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Old 08-06-2013, 05:16 AM   #1
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Advice - new to me 2000 Boxster

Hey guys, long time lurker, first time poster.

I have hung around the forums reading enough to finally pull the trigger on a 2000 Boxster a few months ago (March 2013).

After three weeks of driving, the engine overheated. I pulled over to notice that coolant had started bubbling over and there was the dreaded oil/coolant mix. It was towed to my mechanic immediately. My mechanic diagnosed it as a failed headgasket, and since he was going to be dropping the engine, I decided to go ahead with a full engine rebuild - new water pump, timing belt, IMS, head gaskets, thermostat etc.

After nervously waiting for a couple of months, the car came back to me (although the temp guage was still slightly high (to the right of the 0 in the 180). My mechanic said that it was fine, although the radiator fans were slightly weak, and had to be changed (waiting for parts to arrive).

After a couple of weeks of driving, I woke up one morning to find the coolant light blinking again. I realised the coolant reservoir was almost empty (although there did not seem to be any leaks on the garage floor). I topped up the coolant and continued to drive (temp still slightly high, but no overheating).

My brother then took the car out, and said that the coolant light started blinking again (so he stopped off to refill it with distilled water). By the time he got home, the engine had overheated, and I found to my horror that the radiator cap was off. The distilled water was also bubbling (presumably due to the high temperature).

So I topped up the coolant reservoir, let it sit for a day, and I came back from work to check on it. The coolant level seemed to have dropped a little bit, but no noticeable leaks under the car. I then started the car with the radiator cap off. The distilled water overflowed into the trunk area, but there was no bubbling this time.

Is it possible for the headgasket to fail again after having it replaced 3 weeks ago (and approximately 1000kms?) I love my boxster but these troubles (and $$$) are chipping away at my patience and I am thinking of selling it.

I trust my mechanic, although he is not a Porsche specialist.

Appreciate any advice the gurus on this forum can give.
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Old 08-06-2013, 05:23 AM   #2
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For starters I really hope your mechanic didn't' charge you for a timing belt replacement....as your car has 5 timing chains. Generally if you experience the same failure so close together it is something other than the part replaced. I would look hard at finding a true Porsche specialist and have them look for a cracked cylinder head, or cracked/chunked sleeve. I don't know how far he got into a tear down of the motor, but most likely your mechanic is misdiagnosing the symptoms you're experiencing as a failed head gasket when it could very much be something else. Look at some of the sticky's on the forum for common engine problems and you will see some very likely possibilities of what it could be.
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Old 08-06-2013, 05:30 AM   #3
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Wow - sorry to hear that. But with all those upgrades, sounds like if you get this next thing fixed you will have basically a brand new motor and at that point - why sell it? As well, you will take a HUGE loss right now if you sold it to the next buyer knowing that the next buyer will need to fix the issue...not to mention what you have already spent.

IMO - fix it, and then drive the SHI& out of it for the next couple of years, then try and recoup some of that money when you sell it and put it towards a newer one.
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:01 AM   #4
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Thanks - perhaps taking it to the stealership may be an option, although they are really pricey here in Hong Kong.

Having already spent so much, I'm not sure pouring more money down what seems to be like a moneypit would be financially sensible.
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:45 AM   #5
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It might be time to find a Porsche Specialist...if not too late already
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:25 AM   #6
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You state that the mechanic who did the work on your car was not a Porsche specialist; I suggest that your problem may be that your cooling system was not properly purged of air. Search for the correct procedure and ensure that your system has been properly filled before you spend more money. And get the fans fixed!

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Old 08-07-2013, 04:34 AM   #7
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I agree, it sounds as if the cooling system was not properly bled by the mechanic. Unfortunately, if your car overheated sufficiently again it is entirely possible that the head gaskets will again need replacement. Are there any signs of oil in the coolant or water in the oil? If not, you may be in luck and all that will be required is a bleeding of the cooling system. I wouldn't drive it, however, until that was done. Did you replace your water reservoir cap when all the work was done? If not, I would certainly do so as they are known to fail. As I recall, the last digit on the upgraded ones is a 4, while the earlier ones ended in 0.

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Old 08-07-2013, 07:44 AM   #8
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Thanks - the fans are on their way and also a new radiator cap. Will speak to my mechanic to ask about whether the coolant system was bled properly.

There is no mixing of oil/coolant this time round, although there is a little bubbling in the coolant reservoir after about 5 minutes of idling.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:13 AM   #9
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Boxster engines NEVER have head gasket problems! Most likely you have a cracked head as this is common for early Boxsters. You must find a Porsche mechanic that knows Boxster engines to remove the heads & inspect for cracks. Checkout Autofarm for more info.
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