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masterbm

Ignition turns over, engine won't start

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Here we go again. . .

Man, seems like of I've had one of every problem noted on this board. . .

'99 986 with 140K is having the "classic" problem of turning over beautifully when I turn the key, but the engine won't fire up. A search of this board revealed a surprising number of people with the same issue, but no clear consensus (unlike the cracked coolant reservoir or AOS issues) of what is usually the problem. Some folks seem to have issues with fuel filter/pump, some with clutch sensor, some aren't sure but they check a bunch of stuff and it just kinda goes away. . .Here's the story:

Had car in shop about 3 weeks ago for routine maintenance, et al. Still have an oil leak via main seal, but that's hopefully a different issue. Hopefully. Anyway, they changed out plugs, put in new fuel filter. Now car occasionally won't start, as above. I think battery is OK, all electric like radio, top, etc works fine. By necessity I've had to let the car sit overnight or for several hours, and when I come back it starts right up, no trouble. One person on this board just turned his key and let the car just turn over for a minute, and the issue fixed itself. I tried for about 20 secs, but didn't have the guts to just let it spin for a minute. Also tried pumping the throttle several times, then trying to turn it on like another person did. No dice. I was able to start the car the ol' fashioned way: get a buddy to push me started, pop the clutch, and voila, started right up. While I was fiddling around trying this and that I opened the engine compartment: no gas smell. No power trouble, once I get started all cylinders seem to be firing nicely. No CEL. I haven't plugged my OBD decoder in yet, but will tomorrow.

Whattaya think?

B

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Here we go again. . .

Man, seems like of I've had one of every problem noted on this board. . .

'99 986 with 140K is having the "classic" problem of turning over beautifully when I turn the key, but the engine won't fire up. A search of this board revealed a surprising number of people with the same issue, but no clear consensus (unlike the cracked coolant reservoir or AOS issues) of what is usually the problem. Some folks seem to have issues with fuel filter/pump, some with clutch sensor, some aren't sure but they check a bunch of stuff and it just kinda goes away. . .Here's the story:

Had car in shop about 3 weeks ago for routine maintenance, et al. Still have an oil leak via main seal, but that's hopefully a different issue. Hopefully. Anyway, they changed out plugs, put in new fuel filter. Now car occasionally won't start, as above. I think battery is OK, all electric like radio, top, etc works fine. By necessity I've had to let the car sit overnight or for several hours, and when I come back it starts right up, no trouble. One person on this board just turned his key and let the car just turn over for a minute, and the issue fixed itself. I tried for about 20 secs, but didn't have the guts to just let it spin for a minute. Also tried pumping the throttle several times, then trying to turn it on like another person did. No dice. I was able to start the car the ol' fashioned way: get a buddy to push me started, pop the clutch, and voila, started right up. While I was fiddling around trying this and that I opened the engine compartment: no gas smell. No power trouble, once I get started all cylinders seem to be firing nicely. No CEL. I haven't plugged my OBD decoder in yet, but will tomorrow.

Whattaya think?

B

Getting it to push start makes me think the the fuel is fine.

Have you checked to make sure the starter is turning the flywheel? (probably is but cheap check)

just pull the engine cover behind the seats and see if the belt turns.

There are some fail safes in the design that won't let a car start, but will keep running once running.

Possibly check the crank position sensor. Although if that wasn't happy I would expect a CEL, but you never know.

clutch sensor is another good candidate but I think I have read where the CPS issues can be heat related.

mike

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Just based on some of the ideas of others with the same issue, I went ahead and shelled out the $25 for a new Fuel Pump Relay. Old one didn't look bad, no obvious corrosion or damage. . .but hey, it solved one person's issue and if nothing else it gave me an excuse to learn about where relays are and how to change them. And if it works I probably saved myself $100. Car started right up, but it had been starting right up anyway today. . .who knows?

B

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I've replaced 2 986 fuel pumps this month. The first one was a '99 and he had to floor the gas pedal to limp the car back home then it wouldn't start again. The other car was an '01 and he had a no-start issue several weeks before the pump died. He said the car wouldn't start, then he went back to it a few hours later and it ran fine for weeks. The pump did still run but it was not providing enough pressure for the engine. With that issue the sympton is the car will usually start but then dies almost immediately. With a fuel pump failure you will not have any fault codes stored.

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I got same problem when starter relay is bypass it would run but if it aint nothing happend when ignition key is inserted, wont even click or anything just nothing....Im guessing is my immobilizer because my key wont open door using the remote.

