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Old 06-29-2011, 06:40 PM   #1
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Water Pump Failure

I was driving home from work on Fri in the Boxster and stopped at my mom's house. As I shut the engine off I thought I smelled antifreeze. Went inside for 10 min and she wanted me to sharpen the blade on her lawn mower, so I pulled it out of the garage to take it off. Still smelled antifreeze. Looked over and there was a 4' puddle under the front of the engine and a nice little stream coming out. I quickly got the blade off and hustled the 3 mi to home. Watched the temp gauge and it was doing fine. Got 1/4 mi from home and the check coolant level light came on. Got her in the garage and shut off without any issues. The steam was still flowing.

Called Woodhouse and they asked if I could drive it in. I said it had lost a lot of fluid and I didn't want to start it up again. Plus they're 10 mi away. I still have 6 mo of warranty, so they said to call Porsche and they'll arrange a flat bed. But it wouldn't get there in time to get it to Woodhouse before they closed and I didn't want it sitting outside overnight. So I called Porsche at 6:45am on Mon. They said they'd have a truck there by 8am. At 7:30 I called Woodhouse to let them know I was coming. They asked if I could ride to the dealership with the tow truck and I said I didn't know. They said if I couldn't, they'd send someone out with a loaner, otherwise I could pick it up when I got there with the truck. The driver arrived a little before 8:30 and it didn't take him long to get her loaded and strapped in (I had already put the tow hook on). He said I could ride with him, so off we went. We were driving in rush hr traffic and he started texting.

Only took me 10 min at Woodhouse to get the paperwork done and on my way. You see below what they gave me.

They called about lunch time on Mon and said the water pump was bad and they'd have it ready to go Tue after work. I called them Tue morning and said if they had a serp belt in stock it would make sense to go ahead and put it on. When I called Tue afternoon they said it would be ready at 5pm. I got there a little before 5 and they were putting the finishing touches on the detailing.

I work from home on Wed, so I was going to take her out to get some lunch. Before I could back out of the garage I got the check coolant msg. I shut her off and looked under the coolant cap - there was no antifreeze to be seen below the MIN level. I had some Havoline antifreeze but didn't think it was a good idea to mix it with Porsche coolant. Called them up and asked them if that was OK. They said no, that I should bring it in. I said I'd be there at 3:30. They had her for about 15 min and when they brought her back, they also had a gallon jug with a quart of coolant in it so I could top it off myself if needed. Nice.

Woodhouse was top-notch in taking care of me.

I should mention that Punkin is 3 1/2 yrs old and has almost 26K mi on her. The service description said the water pump pulley had excessive play in the bearing. The impeller was supposedly not damaged. I know water pumps are a weak spot, but was surprised it would shoot craps that soon. But it was better to break now rather than 6 mo from now. And a couple of wks ago I took her on a 100 mi golf excursion and it was very fortunate that it didn't break then. So in several ways I feel fortunate. All it cost me was the price of the serp belt.




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Old 06-29-2011, 06:53 PM   #2
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Glad you were able to get it taken care of so quickly and without more hassles.

What did you think of the big 5-door?
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:35 PM   #3
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This is why we state water pumps have a life span of 3 years, despite mileage. Changing the pump electively every 3 years is the best way to ensure you don;t have situations that put you on the side of the road.
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddb
What did you think of the big 5-door?
I've got some impressions and will give a full report after work today.
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:49 AM   #5
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I hope you gave it a good shake down and drove it like a rental!!
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Old 06-30-2011, 02:39 PM   #6
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This was the Panamera 4, with a sticker of $87K

The positives:
- ventilated seats. I wish I had these.
- great brakes. I was impressed how well they got this big rig stopped. The front rotors are massive.
- athletic ride. Not too harsh, not too soft. It was comfortable but you felt like you could corner on a dime.
- radar. No, not the kind that looks for constables on patrol but the kind that tells you when you're too close to something. This is a big car, a little help is appreciated. It does ding at you if someone pulls too close at a stop light. Not sure if I like that.

The neutrals:
- the manual PDK. I only tried it for a little bit. Couldn't get it to up shift smoothly. Not sure if I was supposed to do that slight gas pedal lift when shifting (like in a reg manual), but the manual shifts weren't smooth. The down shifts weren't much better. I seemed to be down shifting too soon. This would probably improve with practice but I didn't have enough time in empty places to get it better.
- it's w-i-d-e. The last big car I owned was a '76 Cougar, so I'm not used to driving something this big.
- the B pillar. Since visibility isn't good in a Boxster, I do a quick look over the shoulder when changing lanes. In the Pan, the B pillar is right where I look, so I can't tell if someone's there. The outside mirrors have an odd shape and don't give you a good view.
- cramped interior? I'm 5'10" & 195 and fit just fine. Not sure how bigger people would fit. Which is odd since the car is so wide. It just feels a bit confined.

The negatives:
- the auto PDK. There's nothing wrong with the trans, just the way they've programmed it to perform for mpg. There's a little square screen that shows what gear you're in. It lopes along in 5th gear at 35mph. It never starts in 1st gear. So you just feel like you're floating along. But as soon as you step on it, it jumps to life and performs.
- mailbox slot rear window view. It's small. You only see the midpoint of radiator to half way up the windshield of the vehicle behind you.
- hard to judge speed. I'd look at the speedo and could be doing 8-10 mph faster or slower than I wanted to go. It was hard to tell. There was no sensation of speed.

I didn't ring it out so I can't tell you where 10/10ths capability is. Maybe it's my conservative nature, or my upbringing to respect things that aren't yours, or crashing an $87K car. Sorry if I've disappointed but these are my initial reactions. The service mgr said Panameras are capable DE cars and I think he's right. I have no frame of reference compared to the competition (BMW 5 series, etc). But I think the 4 door Jag is much better looking.
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Old 06-30-2011, 02:51 PM   #7
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Thanks for your review, husker boxster. I didn't like the exterior looks of the Panamera initially, but it has grown on me. I do like the interior, and it looks like Porsche is using similar interiors throughout the lineup. I too love the idea of ventilated seats.

Have you had to add more coolant since finding the reservoir empty?

How is the Cayman working out for you?

Thanks,

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Old 06-30-2011, 09:04 PM   #8
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I agree, the interior design / layout is pleasing. I like the dash layout. The nav system was easy to figure out without having to hunt and peck.

Also forgot to mention you lose an extra 1 1/2" of rear window view when the spoiler comes up.

Maybe the looks will grow on me. I'm a bit agnostic towards it at this point. However, some young man behind me at a stop light thought it was photo worthy. You certainly don't see many in my neck of the woods.


I drove the Box to work today and no coolant lights. I'll check the level on Sat as I will be changing the air filter and cabin filter. But she appears to be full and running fine.

The Cayman is doing great. I've owned it just under 4 mo and have put 5K mi on it. I had to buy a set of tires for it, which was unexpected (they looked good in the pics). The rears really needed replacing and I debated whether to buy 2 PS2s to match the fronts or go a full set of something else. Decided to go with a full set of Conti DWs and really like them. The ride is much improved. Buying a 2nd Porsche (along with a set of tires) has been a stretch. I've throtled my lifestyle back a bit as I rebuild my safety net. But I think I timed the market just right. Caymen asking prices have gone up $3-4K since the weather has gotten better. With their different options, the Cayman and Box have unique personalities. Each also appeals to different demographics. Younger people really like the Box and people over 30 really like the Cayman.

I was talking to my golf league partner recently about both Porsches. He said I was pretty lucky. I said I know I've got a good life when the toughest decision I have to make everyday is decide which Porsche I'm going to drive to work.

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