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Discussion Starter #1
I am having an issue with my top on this car. I bought from my local dealer 2 months ago. It was the dealership group owners personal demo. It had 5K miles on it and was sold to me as new since it had not been registered previously. Almost immediately I have experienced issues with the operation of the top. About 50% of of the time the top will stop in mid retraction and display " Top Not In Final Position". This happens while running or not, in park and in gear with vehicle stopped. It has also happened while moving and under the 30MPH threshold. Additionally it has occurred while closing the top. Approximately during 15-20 % of the failures the dash will display " Top Control Fault". All of these occurrences require that I release the open/close button and pull again, then the top completes it's operation.

I had it to the dealer after a few weeks after purchase and they verified that the fault occurred and re-calibrated the top. A few days later the failures came back. I've had the car back in shop now for 9 days and counting. While the shop has been able to get it to replicate on occasion it will not do so when it has been hooked up to their diagnostic equipment. They have contacted Porches Technical ( PTECH) and they have not been able to provide any additional assistance since it will not fault when on the equipment. Additionally the computer is not sorting any fault codes.

The dealer indicates they have not had any issues with Boxster tops displaying this behavior. I'm tremendously frustrated and becoming disappointed with the car. Has anyone else had something like this happen with their top? I'm looking for any info to help get this resolved. Thanks.
 

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Understand your frustration. If you got a good deal on the price of the car vs. "true" new, I would be thankful if this is he only issue you are having. At the end of the day, while a nuisance (that they appear to be trying to sort) it's a relatively minor fault. I would put the car through it's paces to ensure that there aren't any other more serious issues lurking.
 

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Interesting. It might be an intermittent problem with the switch console. Have they tried replacing it?

Tell the dealer to look at WM 962755 in the workshop manual ("Eliminating symptoms in body interior: Replacing switch console (Warning in instrument cluster "Closing convertible top" when convertible top is already closed/SY0913)"). Apparently, in the shop manual's words, some of the switch consoles had a problem described by "debounce time is too short." Especially if the switches on the PCB are a bit flaky, a small amount of electrical interference -- say, from a cell phone next to the console, or from the motor that operates the top -- could potentially cause the problem to show up with symptoms other than the one mentioned in the manual.

They recommend replacing the switch box if a false warning message ("Closing convertible top") appears in the instrument cluster even when the top was already closed. Certainly if you've ever seen that happen the switch console should be swapped out.
 

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Interesting. It might be an intermittent problem with the switch console. Have they tried replacing it?

Tell the dealer to look at WM 962755 in the workshop manual ("Eliminating symptoms in body interior: Replacing switch console (Warning in instrument cluster "Closing convertible top" when convertible top is already closed/SY0913)"). Apparently, in the shop manual's words, some of the switch consoles had a problem described by "debounce time is too short." Especially if the switches on the PCB are a bit flaky, a small amount of electrical interference -- say, from a cell phone next to the console, or from the motor that operates the top -- could potentially cause the problem to show up with symptoms other than the one mentioned in the manual.

They recommend replacing the switch box if a false warning message ("Closing convertible top") appears in the instrument cluster even when the top was already closed. Certainly if you've ever seen that happen the switch console should be swapped out.
Good advise. If that would be the case, would adding a smartTop fix the issue as well?
 

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It's hard to say without knowing what's really going on, but my guess is yes, that would make the problem go away by masking the symptom. You wouldn't be holding the button, so all of the related bus traffic during an open/close cycle would be coming from the SmartTop module and not the switch console.

At the same time, that's a good point in that if the OP already has a SmartTop installed, it would be the first thing to look at. Maybe the dealer installed one on the car themselves. Are you (SierraBoxsterS) holding down the button at the time the top stops moving? If not, your car has been modified and the modification should be checked or temporarily removed. (Edit: re-reading your original post I see that you're holding it down, so you presumably don't have a one-touch top control modification.)

Also:

I'm tremendously frustrated and becoming disappointed with the car. Has anyone else had something like this happen with their top? I'm looking for any info to help get this resolved. Thanks.
Don't confuse frustration with typical dealer cluelessness with disappointment in your car as a whole. Easy to make that mistake, but it would lead you to condemn one of the all-time great sports cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info. The dealer spent quite a bit of time operating and watching the top on Thursday. They observed that there was a hesitation at the engagement point of sensor #2. This apparently relates to the advance/retract of the top latch hook as it did not appear to be extending or retracting completely. They removed a sensor from a new car on the lot, installed it in my car and the hesitation disappeared. They also jumpered the sensor and the hesitation did not appear. So they ordered a new sensor and had it flown in. I got the car back on Saturday and so far no more issues. Porsche Technical Services (PTECH) could not offer any additional assistance other than to recommend that they operate the top while on the diagnostic machine and wait of for it to fault. I am very happy that the dealer took the initiative to dig into this issue. I think I owe the dealer service tech an adult beverage. I hope this is the permanent solution. I'm very happy to have my car back and to Noah's comment I agree that it is potentially one of the all time great sports cars.
 

