Porsche Carrera 911 996 “Dead Battery & Locked Hood” Solution

17Nov09

I’ve noticed that “Dead Battery Locked Hood 996” is an ever-increasingly popular Porsche Tech Q&A search. For that reason I’ve provided detailed instructions in 12 steps on unlocking the lids and jumping the battery with easy to understand pictures to solve this modern Porsche Carrera driver’s dilemma. I believe this applies at least to all 996 911s & Boxsters manufactured 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004.

Please make sure to read through the comments as there have been updates since this was originally published.

It’s inevitable. Like all cars I know, eventually your battery is going to fail. Chances are pretty good that it’s going to fail with the doors locked and your Owner’s Manual inside the glove box. Chances are also pretty good that the Porsche designers responsible for engineering the luggage compartment lid (aka “Boot”) electronic release were oblivious to this eventuality. Seriously, if the battery is dead how good is a electronic release going to be to get battery access. Luckily, they did engineer a way around the problem but it is slightly complicated (“…the lids can only be opened with the aid of a donor battery,” meaning, you must jump your 996 in order to get into the trunks so that you can jump start your 996) – and the Owner’s Manual on the subject is somewhat confusing (besides it’s locked in your glovebox).

Step 1:  Unlock your car using the manual door lock, and leave the key in the door. Be aware that your 996 key is programmed to enter into a remote-control battery saving Standby Mode after five consecutive days of inactivity. To many, this will be confused with having a dead car battery because none of the remotes will unlock the car. In either case, unlock your car using the manual door lock keyhole on the door. If you see lights inside then your issue was the remote-control battery saving Standby Mode. If so, press the key button on your remote to reactivate the remote. You are now good to go. If you don’t see any lights on the inside you in fact probably have a dead battery.

Step 2: With the key still left in the door, remove the plastic cover over the fuse box in the driver’s side foot-well. 

Step 3: Pull out the positive terminal in the lower left of the fuse box (next to the manual rear spoiler rocker switch).

Step 4: Attach the positive red clamp of your jumper cable from your donor battery to the exposed positive terminal in the fuse box. Note: If you are using a donor battery, a minimum of 12 volts is required.  If you are using another car’s battery, now attach the positive red clamp to the positive terminal on that battery.

Step 5: Note: the alarm will sound when you attach the negative black clamp of your jumper cable coming from your booster battery to the exposed door latch striker. Turn the alarm off by locking and unlocking the car at the door lock.

(Note: I found this handy battery jumper at Costco for about $60.)

Step 6: Unlock the rear engine compartment hood using the switch. Although the battery is located in the front luggage compartment (under an additional lid), the terminals for jump-starting the 996 are located in the engine compartment. These terminals are much easier to access than trying to jump the battery directly.

Step 7: Disconnect the negative black jumper clamp first, then the positive red clamp (first from the your 911 then from your booster battery always being careful not to let the two clamps touch – shock danger).

Step 8: Push the positive terminal back into the fuse box and replace the fuse box cover. Turn off all accessories such as stereo, wipers, headlights, etc, move the gear shift into neutral position and set the parking brake before attempting to jump start your 911.

Step 9: Locate the positive (+) and negative (-) jumper terminals inside the rear engine compartment lid.

Update 11/1/10: I discovered that most auxillary jumpers (like the pictured) do not have enough energy to turn over a 911. You best bet is to get a jump from another vehicle as described.

Step 10: Open the cap of the positive terminal and attach the positive red jumper cable clamp.

If you are using another car’s battery as a booster, now attach the positive red clamp to the positive terminal on the booster battery.

Attach the negative black cable first to the booster battery and then to the negative terminal in the Porsche engine compartment.

Step 11: Run the engine of the booster car at a higher RPM and start your Porsche. Any attempts to start your car should not last more than 15 seconds with a waiting period of one minute between attempts.

Step 12: With the engine running, disconnect both jumper cables from both cars in reverse order.

If jump-starting the car did not resolve your problem then you’ll probably need to replace the battery which is located in the Porsche’s front luggage compartment – by now you have access to your Owner’s Manual for complete instructions on replacing your 996 battery (see page 218 of 911 model year 2003′s manual).

Please see additional comments below by PCA 993 & 996 expert, Joel Reiser.

See you down the road.

Written by Perry & Co. Denver Real Estate Professionals’ COO & Director of Relocation Services Jon Larrance.

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99 Responses to “Porsche Carrera 911 996 “Dead Battery & Locked Hood” Solution”

  1. The following comment came by way of email from the highly-revered, Porsche Club of America‘s 993 & 996 (1995-2005 991s) expert, Joel Reiser.  The PCA and Joel are invaluable resources for any Porsche owner or enthusiast – I would highly recommend joining the PCA to anyone even consider owning a Porsche (the cost is a mere $42/yr).  In fact, Joel has helped me with Tech questions many times, including when I was contemplating the purchases of my two pre-owned 911s.

    Hi Jon-
    Very interesting. Great job reporting on the alarm ins & outs. No matter how much I write, and urge people to keep their batteries on trickle chargers to prevent this sort of thing, they go on having this problem.

