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Old 08-14-2010, 02:47 PM   #1
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Creamy light brown/tan gunk in coolant tank

Thought I found a great deal on an 01 S until I looked in the coolant tank. Coolant level dropped to the bottom of the tank on my 4 hour drive home with car and the top of the pinkish coolant has a tan/light brown layer of creamy stuff on it. Any idea what the problem might be?
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:55 PM   #2
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a number of things....oil cooler,casting "freeze plug". is it alot of stuff in the tank? hows the oil color/level ?
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:56 PM   #3
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Oil color and level is right on.
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Old 08-14-2010, 03:00 PM   #4
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There is a layer of the gunk about 1/4" thick on top of the coolant.
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Old 08-14-2010, 03:07 PM   #5
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Here, take a look at this thread: Foamy coffee colored coolant in tank

Hopefully, it's just a bad heat exchanger/Oil cooler, and not a cracked head.
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Old 08-14-2010, 03:10 PM   #6
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You have an intermix problem; common causes are a failing oil cooler (common), a popped freeze plug (also common), blown head gasket (less common), or a cracked head (also less common).

You need to stop using the car immedeately. It needs to be checked by someone that knows what they are doing. If it has to be moved to get it to them, flatbed it, DO NOT DRIVE IT.
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Old 08-14-2010, 03:53 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input everyone. Are any of these potential fixes something I may be able to check out myself (limited skills) or does anyone know of somebody in the Madison area (WI) I may be able to get it to for help? I have limited funds and don't think a dealer will work for me.
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Old 08-14-2010, 04:56 PM   #8
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I would first try to return your car to whomever sold it to you for a refund! If that doesnt work, you could try to contact your local PCA chapter to see if they could recommend any local independent Porsche repair shops: http://vista.pca.org/cwi/
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:01 PM   #9
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If there is oil in the coolant would it appear the usual color of oil? This stuff is very light in color - like a light pair of khaki pants.
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Old 08-14-2010, 09:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcorteen
If there is oil in the coolant would it appear the usual color of oil? This stuff is very light in color - like a light pair of khaki pants.
It's oil, not much doubt.
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Old 08-15-2010, 02:25 AM   #11
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The oil is mixed with a lot of coolant (the coolant tank you see is only the coolant overflow tank, so it shows only a small fraction of the overall coolant in the system), so the oil in the tank you see will not be all black like oil itself. Instead, it would look like what you're looking at now...a frothy tan colored milkshake-like mix. Hate to say it, but it's almost certainly an oil/coolant intermix, and you can't keep driving the car without addressing it because you will really damage the engine.

If you can't afford to fix the car at a dealer or independent shop right now, buy a Bentley Repair manual and you can perhaps try to replace the oil cooler/heat exchanger yourself to see if that was the cause of your intermix. Of course, you'll also have to flush and refill/burp your coolant system tank as well. If that doesn't do it, you'll really need to take it to shop that knows Porsches.

Repair manual:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d.html/ref=redir_mdp_mobile/185-9993856-2479431?redirect=true&tag=porschepetesboxs&a=0837613337
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:48 AM   #12
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UPDATE: Found a guy a few miles away that has done work on boxsters. Car ran fine on the trip there at speeds up to 75. Car temp was good and no funny smells when I got there. First thing noticed was one radiator hose was warm and one was not. Also, fan was not blowing warm air from radiator. He thinks I should just replace thermostat to start. Does this sound right to everyone? Thanks again for all the help.

New problem. Got the car home and smoke (not a lot) was coming out of the vent by passenger side door. Any thoughts?
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:09 AM   #13
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Lol. How is changing the thermostat going to fix the oil intermix problem you have in your coolant tank? Smoke coming out of your engine vent could mean some loose connections that lead to your coolant tank, among other things.

Two people on this board (one, a repair shop owner), have recommended you not drive the car anymore until you fix the oil intermix problem, but you ignore it and drive your car up to 75mph anyway. Lol. I think you should now drive it up to 100mph just for fun!
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:16 AM   #14
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I did just get the name of a good local independent Porsche repair shop, I will get it there.
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:31 AM   #15
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Take the scenic route!
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:46 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frodo
Take the scenic route!
Now that's funny!
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:35 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by gcorteen
UPDATE: Found a guy a few miles away that has done work on boxsters. Car ran fine on the trip there at speeds up to 75. Car temp was good and no funny smells when I got there. First thing noticed was one radiator hose was warm and one was not. Also, fan was not blowing warm air from radiator. He thinks I should just replace thermostat to start. Does this sound right to everyone? Thanks again for all the help.

New problem. Got the car home and smoke (not a lot) was coming out of the vent by passenger side door. Any thoughts?
Yeah, you have a major league issue and yet are not paying attention............if you think your funds are limited now, just keep driving it………….
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Last edited by JFP in PA; 08-15-2010 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:16 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by gcorteen
UPDATE: Found a guy a few miles away that has done work on boxsters. Car ran fine on the trip there at speeds up to 75. Car temp was good and no funny smells when I got there. First thing noticed was one radiator hose was warm and one was not. Also, fan was not blowing warm air from radiator. He thinks I should just replace thermostat to start. Does this sound right to everyone? Thanks again for all the help.

New problem. Got the car home and smoke (not a lot) was coming out of the vent by passenger side door. Any thoughts?
Find a shop who knows what they are doing, and DO NOT drive the car until you get this solved (unless, of course, you'd like to buy a new motor).
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Old 08-17-2010, 08:22 AM   #19
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Hmmm, how can I convert my limited funds to depleted...
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Old 08-17-2010, 10:00 PM   #20
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Hmmm, how can I convert my limited funds to depleted...
I'll second that...
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