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D.J. Miller

'01 996 KEY FOB Stopped Working

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I just had engine out of car for several months and now that it is back together the Remote FOB on the 2 Keys I have will no longer operate the trunk latch or door locks. The car starts fine with both keys.

Dealer tells me car should synch with keys after a few restarts or the keys have to be replaced. Why am I about to be out $600 (about $150 for each key and $150 for programming at dealer) simply due to extended engine work. What a crappy design by Porsche to cost me this money. Seems to me the engineers need to be fired that design a car key combo to act in this manner.

Is there anything I can do to try to force the car to re-synch with the keys? Any button combo I can hold to foce a hard reboot? Any fuses I can pull?

Again, I am really pissed off at this design flaw that trashes 2 expensive keys over simply having work done on vehicle.

Thanks in advance,


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I've had my engine out and completely dismanteled several times now and never encountered this problem.

I think your problem is probably unrelated to the engine drop, or at least perhaps you may have caused a short or something along those lines.

Are there any diagnostics codes from your alarm unit?

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We are getting no errors or messages at all. It just simply will not work.

What I dont understand is if communication is neccessary to start the car how does it just simply not work from the key for power locks an hood?

Seems to me the BIOS on the car has been messed with but not enough to stop the communication that occurs when the key is in the ignition.

The engrave on the blades seems to have little to do with key as the 2 keys I have are totally different engravings. Isnt this radio communication the most importnat part to even start car?

Can someone explain why car will start with it but the remote will not unlock car or pop hood?


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There are two componenents to the FOB portion of the key.

The transponder pill, which is used to disable the immobilizer when the key is in the ignition, and thus allows the engine to start.

The remote radio unlock feature which is used to remotely unlock the doors.

The two functions are programmed independently and it is very possible one can work while the other does not.

Diagnosis requires a Porsche computer, i.e. PST2 or PIWIS (2).

FOBs on 996 cars that do not have a 20 digit programming code available cannot be reprogrammed to match a car.

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So if I have the 20 digit code it should be able to be reprogrammed? My second key was bought from and paid to be programmed by the Dealer. Should they have the information on the code they used in their system, right? I paid them $289.75 + $166.00 to do this a few years back.

996-637-244-36 $152.28 (KEY HEAD W)


996-538-932-00 $110.34 (CUT KEY-ST)


8665 CP $145.00

I hate dealing with these people and I know they try to rip me off for every penny they can so I am sure this is why they told me I must buy new keys. I would love to hear they are incorrect and should have this information?


David Miller

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So I fall back on my complaint this is a crap design by Porsche to design this system so that the keys can lose communication with the vehicle thereby forcing total replacement of keys and reprogram to get to work again. Good work Porsche. Nice design engineers and way to quality check the process.

If they were half a company they would step up and admit it was a bad design and offer complimentary reprogram when this occurs. There is no reason at all this should have happened with simply having engine work done on car. I am so upset I am bouncing off the walls at this company right now. First I have a cracked cylinder head in the engine and then they add insult to injury of this key issue after spending $9k to fix the engine.

Thanks a bunch Porsche… Time to go to BMW or Mercedes on the next vehicle.


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My 03 cab key fob suddenly stopped working. Will not remotely lock or unlock doors with either key. It will not start the car either. Inserting either key will unlock or lock the door, but not disable to alarm. Will also lower or raise top and lower windows. So what could cause this? Tried removing ground cable from car battery for about 5 minutes, hoping for a reset. No apparent change. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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Check to see if the key fob battery is good.

If ok, try turning the key in the door while simultaneously pressing the unlock door button.

If that doesn't work check for water (wet carpet) behind driver's seat.

Edited by kbrandsma

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Thank you kbrandsma. I did indeed find quite a bit of water behind driver's seat, as well as a pool of water under driver's seat. I have removed CLU and hope to dry it. Did this earlier today, and even though door remote wasn't working, the car started. I drove it about 4 miles to my home. I then did what I guess was a dumb thing. I placed key in ignition, switched car on, and held fob button down for 10 seconds. Apparently this attempt to resync didn't work. Back to engine not turning over when attempting to start. Any suggestions? Thank you again.

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