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Old 02-04-2013, 07:00 AM   #1
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Water Pump Failure Process

What is the warning process if a water pump fails on an early (2000) Boxster? Are there sensors for a failure or does the engine have to reach a certain temperature? If so, what is that temp - is it measured via oil or water - or something else? Are there audible alarms or just dash blinky lights?

Thanks.

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Old 02-04-2013, 08:20 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by patssle View Post
What is the warning process if a water pump fails on an early (2000) Boxster? Are there sensors for a failure or does the engine have to reach a certain temperature? If so, what is that temp - is it measured via oil or water - or something else? Are there audible alarms or just dash blinky lights?

Thanks.
the signs for failing water pump will be noise and/or water leak from the pump.
you can inspect the pump by removing the belt, and spinning it with your hand.
the pulley should spin freely, with no play or noise.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:49 AM   #3
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Thanks! How about during vehicle operation - if it were to fail while driving?
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:09 AM   #4
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Mine just went on my 99. It was cold out so I had a lot of smoke coming out of the rear where the coolant was smoking off of the engine's headers. If you've lost all of your coolant the engine temp will also start to rise very quickly - if this happens STOP! and turn off the car and get a tow. It is an easy replacement to do on your own (a way to lift the car up is very useful though)
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:27 AM   #5
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Early warning indicators:
  • Coolent weeping from water pump (may or may not drip)
  • Small drops of coolent under engine
  • Smell of coolant from outside car or from passenger side engine compartment vent
  • Coolent repeatedly slightly low and needing "topping up"
  • Water pump bearing noise
  • Engine temp running slightly hotter than typical
When the water pump actually fails, you can expect one or more of the following;
  • Lots of coolent on ground
  • Clouds of smoke/steam from coolent burning off on engine
  • Heavy smell of coolent from outside car or from passenger side engine compartment vent
  • Engine temp going to max
  • Engine temp warning light turning on indicating max temp reached
  • Engine temp warning light flashing indicating need to shut down engine immediately
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:33 PM   #6
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Thanks! How about during vehicle operation - if it were to fail while driving?
let me make it easier for you.
look at your odometer. if it reads over 70K, do yourself a favor and replace the pump.
70K is 10K more then the recommended on the Porsche service book. the damage that can be caused by a failing pump doesn't worth it.
beside the risk of over heating, the pump impeller is made of plastic.
when the pump files, small pieces of plastic can go on the coolant circuit, and can clog
small coolant passages.
i know you didn't ask (yet), but yes, go with a new OEM pump.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:43 PM   #7
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When it's going out, you will smell antifreeze. But you don't have much time left at that point because antifreeze is streaming out.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:50 PM   #8
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By engine temp being at max, does that mean the light only comes on when the needle hits the red at 250 degreees?

The car I'm buying has 46k miles - so not quite up there yet in mileage. But something I will be considered if I have or do any work on it. And of course it can fail at anytime - just wanting to know what to look for!

Last edited by patssle; 02-04-2013 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:57 PM   #9
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No two failures are the same. Impellers can fail and bearings can fail, then impellers can begin to spin on the shafts. Being reactive is when things get expensive.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:48 PM   #10
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I have a 2000S and it is on its third water pump. I changed it out strictly as a precautionary step to avoid any future issues. There were absolutely no outward signs of failure, but after removing it, there were three failed impeller blades. The cost of replacing the water pump is relatively low compared to the cost of a repairing the motor if serious damage happens from a cooling system failure. If your car is on its original water pump, I would put it on the list of things to address in the near future. Waiting for it to fail is playing Russian roulette with your engine.

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Old 02-04-2013, 06:04 PM   #11
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Did the three pieces of broken impellor blade come out in the flush, or are there still pieces of plastic floating (possible clogging pipes) around inside the motor?
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:21 AM   #12
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Original water pump failed @ 32,000 mi. 1st replacement pump failed @ 68,000 mi. 2nd replacement pump failed @ 95,000 mi.

So, I'm on pump #4 @ 98,600 mi. 3 FAILURES in 95,000 mi. I'm 2nd owner, bought car just prior to failure @ 68,000. Thought it must be a fluke. Now I know better.

R & R pump every 30,000 mi.

2000 986 base.

Last edited by jotoole; 02-05-2013 at 04:22 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:44 AM   #13
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I replaced mine with a Beck Arnley 131-2307 Water Pump which came with a metal impeller as opposed to the oem's plastic, I am hoping that if nothing else, the fins won't break off and cause more damage.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:44 AM   #14
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Metal impellers are a no no. They can damage the block when they break. Why do you think Porsche uses the plastic. My 2000S with TIP, 78,000 miles with the original water pump and original coolant. Now, if you live in a cold climate and it freezes a lot this may cause the plastic to weaken, I live in Florida. Just my opinion.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:37 AM   #15
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Calendar time is the killer for impellers, not mileage.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:35 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grim1ock77 View Post
I replaced mine with a Beck Arnley 131-2307 Water Pump which came with a metal impeller as opposed to the oem's plastic, I am hoping that if nothing else, the fins won't break off and cause more damage.
When the bearings start to wear, and shaft begins to wobble (as all water pump shafts do over time), those metal impeller blades can make contact with the engine case and do some damage.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:23 PM   #17
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Mine just failed catastrophically. When I left the garage no noise, no drips on the floor, no smell. The pump had been replaced 1.5 years ago and the coolant level had not moved more than an ounce or two since then. The old pump was flawless and spun smooth and all that. All of a sudden near Sonoma the 308 that was behind me started to hang back a ways. A mile or so later along with clouds of steam the low coolant light came on and 5 gallons of coolant was on the road in minutes. I have yet to pull it apart again, but I can see where the pulley has hit the pump and any water that goes into the car comes strait back out.

The first time the Boxster has seen a flatbed....

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Old 02-05-2013, 02:34 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKnowles View Post
Did the three pieces of broken impellor blade come out in the flush, or are there still pieces of plastic floating (possible clogging pipes) around inside the motor?
Here's the link to the original post.
http://986forum.com/forums/general-discussions/35434-go-ahead-procrastinate-like-i-did.html
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:32 PM   #19
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I would just like to point out the irony of me making this thread then my water pump failed after 4 days of ownership.

I'm never making a thread asking about a failure process again!
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:04 PM   #20
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This has probably been said here before but I would think that if the impeller blades fail, one should dump the oil pan and valve cowers to look for plastic bits before they clog some passages with catastrophic consequences?

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