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Saga continues:

Fuel pump relay wan't the issue: started fine twice, then same symptom: key turns, engine cranks just fine but won't ignite. I fold. Took it to the shop. When the guy heard my story he said he thought maybe the starter. If it was the starter, though, isn't it true that the engine wouldn't crank?

I like the flywheel idea. . .I'll mention that to him.

Found this on 986 forum.com:

>>My 1999 Boxster recently began having a problem... The car starts fine when cold. But once the engine warms up and then is turned off, it will not re-start. When trying to re-start, the lights all come on and the starter turns the engine over briskly. But it will not start. Like it is not getting a spark or is not getting fuel. But then if you let it sit for a couple of hours or more it will start right up. And it will always start the next day! It just recently began doing this. The first time I got a tow home. The second time, I drove it around to warm up and it ran just fine but then when i pulled into driveway and shut it down, it would not re-start. Lately I don't drive the Boxter very much. I do drive it at least once per week but usually only drive it around for 10-15 miles max. The Check Engine Light has not turned on. I have an OBD-II code reader that works on my other (non-porsche) cars but I don't know if it captures Porsche codes. At any rate, i did run the code search procedure but no codes were found. Not sure that I trust it though... Is it possible for a code to exist in the Boxsters computer but no Check Engine Light?<<

This sounds like a good lead. . .any thoughts from anyone?

B

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Saga continues:

Fuel pump relay wan't the issue: started fine twice, then same symptom: key turns, engine cranks just fine but won't ignite. I fold. Took it to the shop. When the guy heard my story he said he thought maybe the starter. If it was the starter, though, isn't it true that the engine wouldn't crank?

I like the flywheel idea. . .I'll mention that to him.

Found this on 986 forum.com:

>>My 1999 Boxster recently began having a problem... The car starts fine when cold. But once the engine warms up and then is turned off, it will not re-start. When trying to re-start, the lights all come on and the starter turns the engine over briskly. But it will not start. Like it is not getting a spark or is not getting fuel. But then if you let it sit for a couple of hours or more it will start right up. And it will always start the next day! It just recently began doing this. The first time I got a tow home. The second time, I drove it around to warm up and it ran just fine but then when i pulled into driveway and shut it down, it would not re-start. Lately I don't drive the Boxter very much. I do drive it at least once per week but usually only drive it around for 10-15 miles max. The Check Engine Light has not turned on. I have an OBD-II code reader that works on my other (non-porsche) cars but I don't know if it captures Porsche codes. At any rate, i did run the code search procedure but no codes were found. Not sure that I trust it though... Is it possible for a code to exist in the Boxsters computer but no Check Engine Light?<<

This sounds like a good lead. . .any thoughts from anyone?

B

Hi have you check the sepertine belt (spin) during crank? If not then your bendex aint getting to your flywell.? It sound like you may have air leak tho, check all hoses.

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Saga continues:

Fuel pump relay wan't the issue: started fine twice, then same symptom: key turns, engine cranks just fine but won't ignite. I fold. Took it to the shop. When the guy heard my story he said he thought maybe the starter. If it was the starter, though, isn't it true that the engine wouldn't crank?

I like the flywheel idea. . .I'll mention that to him.

Found this on 986 forum.com:

>>My 1999 Boxster recently began having a problem... The car starts fine when cold. But once the engine warms up and then is turned off, it will not re-start. When trying to re-start, the lights all come on and the starter turns the engine over briskly. But it will not start. Like it is not getting a spark or is not getting fuel. But then if you let it sit for a couple of hours or more it will start right up. And it will always start the next day! It just recently began doing this. The first time I got a tow home. The second time, I drove it around to warm up and it ran just fine but then when i pulled into driveway and shut it down, it would not re-start. Lately I don't drive the Boxter very much. I do drive it at least once per week but usually only drive it around for 10-15 miles max. The Check Engine Light has not turned on. I have an OBD-II code reader that works on my other (non-porsche) cars but I don't know if it captures Porsche codes. At any rate, i did run the code search procedure but no codes were found. Not sure that I trust it though... Is it possible for a code to exist in the Boxsters computer but no Check Engine Light?<<

This sounds like a good lead. . .any thoughts from anyone?

B

I've just started having this same problem with my '99 Boxster with 85K miles. I hope someone comes up with an answer before I get stranded somewhere.