    Here are some random bits of content feedback in no particular order…

    • + 996s and Boxsters built before 2001 did not have a jump post in the fusebox (a manual release was located in the wheel-well).
    • + You say, "Like all cars I know, eventually your battery is going to fail." I disagree fiercely with this. This is a statement about the owner, not the car. It is pretty rare that I personally let a car get to be this far gone without noticing, checking, trickle-charging, etc. If the car is serviced every year or two, someone is going to say, "Hey buddy, that battery is getting a little old".
    • + Most Porsche owners in the US do not lock the car and leave it that way for a long time. Most of these owners have the car unlocked in a garage, and many have it on a trickle-charger.
    • + Every one of the 996 cars (not Boxsters though) has a Voltmeter on the dashboard. Every time you sit down to start your car, you should notice the volt reading. If it is around 12 or more, you’re good to go. If it is at 10, you’re not going anywhere. Somewhere between 10 and 12 is a grey zone to consider yourself warned, and it is time to service or replace the battery. If you wait, a dead battery is what you get.
    • + Porsche engineers are not idiots ("oblivious to this eventuality"). The recently retired Herr Dr. Wiedeking did some great things for the Porsche company, but I feel he did too much cost-cutting. They ran out of budget before they could design a glovebox for the 996 & Boxster until the 2002 model year. Some things fell through the cracks, and this is one of them. But don’t blame the designers or engineers, I would charge this one to the accountant with the chainsaw telling everyone to shut up and cut costs.
    • + If jump-starting does not work, then it is an issue of operator error, or a shorted battery (relatively unusual). You do not actually need ANY battery in the car to successfully jump start it.

      Joel Reiser

  2. 2 Hugh Francis

    Dear All

    Great advice and assistance. I have a 2000 996 and the battery went completey flat (yep my fault as I had not driven it for a few weeks !) and hence I could not open the boot to access the battery. As a 2000 model my car had the lever/cable system so I was unable to use the ‘fuse box’ solution and having phoned my local Porsche dealer I was about to embark on a complex process to try and access the cable near the lever. However having searched the web I came across your clear guide and saw that I could jump start the car directly via the engine points as you described. Since I could access this straightforwardly (the lever for the engine compartment worked fine without power) your assistance has saved me no end of trouble as I could jump start and then take the car for a long drive to charge up the battery. I live in Whiteparish, a small village near Salisbury, Wiltshire in the United Kingdom so from the other side of the Atlantic you came to my rescue.

    Thanks once again for your help.

    Hugh

  3. Thanks for the comment Hugh. You made my day hearing that I could be of help from across the pond. I’ve heard that the 1999 & 2000 model years have an even more difficult cable system for getting into the trunk, so I was especially glad to hear that my article helped you.
    Jon

  4. 4 PC

    I have a 1999 996 in storage for the winter. I was debating between trickle or just put a charger on it monthly for a day.
    Should I be connecting to the battery directly or is it better/easier to connect in the engine compartment?
    Thanks,
    PC

  5. 5 Doug Stark

    1. Trickle charger.
    2. Leave the hood unlatched if storing the car in a secure area.

  6. Bill,
    I may be wrong (help me someone if I am) but I believe the trickle charger plugs into the cigarette lighter.
    Jon

  7. 7 Bill Knopf

    I’ve had my share of dead batteries on my 2004 911.
    Dumb question… if I am running a trickle charger or a maintainer for winter storage, do I connect it to the terminals in the main engine compartment or to the battery terminals in front luggage compartment (battery itself)? Thanks.

  8. 8 John Blocha

    My 1999 996 has an external cable release for the trunk lid and the engine compartment lid. The engine compartment cable is hidden behind the left rear wheel in the split between the body panel and the bumper. The trunk cable is in the right front fender slit just behind the headlamp. I believe that the problem with the early 996′s was that you could not even unlock the door with a key if the battery died while the alarm was engaged. I must be lucky because my alarm system has never run the battery down even after several weeks of the car sitting idle with the alarm set.

    I found the cables accidently several years ago while detailing the car.

  9. Thanks John for the precise locations of the trunk and engine compartment cables on the earlier 996 – I’m sure many Porsche owners will find that very useful indeed.
    Jon

  10. 10 Greg Matsumoto

    I encourage everyone to retain this information. I left my keys in the ignition and the battery drained! So be forewarned about this odd design error. I called the “official” Porsche roadside service and the man showed up and was stumped. He had no idea what to do and was a subcontractor of a subcontractor of a subcontrator. He knew nothing about Porsches. I had to call the dealership and to have him walk me through the process since the serviceman couldn’t understand what to do. He provided the cables and I did all the work. Just was happy I didn’t have to pay him anything.

  11. 11 FSL

    Honest to God! “Porsche enginners are not idiots”!! Think about this. (1) The M96 engine–RMS, intermediate shaft seal, case leaks, etc…It is impossible to know, but I’ve seen it reported that as many as 5000 M96 (even read a comment in “Excellence” that up to 20% of all made) engines have had to be replaced because of these problems. Nash-Rambler engines replaced because of engineering defects=0. Corvette=0. Pontiac Aztec=0. AMC Gremlin=0. Fiat Bambino–okay, I don’t know. (2) Oil leaks in all mannner of Porsches over the years. It is virtually impossible to stop an SC from leaking. I know–I’ve poured more money into that than taxpayers keep pouring into our education system. (3) 964 head gasket issues–whose to blame for this, Pres. Bush!!!! (4) Water cooling system on the 944s–same system used by Henry Ford on the Model T (circa 1914). Any time you open the system, you have to bleed air with a banjo bolt near the thermostat housing or it will run hot. Yeah, you’re right, they’re not idiots. (5) Never had a car that had the dash crack like that of a 944. Go to any junk yard and see if you can find a car with that amount of cracking. Oops, sorry. “Why the hell are you worried about a few cracks on the dash?” “you should have your eyes on the road while your driving that fast!” (6) A/C–nuff said. But really, my Dad’s ’59 Buick had A/C that worked until it died of old age around 400,000 miles. At what mileage did you say I need to rebuild (replace) my 964 engine? (7) Overheating. There is a whole industry built around keeping Porsche engines cool, that Porsche engineers couldn’t seem to figure out. (8) etc…. (9) Read the book I plan to write titled–”Porsche engineers are idiots!”

