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Service Now Light question for new owner


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Hi, all.

This is my first post and my third day of ownership of a beautiful blue 05 Boxster. I bought it at a local Carmax and was surprised to see they had my color, fairly low miles (23,000ish), and tiptronic. Numerous things happened to try to sway me from the purchase (upside down on trade-in by $2500, but this is my dream car!) including that when I went to test drive it, they had let the battery run down and had to jump it (yuk). So, they replaced the battery with a NAPA battery (not a Porsche battery, so not really happy with that). Anyway, bottom line: I went to drive it off the lot to find the radio blaring rap and not otherwise allowing channel changes, volume changes etc. So they disconnected the battery and re-connected and voila - radio worked. BUT - I am about a mile away when I notice "SERVICE NOW" light on near the mph display. I do not want to go back to store, so call from home to explain. I do not recall seeing it during my test drive, but during my test drive I was only aware of the analog MPH and don't remember seeing the digital that is far easier to use in judging speed. I don't think it was working, maybe that was due to them having just quickly jumped it with something that looked like a battery charger. Anyway, now, they want to have the car back and fix it saying it is just on because the battery was disconnected. My question to all of you: Do you think they are right and it is only because of the battery disconnect? Or, does it really need service? I am hesitant to have Carmax employees work on a Porsche any more than they already have. I read the entire manual yesterday and noticed they violated all kinds of things like leaving it on and idling for long periods of time. I really want to take care of this car and enjoy it forever and on a school teacher's salary, I can't afford big fixes. Please advise as to what I should do here. I evidently should have until May of 09 on the Porsche warranty, but don't have the specifics about how to register with them. I wish they'd let me take it to a local Porsche place, but they just disregarded me when I mentioned I'd rather have a Porche place look at it. If this is really just a light thing in relation to the new battery, that would reduce my worries. I drove it for a couple of hours yesterday and it ran wonderfully and no other lights are coming on. I also tried to get the light to go off by using someone's suggestion I found online whereby you turn the key, depress the gas pedal fully for 11 seconds, then release, but this didn't take the light off for me. Tried it 3 times so far at different times throughout the day yesterday. Anyway, that is my main concern, though I would also love to know anything about the radio (mine is the CDR24) if anyone has an idea where a manual can be found. Thanks in advance for trying to help if you can! I am so excited to finally own a wonderful boxster and drive a true sports car!!

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There is nothing special about a Porsche battery. Apparently the ink they use to print their name costs $200. Like every other car manufacturer in the world, Porsche OEMs their batteries. It is doubtful the battery itself is the cause a problem.

The Carmax service bay probably does not have the latest Porsche diagnostic tools. So, you can do the same thing Carmax can do, plug a OBD reader into the car and see what error codes it reports (and delete them). If you don't have one, go to AutoZone and borrow theirs.

I'm puzzled why Carmax won't "let you" take the car to a Porsche dealership. Last I checked, you were the driver/owner, not them.

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Hi. No - I didn't mean they are physically preventing me from going to a Porsche dealership for service, but that they won't pay for that. I'm very very cash poor having just purchased the vehicle Friday and didn't plan to suck up any repair costs in the first week of ownership. Also, I didn't mean to imply that the new battery is the cause of the problem, just that the installation of it and subsequent unhooking of it to fix the radio problem may play into this somehow. Bottom line, I believe, is I am trying to figure out if simply disconnecting and connecting a battery is cause for the "Service Now" light coming on as Carmax people are saying. If it is in need of service, then I believe their 30 day warranty should cover it since they are selling the car with not only the remaining factory warranty, but their 30 day warranty. Then the issue becomes, how do they service a vehicle as specialized as a Porsche and shouldn't they just "hire out" for that. They had a hard enough time trying to show me features of the car, so I'm just not overly eager for them to either 1. perform a service they aren't quite capable of doing properly or 2. perform a simple "clearing" of the message if it is indeed in need of service. I hope this is more explanatory than my last post. Thanks for taking time to respond.

There is nothing special about a Porsche battery. Apparently the ink they use to print their name costs $200. Like every other car manufacturer in the world, Porsche OEMs their batteries. It is doubtful the battery itself is the cause a problem.

The Carmax service bay probably does not have the latest Porsche diagnostic tools. So, you can do the same thing Carmax can do, plug a OBD reader into the car and see what error codes it reports (and delete them). If you don't have one, go to AutoZone and borrow theirs.

I'm puzzled why Carmax won't "let you" take the car to a Porsche dealership. Last I checked, you were the driver/owner, not them.

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That is a good idea. I don't know what the PIWIS tester is, but assume it checks things out. I'll email the local dealer and explain and see if they'll do this for me. Do you happen to know if there is anything I need to do to register as the owner to whom the warranty has transferred? All I have is a bit of carmax vehicle history showing it showed up on dmv information in May of 05. Thanks for the continued processing of this!

