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mprowan87

Weird Electrical Functions with Radio and Starting of Vehicle - NOT IG

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Please help,

After thoroughly searching for someone who has had this issue, I am still lost.

Vehicle is a 2000 Boxster 2.7, 5 speed manual. Vehicle has factory Becker radio with tape deck. CDR 220 I believe.

I have replaced the ignition switch as recommended for similar problems, but there were no changes

First, the vehicle will sometimes not crank when turned to the starter position. It takes multiple turns and sometimes even locking and unlocking the vehicle before it will start (acts like clutch is not depressed when trying to start). It seems to be happening more often and I am afraid it may not work at all in the near future. It is not the battery. Electrical connections to battery are good. I thought possibly the clutch switch but it does not seem to have any effect on it from what I can tell. All fuses look good. Radio fuse in footwell fuse box was blown but I replaced it.

Secondly, the Radio does not turn off or on when key is turn to ON position. This happens 100% of the time. The radio can be turned on with the On button in the same way that it can be with no key in the switch. It has to be manually turned off or else it will play continuously. Even if the vehicle is locked. The red LED flashes when the unit is off and the vehicle is running.

More pertinent information,

All of this started happening after I removed the factory head unit temporarily. I have read different things online as what to do with the brown/blue wire that senses the radio in the dash. Some people say ground it out, others say to tape it off (no ground?). I cannot tell if it makes it act differently if it is grounded, but I may not be getting a good ground (short wire in dash)... Wire cannot be reconnected as originally was.

Horn honks once after locking (I figure this is because of the radio security wire) and dash led blinks twice in rapid succession continuously.

What should I do with this wire?

Why would this affect the ON and OFF of the radio when the ignition switch is turned?

Is this linked to the starting issue? I think it may have done the starting problems a couple times before removing the head unit, but I am not positive. It has definitely gotten substantially worse since about the exact same time though. I have already replaced the ignition switch.

Also, can I disable the clutch switch entirely or will that not allow the cruise control system to function?

Please help!!! Thank you all. The boxster community is amazing!

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You can bypass the clutch switch to eliminate it as a cause but I think you have an issue with the mechanical side of the ignition switch. The key tumbler can wear and not fully turn the electrical portion of the switch and a worn tumbler assembly can also cause radio to remain live with key removed.

You need to ground the security wire to stop the alarm fault trigger.

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I agree wvicary's post in that you likely have multiple problems.

Ground the alarm wire next to the radio (should be multiple ground points nearby, radio frame, radio frame screw, dash frame)..

Bypass the clutch switch (jumpering the leads).

If still having issues, check the DIY sections here for ignition switch replacement, you can get one at a Napa auto parts for about $13.

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Thank you wvicary and logray for you advice. First time posting on the forum (only had car 3 weeks and trying to work any kinks out). I am quite impressed.

I will try those suggestions, starting with the clutch bypass and radio ground. Then I will replace the ignition tumbler if problems persist and go from there.

The central locking module could not be going bad could it? I don't think this is the case, but I am trying to cover all possibilities. There is no water under the seat, nor has there ever been (nice untouched coat of dust) so it has not gotten wet.

One other note having to do with the tumbler. I had a BMW previously as well and the steering wheel lock with integrated mechanical tumbler locks the wheel if turned from any position when key is removed. I would expect the Boxster to function the same way, however there are only a couple positions in which the steering wheel lock will engage. Does this signify a worn tumbler mechanism or is it normal operation? Just a thought...

I will post back results as I work on it.

Incredible response, invaluable resource. Thanks again.

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Got a few minutes to ground out the radio security wire. No more horn upon locking! Radio still not controlled by the ignition though.

A time or two while doing this fix, the horn would honk twice quickly when locking. What do 2 honks signify? It does not do this now that the wire is properly secured.