  12. Great comment FSL.
    In this same vein, “Why the hell are you worried about a few cracks on the dash?” “you should have your eyes on the road while your driving that fast!” I recently wrote my Confessions Of A Porsche 996 Driver rant – hope you’ll read it by clicking here.

  13. 13 John

    We use our Boxster daily, it performs very well even on snow. We get to enjoy our car and do not have the battery dying from inactivity.
    However useful it may prove to have this procedure, I would not call any “12 step” process reasonable. Since Porsches are not purchased for money saving reasons and cars both above and below these price points have inexpensive remote releases, the cost-cutting argument seems not to follow reason. Instead of blaming an unnamed all too powerful accountant (?!) we can take responsibility for not setting the expectation for the company whose products we buy. Just a thought.

  14. 14 Mark Porter

    At last…many thanks as I have been there the hard way and will likely go down that road again. r/Mark 99 996 C2

  15. 15 George Barker

    Please don’t disconnect the battery while trickle charging as it must be in the circuit to charge.

    George

  16. 16 Paul Eves

    I had a dead battery in my girlfriend’s 2003 996 and went thru the fuse box positive terminal process from the owners manual to help jump the car. I have one suggestion to your steps though. When you have the fuse box powered, I would open BOTH the front and rear hatches just in case you need access to the battery compartment later as I did when I had to replace mine. If front compartment access is not needed, then simply close it after it is determined battery replacement is not required. Keep all options open!

  17. 17 Jerry

    Please don’t confuse a trickle charger with a battery maintainer; two different things. A trickle charger will cook your battery if left unattended, where a maintainer has a chip that senses current draw and will turn on/off only to keep the battery at a healthy level. Also, don’t detach your battery if the car will be left for a period of time; put it on the maintainer instead. No battery power will clear all the codes in the ECU (engine control unit).

  18. 18 jhawaiian

    A VERY simple fix for this problem. I had a manual (cable) release installed (cable hidden of course). This allows me to open the luggage compartment manually if the battery goes dead. Yes, I have a lot of experience with dead batteries! Aloha.

  19. 19 GriffC4S

    I was told by the dealer service manager that you can expect more life from your battery during longer periods of inactivity if you lock the car using the remote. This is especially important if you are leaving the car in the garage while on a vacation or a business trip. Most of us do not lock our cars in the garage, but give this a try.

  20. 20 David

    I appreciate how to open the trunk when the battery goes dead, but how do you get into the trunk when the trunk latch goes bad? I was checking into a hotel for a wedding and had all of our clothes in the trunk. The Porsche service department was closed and the salesman did not have a clue as to how to open. We had to buy all new clothes for the wedding.

  21. 21 Bruce Herrington

    Not said in the basic post: When after 24 hours (or hopefully less) of unsuccessfully trying to get voltage to the battery of an ’01 through the factory connection at the fuse box, simply use a cigarette lighter adapter plug to connect to your charger. Worked like a charm and got me into the luggage compartment in under 60 seconds.

  22. 22 Kent Monroe

    I am the second owner of a 1999 C2 Cab that had 62,000 miles on the OD when purchased, placed into service on August 1998. I replaced the original battery on May 27, 2005. This new battery did not have a date tag on it so it was hard to remember the date installed. This battery did not show any tell-tail signs of going dead, so in December of 2008 the car’s battery died on a Saturday night in front of our Post Office. AAA came out and jumped the battery itself. I did not think or remember to use the engine compartment connections for a jump. (I now have a note on the battery to remind me!) As it turned out we could not get the engine to run anymore than 15 seconds without the engine dying and tried jumping three times. From these attempts to incorrectly jump the battery itself, my DME developed very bad electrical problems (gremlins) to the point that it failed and needed replacing. The DME cost is ~$1,620.00 which was warrenty replaced by FVD who had upgraded the original DME in January 2007. I spent an additional $700.00 to walk through and check all of the electrical system and purchase a new Porsche battery.

    All and all a very expensive adventure of time and money. I have learned from this lesson and would like to pass this information along.

  23. 23 Jake Maczuga

    I’ve had the same problem with my 996 Turbo. I just plugged the trickle charger into the cigarette lighter and then popped the rear engine access to connect the loaner battery.

  24. 24 Roger

    Do you know if this is the same procedure for a 997 (2008 model)?

  25. Roger,
    I’ve heard that it is from a friend of mine that had to do it on his 997 just last week, but I cannot verify that for sure.
    Can anyone out there provide some insight to this procedure for a 997?
    Jon

  26. 26 Roger

    Is there anything different to do if the battery is actually disconnected and then the hood shut ?

  27. My understanding is that there is also a cable release somewhere in the right front wheel well (can anyone verify or refute that?). However, my understanding is based on 996 info and I believe you mentioned before owning a 997.
    Have you checked with your local dealer yet? My service manager was previously a technician and he is extremely knowledgable – Justin Underwood at Stevinson Imports, Denver, 303.794.3550.

  28. 28 Neal in NJ

    I’ve had some battery issues with my 2003 911, more specifically with the radio. The old battery (replaced last yr) would die if car was stored for more than 10 days or so without driving, especially in the WInter. It would be easy to jumpstart, and I did this about half a dozen times. However, sometimes when I do this, the radio stops working- only to start functioning normally in a day or so.

