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Old 04-12-2020, 05:37 PM   #1
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Mystery Leak - Any Guesses?

Hi Boxster Friends,

Hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend with their respective loved ones, and are healthy.

Upon heading out to pick up some essential groceries today, and to ensure the Boxster gets regular exercise, I noticed two spots of what I assume is an oil leak on my parking spot today on the parking lot floor. These are definitely new because last week when I last drove it, the spots were not there, and I have not driven it since.

The two spots are dry, so I don't know what it is, nor can I smell what it is. They are definitely coming from the back from the engine (picture attached for reference.) Details below:

Model Year: 2001
Engine/Transmission: Boxster S / 6-speed manual transmission
Transmission oil changed: Over a year and a half ago (Fuchs, I think.)
IMS: Completed a year ago
Oil: Was changed last month - Using Motul 300v 0W40 (I won this in a contest from Motul directly.)
Water Pump & Thermostat: Replaced last summer with original Porsche parts
Current Mileage: 140,000KM / 87,000 miles (approximate)
Location: Toronto, ON (Canada)

I'll have to measure oil and coolant level tomorrow after the car cools down overnight. Seems like there are two separate patches coming from approximately the middle of the engine. I don't think it's AC condensation because if I recall, it's further up. Any guesses? I'll definitely have to take this into the shop as I am not allowed to work on my car due to strata regulations (I've gotten in trouble before.) I've left a few sheets of paper underneath the car to see if it is still leaking or not, and to see what colour of fluid is leaking. Thanks in advance!


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Old 04-12-2020, 05:56 PM   #2
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My guess is coolant from water pump or hoses running to WP. Given the car has the plastic underbody panels, fluids can end up on the ground in places not directly under an active leak.

Remove the firewall behind the seats and take a look around. You can also run the car like this (its loud and hot!) to see what you see.
Remember that even though your WP is relatively new, you may have a leak from one of the bolts not being torqued to spec. Torque is only 7 lb-ft so if its off a little, you can get a leak.
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Old 04-12-2020, 06:16 PM   #3
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Thanks, dghii.
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Old 04-12-2020, 07:11 PM   #4
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My guess is power steering fluid as it looks like it's dripping from the front and back of the motor.
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Old 04-12-2020, 07:43 PM   #5
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Thanks, itsnotanova.

Besides the leak, any symptoms I should suspect or look out for if it is the power steering fluid leaking like sounds, smells, or driving dynamis? I have noticed there is some kind of smell coming from the back of the car since last year, definitely some kind of chemical being burned off. It's not strong, but faint, and enough to notice.
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Old 04-12-2020, 08:21 PM   #6
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You can check the PS fluid level on top of the engine, I would start there if you suspect it's that. It's more likely if those spots are below the engine, but farther forward it's unlikely because the PS hoses run under the driver's side. It's hard to tell how far forward/back the spots are from your picture.

I would be inclined to agree with dghii, it's probably a bad WP seal or a hose that's leaking into the underbody tray then leaking out in different places. It should be easy to ID because the car should be running hot unless it's below 50-60 F where you are, which might mask the issue if you aren't stopped for any prolonged period of time.
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Old 04-12-2020, 08:31 PM   #7
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Thanks, rick3000.

The weather is slowly warming up (emphasis on slowly) so I've managed to take it out over the past few weeks. The bonus is that there isn't a lot of traffic, but also a curse because the highways here aren't a parking lot anymore, so it's not getting up to optimal temperature. Heaven forbid the traffic opens up again and the Gardiner Expressway becomes a parking lot. I'm going to have to head to a shop this week to get it looked at.
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Old 04-13-2020, 03:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick3000 View Post
You can check the PS fluid level on top of the engine, I would start there if you suspect it's that. It's more likely if those spots are below the engine, but farther forward it's unlikely because the PS hoses run under the driver's side. It's hard to tell how far forward/back the spots are from your picture.

:
The overfill tube bleeds out on top of the motor and the return tube connected to the back of the pump will also leak out on top of the motor when it goes bad or becomes loose. When that happens, fluid will leak from the front and rear of the motor. I've seen it happen a few times. Coolant leaks usually only happen in front of the motor.
Judging by the two separate puddles and where they're in relation to the tires has me thinking it's leaking from the front and back of the motor. A picture of the bottom of the motor would be much more beneficial.
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Old 04-13-2020, 03:34 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by bcrdukes View Post
Thanks, itsnotanova.

Besides the leak, any symptoms I should suspect or look out for if it is the power steering fluid leaking like sounds, smells, or driving dynamis? I have noticed there is some kind of smell coming from the back of the car since last year, definitely some kind of chemical being burned off. It's not strong, but faint, and enough to notice.
As Rick said, check your ps fluid level. If it's low then more than likely you've found yuor problem. If it is your problem then you need to take care of it asap and don't run the pump dry. Replacing the pump is maybe the biggest PIA to perform on these cars. I think I'd rather pull a motor than replace a pump. You really need to get the car on some jack stands and look for yourself. Find the wet spot and follow it to it's source. No way you'll get a realistic answer by giving us a picture of two puddles on the pavement.
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Old 04-13-2020, 05:16 AM   #10
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Thanks, folks.

Car is going up on the hoist tomorrow. Will try to post pictures and report back on what the issue is. Hopefully nothing serious.
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Old 04-14-2020, 05:54 AM   #11
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Car is up in the air at the shop right now. It's leaking at the bell housing. It sat for so long since last year's IMS job along with the rear main seal and being looked at through warranty by the shop. Drive your cars, folks! Thanks everyone!

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