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Old 04-26-2010, 07:08 AM   #1
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ruh roh... help with a coolant problem please!

Hi guys,

I just picked up a lovely year 2000 porsche boxster S last week and have driven it out to geneva and around, all the while it has been going beautifully!

Until today...

I parked up and as I exited the car I heard a gushing sound, looked down and saw liquid escaping the car at quite a rate!

Turns out the coolant was doing a runner! It was all over within a minute or two and there was a very large puddle under the car. I managed to see that it was dripping (well not dripping.. pouring...) from just infront of the rear right hand side tyre.

I called out the AA (thankfully I have european cover lol), and they sent a guy to come look at it. He added some water to top it back up and it took maybe 1-2 litres apparently. The leak had seemingly stopped, so he suggested that I follow him to the porsche garage and we could ask what they think. The technician there didn't bother loooking at it, but said since the leak had stopped just keep an eye on it and a big bottle of water in the boot - if it happens again come back.

Since then it seems to be okay, I noticed a small leak again when I parked up to go to work but nothing major and the coolant level hasn't dropped. Obviously something isn't right though and I'm concerned that it may not be reaching the correct pressure if there is a leak... quite glad it's working for now though so I have time to do any work on it myself.

So the question - what am I looking at here? A bust resevoir? cracked hose? what is the best way for me to tell? I'm fairly handy with a spanner but have no knowledge ogf this car yet, havign only owned it for a week... Any help would be much appreciated.
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:16 AM   #2
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if it were mine i would call another tow truck company and have them take it to another po dealer....mean time i would not drive it
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:18 AM   #3
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It could be as simple as a bad coolant cap. Porsche has updated the blue cap in your trunk several times and I believe the current part number ends in 04. I had the same issue with my 2000S.
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:31 AM   #4
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It didn't overflow by the cap though.... or do you mean the cap just isn't venting pressure correctly, and caused it to escape by other means?


Edit:

found this http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?/topic/1838-coolant-leak/ and it sounds like the same problem as me - guess the tanks is probably shot. I'll have a look when I get back from work.

Last edited by zeeflyboy; 04-26-2010 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:20 AM   #5
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I believe the overflow tube exits in front of the right side rear wheel so the problem would show up exactly as you've described. If the coolant tank ruptures there's a good chance you'll find coolant in the trunk compartment as well as on the ground. I've replaced my cap twice with no other leaks present. Try the cheap stuff first.
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:32 AM   #6
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Ah okay, thanks!

I just went back to the car and there was no leak under it, and a brief feel under the styrofoam didn't reveal any moisture - hopefully this means you are right!
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:33 AM   #7
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Check your temp gauge and watch to see if it is getting over 200. You may need a coolant flush or even a water pump. If is ok and no more dumps, it may have been a fluke thing.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:15 AM   #8
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Will do, cheers... shouldn't need a water pump hopefully as the previous owner replaced that in september last year.

Just ordered a new reservoir cap so we'll see how that goes!
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:44 AM   #9
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Same thing happened to me...radiator cap. Free after $300 tow!
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Old 04-26-2010, 12:33 PM   #10
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ah that's comforting... did you have the exact same thing, gushing exit of a litre or two of coolant from around the rear right jacking point/ infront of the rear right wheel?
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Old 04-26-2010, 04:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeeflyboy
ah that's comforting... did you have the exact same thing, gushing exit of a litre or two of coolant from around the rear right jacking point/ infront of the rear right wheel?

Boxsters are very sensitive to the coolant level, & it can take days to settle/workout air pockets. I say a little low is better than a little over. If the level gets too low a light on the temp guage will flash off & on. My Box did the r/rear coolant dump 2 times about a year apart. Just try to top off with distilled water if you can.
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:32 PM   #12
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zeeflyboy - just to make sure you have not got any air in the cooling system, it may be prudent to burp the system.
The easiest way is to remove the plastic cover located just under the oil and coolant filler caps - you can prise it up after you remove the two caps. Under the cover is a chrome clip which can be raised up (from the horizontal to the vertical position). Raise this clip and leave it for a few engine heat up / cool down cycles - maybe even for a couple of days. This will rid the system of any air - replace when coolant level stabalises.
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:37 PM   #13
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Thanks both for the advice, I'll do that...

I just ordered a bentley manual too - should help with any jobs I want to do myself!
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:07 AM   #14
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Just an update:

I bought a new cap, the one on the car was the original .00 version, and I replaced with the .04 version.

I haven't had any repeat performances since, the coolant level seems okay and the temperature seems to be totally normal. It was a fairly warm day when it happened though and now it's quite cold... so we'll have to wait and see if my success continues in the warmer weather to come!

Just to be sure, I stripped back my boot carpeting and styro stuff - the reservoir seems to be in good order, there are no signs of coolant in the back at all.

So I just have one question now - I seem to be getting a fair amount of condensation at the moment above the reservoir on the boot lid, is this indicative of a problem or just the system sorting itself out?

Cheers for any input and thanks for the advice you've already given guys!
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeeflyboy
Just an update:

...
So I just have one question now - I seem to be getting a fair amount of condensation at the moment above the reservoir on the boot lid, is this indicative of a problem or just the system sorting itself out?

Cheers for any input and thanks for the advice you've already given guys!
Zeeflyboy:

Condensation under the trunk lid, directly above the coolant tank, is sometimes an indication that the O-rings inside the pressure relief valve, or one of the rubber membranes inside are failing or have failed.

You can just replace the O-rings or the complete pressure relief and both are easy DIY's.

Regards, Maurice.
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Old 05-03-2010, 01:14 PM   #16
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Thanks - I'll look into it!
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