    Fast forward to this week: battery was dead, I jumped it, brought it to local station who put a charge on it. Radio again failed. Yesterday I took a drive to the local Porsche dealer, who initially thought I had burned out the radio ($1000). He said this could happen because of a voltage spike while jumping the car. He took the car inside and removed the radio; he told me he was able to remove the charge stored in the capacitors and that I was lucky that worked.

    My question: How do you jumpstart a Porsche without risk of burning out the radio, or any of the other electronics in the car? Do you pull a fuse? Does it matter if you use the electrodes in the engine compartment instead of jumping direct to the battery?

  29. Neal,
    This really is a question for Joel Reiser at PCA.
    Let us know what you find out.
    Jon

  30. 30 Roger

    Eventually had to get the car (997) towed to Porsche dealer who managed to open using the posted procedure. They needed to replace the battery as it had gone completely flat through shipping transportation over a couple of months. Not sure what they did differently to what I was trying; they possibly waited longer with the booster battery connected and also used the key remote rather than the release inside the car. All I know is that it ended up being expensive, towing and new battery. Anyway its working fine now, but I have bought a trickle charger to avoid in future. Thanks for the help.

  31. Thanks for the update Roger – sorry to hear about your expense.

  32. 32 Bill Haskett

    The posted procedure (up through step-8) is exactly the same for the Cayman models.

    In my case, I was able to get it started using a start-pac when my donor car’s battery wouldn’t turn it over. It took a couple of times jumping it as the first time around gave a rough run and a “system error”. Second time the computer behaved as it should. Unfortunately, the battery failed to charge even though it had a spirited hour long run on the ring road around the city. A quick trip to Auto Zone for a new battery and installation as per the manual (very simple, I’m a geek and I could do it no problem) did the trick.

  33. Thanks Bill – I really appreciate the update on the Cayman!

  34. 34 Perry

    I tried the fuse box – door jam method after I killed my battery in my 2004 911 by leaving my itouch plugged into the cigarette lighter for a few days. I used a good battery in my Jeep but it just didn’t work. I left it hooked up all night and same results, nothing. I even called the local Porsche dealer and they said it was correctly hooked up with key in door etc. I even checked the current flow touching the sensor to the jam and the metal part of the fuse box unit and had current when the jumper cable was hooked up. So I bought a cigarette lighter to cigarette lighter charger from Amazon for $16. Plugged it into the Jeep and the Porsche and bingo, lights go on in the 911 and hood and truck lids open. I am not sure why the fuse box method didn’t work but I’m keeping the charger in my trunk from now on.

  35. Thanks for sharing your experience Perry. Sounds like maybe your fusebox terminal is somehow dead/disconnected huh? One piece of advice I would give you is not to keep the new charger in your trunk, as you won’t be able to get to it if the battery is dead in the future.
    Jon

  36. 36 Perry

    Ha…Great point Jon!…Thanks

  37. 37 Tony

    I thank you for your published information on this site. I have a 2001 Porsche Boxster, the battery was dead and I had no idea as to how I was going to open the front hood without damaging my car. I did some research and came across your information and I’m so happy I took the time to read. Thank you so much, please add me to any info you may have in the future.
    Thanks,
    Tony

  38. 38 S.M

    I hooked up the battery wrong – positive to negative, negative to positive on porsche 911. What should i do?
    All the lights are on and the car will not start. It shows battery failure.

  39. Sorry about your problem. You should contact your local Porsche dealer service manager ASAP. If you live in the Denver, Colorado area I recommend Stevinson Imports at 303.794.3550.

  40. I’ve noticed some searches recently of “porsche rear spoiler manually open 996” and “where is spoiler switch 996” (among others). So I thought I’d take a quick minute to answer that question.
    If you look above at the 3rd photo from the top (clearer in photo 9), the manual spoiler raise switch is beneath my thumb at the lower left corner of the fuse box panel in the driver’s foot well.
    Help this helps!
    Jon

  41. 41 Sanj V

    Hi! Thanks for the instructions, though I had a homer moment!

    When opening the fuse box, a Blue 15 fuse fell out and i have no friggin idea from where. I recreated the act of inserting the finger to get to a point where im 90% sure that i know where it came from but dont want to take the chance.

    Any advice or is it time to call someone in?

  42. Hi Sanj,
    On the backside of the Porsche 911 fusebox door is a map of all the fuse locations/functions. This should give you an idea, if the amperage of the fallen one matches the amperage of the open spot. It should also correspond to whatever function you have that isn’t working properly right now.
    My guess is that you only have one open spot and that’s where it belongs, but just to be safe check the map.
    Jon

  43. Nearing 10,000 reads, this blog post is Porsche Club of America’s Fifth Most Popular Story: http://multibriefs.com/briefs/pca/index.php
    Thanks PCA members!
    Jon

  44. 44 Wolfgang

    I appreciate how to open the trunk when the battery goes dead, but how do you get into the trunk when the trunk latch goes bad? I had/have all my clothes in the trunk. Please advise …
    I have a 1999 911 – and there is only a mechanical opening….

  45. This answer comes from Justin Underwood – Porsche Service Advisor / Technician – Stevinson Imports – Littleton, CO

    Is the latch itself bad or just the lever to open the latch? Either way, if you pry up slightly on the passenger side headlight and look between the headlight housing and the bumper cover there will be a metal cable coming from the center of the car where the front trunk latch sits. Reach in with a wire coat hanger to grab this cable and pull the wire hanger out. What you will have is a metal cable with a loop on the end of it hanging out of the front bumper. Pull the cable perpendicular to the car and the front latch should release.

