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Old 09-06-2010, 10:52 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Georgia
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Reporting on solution: Coolant leak, oil, idling problem, clutch and etc

Hi Guys,

As you may know from the posts, I became a happy owner of 1998 Boxster 2.5. It is now two month I owe it, but I drove totally about may be max 20 days, the remaining time I have spent in the repair shop. I bought it with no history, and it seems previous owner had no clue what the maintenance means.

So will start from the beggining.

* Clutch. When I bought a car, I felt that clutch is a bit heavy to push, and I had to rev the engine up to and even more above 3 000 rpm. The "clever friends" told me this is how it should be on a sport car and on porsche (I never had one before), so I accepted this. One week later, after nice ride, on the way home I got my clutch stocked and I could not change gears. I have replaced a clutch, had to order from Germany. Despite the fact that clutch was ordered from official service, it was still SACHS (which has quite less on a clutch disk than original). I also ordered air filter, fuel filter, and oil filter. Totally it costed me around 800 USD including bank transfer of 50 USD.

Sympthoms: High rev start, problem with changing gear, smell of clutch.

Solution: replace clutch regurlarly as per maintenance to avoid extra expenses on a full set.

* Idling problem. As many of you I have also experienced idling problem, when the cars dies at a low speed turns or idling. Following recomendations of this forum, I changed, Fuel filter, and air filter. At the same time, I have changed oil and Oil filter (there is no MOBIL 1 available in my region, therefore have followed recomendation of local specialists and have used CASTROL edge 10 - 60. AS all the maintenance has been done together with the clutch change, I don't know what is the real solution, but my idling (car dies at low speed turns or during idling) is much better. If before, out of 10 slow turns (entry to the main line, turning to Garage etc), 8 times I had to restart the car. Now it is only 1 or 2 times out of 10. Some guys said, it could be also because of the clutch.

Simpthoms: at low speed (1 - 2 - 5 km/hr) the rpm jumps, drops and the car stalls and have to restart.

Solution: start with minor: air filter, fuel filter....

* Coolant leak. I was smelling the coolant in the car. But, no leaks, no problem was found. I never had to add water. After chaning a clutch, I took a trip to turkey (200 km) to visit a friend of mine. When I passed border, I saw blinking water level light. I checked water level and it was low. I added just a bit of water, what I had in my bottle, the level raised a bit, i drove about 400 m to the shop to buy water and add, but when I opened the radiotor it was full. That suprised me a lot. I thought may be it is due to sirculation. In Turkey I have done some maintenance on the car. Fixxed passenger door which could not open, installed XENON lights (Philips) and white lamps, corrected the roof tent (which was not folding properly), and delivered the car to mechanic for inspection. He said everything is perfect and he took a car for a test ride. He drove it hard, and the car behaved perfectly. When we stopped, in 2 minutes there was a waterfall of Coolant from the back - right hand side of the engine (close to the wheel). To be honest I got very scared, i thought the man killed my car. I got on the web immediately (luckely it was in office at the workshop), and checked the forum. AS usual here was the answers on my question. While I was checking the web, the mechanic, told me he believes it is a cap problem. The same was confirmed by the site. I had cup with .00 at the end. I have order new one through my friends in Turkey and got .04 cap, I just test drove the car at it seems the problem is solved.

Important thing, the coolant leak was happening when i drove the car hard. When I was driving normally, (i drove back from Turkey with the old cup as new one took 5 days to arrive), the car was acting normally, no leaks, no extra water required nothing. The temperature was OK as well, but as soon as I drove hard (temperature up to 95% - not going higher) the was a leak, but leak was coming out only after I stop the car and never while I was driving. The water is coming under the car (right wheel) simply because there is a drain channel next to the air bleeder valve, so when water gets high, it came out of the cap, and went into the drain which finally exists at the back right wheel.

Sympthoms: Need to add water, coolant smell, coolant leak from the back right tire side after hard driving.

Solution: replace a cap with the latest .04 serial number.

