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Everything posted by plima

  1. I'm a Mac only guy, too, and have been using Durametric s/w on my MacBook Pro with Parallels and Windoze XP. Works perfectly. I'm sure Bootcamp will also work, but Parallels is much simpler.
  2. It is possibly the vacuum booster leaking down. Normally, the vacuum holds for days after running. When there is vacuum, the pedal feels normal, but if there is no vacuum, the pedal will be very hard. The brakes still are working, but there is no assist until the engine is running and vacuum is restored. It that is the case, it isn't an urgent issue, but I'd still get it fixed, since if it were to get worse, it might reduce or eliminate the power assist to the brakes.
  3. I too have a 2008 S (108k miles) and a Durametric. After a few weird codes I contacted Durametric and they told me they had problems with the Siemens ECU in this car. They gave me a beta ECU module which works well and now I get the same P2181 on a regular basis. At least with this sw you will get the correct codes. But $800 for a thermostat seems excessive to me
  4. I have an '08 "S" as well, and have gotten 2181 regularly (about 3x per year) Since it is very unlikely to be the thermostat with this infrequent occurrence, I have been happily ignoring it. I'd clear the codes and see how quickly it reoccurs.
  5. I use Michelin Latitude Alpins on my 2008S here in Carson City. They are fantastic in the snow, and, most important, they are very good tires in the dry. We get plenty of snow in the Sierra, but often have clear roads between storms. Highly recommend these tires.
  6. I also have a 2008 Cayenne S with PCM version 2.1 and the s/w version is indeed 4.1 as you found.
  7. Parallels is a great windoze solution for Mac. I've tried the dual boot/bootcamp approach and it isn't nearly as flexible (choosing a fixed partition size with which you are stuck doesn't work for me). I haven't tried the Durametric solution yet, but all other USB-windoze products I've used work fine with Parallels (I'm running version 5)
  8. I think your analysis is correct. The alternator voltage is correct, and the battery voltage is too low to charge the battery. The drop you measure is the problem, and is most likely occurring at the connection at the starter motor. Unless there has been a crimp or cut in the wire between the alternator and the starter, the connectors on the wire or, most likely, the tightness of the connection at the starter are the culprit. Good analysis, and good luck.
  9. There are no electronics inside the headlight assembly that affect the turn signals. The ground connection for the fog light, side marker light, and turn signal is common to the three, and is a brown wire in the connector. The power to the turn signal is a black wire with white stripe. Inside the assembly there is only the wire, light socket, and the bulb. Either their diagnostics are very poor or there might be a problem with the socket itself. In any case, it should be repairable (a good DIY).
  10. I drive a 2004 GT3, track and road, and think that the Porsche factory knows more about oil than I do. I stick with Mobil 1 0W-40 and think it is wise to do so. I do change the oil every spring before track season starts; some years this means 7K miles, other years this has been 3K miles. With 36K miles on my car including many track days, I do not burn any more than "one or two bars" of oil in a year of driving. My first 911 (1968 "L") used 1 qt in 1K-1.5K miles; technology has gotten much better in 40 years. Btw, one very good reason for the "0W" part of the oil rating is the cold start lubrication is better, and the variocam mechanisms work.
  11. I just had another thought. If, when you start the car, the starter turns over quickly (i.e. it sounds normal, not slow like a dying battery) then perhaps the voltage drop is occurring between the alternator and the starter (possibly the cable connection at either end). The charging current flows from the alternator (where the voltage seems to be OK) to the starter. From there it goes to the battery through a very heavy cable (since that cable carries the high current from the battery required to run the starter). The basic troubleshooting path is to find the "missing" volt. Starting with 13.5 at the alternator, you should see about that at the battery when all is fine. The problem is the drop in voltage, most likely from a poor connection (high resistance) somewhere in this path.
  12. Okay, this part confuses me. Are you saying that anytime the battery is below 12.6 volts, the alternator won't charge it? Meaning, for example, if I left my headlights on for a couple of hours and the battery drained down to 10 volts...driving my car would not recharge the battery after I got it jumpstarted like other cars would? The battery terminal voltage tells the story. If it is charged up and not connected to anything it will show something like 12.4-12.6 volts. If the voltage is below this, then the battery is discharging. If the voltage is above about 13.5 then the battery is being charged. The alternator provides the higher terminal voltage that allows charge to go into the battery. When the engine is not running or when there is a bad connection or excessive load, the battery terminal voltage will be below the level for charge to go into it, and thus the battery will discharge.
  13. You have nearly identified the problem in your last update. The voltage at the alternator (which, I'm pretty certain includes the voltage regulator internally) of 13.8 volts is adequate to keep the battery from discharging, and, in fact, would actually charge the battery adequately at normal temperatures. The problem is that the terminal voltage at the battery is not high enough; anything below about 12.6 will indicate the battery is discharging, not charging. There are a couple of possibilities that I can think of. First (and I think most likely) is that you have a high resistance connection "around" the battery. I'd check the positive cable connection first; make sure the cable is robust (no broken wires), connector is clean and tightens well to the battery. Check the negative cable likewise, but, in addition, check where the negative cable attaches to the body. If it is partially broken, loose, or corroded, that is the source of the high resistance. The other possibility (I think much less likely) is that there is a high current load near the battery. I'd watch the voltage at the battery when the engine is shut off; if it doesn't drop significantly from the already low voltage you are reporting, then at least with the engine off there isn't much additional load. With the engine running it is much harder to find this kind of load; an ammeter in series with one lead of the battery will show which direction and how much current is flowing. I hope this helps.
  14. That behavior sounds very much like a nearly dead battery. If you can get it charged I'm pretty sure you are ok to go. The battery may be near end of life, but the immediate problem is just that it got discharged while the blade was in the ignition switch.
  15. I track my '04 GT3 and drive it on the street the whole year. I've always seen good oil pressure, even on hot days on the track. I believe that Porsche knows what they are doing by recommending synthetic 0W-40 for these cars. The engine wear on cold start is usually much more than many many miles on the road, and the 0W rated oils help reduce this, as well as allowing the variocam mechanism to work correctly. Stick with 0W-40 in my opinion.
  16. The battery won't charge when its terminal voltage drops much below 13 volts. The voltage at the alternator seems about right. When you see a drop in voltage between the alternator and the battery like you are observing there is an excessive drop in voltage in the wiring (unlikely) or a connection (much more likely). The drop in voltage at each connection depends on the amount of current flowing; thus it is much smaller when there are no loads (like lights, air con, etc.). I'd check for voltage drops at each connection point (like at the alternator itself, or at the battery. My guess is you will find the missing half volt or so at one of these connectors. If so, remove the cable, clean mating surfaces, and reconnect tightly. Good luck.
  17. My car is a 2004 GT3 and I've noticed a behavior with the fans and coolant temperature that I thought unusual. On the track, driving hard, on a hot day (over 85 deg F) the coolant never goes over 180 deg F. On the road, again on a hot day, in slow traffic, I have seen the needle move somewhat above 180 deg F. The factory shop manual wiring shows (for the regular 996) two fans, each with 2 speeds (full speed-no resistor, and slow speed-ballast resistor). Control is via 4 relays (positions 19, 20, 21, and 22 in the relay bracket): one each for left side-slow, right side-slow, left-fast, and right-fast. There are 2 fuses, one for each fan. What I found with my car is there is no relay in 19 or 20. When I short relay 21 (fan 2-stage 1) pins 30 to 87 nothing happens. This means either both ballast resistors are out on my car or there aren't any connections to them. When I short relay 22 (fan 2-stage 2) pins 30 to 87 both fans come on (and I'm pretty sure they are on high speed). I'm guessing my car is a normal GT3; it has never had any work done to it. But I cannot find any documentation to support my findings. I conclude also that in slow traffic the temperature must rise more than I've observed before the fans go on at full speed. Updated on 27mar08: as Rob in VA and Pilot_951S correctly pointed out on Rennlist, the GT3 has only one fan, on the right side.
  18. plima

