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Old 10-22-2013, 10:48 PM   #1
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How much leaked oil is too much?

I've had my 2002 S for about 6 weeks now, and in that time the Boxster has started marking its territory. It's just a drop every day or so, but it's adding up, so I have begun wondering: just how much of an oil leak is usual for a 12-year-old Box, and when should I start worrying about it?

I bought the car expecting to have to spend some money on it the first year or so. Maybe this is the start.

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Old 10-23-2013, 01:47 AM   #2
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Several areas to look at - but to be accurate you will have to get under the car to see....if that's too hard, perhaps a professional diagnosis would be best.

Are you sure its oil and not A/C / coolant / power steering fluid / transmission oil, etc, etc.

1) Centre of the car will be the RMS (rear main seal) or IMS (intermediate shaft) seal.
2) Slightly left /right of centre could be spark plug tubes or rocker cover gasket.
3) Front could be A/C or coolant rads....
You need to be more specific.....
Time to get dirty.
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:05 AM   #3
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I've had my 2002 S for about 6 weeks now, and in that time the Boxster has started marking its territory. It's just a drop every day or so, but it's adding up, so I have begun wondering: just how much of an oil leak is usual for a 12-year-old Box, and when should I start worrying about it?

I bought the car expecting to have to spend some money on it the first year or so. Maybe this is the start.
It should not be leaking a single drop, we have customers with 98's and over 100K that are bone dry underneath.
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:22 AM   #4
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'97 here and dry like new.

If I'd had a single oil drop on my Porsche motor you'd possibly hear me scream like a toddler right from where you are standing. Gaskets, seal, valve, RMS, oil pan, where ever mate... I'd be running like a chick for an urgent fix.... but that's me being me
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:19 AM   #5
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'97 here and dry like new.

If I'd had a single oil drop on my Porsche motor you'd possibly hear me scream like a toddler right from where you are standing. Gaskets, seal, valve, RMS, oil pan, where ever mate... I'd be running like a chick for an urgent fix.... but that's me being me
I'm right with you...
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Old 10-23-2013, 05:34 AM   #6
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Ha. Not me.
Had my 'very' used Box for almost 3 months now. It has a very small oil leak that seems to come and go.

I'm over worrying about it. When I am ready for a full teardown it will get figured out.
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Old 10-23-2013, 05:43 AM   #7
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Any oil leak is too much oil leak.
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Old 10-23-2013, 06:44 AM   #8
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This is not a Ford. Find the leak and fix it soon. Sometimes a fluid leak will end up on the exhaust manifold resulting in an engine fire. Not to be ignored.
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:08 AM   #9
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Knock on wood..... '00S and no oil leak!
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:14 AM   #10
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Rawley D, why would anyone wait for a 'complete teardown' before addressing an oil leak? As has been pointed out, it could be something as small as a leaking spark plug tube seal. Inded, my 2000 has developed one and, while there are no drips on the ground, there is nonetheless a small leak from one tube upon inspection. I am replacing all spark plugs, tubes and seals this winter.

If the leak is from the area of the RMS, that is all the more reason to deal with it swiftly - it could in fact be originating from the IMS and replacement/upgrade of the bearing now could save your engine (and the NEED for a complete teardown/engine replacement). A leak in that area could also compromise your clutch so, once again, if your clutch is recent or in excellent condition, removal of the transmission and replacement of the RMS and, if necessary or desired, the IMS bearing now could be another cost saving if the clutch can be saved.

Oil leaks are not necessary. They can and should be diagnosed and fixed. IMO, anything short of that is carelessness, or negligence bordering upon abuse of a wonderful car. And ultimately, as has been pointed out, that kind of attitude is also likely to cost you more in the long run.

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Old 10-23-2013, 11:37 AM   #11
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From a practical standpoint, e.g. what to do and how urgently, it's not about the amount rather the root cause....identify that first and then the question of how much is individually acceptable can be answered.
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:15 PM   #12
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How much leaked blood is too much?
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:16 PM   #13
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This is not a Ford. Find the leak and fix it soon. Sometimes a fluid leak will end up on the exhaust manifold resulting in an engine fire. Not to be ignored.
My spark plug tubes were leaking and they were dropping on top of the exhaust manifold. It looked like I had done a burnout with all the smoke coming out of my rear wheel arches and not to mention the smell.

Luckily I fixed it before the leak became any larger and it was a very minimal leak so I don't even want to think of how bad it would be with a larger one. It did spray when the engine was hot so it looked bad.

Definitely check where the leak is coming from.

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Old 10-24-2013, 06:26 PM   #14
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10 liters....mine was in 2 spots. 1) pan seal seating oil from the TIP transmission, did a full service and no more leak. 2) axle seal leak at the differential, replaced, no more leak. Bone dry now. 75k on the clock, and it doesn't burn or leak any oil.
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:00 PM   #15
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thanks for confirming my suspicions, everyone. I have an appointment with my local indie shop next week to have it looked at.
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Old 10-25-2013, 05:14 AM   #16
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thanks for confirming my suspicions, everyone. I have an appointment with my local indie shop next week to have it looked at.

I love these threads where everyone takes the high road.

My car was weeping from the rear main seal for half a decade. I kept my eye on it, and it never progressed. At some point, I would have changed it (and the clutch), but I sold the car.

I got 60K trouble free miles from my car, and yes - it leaked a little oil...



/
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Old 10-25-2013, 07:55 AM   #17
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01 S and not a single drop leaking from anywhere.

I walked away from several Boxsters while shopping, due to leaks.

Nothing good or cheap ever came from a leak.


Think of the leak rate as fixing costs at an exponential rate.

A few drops will take a few bucks to fix now, a dozen drops will likely cost 100 times more, and a gusher will cost you 1000's times more.

So really the question is how much can your wallet afford to bleed?

Better get the leak fixed at its first signs and save yourself a lot of money and grief.
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Old 10-25-2013, 08:08 AM   #18
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I love these threads where everyone takes the high road.

My car was weeping from the rear main seal for half a decade. I kept my eye on it, and it never progressed. At some point, I would have changed it (and the clutch), but I sold the car.

I got 60K trouble free miles from my car, and yes - it leaked a little oil...



/
And when we do a PPI for a prospective buyer, we deduct the cost of oil leak repairs from the asking price for the car. You want to let leak, fine by me, but you end up paying for the repairs either way...........
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Old 10-25-2013, 08:43 AM   #19
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I love these threads where everyone takes the high road.

My car was weeping from the rear main seal for half a decade. I kept my eye on it, and it never progressed. At some point, I would have changed it (and the clutch), but I sold the car.

I got 60K trouble free miles from my car, and yes - it leaked a little oil...
/
Not only ecologically irresponsible, but a complete lack of regard for the safety of other drivers, particularly the two-wheeled variety. But you save the cost of a repair, and that's the important thing, right? Good for you.
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:21 AM   #20
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Not only ecologically irresponsible, but a complete lack of regard for the safety of other drivers, particularly the two-wheeled variety. But you save the cost of a repair, and that's the important thing, right? Good for you.
Well put. And just because this oil leak didnt cause any big issue for this owner, doesnt automatically mean all oil leaks should be ignored.

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