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Old 09-11-2015, 05:30 PM   #1
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Exclamation overheating

I bought a boxster (tiptronic) 97 year and was driving a couple days and i saw what i is overheating, the coolant level its ok and is not leaking. What i should to do? is that normal temperature?



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Old 09-11-2015, 05:42 PM   #2
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Not normal. Don't drive it like that. First thing, remove front fascia and clean the gap between the AC condensers and the radiators. If that is packed with trash, which is common, run it and see if it is fixed, if not, you've likely a damaged water pump impeller, so check that next. Temp needle should be passing through the low side of the 8.
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Old 09-11-2015, 05:44 PM   #3
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Clean radiators? Water pump?
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Old 09-11-2015, 05:46 PM   #4
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Not normal. Don't drive it like that. First thing, remove front fascia and clean the gap between the AC condensers and the radiators. If that is packed with trash, which is common, run it and see if it is fixed, if not, you've likely a damaged water pump impeller, so check that next. Temp needle should be passing through the low side of the 8.
I already clean the radiators but not the water pump...
How to check the water pump if its damaged?

Last edited by Vanya; 09-11-2015 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 09-11-2015, 05:51 PM   #5
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Next step is replace the water pump. The problem is the broken pieces of the plastic impeller can get lost in the cooling passages causing mischief. Do the water pump immediately to avoid that as much as possible.
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Old 09-11-2015, 05:56 PM   #6
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I already clean the radiators but not the water pump...
How to check the water pump if its damaged?
Also, cleaning the radiators involves the space between what you can see on the outside (the AC condensers) and the radiator (behind the condensers). You must physically remove the condensers to clean the radiators. I tried to shortcut this by spraying a bunch of water and it does not work. The pump has to be removed and the impeller inspected. If you've gone that far simply replacing the pump makes sense. They are known to go out,so a new one is a good investment.
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Old 09-11-2015, 05:56 PM   #7
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just to clarify, you can't clean the water pump

IMHO, that's not excessively hot, but does appear to be hotter than normal

Also, the dash temp gauge is not always accurate. get an OBD2 adapter and one of the phone apps and check the actual temp. Generally the needle is in the middle of the 8 on most cars. Mine does go to the middle of the 0 when it's really hot and have been driving hard.

Where in CA are you? If you are in the San Diego area, come down to Qualcomm on Sat 9/12. There is a PCA autocross and I'll be happy to plug in my OBD2 reader and check it for you.
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Old 09-11-2015, 06:06 PM   #8
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just to clarify, you can't clean the water pump

IMHO, that's not excessively hot, but does appear to be hotter than normal

Also, the dash temp gauge is not always accurate. get an OBD2 adapter and one of the phone apps and check the actual temp. Generally the needle is in the middle of the 8 on most cars. Mine does go to the middle of the 0 when it's really hot and have been driving hard.

Where in CA are you? If you are in the San Diego area, come down to Qualcomm on Sat 9/12. There is a PCA autocross and I'll be happy to plug in my OBD2 reader and check it for you.
that will be perfect, i am from San Diego!

I'll be there tomorrow!

Last edited by Vanya; 09-11-2015 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 09-11-2015, 06:28 PM   #9
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I just have to say the car is certainly running hot. If it is due to a failing impeller, meaning vanes are flaking off and it can pump less cooling fluid, driving the car further may cause additional damage. An OBD2 reader, or even a Durametric will only show what the gauge does, the car is running hot. I drive mine in 90-100 degree heat, and I'm not gentle. With clean radiators my car stays in the 185 degree range regardless of outside temp or load on the engine.
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Old 09-11-2015, 06:46 PM   #10
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that will be perfect, i am from San Diego!

I'll be there tomorrow!
look for me
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Old 09-11-2015, 06:48 PM   #11
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I just have to say the car is certainly running hot. If it is due to a failing impeller, meaning vanes are flaking off and it can pump less cooling fluid, driving the car further may cause additional damage. An OBD2 reader, or even a Durametric will only show what the gauge does, the car is running hot. I drive mine in 90-100 degree heat, and I'm not gentle. With clean radiators my car stays in the 185 degree range regardless of outside temp or load on the engine.
James does have a point about possible broken impeller.

