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Old 08-10-2019, 02:28 PM   #1
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Tune up (coil) question

My mechanic suggested that at 90,000 miles I have him perform a tune-up on my 98 Boxster which currently has 87,000 miles. He recommends changing all of the plugs, plug tubes, and coils along with some filters (the filters I have done myself in the past and will do again so he doesn't need to do those)

My question is about the coils. Since the car runs great and there are no codes how "smart/wise/proactive" should I be in replacing the currently working coils too?

I understand that the coils need to come off to get to the tubes and plugs but the coils seem fine so I'm looking for some advice.

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Old 08-10-2019, 02:45 PM   #2
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If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Coils are not a preventative maintenance item. Replace them when they fail.

BTW, if you can do filters, you can do plugs and tubes. It’s not at all difficult.
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Old 08-10-2019, 04:35 PM   #3
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you can also get cracks in the plastic housing of the coil. They usually start as hairline and get bigger over time. At some point you get spark leak. I usually replace mine if they are cracked or fail. Otherwise as PW said if it ain't broke

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Old 08-10-2019, 06:30 PM   #4
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I'd leave the coils alone and replace only when needed. Cool thing is, this is one item that you'll get a pretty definitive code for, pointing you to the offending cylinder.

As an aside, if your plugs are old, replace them, along with tubes and o-rings. You can inspect your coils for cracks at the same time. Thing is, plugs, tubes and rings are cheap compared to wholesale change of 6b coils.
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Old 08-11-2019, 01:51 AM   #5
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I recently started to change plugs on my 98 base with 100k miles. I stopped when I found EVERY single coil was cracked on at least 2 sides. There was no indication of a problem, car ran well. I had previously changed plugs and inspected coils @ 70 k. Ordered 6 new coils and changed plugs, tubes and coils. I'm with your mechanic.
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Old 08-11-2019, 06:18 AM   #6
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If cracking is the only problem, couldn't one just slap some RTV on the cracks to prolong the coils' life?
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Old 08-11-2019, 08:23 AM   #7
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Thanks guys..... Iíve watched a few videos and agree it doesnít look difficult. Hardest part for me is raising the car and put it on a jack stand since I donít have either. But when my mechanic quoted over $1,200 to do the job I was shocked since Pelican sells the OEM parts for about $600 and about $300 if I buy the non OEM parts. I know everyone is entitled to make a profit but that seems excessive. So maybe I will try to DIY.
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:10 AM   #8
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Thanks guys..... Iíve watched a few videos and agree it doesnít look difficult. Hardest part for me is raising the car and put it on a jack stand since I donít have either. But when my mechanic quoted over $1,200 to do the job I was shocked since Pelican sells the OEM parts for about $600 and about $300 if I buy the non OEM parts. I know everyone is entitled to make a profit but that seems excessive. So maybe I will try to DIY.
Just do one side at a time. A quick jack (just enough to get the wheel off) supported by a stand, pop the wheel liner out and go.

It goes fairly quickly.
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:13 AM   #9
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Perform a DIY on plugs, tubes, and buy one or two coils as backup when one goes
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:32 AM   #10
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If cracking is the only problem, couldn't one just slap some RTV on the cracks to prolong the coils' life?
Epoxy. JB weld (non-metallic) works great.

Seriously...tossing out a coil because it has a crack in the case is really wasteful, IMO. Slap some epoxy on that crack and get another decade or two out of it. I’ve done it plenty on other cars and never had a misfire return.

The best part is that you can be up and running today instead of waiting for parts.
To each, their own, though.
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:52 AM   #11
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Thanks guys..... Iíve watched a few videos and agree it doesnít look difficult. Hardest part for me is raising the car and put it on a jack stand since I donít have either. But when my mechanic quoted over $1,200 to do the job I was shocked since Pelican sells the OEM parts for about $600 and about $300 if I buy the non OEM parts. I know everyone is entitled to make a profit but that seems excessive. So maybe I will try to DIY.
Do you have a Harbor Freight near you? You can get a set of jack stands pretty cheap:
https://www.harborfreight.com/automotive/jacks-jack-stands/3-ton-steel-jack-stands-61196.html

Or try your local Craigslist listing for a used set.
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:54 AM   #12
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Epoxy. JB weld (non-metallic) works great.

