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Old 08-29-2016, 05:59 AM   #1
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Overheating 2000S...a cautionary tale.

This just makes me want to cry.
A friend of ours paid a visit a few weeks ago, and he saw my 2000 base and asked if he could take it a for a short spin. Long story short, he fell in love with the car and asked if I could help him find one.

As luck would have it, I found a nice little 2000S with around 50k miles selling for $12k. Pretty good shape, hadn't been driven much lately. It did have a CEL, worn out rear tires, and brake pads pretty close to done. Other than that, the test drive was good...temp needle stayed right on the 180 mark, no suspicious engine noises...the only thing I noticed was that it idled a little high while warm -- around 800 rpm. We did a PPI which uncovered a P0507 code. Other than that, no issues.

He really wanted this car, so we had a long talk. I gave him the standard list of things that should be done right away: flush all the fluids, brake job, tires, and take care of that 507 code. But most importantly, TAKE IT TO AN EXPERIENCED PORSCHE INDIE SHOP. I gave him the phone numbers for two well-regarded shops near him.
So what does he do? Gosh, those Porsche shops were ridiculously expensive, so he takes it to Joe Sackadonut's Cheap Auto Repairs.

Well, my buddy's driving the car home from the shop and next thing you know the temp light starts flashing and the needle starts climbing past 200. He pulls over and shuts it off and the car proceeds to urinate coolant all over the side of the road.
So what does he do? Has the car towed back to Joe Sackadonut's, who tells him the thermostat must be bad.

Please just shoot me now...

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Old 08-29-2016, 06:11 AM   #2
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Not really sure I want to hear the rest of the story.
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Old 08-29-2016, 06:59 AM   #3
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Ugh.... this is headed in a bad direction. I wish him luck.
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Old 08-29-2016, 07:16 AM   #4
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What do you suppose are the chances he cracked a head?

I'm wishing I bought the car myself...
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Old 08-29-2016, 08:15 AM   #5
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This is the classic case of "spending more tomorrow because I was too cheap today". In any event, I hope all turns out well.

Also, and this is not meant to be a comment on your friend, but I do hope he isn't the type of person who would then turn around and blame you for your advice that he should buy a Boxster. I have been burned by this in the past to the point that I no longer offer advice on anything, or at least I try not to. Should a word of advice accidentally slip out of my mouth, I find that I spend more time on disclaimers than the "helpful" input.

Anyway, best of luck, and I do hope you and your friend will have many years of trouble free Boxstering.
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Old 08-29-2016, 08:19 AM   #6
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Joe Sackadonut's flushed the fluid.

I see two options:
1.) Idiot who isn't able to fasten a clampshell.
2.) Idiot who doesn't know how to change cooler fluid on a 986. Maybe he also doesn't know what coolant to use.

Shurely not a thermostat problem. Cracked head is always an option.

But i think it would be more important to bring the car to somebody who knows what he's doing.

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Old 08-29-2016, 12:31 PM   #7
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my guess, they did not purge the cooling system properly.
a trapped air bubble caused the engine to overheat.
blinking light indicate low coolant level (Vs. solid lights indicate overheat red line). hopefully the car didn't overheat enough to cause damage.
the fluid coming out with the engine off, probably coming out of the overflow line.
if your friend turned the engine off on time (before the needle made it to the red line) most chances no damage happened.
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Old 08-29-2016, 01:09 PM   #8
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I'm with Meir on this one. Anyone that allows a shop with no Porsche experience to work on these cars typically gets exactly what they paid for: Inept service. We constantly see cars that apparently were fine until someone that has never worked on one before touches the cooling system; shortly after that, they show up at my shop on a flatbed because they are "over heating", or worse.
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Old 08-29-2016, 02:40 PM   #9
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Update.
I just couldn't take this anymore, so here's what I did. Left work early. Stopped and picked up two gallons of distilled water. Called my indie shop and gave them a heads up. Called my buddy and told him to meet me at Joe's. Car is sitting outside. Popped trunk. Coolant tank is nearly bone dry. Popped up D valve, added about a half gallon of water to full line. Cranked car and let it idle. After 5 minutes or so, had to add about another half gallon. I take it a few times around the block and I hear the fans kick on, so I know they're good, and I need to add about another quart. Temp has stabilized, car is running around 180, so we pay Joe for his disservice and we're off to drop it at the shop who should've had it in the first place.