Laura (quadgirl)

Since you still have warranty why not take it to the dealer and ask them to check the car over and put the PIWIS tester on it to check for faults.
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Thanks to everyone. My 2005 Boxster checked out fine and I really liked the people at McDaniel's Porsche in Columbia. I found out there are 5 things Porsche has sent out info. on (can't remember what the guy called them) like a hood latch thing that need to be fixed and I am having that done this Monday. I am so glad you advised me to get this peace of mind. Also, the people at Carmax had not attached my hard top properly so now the clanking sound is gone. I love this car. Next up, I need to solicit information about warranties. I did search and read much on this site, but am wading through it and trying to make a good decision. My warranty is good until April '09, so I think I have time to research. I am really not wanting one like Carmax where their people would try to work on a Porsche. I'd really prefer the proper tools and service professionals, yet the local dealer didn't try to sell me a warranty, so maybe they don't even sell them? Anyway, step one has been accomplished! Thank you all. I tried to pay to become a contributing member, but I'm at work and it wouldn't let me get to paypal. Will rectify as soon as I get to my computer at home! I look forward to the dialogue and learning so much more so I can enjoy the Boxster while making sure it lasts a long, long time!

Laura (quadgirl)

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Thanks to everyone. My 2005 Boxster checked out fine and I really liked the people at McDaniel's Porsche in Columbia. I found out there are 5 things Porsche has sent out info. on (can't remember what the guy called them) like a hood latch thing that need to be fixed and I am having that done this Monday. I am so glad you advised me to get this peace of mind. Also, the people at Carmax had not attached my hard top properly so now the clanking sound is gone. I love this car. Next up, I need to solicit information about warranties. I did search and read much on this site, but am wading through it and trying to make a good decision. My warranty is good until April '09, so I think I have time to research. I am really not wanting one like Carmax where their people would try to work on a Porsche. I'd really prefer the proper tools and service professionals, yet the local dealer didn't try to sell me a warranty, so maybe they don't even sell them? Anyway, step one has been accomplished! Thank you all. I tried to pay to become a contributing member, but I'm at work and it wouldn't let me get to paypal. Will rectify as soon as I get to my computer at home! I look forward to the dialogue and learning so much more so I can enjoy the Boxster while making sure it lasts a long, long time!

Laura (quadgirl)

Laura:

Be careful when selecting an aftermarket warranty company and do your homework.

It's best to select a company that has been around for more than a few months or years, and one whose contracts are guaranteed by an independent insurance company with a good rating from A.M. Best.

Also, don't select a policy that allows the warranty company the option of removing your car to a facility of their choice or one that requires YOU to pay for diagnostic services when the company questions a claim.

Stay away from warranties that require you to agree to participate in dispute resolution through the Better Business Bureau. The BBB tends to favor the businesses that sponsor them. A more neutral agency, such as the American Arbitration Association gives you a better shot and tends to keep the warranty company a little more honest.

If you buy an aftermarket warranty at the same time that you purchase the product (in this instance a car), then the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act allows you to recover attorneys' fees in the event of a dispute. That can make a major difference when you find yourself at war with the warranty company at a time when you can least afford it.

Regards, Maurice.

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Thanks to everyone. My 2005 Boxster checked out fine and I really liked the people at McDaniel's Porsche in Columbia. I found out there are 5 things Porsche has sent out info. on (can't remember what the guy called them) like a hood latch thing that need to be fixed and I am having that done this Monday. I am so glad you advised me to get this peace of mind. Also, the people at Carmax had not attached my hard top properly so now the clanking sound is gone. I love this car. Next up, I need to solicit information about warranties. I did search and read much on this site, but am wading through it and trying to make a good decision. My warranty is good until April '09, so I think I have time to research. I am really not wanting one like Carmax where their people would try to work on a Porsche. I'd really prefer the proper tools and service professionals, yet the local dealer didn't try to sell me a warranty, so maybe they don't even sell them? Anyway, step one has been accomplished! Thank you all. I tried to pay to become a contributing member, but I'm at work and it wouldn't let me get to paypal. Will rectify as soon as I get to my computer at home! I look forward to the dialogue and learning so much more so I can enjoy the Boxster while making sure it lasts a long, long time!

Laura (quadgirl)

Laura:

Be careful when selecting an aftermarket warranty company and do your homework.

It's best to select a company that has been around for more than a few months or years, and one whose contracts are guaranteed by an independent insurance company with a good rating from A.M. Best.

Also, don't select a policy that allows the warranty company the option of removing your car to a facility of their choice or one that requires YOU to pay for diagnostic services when the company questions a claim.

Stay away from warranties that require you to agree to participate in dispute resolution through the Better Business Bureau. The BBB tends to favor the businesses that sponsor them. A more neutral agency, such as the American Arbitration Association gives you a better shot and tends to keep the warranty company a little more honest.

If you buy an aftermarket warranty at the same time that you purchase the product (in this instance a car), then the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act allows you to recover attorneys' fees in the event of a dispute. That can make a major difference when you find yourself at war with the warranty company at a time when you can least afford it.

Regards, Maurice.

Thanks, Maurice - great sound advice! I will do my research, for sure. I appreciate the specifics you gave.

Laura

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