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Help! car won't start


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2000 boxster has a dead battery, this is the order of what I did and happened. I opend door but window did not go down like normal, got in car would not start, I pulled the outside emergency hood release opened hood hooked up external jump battery to start car, alarm went off I turned off with key fob, I tried to start the car all the lights in the car started flashing windows starting going up and down like when you open the door, heard a clunk clunk clunk from the starter. I thought the jump battery was not strong enough. I then tried to jump off my truck but lights, windows, and clunking noise again still won't start. I then disconected battery to reset computer for 3-4 min. tried to jump off truck again but still all lights inside flashing and windows moving and still will not start. please help me if you can!

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how did the battery die? did you not start it for a while (how long)? cold weather? old battery? leave internal light/radio on?

is the gas tank full (or at least not empty)?

- when you open the car door, do any lights go on (door courtesy lights/cabin light)?

- when you put the key in the ignition with the door open, do you hear the door chime?

- when you turn the key to the first position, do any dash lights come on?

- when you turn on the headlights with the key in the ON position, do they work? are they dim?

- will the radio turn on?

- when you turn the key to start the car, what happens? does something different happen when you apply the jumper cables to the battery?

- if you keep the key turned like you are trying to start the car, will the clunking eventually stop?

my first suggestion would be to replace the battery. here is a list of batteries that will work/fit.

http://mike.focke.googlepages.com/batteries

when you say you're hearing a 'clunk clunk clunk' from the starter, do you mean that the starter is turning the engine very slowly and the engine is not catching? or do you mean that there is an actual (metal sound) clunk from the starter itself? is it a clunk or a 'click'? is the clunk/click fast or slow? does it become slower (and/or stop) as you keep the key turned?

it sounds like you're not waiting long enough to try starting the car after you hook up the jumper cables. do the lights flash in sync with the starter turning the engine? if the battery is stone cold dead, you won't be able to jump it, anyway. is the weather cold where you are? that's when old batteries usually give up the ghost. i would attach the jumper cables and go gently rev the truck for 5-10 minutes. THEN, go try to start the Boxster. make sure all electronics (radio, lights, etc.) in the Boxster are OFF. or charge your jumper battery up real good and then go give it a try.

if you can describe the clunking noise a bit better, maybe that will help.

it could also be a problem with the alternator, but if you haven't been having problems before, it would seem odd for that to occur while the car was not running.

it could also be a fried alarm/locking computer/immobilizer unit. feel under and behind the driver's seat to see if there is water there. has it been raining heavily lately where you are?

but if that battery is 8 years old, i'd say it's probably just time for a new one.

a failing/failed ignition switch can also cause wacky problems. have you noticed any extra resistance when inserting/turning/removing the key? a new ignition switch runs about $20 and can be replaced rather easily. you will need to be flexible and have a very very very short flat-head screwdriver.

Edited by Chris_in_NH
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battery is about 5-6years old it had been sitting almost all winter long only started once and it was a weak start at the time.

car is garaged so should not be wet I will by a new battery this weekend but was wondering why all the lights interior and exterior like the hazard lights door lights and windows go up and down in sync with the starter trying to turn the engine.

the noise of the starter is hard to describe not a clicking but a little deeper sounding like I think it probably should sound

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battery is about 5-6years old it had been sitting almost all winter long only started once and it was a weak start at the time.

car is garaged so should not be wet I will by a new battery this weekend but was wondering why all the lights interior and exterior like the hazard lights door lights and windows go up and down in sync with the starter trying to turn the engine.

the noise of the starter is hard to describe not a clicking but a little deeper sounding like I think it probably should sound

well, i don't know why the hazard lights would be flashing/windows going up and down, but since you say that the car has been sitting, the battery is old, it previously had a weak start, it's winter (cold, i'm guessing), and the interior lights pulse in sync with the starter, i feel confident in saying that it's the battery.

when replacing the battery, just remember Negative comes off first and goes on last. ;)

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so even jump starting would not be able to start it? I was wondering if the flashing lights and windows moving had any thing to do with the alarm being activated before the battery died even though I could use all the power accesories when trying to jump it, and to answer one of your first questions I live in Arkansas and is cold and did get below freezing a week or so last month. thanks for your advice.

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yes, the alarm scenario is a possibility. you can *try* to jump it, but if the battery is fully discharged it probably won't hold a charge at all. best bet is the new battery. if you check that link i posted above, you can find a good (or better than OEM) replacement battery for much less than the dealer charges.

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I found out what the problem was if it helps anybody else in the future. When I unlocked my door with the key the battery was dead and when the car had power I forgot to go and unlock the door with the key again so when I tried to start it the alarm was still armed. Well you live and learn and maybe somebody else won't have to worry like me after a dead battery.

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I found out what the problem was if it helps anybody else in the future. When I unlocked my door with the key the battery was dead and when the car had power I forgot to go and unlock the door with the key again so when I tried to start it the alarm was still armed. Well you live and learn and maybe somebody else won't have to worry like me after a dead battery.

so did you get a new battery or charge the old one?

everything works now? car starts?

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