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986 Boxster Central Locking & Alarm Issues. Detailed symptoms prov

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Thank you in advance for the assistance. I recently purchased a 1997 Boxster from someone with a few issues that I have been successful with clearing up so far. The last real issue I am having has to do with the inability to lock the doors or set the alarm. For simplicity, I'll list the symptoms in bullet format below.

- Utilizing the remote: the car doors will not lock themselves and a momentary sound can be heard of motors cycling in the fuel filler door lock motor, as well as down by the driver side rocker panel, and possibly the front and rear trunks. All this is followed by two beeps of the horn which I know signifies something wrong with the theft deterrent system. Also, rapid momentary flashing of the alarm status light on top of the dash pad while all of this is going on. Lights on the remote control/key seem to be normal although I have not changed the battery.

- Utilizing the key: Before I took the drivers door panel off, the key felt as if there was little resistance when trying to use it to unlock the door and could actually be spun 360 degrees. After removing the door panel I realized that the 'paddle' that should extend from the lock cylinder into the lock mechanism/solenoid itself is just not even there. The action of the key in the door lock is rough as well which leads me to believe the lock cylinder or the key are getting pretty worn out. Just to note, the key does start the car, however the ignition tumbler feels a little worn out also. The key also lock/unlocks the center console storage bin.

- Door lock mechanism/solenoid. Since the 'paddle' is not present to transfer the action of the key being turned, I thought I was onto something. I grabbed a flat blade screwdriver and duplicated the action of the key directly to the lock mechanism (left/right, etc.) but got the same results as using the remote when attempting to lock/unlock. Of note, I was able to roll the windows up and down this way.

- Miscellaneous findings: Window drop on both sides of the car works with the outside handles; I haven't actually thought to try it from the inside. The interior handle microswitches are plugged in; however the one on the drivers side I noticed was disconnected when I removed the door panel initially.

Possible (low cost) solutions:

- Drivers Door Lock Cylinder: obtain a used one with the 'paddle' assembly which I am missing, along with a key. Problem here is you end up having two keys; not optimal but I could live with it. It also doesn't solve the real issue.
- Re-key the entire vehicle: Obtain the above along with the matching ignition lock cylinder and interior bin lock; swap the pill inside the transmitter. I assume for this I will have to use my current processor (?) attached to my current ignition lock, but the ring on the new ignition lock can be used since I believe it simply transmits the signal from the pill. Still doesn't solve my real issue but at least I will be able to actuate the door lock mechanism with the key, and possibly have smoother operation with both the door and ignition locks. Note, I did change the ignition switch already because it was not springing back from the start position - that issue is fixed.

So now, given the above information, what do you all recommend? I read that there might be a sequence to follow when connecting/disconnecting the battery - this I have not done. Are there any other tests I should try? The M535 (I think) processor on the floor looks to be in good condition.

Thanks for your time and sorry for the long post!! :-)


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As your central locking unit seems to be responding (beeping and not locking), there is probably nothing wrong with it.  As for the missing parts, those you are going to need to be sourced.  It sounds more like you have a bad lock mechanism, which will have to be replaced (be sure to check both doors).

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As your central locking unit seems to be responding (beeping and not locking), there is probably nothing wrong with it.  As for the missing parts, those you are going to need to be sourced.  It sounds more like you have a bad lock mechanism, which will have to be replaced (be sure to check both doors).

Thanks JFP, I found a matching set of door/ignition and storage bin lock cylinders with the key included that I will attempt to swap out with what I currently have. Door lock mechanism may be bad but going to do some more troubleshooting first. someone mentioned the 97 had door locks on the passenger side as well which honestly I don't remember seeing one so I will be checking that also. Thanks for the response... Dave 

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