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Old 06-05-2011, 07:12 PM   #1
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White smoke + heat light flashing?


In august 2011 I got the car of my dreams, a well maintained Boxster S 2001 with 76 000km. About 3 weeks ago I got a little too excited and raced this sports bike, unfortunately I shifted a little late, gear 1, 2 and perhaps 3 red lined for a couple of seconds..

I have since taken it real smooth with the car and given up on becoming a race car driver.. I noticed white smoke from exhaust system when I start the car (i only take the car out on the week ends when it doesn't rain), the smoke goes away after a few seconds, I did notice what smelled like burned brake pads the last couple of times driving, but I had not used excessive braking, leaning down the brakes did not smell, but smell was coming from around the exhaust system..

Yesterday I noticed the light next to temperature gauge is flashing but temp is in the middle, so now I'm starting to freak out, I know nothing about mechanics so I'm worried if I blew a HG or damaged my engine during that race a few weeks ago..

Any suggestions?

PS. Car was taken to a reliable mechanic for maintenance in May, so I know oil and fluid levels should be up to par.


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Old 06-05-2011, 09:47 PM   #2
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Smile Sorry to hear

White smoke upon starting is something that is due to the flat design of the engine. And the flashing light usually means low coolant level. If you do a search on this forum, you will see many other similar issues with boxsters.
Good luck!!
And as far as smell, did it have this heat smell before you raced?
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:47 AM   #3
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When I drive my box hard, I always notice this burning smell too, from the rear. I had previously thought it was the brakes too, but when I smelt the rear brakes, it wasn't from there...

I'd always assumed the burning smell is from the cats as my cats are somewhat in that area (I've got no cats on the headers only on the mid pipes- euro specs), which makes sense.

It's been like that since I got the car 9 months ago till now.

My car sometimes "smokes" for a second or two, if the day before, I had started up the car, but did not go for an extended drive (eg driving the car out of the driveway to wash it). Have accepted it as "normal". Changing to a heavier engine oil seems to help..

I just changed my aos, am now monitoring it to see if it helps... I did have oil in my intake pipes.

Last edited by shlim8; 06-06-2011 at 02:07 AM.
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Old 06-06-2011, 07:58 AM   #4
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Ditto; a little smoke at start up is normal ( normally blueish grey though). White smoke for a prolonged time unusually means coolant leaking into the head. Top off your coolant (when cool and watch to see if you have a leak...light comes on again).

Regards, pk
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:41 AM   #5
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check and fill the coolent level when the car is cold. Use porsche coolent or the other approved types. usally the "lifetime" and "add to any color coolent" are ok. after you fill it, open the bleeder, then go drive the car for 20 min. allow it to cool fully and then top off the coolent tank if needed. Leave bleeder valve open for a few days.

Only open the tank when cool, otherwise it will over flow and you have to start over.

Make sure the top is on tight.

As for the smell.....its your clutch burning up.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:44 AM   #6
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Had the white smoke at start-up and thought it was normal since it is a boxer engine. Had VW's and Subaru's(STi and Tribeca).

Not to scare you but It is possible that your water pump is about to go. This is what happened to my 2003 Boxster. The light started flashing and it was not even above 180 degrees then after about 25 miles, everything went hay wire. The engine shut down and the coolant was dumped all over. Replaced the water pump and changed oil and now everything is normal - no more white smoke at start-up.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:08 AM   #7
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Very doubtful this has anyhting to do with your speed run. This isn't a Sunfire you're driving here - it is meant to be run hard. The rev-limiter should prevent any real damage from getting a little over-excited.

The suggestions about topping up your coolant and then keeping an eye on it are good. Could also be early stages of AOS failure. Pull off your oil filler cap (engine running) and see if there is internal vacuum that makes it difficult to remove. While you're there pull the dipstick and make sure the oil isn't contaminated with coolant (it will be light brown and foamy).

Your water pump should probably be changed as a preventative maintenance item. This has been discussed to death so do a quick search if you want more info on why. Change out your front mount and thermostat while you're in there.

Did u mean August 2010?

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