    Rear Tire Wear

    With the factory alignment and no track time, 11K miles is pretty normal (actually pretty good) mileage. If you track the car, you'll get more even wear but not more miles! Enjoy those PS2s, they might not be the most economical tires, but for a combined street-track tire on an awesome car, they are hard to beat.
  19. I think that all car mfgs bias the error in the speedometer to never show a speed below the true speed. This means that all speedos will show "optimistic" speed. The range is typically 0-5%, meaning that a speedo showing 60 mph means that the car is actually going somewhere between 57 mph and 60 mph. The variation on tire size alone can account for the 5% error band. The GPS will give you very accurate info on speed, assuming you drive a constant speed for several samples from the GPS (usually 1 speed update per second).
  20. I have had very good experiences with Carlson. Stay away from Stevens Creek; they are dangerously incompetent. No experience with Rector
  21. BodyStyle in San Jose is absolutely tops and highly focused on Porsche. Cecil Beach (owner and Porsche fanatic) insists on factory original quality. www.www.bodystylebycecil.com
  22. As for "livability", I have 31K miles on my '04 GT3, most of them commute and vacation travel miles. The car is definitely a pleasure to drive every day; the only thing you always have to remember is the low ground clearance, the front splitter, driveways and such.
  23. I would suspect that the system needs to be bled. Depending on how the leak was fixed, there may be air in the system. The workshop manual process to fill and bleed the system is very involved, but you might try adding coolant when the engine is cold.
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