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Old 12-12-2012, 12:03 PM   #1
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Unhappy Tiptronic is "Toast"

Purchased a 1999 Boxster with 66,000 miles on it. Owned by a person that really took good care of it. Performed all maintenance with records to prove it.

It just turned 70,000 miles and the Tiptronic transmission just quit working. I now need a rebuilt or used transmission. I can't believe that it is broken. I have been very careful to drive in a safe and reasonable manner. You would think that these cars could take it. Guess they are just as bad as the Mercedes SL series. I owned one of these and it was a hole that I poured money into. This will be my last German car. I will go back to Japanese vehicles that seem to run forever without major problems.

Last edited by halsport; 12-12-2012 at 12:05 PM. Reason: change cagegory
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:27 PM   #2
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Mine died at 75k... $8k later I got a fully rebuilt Tip put in.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:53 AM   #3
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I would love to get more information on the premature death of these.

I believe mine was due to a leaky radiator that I fixed myself. I replaced the radiator, then refilled the system with coolant, and the car drove fine for about 5k miles. 200 miles after some extended (and very spirited) driving at Boxstoberfest, my 2-3 shift began slipping. It continued to get worse until third would no longer engage - either with the buttons or automatically.

More research indicated I had neglected to jumper the fuse to open the tiptronic valve in the cooling system to circulate coolant through the extra radiator (never mentioned in MANY online directions for the refill, or my repair manual). I assume I overheated the transmission and burned the bands/syncros between 2/3. The trans fluid smelled really bad and was very dark. Multiple fluid changes, swapping the entire solenoid block, etc. did not rectify the shift behavior.

Any ideas (even a guess) on what lead to yours dying? These stories are getting more and more common on very low mile transmissions. Keep your cooling system healthy, and change that trans fluid early!

**Don't feel so bad, mine went around 50k miles. Luckily I found a 12k mile takeout trans from someone completing a manual swap.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:22 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by tightbox View Post
More research indicated I had neglected to jumper the fuse to open the tiptronic valve in the cooling system to circulate coolant through the extra radiator (never mentioned in MANY online directions for the refill, or my repair manual).
The reason for that is the recommended refilling method, under vacuum, does not require that step...........
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:26 AM   #5
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Good info. I have since purchased the Airlift tool, but didn't know I could skip that step now.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:50 AM   #6
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The valve in the Tip's coolant circuit acts much like the thermostat in the engine loop, neither needs to be open to fill the system under vacuum as they are only on one side of the coolant loops and the vacuum system evacuates and refills the loop using the other leg.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:53 PM   #7
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"More research indicated I had neglected to jumper the fuse to open the tiptronic valve in the cooling system to circulate coolant through the extra radiator"


could you elaborate or send me in the right v direction for this info?

thanks
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sx200 View Post
"More research indicated I had neglected to jumper the fuse to open the tiptronic valve in the cooling system to circulate coolant through the extra radiator"


could you elaborate or send me in the right v direction for this info?

thanks
you can read this article:

Pelican Technical Article: Boxster Coolant Replacement / Boxster Coolant Flush - 986 / 987

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Old 12-28-2012, 06:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halsport View Post
Purchased a 1999 Boxster with 66,000 miles on it. Owned by a person that really took good care of it. Performed all maintenance with records to prove it.

It just turned 70,000 miles and the Tiptronic transmission just quit working. I now need a rebuilt or used transmission. I can't believe that it is broken. I have been very careful to drive in a safe and reasonable manner. You would think that these cars could take it. Guess they are just as bad as the Mercedes SL series. I owned one of these and it was a hole that I poured money into. This will be my last German car. I will go back to Japanese vehicles that seem to run forever without major problems.
Sorry to hear about your TIP going out. These are very reliable transmission so the auto recyclers should have some available. Saw one on ebay.

97 Porsche 986 Tiptronic Transmission | eBay
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:09 AM   #10
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Just had mine (98 Base) go out last month after owning for 4 months. No previous indication of any issue, then 2-3 started slipping only during auto-shift. Two days later, whole tranny went out. Was lucky & fortunate, and had it rebuilt, along with RMS & Pelician IMS for $3500. So far, so good...
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:11 PM   #11
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Did they give any insight into what might have caused it? Did they say what was worn?
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taipanic View Post
Just had mine (98 Base) go out last month after owning for 4 months. No previous indication of any issue, then 2-3 started slipping only during auto-shift. Two days later, whole tranny went out. Was lucky & fortunate, and had it rebuilt, along with RMS & Pelician IMS for $3500. So far, so good...
How thorough of a rebuild? Only a few places I know of in the states that can fully rebuild them (as some parts are not available through Porsche). $3500 is pretty good. Is that just for parts or labor too?
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:45 AM   #13
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How thorough of a rebuild? Only a few places I know of in the states that can fully rebuild them (as some parts are not available through Porsche). $3500 is pretty good. Is that just for parts or labor too?
$3500 covered Parts & labor for the tranny rebuild & R&R, along with the IMS and RMS replacement (Pelican Parts). The tranny was bad, lots of metal in the pan and the pump had to be replaced too (extra $550.00 over the original quote of $2950). It was a really good deal. My mechanic set everything up, I didn't talk to the tranny guy personally.
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