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Old 11-02-2009, 11:22 AM   #1
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Screeching Boxster

Hi
I am not very car mechanically minded so bear with me.
My '98 year Boxster is making a noise that sounds like the fan belt has gone. Does the Boxster have a normal fan belt? Is this an easy job to change or should I take it in to a dealer? Roughly how much do you think this would cost me to get a specialist to do the change?
Hope you can help.
Thanks
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:55 AM   #2
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A screeching noise from the front of the motor could be a worn polyrib belt, a bad idler pulley, a bad water pump, a bad power steering pump, bad timing chain tensioners... what did I miss??? First things first. Decide if you want to diagnose it yourself or take it to a reputable shop in your area. Typical labor rates in SoCal are around $120/hr. It should not take very long for a skilled Porsche tech to diagnose the problem and give you a repair estimate.
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Old 11-02-2009, 12:01 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply.
Deffo from the engine sectine where the air intake is. Any other ideas?
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Old 11-02-2009, 12:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smeech
Hi
I am not very car mechanically minded so bear with me.
My '98 year Boxster is making a noise that sounds like the fan belt has gone. Does the Boxster have a normal fan belt? Is this an easy job to change or should I take it in to a dealer? Roughly how much do you think this would cost me to get a specialist to do the change?
Hope you can help.
Thanks
Changing the belt is a fairly easy task, and doesn't require very many tools.

The first thing you need to do is take off the engine top cover, and the engine front cover, that is behind the rear seats.

Once you have both of those two covers off, changing the belt is exactly the same as on any normal car with a serpentine belt system. If you've ever done it on a Buick, a Chevy, or a Honda, you can do it on the Porsche.

BC.
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Old 11-02-2009, 12:22 PM   #5
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Start with the basics. Which model 98 (tip/5spd)? mileage? Recent service history? Was anything changed recently that was followed shortly by the screeching sound? Motor oil fresh with good color? Power steering fluid clean and topped off? The polyrib belt should be changed at 60k and 120k miles. Was this done?

You can remove the carpet and access panel behind the seats to get to the belt and pulleys. Give em a look. Release the belt tension and give each of the pulleys and accessories a spin. If one has a failed bearing you will know.
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Old 11-02-2009, 01:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topless
Start with the basics. Which model 98 (tip/5spd)? mileage? Recent service history? Was anything changed recently that was followed shortly by the screeching sound? Motor oil fresh with good color? Power steering fluid clean and topped off? The polyrib belt should be changed at 60k and 120k miles. Was this done?

You can remove the carpet and access panel behind the seats to get to the belt and pulleys. Give em a look. Release the belt tension and give each of the pulleys and accessories a spin. If one has a failed bearing you will know.
It's a 5spd manual. 81,000 miles. It had a service about 14 months ago when the mileage was at 74,000 miles.

Just one question is it east to see what is wrong - ie which belt will need changing? Could it be a different belt that is worn?

The screeching started after a very slow four hour journey. Stuck in a traffic jam outside London for at least two hours. i kept hearing the fan coming on to cool the engine.
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Old 11-02-2009, 02:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smeech
It's a 5spd manual. 81,000 miles. It had a service about 14 months ago when the mileage was at 74,000 miles.

Just one question is it east to see what is wrong - ie which belt will need changing? Could it be a different belt that is worn?

The screeching started after a very slow four hour journey. Stuck in a traffic jam outside London for at least two hours. i kept hearing the fan coming on to cool the engine.

First, stop driving the car. You only have one serpentine belt that turns everything; if it goes bad because of an idler pulley, or the water pump, you risk killing the engine due to overheating. The belt is a snap to change, but you need to find out why it suddenly failed. If you are not mechanically inclined, have it flat bedded to someone that is.................
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Old 11-02-2009, 06:43 PM   #8
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When you pull the belt off, check all the pulleys. I had the same thing happen to mine at 80K, but it was a locked up water pump. It was a screech, pop, and a little bit of smoke from the belt in the couple seconds it took me to change lanes and and shut the car down. Set me back about $1200 for pump, belt, assorted damages/labor.
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:35 AM   #9
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Drove it to work today (four mile journey) and the noise only lasted for about two minutes and then seemed to run fine? Oh and I hadn't read this until now - my heart is racing i'm that worried now!

Do you know why the noise would just stop? A guy at work said it may have just been a moist belt slipping? Think he was guessing though. I'm going to check the water level and make sure that the pump isn't leaking and causing this slippage. Hopefully this won't be too costly - and there was I thinking of selling it!
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Old 11-03-2009, 02:08 AM   #10
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Probably a slipping belt or loose tensioner. The alternator runs on the same belt, along with the water pump, and AC compressor. If the water pump was locked up, you'd definitely lose the belt, and then get the alternator light.

At 80K, it's probably due a new belt soon anyways. That would be both cheap and easy to replace. It's sort of a pain to get to, but it might be a good idea to pop the front engine cover and check to make sure it's not more serious before you put too many miles on it.

This is about what the engine should look like if you have the cover behind the seats off.
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Old 11-03-2009, 02:18 AM   #11
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Thanks for your reply. I've found a diagram and instructions on doing just that. Going to take the cover off start the engine and see what happens. I'll check the belt to see if it's too worn and probably just change it anyway - it's only 12 $17 (ish) so might as well if the cover is already off. Am I ok to turn everything by hand to ensure it still rotates ok?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ARModen
Probably a slipping belt or loose tensioner. The alternator runs on the same belt, along with the water pump, and AC compressor. If the water pump was locked up, you'd definitely lose the belt, and then get the alternator light.

At 80K, it's probably due a new belt soon anyways. That would be both cheap and easy to replace. It's sort of a pain to get to, but it might be a good idea to pop the front engine cover and check to make sure it's not more serious before you put too many miles on it.

This is about what the engine should look like if you have the cover behind the seats off.
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:22 AM   #12
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Turns out the noise is on the front right wing. Possibly the air con fan! Not quite as serious as I thought. Air con - off!
Presume this is easy to fix?
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Old 11-03-2009, 11:46 AM   #13
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If your water pump is original, seriously consider changing it while you're in there doing the belt. As you'll read on this forum pumps are known to fail around 70-75k miles.

I'm not especially mechanically inclined, but was able to do both the pump and belt and change the coolant without too much trouble. The pump and belt cost me a total of $240. Porsche coolant from the local stealership was $70. Paying a shop would have been close to 3x the cost.
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