I just had a WP failure, but it was a leaking shaft seal, the impeller was whole

It is a reasonable easy DIY to change the WP
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Old 09-11-2015, 09:45 PM   #12
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It looks like JayG will get you on the right track.

Here's some stuff you may want to look at to help you understand:

A YouTube video showing the radiator cleaning after the front bumper cover has been removed:



The water pump replacement process:

Porsche Boxster Water Pump and Thermostat Replacement - 986 / 987 (1997-08) - Pelican Parts Technical Article
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Old 09-11-2015, 10:44 PM   #13
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Are both cooling fans running on high when the AC is on? Loss of a fan would do this.
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Old 09-12-2015, 04:38 AM   #14
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It looks like JayG will get you on the right track.

Here's some stuff you may want to look at to help you understand:

The water pump replacement process:
The video suggested pressure washing the radiator and condenser. If you go that route back way off and be careful with the water spray. The high pressure can bend the fins on the radiator and condenser closing the airflow path through them.
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Old 09-12-2015, 05:10 AM   #15
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FYI it's impossible to drive with the stock thermostat and say your running temp is 185, because it opens at 187. When there is lots of ambient cooling capacity (cold outside) I have seen OBD steady state driving temps of ~192-194 on the highway. If you sit still, it will heat cycle, going from 201-212 no matter how cold (it might just take a while if it's really cold).
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:03 AM   #16
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I believe the stock thermostat is marked 83 degrees C, which is 181.4 degrees F, which I would assume would be when it starts to open. Granted, Dempsey's book seems to indicate otherwise however.
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Old 09-12-2015, 04:10 PM   #17
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Sorry i cant come today...
Can we meet some other day?
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Old 09-12-2015, 05:29 PM   #18
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just to clarify, you can't clean the water pump

IMHO, that's not excessively hot, but does appear to be hotter than normal

Also, the dash temp gauge is not always accurate. get an OBD2 adapter and one of the phone apps and check the actual temp. Generally the needle is in the middle of the 8 on most cars. Mine does go to the middle of the 0 when it's really hot and have been driving hard.

Where in CA are you? If you are in the San Diego area, come down to Qualcomm on Sat 9/12. There is a PCA autocross and I'll be happy to plug in my OBD2 reader and check it for you.
I agree with JayG. Get the context surrounding the heat. Downtown slow traffic in 85-90+ temperatures. This weekend I was pushing her at 3/4 at 9-10,000 feet altitude and had the same temp. slightly higher. That temp by the way is not even close to the "red" light. Some folks on here...........I'll bite my tongue.
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Old 09-12-2015, 07:13 PM   #19
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Yes your car is running HOT. Before you do anything check to see if your coolant fans are functioning properly! I have a 99 had the same problem. above the fuse panel are the relays. there are four in a row for the front coolant fans remove them. Make a jumper out of a small piece of wire and with the car off put one end of the wire in the lower slot for one of the relays and the other end in the top slot for the same relay. You should hear you fan go on. do the same thing for the other 3 relays. if they all work then your fans are ok if not therein lies your problem. when I checked my passenger fan wasn't working at all and the driver side only on high speed. replaced them. Pedro's board has a good diy on how to replace them. after that car ran cooler but not cool enough. then I changed out my water pump, front engine mount and a low temp thermostat. I found my old thermostat wasn't working properly so you like I might have a few problems but checking the fans is very easy to do. Good Luck and use this and other Forums as a resource. there are plenty of us that have experienced the same pain and can help you!
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Old 09-14-2015, 02:26 AM   #20
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It should read on the low side of the 8?
Odd, both my 986's run in between the 8 and 0 when fully warmed up and can venture to the high side of the 0 in outside temps above 90 degrees. I've been told by two shops, the dealership, and even a few folks on here that it was a 'normal' operating range.

Side note: awhile back, my daily driver started reading about what the image in the first post shows (even a little higher) and it turned out that there was tons of debris sandwiched between the condensers and radiators. A proper cleaning as described above (removing bumper cover and separating the condensers from the radiators) brought it right back down.

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