Seriously...tossing out a coil because it has a crack in the case is really wasteful, IMO. Slap some epoxy on that crack and get another decade or two out of it. Iíve done it plenty on other cars and never had a misfire return.

The best part is that you can be up and running today instead of waiting for parts.
To each, their own, though.
My sentiment exactly. I like the JB Weld or Epoxy idea, better than RTV.
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:04 AM   #13
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Do it yourself. Spend the money on the tools, which are a permanent investment. Also, the 3 ton jackstands aren't tall enough. My system, which I've accumulated over years is a pair of Rhino ramps (plastic, don't bend or rust,) a bunch of 1' by 1' by 2 wooden blocks (from new lumber.) And then an air/pneumatic 12 ton bottle jack (need a compressor for this,) and the 6 ton jackstands. I have a pair of the 3 ton ones, but they don't allow enough room to crawl around and work. Nice for doing brake jobs. The air jack really does make lots of work possible and almost pleasant.
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:20 AM   #14
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Just do one side at a time. A quick jack (just enough to get the wheel off) supported by a stand, pop the wheel liner out and go.

It goes fairly quickly.
This!!! Jack it up just enough to raise the tire.

An inexpensive socket set from HF... what... ~$30.

Plugs... coils... tubes... Likely WELL under $450, and all OEM. Filters? Air/oil/cabin... another $50.

The price your mechanic quoted? **************** me.

Obviously, any tools you purchase will pay for themselves the moment you conclude your maintenance/repair.
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:53 AM   #15
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This!!! Jack it up just enough to raise the tire.

An inexpensive socket set from HF... what... ~$30.

Plugs... coils... tubes... Likely WELL under $450, and all OEM. Filters? Air/oil/cabin... another $50.

The price your mechanic quoted? **************** me.

Obviously, any tools you purchase will pay for themselves the moment you conclude your maintenance/repair.
Do it right the 1st time with a Snap-On hex bit to remove the coil bolts. Or buy several new bolts in advance.
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Old 08-11-2019, 11:07 AM   #16
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Do it right the 1st time with a Snap-On hex bit to remove the coil bolts. Or buy several new bolts in advance.
If you wrench for a living, Snap-on is the way to go.

But for everyone else and at a fraction of the costs, Craftsman makes great hand tools, and HF makes great impact sockets, hex bits and other specialty tools.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:47 AM   #17
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I have all the quality hand tools to do the job (including an impact driver for the wheel lugs) it's just the lifting jack and the stands I don't have......I'm assuming that the factory jack would be good enough to lift the car as long as I buy jack stands to support it once up.
Where do the jack stands get placed? Also, I'm thinking that as long as the car is "up" and if I'm doing the labor then I might as well change all of the coils.....because I have to remove them anyway.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:06 AM   #18
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Really, throw some epoxy, jb weld on the coils if their cracked.
I had 3 of 6 cracked at 90 k miles. I was getting intermittent codes, very random and they would clear. No they are not cheap but the new style has a much thicker base. Pull them and you will no right away if they need replacing.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:38 PM   #19
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I have all the quality hand tools to do the job (including an impact driver for the wheel lugs) it's just the lifting jack and the stands I don't have......I'm assuming that the factory jack would be good enough to lift the car as long as I buy jack stands to support it once up.
Where do the jack stands get placed? Also, I'm thinking that as long as the car is "up" and if I'm doing the labor then I might as well change all of the coils.....because I have to remove them anyway.
Jacking the car up:
https://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Boxster_Tech/01-BASICS-Jacking_Up/01-BASICS-Jacking_Up.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDA-qI5HsIU

The jack stands usually go where the jack points are, but if you'll be using the Porsche jack, then the jack stands can go under where the floor jacks go to lift the car. I use a piece of 2x4 between the stands and the car to protect the paint. I usually lower the car until it touches the stands. I don't release the weight off the jack entirely.

Regarding the cracked coils, if you want to spend money on new coils, that's your option. I'd just put some epoxy on them and keep driving.

If you do buy new ones, I'll take your old ones!
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:32 AM   #20
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After costing out buying good jack stands Jackpoint Jack Stands ($350/pair w/tax & shipping), a cheap HF floor jack and the parts at Pelican I'd be spending about $1,100.....so, it's not worth it to me to DIY for the $300 difference of letting my mechanic do it. (he quoted $1,400 total)

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