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Well, it was a bittersweet ending to the great case of the cranking-but-not-starting engine.

Turns out gssereik on 986forum.com was correct: It was the crankshaft position sensor.

Here's his post: >> Frankly it was a bit of a leap of faith... I described the symptoms in detail to a couple of local German car mechanics. Both of them indicated that it could be a sensor issue. Because the car ran perfectly once it did start. There were no drivability problems whatsoever. But the Crankshaft sensor in particular needs to get a reading on the position of the crankshaft or else the computer that control things will not know what position the engine is in and so it cannot make a judment as to when to produce a spark and/or fuel or what have you. But once the engine starts, it relies on other readings perhaps? I don't know... Looking at the old crankshaft sensor, there were no visual clues indicating that it was worn out or damaged. Just a bit of black soot on it. But not much really... I also posted the question online in many different Porsche and Boxster forums and there were some posts from people indicating that the Crankshaft sensor might be at fault. There are also two camshaft sensors but a mechanic mentioned that they were a less likely culpret. And there were two of them, so more expensive! ultimately when i found the $70 price at Advance Auto parts I decided that was a price i was willing to take a gamble on. I did not have a check engine light. And none of my OBD scanners found any codes. And i was not going to invest in the right scanner that finds all of the available codes for a boxster. I almost was going to bring it to the dealer or to a good mechanic and pay whatever fee to get it plugged in and tested. But for $70 and my gut feeling that the crankshaft sensor was a likely culpret, I went ahead and bought it. And it worked! More often when i have taken such a gamble I end up being wrong and just wast money. But the Porsche God's shone upon me this time! thank<<

Unfortunately, the bad news is that the shop I took it to here in Cincy (Sports Car Store in Florence, KY for anyone who is local) did me wrong. They held on to the car for a few days and couldn't figure out why it was doing what it was doing. They told me they thought it needed a new ignition switch which took 4 hours to put in. Then they tried it, and the same "cranks fine but engine won't ignite" issue happened again. This is, by the way, AFTER I'd told them I thought it was the crank sensor. They said they didn't think that was it because the error sensor would have picked it up. So they put the ignition switch in (which the guy later said was "shooting in the dark,") and when I called back they said, "well we thought we knew what it was, but it wasn't that." So I told them to just go ahead and try the crank position sensor, figuring it sounded SO MUCH like gssereik's problem there was a reasonable chance that was it, and I'd take the chance on putting in more unnecessary parts and labor (keep in mind this is days later, and I'm really needing my car.) They put it in and now the car's running great. $150 part, an hour's work.

All in all I paid $550 for something I could have done for $150 (and had fun doing it), thanks to paying for unnecessary parts and labor. When I complained they said they had to charge me for the hours they put in, and that I couldn't prove that it wasn't the COMBINATION of the ignition switch and crank position sensor that did the job.

Actually, I resolved not to go there again in '05 when they "mis-fixed" a CEL that turned out to be a fuel pump issue. That was $400 for nothing too.

Now I'm REALLY never going there again.

Next project: change rear main oil seal, replace clutch. Anybody know of a good step-by-step article on this?

B

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Im glad your problem is fixed:). I would look into this incase I get the same issue in the future..thanks!

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I have been having the exact same problem w/ my '99, the only exception is last Friday, the engine died at 65mph.

To recap, on 7/23 after driving ~25 miles home, I went to run an errand, starter cranked as usual, but engine wouldn't turn over. I let it sit about an hour, started right up and ran fine, next day, similar experience, 25 mi drive, no start, hour sit, started and drove 250 miles that day with many stops & starts. I replaced the 11 year old ignition switch and it continued to start for a few days, then once again left me stranded. I used a P-code reader... nada, but after sitting, she started right up.

I have put ~1,000 miles on since this first occurred. 1999 Boxster w/96k miles.

Fast forward to Friday; driving to work ~65mph, felt a hiccup, saw the dash warning lights come on for a split second, put the car in neutral and all was fine, the car continued running (again, no codes). On the way home, same thing, however the engine quite completely.

AAA towed the car to my house and after unloading, the little SOB wink.gif fired right up!!!

Can somebody post the Crankshaft Position Sensor part # for a 1999 Boxster?

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Just my two cents, but don't forget to check other things before buying the camshaft sensor.

For example, check the fuel pump relay operation when you try to start the car. If it clicks on, then the computer is trying to run the fuel pump. If the camshaft sensor were faulty, it wouldn't close the relay.

