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Old 10-15-2013, 01:03 PM   #1
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Buying a 2010 boxster 2.9L - White smoke on start up. Need advice!

Hi guys,

Can anyone give me a little advice here. I'm looking at a beautifully maintained boxster 2.9l base model. Has the PDK tranny (I drive in absurd traffic). It's been serviced by porsche throughout it's lease period. Guess what though. Started it up inside the showroom at a dealer and a good sized white puff exits it's rear end and then no smoke. They're bringing the car to a porsche dealer to have it checked out. It has about 4k miles left on the warranty.

I'm thinking they're going to report this as a normal occurrence, but after reading more and more about the problem I'm thinking otherwise (piston rings, piston clearance problems, scoured cylinder walls). To be honest I think any car that smokes when starting up cold that isn't from the 70's or older is bit absurd. Does Subaru have a new technology to keep it's 6-flats from belching smoke when starting. I still love the car though. ALOT.... That's why I'm asking you chaps what to do. I've owned many cars including a 944, but this is just such a weird problem to be seeing on car that was just service 1k miles ago. Anyone here have some advice to throw at me? I might just give up and look at getting an slk55 instead.

Really like this car though, so I'm hoping you guys say to go for it. I'll be looking into an extended warranty though. Just don't want a major problematic car right off the bat.


Last edited by Trax; 10-15-2013 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 10-15-2013, 01:18 PM   #2
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they'll probably tell you it is normal. some cars do it, some cars don't. some cars do it when hot, some when cold. the aos lets a bit of oil through even when working properly, so a puf of smoke on startup should be ok (but not a smoke cloud). if the aos failed recently and was replaced, residual oil can cause a puff on start. maybe it isn't oil at all but rather condensation in the exhaust burning off? also note that these are horizontally-opposed engines, so the cylinders lay flat (as opposed to a 'v' type engine) and oil may seep into the combustion chamber if it sits long enough and smoke on start. if you think this is the case then perhaps ask for a compression or leakdown test as part of your pre-purchase inspection to make sure there is no scoring or cylinders going egg-shaped..
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Old 10-15-2013, 01:59 PM   #3
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My car and just about everyone on heremwillmtell you that your car will smoke on occasion during start up. If it went away quickly then it is probably normal...especially if sitting in a showroom for a while. Go back tomorrow and start it again and see what happens
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Old 10-15-2013, 02:50 PM   #4
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Would a compression test find out if there is scouring of the cylinder walls? .... Err.. nevermind i guess that would be a yes. Long day... Anyone know a ballpark figure to have porsche do one?
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Old 10-15-2013, 02:54 PM   #5
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mine is a 2000 50K miles and upon occasion it produces a white cloud of smoke. It happens every few months and it does not seem to matter if it has sat for a long period of time or not. I did a bit of research because the first time it happened I panicked. (When my old 911 smoked on start up it meant it needed rebuilt) What I found was that every so often is normal for the Porsche engines. It seems to have a lot something to do with how the pistons and valves line up when the engine is shut off. (or so I've been told) Anyway long and short is It's normal as long as it only happens every so often. If it happens all the time then it's a problem
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Old 10-15-2013, 03:03 PM   #6
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Sounds like a failed AOS to me.
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Old 10-15-2013, 03:15 PM   #7
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I doubt it's a failed AOS.. It's completely redesigned in this engine. Many cayman/boxsters are reporting this on 2.9l's I might just take the chance on it and pray porsche doesn't let me down. It's smoke almost like this (maybe a little less) this is on a 2009+ as well

Boxster Smoke on Startup 11-22-11 - YouTube
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Old 10-15-2013, 04:00 PM   #8
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My 2000 S with 75k on it will puff white smoke if it sits to long. Drive it daily and it never does. With these engines being flat, oil can seap around the valve stems a little and settle in the combustion chamber. I would not worry, unless, it's smoking while driving down the road. See if you can get an extended warranty.

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Old 10-16-2013, 01:15 PM   #9
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Right after I bought my car, I use to get the smoke on startup. Now I never get it. Two things to double check. One is that your oil isn't overfilled and is at the marker. And the second, I had a leak from my AOS that was dripping oil. They replaced the washer (I think) and that took care of my leak. Noticed a couple weeks later that the car never smoked after start up again. Could be a coincidence.

There was a weird thread on another forum with a guy who had his engine replaced because of the smoke on start up. Don't know if you that thread could be useful to you though.
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:28 PM   #10
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I'd go start it twice daily for a few days and would not buy the SLK 55.
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:28 AM   #11
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Is it a small puff, or a big cloud of white smoke? The failed AOS produces huge cloud of white smoke, which goes away when you run it.
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Old 10-17-2013, 05:42 PM   #12
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My 07 Cayman did it about once every two months. Would fill my garage with white smoke. Freaked me out the first time. Got used to it...
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Old 10-18-2013, 05:15 AM   #13
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My 03S does it about every 10th start or so. Seems like it might be more often if the car is not parked on the flat. I figure I'll do the AOS pretty soon. Otherwise I'm not sweating it. Car uses no oil between changes, runs like a train.
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Old 10-18-2013, 11:09 AM   #14
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isn't this car still under factory warranty?

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