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Danny, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 4004
Experience:  ASE Master Technician with L1 advanced engine performance, VW Certified, former US Army mechanic
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99 boxster: way down..clicking sound from both doors..rocker switch on

Customer Question

Windows will not go back up on my 99 boxster 2.5. They are all the way down and a clicking sound from both doors when the ignition is on (without the engine on). The car will start but the windows will not respond to the rocker switch on. the windows may edge up slightly for a second but then goes back to the down position. Any idea what is causing this? Never had windows problems until yesterday.
I also have a slow parasitic drain on my battery, I have a bosche batter that is warrantyed for 3 years I think and seems I try to start the car the starter starts it very slowly, keeping the key in, the starter speeds up and finally starts the car. Battery pre starting reads 10-11 volts, post start 14 volts. I brought the battery back to pepboys, they tell me its charging correctly and keeping the charge as described. Since Ive changed out the alternator on the boxster. Still the same problem. The amp draw from the disconnected batter is usually around .1 sometimes more.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Danny replied 5 years ago.
This is a problem with the battery voltage.

I'm curious though, you can't measure an amperage draw with the battery disconnected because there's no loads in the circuit for which their to be a draw. If you want to do that test, you cannot use a voltmeter. You have to have the meter installed between the negative battery post and the negative cable clamp, then you have to latch all the latches on the doors and trunk, arm the alarm, and wait for all the modules on the car to go to sleep. Because the amp draw will spike over what most meters can handle when you arm the alarm, you really need a negative amp clamp to measure this, and even better a graphing oscilloscope because some draws can be momentary. In short you don't have the proper tools to do that test.

11 volts at the battery is NOT acceptible, and you really shouldn't be going to Pep Boys for any info or parts on this car, they aren't qualified to give you advice about anything on this vehicle. You need to get the vehicle running and then run a positive charge harness voltage drop test. This requires you to run the car, set your meter on DC voltage, and touch one of the meter's leads to the positive battery cable and the other to the large cable at the back of the alternator and see what that reading is. After running the car for 20 minutes or so with all the electrical things on, this reading can grow to be half a volt or more. Generally, if this reading is over .1 volt (one tenth of a volt) I replace the cable. This condition overworks the alternator and then the battery doesn't get charged properly. You cannot test a charging system without the battery and alternator in the car because of this (and possible drop over the negative harness) as well. So you really need the correct tools, or take it to a Porsche specialist if you don't want to attempt this test on your own.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The battery test was done with the negative battery terminal disconnected, doors closed and the lamp from the hood out. Many voltmeter come with an unused amp draw up to (10 amps) and if you keep it there too long you will fry the wires if the draw is substantial. I've read up on the subject a bit. The answer is unacceptable however, I originally asked about my windows not going up, the clicking, there was no mention of that at all. The battery's parasitic draw, is probably not due to the alternator nor the cable that connects it. The battery after a start and idle for 10 mins or so brings up the reading to 12-13v, after a day drains to 10. Your answer basically boils down to find the correct tools to the the job correctly with no info, don't take it to pep boys because they are not 'qualified', don't buy any of their parts because they are not good enough for the car, and go to the dealer. That is no where close worth to 29 bucks.
Expert:  Danny replied 5 years ago.
Ok let me respond a little longer.

This is my answer. And by the way, I'm not a guy in a call center I own a shop that fixes EXCLUSIVELY VW, Audi, BMW, Porsche, Mini, and other supercars (Lotus, etc), I may not have explained it correctly or to your satisfaction, but I'll try. I'm not saying go to the dealer, I'm telling you you must buy the correct tools. Here's the rest of the information. I don't normally go into great depth both because most people get mad when I tell them they don't own the proper tools and then don't hit accept and I don't get paid for one, and two, the electrical theory and info needed to describe what's wrong with your car is over most people's heads.

Your vehicle is equipped with power window motors which sense force so they know if somebody has their hand or head caught in them, it's based upon voltage and amperage that the motor is drawing. When battery voltage gets low, it throws this off. Not only that, but the modules in the car won't go to sleep in the correct manner, this will CAUSE a 1 amp or more draw. So, you must fix the charging system issues or whatever the case is before we even begin to diagnose a draw on the system. That's why I told you to do the test that I did, which CAN be done with the tool you have. Also, a capacitive discharge is nessessary to reset all the capacitors in the vehicle, this requires removing the battery cables and touching them to each other for a few minutes.

After this the windows may function, but also you may need a scan tool to erase faults in the module that controls all of this. That I cannot control.

Your test you are doing is invalid because until your modules have been put to sleep, you cannot test for a parasitic draw. Per factory instructions typical of all German makes, this requires you to arm the alarm and wait up to an hour while watching the amperage spikes. You simply cannot perform this test without an amp clamp. Until you restore the battery to full voltage and then repeat the test as I described, you're chasing your tail.

I got in this same arguement with my step dad trying to fix my mom's x3 about a month ago, this isn't a Chevy or a Ford, it's a Porsche, it doesn't function like anything other than a German car, and without the proper tools and the procedures I have described you CANNOT diagnose the problem. Once you do have an ammeter as I described (which Harbor Freight sells fairly cheaply) then you can do the test as I've described. So real quick without full explanation again, you must follow the steps as below.

1. Disconnect and FULLY charge battery
2. Touch the negative and positive battery cables together while disconnected for a couple minutes.
3. Reconnect and check operation of windows, if they won't work, buy a scan tool capable of communicating with this vehicle's comfort module.
4. Check charging system operation as described, if that's found to be ok, proceed to step five.
5. Buy an ammeter, open all doors and the hood but latch the latches manually, arm the alarm, wait 30 minutes and check parasitic draw, if there's STILL a draw, then we start looking for the offending module, which may very will be one of the window motors or the module itself.

I never advocated the dealership, they're a waste of money.