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Old 11-02-2011, 01:53 AM   #1
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Engine warning light

Hi guys,

this morning I fired up my 97 boxster and noticed unusual engine shaking. Idle was irregular and after a while the engine warning light lit up, firstly blinking and after a while continuosly on. When I moved up, the engine was not prompt and the light started to blink again then, when I left the throttle, it gone on again. After a short driving the engine seemed to return to its normal operation and performance but the light is still on.

Any tips about it or have I to take the car to the service?
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Old 11-02-2011, 02:09 AM   #2
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Ahhh Keygatzo! Unusual shaking, running irregular, possible MAF, lots of threads to read about it. The MAF has tamper proof multi point fasteners, just so you know, you can try carefully cleaning it. Error codes from the OBD port under the light switch would definitely help direct you to the source. I'm not certain but an O2 sensor not reading right might effect idle too. In either case you get to live in Italy so there is a silver lining!

Last edited by Ghostrider 310; 11-02-2011 at 02:20 AM.
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Old 11-02-2011, 02:39 AM   #3
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Without scanning the DME, anything ventured is pure speculation; get the codes read.....
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Old 11-02-2011, 03:11 AM   #4
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Hi,
thanks for replying. MAF sensor has been replaced about 50k km ago... Already arrived its time again? I'm gonna try to clean it but I know there's not too much to do if it's him broken.

If I have to say it all, it's a long time I have been facing this issue, especially in cold weather and cold start.

Engine is shaking slow, like a missing spark in one cylinder, but after a few seconds everything was going to disappear at all and no warning lights was lit up. This morning engine shaking was a bit more stronger than it was before and lasted longer until the warning light started to blink. May be a coil or injector... But I know I need to take her to the dealer, unfortunately... which means a huge money wasting... especially in Italy where if you own a Porsche, regardless if it's over ten years old, you have to be robbed beacause of the false equation Porsche's owner = Rich man... Welcome in Italy...

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Old 11-02-2011, 04:13 AM   #5
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Jack, Porsche introducing it's customers to what in might be like in a men's prison shower is not the exclusive province of Italy. Get the codes, readers are pretty cheap on the net, if you plan on any DIY it's a good investment along with the Bentley book, good luck.
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:23 AM   #6
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A blinking CEL generally means something catastrophic is about to happen. Even if it went solid I would' go anywhere until you but it on an OBCII.

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Old 11-02-2011, 06:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
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A blinking CEL generally means something catastrophic is about to happen. Even if it went solid I would' go anywhere until you but it on an OBCII.

Regards, PK
100% agreed. It's in your owners manual. If the engine warning is flashing, you need to immediately pull over and get the car towed to a place to get checked and fixed, or risk doing serious damage to the engine.

Like others have said, get the codes read (DO NOT START IT), and use those codes to get an idea of where to start looking for what's wrong.
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:57 AM   #8
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Thanks guys,

you just scared me alot... I will take her to the dealer. Hope is not a seriuos problem...
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:28 AM   #9
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We don't mean to scare you, but at the same time, if we don't stress the importance of what that flashing means, people will go and drive their cars anyways until they start hearing bad noises that mean big $$$$$.

You may have some correct suspicions about why the car seems to be running roughly, but that rough running may be causing enough shifting/vibration that the car is telling you "hey, got a potentially big issue, get this figured out before you go any farther, ok?" when it flashes at you.

Since it seems to be only happening at startup I figure the car seems to be settling down and the situation bringing about the flashing is going away after a time. But the problem is that over the long term whatever is causing the flashing could be taking its toll on the engine or other components, so do get it looked at. Better safe than sorry...we all know these engines and many of their components aren't cheap, no sense in possibly costing yourself more money down the road by ignoring it.

If you can purchase a code reader and diagnose it yourself (does not require starting the car, so it's safe), you'll save yourself some money and give the mechanics a good head start by saying "I have this code, this code, and that code. I looked them up for Porsches and they mean this, this, and that." This also prevents them from trying to trick you and claim that there are problems where there are indeed none. You can also tell us what these codes are so that people on the forum can advise you on where to start looking for problems. We're here to help (not just scare ), so use us.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:41 AM   #10
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does the car throw a code when the IMS fails?
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:58 AM   #11
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I would imagine the car throws a ton of codes when the IMS fails, as it causes a lot of things to go wrong. I figure you meant does it put up a code saying it's about to happen, right? Not exactly, from what I've read on here and elsewhere. Some people have experienced a flashing CEL prior to failure, while others have seen this light, pulled over, and been able to save their engine by doing so when their IMS or some other issue was about to wreck their engine. By the same token, I'm sure there are others who did not get one and simply experienced a failure out of the blue.

I imagine having an engine bucking around like what's being experienced by the thread owner is going to take its toll on some internals, and maybe even some external components, running out of balance like that. The car probably thinks it's experiencing a bunch of knocking or senses vibrations reading all over the place and throws a code, and is probably throwing one that makes the light flash because it thinks something is really wrong and the engine will fail shortly. It's strange that it's going away for thejack, like the car sorts itself out and can continue on, but one of these days it may not do so, so I wouldn't be taking that chance. I'm no expert on IMS failures or any others for that matter (thankfully), I'm just going by what I've learned and know in general. Hopefully he can get the codes read and see what the car's telling him as far as misfires, knocks, etc. But I don't believe there's any code that basically says "IMS failure imminent", or that would be Porsche admitting guilt to knowing there could be a problem, basically. However, I've read that when people are experiencing cam timing that's incorrect that this can be a possible sign of IMS failure, or a condition that can bring it about.
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:07 AM   #12
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Here's the thing O, my car runs smoothly, I just heard a metal rattle at idle, I'm fairly confident the IMS failed but it didn't wreck anything because I was parking it. It got me thinking reading this thread that getting my port readings would have helped, I can't remember but I think I already pulled a battery cable in favor of the battery tender so it's moot. What I need to know is whether the instructions for re timing the engine are included with the IMS kit, I would assume it needs doing post replacement. I'm thinking of paying someone to pull my engine and then trying to do the bearing myself.
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostrider 310 View Post
Here's the thing O, my car runs smoothly, I just heard a metal rattle at idle, I'm fairly confident the IMS failed but it didn't wreck anything because I was parking it. It got me thinking reading this thread that getting my port readings would have helped, I can't remember but I think I already pulled a battery cable in favor of the battery tender so it's moot. What I need to know is whether the instructions for re timing the engine are included with the IMS kit, I would assume it needs doing post replacement. I'm thinking of paying someone to pull my engine and then trying to do the bearing myself.
It's good that you shut the car down immediately, but are you sure it's the IMSB? Have you pulled the oil sump plate and the oil filter and found metal shards?

