7.0 Maintenance


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Porsche Boxster (986) FAQ

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7.1 Removing the Airbag Warning Stickers
7.2 Replacing the Handbrake
7.3 Replacing the Shift Knob
7.4 Removing the Rollbar Trim
7.5 Replacing the Pollen Filter
7.6 Turning on the Outside Temperature Display
7.7 Installing Aluminum Pedals and Footrest on the Boxster
7.8 Changing the Engine Oil
7.9 Accessing the Battery when it is Dead
7.10 Activating the Daylight Running Lights
7.11 Removing the Radio
7.12 Allowing Simultaneous Foglights and High Beams
7.13 Opening the Vent
7.14 Permanently Mounting a V1
7.15 Maintenance Schedule

7.1 Removing the Airbag Warning Stickers

The Boxster comes labeled with five (count them!) ugly airbag warning stickers. One is a sticky attached to the dash and is easily removed. The other four are on both sides of the sun visors. These are much more difficult to remove. But with some denatured alcohol and some elbow grease, they will all come off. The sticker usually peels off in one piece if you keep the junction between the sticker and the vinyl moist with alcohol and go slowly. This makes your car look much better, especially with the top down.

You may find it easier if you take the sun visors off the car to work on them. This can be done with two different size torx drivers, a T20 and a T25. One torx screw is hidden beneath a plastic cap. You can get a set of six torx drivers from Sears for about $14. You may already have them if you have a computer repair toolkit. If you have a hard top, you will need to remove it as the visor bracket also forms the leading edge receptacle for the hard top.

Be careful not to get the alcohol on the mirror flap hinges. There are two metal clips that provide friction on the hinges to keep the flap open.  Getting the alcohol near the hinges dissolves the glue keeping these metal clips inside the plastic holes. If this happens, see...

7.2 Replacing the Handbrake

Click here for directions on how to replace the handbrake on the Boxster.

7.3 Replacing the Shift Knob

Use a flat bladed screwdriver or you hands to lift the bottom of the boot away from the console. It has small clips that hold it down on the console. They just pop out. Once the boot is free all around and if you have the standard shifter, you can then pull the shifter off. The amount of force may vary depending on your car. Some have found it very easy to remove, other have found it more difficult. If it is difficult to remove, sit in the passengers seat, put the shifter in reverse and using the floor for leverage, pull on the shifter while pressing into the floor with your feet. I should come off. If not, try applying some heat to the neck of the shifter just below the knob, being careful not to damage the leather, and try again. If you have a shifter other than the base shifter, you will need to use a T30 Torx screwdriver to loosen a screw under the boot in the front of the shaft of the shifter just below the knob.

7.4 Removing the Rollbar Trim

If you need to remove the trim on the rollbar, for example to have it painted, the trim is fastened to the rollbar by a set of eight clips. If you want to get a solid remount of the trim, you will need to replace the clips. The part number for the clips is 986.580.751.00. You put the oval clips so that the long side goes at the 12 and 6 o'clock positions. After they are inserted, you just tap the trim onto the new clips.

7.5 Replacing the Pollen Filter

Porsche offers option an option called the Active Carbon Filter (M571) for $458. However, you can purchase the same part at your dealer parts counter for under $70. The part number for the active carbon filter is 996.571.219.01. The active carbon filter reduces the air pollution by using charcoal in the filter.

To replace the existing filter with the new one you must open the front trunk, remove the battery cover. It is in the middle at the top and has two knobs that you turn to remove. Once it is off you remove the black plastic cover to the left of the battery. It requires that you remove a single Torx screw so you will need a Torx screwdriver. Once you remove the cover you will see the filter to the left rear. It is about 10X6 or so. Simply remove the old filter and replace it with the new one. Then reverse the process on the covers and you are done. It will take less than five minutes start to finish.

Note that changing the filter is part of the standard maintenance cycle for the Boxster. If you don't tell your service department that you use the carbon filter, they could easily replace it with a standard one when you go in for your periodic service, and charge you for the downgrade! Or they could replace the carbon filter you just installed.

7.6 Turning on the Outside Temperature Display

If you do not have the On-board computer (option M659), you can still get the outside temperature display to work. All the electronics of the On-board computer are included in every Boxster (except some early 1997 models did not have the temperature sensor installed), but if you don't order the option, you don't get the stalk on the steering column to choose which feature to display. The On-board computer functionality displays below the digital speedometer readout underneath the tachometer.

To activate the temperature display, you will need the Porsche System Tester 2 computer to tell the car that it possesses the On-board computer, even though it doesn't. Since you probably don't have this $4000 device, but your Porsche service department does, this will require a visit to your dealer. It will take about five minutes of your service department's time, but you should call ahead. Some service departments will charge for the service.

Using the Porsche System Tester 2, follow these steps:

  1. Go under the "instruments" heading
  2. Go to "modify coding"
  3. Specify "with On-Board Computer"
  4. Press the F8 key to commit the changes

7.7 Installing Aluminum Pedals and Footrest on the Boxster

TechArt makes a nice set of aluminum pedals for the Boxster. They also have a matching dead pedal (footrest) for your left foot. You should allow 1 1/2 to 2 hours for the installation.