    The most difficult part is finding the cable between the passenger headlight and bumper cover. If you can find the cable and reach it you are already 98% of the way there.

  46. 46 James

    I have a very early 1999 911 and had previously opened the front trunk via hooking up jumper cables to the door lock post and to the C3 fuse as the mechanics at the Porsche dealer showed me this trick several years ago.

    However, this time when I have tried, it is not releasing the front trunk lever so, I am still locked out of the front trunk. Am I not getting enough energy to release the lever or, is there an alarm cycle that the car must go through to permit the release??

  47. I think this was covered earlier but probably hard to find by now…
    With the earlier Porsche 996s you must lock and unlock the car using the key in the drivers door after you have connected the power source to the fuse panel (as the remote goes into standby mode). As long as everything is connected properly the lever for the front trunk will unlock once the key is turned to unlock the doors.

    Let me know if that doesn’t work and we’ll have to do it the hard way.

  48. 48 Richard Weaver

    Hi all,
    I had a battery that was totally dead to the world – no dash lights, absolutely nothing.

    I have had enormous trouble with accessing the luggage compartment (bonnet/hood) in my 1997 (very early UK version)

      996

    . See photo here.
    Here is my experience.
    1 – there is no fuse box live connection for popping the bonnet/hood as covered earlier in this thread.

    2 – there is no cable for releasing the bonnet/hood. I have had the wheel arch liner on the US passenger side/UK driver’s side or if you prefer the left hand side as you look at the car from the front. Nothing, no cable at all!

    3 – I managed to get access to the engine compartment at the rear of the vehicle by locating the wire pull that is situated beneth the rear tail light. This tail light is the one on the LEFT as you look at the rear of the car, or if you are in the US its the drivers side rear light or UK passenger side rear light. You need to gently lever up the rear light with a screw driver with a bit of rag wrapped around it to prevent damage to the paint. They with a bent piece of stiff wire, you can hook the wire pull out. It has a loop in the end and a gentle pull releases the engine compartment hood.

    4 – Now if you are lucky, you can get power to the live contact that is within the engine bay and is shown in your handbook. For those of you with out a handbook, you should be able to find it situated towards the top right of the engine bay as you look at it – it is black, so look carefully, but it is clearly labelled. Removing the plastic cover reveals a nut which you can secure your live feed from your donor battery or the car you are jumping from. Use the latch mechanism on the engine compartment as a ground for your negative jump lead

    5 – If like me you are unlucky, you will find that even by doing this, you can not get a sufficient supply to the battery at the front of the car and the dash lights won’t even so much as illuminate. This is where the fun starts.

    Quite simply you now need to get the battery disconnected and remove it from the vehicle so that you can either replace it if it is completely dead or charge it properly with a trickle charger. If a battery if very flat, they do not respond well to having alot of charge put through them quickly, so trickle charge them and bring them up slowly.

    So how the hell are you going to get under the front hood/bonnet to get the battery given the absence of the previously mentioned means?

    This is how i did it and i got my solution from the UK website ‘Pistonheads‘, AND it works!

    Locate the internal bonnet and engine compartment release levers within the vehicle. As you will know having used them before, they are located on the sill and will be deadlocked off which is what is causing you your problem.

    There will be 3 small plastic dome shaped covers which you need to remove with a small flat bladed screw driver. This will expose three holes. You will probably need to be a bit persuasive with the capret as it covers the holes, which you need access behind. Having wiggled around with a screw driver to loosen the carpet, you will then have the holes exposed and you then need to insert the longer part of a std sized 5mm allen key into it. you will find allen headed bolts that you need to LOOSEN, do not completely undo them other wise you will have a potential NIGHTMARE refitting them. Undo them about 4 complete turns, you may need to get a ring spanner to crack off the allen head bolts as you will only have the short bit for leverage. Once you have undone them all about 4 turns, be brave and prize the whole of the lever assembly upwards. It may be a but stubborn, but it will come with enough force. This will expose the underneath of the machanism and you will see the cables, wires and springs etc. If you attempt to release the bonnet/hood, you will see that there is a small plate in the way that prevents the lever from actuating. Get a small screw driver and simple flick the plate out of the way – hey presto! You are in! Its quite self explanatory to work out which part of the mechanism is locking the lever off. It is really quite easy to work it out and if by now you are half way to paradise.

    Good luck!

  49. 49 Henry

    I have a 2005 Carrera with a dead battery due to lack of using the vehicle. I have tried the fuse box routine by attaching a battery charger positive clamp to the extended “fuse” as suggested and negative to the door catch. In the charge mode and in the “fast charge” the release lever did not operate. Questions: would I get better results if I used jumper cables from another auto; if plugging a charger into the cigarette lighter is an option, should it be the chgarette lighter to cigarette lighter device.

    I would also appreciate any other suggestions. My dealer has suggested I call a wrecker service and have them bring the car into their shop. That would be my last option!

    Thanks for your help…

  50. Hi Henry,
    Yes, it would be best to try a jump from another car, but I’m surprised that the charger didn’t open the trunk as it doesn’t take much amperage. Regardless, try it from another car and jump from the engine compartment. And yes, the cigarette lighter method plugs directly into your lighter plug but this is more a method for maintaining a battery charge during periods of inactivity rather than charging and/or jumping the battery.
    Good luck.
    Jon

  51. 51 Rick

    So, I have a 2000 911 with the lever release for the hood. I’m having a real hard time finding the release cables. Does anyone have a picture(s) that shows where I should be looking? I’ve looked under the headlight but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of room and I’m affraid that I’m going to break something. I’m a bit of a novice and trying to avoid having to call the dealer which I know will be expensive.

