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Revhead
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Discussion Starter #1
Our 2011 987.2 Cayman S is suddenly refusing to start. It has given no sign of impending issues (slow cranking or dash lights dimming when cranking), and everything was peachy when the missus drove home last night, but this morning it's suddenly making no effort to crank whatsoever. I can hear a relay click, but there's no crank action at all. The battery voltage is fine, the lights don't dim, and I've tried jumping it from another vehicle, but without success. Even tried both keys, in case it was somehow related to the security system.

Before I have it towed to our local P-car specialist, are there any diagnostics that a shade-tree mechanic with some experience with automotive electrics but no access to a lift can perform? Is the main relay panel accessible to mere humans? Is there an accessible terminal that I can use to test the starter motor? How many arms and legs am I likely to lose if the starter has spontaneously decided to cark it?

Thanks!
 

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Sounds like dead battery but not starting with another car to jump it is odd. The voltage can read fine but if it can't support the cranking amps it still won't start the car. Was the other car running and did you let to stay connected for a while prior to trying to start? Any chance you reversed the polarity when you tried to jump it?


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Revhead
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Discussion Starter #4
Sounds like dead battery but not starting with another car to jump it is odd. The voltage can read fine but if it can't support the cranking amps it still won't start the car. Was the other car running and did you let to stay connected for a while prior to trying to start? Any chance you reversed the polarity when you tried to jump it?
Yes, I left them connected for several minutes and no, I didn't reverse the polarity. :)

Is it constant clicking, or just a single click? If it's a single click, it's likely related to the starter, not the battery.
Single click, as if the relay is pulling in but the starter is simply not drawing any current whatsoever.

I've experienced low or dead batteries before - this doesn't feel like that at all. I suspect a dead starter (though I consider that unlikely given the sudden onset), or a bad relay. Perhaps even a fusible link - is there one in the starter circuit? - or even a bad connection somewhere.

Here's another thought: would a faulty neutral interlock produce similar results?
 

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Single click, as if the relay is pulling in but the starter is simply not drawing any current whatsoever.

I've experienced low or dead batteries before - this doesn't feel like that at all. I suspect a dead starter (though I consider that unlikely given the sudden onset), or a bad relay. Perhaps even a fusible link - is there one in the starter circuit? - or even a bad connection somewhere.

Here's another thought: would a faulty neutral interlock produce similar results?
If it were just a dead battery then jumping it would have more than likely worked. That's why I think it's something with the starter. And a starter can just go bad; it doesn't have to slowly die.

As for the neutral interlock switch - I doubt it's that. Usually you'll get a message on the dash that says something like "Clutch Pedal Must Be Depressed" . . . at least that's what I got when my switch went bad on my '11.
 

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Check your positive cable all the way to the module it connects to opposite end of the battery coonection. These have been know to go bad. If it is the positive cable, you will need a Positive lead kit which is seriously back ordered. I was told it could be up to a 6 month wait! This happened with my 07, 987.
 

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This is off the wall, but do you have a 2nd Porsche? When I switch keys between my LE & CSS, Porsche will let the wrong key turn the ignition to the on position, there will be a click noise in the key area, and nothing else happens.
 

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Revhead
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Discussion Starter #8
This is off the wall, but do you have a 2nd Porsche? When I switch keys between my LE & CSS, Porsche will let the wrong key turn the ignition to the on position, there will be a click noise in the key area, and nothing else happens.
Only one P-car, and I've tried both keys, but you could be right - it might be somehow related to the security system. I guess we'll just bite the bullet and get it towed in the morning. :/
 

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Check your positive cable all the way to the module it connects to opposite end of the battery coonection. These have been know to go bad. If it is the positive cable, you will need a Positive lead kit which is seriously back ordered. I was told it could be up to a 6 month wait! This happened with my 07, 987.
It sounds like what happened to my 2007 Cayman last month. My car wouldn't start...just the clicking sound. AAA tried two different jumper/booster packs (both were fully charged) and the car still didn't start. The battery was checked and deemed to be good. Lights did not dim. Had the car towed to the shop and they diagnosed a corroded "distribution cable". They had the pin, but had to order the cable from over 2400 miles away. Took about a week.
 

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I had this problem with my '79 911SC. Turns out that the engine had a hydraulic lock as a result of a stuck fuel injector filling a cylinder. Pulled all the plugs to be sure, defeated the distributor for safety, cranked it through, and never had it recur.
 

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Revhead
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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the suggestions, folks. Heard from the shop today - it's a bad starter. $500 part, but at least it's in stock!
 

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i had battery very low once - it took ~10-15 minutes jump cables connected to another car with engine running before the Porsche could crank again.
with a little low battery situations the jump cable or booster worked for me immediately. but not when the battery went too low.
 

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500$ for a starter is not too bad.
for Porsche i would expect over 1000$.
 

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I was just thinking a few weeks ago how strange this case was.... and suddenly I got struck by this too....
single click but no crank, jumpstart no effect, battery looks ok. starter issue as well.
 

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Thanks for all the suggestions, folks. Heard from the shop today - it's a bad starter. $500 part, but at least it's in stock!
Had you driven through any high water recently? I know there was flooding in parts of TX. I had a starter fail on a BMW after driving through some flooded streets. It failed many days later. Luckily it was covered by my warranty.

Truthfully, IDK if the starter on our engines is so low as to be vulnerable.
 

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don't think its due to water - the starter is pretty high up around the same height as the AOS.
The techs did say its not uncommon for porsches around 8-10 years old to have this issue.

its more "frozen" or stuck.
 
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