My car didn't start last week. Same deal...it just chugged and chugged but never fired up. I tried it several times during the day with the same results. After verifying relay operation, I checked voltage at the relay, then the fuse. I wasn't getting a ground at either. I checked the fuel pump connections under the battery...still no ground. Finally I opened up the fuel tank, took off the electrical connectors at the top of the tank, put them back on and tested it. It fired right up...I guess it was just not making contact due to corrosion or whatever. Anyway, a week later all is well.

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Just my two cents, but don't forget to check other things before buying the camshaft sensor.

For example, check the fuel pump relay operation when you try to start the car. If it clicks on, then the computer is trying to run the fuel pump. If the camshaft sensor were faulty, it wouldn't close the relay.

My car didn't start last week. Same deal...it just chugged and chugged but never fired up. I tried it several times during the day with the same results. After verifying relay operation, I checked voltage at the relay, then the fuse. I wasn't getting a ground at either. I checked the fuel pump connections under the battery...still no ground. Finally I opened up the fuel tank, took off the electrical connectors at the top of the tank, put them back on and tested it. It fired right up...I guess it was just not making contact due to corrosion or whatever. Anyway, a week later all is well.

Thanks secretagent214, I'll double check the relay and and pump connections, howevert, the frustrating part is the car will start fine right now, so I'm sure all will test ok. I have never had the car disabled for more than an hour or so, and generally not in the driveway when I could check the above suggestions.

Edited by BoxsterBob

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In an effort not to clutter up Loren's site with the same question being asked, in a new thread! :renntech: BB Did you resolve your problem? Mine was acting kinda strange. But just wrote it off as a quirk. Over the past few weeks. If I drove it much, it would start, but knda slowly get to the point of chugging then off and running. Starter turning normally, but like the engine would work it's way up to firing. And once running. The idle was erratic, until I goosed it, then it would settle in to a normal idle. If it was a quick in and out and start agian it was fine. But if stops where longer, then there was the slow start issue. But the temps have been pretty cold here, until today when it was quite a bit warmer, The temp gauge got up above the 180 mark where it hadn't been there before. Usually 180 or less. After leaving work and stopping for Papa Murphy's pizza and picking up some beer. Got home, unloaded and went back outside to check on it. Sure enough. It won't start.I don't have a Durametric yet. But I don't think it would show me anything different than what is discussed here. Just to similar of a problem.

Thanks for the thoughts in advance...

Randy

Just wanted to add. The thing turns over fine and starts faster than my F150 when it's cold.

Edited by Randy_K

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I had this exact problem on my '99 Boxster, it would start normally and then 5min later it fail to start and just crank. After searching on various forums I thought it is a failed stuck fuel pump so I went ahead and put in a new pump and replaced the fuel pump relay, it didn't fix the problem. Recently it seem to get worst (occur 1-2 times a month at the beginning to now it happen 1 out of 5 time I start the car hot or warm). My next step is to put in a new CPS but want to see is there anyway I can further verify the problem before I order a new CPS? Thanks

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I'm having this problem right now on a 2000. I asked my mechanic to replace the crankshaft sensor, and we'll see what happens.

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I replaced the crankshaft position sensor in 2011, problem went away and never came back.  :D

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Just to clarify comments like :

"check other things before buying the camshaft sensor"

"it wasn't the CPS"

The Camshaft sensor ( 996-606-106-02) is NOT what we are discussing. It is the CRANKshaft sensor = usually 986-606-112-02- but verify.Buying and fitting the wrong part could be a $300 mistake !

This link may help:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Boxster_Tech/26-FUEL-Engine_Sensors/26-FUEL-Engine_Sensors.htm

The diagnostic clue for the crankshaft sensor heat-soak failure is to carefully watch the tach needle when you crank the engine.If the needle does not move at all= dead/dying Crankshaft PS.

 

The infamous Fuel Pump relay is available as a generic part but the Porsche number(please verify for your VIN!) is 996-615-101-00

It is less than $10 at Pelican.So therefore ,rather like the problematic ,generic ignition switch ,it is minimal parts cost to replace regardless if it is at fault.If the old part is still good,it is a great spare to keep -if you are sure it is 'good'.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/ksearch/PEL_search_2014.cgi?command=show_part_page&please_wait=N&SUPERCAT_FLAG=Y&make=POR&model=1048&section=FULFUL&page=2&bookmark=7&part_number=996-615-101-00-M504

Edited by Schnell Gelb

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