  52. 52 Gina

    I have a 2007 Cayman and the battery is dead and the key is stuck in the ignition. Will this process help for the 2007 Cayman?

  53. Hi:
    Have bought a 911 Carrrera S (2006) in USA and shipped to Morocco. When arrived, battery was dead, so changed it. All OK until recently (18 months later). When engine cold, car would start fine. But when engine hot, assume I do a tyre pressure check, when I start it again, it is kind of difficult.
    Any one had this problem? Is this the battery sign that it is going dead?
    Thanks for feed back.

  54. 54 Henry Clines

    I posted earlier that I was unsucessful using a battery charger as described to get the hood to pop to access the battery. However, when I moved another automobile close to the door allowing the jumper cables to reach, started the second car, attached the cables to the access point in the fuse box, the hood unlocked immediately.

    Henry

  55. I have heard that the jumper batteries are often not strong enough. Thanks for the update Henry!

  56. 56 Thomas Stinnett

    Extremely helpful! Even with proper maintenance, trickle charging, etc., the eventuality of a dead battery is inevitable based on the factor of human error (leaving parking lights on too long, open glove box for several days, etc.). I used this information to unlock my son’s 2007 911. Unfortunately, Porsche is not the only manufacturer to use this design. I recently had to unlock my 2011 Jaguar XJ8L in a similar manner. Jaguar was very reluctant to give me the information over the phone (yes, the owner’s handbook WAS locked in the glovebox).

  57. 57 Nigel

    I have a Boxter 986 2004 and I have tried to pop the trunk using the C3 fuse method (dead battery – as described in the owners handbook). However, when I turn the key in the door to disable the alarm it does not turn the alarm off and I cannot pop the trunk. I am currently using the key to open the car as the fob battery is not working…would this have anything to do with not being able to turn the alarm off and popping the trunk?

  58. Will your car start? Or is the battery dead? I believe putting the key in the ignition, and turning it, will silence the alarm.

  59. 59 john

    This is a good guide but I have a 2001 966 carrera 4 and the fuse box has no positive terminal. I had to tow the porche a few km’s home since I can’t jump start it, batteries old and dead and engine hood is locked because of stupid electronic lock.

  60. 60 bakgidochi

    Thanks for the detailed steps. When I looked at the fusebox of my 2002 boxster (US) I found a fabulous icon on the front that shows a battery split down the middle, a big “?” and a picture of the car with the trunk open and an arrow. Inside was handy paper guide that outlined exactly the same info in your steps in pictorial form. Inside, the positive terminal in the box has a graphic that clearly indicates its purpose – to open the front compartment. So I think it’s fair to say the engineers did anticipate this issue!
    A note on my experience: I connected my dual-rate charger to the terminals. On the 6A (fast charge) setting, the car remained dead. On the 2A (trickle) setting, it came immediately to life (i.e. the alarm went off) and i was able to pop the trunk. Thought I’d mention this as it seems counter-intuitive that a lower amp setting would work.

  61. 61 Chris

    My appreciation to all of you for your posts and advice. I too have had a 2004 911 battery drain to nothing. So far, after trying through the fuse box as outlined above and in the manual for two hours in a charger and jumping from another car, I am unable to get any response from either the trunk switch or the engine hood switch. I will try the lighter plug to lighter plug method as soon as I can get a unit. Until then, are there any other suggestions any of you have? Thanks.

  62. 62 Steve Tinnes

    My trickle charger went belly up with my hood locked so I tried attaching battery via cables in fuse box like the owners manual states. It didn’t work. I have a portable charger with wires that have cigarette lighter connectors on each end. I simply plugged it into cigarette lighter and Whalah! the hood opens. Much easier than going into fuse box.

  63. 63 Roger

    I have a 1999 911, purchased a year ago. Previous owner charged the battery before I arrived and car started fine. I drive the car once or twice a week. Initially, if the car would sit for more than 3 days it would not start. battery was not dead because all lights worked, but it was too weak to turn over the engine. Ignition would just click, click. I had the battery tested and it tested good. No bad cells. The battery is two years old. So about 5 months ago I installed a trickle charger with a float that shuts off when battery is charged, and kicks back on when battery needs charging. This worked fine until about a week ago. Now, after removing the float/trickle charge, the car will start first time, but after drivng and the car sits for a few minutes (let’s say about 20 minutes to an hour) the battery is dead, (or not strong enough to start the car). I plan on replacing the battery today. BUT, here is my question….. When I open the bonnet, I can hear the faint purr of a motor running just forward of the driver side dash. This is in the area beneath all the plastic shrouds that cover the battery compartment. very near to the windshield washer fluid cap, left side of the car. What is this “purring” noise? It nevers shuts off. Could this be the culprit that is is draining the battery? Please let me know if you hear this noise in your 911 also, and can identify the source.

  64. 64 Guy

    Forgot my lights on my 2007 911 resulting in a dead battery…
    Couple of remarks to the very nice guide above:
    1) Not sure why but the hood did not opened by using the hood opener on the door frame but rather the one on the Key
    2) Unlike the recommendation, the front where the battery is was actually very easy to access.
    3) Indeed the battery jump starter did not work, it took 10 min of car 2 car cables for the battery to be strong enough to turn the engine on
    All in all great reference page, thanks !

