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Old 07-08-2013, 12:11 PM   #1
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Overheating and Mechanic-Less

My 1999 just started overheating on me after checking my fluids. At first I thought I just didn't put the coolant cap on tight enough, since some fluid actually sprayed out into the trunk. I filled back up with coolant from the nearest gas station, and the gauge was still fluctuating. It would go into the red zone, then back to normal. It either over heating for sure, or burning off the fluid that sprayed everywhere. If I drive more than 2 miles, I'll get a trunk full of smoke.

Some background, I did get rear ended last year, approx 2k miles ago. This was the first time I took off the cap since the accident. The lady locked up her brakes and I threw my Boxster into neutral right before impact. The dip**************** mechanics at Richlin Imports, harrison city, pa said nothing was wrong. They also did something that causes my horn to go off when I pull on my steering wheel to get out of the vehicle. They refused to look into the horn thing, so I just pulled the fuse for it. Still not sure what mechanic to go to next.

I know this is nothing to just mess around with so, Anyone out there know where to start?


Last edited by rock88hard; 07-08-2013 at 12:29 PM. Reason: incorrect biz name of bad mechanics
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Old 07-08-2013, 12:48 PM   #2
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You probably need to at least bleed the air from your cooling system, typically done by applying vacuum.

If it's still overheating, I'd suspect your water pump is on the way out.
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Old 07-08-2013, 12:52 PM   #3
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are you saying that you were not overheating until you took cap off to check coolant in overflow tank?was it running at right temp before that,was coolant at right level?.maybe your coolant cap is no good and taking it off merely was the tipping point so that it no longer holds pressure and possibly you have air in system after you added coolant as well as outdated cap.thats the simplest way to start.
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:49 PM   #4
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The fluctuating temperature is a good sign that you have air pockets in the cooling sytem. I would not drive the car in this situation.

1) Replace coolant cap and check for a cracked resevoir, sounds like its failing to hold pressure (the latest cap version has a suffix 04 if I remember correctly.
2) It sounds as though you topped off the system with with coolant from a gas station - be very carefull as the Porsche coolant does not mix with a lot of commercial type glycols and causes the coolant fluids to gell. Not a good proposition.
3) Once you have sorted out the resevoir & coolant problems, open up the bleed valve (mounted on top of the coolant resevoir) for at least 3 or 4 heat / cool cycles to get rid of the air pockets. Check coolant level after each cooldown and top off as required.

If you are not confidant with the above, get a competant Porsche shop to replace the resevoir /coolant and bleed the system. We have a very good shop owner on the Forum (JFPinPA) who may be able to help.....
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:38 AM   #5
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Crap, I was worried about the coolant, but the reservoir was soo low and I didn't have many options being 50 miles from home.

It was not overheating before I removed the cap. It is hard to see the fluid level without removing the cap. This was the first time I did it since getting hit.

I'll look for ways to flush the coolant and check the reservoir. I'll look into the water pump too, but that might be above my head.

Where is the best place to shop for a new cap and coolant? Unfortunately, It doesn't look like I can use my Amazon Prime account for this one.

So far, Suncoast has the best pricing for the cap and coolant. Ebay has a reservoir from DEUTSCHEPARTSUSA for $175, although I hope that doesn't need replaced. Could that Sheetz gas station coolant have caused engine or water pump problems after a 75 mile drive?

Last edited by rock88hard; 07-09-2013 at 02:04 AM.
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:02 AM   #6
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you can check coolant tank by pulling carpet in trunk,i believe there is a diy either on pelican forum or pedros boxster diy.check rug for wetness,look under carpet for fluid signs,this is not positive proof its not leaking as there can be very small cracks..i would go with cap first.suncoast price is good.i paid a lot more from dealer.start with simple solutions.check pedros diy for bleeding procedure,consider buying a bently manual as well as 101 projects book from pelican parts.you can alos take a look at pump and hoses below for signs of leakage.
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:35 AM   #7
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Here are a pair of links about your horn problem (usually the airbag bracket needs to replaced):

