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Old 04-19-2009, 07:14 PM   #1
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Green coolant floating on orange coolant?

So, this is one of those questions that I think I already know the answer to, but here goes anyway... I was in the rear trunk area today just topping off my oil, and I thought I'd check the coolant level (cold) while I was in there. I pulled off the coolant reservoir cap and shined a flashlight into the reservoir while looking at the coolant level through the "window." I noticed (and it was hard NOT to notice) that the top inch of coolant was green coolant, while the rest of the coolant in the tank was orange.

I bought the car last October at CarMax, and I'll bet they're the ones that "topped off" the coolant with green coolant. (These are the same people who, when I told them that the Air/Oil Separator was leaking and needed to be replaced under their 30-day warranty, instead replaced the oil pickup tube. ) I can't believe I didn't notice the dual coolant colors before now. (In fairness, I've driven it less than 1,000 miles since then, though.)

Anyway, am I correct in assuming that I should, at the very least, siphon off the top "layer" of green coolant? I'm considering doing a full system flush & fill, just for good measure, but I don't like to waste money. If a small bit of green coolant remains behind in the system and doesn't hurt anything, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. The ultimate question is, will a small amount of green coolant hurt anything?


Last edited by Banana S; 04-19-2009 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 04-19-2009, 09:28 PM   #2
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There are correct and incorrect coolants for the boxster. There is no color standard in the industry, so you have no way of knowing what's actually in there.

The wrong stuff will actually gel and really mess up the system and possibly the engine.

Best thing to do is siphon off what you can (no sense in cycling it through the system), then drain, flush (w/ distilled water) and then fill and bleed with the proper fluid.

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Old 04-20-2009, 06:13 AM   #3
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ditto; if you are doing it yourself, dropping the $20 bucks max for new coolant (there are several non-porsche brands that will work) is well worth it. even paying someone to do it would be worth it, but it's really not hard at all if you've got a floor jack/stands. I, too, just bought a boxster with an unknown service history, so I've changed the oil, coolant, and other sundries to avoid any problems down the road.
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:47 PM   #4
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mixed coolant

I will second Lil Bastards post, do a complete flush on your coolant system, make sure you turn on your heater as you do it. I use Porsche coolant in my car, about 20.00 a gal thru Pelican Parts, Not cheap but cheap insurance imo. You can also use Pentosin which is Mercedes Benz and Porsche approved for about 12.00 a gal.
Make sure you follow your repair manuel in regards to bleeding the system.
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:17 PM   #5
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I took it to the dealership to do the flush & fill last week. I do a lot of preventive maintenance myself, but the car is under an extended warranty, and given the fact that the cooling system runs the complete length of the car, I didn't want to risk missing an air bubble somewhere and getting a "hot spot" in a cylinder head at some later date. My peace of mind was worth the extra money to make sure it was done right, and it shouldn't need to be done again for another 5 years or so.
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banana S
I took it to the dealership to do the flush & fill last week. I do a lot of preventive maintenance myself, but the car is under an extended warranty, and given the fact that the cooling system runs the complete length of the car, I didn't want to risk missing an air bubble somewhere and getting a "hot spot" in a cylinder head at some later date. My peace of mind was worth the extra money to make sure it was done right, and it shouldn't need to be done again for another 5 years or so.
Curious...
What's a service like this cost?
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanna986
Curious...
What's a service like this cost?
Almost $300. (I know, I know... )
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Old 05-01-2009, 08:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banana S
Almost $300. (I know, I know... )
It's o.k. You'll just appreciate your coolant more!
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Old 05-06-2009, 03:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banana S
Almost $300. (I know, I know... )
Be happy; another poster was quoted over $1000.00 to do the same thing by a dealer. At $300, about $45-50 went to coolant & distilled water; and the job should have taken about 1-2 hours, so you were charged about $125 an hour, which is about right.................
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Old 05-06-2009, 05:42 PM   #10
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How much coolant to buy?

Since porsche says it is lifetime - I could not find how much coolant that I would need in the service manual. How much coolant do I need to buy?

Also I thought the whole point of colored coolant was to provide a way for the folks who don't read labels or instructions to have a fair shot at getting it right.
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Old 05-06-2009, 06:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urban_legend
Since porsche says it is lifetime - I could not find how much coolant that I would need in the service manual. How much coolant do I need to buy?

Also I thought the whole point of colored coolant was to provide a way for the folks who don't read labels or instructions to have a fair shot at getting it right.

You'll need 2-3 gal. of coolant and 2-3 gal of distilled water. Mix 50/50 and any unused can be saved indefinitely (in a sealed container) for top-ups.

You should also have another 3-4 gal. of distilled water to flush the system. Drain it, add the distilled water, run the car for a few minutes (driving it is best, maybe 5-10 mi.), then drain the water and refill with the 50/50 mix. Bleed and top off as necessary.

Despite what many think, there is no color standard in the Industry. Mfgrs. are able to add any dye they want to their coolant, so you cannot go by color alone. Also, just because a coolant says it's compatible doesn't mean that it is.

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Old 05-06-2009, 06:52 PM   #12
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Thanks LB

I am replacing the coolant pump as well.
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:32 PM   #13
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Also, if you have a tiptronic -

The Tip has an electronic coolant valve similar to the T'stat on the engine. This valve remains closed until the engine warms up to prevent coolant flow to the tranny so it can come up to temp quicker. Once up to temp, the valve opens allowing coolant to flow through the tranny.

You need to deactivate this valve before draining, flushing, filling and bleeding the system or it will trap air. You do this by having the key in the Off position and pulling fuse B1. Once the car is bled, again key Off, replace the fuse B1.

This does not appear in the Bentley, but is one of the steps in the factory repair manual.


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