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Old 04-03-2016, 04:02 PM   #1
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Sigh. First breakdown tow on the daily driver.

Finished a job out in Midwest City, and saw a puddle under the right rear tire. It was by the curb, so I didn't think anything of it. Drain water maybe.
5 miles down the road, the red light started flashing. Uh oh.
I pulled over and nothing was leaking out, but the right rear suspension components were wet. I checked the trunk and the coolant was half empty in the tank with more residue around the black plastic cover.
I was in a really bad area and wanted to get out of there so I called AAA to have it taken to my shop.






I'm thinking tank or lines going to the tank.
Any other thoughts welcomed.
I can't complain with 170,000 hard miles on the clock and no breakdowns until now.

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Old 04-03-2016, 05:04 PM   #2
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oopsie. Hope its a bad coolant reservoir cap or a cracked and leaking coolant tank. pull up the carpet around the coolant tank and if theres coolant then its the tank. Cheap but an absolute PIA diy repair, very expensive fix if you have the dealer or even an indie do it.
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Old 04-03-2016, 05:08 PM   #3
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Looks like coolant tank tie, but check that cap. Latest I think ens in a 4.
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Old 04-03-2016, 05:12 PM   #4
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Well, not that it makes anything any better, but she's been a pretty reliable little monster for ya, sometimes they just feel like biting back a little.
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Old 04-03-2016, 05:46 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, the cap is 5 months old, purchased at the dealer. It's one of the new type. Doesn't mean it's not faulty though.
Temp never went above 180 until the red low coolant light started flashing then it started creeping up a bit. So I don't think it was going out the overflow tube or anything.
It's at the Indy shop right now, because I didn't want to have it towed home just to tow it again to the shop if it was over my head. I'll have him check the cap first. Trunk appeared dry, but it hadn't lost a lot of coolant yet.
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Old 04-03-2016, 06:06 PM   #6
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I topped off the coolant when I first bought my car and realized i cross threaded the cap when I reinstalled it and it didn't seal and puked out all of the coolant. Check that first. look for a bad O ring or missalinged cap.


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Originally Posted by Retroman1969 View Post
Finished a job out in Midwest City, and saw a puddle under the right rear tire. It was by the curb, so I didn't think anything of it. Drain water maybe.
5 miles down the road, the red light started flashing. Uh oh.
I pulled over and nothing was leaking out, but the right rear suspension components were wet. I checked the trunk and the coolant was half empty in the tank with more residue around the black plastic cover.
I was in a really bad area and wanted to get out of there so I called AAA to have it taken to my shop.






I'm thinking tank or lines going to the tank.
Any other thoughts welcomed.
I can't complain with 170,000 hard miles on the clock and no breakdowns until now.
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Old 04-03-2016, 06:24 PM   #7
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Good thought. I checked to see that the cap was tight, but didn't take it off to see if it was sealing properly. It will be the first thing I check in the morning.
Even if it's the tank or something I still can't complain. My last work vehicle was a Land Rover with half the miles that was being towed literally twice a week.
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:37 PM   #8
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My money is on the tank. You may not see wet carpet due to the foam stand-off beneath. I'd pull the carpet back and have a look under the foam.
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:57 PM   #9
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Just do a pressure test? 18 lbs for 30 minutes on the tank and the same on the cap. First with a cold engine then hot.
Be careful with the replacement tank if needed. Lots of bad ones.
Don't dismiss the possibility that the w/p is beginning to leak?
Good luck and let us know how it is resolved. I hope you have an uneventful journey home after the repair.
If the leak is minor, you might ask others of they have had any experience of limping home with the pressure relieved by not screwing the cap on tight + frequent top-ups? I'm not recommending it because I have never tried this on this engine.
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Old 04-03-2016, 08:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Just do a pressure test? 18 lbs for 30 minutes on the tank and the same on the cap. First with a cold engine then hot.
Be careful with the replacement tank if needed. Lots of bad ones.
Don't dismiss the possibility that the w/p is beginning to leak?
Good luck and let us know how it is resolved. I hope you have an uneventful journey home after the repair.
If the leak is minor, you might ask others of they have had any experience of limping home with the pressure relieved by not screwing the cap on tight + frequent top-ups? I'm not recommending it because I have never tried this on this engine.
That's basically what happened to mine. As soon as you reach regular running temperature the coolant will start puking out violently if the cap is not sealed.
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Old 04-03-2016, 08:47 PM   #11
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Water pump or stat would over heat.