http://986forum.com/forums/general-discussions/36185-horn-problem.html

http://rennsportkc.com/porsche-996-986-boxster-horn-repair-rennsport-kansas-city/
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Last edited by thstone; 07-09-2013 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:29 AM   #8
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Crap, I was worried about the coolant, but the reservoir was soo low and I didn't have many options being 50 miles from home.
I would not be majorly concerned about mixing coolant. You can be if you want, but after doing the same (mixing coolants) and doing a LOT of research you'll basically find that todays modern coolants can generally mix with anything. Not that I'd suggest leaving it that way - just because I'm a bit paranoid about it still - and recommend a flush and fill. You can do it yourself. Basically you need about 10-15 gallons of distilled water as you'll need to dump the coolant (two hoses), fill it, burp it, fill it to the top again and repeat the series of steps about three times. Then you can dump it again and add the Porsche coolant.

If you haven't done so already, join the PCA, then check with your local Porsche dealer for parts. You'll get a 15% (or more) discount on parts. The coolant I bought was unmixed at $42 a gallon. Cheaper than any mail order. Including Suncoast. Takes three gallons for a complete fill. Personally, if you are going to go this route I'd suggest you consider looking at your hoses, pump, and a low temperature thermostat too. If the car has enough miles (my OEM pump died at about 72K). At that time I replaced the pump, hoses, thermostat and used the uView Airlift 550000 vacume fill system. The uView is much easier to sue than burping the motor to fill it. Highly recommend it.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:18 AM   #9
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Ebay has a reservoir from DEUTSCHEPARTSUSA for $175
do a little checking around before you give these guys any of your cash. I've yet to hear a good word spoken of them. Take a look at the thread at the top of the general discussions section of the forum
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:44 PM   #10
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I would not be majorly concerned about mixing coolant. You can be if you want, but after doing the same (mixing coolants) and doing a LOT of research you'll basically find that todays modern coolants can generally mix with anything. Not that I'd suggest leaving it that way - just because I'm a bit paranoid about it still - and recommend a flush and fill. You can do it yourself. Basically you need about 10-15 gallons of distilled water as you'll need to dump the coolant (two hoses), fill it, burp it, fill it to the top again and repeat the series of steps about three times. Then you can dump it again and add the Porsche coolant.

If you haven't done so already, join the PCA, then check with your local Porsche dealer for parts. You'll get a 15% (or more) discount on parts. The coolant I bought was unmixed at $42 a gallon. Cheaper than any mail order. Including Suncoast. Takes three gallons for a complete fill. Personally, if you are going to go this route I'd suggest you consider looking at your hoses, pump, and a low temperature thermostat too. If the car has enough miles (my OEM pump died at about 72K). At that time I replaced the pump, hoses, thermostat and used the uView Airlift 550000 vacume fill system. The uView is much easier to sue than burping the motor to fill it. Highly recommend it.
I would be very concerned about mixing coolants. While not as much an issue as it was a couple years back, if you have ever seen one of these cars with the cooling system loaded with gel from incompatible coolants, or watched at the amount of time it takes to clean one of these messes up, you would be more than cautious.

As for coolant or parts pricing, try Sunset Porsche in Beaverton, OR ((800) 346-0182); they have consistently had the best pricing around.
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:01 PM   #11
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I would be very concerned about mixing coolants. While not as much an issue as it was a couple years back, if you have ever seen one of these cars with the cooling system loaded with gel from incompatible coolants, or watched at the amount of time it takes to clean one of these messes up, you would be more than cautious.
Jeff, are you saying this is still an issue? From what I could find online in regard to this issue Preston stated their coolant could be mixed with any brand. Peak, and a few others followed similar bends and the issue was really with high concentrations of silicates precipitating out, but modern coolants are mostly low in silicates at this point.
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:11 PM   #12
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Jeff, are you saying this is still an issue? From what I could find online in regard to this issue Preston stated their coolant could be mixed with any brand. Peak, and a few others followed similar bends and the issue was really with high concentrations of silicates precipitating out, but modern coolants are mostly low in silicates at this point.
There are many compatible coolants out there, but the problem still pops up from time to time, and not just in Porsche's. A lot of people use off brand coolants to save money and a lot of shops use them to increase their margins. At my shop, we operate with very simple rules when it comes to coolants: If we don't know the car or its history, we only add distilled water unless we are doing a total system dump. And we only use Porsche's OEM coolant, which is actually a very good product all by itself. Someone wants to go the cheap route, we suggest they go somewhere else.
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:29 PM   #13
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Jeff, thanks for the clarification.
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:18 PM   #14
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Pentosin G12

