Jump to content

Welcome to RennTech.org Community, Guest

There are many great features available to you once you register at RennTech.org
You are free to view posts here, but you must log in to reply to existing posts, or to start your own new topic. Like most online communities, there are costs involved to maintain a site like this - so we encourage our members to donate. All donations go to the costs operating and maintaining this site. We prefer that guests take part in our community and we offer a lot in return to those willing to join our corner of the Porsche world. This site is 99 percent member supported (less than 1 percent comes from advertising) - so please consider an annual donation to keep this site running.

Here are some of the features available - once you register at RennTech.org

  • View Classified Ads
  • DIY Tutorials
  • Porsche TSB Listings (limited)
  • VIN Decoder
  • Special Offers
  • OBD II P-Codes
  • Paint Codes
  • Registry
  • Videos System
  • View Reviews
  • and get rid of this welcome message

It takes just a few minutes to register, and it's FREE

Contributing Members also get these additional benefits:
(you become a Contributing Member by donating money to the operation of this site)

  • No ads - advertisements are removed
  • Access the Contributors Only Forum
  • Contributing Members Only Downloads
  • Send attachments with PMs
  • All image/file storage limits are substantially increased for all Contributing Members
  • Option Codes Lookup
  • VIN Option Lookups (limited)

Tiptronic multifunction switch failed

Recommended Posts

Let me preface with mentioning that I am not a mechanic ..


The vehicle history I'm referencing was my fathers 2004 Boxster. He was elderly and drove the car infrequently such that the original mileage up to today is 11,500 mi.


When my dad passed away he kindly left the vehicle to me. Shortly after receiving it, timed exactly with the first time I engaged the Tiptronic shifting, the dreaded flashing 4 occurred. On visiting a local Porsche mechanic/garage, and with OBD analysis, he reported the multifunction switch had failed and will require replacement. Coincidentally at this visit he inquired if the vehicle was not driven for extended periods - which it was.


At the same time I requested the service records of the vehicle at the Porsche dealership. Within the records I found a service item that was replacement of the multifunction switch when the odo was sitting at 9,500 mi. The order was dated 22 months ago.


To the point of this post - I believe the action of multifunction switch is to swivel to varied positions that set the next gear. That the mechanic had inquired about the usage characteristics, i.e. sitting unused for extended periods, leads me to sense that the switch is 'stuck' in one position. If this may be the case, would it not be possible to remove the unit and apply the factory lubricant and re-install .. or is the lack of movement catastrophic and requires replacement?


Thanks! ..

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all, welcome to RennTech :welcomeani:

The multi-functional switch is not designed to be serviced, so taking apart is questionable.  Secondly, we store Tip equipped cars for select customers, sometimes for more than a year, and have not encountered the type of issue you describe, so I don't feel leaving one sit in one position for prolonged time frames is necessary involved.


I would also note that we see more problems with this switch from moisture or oil leakage.  It is not uncommon to find one of these units with accumulated transmission fluid inside them, and cars that live in high humidity environments (I note that you live in Hawaii, you lucky dog!) tend to be more problematic than those from dryer areas.


Lastly, we have had absolutely no luck with aftermarket replacement switches, they simply do not hold up.  Stay with a factory replacement.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I purchased my car with 30k miles on it, and it had only been driven about 100 miles in the previous year prior to my purchase. After me driving it for one day I attempted manual shifting and got the D/4 flashing lights, the Tip went into a limp mode only allowing shifting up to 3rd gear. Went to the dealer that performed the PPI and got the same diagnosis as you got, and they cleared the code, drove the car home. I did a LOT of reading on anything relating to the symptoms and diagnosis and fault.


The battery was found to be low on voltage during the PPI, so on day 2 of my ownership I installed a new battery. Problem solved.


I found many posts relating to weird things happening due to slightly low voltage.


As Hanz and Franz used to say, "Hear me now, and believe me later!".

Edited by ttocs

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies ..


I had not thought the code (believe it was 708) could be cleared from the processor, and this action was not suggested by the mechanic. That voltage would be an issue is entirely plausible give there is the wiring interface to the unit. I ensure the battery is totally disconnected when the vehicle sits for an extended period, but that doesn't ensure optimum capacity when connected.


That there is susceptibility to malfunction due to humidity is not ringing encouragement given being located in Honolulu. I haven't heard any comments of similar from other Porsche owners in the area. They driving is more frequent and/or regular, so perhaps the combination of infrequency and ambient humidity are a factor. There is not a possible contributor be any fluids. The transmission is dry and all the engine seals are okay. The engine oil is in such good condition you could even use some on your salad - well, maybe not that good! ..