  65. 65 Chris

    Thank you very much for the instructions. I have had my 996 for 3 years and covered over 70,000 miles in it, as I use it everyday. Not always ideal in the English weather! However, today I foolishly left the keys in the ignition and it turned on all day, which completely drained the battery. Handbook was in my office, so your instructions came to the rescue! Did exactly as you advised and was mobile again in no time at all! Cheers!

  66. Chris,
    Glad to be of assistance. Interesting that the majority of readership on the post comes from the UK this time of year (followed by Canada). I don’t really have any idea why because intuition tells me that readership should be coming primarily from the southern hemisphere as people take their cars out of storage for the summer. Maybe the shorter days in northern hemisphere contribute to people leaving the lights on longer.
    Jon Larrance

  67. 67 Malcolm B

    Hey I Have a 1999 911(996) and i have a wee problem. The car is locked and i cannot get into the car. The key lock is broken in the door. I have the boot and bonnet both opened on the hidden pull wires. The battery was flat, so i removed it and charged it. When i re-connected the battery, the alarm started to go off and i can not get it to turn off, and i still can not get into the car. Any idea’s how to get into the car. Can i remove a side window to gain access or do i have to break a window… Thanks in advance… Mal

  68. 68 Jorge

    I have 911 1999, and for the past couple weeks i have noticed a slight interruption on the radio when I open or close the windows. Even when I open or close the convertable top….does anyone know what this may be indicative of? is it the battery?

  69. 69 costas

    how can i open the hood of a carrera 996 manually builted in 1999??

  70. To my knowledge the solution should be the same as described above (also read through the comments for some variations in technique).

  71. 71 Nat

    OK, here it is – 2004 911 4S, not mine, my cousin’s…if the battery is disconnected and the trunk is shut, is there a way to get it back open? I am not having any luck getting the switches to actuate the trunk and/or hood latches while pushing power through the Positive post near the fuses. When connected to the post I get nothing from the car; no lights, no response from the key remote…nothing. I am guessing that the trunk was shut while the battery was disconnected.

    If the battery is not connected and the electrical circuit is not complete, do I have any other options for getting the trunk and/or hood opened?

    Thanks in advance.

  72. 72 Colette

    Hello,
    This seems like a great fix, except that the red positive terminal in the fuse box seems to be missing, just an empty spot next to the switch and yellow plastic peg. Any ideas?
    Thanks!

  73. 73 Ru

    Guys, Just dug myself out of the same problem – but here is some additional tips. So, the dead battery, and jumped from another car. Did not start, and clicking happened. And then – we unhooked the jumper cable and decided to do something else. Then, the windows started going up and down and my (brand new) wife offered counsel that it was possessed and suggested burning some sage. Then I decided to put the jumper cables back on and let the live car run for 30 minutes (theory – it will charge the battery enough, so that it could energize solenoids, relays and what not…). Then, this time asked my (brand new) wife to crank the live car until the poor (brand new) wife’s car was about to melt down, and cranked the 911, and it jumped to life. Oh one other advice… Don’t leave your 911 alone for too long on your honeymoon – it does seem to get lonely. Good luck.

  74. 74 Steve

    Guess I am slightly confused. My Porsche is a 1999. Is there something under the wheel well that I have to pull? If so, what and where? Help!

  75. 75 Brooke

    Hi, I also have a (2000) 996 Carrera 4 which doesn’t have that handy post in the fuse box – can someone attach a picture and/or clear instructions about where to find the cable to manually open the rear trunk to access the engine? Many thanks!!

  76. 76 Mike Ryan

    I have a 2004 911. My battery also goes low and amost dead if not driven for 2 weeks. When I open the front truck lid to connect my trickle charger, the trunk light comes on. I can’t leave the trickle charger connected with trunk closed and I’m not sure if it is a good idea to leave that trunk light on all the time. Thoughts?

    Thanks, Mike

  77. 77 Bill

    Hey, Mike! I started this thread many years ago and an amazed it is still active! I had the same problem as you with my 996 and resolved it by unscrewing the light bulb from the socket. Seems to work fine with my trickle charger. Good luck!

  78. Thanks Bill & Mike for keeping things going. This post continues to get 100 global reads a day so your work is going noticed.
    Any advice for Brooke above?
    Jon

  79. 79 Chris

    Hi guys! Wife left the key in the ignition overnight and the battery is now dead. I know how to use a loaner battery to open the unlock the rear engine compartment hood using the switch. When connected only the front lid opens with the switch, the rear does not open. Any other way to get ito the rear hood? Can I jump the battery directly in the front hood? I know there is a wire cable under the left rear tail light, rear hood pull? But, you need the hood open to take the tail light out. Any help will be a huge help! Thank you, CHris

  80. Chris,
    Sorry for delay. Were you able to resolve your issue? I believe you can jump the battery directly although you might see some electrical glitches afterwards, such as the stereo needing reprograming.

  81. 81 Chris Vetromile

    Thanks, I did find a way in. I know that there was a trunk release cable under the driver side tail light. The hitch is you need the trunk open to unscrew the tail light. I use a spatial to spread the light and the bumper apart. Then used a coat hanger to fish the cable out. I then jumped it with my truck using the proper method. But, still had some electrical glitches, one being the stereo needing reprograming.

    Thanks again, Chris.

