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It is the time of year when I put the hardtop on my '94 C4S cab, a fraught experience every year because I need to ask my wife to help me lift it on, and she is perennially (and correctly) afraid of dropping it, which if it happened would cause a serious rift in our relationship.

 

All went well this year, and we had the top on and I went to get the hex tool to tighten the bayonets down at the rear.  I normally keep the tool in the front trunk.  The trunk wouldn't open -- I didn't even get a solenoid sound.  The car started fine, so it wasn't the battery, but I tried the jump-start posts on the fuse box anyway, to no effect.  Also, the rear trunk lid worked fine.

 

At this stage I should have just gotten a hex tool from the basement and tightened the bayonets, but that would have been too easy.  I took off the front passenger (right) side wheel cover and fished around for the secret trunk release, to no avail -- I didn't know what I was looking for, and in any case didn't find it.  So I drove down to my local Porsche guys (slowly, with the top not locked down!), and Andy there tried himself for a good half-hour to diagnose the problem.   The fact that there wasn't even a sound from the trunk solenoid, combined with a fact I had left out -- the remote locking system had been (intermittently) not working for some time.  He thought it might be one of the on-board computers, as he noticed the alarm wasn't arming either, and he hooked up his magic laptop.  But that wasn't it either.  Finally he found the emergency release wire, which was jammed, but got it loose a little, the solenoid started working and the trunk opened.

 

As it happened, I had a body shop put a new front bumper cover on the car a month or two earlier.  It seems that they improperly routed the emergency trunk release wire and it jammed the trunk release (intermittently).  When it was in a certain state, the car thought the trunk was open and wouldn't lock, arm the alarm, or do other things.  Once the jammed wire was free, everything worked.

 

I probably need to take the car back to the body shop and have them re-route that wire so it doesn't happen again, but I thought I'd mention this odd situation for others' benefit.

Edited by gnetwerker
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