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Old 05-27-2015, 07:10 AM   #1
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New to the 986, and I've got a couple Q's!

Hey guys! Just picked up a new to us 986 yesterday. For a 1998, it's very clean, and has obviously been looked after. But of course there are some nagging little items, and having plenty of experience with older cars (though not Porsche) I thought "you know, someone else has probably been down this road before."

Therefore, a couple questions maybe someone can help with?

#1: Keyless entry doesn't work. The buttons fell off the PCB on one of them and I soldered back on, but the LED is very weak. The other is just non-functional. So I'd like to consider just replacing the entire assembly, electronics and all. Is there a good source for these, and is there a procedure to program to the car, or is this (ugh) a dealer item?

#2: Sometimes when I start the car, the spoiler light in the dash comes on. It always goes off after reversing a couple feet. I think the spoiler may not be sitting 100% flush. There is not a switch on the dash like I have seen in some pictures. Any suggestions?

Thanks! I'm certain that I'll have more questions as I come across things. I'm excited about my first mid-engine car!

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Old 05-27-2015, 08:45 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by gtoger View Post
Hey guys! Just picked up a new to us 986 yesterday. For a 1998, it's very clean, and has obviously been looked after. But of course there are some nagging little items, and having plenty of experience with older cars (though not Porsche) I thought "you know, someone else has probably been down this road before."

Therefore, a couple questions maybe someone can help with?

#1: Keyless entry doesn't work. The buttons fell off the PCB on one of them and I soldered back on, but the LED is very weak. The other is just non-functional. So I'd like to consider just replacing the entire assembly, electronics and all. Is there a good source for these, and is there a procedure to program to the car, or is this (ugh) a dealer item?

#2: Sometimes when I start the car, the spoiler light in the dash comes on. It always goes off after reversing a couple feet. I think the spoiler may not be sitting 100% flush. There is not a switch on the dash like I have seen in some pictures. Any suggestions?

Thanks! I'm certain that I'll have more questions as I come across things. I'm excited about my first mid-engine car!
Welcome! Spoiler light is normal and switch is in the driver's footwell where the fuse panel lives. Keys can be purchased from third parties but, to my knowledge, have to be programmed by the dealer and you will have to call them to find out what they require. That is for your protection so someone can't jot down your VIN buy a key and walk into a dealer and have it programmed to steal your car.
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Old 05-27-2015, 09:31 AM   #3
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I would suggest not to replace the little "pill" looking thing inside the key. That is the transponder and that is what needs to be reprogrammed by the dealer.

Instead, I would buy a new key fob with all of the electronics (no key shank). Then swap over your key shank and the transponder pill from the old key into the new key fob and it should work without dealer reprogramming.

I have two sets of ECU/Immobilizer/transponder for my race car and I swap them around this way all of the time without dealer re-programming. I hope that this will work for you.

The remaining question is whether the reason that the remote locking doesn't work is due to the key fob buttons/electronics or some other problem that has nothing to do with the key...
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Last edited by thstone; 05-27-2015 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:05 AM   #4
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Thanks! This is putting me on the right track.

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Originally Posted by thstone View Post
I would suggest not to replace the little "pill" looking thing inside the key. That is the transponder and that is what needs to be reprogrammed by the dealer.

Instead, I would buy a new key fob with all of the electronics (no key shank). Then swap over your key shank and the transponder pill from the old key into the new key fob and it should work without dealer reprogramming.
OK, I think I understand what you're saying is that I can replace the electronics (ie: the green circuit board with the watch battery on it) and the fob (the black rubber/plastic piece), but just take the pill (which lives in the black rubber/plastic piece) and the shank (uh.. the metal) and swap those to the pretty new fob.

Did I get that right? Like in my pic below?

I've found the fobs all over ebay for cheap. I'm having a more difficult time with the electronics. Any recommendations?

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Old 05-27-2015, 03:42 PM   #5
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The spoiler light is supposed to come on when you start the car and go off as you pull away as far as I know. Both my 99s do it.
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thstone View Post
I would suggest not to replace the little "pill" looking thing inside the key. That is the transponder and that is what needs to be reprogrammed by the dealer.

Instead, I would buy a new key fob with all of the electronics (no key shank). Then swap over your key shank and the transponder pill from the old key into the new key fob and it should work without dealer reprogramming.

I have two sets of ECU/Immobilizer/transponder for my race car and I swap them around this way all of the time without dealer re-programming. I hope that this will work for you.

The remaining question is whether the reason that the remote locking doesn't work is due to the key fob buttons/electronics or some other problem that has nothing to do with the key...
Actually...

The transponder pill is matched to the immobilizer and is not replaceable. No code or programming is needed because it's a passive device. It's the electronic circuit board in the key head that needs to be programmed to the car.

If it weren't, then there would be no need for codes with new transmitters. The transponder pill does not come with the new key head and code, but must stay with the car or immobilizer that it is matched to.
Also, if the transmitters were interchangeable without a code, then anyone with a 986 key head could unlock your car.

In other words, if the code were for the transponder and not needed for the transmitter circuit board, then why would the transmitter circuit board come with the code and not the transponder?

Last edited by particlewave; 05-27-2015 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 05-27-2015, 06:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by particlewave View Post
The transponder pill is matched to the immobilizer and is not replaceable. No code or programming is needed because it's a passive device. It's the electronic circuit board in the key head that needs to be programmed to the car.
OK, that makes some sense. So...

