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Is my battery gone?


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Driving home from work today a lot of warning lights e.g. PSM, ABS, Seat Belts (or is it Airbag) and also battery came on while the voltage was only showing 11V. I had noticed that lately my battery appeared to be a little weak when starting the car so I was kind of expecting it to fail soon. The only thing that confuses me is that instead of just not having enough juice to start the motor (like in my other cars) it's showing all these warning lights. How can I make sure it's certainly not the generator or something else. If it's the battery is there a technical background why it has failed after it suddenly got warm here or is it just coincidence? Today was the first day with about 20° C while we've had around freezing point until two days ago.

Looks like batteries have become a hot topic lately. Seems to be this time of the year...

Thanks,

Thorsten

Edit:

Forgot to mention: As far as I can tell from the bills I got from previous owners the battery is still the first one ('Moll 80Ah'). So it's really due after over six years...

Edited by toddel68
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You can do a few checks:

1) Rev the engine and see how the voltage gauge behaves. Even if the battery is on it's way out, cars normally read between 13 and 14 volts when the alternator is going full blast. If not, the alternator or the voltage regulator could be having a problem.

2) Charge the battery with a wall charger overnight. If the car starts and runs fine for days and then starts to fade again, you probably have a charging problem, not a battery problem.

3) Take the battery out and take it to a parts store that can test the battery for you.

With a 4 year old car, it's probably the battery if it's the original battery. The alternator/regulators normally last longer than 4 years...

Edited by PorschePRH
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Hehehe... six year old battery - consider yourself very lucky. .

The one in my Ford lasted 7 1/2 years :P

So I'll just get me a new battery tomorrow and see what happens. I would have needed it anyway and it looks like it has happened before:

http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=4078&hl=

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Installed the new battery and started the car in my garage. Everything looked fine then but when I went to work yesterday my Becker TP suddenly stalled after a few hundred meters. A few seconds later the warning-lights came on again and the voltmeter had dropped to about 11,8 volts. At higher revs the voltmeter popped up a few times which caused the systems to re-engage again. Power would only be up for a few times then stick at slightly below 12V for the rest of the drive while ABS, PSM etc subsequently remained off. I have an appointment at the dealer monday morning and just hope it's only a small thing to fix and not the generator itself.. Could be the regulator. Any idea if it's a big deal to change the regulator myself? Is there a DIY?

BTW: The dealer quoted a price of 190EUR ~ 250 USD (!) for the replacement battery which is a MOLL KAMINA 80Ah. While the original MOLL without the Porsche logo on it costs 'only' 120 EUR I went for a 83 EUR no-name product. Just like the MOLL battery it was tested among the three best in several car magazines. The funny thing is it looks exactly like the OEM-part <_<

Nevertheless batteries seem to sell at much better price outside europe.

Thorsten

Edited by toddel68
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Turned the car in this morning and when I told the service guy that I suspect the regulator to have failed and needed replacement he told me that it's not available as a separate part and the whole generator has to be replaced. :cursing: Is this true or is he trying to rip me off? I'd appreciate a quick answer since I will probably pick up the car in a few hours.

Regards,

Thorsten

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Thank you TP, maybe I didn't express myself correctly. I'm aware that the regulator is to be replaced and not to be fixed but this guy told me the regulator is integrated in the alternator ( or at least can't be purchased apart from the alternator) and if it's broken they would need to replace the complete thing. That would be how much? 800$ instead of 30$ for the parts? And I don't even want to know the difference in labor cost. Sound like a total rip-off to me.

Edited by toddel68
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If you haven't paid the dealer yet, I would check to see if you have independent starter and alternator rebuilders in your area. We have them here in the US and they can usually get parts for teh alternators that are not available to the consumer. They will only change the parts you need and charge you accordingly. They will not remove the item from your car though. Napa online lists the rebuilt Bosch alternator for your car at $404US... Just food for thought

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  • 2 weeks later...
If you haven't paid the dealer yet,

I'll keep you updated.

Thorsten

Had the car repaired and it cost me 600 EUR replacing the alternator including 100 EUR for 'measures after disconnecting the battery' , checking and loading it as well as taking it out and putting it in again. I just wish I could earn 100 EUR just by running the windows up and down, setting the clock and looking at the voltmeter. And why the f... did they have to take out the battery to load it!? Apart from that I definitely change the dealer as the treated me like an idiot. Turned the car in at 10am and when I called at 5pm they told me that they didn't have the alternator on stock and would fix it the next day before 11am. To glad I had told them before I would need the car because I would be on standby on work all day. Do I have to mention that the car was fixed at 4pm next day after I called in three times? :cursing: Letter to Porsche to local Porsche service department is on the way....

  • Upvote 1
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  • 5 years later...

Driving home from work today a lot of warning lights e.g. PSM, ABS, Seat Belts (or is it Airbag) and also battery came on while the voltage was only showing 11V. I had noticed that lately my battery appeared to be a little weak when starting the car so I was kind of expecting it to fail soon. The only thing that confuses me is that instead of just not having enough juice to start the motor (like in my other cars) it's showing all these warning lights. How can I make sure it's certainly not the generator or something else. If it's the battery is there a technical background why it has failed after it suddenly got warm here or is it just coincidence? Today was the first day with about 20° C while we've had around freezing point until two days ago.

Looks like batteries have become a hot topic lately. Seems to be this time of the year...

Thanks,

Thorsten

Edit:

Forgot to mention: As far as I can tell from the bills I got from previous owners the battery is still the first one ('Moll 80Ah'). So it's really due after over six years...

Hi.

Please can you let me know the make and model of your new battery.

I've just had the same problem with my 5.5year old Boxster S (just a click when I try to start, and abs/psm warnings)

I've tried charging my battery, but think it has failed now, so need to replace...

it's a Moll Kamina 70Ah

thanks!

