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Old 02-13-2015, 08:59 PM   #1
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1998 Boxster Secondary Air Pump

The secondary air pump on my 1998 Boxster does work but not when it should. Everywhere I read that normally it start when the engine is cold to help emissions control. Mine starts when engine is hot after a long highway run. It start and run for about 1 minute. If I stop the engine and start again, the pump also start but if I leave the Engine to cool down then it won't start. The CEL is on most of the time but when the pump start 3 or more consecutive times it goes off.

What could make it to behave like this?
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Old 02-13-2015, 09:20 PM   #2
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Possible bad engine temp sensor? #17 in this diagram.

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Old 02-14-2015, 05:05 AM   #3
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Are you certain it is the secondary air pump or is it the engine cooling fan? The engine cooling fan will come on and off as you drive.
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Old 02-14-2015, 05:26 AM   #4
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The secondary air pump will turn on under two situations: (1) At cold start to reduce emissions, and (2) to test the pressurization integrity of the SAI and fuel system.

The pressurization test usually happens the first time that the car is at idle as the engine warms up. However, this test can be delayed substantially if the car never has an opportunity to idle. For example, the car is started and driven directly onto the highway without any stoplights, this will delay the pressurization test until there is an opportunity to idle.

What CEL code is being stored? Please read it out and post it. Your car might be failing the pressurization integrity test.
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Last edited by thstone; 02-14-2015 at 05:29 AM.
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Old 02-14-2015, 02:41 PM   #5
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1998 Boxster Secondary Air Pump

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Originally Posted by Luv2Box View Post
Are you certain it is the secondary air pump or is it the engine cooling fan? The engine cooling fan will come on and off as you drive.
Yep! Very good quote. I make a test today and the one I hear IS the engine cooling fan so definitely my secondary air pump is not starting at any time. First thing I would like to know now is if I have a failed pump. Any easy way to test it?
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Old 02-14-2015, 02:47 PM   #6
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1998 Boxster Secondary Air Pump

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Originally Posted by thstone View Post
The secondary air pump will turn on under two situations: (1) At cold start to reduce emissions, and (2) to test the pressurization integrity of the SAI and fuel system.

The pressurization test usually happens the first time that the car is at idle as the engine warms up. However, this test can be delayed substantially if the car never has an opportunity to idle. For example, the car is started and driven directly onto the highway without any stoplights, this will delay the pressurization test until there is an opportunity to idle.

What CEL code is being stored? Please read it out and post it. Your car might be failing the pressurization integrity test.
Thank you very much thstone, the codes I get are P0410 and P1411. Now I am sure that the pump is not starting as I validated today that the noise I am hearing is the engine cooling fan, not the secondary air pump. I have to determine if I have a fault pump or if something else is creating the problem.
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Old 02-14-2015, 04:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Manny986 View Post
Thank you very much thstone, the codes I get are P0410 and P1411. Now I am sure that the pump is not starting as I validated today that the noise I am hearing is the engine cooling fan, not the secondary air pump. I have to determine if I have a fault pump or if something else is creating the problem.
Same two codes I've got with a CEL. I had it diagnosed and it is the main on/off valve that has failed. Problem is it fails in the on position so it continues to put ambient air into the manifolds so the cats heat up quickly on cold start, so it still complies with emissions but it burns out the other two diaphragms in the system because it allows hot air to blow back through the system. You're looking at about $800 for a shop to replace all three switches and the vacuum tank in the system (replace this as it is cheap and gets brittle and cracks over time). If you do it you can buy all three parts for around $200 and a few bucks more for hoses. Pelican Parts has a good diagram of the secondary air system and also has the parts at a good price. It is common in the early Boxsters for this system to fail but not common for the air pump to fail so check it thoroughly as the pump alone is around $1,200. I've been driving for almost a year with my system not working as it will not damage the car but it will not pass smog test if you have to have one. I swear, but can't prove, my Boxster runs better with the system not working as intended.
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Old 02-14-2015, 07:47 PM   #8
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1998 Boxster Secondary Air Pump

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Originally Posted by Luv2Box View Post
Same two codes I've got with a CEL. I had it diagnosed and it is the main on/off valve that has failed. Problem is it fails in the on position so it continues to put ambient air into the manifolds so the cats heat up quickly on cold start, so it still complies with emissions but it burns out the other two diaphragms in the system because it allows hot air to blow back through the system. You're looking at about $800 for a shop to replace all three switches and the vacuum tank in the system (replace this as it is cheap and gets brittle and cracks over time). If you do it you can buy all three parts for around $200 and a few bucks more for hoses. Pelican Parts has a good diagram of the secondary air system and also has the parts at a good price. It is common in the early Boxsters for this system to fail but not common for the air pump to fail so check it thoroughly as the pump alone is around $1,200. I've been driving for almost a year with my system not working as it will not damage the car but it will not pass smog test if you have to have one. I swear, but can't prove, my Boxster runs better with the system not working as intended.
I am damn sure that the Sec. Pump did never work since I bought this car 13 months ago and the engine has been running strong and great. I don't like the CEL showing up all the time so I will try to solve this issue in the cheapest possible way just to have that light off.

I most say that it's been quite useful to join this forum, should had done it long ago. Will keep posting on it and definitely will write again about any action taken to solve this Sec. Air Pump issue.