#1: Order new fob. Easy.
#2: Order new electronics. I have no idea where to get that.
#3: Put old pill and old key shank in new fob with new electronics. Easy.
#4: Program electronics to the car. Where? Locksmith? Dealer-only?

Thanks for being patient with me. I've worked a lot with the GM fobs in the past and there's a way to program them to the car using a sequence of on/off with the ignition switch and possibly some other voodoo. I wasn't sure if the same thing exists in the Porsche world, or if the dealers (pardon the pun) have a lock on that.
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Old 05-27-2015, 06:51 PM   #8
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If you order a new key head, it will come with he electronics and code. You then need to transfer the pill to the new head.

Unfortunately, only a dealer with PST or PIWIS can program it to the car. Some independent mechanics have the tool, but rarely. Most must go to the dealer.

eBay, $150
http://www.ebay.com/itm/221502901084?

Last edited by particlewave; 05-27-2015 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by particlewave View Post
If you order a new key head, it will come with he electronics and code. You then need to transfer the pill to the new head.

Unfortunately, only a dealer with PST or PIWIS can program it to the car. Some independent mechanics have the tool, but rarely. Most must go to the dealer.

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Porsche Boxster 1998 2000 Key Remote | eBay
What is this pill? I washed my keys by accident and it would no longer unlock the doors or open either trunk. I opened up the plastic and took the electronics out of it and just have the key in the plastic shell. I can start my car fine like this. I bought a new fob with the electronics in it and with the needed codes. So do I need something off my old electronics for the new fob to work?

EDIT: Maybe the 3 button fobs don't have a "pill"?


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Old 05-27-2015, 07:22 PM   #10
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They all have a transponder pill

Hold on...
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:30 PM   #11
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It's the cylinder at the top of the picture.

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Old 05-27-2015, 07:33 PM   #12
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That's why my car still starts then lol. Thanks Charles.

The new fob came with one too. So the pill can not be coded to the car by the dealer, what good is the new one to me?
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:38 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by particlewave View Post
Actually...

The transponder pill is matched to the immobilizer and is not replaceable. No code or programming is needed because it's a passive device. It's the electronic circuit board in the key head that needs to be programmed to the car.

If it weren't, then there would be no need for codes with new transmitters. The transponder pill does not come with the new key head and code, but must stay with the car or immobilizer that it is matched to.
Also, if the transmitters were interchangeable without a code, then anyone with a 986 key head could unlock your car.

In other words, if the code were for the transponder and not needed for the transmitter circuit board, then why would the transmitter circuit board come with the code and not the transponder?
PW, thanks for the correction! Apologies to the OP.
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:50 PM   #14
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OK, I get it. So it's $150 for each fob, then $XXX.XX for the dealership to program. Awesome. Thanks for the input, everyone.

And now I understand the spoiler light behavior is normal as well. So nothing more to freak out about!
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:50 PM   #15
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That's why my car still starts then lol. Thanks Charles.

The new fob came with one too. So the pill can not be coded to the car by the dealer, what good is the new one to me?
Hmmmm...puzzling
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:53 PM   #16
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Hmmmm...puzzling
Guess I'll find out when I take it to the dealer.
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Old 05-27-2015, 08:09 PM   #17
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PW, thanks for the correction! Apologies to the OP.
Apologies to you and the OP becsuse I think I may not know what I think I know. I've been through the Bentley (96-6) and can't find definitive information. I'm just relaying what I thought to be true based on years of reading the forums.

The Bentley states this:

"The electronic immobilizer codes and serial numbers are written to the engine control module (ECM) and immobilizer (alarm) module at the factory. The information is recorded in the vehicle master file. It is available to the legitimate vehicle owner or agent using the integrated Porsche trader processing system (IPAS).
If the control modules are changed, reenter the necessary code data using the PST2. Note that:
-The immobilizer (alarm) module can only be programmed once.
-The ECM can be reprogrammed repeatedly."

I take this to mean that the pill must stay with the immobilizer, but the transmitter can be changed as many times as needed.

Either way, if the OP orders a new key head and takes it to a dealer with a PST2, they can fix him up.
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Old 05-28-2015, 02:20 AM   #18
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I take this to mean that the pill must stay with the immobilizer, but the transmitter can be changed as many times as needed.

Either way, if the OP orders a new key head and takes it to a dealer with a PST2, they can fix him up.
I read this the same way you do. Guess I'll be speaking to the local dealer.

Thanks for following up on this. I'm quickly learning that a car that says "Porsche" on it should be regarded as special. As in, "Chevy prices do not apply." LOL. It's all good!
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Old 05-28-2015, 06:36 AM   #19
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I read this the same way you do. Guess I'll be speaking to the local dealer.

Thanks for following up on this. I'm quickly learning that a car that says "Porsche" on it should be regarded as special. As in, "Chevy prices do not apply." LOL. It's all good!
Yes, the "Porsche Tax". This car is actually not that difficult to work on and there are very good independent mechanics in the DFW area. This forum is also the best source, IMO, for excellent information. Pelican, the sponsor of this forum has excellent DIY's on line or you can buy their book. Welcome to the forum
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Old 05-28-2015, 07:02 AM   #20
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Actually, reprogramming the key requires 2 codes. One comes with the new key head; the other is car (immobilizer) specific and you can get that from the dealer. through the VIN number.

Non-dealers can program the new key if the have a PST or a PIWIS. You can also use and Autologic. My INDIE reprogrammed my keys with his Autologic.

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