996/Boxster Window Problems Part II

Awhile back I had written a post about window drop issues in the boxster/996. A few weeks ago I had a Boxster come in for an oil change, and a window that was not functioning properly. The driver window would not drop at all, from the inside door handle, or the outside door handle. To me, this said that the microswitch on the latch mechanism always thought the door was closed. So I ordered a new latch. Today I knocked it out.

Time to get to work. Plenty of room to get the door open fully.

Door panel needs to come off.

Once off, carefully peel back the foam cover on the door.

Once the foam is out of the way (I usually just tape it to the window to keep it held back), you can remove the metal plate in the way and disconnect the electrical connector.

Before you go any further, plug in your new unit. The window should immediately drop once you plug it in. If it does not make a sound, you have a different issue. Plugged it in, heard (heard being the key word here) the window drop, thought, sweet.

Pulled the old unit out, swapped over the two pull connectors, and we were good to go…..or were we.

Going back together. Now at this point (Experience coming into play here), I decide to close the door to make sure the window lines up and operates properly. What I discovered, was while the window was dropping, it was only dropping about 1/8″ which is not enough. Crap.

So this adds a new element into our Boxster/996 window saga. The window regulator!
If your window drops when you open the car, but only slightly, try pushing down on the top of the window with the door open. If you can push it down another 1/8-1/4″ or so, that means your regulator line has slack in it and needs to be replaced. Essentially, the motor will travel a few teeth to drop the window the needed distance. If there is slack in the cable, part of that motor movement just takes up the slack, which doesn’t move the window at all. How does the cable get slack? I haven’t really been able to figure it out. Sometimes the green centering clips on the cables crack and fall apart, other times it appears as if the cable itself has stretched.

So the old regulator out, and the new regulator put in. Luckily the part was in town, so it wasn’t a big deal since I was in there. Very odd to have a window issues with 2 culprits. Did closing the door with the window fully up for a period of time stress the cable of the regulator? Hard to say.

So, lets review what we know:
So some failure modes:

1. Door glass does not drop when opening the door from the inside: Culprit–inner door handle microswitch

2. Door glass does not drop when opening the door from the outside: Culprit–outer door handle microswitch

3. Door glass goes back up when you release the either door handle, making it very difficult to close the door with the glass all the way up, OR the window does not drop from either the inside AND the outside door handles: Culprit–door latch mechanism microswitch

4. Both door glass windows do not drop when operating the convertible top: Culprit–Convertible top latch microswitch

and a new one:
5. If the window only drops a little bit, push down on the window to see if it will travel another 1/8-1/4″ before stopping. If it does, the window regulator is bad.

996BoxstermicroswitchPorscheWindow dropwindow issuewindow regulator

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April 20, 2011 at 3:23 PM

nice problem solving!


June 17, 2011 at 4:48 PM

I have a different problem in that the the rear of the drivers side window drops about 4″ and binds up when you try and lower the window with the switch. There’s kind of a grinding noise accompanying it going part way down too. I can close the window again with the switch, but it is noisy in that direction too. Is this a cable problem? Happened all at once as the window operated normally until this happened.


    June 17, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    HI Lyn,

    You need to replace the window regulator on that side. Hope this helps!


Rob Brown

February 28, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Just about to buy a 2007 Boxster – only problem we can see is – when the roof is opened the passenger side window drops to about half way down and stays there. Owner very quickly said “I have to raise it from this side” and closed the window

Is this simply a regulator problem or something a little more complicated?

Considering putting it into the local Porsche shop for a “status check” (not sure if that relates to the car or my wallet) but thought I’d ask anyway.



    February 28, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Hey Rob,

    Yup, that sounds like a bad regulator to me!


Rob Brown

March 1, 2013 at 12:01 AM

Karl, thanks for the advice. Having to put the wiindow back up is a minor inconvenience. Do you think this is something I could live with for a while, or is it a sign of impending doom, ie total failure of the regulator?

I live in Abu Dhabi and contrary to popular belief we do not have our own personal oil wells in the back yard.

I’m looking forward to owning my first Porsche – Just not looking forward to the wife finding out!



    March 1, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    Eventually it is going to fail completely, usually at the most inconvenient time it seems! I would try and get it replaced as soon as possible!


John C

August 25, 2013 at 7:11 PM

I have an ’02 Boxster. I get a metalic ‘click’ when the window reaches the full open or full closed position. Otherwise works smoothly and quietly. Any ideas?


    August 29, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    Hi John,

    Sounds like you have a window regulator that is about to fail completely. The only other possibility is that someone has already been in there to replace one, and did not tighten the mounting bolts.

Alan Lake

January 21, 2014 at 6:37 AM

Porsche 986s, 2003, facelift

Hey John, enjoying your site. So, first I start having mysterious very intermittent glitches (come and go) with radio, windows and alarm. Over a period of weeks I notice the battery appears to be loosing CCA. Finally the battery dies. I read into various blogs etc, symptoms appear to be classic ignition switch probs. So,I order & fit a new one. I charge the Battery with CTEK, no prob. Fire her up and no CCA again. I replace the battery, new Bosch s5, put ignition to position 1 for 60 sec, then off. She fires up first time, I reset the windows, full down, full up, reset the clock. Shut down remove the key. All good so far………However, I then remote to close the car and initiate the alarm….and……..nothing. Doors do not lock, alarm does not initiate. The key transmits, the windscreen dash light receives the signal. I go way and research some more. I recall that two nights previous a small amount of rain had entered through the pax side window which was in its 1cm drop position. Now I’m thinking that water is shorting the window switch or wiring having seeped into the door interior.
The pax door window does appear to attempt to drop but only moves a mil or two. This happens the same for interior or exterior handles. The window is sitting about a half centimeter (quarter inch) from its fully closed position. The window lowers and recovers from and to that point consistently using the window button. I’m guessing the alarm will not initiate as it senses the car window is open. —-Though in some ways that does not make sense as I can normally lock and alarm the car with the roof and windows down.
Also, a few other anomalies:
The circular ABS light and the Circular exclamation warning lights are on when I drive. Prior to swapping out the battery they were not lit at all.
When I remove the key from the ignition, the dash and interior lights stay lit for two minutes, or, until I lock the drivers door with the key. The small yellow diodes by valet light and ignition (guide lights) stay lit permanently, even when the car is locked.
The bottom of the door, carpet, interior wall and floor carpets are dry. The immobilizer/alarm unit are dry, as is the floor pan they sit in. All drains are free flowing. When I’m sat in the car the dash button locks/unlocks both doors. The key locks the driver side door but does not initiate the pax door lock, therefor I have to leave the pax door unlocked.
Apart from all of that the car drives normally and starts up the next day without a hitch.

Finally a question, or two or more…….
1. What in your opinion is the problem
2. Are the problems all related to the window issue.
3. What should I attempt to tackle first
4. Is it worth pulling the pax door card and using a hair dryer to dry out the door and cabling.

Lastly, my apologies, I’ve been a little verbose in trying to explain my problems, I thought that more info would be better than less. Thanks for your consideration and time. Alan


    January 21, 2014 at 8:46 AM

    Hi Alan,

    I think you are on the right track with pulling the passenger door card. The window drop issue sounds like a classic window regulator gone bad. I would check all your battery connections etc, the dash lights are a bit puzzling. Obviously the first thing I would do if the car were here would be to pull the codes down and see what the computer is saying before moving forward past the window issue.

    Hope this helps,


Alan lake

January 21, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Karl, thanks, I’ll pull the card sometime this week. I’ll have to wait for diagnostic until I get time free. I’ll post my findings when I get a result. Thanks. A

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