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Re: immobilizer on my '98 986. need advice

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Hi all,

My immobilizer has been pretty trashed for a few years now. The car is now my son's and we are talking budget! With 170,000 miles on it, I couldn't sell it for much and the poor kid's Civic had over 330k when it died. So obviously, he loves it, but it's tough for him to keep it running while his attention and $$ goes to schooling. I'm setting the stage here.... smiling smiley

OK, the immobilizer has been giving me problems for a few years, an occasional window lowering, Alarm set horn beep when not expected, etc. Then last year it started really going bad, the alarm sets then goes off randomly. we tried just using the key in the door to lock the car, but it would still go off randomly or would not de-activate. So we just stopped locking the car. That's been fine, but now he's moving to a different school and he's going to need to park the car on the street and we are going to need to alarm it.

I suppose the best cost affective way is to go to Best Buy and have an inexpensive alarm system put in so that we can get the doors to lock. But I'm wondering how bad can a defective immobilizer can become? Can it get to the point of not allowing the car to start? If so, maybe we should actually fix this system. I've heard that we could buy a used one from the junk yard and get an indi shop to install it and program it to the computer. Do you recommend this? Do you need new keys too?

what are the shops asking these days to get this repaired? new and/or used?

I've been dreading this repair for a long time.

thanks for any advice and suggestions.

SJ
... the CLU (Central Locking Unit), not the Immobilizer, is wet.
Try removing the driver's seat and then the CLU.
Disconnect it from it's harness, remove it from the car and open the case.
Remove the printed circuit board and dunk it in a shallow recipient and cover it with isopropyl alcohol.
Shake it well so the alcohol penetrates all the spaces, in particular between the chips and connections.
Then, let it dry. You can accelerate the drying by using a hair dryer in the cool mode.
Dry out the inside of the case if it had humidity and put everything back together.
If it was water causing the problem, it should now work fine.
We have saved many CLUs this way.
Happy Boxstering,
Pedro

Pedro Bonilla 1998 Boxster 986 - 293,000+ miles: http://www.PedrosGarage.com
PCA National Club Racing Scrutineer - PCA National HPDE Instructor - PCA Technical Committee (Boxster/Cayman)

Racecar spelled backwards is Racecar
"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting" ... Steve McQueen as Michael Delaney in "LeMans"
"If you wait, all that happens is that you get older"... Mario Andretti
"Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose" ... Ayrton Senna
Thecar won't start without the immobilizer and BB doesn't have the equipment to disable it. Pedro's suggestion is definitely the best thing to try first.
I can now reprogram a DME to completely eliminate the immobilizer and all the wiring associated with it.
Happy Boxstering,
Pedro

Pedro Bonilla
1998 Boxster 986 - 200,000+ miles: http://www.PedrosGarage.com

Racecar spelled backwards is Racecar
"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting" ... Steve McQueen
"If you wait, all that happens is that you get older"... Mario Andretti
"Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose" ... Ayrton Senna
I'll do the alcohol trick and see what happens, then I'll go from there. Yeah, I don't think an aftermarket alarm will do the trick.

I've got a few car covers and bra's that I'll put up for sale on Craig's list and maybe sell my short shift. I'll see what my son can come up with and maybe it will take the sting out of repairing this thing.

Repairing the Boxster on a kid's budget is throwing me back to those Andy Hardy movies.... Ha, Ha.

SJ
Hola Pedro:

I'm swaping a 98 boxster engine and trans to a 1973 914 in Puerto Rico. I've read on your forum that you can deprogram the immobilizer from the DME. Aside the immobilizer, do you know of any other dependencies that would need to be deprogrammed? I have the original DME, immobilizer and keys from the donor car but I would like to do away with the later two. What type of cost are we looking at?

Thanks in advance,


Alfredo Larracuente
Guaynabo, PR

Fred Larracuente Guaynabo, PR
my 02 Boxster was manifesting and the problem turned out to be the door lock assembly in the passenger door.

The symptoms were the horn beeping like something was open -- for instance the center console lid -- when I locked the car. I never found anything open but opening then closing the console lid seemed to help cause the horn would not beep again.

At other times while driving the door lock LED on the door lock button on the dash would come on then go off then come on and maybe go off again then come on and stay on. I could hear the doors locking when the LED came on. I'd press the door unlock button and hear the doors unlock. Sometimes this would 'cure' the problem other times it would happen again.

The last symptom was the passenger door window either not dropping when I opened the door which caught me unawares and the top edge of the door glass would drag against the top rail or worse dropping a bit like it should then after the door was open raising so when I closed the door the top edge of the window would hit the top rail with a horrible crash.

The tech hooked up a diagnostics computer and pulled some codes from the CLU/security module then did some tests to verify easier and cheaper to replace switches/etc were not at fault but the problem proved to be in the door lock unit.

A fairly big, complex, and I know expensive ($400 approx.) part. Couple of hours of labor involved diagnosing, removing, installing the new one and using the diagnostics computer to remove error codes and verify no new ones appeared.

I would be leery of putting in an aftermarket alarm system. They cost some money and oftentimes prove to be worse than the disease.

Sincerely,

MarcW.
My boxster 986 have a problem with the ECU, the original ECU are damaged, I brought a second one from other car, same code but not working when install in the car. The engine is not start when the new ECU are installed.


Pedro Bonilla 1998 Boxster 986 - 293,000+ miles: http://www.PedrosGarage.com
PCA National Club Racing Scrutineer - PCA National HPDE Instructor - PCA Technical Committee (Boxster/Cayman)

Racecar spelled backwards is Racecar
"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting" ... Steve McQueen as Michael Delaney in "LeMans"
"If you wait, all that happens is that you get older"... Mario Andretti
"Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose" ... Ayrton Senna
Hola Pedro:

I'm doing a swap of a 98 Boxster engine onto a 1973 914. I need to disable the immobilizer to simplify the job. What kind of costs are we looking at? Do you need just the DME to do this?

Thanks in advance,

Fred Larracuente
Guaynabo, PR

Fred Larracuente Guaynabo, PR
I stopped that endeavor some years ago.
It was expensive and very few people were interested.
Happy Boxstering,
Pedro

Pedro Bonilla 1998 Boxster 986 - 293,000+ miles: http://www.PedrosGarage.com
PCA National Club Racing Scrutineer - PCA National HPDE Instructor - PCA Technical Committee (Boxster/Cayman)

Racecar spelled backwards is Racecar
"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting" ... Steve McQueen as Michael Delaney in "LeMans"
"If you wait, all that happens is that you get older"... Mario Andretti
"Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose" ... Ayrton Senna
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