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brent95m3

Odd electrical problem...ignition switch? I dunno

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I just my 2002 Boxster S last week.

So last night while driving the battery warning/generator light comes on. It was late so I didn't do anything about it. This morning I go to start the car and its dead as a doornail, so I figure bad battery. I jump start it, and then go to buy a new battery. On the way there, the ABS failure light and the Brake Distribution warning light both come on. I clicked through them but they came back on and kept beeping upon accelerating (really annoying). The radio as well would restart itself. After a couple miles I guess the warning lights gave up and it just went to a check engine/service engine soon light.

So my theory/guess is this is the ignition switch/cylinder problem (hence the reason the radio would turn off/back on while driving and the warning lights would reset themselves).

Has anyone had anything like this and if so, was this the problem? What parts do I need to fix it assuming this is the issue?

Thanks in advance.

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Alternator failure i guess, check the voltage on the battery while the engine is idling, between 13.80 V and 14.50 V is acceptable.

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I second the bad alternator. I've not yet had issues with my Boxster (only had it a few weeks) but your symptoms point squarely at an alternator failure, with everything running off the battery. As the battery voltage drops, components start to drop offline. In my old car, the ABS was always the first to go (and it went very early), followed by the power steering. Eventually, the plugs will lose spark and you'll stop.

You can put a charger on the battery to bring it back up to full charge, and it should let you drive to a mechanic. Might even be able to drive it for normal short trips if you charge it up when you get back, but I wouldn't press your luck driving it much more than that, though. Though, I *might* risk it if there was a fresh battery in the passenger seat to jump-start the trunk and drive me home if it failed completely. (Have you reviewed the procedure for opening the trunk with a battery failure?)

I believe there's a thread in here about changing your alternator if you're planning to DIY it; looked to be a royal PITA, but for what a dealer will charge you...

Edit: http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=18847

Edited by grover

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Same thing happened on my 98 this week, Done a lot of research and a lot of help from Mike Focke (Thanks Mike), once I had managed to open the front hood (Screwdriver Method) I re charged the battery, Replaced and the battery warning light, ABS and Traction Control lights were all showing, The car started but died and the battery had nothing left so I replaced it with a new battery, All warning lights still on and the Idle was erratic which tells me there is no power coming from the alternator. Never done anything like this myself but on Mike Fockes site it tells you how to get the alternator out, Took me about 2 Hours but it's well worth it because you actually get to see what your engine looks like :D . I have sent the alternator off today because the wiring iside looks good and the bearings on the shaft turn good and smooth, My geuss is that the voltage reg has fried which will save me $$$$'s, I am also going to take the opportunity to replace the serpentine belt at the same time as it has some cracks in it. Hopefully I'll be back on the road, The actron tester I don't think will be able to clear the warning lights on the dash so Porsche will get me for that at the dealership with the P II tester to clear the codes, well you can't have everything. Mike Focke told me if this doesn't fix the issue to go to the ignition switch next.

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