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Old 08-07-2016, 05:05 AM   #1
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So I've got this coolant leak...

I discovered that the coolant level was down via the indicator light on the dash (Temp was still fine at 180) so I topped it up. During my next drive the light goes off again so I check for leaks and see drippage coming from the engine. I top up again and go for a drive with the heat on full blast, no leakage. I'm no mechanic so whatever it is I have to bring it to the shop. Is this something I can trust a local guy with or should I bite the bullet and bring it to the Porsche dealer?

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Old 08-07-2016, 05:18 AM   #2
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Where you take it, I can't really say. Dealerships are super expensive...I'd find some independent you can trust.

That said, I'd recommend strongly you drive it little or not at all until you can be sure it's not your water pump going bad on you. That can be a real problem if/when it suddenly goes on you. (There are others that can give you more detailed advice than I can, no doubt.)

Do a search on "water pump." If you want to hear all the possible bad stuff, limit it to posts by Jake Raby.

Last edited by Frodo; 08-07-2016 at 05:49 AM. Reason: Just wanted to add the last line.
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Old 08-07-2016, 09:26 AM   #3
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The design of the cooling system doesn't really lend itself to easy diagnosis of small leaks. The only sure way to spot a leak is to use a pressure tester or Uview 5000 vaccum kit and it's still a pain to check every connection under the car. In the end, my problem turned out to be my waterpump giving up the ghost. The coolant tank is known to be a source of leaks as well.
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Old 08-07-2016, 09:32 AM   #4
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I'd recommend taking it to a local indie shop if there's one around. They should be able to give you a somewhat close estimate to what's going on. If they diagnose it and it's something more serious, just take it to have the work done at a porsche dealership.
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Old 08-07-2016, 10:46 AM   #5
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A couple of years ago I had a massive water pump failure which resulted in a fairly extensive coolant system rebuild at my local Porsche dealer. A few weeks back when I was driving to have my car serviced, I had pink spray from my rear passenger wheel arch...after checking I found I lost almost 2 gallons of coolant. In this instance, it was my tank cap.

Point is, several things can happen to coolant system. Best thing is to have it tested under pressure.

Personally, I like my dealer (fair, prices are in line with independent shops and I would hope has more experience than some others); I would suggest if you have a good relationship with your Porsche tech, go there...if there is an independent in your area that has experience with 986's, go there. I would disagree that dealerships are "super expensive", I think that's more on a case by case basis.

Anyway, best wishes, and happy driving (soon)!
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Old 08-07-2016, 11:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MWS View Post
I would disagree that dealerships are "super expensive", I think that's more on a case by case basis.
When my alternator went on me shortly after acquiring the car in 2006, I decided that would be my first DIY. I got it out, then had it rebuilt by some local shop that had been in business for probably 60+ years. The one mistake I made was disconnecting the harness under the passenger seat (without disconnecting the battery) so that I could pull the seat and have better access. After finishing the project I realized that I now had a CEL (airbag-related) that I couldn't reset with my $59 Actron scanner. I took it to the local p-car dealership who gladly reset it, calling "Airbag maintenance and repair" or some such nonsense. They charged me, for essentially turning off a CEL, about $100...WHICH WAS MORE THAN THE VENERABLE SHOP THAT REBUILT MY ALTERNATOR HAD CHARGED ME

I guess that's when I jumped on the bandwagon and started calling them "stealorships." That said, I guess there can be exceptions to every rule. So I'll re-word that...my local dealership is super expensive (and I've heard others make the same complaint).
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Old 08-07-2016, 01:07 PM   #7
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There are a couple of easy things you can do that might help you figure out what's going on. When you say"Drippage from engine" , do you mean front of engine or back?

If front of engine, you can easily pull your seats forward and remove the carpet and firewall using a 10 mm socket wrench (and maybe a screwdriver to get carpet nuts lose).

Start the car and see if you see any water leaking from your water pump.

If rear of engine, check around the coolant tank and bleeder valve for signs of coolant. Pull your trunk carpet and check for coolant, which will indicate a leak from your coolant tank.

These steps might save you a couple of bucks when you take your car in as it will point your indy in the right direction.
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Old 11-07-2016, 04:07 PM   #8
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Way to stop the airbag light when removing the seat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frodo View Post
When my alternator went on me shortly after acquiring the car in 2006, I decided that would be my first DIY. I got it out, then had it rebuilt by some local shop that had been in business for probably 60+ years. The one mistake I made was disconnecting the harness under the passenger seat (without disconnecting the battery) so that I could pull the seat and have better access. After finishing the project I realized that I now had a CEL (airbag-related) that I couldn't reset with my $59 Actron scanner. I took it to the local p-car dealership who gladly reset it, calling "Airbag maintenance and repair" or some such nonsense. They charged me, for essentially turning off a CEL, about $100...WHICH WAS MORE THAN THE VENERABLE SHOP THAT REBUILT MY ALTERNATOR HAD CHARGED ME

I guess that's when I jumped on the bandwagon and started calling them "stealorships." That said, I guess there can be exceptions to every rule. So I'll re-word that...my local dealership is super expensive (and I've heard others make the same complaint).
I recently replaced the WP/thermostat and serpentine belt. To get better access I removed the passenger seat. I read on a different thread here to eliminate the need to remove the battery prior to seat being unplugged is to just not put the key into the ignition until the seat is plugged back in. Easy as pie, it worked like a champ for me.

Now I just need to remove all of the air from the system as apparently I didn't bleed it very well.
Good luck.

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