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Intermittent Start Problems - 06 C2S Cabrio

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My 06 C2S Cabrio 6 speed with 50,000 miles has the following problem:

At random and with out any pattern when I put the key in the ignition nothing happens.

I mean no instument cluster, no noise from the steering wheel lock, nothing. Turn it left or right and nothing,

keep the clutch down and pump it and it makes no difference.

I play with the key, in and out and turn it to the left/right and in one of those trials you hear

the click sound of the steering wheel lock and the instrument cluster lights up. Then I can start the car.

I am a previous 996 owner and had to replace the ignition switch on my 996 twice, it is very

similar to what is happening now, but as I understand the switch is completely different.

From my durametric I get no codes.I tried electrical contact cleaner inside the switch and got under the dash

to verify the clutch switch adjustment and it is fine.

Any suggestions?



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Replacing 2 ignition switches on the same car and now a third switch defies the odds. Have read that one potential cause of switch failure is having too much weight on your key ring which prematurely wears out the sensitive interior parts of the switch. Not sure how much is too much but if you a lot of keys or a heavy fob on your key ring I'd put your key ring on a diet. Only thing on my key ring, other than the key, is a leather Porsche key fob and I have never had to replace an ignition switch.

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  • 3 weeks later...

is there something blocking the key "handle" itself? there's a little black grain of rice sized electronic bit that the car needs to "see" using RF. It's similar to the antitheft stickers that retail stores use. You'll notice on the dashboard that the car knows which key you have "key 1" or "key 2" etc. Watch how this works when the car starts normally and you might be able to diagnose if the car is seeing the "black grain of rice". The ignition switch is just a switch- in fact i suspect you might be able to turn it with a screwdriver and start the car if the black grain of rice is present.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for the slow feedback. I do not use the car that often, but I keep it plug to a battery tender. As clarification I replaced two switches from my old 996, not this car. Second I do not have a second key, so it makes it hard to try the trobleshooting sugestions. What I did was to change the battery on the key that I have, and so far it has not happened again. Will keep on testing and will keep updating the tread.

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  • 1 year later...

I have the same described problem with a 07 997 that I am working with. It does it with both keys so I believe it is not the keys but possibly the switch (that is the receiver) but any comment on this would be appreciated


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  • 4 weeks later...

I was having this problem (2005 MY) and replaced the battery inside the key. Whether it's coincidental or not that fixed the problem. I'm thinking that the transponder uses some current? Or maybe merely the act of dismantling and reassembling the key to exchange the battery put things right?

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  • 4 weeks later...

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