It is true, there are a myriad of associated issues with this components. An easy remedy is not anticipated, but replacing a multifunction switch that is virtually new would be a disheartening outcome ..


Thanks ...

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had read that when the Tip goes into any of the limp modes, only a PIWIScan clear it. There may be another way but I never checked since a Porsche dealer is only a couple miles from me.


The battery my car had when purchased was reading just under 12 volts. I couldn't believe that the small voltage discrepancy could cause a problem, but since it was one of the things on the PPI list needing immediate attention I swapped it out. For clarity, the actual timeline for my events was: Saturday fault and limp mode (I was horrified!!), Sunday all sorts of suggested reset attempts by reading posts on this and another forum, Monday new battery and drive to Porsche. After Porsche cleared the fault, they test drove it trying to re-create the problem and couldn't. Porsche did not charge me because the PPI didn't show a problem like this occurring and they felt obligated to help. I was very appreciative. After I got home I was timid about using the manual mode so I experimented a couple times by driving around my neighborhood so I wouldn't be far from home, but the problem has not happened again.


FWIW my local Porsche dealer is a sister to the Audi dealership, and while I've dealt with the Audi dealer many times as a previous customer, I've not purchased a car from Porsche yet - only service and parts. People say negative things about dealerships, but I gotta say that I've only been treated like a king every time I've been in the Porsche dealer.

Edited by ttocs

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't suspect a bad switch yet. Maybe an improperly assembled switch or something in the wiring from the previous replacement process. Durametric will clear tiptronic codes and give you a solid read on the fault. As others have said sometimes just clearing the codes and making sure the battery is good will make it all better. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The info in your responses is elevating my expectation that a hardly used switch would fail in itself. It would be close to tragic having to invest in another replacement, which would be the 3rd in the vehicle.

There are a number of procedures from which to choose and execute here. I have today ordered myself a Durametric to probe this issue, and any other potential issues. I consider the cost at half as I can use it for my Cayenne as well, which has a vapor sensor issue.

Many thanks for the leg up ..

.. and ttocs - I'm pretty sure it's not against the rules to give a shout out for your dealer there in IL

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Similar Content

    • By Garra671
      Tried googeleing it but couldn’t find what I was after.    Was curious if anyone knows what type of flat 6 the 986 boxster has?
      Is it a a true boxer engine? Or a horizontally opposed flat V?     True boxer meaning it has individual crank pins for each piston and is a true 180degree angle.    Thanks in advance 
    • By 01BoxterS
      The rear window on my 2001 S has separated from the canvas, and the tan top is dingy and past its prime. I no longer have a garage, so I am forced to outsource it. I would appreciate some informed opinions.
      I'm looking at a GAAH A5 Acoustic glass window top. The dealer is saying $2,700-$3k installed. A reputable convertible/interior specialist is coming in at $2,200. The dealer talked about needing to buy additional sound insulation, clips and etc., which is either building in additional profit, or it may be totally justified because they have experience and might provide additional quality. I don't have an excess of cash for a 18 y/o car so I'm soliciting experienced opinions:
      Assuming the local top specialist is truly skilled at their game, should I expect that they can handle this, along with connecting the heating element?  I doubt they have done many A5 Acoustic glass retrofits, whereas the dealer has likely done a few. If I go with the local specialists, are there some unique things I need to specify they order/replace/pay attention to? Should I give more weight to (a) Porsche dealer that only occasionally does a top or (b) the people who do tops all the time, but just not Porsches?    
      All informed opinions are welcome. 
    • By Garra671
      Recently I had been noticing issues with my cooling system the coolant temp guage would go past the 0 on 180 and I wouldn’t hear fans or anything. (Already tested fans and resistors and relays).   The temperature Will continue to creep up if I sit still, with no signs of fans, AC OFF.

      I replaced the coolant temp sensor. Problem fixed!! Then same issue again it seems after a week of driving.  

      Now i currently have ordered another temp sensor just Incase I maybe did something to cause the other new one too fail, I’ll be changing it again today.

