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Old 11-17-2007, 02:55 PM   #1
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2001 Boxster S with Porous Engine Block Leaking Coolant

Hello,

This is my first post and it is not the ideal way to start. I have recently been informed that my 2001 Boxster S with 30,000 miles has a very small coolant leak caused by a porous engine block. This was confirmed by pressure testing and visual examination by both a Porsche dealer and an independent Porsche specialist. The leak is quite small at this time and may have been present for quite some time, as I only noticed it when the coolant check window showed a modest decline in fluid.

The coolant leak is at the bottom of the block just above the seal to the oil pan I believe. One of the pictures shows a drip of coolant coming off the pan and the other shows the crusty area of the block which it trickles out of.

What shoud I do as it currently is not presenting a noticeable problem beyond the obvious? No coolant has had to be added in 5 months. I was advised that the only solution would be a new engine, but that I might as well just keep driving it since it appears to be fine. My concern is that the pores are not isolated to this one area and may result in a mixing of oil and coolant elsewhere with engine failure being the end result. My instinct is to trade this car and move on.

Any thoughts and advice are very appreciated.

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Old 11-17-2007, 03:27 PM   #2
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Have you contacted Porsche to see if they will offer any type of warranty?
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Old 11-17-2007, 03:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCSMCS1
My instinct is to trade this car and move on.
Bingo! Good luck.

If you going to ditch it at a dealer just use it as a trade in towards another Boxster S.
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Old 11-17-2007, 05:41 PM   #4
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First, I would ask your local Porsche dealer for an inspection by their factory
service representative for a possible goodwill solution.

They may offer a full or partial goodwill gesture (example: 50/50 split), don't look
a gift horse in the mouth. If they can't go for the entire repair, don't pull one
of those "I won't be happy unless you pay for the whole thing" scenes
because they have no interest in paying a large portion of an out-of-warranty
repair unless you assure them that you will be 100% satisfied (whether you are
or not). The offer could be withdrawn if you are not going to be happy with
whatever they are able to do. Trust me, I do this for a living.

If no factory assistance is forthcoming, this is what I would do (I'm NOT kidding!).

If you're talking about that little dark area in the "crotch" of the casting.......
I would blast the area with brake cleaner (and hopefully, the leak is so slow
that the exposed pores in the casting are momentarily dry).........then I would
dab the area liberally with lady's clear nail polish. I have done this on motorcycle
engine cases that had the exact same kind of defect except that hot oil was
coming out. The problem never came back. The nail polish got into the pores
of the casting and if anything, the engine heat seems to cure it.

I can't remember who originally told me about this but IT WORKS and seems
to be permanent.

Good Luck!
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Old 11-17-2007, 05:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wvicary
Have you contacted Porsche to see if they will offer any type of warranty?

Yeah, I agree that you should talk to Porsche about it. If not the dealer then find out how to contact the regional or national office about it. Also see what kind of laws your state has about cars with these types of manufacturing defects. I know a lot of people on this board won't agree but because of the terrible quality of these cars I have bought my first and last Porsche. ( 2002 Boxster S)
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Old 11-17-2007, 08:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blinkwatt
Bingo! Good luck.

If you going to ditch it at a dealer just use it as a trade in towards another Boxster S.

Well I certainly wouldn't sell it to a private party with a potential ticking time bomb nor just a coolant issue which can't be addressed by other than an engine swap. As far as another Boxster goes( I assume you are kidding), I would have to take a pass on that since this is the first time I have ever had to worry about the integrity of the engine block, from Porsche no less ( this is my third). I have had this car for 5 1/2 years with very few problems until now and mistakenly believed the whole casting issue was resolved in 1998; apparently not.

The most shocking thing is how unsympathetic the dealer is as though any car owner should expect an occasional flawed engine block. The reality is that this defect was there from the moment the block was cast. The solution failing an offer from PCNA to help in this seems to be to either roll the dice or just trade it in. Maybe the next owner will get it with a CPO warranty, but my guess is a porous block isn't even covered.
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Old 11-17-2007, 08:44 PM   #7
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986fan,

Your solution using nail polish seems like an excellent idea in terms of addressing the current minor coolant leak, but my fear is that there are other pores in this block( internal ones) that may do a lot more damage that I can't see.

If I can't get Porsche to take ownership of a huge manufacturing screw up, then I think I will reluctantly have to let this car go. It isn't too enjoyable to drive it now anyway wondering if it will suffer some catastrophic failure which will cost me half the car's current value.
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Old 11-18-2007, 03:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCSMCS1
...........but my fear is that there are other pores in this block( internal ones) that may do
a lot more damage that I can't see.
I seriously doubt that there are any other flaws other than this one tiny spot.
You are extremely paranoid and disappointed, I can tell, but thinking that the
whole casting is pourous or thin is a non-issue.......isn't going to happen.
Just make the 5 minute repair I described and drive on.............

Last edited by 986fan; 11-18-2007 at 03:59 AM.
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Old 11-18-2007, 04:54 AM   #9
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If that case is aluminum, you can certainly have it welded up. There are plenty of shops that have aluminum welders that can easily clean the area and put a little metal back there. We weld aluminum trans cases all the time. I wouldnt worry about it!
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Old 11-18-2007, 07:06 AM   #10
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Porsche isn't the only one with porous engine blocks. Everyones beloved, unbreakable Honda has had the same problem with their V6 engines... there is a TSB issued on the problem and Honda's solution is to clean the area off and seal it with a product called JB Weld. Better not buy a Honda every again.....
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Old 11-18-2007, 07:13 AM   #11
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Now you have no excuse not to drive it hard.
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Old 11-18-2007, 07:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wvicary
Porsche isn't the only one with porous engine blocks. Everyones beloved, unbreakable Honda has had the same problem with their V6 engines... there is a TSB issued on the problem and Honda's solution is to clean the area off and seal it with a product called JB Weld. Better not buy a Honda every again.....

The Honda V6's are leaking coolant out of the block as well?

I don't see this as a real big problem if it is just going to be a small coolant leak. I have received three solutions now to fixing it if Porsche ends up not deciding to work with me on the engine replacement.

I was more concerned about the likelihood of additional pore related problems elsewhere causing oil/coolant mixes.
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Old 11-18-2007, 08:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCSMCS1
I was more concerned about the likelihood of additional pore related problems elsewhere causing oil/coolant mixes.
Jeeesh!........You must have had a 944 or 951 before (I had both from new -
no problems though).

BTW........I believe that the Honda blocks are cast in Anna, Ohio

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