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Old 05-05-2015, 05:18 PM   #1
stevendalia
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I just bought a 2003 base model Boxster with about 81k. I am brand new to Porsche, and have a lot of questions. I'm reading the owners manual, but what I need to ask you guys is not in there. Bought it from a used car dealer, so previous owner information is not easy to come by.
I noticed that the left headlamp (an HID unit) comes on but flickers. When I switch to hi beam, it also comes on and after a very short time goes out. The fog lamp appears to remain on, though. Can it be the bulb, or is it something else? Switch, bad ground, etc. The right side lamp works perfectly. Also, there is an electronic box mounted in the front trunk. What is that? The car had no reported accidents, and looked reasonably well cared for by the previous owner (I think he put about 60K on it).
BTW, how much is a new key? I have two originals, and they work the door and ignition, but the electronics don't work on one, and are missing on the other. Can a good locksmith program the key?
I would appreciate some good guidance.
Thanks,
Steve



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Old 05-05-2015, 05:22 PM   #2
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Box in frunk is the amp for stereo.

Before we get too far, check the rear fog lamps. One is often out. Easy fix.

Almost forgot...welcome! Nice ride. Blue with red calipers looks great.
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Old 05-05-2015, 05:41 PM   #3
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Greetings,

If I were faced with your problem, before I did anything else, I would check and make sure the headlight is properly seated in its connector. It can be a little tricky to slide the light assembly in properly. Also the Xenon bulb may not be seated in its individual connector properly.

If that doesn't fix it, the HID or litronic units have several components that could possibly cause the problem. If you know of a shop with a PIWIS or Durametric code reader, they can pull the codes from the headlights. Another option is to swap components between the headlights and see if you can isolate the problem that way. You might want to start with the bulb (don't touch it with bare fingers or the oil from your skin will damage it) and the ballast which is the large silver box on the back of the light assembly. Make sure the lights are off when you work on them. There are warning stickers all over them regarding the high voltage used to operate the HID bulb.

Outside of the headlight components, the headlight switch could also be causing the problem.

Here are a couple of threads that might help.

http://986forum.com/forums/performance-technical-chat/56847-drivers-side-headlights-went-out.html

http://986forum.com/forums/general-discussions/52374-litronic-problems.html

http://www.renntech.org/forums/topic/45448-headlight-goes-out-after-warming-up/?hl=litronic

Search on the term "litronic" and you will find others.

Spare keys are expensive. I think you can only buy them form a dealer and they are over $200.

Finally, don't worry about the single fog light in the back. Only one is supposed to work.
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Last edited by KevinH1990; 05-05-2015 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:04 PM   #4
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Thanks. I didn't even see a rear fog lamp. I know it must be on the left side, though. I check it tomorrow morning.
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:06 PM   #5
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Thank you, too, KevinH1990. I will check out the links, and play electrician this weekend.
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:07 PM   #6
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Nice looking car. I just went thru this with the key on a new car I bought that only came with one key. First, make sure the fob on the top of the key has a good battery. then, if the car is not started for 5 days it disables the remote control on the key fobs. To reactivate them you lock and then unlock the drivers door and then insert the key in the ignition and start the car within 10 seconds. If that does not work and you are sure that the immobilizer module is ok, (it is located under the drivers seat and sitting on the floor pan and is very susceptible to getting wet), Then you will need new fobs. Normal locksmiths cannot program the fobs. The dealer cannot do it either unless you have the series of numbers off the paper tags that come with the new fobs. If you end up ordering new fobs make sure that you keep those tags in case the key fob ever loses the programming. BTW, those key fobs are not cheap and neither is having them programmed. These are great cars, keep up on your maintenance and enjoy.
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:38 PM   #7
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Congratulations on the new Porsche! It looks blue, is it?

Ignition switch problems can manifest many ways. I'm told its an easy fix.

The box in the "frunk" is the amplifier. Keys are pricy, I need to get another one too.