I also remembered that one time last week I turned the key and it spun entirely around once before it caught and returned to normal operation. I would assume this is a good indicator the steering lock assembly is going bad?? I can't believe I forgot about this happening. Only happened the one time though. Key feels fine in switch and turning of the tumbler feels normal.

Thanks for the advice. I'll keep updating as I get time to do repairs and parts shipped in.

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If the key is spinning freely, it certainly sounds like your ignition switch assembly needs to be replaced.

Here is a link to the DIY:

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A time or two while doing this fix, the horn would honk twice quickly when locking. What do 2 honks signify? It does not do this now that the wire is properly secured.

The car's computers record the last ten alarm faults, get the car scanned and you will have a list of what is triggering the alarm.

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Got a few minutes to ground out the radio security wire. No more horn upon locking! Radio still not controlled by the ignition though.

A time or two while doing this fix, the horn would honk twice quickly when locking. What do 2 honks signify? It does not do this now that the wire is properly secured.

I also remembered that one time last week I turned the key and it spun entirely around once before it caught and returned to normal operation. I would assume this is a good indicator the steering lock assembly is going bad?? I can't believe I forgot about this happening. Only happened the one time though. Key feels fine in switch and turning of the tumbler feels normal.

Thanks for the advice. I'll keep updating as I get time to do repairs and parts shipped in.

If the key turned 360 then you have a mechanical fault within the tumblers assembly. The radio security wire and an open centre console lid are common sources of alarm triggers.

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New switch assembly on the way. Clutch bypassed with no change (didn't figure this was causing it, but a mod i wanted to make anyway - COULD CAUSE CAR NOT TO START THOUGH IF BAD). I pulled the tumbler with a paper clip last night to look around, and I am certain this is causing my problem somehow. Don't really understand the unit yet since I have not gotten to look at one physically. Just the OE pictures of the part online. I have noticed that when the car will not engage starter, it feels slightly different when you pull the key from the switch. It is an almost entirely undetectable amount of resistance. Pull it out, jiggle the tumbler with just the tip inserted, reinsert key, and it starts every time after failure. Hope it works for another week! Thank y'all for all the advice.

WVICARY and IOGRAY are lifesavers!

Hope this helps others with similar problems. Tons of info out there on the electrical switch portion, but mechanical switch can cause similar symptoms.

I will update once part is delivered and I put it in. Thank goodness the key is not on the column. I had to replace the one on my old BMW and it may have been the most difficult repair I made in ten yrs of ownership. Paper clip works much easier on PORSCHE.

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New Question, Same Topic

I tested voltage at radio on the orange wire. If what I have read is correct, this is the wire that links the radio to the ignition switch, and presumably turns the radio on/off with the car. At the radio terminal only 1.2-1.3 volts were being read at all times, ignition switch off and on. I tried to test it at the actual switch too, but the orange wire is the uppermost wire and i could not get the tester probe high enough behind the dash and see at the same time to test it at that connection without removing the ignition switch. What voltage should this wire have when on and off? I have not been able to find this information anywhere. I would guess the voltage should be almost nothing when off (1.2 volts?) and around 12v when on. I am familiar with cars/repairs, but I do not have much experience with multimeters and voltage analysis, so please correct me if it seems my understanding of the physical properties of electricity/current err.

Thanks again!

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Fixed!!! sort of

Finally got the whole upgraded steering lock assembly in yesterday and installed it last night. After 2 hrs in 32 F weather, the radio still did not function in sequence with the switch. At the end of my wits and ideas of the cause, I tediously scoured the wiring diagram and traced down a small fuse (D1 i believe) that had to do with the alarm and radio... I have checked the fuses a couple of times but being a 7.5A the fracture was almost invisible. In fact, I only realized it was blown when I replaced it for good measure and the radio was fixed! It took scrutiny under a light inside to see where it was blown.

I figure the lock assembly was still in need of replacement though since the tumbler has completely spun around a couple of times. Thanks for all the info! This forum is a lifesaver. Learned a lot about the car in the process of this problem.

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