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Old 07-22-2014, 08:10 PM   #1
Shawanabear
 
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Question Severe Chain Guide Debris - Oil change

Hey everyone,
I just took my 2002 Boxster in for her oil change today (120,000 KM) and they're telling me "Severe chain guide debris was found in the oil filter. This repair would require a full engine tear down to fix. Inspected with shop foreman to confirm"

I'm going back in 1000 km so they can see the extent of debris being deposited into the oil filter - it may be very bad, or it may be nothing at all (note, it's been 18,000 km since my last oil change).

Does anyone else have experience with this? It sounds uber expensive to repair, but I'm not ready to trade in my baby. Thoughts?

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Old 07-22-2014, 11:20 PM   #2
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at oil change intervals reaching the 10,000 mile mark, it is not unlikely you may be experiencing some excessive engine wear.
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:27 PM   #3
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I change my oil every 4K miles...Mobil 1 only
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:57 PM   #4
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More than likely its just from the vario-cam tensioners in the cam housing.

I don't know how many shop hours -- but with the right tools it can be a DIY.

It can be done without removing the engine. Just pull the cam covers (after locking the camshafts)
and R&R the chain tensioners.

If it's from the IMS chain tensioner paddle, then it's a complete tear down... but
that is considerably less likely.

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Old 07-23-2014, 06:30 AM   #5
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My 2 cents...

If a chain guide fails, your engine could self destruct. If it were me, I'd look more deeply into this right away instead of waiting. Local shop estimated 12 hours to replace variocam pads.
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:08 AM   #6
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Great feedback so far!

I definitely plan on changing the oil far more often - I'm normally way better than this, but it's been a weird year and time has slipped.

However a few of those words and names of parts did go over my head - this won't be a DIY as I'm more of a driver than a fixer. I can do head lights, tail lights, change tires, wax and wash - a little more than your "stereotypical" female, but not much.

I just replaced the clutch and put new rubber on the tires and a few other things - about $6500.00 worth within the past 2 years. An engine tear-down sounds expensive and I'm now at the crossroads of if it's worth it or not? I'm also not sure if the shop is going for a cash grab - they DID tell me it would cost $38.00 plus the cost of a bulb to change a tail light. I bought 2 bulbs at the store for $4.99 and had it changed in 6 minutes.
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:46 AM   #7
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the chain guides are plastic bits that put tension on the chains in the engine. the purpose of the chains is to allow the turning crankshaft to drive the camshafts. these plastic pads will wear. one symptom is plastic bits in the oil. the other symptom is that the cams have sensors that tell how much they have gone out of spec - this is called 'cam deviation' and a shop with the proper diagnostic tools (durametric, pst2, piwis - all types of advanced computer code readers) can determine the deviation values. anything under '6' is ok. anything over 6 is considered out of spec by Porsche, but the 'check engine light' won't come on in your car until deviation hits 9 or so.

all of us experience chain pad wear. get your shop to tell you your deviation values. if under nine (ie, no engine light on) keep driving, and change your oil MUCH more frequently (the oil is what keeps the pads lubricated and reduces wear).

if you are going to do the repair, ask your mechanic if they could do the job with the engine in the car - this could save you up to half the labour cost. also, it's not a 'complete' engine teardown, just removal of the cams and cam covers (ie, the heads don't come off) so get them to itemise the work they intend to do and bring it back to us - we can tell you if they are playing you or not ...
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawanabear View Post
I definitely plan on changing the oil far more often - I'm normally way better than this, but it's been a weird year and time has slipped.

However a few of those words and names of parts did go over my head - this won't be a DIY as I'm more of a driver than a fixer. I can do head lights, tail lights, change tires, wax and wash - a little more than your "stereotypical" female, but not much.

I just replaced the clutch and put new rubber on the tires and a few other things - about $6500.00 worth within the past 2 years. An engine tear-down sounds expensive and I'm now at the crossroads of if it's worth it or not? I'm also not sure if the shop is going for a cash grab - they DID tell me it would cost $38.00 plus the cost of a bulb to change a tail light. I bought 2 bulbs at the store for $4.99 and had it changed in 6 minutes.
Maybe this shop is not experienced with late model watercooled Porsche's. If they don't know the camshaft wear pads are the most likely source for the plastic debris & don't require a full engine tear-down to replace. Once the debris was discovered in the oil filter next step should be to remove the oil sump pan to check for debris there & in the oil-pump pickup screen. As for changing bulbs etc. If labor rate is $100 hr $38 is about right since they charge for their time, weather cleaning the windows or removing a engine.
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:25 AM   #9
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Perfect!! Thanks so much - that makes a lot more sense and I think I understand what's going on. I'll be back here on September 3rd when my 1000KM change results are in! She drives fantastically, so I'm not overly concerned at the moment.

BTW - thanks to this forum, I was aware of what "that rattling" was (heat shields being loose) so I was well informed yesterday when I went in, so they couldn't even try to fool me on that one. They did say they may come loose again and may need to be replaced (rolling my eyes). It's one of the better shops in town (2 Square, Calgary), but still. They have their own needs in mind, I'm sure.
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:36 AM   #10
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Just make sure they have Boxster knowledge. You can't afford to let them learn on your car. If anything is found in the oil filter there's usually some in the oil pan. You should check & change oil within 3000 miles.
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:45 AM   #11
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I am rebuilding an M96 engine now so have a little perspective to offer you.
I suggest you need a better mechanic and a sense of urgency if you are interested in preventing a total engine failure.
To give you some perspective a replacement engine is $8-20K +. Fixing the chain tensioners before the engine self destructs will save $thousands.
There was some wise advice given above to have your new,improved mechanic drop the sump to inspect for debris. Look carefully at the colors. Send us some photos. The chain ramps are usually black, the variocam pads are brown.
If you have the stock filter, that debris is already distributing itself throughout the oilways and may block them= kaboom!
Fixing it involves a total engine teardown -if you plan on keeping the car.
A Boxster roller is only worth $3-4k depending on year/miles/engine/condition. And yours may become a roller quite soon!
Good Luck!

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