Passenger side rear fog light often fails when being looked at, other times its fine. It could be the Schrödinger circuit is acting up. I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:50 PM   #8
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Thanks. Yes, it's blue. I hope I got a good one. We'll see.
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:52 PM   #9
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The dealer was driving it himself since last December. He put about 2000 miles on it. It is possible that in the time he had it, that it sat idle for 5 or more days. I'll try that trick too.
Thanks.
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Old 05-05-2015, 08:22 PM   #10
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Best way to find service records is get a car fax see where its been registered and call Indy and Dealers in the area and ask for service history. That will tell you exactly what you might want to get to first. My first 4 years of ownership on my 03 was tires and oil changes. My last 8 months $ 8000.00 in service and up keep plus a few extras added in. Welcome and enjoy the car you will find reasons to drive it never really matters where.
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Old 05-06-2015, 04:56 AM   #11
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When I upgraded from halogens to litronincs I had a little trouble with the litronics at first, not coming on every time and so forth. A new headlight switch fixed it. I also got a new set of bulbs for the lights which helped out with the brightness - when I first got the litronics I was very underwhelmed. Once I got them sorted they were great.

Here is my thread:

http://986forum.com/forums/general-discussions/48494-got-some-used-litronics-having-problems-output-dim-they-dont-always-come.html

I got the Philips bulbs linked in the thread and they have been great and the new headlight switch fixed the flickering and other problems.

Steve
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Old 05-06-2015, 05:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timco View Post
Before we get too far, check the rear fog lamps. One is often out. Easy fix
Beautiful car! Come here any time for help. Sometimes a search helps too, but not always. As you already know, there is only one rear fog lamp. Tim thinks he's real funny trying to confuse new members of the forum with the 2 fog light BS.
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Old 05-06-2015, 05:27 AM   #13
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Beautiful car! Come here any time for help. Sometimes a search helps too, but not always. As you already know, there is only one rear fog lamp. Tim thinks he's real funny trying to confuse new members of the forum with the 2 fog light BS.
I've never meant to confuse anybody. It's a harmless joke. The shame on me.

All you had to say is your feelings were being hurt. I'll let that go from here on out so you won't have to suffer with all the BS. It makes it exactly 1-2 posts anyway.
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Old 05-06-2015, 05:38 AM   #14
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It's all in good fun, similar to "The secret of the pros":



Besides which somebody always tells anyway...
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Old 05-06-2015, 07:05 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by randy7601 View Post
Congratulations on the new Porsche! It looks blue, is it?

Ignition switch problems can manifest many ways. I'm told its an easy fix.

The box in the "frunk" is the amplifier. Keys are pricy, I need to get another one too.

Passenger side rear fog light often fails when being looked at, other times its fine. It could be the Schrödinger circuit is acting up. I wouldn't worry about it.
And if it isn't the Schrödinger circuit it could be the Heisenberg capacitor, but I'm not certain.
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Old 05-06-2015, 07:44 AM   #16
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Did you get a PPI done? If not, that's always a good place to start, even after purchase. A good PPI through a reputable/trusted Porsche mechanic will give you a good list of projects to start tackling.
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Old 05-07-2015, 09:47 AM   #17
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To everyone who replied - Thank you - even for the 2nd fog light! The real joke is that there is no fog light on the back whatsoever.
As I said before, I am very new to this. The acronyms (PPI, etc) are totally new to me, and I don't know what it means. This is going to be a learning curve. Hopefully not steep.
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Old 05-07-2015, 10:35 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by stevendalia View Post
To everyone who replied - Thank you - even for the 2nd fog light! The real joke is that there is no fog light on the back whatsoever.
As I said before, I am very new to this. The acronyms (PPI, etc) are totally new to me, and I don't know what it means. This is going to be a learning curve. Hopefully not steep.
PPI = pre-purchase inspection. It is always a good idea to have a good and trusted Porsche mechanic look the car over. These cars can be very expensive to maintain, so unless you have oodles of cash laying around, this can save you a lot of money.
If you didn't get the PPI before buying, get one now. A good PPI by a qualified and trusted mechanic will give you a good list of projects to work on.

As to the fog light - I'm pretty sure every Boxster has a rear 'fog light'. Google it up - but it only has the one I believe.
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Old 05-07-2015, 10:40 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by stevendalia View Post
To everyone who replied - Thank you - even for the 2nd fog light! The real joke is that there is no fog light on the back whatsoever.
As I said before, I am very new to this. The acronyms (PPI, etc) are totally new to me, and I don't know what it means. This is going to be a learning curve. Hopefully not steep.
Yes, it was a joke. Only the drivers side fog light works after pulling the knob out two clicks.
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:17 AM   #20
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I'm reading the owners manual
Wow, I think this may very well be a first, a new guy actually reading the manual before coming on and asking questions!

Welcome aboard!

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