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wagonface
Barcelona


Joined: 04 Apr 2006
Posts: 1427
Location: Esher

1991 Porsche 964 Turbo

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:52 am    Post subject: 996 battery problems Reply with quote

Along with tyres and tyre pressures, the most common thread topic on the 996 forum is probably flat batteries. I hope this thread helps to collate all the wisdom that is spread throughout the forum. If I have mised anything, pls PM me and I will add it, or just add it yourself. Also, if I have got anything wrong, let me know so I can remove it and people dont short circuit themselves...

1) Battery problems are very common. A combination of less than supercar-standard electronics, a large engine, and lots of modern electronic gizmos to run means the strain on the standard Porsche battery is large. If your battery dies, its not because you are a bad person.

2) Batteries are a consumable. A car driven for 30mins 4-5 times per week might have a battery last 3yrs or maybe more. A car driven less often or for shorter duration will put more strain on the battery as it doesnt get charged enough during a drive, and discharges when sitting idle.

3) A battery that goes completely flat 2-3 times is probably too knackered to carry on living in a 996, even if you charge it up fully. If you do need to charge a completely dead battery, disconnecting it from the car while charging will give it the best chance of rejuvinating to full strength.

4) Do not skimp on battery quality, it will hurt you in the end. A good quality battery (Bosch Silver, Varta, OPC) will always outlast a £30 one from the market, even if they have the same 'rating' (eg 80Ah).

5) Trickle charging is a great way to keep batteries alive if you dont drive that often. The CTEK 3600 is a good option, there are other brands as well (search for CTEK on the forum and other suggestions will come up). If you find the lead on the CTEK isnt long enough to reach your battery, go to Maplin and buy some more wire and connectors for £5, and get the soldering iron out.

6) In a factory spec.996 I believe the cigarette lighter is not always live (it is dead once ignition turned off, so wont deliver current to the battery). So before plugging the trickle charger into it, get a Porsche techy to make it live (1hr labour max) or connect the trickle charger direct to the terminals using the plugs supplied with a CTEK. To check if its live, plug in your SatNav or road angel, get out of the car and lock up. If it stays on...

7) If you park in the street, so cant trickle charge from the mains, there are solar panels that are supposed to trickle charge. Won't be as powerful as a mains trickle charger, but if its your only option...

8 ) The standard drain on a car when 'sleeping' should be in the region of 20-80mA (ignition turned off, locked up and left for 90mins). Faulty Trackers (shorting or their internal battery flat) or other non standard electronics left on will obviously increase this. You cant test this, its need to be a garage with decent electronics diagnostics. If you're interested in how its done, PM me.

9) The car 'goes to sleep' after 4 days of no action. Various systems shut down, including the remote alarm facility. Top tip for unlocking easily: Unlock using the key in the door. Immediately lock it using keyfob remote, then unlock it using keyfob remote. Much easier than unlocking using key and quickly having to jump in car and put key in ignition and turn.

10) If you need to jump start, you need to connect the jump leads to the actual engine (-ve) and a terminal located in the engine bay (+ve). This is shown clearly in your manual. Dont connect jump leads to your battery in the front boot.

11) If completely dead, you wont be able to access your front boot as the alarm keeps the manual bonnet-pull locked. Apparently there is a terminal on the fuse board (think its a 30A fuse) to connect a remote battery to which will let you open the front cover (earthing it elsewhere I guess, having never done it myself)
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F1_Dragon
Kyalami


Joined: 25 Jul 2005
Posts: 1959
Location: London

2002 Porsche 996 Carrera 4S

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice one Josh
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996C4S
 
  
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911UK
Porsche Community
Porsche Community


Joined: 15 May 2002
Posts: 10293
Location: 911UK

1997 Porsche 993 Carrera 2

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quality, one for the 996 FAQ Section if that's OK Very Happy
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Jeff
Indianapolis


Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 2377
Location: Chavley South South


PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can we add a little pointer down the bottom, that if you own Jeff's GT3, you need to turn the key to the right not left when trying to unlock it or my alarm goes off Smile hehehe

Mine is purely special.....

In fact, there are lots of extra wires hanging around under my dash that don't look factory so I wonder if someone has fiddled.....
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Carrera4S
Paul Ricard


Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 3009



PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great work Josh!
 
  
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PolarExpress
Reims


Joined: 03 Mar 2005
Posts: 4396
Location: Prison

2000 Porsche 996 GT3 Mk1

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeff wrote:
Can we add a little pointer down the bottom, that if you own Jeff's GT3, you need to turn the key to the right not left when trying to unlock it or my alarm goes off Smile hehehe

Mine is purely special.....


Stand on your head Jeff and follow the instructions... it's clearly a car designed for those from 'down under' Laughing
 
  
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Jeff
Indianapolis


Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 2377
Location: Chavley South South


PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Classic Ade, classic!
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theno23
Trainee


Joined: 21 Jul 2008
Posts: 99
Location: London


PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had my C2 go into "sleep mode" for the first time yesterday, so I had to open with the key. I think I turned it left, but was immediatly deafened by the alarm.

