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1999 Porsche 986 Issues - Convertible Top, ABS, Traction Control, Power Steering, Battery Light

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Hi, my name is Eric and I drive a 1999 Porsche Boxster with about 85,000 miles on it. I've had some issues come up over the past week and was wondering if anyone would know what was going on.


About a week ago I took my car out and dropped the top on one of the first warm-ish days after winter. Once I got back to my parking garage, the top would not go up, but was making a noise when I pressed the button, for about 1/2 of a second. I looked at the fuses related to the top and both seemed fine. I also checked the convertible top double relay and cleaned the receptors. My friend and I did this again yesterday, with no progress.


Today, I went to go drive my car and found the ABS, Traction Control, and battery lights all on; and also could tell the power steering was off. I'm hoping this is all related and not too huge of a fix, something I can ideally do myself. I also went over some sort of road debris yesterday that I heard scrape under my car for a few seconds, could this have caused any of these problems?


Has anyone else had these issues? Or have any clue what might have gone wrong to cause these problems?


I really appreciate any advice anyone may have. Thank you!

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Welcome to RennTech :welcomeani:

I would start by flipping the seats forward, removing the engine panel, and taking a look at your serpentine belt. which may either be broken or worn so badly it is slipping.  All of your issues seem to be electric in nature, so your battery may be weak, possible due to the belt, or just weak on its own.  If this isn't the source of the problems, I would look next at the electrical section of your ignition switch, a relatively inexpensive items that is well know for being the source of all sorts of electrical gremlins.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi JFP,  thanks for the suggestions. I started to take a look at these possible places for the issue, but was unable to access the serpentine belt. Currently, my top is stuck in the down position and I haven't been able to figure out how to do the emergency procedure described in the manual. Do you have any suggestions on how I might get it up enough to be able to remove the engine panel behind the seats?


I'll keep doing research on my own, and post in here if I make any progress and am able to gain access to the engine compartment.

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The engine panel behind the seats is not obstructed when the top is down, simply remove the carpeted panel to expose the metal panel held in by fasteners.  Remove the fasteners, and you are staring at the belt.

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The panel JFP is talking about is a vertical panel that will show you the belt and the items that direct it. As he has said, just slide the seats forward, tilt them forward, remove the carpet on the rear firewall behind the seats and lo and behold there will be an obvious easy access panel that lets you see the front of the engine.  Don't have to do a thing with the top to get at the belt or idler pulleys and they can be replaced without the top up.


You may find some info on the top mechanisms here.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks to everyone's advice I figured out the issue and got everything working again. Turns out it was the serpentine belt, which was absolutely shredded (see picture attached). The process turned out to be very easy and did not take much time at all once I got the engine compartment open.


I really appreciate all of the advice! Probably saved me about a grand in dealership fees or something ridiculous for the $35 and 2 hours of labor it too to fix.

Serpentine Belt Small.jpg

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