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I have owned my "02 boxster S for about 6 months. I replaced the ignition switch (just the vw plastic part) about 4 months ago as the dealer told me it was getting loose. I replaced it myself before I started seeing any electrical problems.

I don't drive the car too much. I would gather that I have less than 1000 miles on it over the last 4 months. Yesterday, I went to start it and when I turned the key, everything went out except for the air bag light. I had to remove the key and try it about 5 times and then it started fine. Today, it did the same thing 3 times so far. I noticed that the top won't go up now, I also noticed that the rear spoiler was in the up position when I turned off the car.

Is this an ignition problem again in less than 1000 miles or does this sound like a battery problem?

When the car does turn over, it starts fine.

I appreciate anyone's help. Not fun being stranded today.

Thanks,

Ryan

'02 Boxster S 6 speed, southern CA

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I tested the battery or actually had it tested at Napa. They said it's in great shape. Shows 650 cca and the battery tested at 700cca. He said whatever your problem, it's not the battery. The battery is about 2.5 years old.

SO, I have checked the post and cables, everything is spotless. The ONLY thing that I have done recently (3 weeks ago) was to install a sirius radio docking kit in the car. The power is connected to a red cable that comes on with the ignition power and the ground is grounded to the chasis. I used a power plug to connect to those points and then I plugged in the power adapter from the sirius in to the power plug. I have removed the sirius radio from the docking station so it's not pulling any power now. I don't think this is the problem but I am not certain. It has worked flawlessly until yesterday.

Any other thoughts?

Thanks,

Ryan

Edited by rsligar
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Top is not an issue. I just realized in all my panic of getting stranded, I forgot I had my red clip on so the top would not go up.

I have tried another key to make sure it wasn't a problem with the key loosing the programming or something of that nature. Still no change. Sometimes it will work fine, sometimes not.

Any thoughts? I really don't want to take it to the dealer but am not sure what else to check. I don't want to get stranded again.

Thanks Ryan

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Top is not an issue. I just realized in all my panic of getting stranded, I forgot I had my red clip on so the top would not go up.

I have tried another key to make sure it wasn't a problem with the key loosing the programming or something of that nature. Still no change. Sometimes it will work fine, sometimes not.

Any thoughts? I really don't want to take it to the dealer but am not sure what else to check. I don't want to get stranded again.

Thanks Ryan

I'm not sure the 02 has the same set up under the dash as my 04 986S - but I had a wierd won't start experience once. I would get some dash lights and some power options worked, but not all, and I had no crank. I check everything, and was about to give up, when I found that the harness that plugs into the back of the key switch had come apart. I pushed these back together, and it started. Worth a look.

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Top is not an issue. I just realized in all my panic of getting stranded, I forgot I had my red clip on so the top would not go up.

I have tried another key to make sure it wasn't a problem with the key loosing the programming or something of that nature. Still no change. Sometimes it will work fine, sometimes not.

Any thoughts? I really don't want to take it to the dealer but am not sure what else to check. I don't want to get stranded again.

Thanks Ryan

I'm not sure the 02 has the same set up under the dash as my 04 986S - but I had a wierd won't start experience once. I would get some dash lights and some power options worked, but not all, and I had no crank. I check everything, and was about to give up, when I found that the harness that plugs into the back of the key switch had come apart. I pushed these back together, and it started. Worth a look.

I haven't climbed under to look but I did get my arm back under the dash and make sure that connection was solid. I wondered if it might be loose as that would probably simulate similar issues to the bad switch. I also noticed that once I do get it started by pulling the key out several times, sometimes it dies as soon as I let out the clutch in reverse. Forward is fine but in reverse, once I let out the clutch, it kills it. weird.

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I would check the clutch pedal switch to start with, pull off the wires and make a bridge. It's an easy check and does not take much time.

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I would start by getting the battery load tested. Also, if the battery is 4 years old (or older) it is time to replace it anyway.

Loren,

Do you think this could be the other part of the ignition switch? I replaced the white plastic part but I know the dealer recommends replacing the entire part including the long metalic part in front of the plastic switch. The lights on the dash are not even close to being accurate when I try to turn it over. I also got it to try and start befoe it died. wierd.

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In order I would start with battery, clutch switch, then ignition switch.

do you think that the battery could test great and still be the problem? At 2.5 years old, should I just replace it for $130? I don't want to throw money away but I would kick myself if the dealer ends up replacing it.

Edited by rsligar
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GUess I will be towing the car to the dealer.

It will not start at all now. I have tried bypassing the clutch switch. I have checked to make certain the ignition switch was pressed on good. The battery is good, I put a charger on it to make certain.

I did notice something strange though. Whenever I press the brake pedal, the dash lights and a/c lights die instantly. Same thing with putting the car in to Reverse. As soon as I take it out of reverse or let up on the brake pedal, the lights come back on. parking brake doesn't effect it.

any last thoughts before I take the plunge at the dealer...?

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GUess I will be towing the car to the dealer.

It will not start at all now. I have tried bypassing the clutch switch. I have checked to make certain the ignition switch was pressed on good. The battery is good, I put a charger on it to make certain.

I did notice something strange though. Whenever I press the brake pedal, the dash lights and a/c lights die instantly. Same thing with putting the car in to Reverse. As soon as I take it out of reverse or let up on the brake pedal, the lights come back on. parking brake doesn't effect it.

any last thoughts before I take the plunge at the dealer...?

Wow - wish i knew for sure. But weird electrical issues make me think of a bad ground - if it were mine, I would look at the ground points. Unfortunately, I am not sure if one shares elments of each of your issues, and there are something like 14 ground points. I would start, though, with the ones on the front support frame and then number 8, which is in the rear near the ECU. This is, admittedly, something of a stab in the dark.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I got it back from the dealer... $525.

THey replaced the whole lock/switch assembly. NOW, I understand how it works. They plastic part that I previously replaced was never the problem in my case. The insides of the actual assemble were getting looser and looser until it there was just too much slop in there to operate correctly and turn all the way over to the start position.

Anyways, hope this helps someone else too.

Ryan

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Well, I got it back from the dealer... $525.

THey replaced the whole lock/switch assembly. NOW, I understand how it works. They plastic part that I previously replaced was never the problem in my case. The insides of the actual assemble were getting looser and looser until it there was just too much slop in there to operate correctly and turn all the way over to the start position.

Anyways, hope this helps someone else too.

Ryan

wow

pricey...but we couldn't figure it out; they did.

glad you followed up with the answer

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