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  • Admin

Driving home from work today a lot of warning lights e.g. PSM, ABS, Seat Belts (or is it Airbag) and also battery came on while the voltage was only showing 11V. I had noticed that lately my battery appeared to be a little weak when starting the car so I was kind of expecting it to fail soon. The only thing that confuses me is that instead of just not having enough juice to start the motor (like in my other cars) it's showing all these warning lights. How can I make sure it's certainly not the generator or something else. If it's the battery is there a technical background why it has failed after it suddenly got warm here or is it just coincidence? Today was the first day with about 20° C while we've had around freezing point until two days ago.

Looks like batteries have become a hot topic lately. Seems to be this time of the year...

Thanks,

Thorsten

Edit:

Forgot to mention: As far as I can tell from the bills I got from previous owners the battery is still the first one ('Moll 80Ah'). So it's really due after over six years...

Hi.

Please can you let me know the make and model of your new battery.

I've just had the same problem with my 5.5year old Boxster S (just a click when I try to start, and abs/psm warnings)

I've tried charging my battery, but think it has failed now, so need to replace...

it's a Moll Kamina 70Ah

thanks!

Have the battery both load tested and the specific gravity of each cell read.

Most auto supply stores can do this.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you haven't paid the dealer yet,

I'll keep you updated.

Thorsten

Had the car repaired and it cost me 600 EUR replacing the alternator including 100 EUR for 'measures after disconnecting the battery' , checking and loading it as well as taking it out and putting it in again. I just wish I could earn 100 EUR just by running the windows up and down, setting the clock and looking at the voltmeter. And why the f... did they have to take out the battery to load it!? Apart from that I definitely change the dealer as the treated me like an idiot. Turned the car in at 10am and when I called at 5pm they told me that they didn't have the alternator on stock and would fix it the next day before 11am. To glad I had told them before I would need the car because I would be on standby on work all day. Do I have to mention that the car was fixed at 4pm next day after I called in three times? :cursing: Letter to Porsche to local Porsche service department is on the way....

Hello,

Toddel, I had excatly the same in my Porsche 996 ' 2004. I got my car to good electrician. He exchanged regulator (BOSCH part - 50 Euro) and charged battery. Total cost - 100 Euro. Now everything is ok and voltage still on 14V.

Regards,

adam

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  • 7 months later...

When I got my 996 a year ago, it had a 65Amh battery in it. It was working well when I noticed that the Voltmeter reading was below 13-volts.

2 weeks after, I changed the battery to a Calcium type with 90Amh rating. Only to find out that the Alternator is not charging properly anymore.

I had it pulled out & had it repaired ($350). Now even at idle speeds, the volt meter reads 14-volts (almost).

I believe that the old 66Amh battery that came with the car overworked the Alternator.

Hopefully with this "high" ampere Rocket Calcium Battery & a refurbished Alternator with Bosch parts holds up well for the next 3 years.

:beer:

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  • 9 months later...

Finally found a topic regarding my problem ! I just got a 2005 boxster 2.7L with 43k on the clock.

Everything was fine after 4 days until I got a flash Warning Battery/generator message. I checked straight away the battery Voltage in a garage and I got a 12,5V on the voltmeter. The day after before starting the car, my gauge oil level gave me an empty level. I was full the day before. After 30mn, the computer told me that my level is now 3/4.

I went straight to a garage I know and we found that the battery on the car was a low cost one et with 67amp instead of the 70amp from Porsche. I bought the new battery in Porsche Center and went back to my garage. Before changing the low cost one (with was brand new) we rechecked the voltage, around 12V. After replacing the new one, we checked again and still 12V ! :cursing:

We also checked if the car was running without the battery plugged, fine, the car was still running.

Meaning, my alternator is not working 100%. Most of time as you said guys is the voltage regulator the main problem. I hope so.

Question : Does this ****ty battery low cost damaged the all alternator or only the regulator :eek: ???

The car is going to be checked tom, however if someone can reply before ;)

Thanks and happy new year

Edited by Cole_Trickle
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If you suspect the battery as being low quality, then certainly a battery of sufficient quality and amperage is recommended.

In the USA, you can remove the battery, starter, and alternators and take them to an auto parts store to have them tested for free. Their computer can determine whether the alternator and/or regulator is ready to be replaced. They can also bench test a battery for more than just voltage (for example amp draw).

Other gremlins that can commonly affect the electrical system.

Corroded or damaged ground strap from engine to chassis

Corroded positive lead from alternator to starter to jump point in engine bay.

Improper cable torque or excessive leeching from corroded components (starter)

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  • Moderators

Usually, it is only the voltage regulator, but you sometimes encounter bad diodes as well. The correct diagnostics would be to load test the battery, then load test the alternator (requires a load test tool), which will evaluate the regulator as well as showing the diode activity (or lack there of). Tool cost between $50-100 US and works on any car.

I am also not sure of what you are saying in you post about running the car with the battery "plugged", but I can assure you that if you run the car and disconnect the battery while it is running, you are in for trouble........

Edited by JFP in PA
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Thanks for replying. What I wanted to say by running the car :

the repair guy wanted to test if the car would still work if we disconnect the battery when the engine is switch on. He unplugged the battery and all electronic inside was still working fine (A/C, radio, lights....) generated by the alternator. Meaning the alternator works. I wasn't so much confident with this but nothing special happened.

I've been to the garage this morning and I talked with the guy. He's going to pull out the alternator, check the serie number and try to find one new regulator somewhere (in Dubai) because Porsche as you know don't sell this item separately.

I hope it's "only" this, I got the car 1 week ago.

I'll keep you in touch.

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