  1. You remove the rubber covers from the brake and clutch pedal. Then using the aluminum pedal as a template you drill two holes in each pedal. The mounting hardware and instructions are included. When drilling the brake and clutch pedal place a brick or 4"x4" piece of wood behind it to act as the brace. Without a strong brace it is hard to drill through!
  2. The gas pedal is easier. you match the top edge of the aluminum pedal to the rubber gas pedal and drill through the rubber pedal. The aluminum piece mounts over the rubber pedal.
  3. Always match the top edge so your carpet can slide under the bottom edge.

The three pedals list price is $265.00. The dead pedal list price is $165.00. They usually sell the set for approximately $385.00 when someone buys both at the same time. Pricing may vary in your area.

Some of the pedal manufacturers use the same 911/993 pedals on the Boxster. While they do fit,  they are definitely not as nice a shape as the Boxster specific pedals. Finally, the early TechArt pedals used rubber inserts that sometimes fell out after a while. The new TechArt pedals have a nice non-slip texture in the metal and no longer use the rubber grommet.

7.8 Changing the Engine Oil

Click here for directions on changing the engine oil.

7.9 Accessing the Battery when it is Dead

The Boxster has a minor difficulty. If you have the alarm and the battery goes dead, you cannot open the front trunk to get to the battery to jump start it. There have been three techniques discussed for entering the front trunk when this problem manifests itself.

  1. There is a Porsche Technical Bulletin describing one way that works for entering the car. See Front and Rear Hood Release Inoperative [grp5 1-96 5510 1-21-97]. A description of what one owner did to construct the device mentioned in the bulletin is shown at http://grr.xoc.net/boxster/articles/dooropener.asp webout.gif (902 bytes).
  2. It may work that a cigarette lighter to cigarette lighter jumper cable will power the car enough to open the car. This has not been confirmed to work, though. Make sure that you carry the jumper cables in the passenger section of the car, otherwise you won't be able to get them when they are needed!
  3. Inside the top of the driver's front wheel well, just aft of the spring coil mount, is a little rectangular corner in the black plastic shroud that lines the inside of the wheel well. Reach under this, and you will feel a "wire" about 1/8" in diameter. Too thick for an electrical wire (and not in a harness anyway).

    Now tug this cable gently out from behind the shroud and get a good grip on a loop of it. Now pull hard away from the headlight once, and prepare to hear the music of the alarm as the front hood pops open. Grab a 10mm wrench and take off one of the battery cables to silence this thing until you can get your key in the ignition and disarm the thing.

    Disconnect the alarm horn, re-connect something with power to the battery leads, and unlock your car.

7.10 Activating the Daylight Running Lights

[Editor's note: This information is suspect, as it turns out that U.S. Boxsters don't seem to have the socket for the relay. Check your relay panel for the socket before ordering the part. This topic is due to be dropped soon, if a workaround is not discovered.]

To activate daylight running lights, you need to add a relay to relay box. Acquire part number 996.615.111.00. Insert this into spots S6 & S7 of the relay box. The relay box is marked like this:

_xxxxx S1-5
_xxxxx S6-10
xxxxxx S11-16
xxxxxx S17-22
xxxxxx (unmarked on the fiche)

Thanks to Perci Hala for this information.

7.11 Removing the Radio

To remove the radio, you will need the Becker radio removal keys. These are two dagger-like devices that will depress the prongs holding in the stereo.

7.12 Allowing Simultaneous Foglights and High Beams

When you activate the high beams, the foglights automatically go out. This is due to various regulations. However, you can bypass this with a little work:

  1. Remove fog light relay from relay socket #12. This relay panel is just above the fuse box and #12 is the left-most relay in the 2nd row from the bottom.
  2. Solder a wire between connector #30 and #87 on the relay.
  3. Reinsert the relay.

[Thanks to PTracy coming up with this hack and Josh Goldman for supplementing it.]

7.13 Opening the Vent

Several people have had grimlins (i.e. rattles) coming from their vent. To open the vent, follow these directions.

Left side:

  1. Remove headlight switch by sticking small screwdriver in slot of bottom of knob, push-in to release, and remove.
  2. Loosen nut and remove nut locating switch.
  3. Rotate the switch to line-up guides and pull out (be careful of wires attached!
  4. Use a T20 torx driver to remove locking screw found here, and at the same time, remove two other torx screws at door side (near mirror). Remove surround, being careful to detach wires on headlight switch.
  5. Note routing of wire for illumination of switch for later reassembly.
  6. To further disassemble vent vanes, carefully unsnap duct shroud at back of vent (some force will be needed).
  7. Remove vanes and vane guides (vanes are numbered 1L, 2L, etc, for later reassembly).

Right side: Remove snap-on temp sensor grille, then follow the directions above.

[Thanks to Barry Santini for this information]

7.14 Permanently Mounting a V1

Click here for directions for permanently mounting a Valentine One radar detector into your Boxster.

7.15 Maintenance Schedule

Click here to see the Boxster maintenance schedule.


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