learning about your car slowly. Before you know it you'll be a shade tree mechanic with ample ability to fix common problems you will encounter with this car!
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Old 03-30-2006, 01:51 PM   #8
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Thanks for the reply, and you are absoutly right. I have no intention of trying to fix this myslef. however, I would like to get a general idea of what the problem is so that i can an idea of what this is going to cost me. I dont want to tow the car in just to find out that i can't afford the work. I know that there is no sure way for anyone to know what the problem is without seeing it, but if it is going to be a huge issue i need to know it so that i know it is just going to have to wait until i have the money to fix it. If it is a small ticket problem then it would be somthing that i can do now because i so want this car to be drivable. by honestly, i really only have $900 top to throw at the Box right now (and that may be stretching it). does that sound like enough whther it be the starter, alternator, ect?
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Old 03-30-2006, 01:59 PM   #9
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hey velvetjones,

why so much if it was covered under warranty? stories like these make me glad I purchased an extended warranty..

2002,
25K miles.
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Old 03-30-2006, 02:00 PM   #10
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Folks on this board will scream at me for this but I have a '97 and found my local Firestone shop has a guy with Porsche experience. They did an oil change and tire swap (snows to summer) for a total of $101.00. I also bought a lifetime alignment from them for about $80 bucks and they use brnad new Hunter equipment. You might call a few local namebrand shops to see if they are willing to diagnose the problem for you. I am not an advocate for the "Big Guys" but if you find the right one they can save you a ton. Good Luck and let us know the outcome.
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Old 03-30-2006, 02:04 PM   #11
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Maybe if you throw a bit of a fuss with the last mechanic you can get some help. You went to him with a problem and the problem persists. Of course this could be one of many problems you may have...but the mechanic should have made sure all was well with the electrical system prior to handing the car back to you. It sounds as if they just replaced the battery without finding the root cause of the problem. The tow should be free, the diagnasosis should be at least discounted, and then...any parts/labor can/will vary tremendously. I think the rule of thumb around here is 1) Buy the most current Boxster you can afford and 2) when buying an older or first model year, such as yours, make sure you have the cash to back it up when problems do arrive. The Boxster will become VERY expensive to maintain if you have the dealership do all the work...but if you learn to do certain things the car can become quite reasonable. On the downside...your $900 is about to go away very quickly. Sorry and good luck!
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Old 03-30-2006, 02:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdancd816
Folks on this board will scream at me for this but I have a '97 and found my local Firestone shop has a guy with Porsche experience. They did an oil change and tire swap (snows to summer) for a total of $101.00. I also bought a lifetime alignment from them for about $80 bucks and they use brnad new Hunter equipment. You might call a few local namebrand shops to see if they are willing to diagnose the problem for you. I am not an advocate for the "Big Guys" but if you find the right one they can save you a ton. Good Luck and let us know the outcome.
Nobody should scream...An oil change is just that. The Box is nothing special. Same with tires. BUT...I probably wouldn't send my Box there to diagnose a problem. This is where I draw the line.
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Old 03-30-2006, 02:12 PM   #13
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I completly agree...just a little research can pay big dividends. But you're right on.
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Old 03-30-2006, 03:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docdyh
hey velvetjones,

why so much if it was covered under warranty? stories like these make me glad I purchased an extended warranty..

2002,
25K miles.

That's what the P.O. was for. I did not have to pay for it. Thank goodness.


Also, when I had the problem the first thing that happened was my check engine light came on. Thats when I called the dealer. They said "Check the gas cap" DUH! The next day I went out to drive it and it wouldn't start. Just a slugish er-er-er then click click click. I replaced the battery and everything was fine. That evening my wife and I decided to take it out. We drove about 30 miles, the check engine light came back on. We continued for another 10 mi. or so and the head lights shut off. Luckily the fog lights worked enough to get me into a parking lot. It barely had enough juice to get the top up.
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Old 03-31-2006, 08:47 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velvet_jones
That's what the P.O. was for. I did not have to pay for it. Thank goodness.


Also, when I had the problem the first thing that happened was my check engine light came on. Thats when I called the dealer. They said "Check the gas cap" DUH! The next day I went out to drive it and it wouldn't start. Just a slugish er-er-er then click click click. I replaced the battery and everything was fine. That evening my wife and I decided to take it out. We drove about 30 miles, the check engine light came back on. We continued for another 10 mi. or so and the head lights shut off. Luckily the fog lights worked enough to get me into a parking lot. It barely had enough juice to get the top up.
ugggg, that sounds like my baby. new battery, drove fine for one whole day. next morning engine light on and car won't start. I put a charger on the battery over night, but i don't want the Box dead in a parking lot, so I may call AAA again even if i can get her running.

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