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Old 01-12-2015, 05:30 PM   #1
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Hello everyone,
I'm new to the forum. I purchased my 99 boxster back in June 2014. Not only this being my first Porsche but also my first "real" car that's not junk. I'm concerned because the temp light had been blinking for quite some time now, I'd say about 6 weeks and I checked the water/antifreeze tonight and noticed it was very low. I immediately went to walmart and dumped in some 50/50 and the light stopped blinking. The car is driving fine but what kind of permanent damage could I have done? Such a novice error on my part I can't help but be irritated at myself.

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Old 01-12-2015, 05:53 PM   #2
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What kind of anti-freeze did you add? You may want to check to be sure that it is compatible with what was already in the car. You can find a good bit of information on the cooling system here:
Pelican Technical Article: Boxster Coolant Replacement / Boxster Coolant Flush - 986 / 987
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Old 01-12-2015, 05:58 PM   #3
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Was there any coolant in the reservoir? How much coolant did you have to add? You need to inspect for a leak, the coolant reservoir tank is known for leak issues over time and will make a mess in your trunk. Also the coolant should not be mixed. Porsche has a special formulated coolant for these motors that you should stay with.
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Old 01-12-2015, 06:23 PM   #4
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The blinking light means low coolant, not necessarily an overheated engine. Did the temperature gauge ever show the engine was overheated? If not, then no, no damage.

However, this still begs the question, why would you drive for 6 weeks with the light blinking?
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:31 PM   #5
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6 weeks? Really, 6 weeks. The blinking would have drive me nuts.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:06 PM   #6
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Six weeks with the coolant light flashing??

Owning a Porsche is like owning a really, really expensive bonsai tree.

As long as you give it the attention it needs, and put it in the right spot, and put water in it as needed, it will live longer and thrive.

Same with the plant.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:35 PM   #7
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Is it just me or is this thread a big red herring.........
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Old 01-13-2015, 03:37 AM   #8
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Is it just me or is this thread a big red herring.........
I was thinking more like.....
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Old 01-13-2015, 03:59 AM   #9
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6 weeks? Really, 6 weeks. The blinking would have drive me nuts.
Some people like blinking lights..ha ha..
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Old 01-13-2015, 11:28 AM   #10
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Thanks for the input. I didn't check it sooner because I had an issue with my key getting stuck in the ignition, I purchased the ignition switch recommended on the forum for the repair but I had read the ignition switch problem messes with electrical inputs so I thought it was a malfunction. Stupid on my end to not have double checked the water regardless. I'm on top of it now!
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:25 AM   #11
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How bout some pics of your Boxster?
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Old 01-14-2015, 08:51 AM   #12
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Flashing coolant light indicates low coolant as someone said already. If the needle wasn't in the red no damage done. Did you have your coolant flushed recently? It could just be that it needs to be topped off. There could also be a small leak. Warm up your car to operating temprature and park it on some card board, next time you take it out check to see if there are any leaks.
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:01 AM   #13
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Do yourself a favor and have a leakdown and compression test performed. If it checks out get a new coolant tank and the most recent cap (important). Sometimes when the flush is done without the new cap, air gets into the tank because the old cap can no longer seal and you end up with small cracks in the tank. The coolant starts to leak and you have to do it all over again. Get the Porsche coolant (pink) and do not top it off with the Wal-Mart stuff, you will lose the special additives that protect. Or maybe you have a leak somewhere else. Also bad.
The coolant system in your car is not to be neglected unless you want to buy a new engine. Replace the water pump and thermostat if you're still on the original before you put any money into the car's appearance. According to the engine experts a new water pump should be installed every 3 years no matter the mileage. It's the key to keeping your engine alive.
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:09 AM   #14
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You should probably do a coolant flush in the near future, since you added some Walmart 50/50 and you are not sure what was already in it. Mixing non-Porsche coolant with Porsche coolant can sometimes cause it to gel. Imagine your radiators and coolant passages being filled with Strawberry Jello. That's about what you get, but it doesn't taste as good. There are lots of old discussions, here's part of one:

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonycarreon View Post
lots of answers to this. pedro sums it up thusly:
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedrosgarage.com
I chose not to go with the Porsche coolant.
If you do the same, be sure to get phosphate, silicate and nitrite free product such as Prestone.
Originally Posted by mike focke's boxster page
Porsche claims their coolant is Lifetime, but don't believe it. It is simply a silicate and phosphate free Glycol based coolant. This should be changed every 5 years/150k mi. (whichever comes 1st) in order to provide maximum corrosion protection. It is the organic carboxylates which breakdown after this interval.

Quote:
Instead of buying the super-expensive Porsche Coolant from the dealer, Zerex Extreme Life 5/150, Texaco Extended Life, Shell Rotella® ELC Extended Life Coolant, UNI-GARD 5/150, Mercury Extended Life Coolant Anti-Freeze, all meet or exceed Porsche Coolant requirements and are much cheaper. Use of any other type coolant is not compatible with the system and can form a gel-like substance if mixed with the proper coolant which can then obstruct flow, create hotspots, blow up your engine, etc.
in general the two sides are: as long as it's phosphate and silicate-free coolant it will be fine. the other side tends to argue "for the few extra $$, why risk it?"

either way you go, i would not mix. if you do go with non-porsche, flush first. if you're just low, add some distilled water.
Bottom line: Don't mix unless you KNOW that the coolants are compatible. If you don't use Porsche coolant, make sure you use a phosphate, silicate, nitrate free product. Only add DISTILLED water to dilute your coolant.

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