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Old 01-17-2009, 06:12 AM   #1
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Have i bought a lemon?

Bought my 1st Porsche and its the cheapest boxster i could lay my hands on, seemed fine on the test drive and has full history.

I did notice a light but didnt think much of it at the time. Now realise its low coolant level, the car has seen 106000 miles, how serious could this be? is it likely just a leak? or could it be burning it or leaking at the coolant pump?

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Old 01-17-2009, 06:30 AM   #2
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i would say you simply bought a car with miles. Not a lemon, just higher miles. typically when you spend less on the initial price, you will spend more on repairs. I would have it checked out by a decent mechanic that works on porsches.
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:25 AM   #3
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No way to tell

Buying a car that has 106k miles you expect a flaw (or you get a pre-purchase inspection by someone who knows the cars). That is why it was priced the way it was.

So what to do now?

Look at the oil on the dipstick and see its color...if milky you have real problems.

Fill the coolant tank in the rear trunk with water to the line.

Drive till things are warm (showing 170).

Let it cool down and see if any leakage has occurred. What is the water level now?

Oil/Coolant tank? Water pump (more common)? Fill pressure cap? Hole in radiator (you have at least 2 of them in the front corners of the car)?

If you can't pinpoint an obvious leak, get it to a Porsche mechanic who knows how to burp the system and pressure check the system.

This needs to be fixed now.
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:37 AM   #4
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yeah i didnt expect it to be perfect but this was a little unexpected.

i'll check its not mixing oil and coolant and top it up, see if its leaking. its about all i can do at this point and hope its obvious if its leaking.
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Old 01-17-2009, 08:27 AM   #5
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No offense but not noticing lights during a vehicle pre sale inspection is letting excitement override logic. I went over my Boxster with special lights to look for filler lines in the finish, checked the vehicle mechanically. It's true what others said about buying cheap and paying if the PO was a poor steward of the vehicle. If the head gasket is solid then maybe you'll get off light, I suspect with that mileage you have deeper concerns, a raby upgrade and a clutch kit would be a sweet option if the engine is coming out..good luck

My fellow captains once noted that BOAT meant " bring over another thousand", welcome to land boating my friend...

Last edited by EE3racing; 01-17-2009 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 01-17-2009, 09:08 AM   #6
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I noticed it, just having never owned one i thought it was something along the lines of flashes when cold. Since im buying from the bottom end of the market i wouldnt be going over the finish with a special light etc.. i dont expect it to be as new.

I'll have to see how i get on.. raby upgrade?
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Old 01-17-2009, 09:13 AM   #7
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It's waay too early to be thinking about engines and clutches... it's just a low coolant light.

Could be anything from a bad hose clamp, cracked coolant reservoir, a leaky radiator, a bad hose, a failing (weeping) waterpump, a head gasket, to simply being low on coolant.

Have it inspected and pressure tested and bled (maybe even have the coolant replaced w/ that many miles on it if it hasn't been done before) - how old is the car? - you may be due.
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Old 01-17-2009, 09:17 AM   #8
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its a 1998 and we are getting a little ahead of ourselves here
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Old 01-17-2009, 02:35 PM   #9
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umm, why don't you put more coolant in it? Just a thought.
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Old 01-18-2009, 05:51 AM   #10
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If it is a 98 it still might have the old style cap which has been known to leak very often. Look at the color of the cap and tell us if it is green or black. It could be as simple as that. Don't panic yet. As it was said before it just might be a little low. I also have a 98, but when I purchased mine it had low miles, but age is also a factor. Whenever I had a few dollars I would do maintenance on it as if it were due. Change antifreeze, flush brake fluid, plugs, change fluid in the tiptronic, etc. . I have since put on over 30K in 2 driving seasons ( put away for winter-8-10" of snow today ) and have had no trouble. Good luck and enjoy your auto. Ed
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:47 AM   #11
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Right, finally got a chance to go collect it.

Topped the coolant up and drove it the 50 or so miles home.. seems i have a few issues.

The cap is blue, thinking the old one because the boot lid was soaked when i opened it at home.

The steam running past my door (RHD) points to the drivers side rad, and on closer inspection theres a problem with it. Cant yet tell if its holed but i think it is.

Still, drives as well as i expected and got me home without issue.. aside from the smell and steam.

How hard is it to change out the radiator? im a fair DIY so would rather have a go myself.
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:53 AM   #12
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oh and is there any problem with just topping the reservoir up until i can get the rad replaced?
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:31 AM   #13
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Bought a new rad today and have the workshop manual so will be fixing it tomorrow hopefully.

Some pictures in case anyone wants a look.








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Old 01-23-2009, 09:48 AM   #14
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Nice pics. looks just like mine!
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:57 AM   #15
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Good luck with the install. Nice car and cool English neighborhood. Very different essence than my stomping grounds.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:45 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FTD
Good luck with the install.
Thanks, got the workshop manual to tell me how to get the bumper off but after that im on my own as there doesnt seem to be a section on the remove or fitting of the rad's, still, cant be that hard, few bolts and hoses.
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:12 PM   #17
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Welcome to my world.

Strap yourself in good and tight. You're in for one heck of a maintenance ride in the coming months. Old boxsters like ours fall apart when they cross that 100k mile threshold.

I thought I was done a while back and then had to replace all four wheel bearings. They're actually a cheap part, but require many hours per corner to replace and special tools to pull them off the drive shafts.
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Old 01-23-2009, 01:12 PM   #18
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Great who knows what i'll need, rear brake discs at some point this year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RandallNeighbour
then had to replace all four wheel bearings.
What symptoms did you get with the wheel bearings? im getting some vibration but have self diagnosed wheel balancing.
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Old 01-23-2009, 01:56 PM   #19
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Adam:

Don't let everyone scare you. You bought a beautiful car with alot of miles. Enjoy it and fix the problems that arise over time. The car is not a lemon. It is a fine, racing machine which will require some attention. So, give it the attention it needs. Each time you take her out, you'll be paid back.

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Old 01-23-2009, 04:11 PM   #20
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I must have balanced my wheels four times and put new rubber on them too to see if I could eliminate wheel shake and body shake to no avail.

Then I replaced all four wheel bearings as well as the worn control arms, struts, and drop links and it's all but disappeared.

I believe the balance of the vibration comes from original motor mounts that were never changed out prior to my ownership of the car.

You will find, like the rest of us, that the boxster sends ANY vibration straight to the driver's seat like no other car we've owned. Some road feel is really valuable while other vibration, such as a bad bearing or whatever, is just flat annoying to me.

I drive a 12 year old Porsche, but want to feel like I have a brand new car and the way you spell that is: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

You may not be as anal as me. If so, that will probably save you a lot of money

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Last edited by RandallNeighbour; 01-23-2009 at 04:13 PM.
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