  82. 82 Julian

    I have had this problem several times and the solution above has always worked (1999 C2 cabrioloet 996). This time it doesnt. I can jump start the 996 but: 1 – the voltmeter shows 0V; 2- the battery charge warning light is on (suggesting a problem with the alternator/generator) and 3 – the luggage compartment won’t unlock whatever I do, so I can’t get to the battery to charge it directly. Apart from being very frustrating this makes me wonder whether, in order for the boot release to become unlocked, the car needs to sense that the battery is charging in some way, though I cannot see why the two should be connected. Any thoughts?

  83. Julian,
    Have you tried finding the cable release behind the headlight as described in earlier comments?

  84. 84 Jim

    I have a 2002 911 Cab with a dead battery. I have tried connecting donor battery to positive terminal in fuse box,however the switches do not activate the trunk or engine release. Other than the alarm sounding (cannot turn off unless I disconnect battery)nothing happens. HELP

  85. Jim,
    You have to connect the donor positive to the terminal and the negative to the door latch as shown in the pictures above.
    Jon

  86. 86 Jim

    Thanks Jon. As it turns out my donor battery was not fully charged. Once charged I was able to access the trunk release and get at battery. Engine hood would not activate. Back in business though. Thanks again

  87. 87 Mike

    Thank you very much indeed for this terrific post. I live in a lovely but very isolated place in South West France and when my battery went dead (my fault) I was looking at a lot of hassle and delay but your clear instructions saved the day. Its very good of you to go to the trouble of creating this post. Very much appreciated. Mike Treanor.

  88. 88 coreypine4

    2004 model. battery completely drained. Tried charger with 10 amps – fuse method, nothing but blaring horn. Tried car to car hook up using fuse method – nothing. Will buy cigarette trickle charger tomorrow and see if that works as some post indicate. It’s good to see my frustrations are share by so many. Major design flaw by Porsche.

  89. Regarding GETTING INTO THE TRUNK THROUGH THE WHEEL WELL, this comes by way of “the man” at PCA, Joel Reiser in the August 2013 issue of Panorama Magazine:
    “Using the cable is a royal pain in the ass. You have to get the car up in the air, remove the RIGHT-FRONT WHEEL, pull out the forward fender liner, and search around with a flashlight for about an hour (I kid you not) to find the HIDDEN CABLE. And, if you need the key for your locking lug bolt to remove the wheel…”

  90. 90 Bobby

    Design flaw by Porsche? No way? Google “WWII German Elefant”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elefant

  91. 91 Andy

    I had this problem on my UK model 1999MY C2 – battery dead (or appeared to be – no power at all) and I couldn’t get into the front trunk.

    ** Important to note ** (I found out the hard way) that on UK cars the emergency release cable is on the LEFT side of the car (UK passenger side). Also, on my car the cable is way too short to reach to the indicator repeater lens, let alone the wheel arch.
    At present I just have the cable fed down to the opening in the spoiler near the AC radiator, tucked out of sight.
    Before I found this out, I managed to open the front trunk by sticking a narrow flat-blade screwdriver between the two release levers and flipping out of the way the little plate that prevents the trunk release lever from moving when ‘locked’.
    Once the trunk was open I found that my particular problem was a bad battery terminal connection – the battery itself was fine.

  92. 92 Dean Hadley

    So the battery is dead. I charged it as noted. Release the stuck key as the manual instructs.
    NOW: Every time I need to remove the key from the ignition switch, it is locked and I go through the process every time to remove the key.

    Did I buy a Lotus by mistake, again?

  93. Sounds like you need a new battery Dean.

  94. Excellent! I left my lights on this weekend and my 996 didn’t respond to the keyfob nor the manual key turning in the driver’s side door. However, Project Honeypot (name of car) was nice enough to roll down the window just enough so I could open it up and apply the exact instructions you provided here =)

    One added note, my friend’s car need to be “revved” while attempting to start or it wasn’t putting out enough juice.

    Many thanks

    -rOcK

  95. 95 Jim

    Hi all,

    I’m in a similar pickle to the one described here, but with a twist. Hoping someone can help.

    A family friend asked me to look after his home for the summer. Rather than setting up a trickle charger on each of his cars before leaving, he simply disconnected the battery terminals in each. As a result, his 2011 997 now cannot be restarted, since the battery is disconnected and there’s no way to get into the boot to reconnect it because there’s no electrical power to actuate the electronic release.

    He called yesterday asking that I check on the cars, and I ran into this issue. After reading the description above, I was able to find the red jumper post in the fusebox in the driver’s side foot well without any problems. But when I try to power the car from a known good battery in my own car (with the engine running), nothing happens — no alarm, no lights, no starter… nothing. The red light on the key turns on when I press the unlock button, so I believe the battery in the key is OK, but the car itself shows no signs of life at all, even with power applied through the jumper cables.

    So I’m wondering: is it possible that the act of disconnecting the battery somehow also broke the continuity between the jumper post and the car’s electrical system?

    Worst case, I can always call the local Porsche dealer to come to the house and deal with it. I do not feel comfortable jacking up the car and taking off the wheel to look for the manual emergency release cable. But before I do that, can anyone spot anything I might have overlooked? I’d be grateful for any suggestions.

    Thanks,

    Jim

  96. Yes Jim, having the battery disconnected will negate the ability to jump the trunk on a 996. To my knowledge, at this point, your only option is to go through the wheel well. However being that I am not as familiar with 997s, the Porsche professional technician may have another method (but I doubt it). Good luck.
    Jon


  1. 1 battery dead on my car, afraid to jump it. Will a trickle charger restore it? - 6speedonline.com Forums
  2. 2 996 battery Died - questions - 6speedonline.com Forums
  3. 3 How do I get trunk open when battery is dead? - 6speedonline.com Forums

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