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I hope to hear what the final solution is, Sierra. As I said on another thread, I actually took my 981 Boxster in to have this exact same issue looked at, and I wound up leaving with a 991 Targa after a trade. The dealership seemed convinced they could get the top fixed, so it wasn't an issue on my trade, but I didn't check back to see if they took care of it. By the way, I had installed a SmartTop, and the issue with the top getting stuck was the same whether I had the SmartTop turned on or disabled. And for me it was typically at one of two points in the process where it would always stick.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Still at the dealer. I know they are trying but it's tremendously frustrating. Love the car, but despise this issue. I'm hoping they find the culprit. I'm really disappointed about this. It really takes away from the joy I had when I bought the car as well as the joy I experience when I drive it. Just waiting every time I operate the top for it to fail is nerve racking. I've taken to not even trying to operate it when moving as it is so distracting that I feel it is dangerous to do so.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Okey Doke.....So I got the car back today. They had a specialist fly out and spend the week with the car. The # 2 microswitch is the main suspect. They were able to pull a pin on that switch and replicate the issue. So they ordered the new switch and a control module since they were in there anyways. It involved removing the entire top mechanism as well as the rear trunk liner, etc...This also required an AC purge and refill as the top removal apparently can expose the AC system to outside air. Additionally they found that the main top wiring harness had been routed improperly in an area that could cause a pitch fail. They fixed that too. I'm really impressed with the efforts on Porsche's part. Porsche takes their surveys very seriously. I was honest about my disappointment and gave that as feedback on the survey. That triggered what the dealer called a "red card" with Porsche USA. The red card escalates the issue and gets significant attention and subsequent resources for the dealer. I am very optimistic that we have this issue resolved. Even though this has been an undesirable situation Porsche USA and my dealer have been exceptional. This is how car companies and their dealer network should transact. Again I am hopeful that this resolves my issue. If so... I'm a customer for life.
 

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When you get the problem resolved consider installing the SmartTop module. I now put the top down every time I drive. Just three clicks on the remote before I arrive at the car and the top is down when I get in. Stop and as I get out push the close top button and as I walk away from the car it is all closed up. If I want walk away then three clicks on the remote closes it all up. As an old man getting into and out of the car is much easier with the top down. The best $300 I have spent on a car. If Porsche installed on the car it would probably cost $1,000.
 

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I've got it too, now. 50% of the time.
Took mine in to a great local Porsche dealer. Diagnostic showed a Fail on both microswitches at the B pillar. Having them overnighted and put in tomorrow, will keep updated if interested.

Used dealer I bought from had installed a new latch thinking that was the issue, so I don't know how that could have changed how the problem shows. Luckily they're paying for this fix too since out of warranty.

Sent from my SM-G925V using Tapatalk
 

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Took mine in to a great local Porsche dealer. Diagnostic showed a Fail on both microswitches at the B pillar. Having them overnighted and put in tomorrow, will keep updated if interested.

Used dealer I bought from had installed a new latch thinking that was the issue, so I don't know how that could have changed how the problem shows. Luckily they're paying for this fix too since out of warranty.

Sent from my SM-G925V using Tapatalk
I'd like to know how it turns out. I'm about a year out of warranty so I'm sure I will be paying for it.
 

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I'd like to know how it turns out. I'm about a year out of warranty so I'm sure I will be paying for it.
So that you know, the quote for the microswitches and labor is just over $1k. Though if you're comfortable with it, the parts are total about $150 from most of the oem parts store online. You could get a ~$150 diag done at dealer to confirm the failure first.

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I'd prefer to do the job myself, but if it requires the removal of the top frame (as stated above), better to have the dealer do it. Plus, I'll bet that it will require some type of reset by the dealer.
 

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Interesting. It might be an intermittent problem with the switch console. Have they tried replacing it?
That^

faulty buttons is the first thing that comes to mind. They can get a new buttons module and switch it in 5 minutes.

Also, lookup a SmartTop module - a must have on a Boxster! It might solve your problem too. But I'd first request dealer to replace buttons.
 

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I'd like to know how it turns out. I'm about a year out of warranty so I'm sure I will be paying for it.
Just got it back today, and the top is working like a charm! They just replaced the microswitches at the B pillars and did not require an A/C purge. It did require some sort of calibration, so if you diy the part swap, you will still need to take it in for that bit.

SA said he's seen very few of these issues and they've been almost exclusively on 987/986's.

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