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Old 11-12-2017, 08:37 AM   #1
1998 Boxster Silver/Red
 
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Trunk open... no coolant in reservoir... long...

Bought the 98 a few months ago. All good. Maintenance included cleaning the throttle body... and last week I cleaned the radiators. They didn't look much unlike the pictures I've seen on here. Dirty. Anyhow...

It's been driven 40 miles here... there...everywhere. Always returned home. So...

Drove it to Vegas Thursday morning. 240 miles. All good. Did some light city driving... 10 miles here... 10 miles there.

Saturday afternoon I make the return trip (the 15 into SoCal). After having successfully driven it TO Vegas without a hiccup I had more confidence driving it back. It really likes ~3900 RPM and ~90 MPH. Anyhow... after the 240 mile return trip I pull it into the driveway.. park... run a few things into the house... come back out... HUGE coolant spill.

I walked to the bottom of the driveway where, when I reach it and because it has a slight incline, I slow down the car... clear the driveway incline... and gas it into the driveway. So...

There at that incline was an obviously large dump of coolant... and a stream, pencil width, of coolant that followed me he final 25 feet into the driveway... and the big spill/dump. Something tells me that when I gave it gas after that incline... the dump stopped... but when I reached my destination, 25 feet away... the big dump.

I've read about the coolant spewing all over the trunk so, with trepidation... I lifted the trunk lid. Zero coolant. That was a relief. So... it's getting dark and I figure I'll check everything first morning light.


That is where "can't get the trunk open" ends. So...

Trunk open. There was condensation above the reservoir cap. OK. I've read that is acceptable in this case.

Pulled back the fabric... examined the floor... sides... zero coolant. Bone dry. Examined the tank... looks white... no leaks... hoses look great... all good there.

Pulled the engine front cover. Bone dry inside... no signs of leaks... hoses look exactly like they did the last time I poked around in there: a week ago.

Now... I noticed last night... and the evidence remained this morning... that there was coolant that appeared to be sprayed onto the inner rear passenger tire. I flashed around up in the well... car lifted... suspension relaxed... didn't see any sign of from where the coolant originated.

All that said...

The reservoir tank is empty... well... there's just residual coolant on the bottom.

Should I fill the reservoir with distilled water... put the tank valve up... drive it a hair... check the tank level... fill if necessary... drive... check... repeat?

I've read about hot spots... that concerns me... if there's air in there, etc.

I look forward to the advice. Thank you.

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Old 11-12-2017, 10:31 AM   #2
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Bump, I'm curious on this one. The coolant in the right side likely came out of the coolant relief line. No idea why but that is where it is. Good luck.
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:48 AM   #3
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Bump, I'm curious on this one. The coolant in the right side likely came out of the coolant relief line. No idea why but that is where it is. Good luck.
That's the safe assumption as I just returned from driving it to operating temperature... after adding 1.5 gallons distilled water... driving down a very steep hill, 1/2 mile, twice, with the expansion valve open... front engine cover off... heater on full blast... no smell... no leak. Reservoir tank full.

Now... on my drive back from Vegas I did drive it rather spiritedly. The drive to, it's first long distance road trip of mine in it, I was careful... not "beating" it. The return trip I would say so much beating it, but, when you're looking at an 8 mile straight stretch, the in the middle of BFE, yeah... I drove it spiritedly. That was 70 miles from home. The last 8 miles home was urban traffic... so the Rs were down considerably. To my discredit, I failed to look at the temperature gauge when I exited the car last night.

I'm going to check on the tank level a few more times... run it in the neighborhood...

If anyone would like to chime in on what they believe may have caused that line to spew in the right rear... I'd like to hear it. It happened for a reason... and I'll be a little anxious driving it for a 20... 30 mile run without knowing what might have been the root cause.

Thank you.
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Old 11-12-2017, 11:46 AM   #4
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I'd start by cleaning the radiators.
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Old 11-12-2017, 11:50 AM   #5
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Check he connections to the radiator
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Old 11-12-2017, 12:14 PM   #6
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Check he connections to the radiator
Interestingly... I had cleaned the radiators Tuesday afternoon, just two days before that 500 mile RT. They were just about as crummy looking as other's on here, but nothing extraordinary. I only cleaned the radiators because I didn't know when last it had been done... and there was a fair amount of debris in front of the condensers... and the usual round bunch of debris on the radiators themselves. Got a decent brushing, blowing, degreasing, and hosing.

About 10 minutes ago I returned from a 5 mile loop... reaching operating temperature, again, (did so about a half hour ago), and no leaks.. no smell of coolant (like last night, although I remember when exiting the car I smelled the coolant, thought nothing of it and, literally, walked away from the dump.

Now... the two dumps it took in the driveway surely was more than the 1.5 gallons of distilled I put in the expansion tank which, as of this writing, remains at the level to which I am accustomed. Again, the tank valve is open... to bleed off trapped air.

How long should I leave that open? When will I know that there is any air in the system or... is there air in the system if the tank dumped through the rear line?

Arghhh. I'd just like to know what was the root cause.

Thank you.
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Old 11-12-2017, 12:18 PM   #7
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I wouldn't worry yet. It happens from time to time if you search the forum, you'll see it.
The coolant tank drains to the right rear wheel well through a small hose. Consider a new coolant cap. Refill with distilled water and lift the vent valve for a day.
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Old 11-12-2017, 12:19 PM   #8
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It could very well be a bad radiator cap.
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Old 11-12-2017, 12:37 PM   #9
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Thank you for the reassurance. I did order the new cap, mine was the 00. Will be here Thursday.

Thank you.
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Old 11-13-2017, 03:51 AM   #10
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Did you look at the water pump while under there?? Check it for coolant stains in or around there and the thermostat.
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Old 11-13-2017, 03:59 AM   #11
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Did you look at the water pump while under there?? Check it for coolant stains in or around there and the thermostat.
Was just about to say that, first signs of a failing pump.
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Old 11-13-2017, 07:33 AM   #12
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Was just about to say that, first signs of a failing pump.
Everything appeared normal, and dry. I drove about 8 miles with the front engine cover off. No smell of coolant. Returned to the driveway... no weeping... no smell.

Now... I put in 1.5 gallons of distilled. Is that going to be OK? Should I purchase some pink... raise the rear end... pull the cap... slight revs... move that existing... and add coolant if the level drops?

Thank you.
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:57 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Starter986 View Post
Everything appeared normal, and dry. I drove about 8 miles with the front engine cover off. No smell of coolant. Returned to the driveway... no weeping... no smell.

Now... I put in 1.5 gallons of distilled. Is that going to be OK? Should I purchase some pink... raise the rear end... pull the cap... slight revs... move that existing... and add coolant if the level drops?

Thank you.
Put it this way I had the exact same symptoms as you for about a week or so, then steam came out of the side vents followed by a large gushing of water.

As for the distilled it's fine in the emergency but not really for keeping in there.

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