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Old 06-05-2017, 03:42 PM   #1
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Hello to all, and now a coolant question...

So hello everyone, I'm Adam, and a new user to this forum. I've been reading up on everything for quite a while now, and can't tell you how much I love this place. This forum (and the helpful people in it) are part of the reason I decided to pull the trigger and buy my 03 base boxster 2 months ago. I've learned a lot so far, but above all else...how useful the search function can be. I have wanted a p-car all my life, and am happy i've finally got one. I'm making excuses to run out for a gallon of milk just to hear the sound of the engine, and get that silly smile on my face.

All of that said, I've got my first mechanical problem, and am looking for some thoughts. I had it out for a drive Saturday for a couple of hours, and when I got it home my father in law said he could smell coolant. I couldn't (and still can't even thought it's on the garage floor), but after the night it is clear I have a leak. I thought it was a loose or corroded tube, but appears to be leaking at the bottom of the water pump. I'll try to upload a pic of what I'm seeing, but since I'm new to this board, not sure it'll come through.

Thanks in advance for any help.



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Old 06-05-2017, 03:46 PM   #2
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Good, the pic came through.

I originally thought the spring clamp by the right red arrow is where the problem was, so replaced with a screw clamp after making sure the hose is as tight as I could get it. But now the leak seems to be coming from the left red arrow, which I think is the bottom of the pump.

I should add that this is a two owner car before me, with 104,000 on it. I've driven it about 1000 miles since I've got it, and only now has this popped up. Had a ppi done, but this wasn't a problem at that point I guess.
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Old 06-05-2017, 04:20 PM   #3
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That's where the waterpump is so that would be my first guess as it's leaking from that area but it's hard to completely say without looking at it in person. Of course the two hose clamps on one outlet is not a good sign and kind of a shady repair
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Old 06-05-2017, 05:11 PM   #4
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Thanks woody, I appreciate the input. The two clamps was my doing in trying to figure out the point of failure. The spring clip was on there, and I just slid it down to try a screw clamp. But when I opened the coolant cap to relieve the pressure, the leak seemed to be at the pump instead.

It's looking like I'll be replacing the pump, and so doing a total coolant drain and flush as well, so I'll replace all of the spring clips with screw clamps.
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Old 06-05-2017, 07:36 PM   #5
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My first thought was that perhaps someone reused the original spring clamp, they were not made to be reused. It's a great idea to do a preventative water pump replacement, change the seal, and do a coolant flush. You might think about a low temp thermostat since you will have all of the coolant out, and the motor mount. It's a lot easier to change the motor mount with the WP out, and they only last about 100k. Also, inspect the hoses for any excessive stiffness or cracking.
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Old 06-06-2017, 03:49 AM   #6
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I would add: Read up on Burping and purging Coolant system. Many folks struggle here to get all the air out of these Boxster coolant systems as there is SO much piping under the car. There are some great posts on the proper way to do it.

One question I have is; What exactly is a LOW TEMP THERMOSTAT? How is it different from Stock? Is this a cold weather T-Stat or Hot weather T-Stat? Does it keep the temp below the 180 on the dummy gauge ?
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Old 06-06-2017, 03:57 AM   #7
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You may want to invest in an AirLift system: it makes refilling the system very easy; no need to burp and purge the system afterward.
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Old 06-06-2017, 05:27 AM   #8
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A low temp t-stat opens at a lower temperature. In my experience, I have found no difference in the final operating temperature of the system (according to the gauge) once the car has completely warmed up, with or without the low temperature thermostat.
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Old 06-06-2017, 05:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewArt View Post
A low temp t-stat opens at a lower temperature. In my experience, I have found no difference in the final operating temperature of the system (according to the gauge) once the car has completely warmed up, with or without the low temperature thermostat.
That's because the operating temp is the same regardless of which thermostat is used. As you stated, it just opens at a lower temp, so the coolant starts to circulate sooner.
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Old 06-06-2017, 06:51 AM   #10
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Yes, most likely a seeping water pump.

In the future, the easiest place to smell the coolant from engine area is at engine compartment vent on the right side of the car (engine intake is on the left, engine compartment vent/fan is on the right).

Here is what it will look like if you wait longer (like I did):

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Old 06-06-2017, 08:20 AM   #11
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That's because the operating temp is the same regardless of which thermostat is used. As you stated, it just opens at a lower temp, so the coolant starts to circulate sooner.
Actually, is more due the inaccuracy of the factory gauge. On fully instrumented cars, there is a significant difference in both coolant and oil temps.
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Old 06-06-2017, 09:23 AM   #12
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thstone, so I will NOT be waiting until mine looks like that. Ouch.

Ok, so I've ordered the replacement pump, and doing a coolant drain and flush (maybe 2 since I don't know what was in there before). In reading the forum search on this, it seems that replacing the thermostat is required if your impeller blades are broken, but if not (and it was working fine before) no need to add one more thing to the list. I'll also check all of the hoses condition during the draining, and replace any that seem bad.

I'd love to buy/use the AirLift system to refill, but not sure my compressor is big enough (and now I'd be buying a new compressor and AirLift, and the costs continue to climb). Want to do this right, but also without ending up replacing everything the first time I open her up.

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