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2002 996 Turbo Electric Burning Smell from Engine Compartment

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2002 996 Turbo Electric Burning Smell from Engine Compartment

Old 03-11-2018, 04:23 PM
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Default 2002 996 Turbo Electric Burning Smell from Engine Compartment

I just took possession of a 2002 996 Turbo with 64,000 miles. My son owned it for 3 years in Germany (he bought in the US and shipped it over there) and now it was just shipped to me back in the US. Apparently somewhere along the line in the shipping, the ignition relay switch failed and they could not get the key out of the ignition. With the ignition left on, the battery was drained completely. When it was delivered to me, we had to jump the car to get it started. It appeared to run fine, but after I parked it in the garage, I still couldn't get the key out of the ignition. While the car sat in the garage (not running) i could smell something like an electric burning smell from the back of the car. My first thought was it's something in the ignition due to the key still in the on position. I detached the ground terminal of the battery and the smell stopped. I then used the forum to solve the ignition switch problem, installing a new ignition switch. I can now switch the car all the way off and pull out the key. I thought problem solved. But, the next day I walk into the garage and can smell that electrical burning smell again. The ignition was off, key out and doors locked. I looked around the engine compartment but couldn't see anything obvious. No smoke or anything. I disconnected the ground on the battery again and the smell stopped. Any suggestions on what I should check before I take it to the shop?
BTW, I'm new to the forum but already found it to be a great resource.
Other Porsche is a 1983 911 SC Cabriolet
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Old 03-11-2018, 05:29 PM
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You might have better luck in the Turbo section of the forum. Leave the key off and out and keep the battery disconnected until you resolve this, I'd hate to hear you burned your car down! Good luck...
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Old 03-11-2018, 05:41 PM
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Check the wires near the positive terminal in the engine compartment near the oil filter; it's not uncommon for the plastic insulation to crumble apart and possibly allow a wire to short, especially the smaller alternator wire.
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Old 03-13-2018, 01:02 PM
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Since you had to jump start it one of the diodes in the alternator may have been damaged. One way to check the alternator would be to feel it while the battery is connected to see if it’s warm. You could splurge on a non contact thermometer to hunt for the warm spot in the engine bay.

something like this

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Old 03-13-2018, 02:32 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. Checking them out. Interestingly, the smell has stopped several days after I fixed the ignition switch. The car appears to run fine and haven't seen any error codes thrown, but I'm going to keep checking this out just to be sure.
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Old 03-19-2018, 06:05 PM
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Turbos throw rear tire dust on the turbos. It can really stink. Caught me by surprise the first few times. Could that be what you are smelling? At first I thought I had electrical shorts and burning wires or the bumper was touching the exhaust. Using the sniff test when it was really bad found the actual problem - which isn't even a problem at all.
My Turbo doesn't do this all the time, only when run hard.
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