I drove. Everything was cool, so to speak. In fact...I wish now that I had bought an S. For a brief moment, I thought about asking him if he wanted to trade cars, straight up. Brief...moment...
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Old 08-29-2016, 04:31 PM   #10
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Your mate owes you a beer - or maybe two. Good on yer for helping out!!
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Old 08-29-2016, 05:43 PM   #11
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Good on you!! You're nuts but a good guy.
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Old 08-29-2016, 06:12 PM   #12
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Nicely done NfS!
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Old 08-30-2016, 04:39 AM   #13
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I frequently get asked by people about ownership. My standard answer is, either you need a lot of money to have it maintained or you need to do the work yourself and be very handy. They are complex cars, not difficult to work on but they are not a Chevy Impala. I usually try to talk people out of buying one, they are not for everyone.
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Old 08-30-2016, 07:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesz View Post
I frequently get asked by people about ownership. My standard answer is, either you need a lot of money to have it maintained or you need to do the work yourself and be very handy. They are complex cars, not difficult to work on but they are not a Chevy Impala. I usually try to talk people out of buying one, they are not for everyone.
I told him that he would need to put at least another $8-10k into the car over the next couple of years. Then I related the IMS horror story. I told him the engine had five chains that twirl around four camshafts and grind across various metal and plastic parts that disintegrate with little warning. And so on.

Essentially, I told him this car would bankrupt him, destroy his marriage, wreck his career, and ruin his self-image. Nothing I said had any effect after the experience of driving one.

Such is the drug that is Porsche.

Instead of "There is No Substitute", maybe we should say "There is No Antidote"...
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Old 08-30-2016, 08:16 AM   #15
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You're a good friend for refilling with distilled water and doing a proper purge, after your friend ignored your advice to use a Porsche mechanic and ended up with an air bubble in the coolant system. I would recommend he have everything the mechanic did double checked by a mechanic with Porsche experience. If they mixed coolants, that needs to be flushed and replaced asap.
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Old 08-30-2016, 07:41 PM   #16
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Well, you just racked up a nice big stack of good karma for providing good advice and then saving the day when your advice wasn't followed.

This will almost certainly guarantee that your IMS will be good for another 50,000 miles!
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Old 09-01-2016, 07:01 AM   #17
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Glad to hear it ended well.

I have flushed a handful of cooling systems, and read my Bentley manual before diving in, but I was surprised how much effort it took to burp my 01 S after changing the water pump. With all of the radiators in the front, the motor in the middle, and all the plumbing in between, I should have known it was going to take some extra burping.
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Old 09-02-2016, 05:20 AM   #18
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I'm going to try and help him troubleshoot his P0507 code this weekend. I thought I'd take a crack at it before we take it to my indie. My hunch is vacuum leak, which will be tough to find without a smoke machine, but thought I'd look to see if there's anything obvious. I'm suspicious of the brake booster hose.

If anyone else has experience tracking this one down, let me know.
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Old 09-02-2016, 07:34 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Need_for_speed View Post
I'm going to try and help him troubleshoot his P0507 code this weekend. I thought I'd take a crack at it before we take it to my indie. My hunch is vacuum leak, which will be tough to find without a smoke machine, but thought I'd look to see if there's anything obvious. I'm suspicious of the brake booster hose.

If anyone else has experience tracking this one down, let me know.
why are you suspecting the brake booster hose?
there are so many fragile vacuum lines that are running across the engine top, that are more prone to leaking.
look at the diagram, and follow the lines the best you can.
that should give you a good starting point
Vacuum Confusion -SOLVED

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