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Old 09-09-2011, 07:26 AM   #1
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Smoke on start up

I have a 01 Boxster 65000 miles, car smokes on start up for about 15 seconds. the shop i use told me i may need an oil seperator cost 850.00. has anyone had this problem and had to replace the oil seperator.

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Old 09-09-2011, 07:34 AM   #2
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The AOS is a common issue on these cars, we probably do 6-8 a month at the shop. It is also a common DIY project.
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:17 AM   #3
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here's a good link

Even if you don't do it yourself this will help you understand what's going on. $850 sounds like a LOT of $$ for this job IMO...

http://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/airoilseparatorreplacement
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:33 AM   #4
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Personally, I would recommend ordering the parts and either do it yourself or bribe a buddy with some pizza and beer. Here are two more useful links, which detail the process of replacing the AOS.

1
2
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Old 09-09-2011, 06:40 PM   #5
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Did you know that an occasional small amt of smoke is "normal" for a Boxster? The boxer engine design is prone to belching a bit of smoke when started. You don't say if the smoke is on every start up or now and then. If it smokes on every start, then the AOS is probably the culprit, but don't be alarmed by the occasional puff.
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:48 AM   #6
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My car smokes a little about 20% of the time on cold starts. The price of the AOS is only about $150 so they're gouging you on the price they quoted. I bet it doesn't take an experienced mechanic more than 2 hours.

You can give the car an unofficial AOS test by attempting to remove the oil fill cap with the motor running. A bad AOS puts an extreme vacuum on the crankcase and therefore the oil fill cap is hard to lift off.
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Old 09-10-2011, 12:33 PM   #7
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If you are parked pointing uphill, the puff is very likely.
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Old 09-10-2011, 01:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale_K
My car smokes a little about 20% of the time on cold starts.
My car does the same on the occasional cold start. It can be discerting the first time it happens but its no big deal (as long as its occasional).
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Old 09-10-2011, 02:57 PM   #9
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It's kinda like a fart. As long as nobody hears (sees) or smells it there's no harm.
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bobiam
If you are parked pointing uphill, the puff is very likely.
Yes. For some reason, if I parked my first Box on an uphill grade, it would smoke for a second on start up. When I changed to backing in to park (when parked outside) it did not do it. Can't say why.
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:47 PM   #11
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Just replaced my AOS today. One day before I went on vacation in the beginning of August it malfunctioned. Not too much warning. A had a bit of smoke when starting in the week before, nothing too alarming. Then suddenly CROP DUSTER! Lots of smoke and a lousy running engine.
The new AOS was $121 at Pelican Parts, including $3 for 3 day shipping. Great service, thanks!
Putting the damn thing in was a ********************, though. It's not extremely difficult, but the access really, really sucks. I did the whole operation from the top. Supposedly you should be able to get to the AOS from the bottom by reaching through the linkage. However, I think you need chimp arms, my arms were just not long enough. You can do the whole thing from the top but you need to tie some stuff aside to be able to reach in. The main thing in the way is a big black tube. Luckily you can take it apart and tie it away. IMPORTANT, and said by other people before, you need cable operated hose clamp pliers. I got mine from Sears. Forget about doing this operation without these pliers. You need it to release the clamps on the bottom tube of the AOS. Even with these pliers it's very difficult to access these clamps, there is just too much stuff in the way. A little mirror to look underneath the AOS is indispensable, especially to make sure that the bottom tube is hooked up properly.
The whole operation took me about 6 hours, but that's including jacking up the car and deciding not to go that way. I think 4 hours is realistic. Saved myself a couple of hundred of bucks probably. $850 sounds like a ripoff.
Hey, no more smoke! And still a lot of nice, top-down days ahead.
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Old 11-27-2011, 04:59 PM   #12
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Thinking of ordering the parts and doing this myself. I am pretty handy but is there anything I should do that you would have done differently? Looks like I have another weekend project coming up.

Also a detailed list of what tools/parts needed would be great. My car started smoking on startup today and had a rough idle throughout the day. I also started the car and removed the oil cap and there is a ton of "sucking" going on. Looks like I need to get to this asap.
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97 Boxster View Post
Thinking of ordering the parts and doing this myself. I am pretty handy but is there anything I should do that you would have done differently? Looks like I have another weekend project coming up.

Also a detailed list of what tools/parts needed would be great. My car started smoking on startup today and had a rough idle throughout the day. I also started the car and removed the oil cap and there is a ton of "sucking" going on. Looks like I need to get to this asap.
Make sure you read the usual stuff:
airoilseparatorreplacement - mikefocke2
Pelican Technical Article: Boxster Air / Oil Separator Replacement - 986 / 987
Replace the Air/Oil Separator

I basically replaced the AOS without removing anything else and working from the top of the engine, not an experience that I'd like to repeat. I probably would try to follow Pedro's advice and remove some more stuff from the top to get better access.

The only special tool that you NEED is the cable operated hose clamp pliers.

Good luck.
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:09 PM   #14
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Well yesterday I had some smoke at 2 different startups as well as a rough idle. Today it ran like a dream all day. No smoke and no rough idle. Explanation!!

Don't want to replace if I don't have too.

Hmmmmm. Should I wait until its smokes again? Still tons of sucking from the oil fill tube.
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:55 PM   #15
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i didn't have a smoke problem, but my cel came up. so i replaced the aos, but now occasionally have the smoke. funny, eh?
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:34 PM   #16
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i didn't have a smoke problem, but my cel came up. so i replaced the aos, but now occasionally have the smoke. funny, eh?
What made you replace the AOS? Code or just a hunch? Was it a DIY job for you?
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:27 PM   #17
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What made you replace the AOS? Code or just a hunch? Was it a DIY job for you?
1128 code came up and i read up on aos. checked the suction seal at oil filler. so replaced the aos. suction better and code went away. but smoke is here now.

it's a pain to DIY. so i went to an indy i know personally. only took him 30-45 mins. but it would have taken me 2-3 hours. difficult to do unless you have the right pliers and a lift. still "do-able" though.
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:29 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by 97 Boxster View Post
Thinking of ordering the parts and doing this myself. I am pretty handy but is there anything I should do that you would have done differently? Looks like I have another weekend project coming up.

Also a detailed list of what tools/parts needed would be great. My car started smoking on startup today and had a rough idle throughout the day. I also started the car and removed the oil cap and there is a ton of "sucking" going on. Looks like I need to get to this asap.
i wasn't even able to remove to the cap.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:48 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by tuanle16 View Post
i wasn't even able to remove to the cap.
I can remove the cap no problem but when I do the car runs really crappy.
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Old 12-03-2011, 02:21 AM   #20
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I was also under the impression that smoke on start up from time to time was normal (it's in the owners manual). As pointed out, it may be worse when parked at a certain angle or left for more than a few days between start ups.
The way I understand it is that there aren't any oil sealing rings on the pistons (in addition to the compression rings). This allows small amounts of oil to seep past the compression rings over a period of time. The old "K" series BMW motorcycle engines had the same "problem". I can't remember exactly, but you would always get more smoke if it was parked on the side stand (as the oil would drain more freely through into the cylinders) than when it was parked on the center stand. Or it could have been the other way round.
The similarity being that the BMW engines in question have a flat inline 3-4 cylinder engine and the Porsche a flat 6 boxer.
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