Question about 2004 Porsche Boxster

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2004 Porsche Boxster S - Battery or electrical?

I went out to start my car and noticed some weird behavior immediately...

With key in ignition and turned all the way to the right without starting, the radio came on, as it usually does with key in that position, and then I popped the convertible top. usually, this makes the windows automatically roll down a few inches. the windows rolled down but in little bursts, like 1/4" down, pause, 1/4" more, pause... Then the radio cut out. it came back on a few seconds later and then died again.

I turned the key to start the car and it made a clicking sound and baaaarely started to turn over and then nothing. The lights on the dashboard dimmed and went out.

after a few more tries, and weird electrical things (each time I turned the key, the clock had reset to 12:00, and the windows would automatically go down and up a tiny bit like they do when you unlock the car and open the door) I got the engine to turn over weakly and with a little gas, it started. I drove it a few miles and had to park and turn it off (not happy about it but it was a meeting I couldn't miss)

Same deal when I came back to the car 2 hours later only this time I couldn't get it to turn over. A few weak attempts at turning over but mostly just clicking. I called AAA and they jumped the battery and it started right up.

I drove home and hooked the battery up to a portable trickle charger for 2 days (note: i did not remove the battery, I just attached the charger to the battery in the car)

No dice when I went to start it after the 2 days of charging, it tried to turn over but mostly clicked and electronics acted weird, but again, after a few tries I got it to barely turn over and was able to get it running.

I know nothing about cars but I don't want to buy a new battery if this sounds like it could be an electrical problem. Help!

The car is under extended warranty, so i can have it towed to the dealer if it sounds like a major problem. If it's just the battery then I'll just buy the battery at an auto parts store and have someone install, right? I'd rather not pay the $250 for the Porsche battery. I've heard there's an electronic code to reset electronics?? Is this something only a dealer can handle?

So here are my questions in summary:

1) Does this sound like a plain old dead battery or is something more serious going on?
2) Do I need to take the new battery to the dealer to have it replaced or can any mechanic replace the old battery because of the electronic code business?
3) If any mechanic can replace, how do I find the electronic code and how does one use it to "reset" the electronics when replacing the battery?

I'm a knucklehead when it comes to this stuff so any advice would be welcomed. Thanks!

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  • catgregory Jun 01, 2009

    Thank you. The code was lost somewhere along the way, but the shop I went to kept the car attached to a back up battery during the swap as you suggested. And yep, you're right, it was just a dead battery. New battery = all systems go.

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I'm certain from what you say, you need a new battery. It's 4+ years old now and that's about how long they last. As far as the code goes, I'm surprised you haven't lost it already. Most shops will change the battery and keep the code up by powering the car with an additional battery during the swap. If you lose it though, the code is usually included with the owners manual and as far as I know, it is only for the radio. Don't drive the car like this...with a bad battery, it puts an excessive load on the alternator and will kill it as well if you do.

Posted on Jun 01, 2009

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Guys,
Had a very similar problem wth my Boxster S and learned a few tricks which are Porsche traits.Firstly the porsches all use quite a bit of electrical power when switched off,(I leave mine for two weeks at a time) They need quite a bit of power for the various electrical gizmos (alarm,leds and radio etc) so i purchsed a small solar panel which i stick t the inside of my garage and it trickle feeds the battery constantly topping it back up and it works a treat.A word of warning,Ifyou try and doa quick charge on the battery it will fry the diodes on the Alternator (Very expensive) It happned to me.I have had the solar panel for a couple of years now and it is great.
Tommo abz

Posted on Dec 19, 2009

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HAVE a 1998 PORSCHE BOXSTER I NEED A FUSE PLAN MY RADIO STOPED WORKING N I WANT TO CHECK FUSE

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SOURCE: 1998 porsche boxster, battery is dead on car, and

This is a common problem. Your alarm was on when the battery went dead. When the alarm activated, the hood/bonnet opening lever locks to prevent thieves from opening the hood in case the top is down. Some boxsters have a jumper post the pulls out near the fuse box. However, I do not think the 1997-1999s have this post.

Buy a male-to-male cigarette lighter adapter at the auto store. Connect between your car's cigarette lighter socket and the other car's cigarette lighter socket. Do not try to start the ignition or the any other electronics. You should not even need the key in the ignition. You should be able to pop the door locks with the remote and open the bonnet.

You may also need to recover your radio code: http://www.a2dvoices.com/realitycheck/porsche/

Posted on May 17, 2010

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