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Strange (non)starting behaviour, 996 GT3 mk1


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I have noticed a strange behaviour of my car lately :( Occationally the car starts on the first attempt, but usually not. It does not seem to be low battery state of charge as all the control lamps in the instrument cluster is lit up and the compartment fan is blowing. When the engine has started the voltage level seems to be normal. It does not matter if I have been driving for 300 km or more or just a short run. The car has covered some 40000 km and is of model year 2000, Club Sport package.

When I turn the ignition key all the lamps in the cluster is lit up and I switch to the “start” position. Then I hear a noise from the engine as if it would start but without turning the engine the “start” procedure is interrupted. No cranking of the engine or anything, so it does not seem to be the fuel system. Then I wait a few seconds and turn the ignition key to “start” again and sometimes the engine starts at the second attempt and sometimes at the third/fourth/... attempt. So far the engine has always started, but I’m fearing the day when it will not and I am far away from home.

Could it be the starter(motor), the cog-wheel(?) that is supposed to turn the fly wheel to start the engine?

I have never replaced the battery of the key, could it be low state of charge of the battery in the key (immobiliser does not get the code to “release” the start procedure)? But that does not explain the random start behaviour?

Is it the nearest Porsche Center next?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Anders Johansson


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  • 2 months later...

It is your starter motor. I had thios at about 35k miles. There is some sort of centrifgal clutch element in the starter motor, which is supposed to disengage drive when the engine starts. The clutch pack is worn, so it disengages at a much lower torque than is needed to crank over the engine.

Option 1: go to Porsche and get starter motor replaced.

Cheaper (DIY) option - remove starter motor yourself (it is a bit tricky, will take about 1 hr) and send to any competent auto electrician for repair. It cost me £50 to get mine reconditioned. You don't need to lower engine or gearbox to remove the starter - it can be done in situ - its just a bit tricky.

The replacement is quite tricky, as getting the bolts in is a PITA - but it can be done.

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John is probably right. Although a mate had similar problems and it was just the relay - worth a try, but I was not so lucky.

You need a range of socket set extensions and a knuckle joint to access the bolts - pita to torque up.

Cheapest I could find was a recon unit from ALTERNATOR MART.CO.UK 994 Astley Street Dukinfield Cheshire

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