      However I was doing the climate control hack to check my actual temperatures today while doing a short troubleshooting drive. And I noticed my oil temperature said 0, which is physically impossible 🙄

      Is it possible the oil temp guage is throwing off the coolant sensor?    Is it even possible for the oil temp sensor too go bad but not the oil level sensor? (They are a 2 in 1 sensor)   

    • By Angel Martin
      I need to replace the ATF wiring harness in my 2002 986 w/ tiptronic due to a defective temperature sensor that forms part of it. I have been unable to find any information as to what it entails and / or how it can be replaced.   Appreciate any insight. 
    • By mrplow911
      The radiator grills on the 986 sit very low and thus tend to collect quite a bit of debris and garbage faster than other cars.  The design of the radiators and front air intakes is such a way that any debris which enters the grill get jammed between the radiator and the inside of the front bumper body panel.  
      Cleaning out your radiators and the garbage stuck behind the front bumper should be done periodically as leaving anything in there can cause inefficiencies to your cooling (A/C and engine) and also rust your radiators once the debris gets wet.  
      By adding mesh to the standard grill, using gutter guards for rain gutters, you can reduce the amount of debris which can enter your grill.  This is a simple process and adds not only functional value, but I think it looks pretty great too.  For me it took roughly 4 hours to access, clean the radiators and air intakes, and add the mesh to my front grills(not including painting the grills).
      Parts you'll need:
      •    Gutter Guard (this is the same stuff you use for rain gutters on a house to keep leaves and junk from building up in the gutter) - Buy two sheets of this.
      •    High gloss, black spray paint
      •    Tiny black zip ties - nothing too thick, but don't go too wimpy either.  You'll need about 4 zip ties.
      Tools you'll need:
      •    Torx set
      •    Vacuum
      •    Aluminum shears
      •    Wet rag and soap to wipe down the air intake duct which is likely dirty.
      I won't cover how to remove the front bumper, as that's available widely across Youtube, Renntech, and other DIY sites.  Here's the Youtube video I used (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=280&v=X2q54XtupVo).  
      So we'll get started with this tutorial once you have the front bumper cover removed.

      1.    The first step is to remove the grills which are held in place with 4 plastic tabs and pull out from the inside of the front bumper cover.  This is fairly straight forward – just be sure to follow the general rule of not trying to force anything!  Use the images below to help.

      From this image, you can see 4 plastic tabs are used to secure the grill in place, while 3 tabs on top are flat and just used to align the grill.
      2.    With the grills out, it’s time to trace them on paper so you can cut your mesh correctly.  I used a big sheet of painters drop paper, which I’ll later use when painting the grills, to trace around the whole perimeter of the grill piece.  It’s important to trace around the whole piece rather than just the vent portion, because the grill is rounded and so the mesh will need to bend in order to make this a tight fit.  If your mesh is too small debris will be able to make it past your grill.
      3.     Now it’s time to cut your gutter guard.  Using the metal shears, cut the mesh to match the outline you traced in step 2.  I found it easy to use a box knife to score and transfer the tracing from the paper to the gutter guard (since the gutter is painted, you just use the box knife to score the paint).

      Your cuts don’t need to be perfect.  Mine aren’t rounded, but you’ll see that they still create a great seal for stopping junk.
      4.    This next step is optional, though it makes a big difference in terms of looks!  I painted by grills.  There’s nothing fancy you need to do when painting them.  I applied three coats of paint just to ensure it was solid.  Let them dry for at least a day or two or else the paint will easily chip.   
      5.    The next step is to cut a whole out for the outside temp sensor which is sticks through the left grill (when looking at the car head on).  Before cutting the hole for the sensor, be sure to test out your mesh by holding it against and fitting it (bending it to form) with the respective grill it’s for.  
       This doesn’t need to be an exact science, and in this case it’s always better to cut less and test it rather than cut too much.
      I determined where the hole needed to be cut by holding the fitted mesh against the grill and scoring the part of the mesh which aligned with the hole on the grill.  I cut a small rectangle that is about a half inch, or in my case three snips of the mesh.  I probably couldn’t gone a bit smaller, but you can’t really notice. 

      6.    Next step is to adhere the mesh to the grill.  I did this a bit differently than others have since I didn’t’ want the mesh to be permanently attached to the grill.  I used small black zip ties which aren’t visible when viewing the car but hold the mesh securely in place and allow it to be replaced if they become damaged or a future owner doesn’t want them.  In the picture below you can see I used 4 zip ties for each grill.  Two on the very bottom which help support the mesh from sliding down, and two at the very top which help the mesh from being pushed back into the intake duct. 

      7.    The most difficult part of reassembly is aligning the outside temp sensor with the hole you made.  Prior to having mesh installed this was simple because you could just put your fingers in the grill and guide it.  There’s no trick to this, just take your time aligning it as you put the bumper panel back on.  It doesn’t need to be aligned perfectly since you can use needle nose pliers to adjust it after the bumper panel is in place. 
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.