JFP have you ever heard of or tried the Pentosin G12? On Amazon it's rated 5 out of 5 stars and there are a few comments of 911 and Cayman owners saying it works great. Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Pentosin G12 Coolant For Aluminum Engines (1.5 Liter)
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Old 09-20-2013, 12:08 PM   #15
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JFP have you ever heard of or tried the Pentosin G12? On Amazon it's rated 5 out of 5 stars and there are a few comments of 911 and Cayman owners saying it works great. Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Pentosin G12 Coolant For Aluminum Engines (1.5 Liter)
A lot of poeple say a lot of things work; unfortunately, we have also seen several brands that did not and resulted in one Hell of a mess where the coolant should be. The problem is that it is very difficult to get all the coolant out of these cars without doing multiple refill and dump flushes with clear water. Once the system is fully flushed (like three times), there are several compatible coolants that will probably work fine, but if the system is not fully flushed clean you could be running a risk.

Second issue is that a lot of shops only use the Porsche coolant (mine included) simply because it is a very capable and long lived product, and obviously totally compatible with the car's alloys. The OEM coolant is well known for not behaving well when mixed with some other coolants, so we only add distilled water to cars we do not know the history on. Not all shops do this, so it is possible that a shop could add Porsche coolant to an otherwise clean system that has another brand coolant in it, and promptly gell the system.

As I said, we only use the OEM coolant; it performs very well, lives a long time if installed in a clean system and only mixed with distilled water. It also in not all that expensive, and readily available.
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:16 PM   #16
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Very Good Point, Thanks.

I just got off the phone from Pelican Parts. The Porsche coolant is around the same cost as Pentosin anyway, so I have the Porsche fluid ordered. I'm going to flush the system with distilled water a few times first.

Since I put standard gas station premix in, would you suggest additional removal/cleaning of the radiator? Wondering what to use there. I'll do a quick search here.

Thanks Again Jeff!
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:12 PM   #17
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I highly suggest that you secure the cap properly and watch to see if the coolant system is working properly like the fans come on. It's very easy to messed up. I've done it but caught it on time.

The needle should be bt the 8 and 0 of 180.

Why didn't porsche have a middle mark like all of the other luxury sport cars? Does the new one simplify the coolant temp guage? I think porsche overthink on that one.

Last edited by Trey T; 09-20-2013 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 09-21-2013, 12:37 PM   #18
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Very Good Point, Thanks.

I just got off the phone from Pelican Parts. The Porsche coolant is around the same cost as Pentosin anyway, so I have the Porsche fluid ordered. I'm going to flush the system with distilled water a few times first.

Since I put standard gas station premix in, would you suggest additional removal/cleaning of the radiator? Wondering what to use there. I'll do a quick search here.

Thanks Again Jeff!
Tim
We use the Prestone cooling system cleaner when we need to clean out a system with a lot of crud in it from poor maintenance or an intermix:



After draining off this stuff, you will need a couple full system water flushes before adding the new coolant.
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Old 09-21-2013, 12:39 PM   #19
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I highly suggest that you secure the cap properly and watch to see if the coolant system is working properly like the fans come on. It's very easy to messed up. I've done it but caught it on time.

The needle should be bt the 8 and 0 of 180.

Why didn't porsche have a middle mark like all of the other luxury sport cars? Does the new one simplify the coolant temp guage? I think porsche overthink on that one.
Because the dash gauge is both non linear and woefully inaccurate, I would not be overly concerned where it rests..............
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:19 PM   #20
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Well, I got some splendid f*n news for me! The freakin drain cap is on so tight that bent my allen wrench and stripped the corners on the cap. It's either rusted on there with the strength of Ironman, or German's don't know their righty tightys. I'll try some PB blaster on it if I can get some tomorrow.

The most concerning part now is after 10 minutes of sitting in idle and pump the gas pedal, the gauge still reads 100 and my heater isn't working even tho it's on high.

Feel like it will never end :-/

Thanks for the advice with the cleaner Jeff. With how fussy it's being I wouldn't have trusted anything other than distilled water. That is if I can even get this cap off.

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