It surely doesn't always do that? I see that someone obove said he has to turn it to the right to make it unlock, so I'll try that. Is it normal that if you turn it the wrong way the alarm goes off? I don't really want to annoy my neighbours again Smile
 
  
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Tim Storey
Suzuka


Joined: 12 Nov 2006
Posts: 1233
Location: where i was previously. but older.

1999 Porsche 996 Carrera 2

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you turn it to the left, anti-clockwise (at least on mine) it doesn't open the door but "wakes the car up". You can then turn the key normally to open the door or remove the key and use the remote.

There is something about it in the manual but i'm a man and therefore have no need of one of those, preferring trial and (noisy) error instead.... Very Happy

Editted to say "don't get it wrong in a garage as the alarm makes your head and ears hurt. Lots"
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tojoatsea
Trainee


Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 59
Location: Newcastle-upon-Tyne

2003 Porsche 996 Targa

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I work offshore and my car is garaged while I am away usualy for a month, unfortunately in a garage with no power. Confused
I am worried that in the colder weather it will drain the battery while I'm gone. Sad
Also will the alarm go off when the battery reduces to a certain state of discharge Question
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04 Land Rover 90 Td5
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wagonface
Barcelona


Joined: 04 Apr 2006
Posts: 1427
Location: Esher

1991 Porsche 964 Turbo

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tojoatsea wrote:
I work offshore and my car is garaged while I am away usualy for a month, unfortunately in a garage with no power. Confused
I am worried that in the colder weather it will drain the battery while I'm gone. Sad
Also will the alarm go off when the battery reduces to a certain state of discharge Question


Highly likely I'm afraid. Maybe buy a Bosch Silver and fully charge it before going away? At least in a garage it wont annoy the neighbours (but it will kill your battery)
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Jeff
Indianapolis


Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 2377
Location: Chavley South South


PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What are the chances of running a solar charger into the car. You could sit the panel on the roof of the garage and run the wires in and into the car. Good panels will charge in overcast - they don't need sun, just light. Most are weatherproof etc. Food for thought?

Cheers,
Jeff
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tojoatsea
Trainee


Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 59
Location: Newcastle-upon-Tyne

2003 Porsche 996 Targa

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the info lads Thumb , looks like the solar pannel option,but I may be already in need of a battery when i return as I am only two weeks into a four weeker now Confused
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03 996 Targa
04 Land Rover 90 Td5
01 Honda CBR600F1
07 Honda CBR1000RR
 
  
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HarryH
Montreal


Joined: 13 Dec 2008
Posts: 586
Location: The Shire


PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:51 am    Post subject: Re: 996 battery problems Reply with quote

[quote="wagonface"]
10) If you need to jump start, you need to connect the jump leads to the actual engine (-ve) and a terminal located in the engine bay (+ve). This is shown clearly in your manual. Dont connect jump leads to your battery in the front boot.

Thanks for all the info, very helpful. Ref the above, what happens if you do jump start by connnecting battery to battery? Say just supposing "a friend of mine" did that this morning because I am (oops I mean he is) too dumb to read the manual? It started, but might I have damaged something and not found out yet?

Thanks

[04 996 Targa Tiptronic]
 
  
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Jeff
Indianapolis


Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 2377
Location: Chavley South South


PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:00 am    Post subject: Re: 996 battery problems Reply with quote

[quote="HarryH"]
wagonface wrote:

10) If you need to jump start, you need to connect the jump leads to the actual engine (-ve) and a terminal located in the engine bay (+ve). This is shown clearly in your manual. Dont connect jump leads to your battery in the front boot.

Thanks for all the info, very helpful. Ref the above, what happens if you do jump start by connnecting battery to battery? Say just supposing "a friend of mine" did that this morning because I am (oops I mean he is) too dumb to read the manual? It started, but might I have damaged something and not found out yet?

Thanks

[04 996 Targa Tiptronic]


It's fine. To be honest, I see it as a convenience to have front and back jumping ability. We've safely jumped another Porsche from the battery. It won't hurt it.
The idea is to put the power as close to the alternator as possible to reduce the loss caused by cabling I believe. If it works, no problems...
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HarryH
Montreal


Joined: 13 Dec 2008
Posts: 586
Location: The Shire


PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks.
It was quite hard to get the leads to reach the back of the luggage compartment, so good to know there is a better option at the back!
RTFM!
 
  
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joolspirog
Newbie


Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 10
Location: Bristol


PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:31 pm    Post subject: Batery problem Reply with quote

Hi people,

I have a 996 1999 and it seems to have problems with the battery. I went for a drive yesterday for an hour and the meter was between the 12 and 14 marks but then after a frosty night it just about turns over the car, is this normal or do I need a better battery. I looked and have an 067 battery which I am told is better than recommended. To be honest I am bloody tired of this car and the Porsche word, I thought I'd bought the best in German engineering and have bought trouble.
It's a gorgeous looking car but boy it has got me in debt. Sunroof next, leaking. Really guys , the battery does seem to drain very quickly indeed.
Any ideas. I do not drive very big distances but even when driven for an hour it still seem to lose the charge quickly, much moreso than any other car I have had.
I wish I had stuck to my Alfa, really, People say Alfas are trouble but this is a bad joke. I saved 15 years to buy my dream to find it is a nightmare.