I sincerely want to thank you and the other member who gave me the clue to determine that the pump was not working as I though.
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Old 02-14-2015, 07:55 PM   #9
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We've tried to have a constructive discussion about the SAI before but some 'green' views were expressed objecting to removing the SAI system.That was a thread killer.
In Europe they do not use SAI - not just Porsche but Jaguar and BMW also. And they are just as Green & polluted as we are. So there is at least some doubt about the efficacy and value of SAI.
Boxster owners in similar SAI threads mention the high costs of chasing down these SAI component failures.The diagnostic,labor and parts often rise to well over $1000, sometimes in multiple installments as initial repairs prove unsuccesful . That is a pity because other OEM SAI systems are simple,inexpensive and reliable(like the AC Delco system on my old Jag XJR).
This high cost repair is going to be a bigger issue for us as the cars age and simultaneously decline in value. So we really need a cost effective solution for those of us who run theses cars on a tight budget.
DME upgrade/flash for SAI delete -NO codes no more! - Rennlist Discussion Forums
These guys may be able to help with the ECu reflash for ROW?
http://www.ecudoctors.com/porsche-boxster-ecu-performance-tuning-flash-2.html

Last edited by Gelbster; 02-17-2015 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 02-15-2015, 05:53 AM   #10
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We've tried to have a constructive discussion about the SAI before but some 'green' views were expressed objecting to removing the SAI system.That was a thread killer.
In Europe they do not use SAI - not just Porsche but Jaguar and BMW also. And they are just as Green & polluted as we are. So there is at least some doubt about the efficacy and value of SAI.
Boxster owners in similar SAI threads mention the high costs of chasing down these SAI component failures.The diagnostic,labor and parts often rise to well over $1000, sometimes in multiple installments as initial repairs prove unsuccesful . That is a pity because other OEM SAI systems are simple,inexpensive and reliable(like the AC Delco system on my old Jag XJR).
This high cost repair is going to be a bigger issue for us as the cars age and simultaneously decline in value. So we really need a cost effective solution for those of us who run theses cars on a tight budget.
DME upgrade/flash for SAI delete -NO codes no more! - Rennlist Discussion Forums
Agreed, however, whatever the solution is it would have to pass the visual part of the inspection in California. My last smog test had to be done at a STAR station because the CMVD determined my Boxster "may be a gross polluter due to its age." STAR stations, as you know, must perform a visual inspection of the motor.
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Old 02-15-2015, 06:13 AM   #11
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I had the same codes on my 99. My tech did a smoke test and determined it was the valve. Replaced it and codes are gone.This is not a quick backyard fix.There are shortcuts but we went by way of the book. Removed fuel rails and other bits.Here in Ontario we cant mess with emissions unless the vehicle is pre 88.
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Old 02-15-2015, 08:33 AM   #12
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Just to be clear,
if the SAI is disabled or deleted with the ROW reflash,the car will run no differently than when the SAI was functional.
If you are concerned about a Smog-visual -leave it in place but plug the broken parts.
I don't like this proposal but spending well over $1000 on an older,lower value Boxster is just not an option for some of us.Particularly when the 'repair' changes nothing except the CEL. If there were some alternative that upgraded the fragile parts ,that would help ?
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Old 02-15-2015, 09:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gelbster View Post
Just to be clear,
if the SAI is disabled or deleted with the ROW reflash,the car will run no differently than when the SAI was functional.
If you are concerned about a Smog-visual -leave it in place but plug the broken parts.
I don't like this proposal but spending well over $1000 on an older,lower value Boxster is just not an option for some of us.Particularly when the 'repair' changes nothing except the CEL. If there were some alternative that upgraded the fragile parts ,that would help ?
True but you will need to take the car in soon after the codes are erased as the ECM will go through the number of cycles it takes to test the components and the code will reappear.
Why would you need to plug the broken parts? The switches, or switch, should look the same as they burn out internally.
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Old 02-15-2015, 10:02 AM   #14
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I think you missed this in post 12?
"with the ROW reflash,"
The whole point of SAI disable/delete is to have no SAI codes- ever again. Without the reflash SAi disable/delete is nonsense.
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Old 02-15-2015, 03:17 PM   #15
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If you do decide the problem is the secondary air pump, consider replacing it with a pump from a salvage yard. I did several years ago and paid something like $150 for the used part. It's worked like a champ ever since.
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Old 02-15-2015, 03:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gelbster View Post
I think you missed this in post 12?
"with the ROW reflash,"
The whole point of SAI disable/delete is to have no SAI codes- ever again. Without the reflash SAi disable/delete is nonsense.
I probably did because I only read to the part where the discussion deteriorated into a pissing contest about whether or not it was legal, at that point I read no further.
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Old 02-15-2015, 03:59 PM   #17
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Our solution was to check the vac lines.
Vac lines were off also replaced the
Pump relay as it was a inexpensive part.
And it is on the bulkhead of the rear trunk.
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Old 02-15-2015, 04:14 PM   #18
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Thom,
Salvage yard SAI pump
It would be interesting to know if there are other cars with the same pump?
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Old 02-16-2015, 04:57 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gelbster View Post
Thom,
Salvage yard SAI pump
It would be interesting to know if there are other cars with the same pump?
I don't know. I think the Bosch part number is: 0580000012 or 0580000001258. I read this off a used one on Ebay
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Old 02-16-2015, 06:50 AM   #20
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Manny986 I would be certain the SAI pump is not working by having it tested before spending any money on a new or used one. Since the pump only runs for a couple of minutes on cold start up they typically last a long time.
Also I'm curious if anyone has actually done the procedure Gelbster is referring to and does it work.
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