So this is so far. I do not know yet what else should I expected, but to be honnest I am a bit dissapointed. Despite the fact that it is best handing car I drove (while choosing I have tried: Audi TT, BMW Z3, BMW Z4, Mercedes SLK, Mercedes CLK 320, Volkswagen EOS, Honda CIVIC) all cars have their pros and cons, but with Porsche it was love at first sight. But the service is terrible.

Currently the problems left:
Wet carpet at the driver side, but not in the front, but just under the seat and behind the seat, more looks like a tent leak, or drain channels (by the way someone had a drawing of the drain channels, i found once through search but since then have tried several times and could not find it). Will start working on the solution and will report back.

I have to add coolant as quite a lot was lost, (I added water), question is, can I mix the coolant which was there (no idea) and some other coolant I can buy locally???

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Old 09-07-2010, 04:40 AM   #2
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Location: Frederick, MD
Posts: 1,396
1. 3k RPM to engage clutch - now you know it is not normal, ever.
2. idle problem - some early boxsters had problems with idle but check some other things. what kind of gas are you using? the boxster needs premium. have you checked the MAF sensor? o2 sensors? i assume there are no warning lights on the dash. 1 out of 100 times is too many times. does it "search" for the right idle speed or just idle and then die?
3. since you don't know what coolant is in there i would drain it. while it's okay to mix the old porsche coolant and the new porsche coolant, it doesn't sound like the previous owners took very good care of it, so who's to say they used the right coolant when it was needed. to be safe i would drain and replace it all.

wet carpet - be careful, the central alarm computer is under the driver's seat ( on wrong-hand drive it will probably be on the passenger side, i don't know ) and if it gets wet... $$$$$.
"Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary... that's what gets you."
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Old 09-07-2010, 05:40 AM   #3
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 2,655
What can I say. You bought a 12 year-old car without carefully inspecting it. High-idle, worn clutch, leaking coolants all could have been easily identified should you have done a Pre-Purchase Inspection (PPI). Hell even starting the car and take it for a test drive would've been enough.

Purchasing a vehicle should not be an emotional decision but a lot of us fell for that without carefully realizing what we're buying. You would think Porsche owners would take care of their cars, but I've seen my fair share of poorly maintained Boxsters.

Check out this webiste, it has a lot of useful information might be useful to you.


Last edited by ekam; 09-07-2010 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:51 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: BC
Posts: 1,261
Buy a Bentley manual. You may not want to do the work on the car yourself, but you'll see that you can do a lot of it, and it will help you understand your car as well.
2001 Boxster, 5 spd, Seal Grey
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:39 PM   #5
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Location: Georgia
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the funny thing is that I have done pre purchase inspection. First I have done it myself. Secondly, I took it to a specialist workshop, visual inspection, that computer inspection, there was no signs that something would go wrong. It is in ideal condition. It has only 70 000 km done. visually and technically seemed OK. There was a 2001 Boxster for the same price (I paid 10 500 USD). But the 2001 one was not recomended by the wokrshop due to its technical condition. So I took this one 1998. After workshop inspection and my inspection, I had an agreement with the guy that if there will be any serious problem with the car within 500 km, I had a right to claim it. I drove this 500 km from the city I bought to my city. No problems at all. This is my second family car (for every day drive and house things I use my audi), Porsche is more weekend car.... and I am not a tough driver, I enjoy crusing at a normal speed, and if i give some speed only on a high way. So, i believe I am not the reason that suddenly car started to get all the problems in one go after 2000 km.

The problems started now, and I would expect there is more to come.

Regarding the gas: I am using 98 octane (which in my country is called super). I have delivered car to turkey to check all the sensors and the specialists told me they are all fine (MAF and O2). It does not dies simply while idling. It idles normally, from time to time the RPM is as you said searching for the right level. It dies, for example, if I drive normally, then slow down completely, and kind of a moving to slow to enter my yard or garage.

It is very difficult to take care of the car, when there is noone who can help or assist, it is only you guys on the net. I have the only boxster in the city, and there is totally may be 3 - 4 in the country. In the whole country there is in total only 3 guys who knows the Porsche and how to fix it, luckely, one is in my city.

But thank you guys for your support. Hope that soon will bring my car to the proper level....

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