I'll bet tank.
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Old 04-04-2016, 01:40 PM   #12
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Yes, turns out the tank is leaking from the seam. That's why it's damp on the bottom and top together.
As always, I really appreciate everyone's input!
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Old 04-07-2016, 02:50 PM   #13
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Retro, did you get her back on the road? Curious what the Indy charged you for this work (if you don't feel like sharing I understand), from the comments I've ready its quite a PITA but no especially technical.

Will be glad to see some pics of the DD back on the road!

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Old 04-07-2016, 03:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdlmodelt View Post
I topped off the coolant when I first bought my car and realized i cross threaded the cap when I reinstalled it and it didn't seal and puked out all of the coolant. Check that first. look for a bad O ring or missalinged cap.
Did the same thing on the first morning of a track weekend.

Thought I lost the water pump until I opened the trunk.

Let it cool and made a dozen trips to the bathroom with my drinking water bottle.
Figured for a weekend, I could live without distilled water :-)

No problems after that.

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Old 04-08-2016, 12:04 AM   #15
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Hi Jorge,
I just got back from the emergency room where they treated me for the massive stroke I had after seeing the bill.

Total: $810
The part had to be ordered from Porsche for $378 (...for a plastic bottle). $47 was for the coolant, and the rest was labor. Apparently it's a major ordeal to get to all the fittings to get this thing out.

At least I discovered the mystery behind the occasional disappearing coolant that I've been experiencing for over a year. The main leak from the tank that stranded me a few days ago was from the middle seam opening up. However, on the bottom of the tank were several hairline cracks that were semi-sealed with stalactites of crusty dried old coolant. These were likely just leaking little by little when the conditions were just right, and the coolant drying out before reaching a place where it could be detected.

At least I had a nice lineup to look at when picking the car up:


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Old 04-08-2016, 02:08 AM   #16
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Ugh, 810 USD. That's hard. But it's a Porsche.

The Box is back on the road again.

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Old 04-08-2016, 07:54 AM   #17
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Total: $810
Lets see.... you've had the beater for 17 months and this repair cost $810. That comes out to $47.65 a month of ownership. And, the monthly cost will come down the longer you own the beater. You're good.

(Notice I didn't add in the thousand of dollars you've put into the Boxster since you first got it!)
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Old 04-08-2016, 09:28 AM   #18
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LOL! I appreciate you guys easing me into it.
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Old 04-08-2016, 11:00 AM   #19
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tank gets brittle with age. Did you replace the coolant before you recently replaced the cap?

to all: If you replace the coolant without the old cap, even if if you fill under vacuum, the old cap may no longer hold enough pressure, air gets in and will result in hairline crack in the brittle tank. Eventually it will crack open completely and spill the pink kool aide..even if you replaced the cap later with the new version as the damage may already have been done at that point. I went through this myself, we were baffled as to why the coolant kept dropping, it was the old cap.
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Old 04-08-2016, 01:27 PM   #20
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Interestingly, I just made my first longish trip to a remote job, and when I opened the trunk the cap was hissing and gurgling, and steam dropping from all over the deck lid.
It's running cool, and no puddles, but I wonder if the new cap has gone bad? It's as tight as I can get it. I alerted my shop, who is ready to come get me with his enclosed trailer if it looks bad.
This has been an...... Interesting week.
Updates to come I'm sure.

PS: no, I don't believe I changed the coolant with the new cap last year. But it had recently been flushed and serviced at the time.

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