Thanks in advance
 
  
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Wattie
Zolder


Joined: 05 Nov 2006
Posts: 5668



PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Batery problem Reply with quote

joolspirog wrote:
Hi people,

I have a 996 1999 and it seems to have problems with the battery. I went for a drive yesterday for an hour and the meter was between the 12 and 14 marks but then after a frosty night it just about turns over the car, is this normal or do I need a better battery. I looked and have an 067 battery which I am told is better than recommended. To be honest I am bloody tired of this car and the Porsche word, I thought I'd bought the best in German engineering and have bought trouble.
It's a gorgeous looking car but boy it has got me in debt. Sunroof next, leaking. Really guys , the battery does seem to drain very quickly indeed.
Any ideas. I do not drive very big distances but even when driven for an hour it still seem to lose the charge quickly, much moreso than any other car I have had.
I wish I had stuck to my Alfa, really, People say Alfas are trouble but this is a bad joke. I saved 15 years to buy my dream to find it is a nightmare.

Thanks in advance


Mate, your car is nearly 10 years old: If it's still on the original battery that is absolutely outstanding! I got a Bosch Silver when mine finally gave up the ghost at 8 years and 95,000 miles.

As for your sunroof - have you checked the drain holes? If they are blocked, the water has to go somewhere!
 
  
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HarryH
Montreal


Joined: 13 Dec 2008
Posts: 586
Location: The Shire


PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 1:04 pm    Post subject: 996 Battery Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for the help and advice, both in the FAQ and in reply to my question. Thought I would feedback my experience in case it helps anyone else.

My March 04 996 Targa Tiptronic had its original battery, which had died on me. Jump started in London off an old military landrover (battery to battery, didn't read the handbook!!) without any problems, drove 2+ hours to Worcs (voltage meter up around 13.5+ so alternator fine and should I think have been sending charge to the battery even with lights on etc?). But was completely DOA, would not start again 30 secs after switch off.

So jumped again, using the rear connections, from the wifeybus (no problems again) and zipped off to Halfords in Worcs. Their bloke was brilliant. He said he did not have specific instructions about 996 and so could not be 100% certain what was the right procedure for changeover. So I said I would buy a battery and take it home, then when I did the changeover if it went bad I was at least on my drive, not his car park.

Turned engine off (no choice really) and went in to do the deal. 4 year guarantee Halfords Calcium HCB096, about £97. No doubt there are cheaper options, but I needed a fix there and then, and the guarantee may be useful! The plan was to jump the car from the old battery then take it home for the changeover.

But when we tried that (rear contacts) it just wouldn't turn over. Tested the new battery, even tried another, both tested fine and when the leads went on the boot light got brighter, but the car wouldn't turn over at all. Alarm went off every time we tried (probably sensing voltage crash?), but no turnover.

Finally I wondered could the problem be the exisiting battery draining the current instead of it going to starter motor. So with nothing to lose, I put the key in the ignition, turned to first position (as per advice elsewhere on the forum), and we changed the batteries over. Alarm did not go off, and when we reconnected the new battery the car started first time and there don't seem to be any issues with radio or anything else. Job done.

In fact the car turns over noticeably faster now than when I got it (6 months ago), so the battery has probably been duff ever since then. Something to discuss with the main dealer it came from. But I did notice the Halford battery says 680 amps startup power (same as CCA?) whereas the OEM battery said something in the 300s, so maybe things have moved on in four years?

One day later I went on hols for a week. On return after sitting 8 days on the drive the car started good as gold first time.

Sorry for long saga but heres the key facts summary: 1) Four year old battery is probably due for a change anyway (should be old enough to know this now!). 2) Halfords Worcs were super helpful even if not the cheapest, bloke spent 30 mins with me and wouldn't even accept anything for a drink. 3) Jump starting front or rear didn't seem to upset any electronics. 3) Changing battery over with key in ignition and turned to first position didn't set alarm off and didn't seem to upset any electronics.

Enjoy your cars over Christmas folks.

Laughing

PS anyone else had problems with Targa roof sticking (or was that a battery problem too!?), or with a slight hesitation in the accel when going from throttle closed?
 
  
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Rich_C
Newbie


Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 33



PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:18 pm    Post subject: Re: 996 battery problems Reply with quote

wagonface wrote:

9) The car 'goes to sleep' after 4 days of no action. Various systems shut down, including the remote alarm facility. Top tip for unlocking easily: Unlock using the key in the door. Immediately lock it using keyfob remote, then unlock it using keyfob remote. Much easier than unlocking using key and quickly having to jump in car and put key in ignition and turn.


What a brilliant post!

Due to the salty roads and icy weather plus not wanting to spoil my DIY detailing efforts the turbo has been parked up for 8 days. Went to give it a run around the block this evening but remote wouldn't open the locks. Thinking the battery had been drained and expecting the alarm to sound any minute I went in search of info and found this post which diagnosed th problem straight away ... top stuff thumbsup

Rich.
 
  
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