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Old 02-03-2009, 09:54 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 8
smoke from side vent?

new Box owner enjoying ride but got a few issues.
getting some smoke and a strong smell of burnt oil coming from the
passenger side air vent in front of the rear wheel. RMS was done before
I bought it and I was told there would be some residual oil still burnt off
but that was 8 months and 4000 miles ago. it doesn't smoke all the time
but about once a week in daily driving. no oil leaks noticed on the ground.
any suggestions?
also looking for recommends for a new set of tires. weather on Canada's
west coast is WET. wet traction is paramount. considering Goodyear GS D3.
Advan Sport or Falken FK452. tread life would be nice too, so leaning away from
PS2 or Pole Positions for this reason.
learning lots on this site so far, thanks to everyone!

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Old 02-04-2009, 04:13 AM   #2
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Pop the engine cover and take a look around. If you can, get it on a rack. If you smell burnt oil oil is getting on the exhaust. With that it has to be leaking forward and above that. Should be an easy find, hopeful it'll be an easy fix.

Good luck.
Sadly on the outside looking in.
"Drive it like the Doctor ordered"
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Old 02-04-2009, 07:37 AM   #3
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Location: Bay Area
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I've owned my Boxster for just over 18 months now and I've observed a lot of the issues that members have faced. This being one of them. I noticed this issue after I did my first oil change. Before the oil change this did not occur. At first it was the smell that made me notice. At a stop I could see smoke coming from the right side. It was not continous but there every so often. If I drove the car hard the smoke is more noticeable specially when I park the car. I jacked up the car and saw wet spots coming from my valve cover. I tightened up the valve cover bolts but this did not fix the issue. At this point I didn't want to replace the gasket just yet so I let it go. I drove it like that for a few months since the car is not driven daily and just lived with that leak. It wasn't noticeable on the floor. After few months I started to notice smoke from my exhaust when I firts started up in the morning, engine started to run rough when idling when cold. After researching the symptom the problem pointed to the AOS. I called several shops to see what they charge and man what a shocker. Due to my car being a Tip a private shop wanted to charge 15 hrs of labor @ $115.00 per hr since the Engine has to be dropped. The dealer wanted $900.00. From speaking to the Service Manager he said AOS failure is due to oil overfill. This really made me think. Reading the Forums owners have used 0W-40 and used anywhere from 9.0 to 9.5 quarts of oil. Most used 9.5 quarts. Owners manual recommends I think it was 15W-40 and 10W-40 as alternate depending on year.

I did the repair myself. Took about 2 hrs but most of that time was figuring out the best way to do this. Specially that hose clamp below. After replacing the AOS I filled the oil level with only 8.5 quarts. Previous oil change I filled with 9.2 qts. Ever since I did this the smoke from tailpipe disappeared and the car ran perfect. The oil leak from the side vent dissappeared.

I think part of our problem is we read too much about our cars over the internet. Yes we find a lof of imformation and most are good. But in this case I think we need to relook at this because this small issue (Oil Capacity & Proper Oil) could be the cause of our bigger issues. Lets start reading more into the Owners manual. This publication was made referencing how Porsche engineered and developed/tested these cars (Earlier cars) specially the type and Wt of oil to use. I personally believe this is contributing to the cause of the RMS and after reading the M96 engine review in Excellence this is contributing to IMS failure as well. It all starts with Engine oil overfull and we maybe using oil that is too thin. The combination of Oil overfill, oil being too thin creates too much internal pressure inside the engine that the AOS cannot maintain. Too much pressure has to be released somewhere so it start to leak to the weakest point of the seals on the engine i.e. RMS, valve cover etc. M96 engine review in Excellence showed that every engine that had IMS failure had oil in the IMS sealed bearing. Engine that did not have IMS failure had no oil in the sealed bearing. This is just my opinion so please do not flame.

Sorry for such a long post.
2008 Boxster S PDE2
02 Boxster S Blk on Blk(Stock for the Wife)
88 turbo S (My Toy) slightly modified
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:23 AM   #4
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I have replaced both valve cover gaskets to stop oil leaks, but the comments above are food for thought.
2000 Boxster S
1984 Carrera
1976 912E

1997 E36 M3/4/5
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:55 AM   #5
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Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 7,241
After an oil change, I smelled the same burning oil and saw a puff of smoke at idle coming from the passenger side motor fan area.

It was a cracked oil filler tube. Porsche made it out of "high performance" plastic and it's flex-tubing to boot, so it's very thin in the flexible area and cracks after just a few years.

The tube isn't expensive, but it takes an hour to wrestle the old one out and put the new one on and get it through the firewall.

Now another smell and smoke from that general area can be from your coolant overflow tank leaking or the hoses going to it have lost their seal at the point of entry/exit. Check that too.

Hope this helps!

'97 Boxster (Black Hole for 42,000 Dead Presidents and counting) - 122k
New motor, transmission, suspension, and on and on and on it goes...
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