It could be something as simple as the water pump, or possibly a bad lifter.
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:10 AM   #14
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San rensho's got a good point, Ghostrider, might as well have whatever people you want to have drop the engine for you take a look at those things at the same time and see if maybe they're the culprit(s).
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:39 AM   #15
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I don't know for sure what it is and like and idiot I lost the OBD data. You guys have inspired me though, like almost anyone else would I just assumed the IMS was dead, it dropped a small amount of oil and stalled. I even restarted it (I know but I wasn't sure what happened) and it sounded smooth and purred just with a jingle rattle somewhere. At that point it was shut off running fine and towed home.

If you guys think dropping the pan will do something, maybe I can get my friend to help me. My entire right side is numb so I'm afraid to wrench on my back or at all for that matter but the car is sitting in front of a pellet stove, in a fully stocked, well lit garage with a box of Carlos Torono Exodus 1959's waiting. It's all I can do to keep myself from trying, I really want to but I'm scared of the "chair". If the pan job is easy, I may have to get on that, thanks you guys any further suggestions truly appreciated. If I do it, I'll take pics and post them. I'd be happily surprised to find it was the water pump.

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Old 11-02-2011, 12:08 PM   #16
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Well to find out if it's the water pump you'll need to check for leakage from it right off the bat, otherwise remove it and have a look at the fins' condition (worn down/broken/gone), any of which would suggest that the water pump has released bits of plastic into the cooling channels which can get lodged in certain spots and cause the coolant not to flow properly and overheating portions of the engine block (obviously not good). Also spin the impeller and if it sounds like it's grinding and doesn't move smoothly, replace the pump.

Put it this way, as I was told: if you or the previous owner have never replaced the water pump, do it. And then do it every 3-5 years from then on as preventative maintenance, because at some point the plastic impeller will fail.

As for the oil, unless you just did an oil change very recently then there won't be any harm in potentially getting rid of your oil for a fresh chaneg, so go ahead and drop the pan and get a look in there, and take a good look at the filter element...if you can see there's a bunch of fine, shiny metal shavings in the pan or filter and/or large pieces of clear, plastic-looking pieces in the pan, these point to IMS failure.

If you haven't already, have a look at LN Engineering's site, good read and info:
Intermediate Shaft IMS Upgrade and Retrofit Kit for Porsche 911, Boxster, and Cayman models
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:31 PM   #17
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OK I'll drop the oil tomorrow and get the filter cartridge and report back, start there.
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Old 11-02-2011, 02:25 PM   #18
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Thanks to overdrive and all of you guys for the tips given.

Well, I took the car to a porsche dealer to explain them what happened. The guy read the codes and found a long series of misfires on third cylinder and some other knocks.
He told me that misfiring are potentially dangerous for timing chains (and I partially agree) and he wants to investigate better from where those things are coming from.

I didn't reset error codes so I can read them in the future because I don't believe to take the car to him to get it fixed. I have an idea about this issue and some of the codes are getting me convinced. In the next days I will take the coils and spark plugs off and check them 'cause I'm pretty sure is someting related to them. Te engine is running smooth, with no vibrations or whatever strange. But obviously this s m opinion. I will later let all of you know what was wrong with it.

@ghostrider: I experienced a rattle noise just from the engine bay time ago. It was coming from the water pump bearing which was replaced while the car was receiving a new clutch kit and some other expensive ( parts. Maybe you have the same problem if you have never replaced the pump.

About the IMS bearing, I have checked it personally while doing the clutch and it doesn't seem to have any play or leakage or broken bolt. I just did maintenance a couple of weeks ago, after the last one approx 15k km ago, and had a look at the filter element without finding any plastic or metal residues. This made me happy considerig that car have 170k km. Anyway, for the future I count on the Raby's IMSG to monitoring that bearing.
Thanks again guys, I'll let you up to date with this issue. I really appreciate.

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Old 11-03-2011, 07:33 AM   #19
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http://i232.photobucket.com/albums/ee32/firesphotons2/001-4.jpg


Don't know how much an image will help, whatever happen to my 986 was not the IMS, it is some kind of failure in the head on the left bank driver's side. Given it used to make a certain noise on startup that would then stop, I'm now thinking tensioner, any thoughts? Sorry for lousy camera work but you can see it seeped oil on the left header where it all merges. Damage only to left side. PS How high up does a Boxster need to be to drop the engine out of the bottom? Just saw the tensioner upgrade repair that Wayne did a fantastic job explaining, wayy to hard for this kid..

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Old 11-03-2011, 08:52 AM   #20
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Willing to take bids on 2.5 motor with 32K on the clock as ?? core? If it's only worth scrap let me know and I'll just scrap it in NY, looks like a used engine from Rochester put in by my mechanic.
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