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1999 996 Battery died and locked the front trunk and engine lid

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Hi All,

Wondering if someone can chime in with some help. My battery died and as a result my front trunk and engine lid are both locked. I tried all sorts of methods to get the proper voltage to the car via the cigarette lighter outlet but nothing worked. I finally had to go under the right front wheel well to manually open up the front trunk via the emergency cable located there. I was able to put in a new battery, and start the car. Unfortunately both the front and back lids are still locked.

I tried using the key in the door lock to lock/unlock the door. I tried using the remote control. I kept the key in the door lock while trying to open up the front/back lids. The doors locks/unlocks like they should and the car can be started. The only issue is that I can' t open the front/back lids.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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With the key on, try pressing the lock unlock button on the dash several times, each way. Then try to use the levers on the sill (with the doors unlocked/red light on lock switch OFF obviously).

Edited by logray
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Hi Logray,

I tried your suggestion but it didn't work. After a certain point, you can't toggle back and forth any longer. The locked red light stays on. You have to pull the inside door handle once before you can actually click the lock button off. I even tried the procedure with the key in the accessory position still with no luck. :( I'm open to any other suggestions.

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Unlike later model year cars, the 99's lids are 100% cable operated.

However, the locks are locked because of the dead battery situation.

First try just using your key, put it into the lock on the door, then lock and unlock the door several times (door closed, not in the car). Then open the door and try the levers (only one lever at a time).

If that doesn't work, from that link RFM provided here is what you need to do:

"Applicable to MY1997 thru MY2000 (compliments of Joe King):To open the front trunk when the battery is dead you can use the emergency release cable which can be accessed with a few tools, use the battery procedure outlined in Porsche Technical Bulletin 1/96 5510 (http://www.renntech.org/forums/files/getdownload/388-401boxster-front-and-rear-hood-release-inoperativepdf/) (contributing members only) or use my method which requires a small screwdriver and flashlight. It allows you to open the front hood lid in about 10 seconds once you learn the trick. My procedure is outlined below:1. Both trunk levers are cable operated. When the alarm is set, a solenoid latches the two trunk levers. If the battery dies while the alarm is set, it is necessary to open the door with the key. Opening the door with the key does not unlatch the trunk levers since there is no power to operate the solenoid.2. To learn how to unlatch the trunk levers, examine under the front trunk lever by looking through the slot between the two trunk levers with a flashlight. Look for the tab on the underside of the front trunk lever. Directly below the tab is a small U shaped cutout. When the lever is pulled up, the tab drops into the small U shaped cutout. When the alarm is set, a small white plate slides over the small U shaped cutout from the center of the car towards the outside of the car. This prevents you from pulling up the lever because the tab cannot pivot down into the small U shaped cutout.3. To unlatch the front trunk lever, use a very thin shaft straight slot screwdriver (I used an Xcelite R3323 which has a very thin 3"shaft). Slide the screwdriver between the two trunk levers and insert it between the solenoid plate and outside rear edge of the U shaped cutout and slid the plate toward the center of the car and pull up on the front trunk lever.To test this procedure (without waiting for a dead battery):1. With the drivers door open, move the black door latch to the closed position, the second click. This is done by using a screwdriver to move the black lever portion of the door latch toward the outside of the door until you hear a distinct click followed by a second distinct click. IMPORTANT: At this point do not slam the door shut since the door latch is in the latched position and may be damaged when making contact with the door jab. Step 4 explains how to reset the door latch.2. Lock the car using the remote or key. The alarm will be set and the trunk levers latched. Don't sit in the car because the alarm is set.3. At this point you can use the above procedure to open the front trunk. The alarm may sound when you pull up on the lever since you are opening the trunk. This is determined by the front trunk switch adjustment.4. IMPORTANT: After opening the front trunk using this test procedure you must unlock the car using the remote or key followed by pulling up on the door handle to unlatch the door latch. "

Edited by logray
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Thanks for the info guys. I'll try the new suggestion.

If it comes down to getting to the locking solenoid, I may need to disassemble the lever housing as per the links below.



I'll try to get to this over the weekend. Wish me luck.

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Here is an update. I was able to get the lever lock plate out of the way and I can now open up the front/rear lids. I took some pictures to help those that are faced with the same issue in the future and would be glad to share them. Please PM me if you need to see them.

Thanks again to all that helped.


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  • 1 year later...

Thanks all. I just had to use the procedure above and was able to push over the solenoid. It is really hard to see, and it requires the screwdriver to be very small with at least 3" inches of length. Go in from the center into the u-shaped slot and then move the solenoid shaft towards the passenger side. Now that I have done it once, I could do it again in 30 seconds.




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