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UPDATE: I received a new revision 4 version of the coolant cap for $25 delivered from Sunset Imports (they are great). I installed the cap and after a few days of perfectly normal/spirited driving I have yet to have another boil over. So far, so good. My next move is to flush and replace the poorly mixed coolant. I'll report back in a week or so to confirm that the car has made it past this drama. Thanks for all the assistance! Regards, Trevor in Austin
I was out with my wife in our 2003 Boxster with 79,250 miles yesterday driving to three locations each about 10 miles apart. We were late to the first appointment and we took a back way with winding roads. It was a beautiful day and we made good time. It was the second nice drive on windy roads for me of the day. The car was running great. When we pulled up to the last location my wife notice a bunch of fluid pooling at the curb. Sure enough, coolant was boiling over and running down the overflow tube. I popped the engine cover and couldn't see anything wrong. 20 minutes later there was still some coolant in the expansion tank and I drove with the coolant light blinking to a Seven Eleven 3 blocks away and bought a 24 pack of half liter spring water bottles. I went through a little less than 4 liters and then took an easy way home of roughly 10 miles. With all the covering off the engine certainly sounded different but it didn't sound troubling. It did seem like the Tiptronic was keeping the car in lower gears a bunch, but that might have just been that I'm not used to driving it like an old lady with triple cataracts I stopped half way home and there was plenty of diluted coolant left even as I could see a trickle coming out by the wheel. Not surprisingly, roughly the same amount of water made it onto the driveway within an hour after we parked at my house. Not once did the water temperature gauge seem high. When I started surfing the boards, I learned that my version .01 coolant cap could be the culprit and should be replaced. I have also read up on this possibly being a head gasket failure which would be much worse. I did pull the oil cap and found more than a few drops on the underside. I have attached a photo but that's after I cleaned up roughly half of the moisture with a paper towel to see if it was colored (it was brownish, maybe a little yellow). I then looked at the dipstick and the Mobil 1 seemed to be a bit watery and maybe a tiny smidge yellow but I might be paranoid at this point. That being said, it didn't seem like a milkshake. Another point to make is that I bought the car used in 2008 with 28,500 miles from a Buick dealership. They had flushed the coolant and replaced it with standard yellow antifreeze which hasn't been a problem (until now?). The worst part is that I live in Austin and work in San Antonio. We have three cars but my wife is driving the 2000 Suburban b/c her 2007 MB E320 Bluetec is leaking enough oil that it drips on the engine and creates some awful smell and a little smoke. Not good. It looks like I'll be spending $200 to rent a car tomorrow through Thursday unless I get some confidence that my Porsche can make it the 80 highway miles without risk of damage. What do you think might be ailing my beautiful, until now trouble-free car? What diagnostic tests can I do myself to see if the head gasket is shot? Drain some oil from above using my topsider? Open the oil drain plug to let a little out? Cinch down the coolant cap harder? Drive driving it again to see how the engine is running? Maybe look for moisture in the exhaust? Thanks in advance, Trevor P.S. I did install a new water pump (no broken vanes) a couple months back after the bearing went. And I installed a low temperature thermostat at the same time.
Thanks JFP! You nailed it. I looked under the water pump and sure enough there was the smallest amount of dried gunk where it would run down; nothing like what you have in your photo, but enough to confirm a leak. And sure enough, when I took the belt off I could sense the smallest amount of play in the water pump axle. So, my next step is buying a new water pump and gasket. I am also considering a lower temp thermostat. I've read on this forum that non-OEM water pumps are a very bad idea. Are any of the water pumps listed on this Ebay page worth buying? Would Sunset Imports have OEM and a good aftermarket model available? Am I foolish to try to save a couple hundred dollars versus Porsche OEM? I hope to do the repair myself. Does anyone have a ball park on how many hours a dealership or indie shop is likely to charge? Water pumps -> http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_sacat=0&_from=R40&_nkw=boxster%20water%20%20pump&_sop=15 Here's one from Deutche Parts -> http://www.ebay.com/itm/Porsche-986-2-5-2-7-Boxster-Water-Pump-METAL-IMPELLER-/400180027238?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&fits=Model%3ABoxster&hash=item5d2c969f66&vxp=mtr Motorad low temp thermostat housing -> http://www.ebay.com/itm/250871925575?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649 Thanks a million!!! I'm hoping to order parts tomorrow so I can get it replaced next weekend. Regards, Trevor in Austin
I have a 2003 Boxster with 77,653 miles. I am the third owner and this Tiptronic Porsche was brand new in late December 2002. It is my daily driver and most of its miles are on the highway. It hasn't been tracked. Roughly two weeks ago the coolant temperature blinking light came on for roughly a minute. It has come on once since then. Each time the engine temperature was perfectly fine throughout the 1 1/2 trip. I did not until today check the coolant level (my bad) and now see that the fluid is well below the minimum level but can be seen when looking down through the opening. On the way home from San Antonio for Thanksgiving I heard a new cyclical noise that sounds like bearings going out. I've read up on different websites that it is likely my alternator, pulleys, or water pump. My battery registers 12.6 volts when the engine isn't running and 13.93 when it is running. I bought a mechanics stethoscope and as best I can tell the water pump and the lower pulley seem to have rough noises. And there does seems to be the smallest flutter in the water pump pulley with it going in and out maybe 1 to 2 mm. Here's a link to a short video ( ) of the engine running and you can hear what I think is a bearing going. Would the next step in isolating the problem be to remove the drive belt and try spinning the pulleys and water pump pulley freely to see if there is any obvious failure going on? I tried the WD-40 trick but spraying it on the pulleys while running didn't make any obvious difference. If it is the pulley and/or water pump how difficult are those fixes if I'm handy and have in the past replaced a turbocharger on my old Saab 900? I don't fear much in the way of fixes (perhaps to a fault). Please share your wisdom or I'll end up spending too much at a shop. :-) Thanks, Trevor in Austin
dtwinters replied to ESK's topic in 996 Series (Carrera, Carrera 4, Carrera 4S, Targa)Thanks for this post Loren! One thing that I will mention to help others is that there are two tabs (#3 in the diagram), one centered just over each vent louver. This was tough for me to tell until I had it all apart.
Roger Beasley Porsche in Austin worked on my car this morning and the new key fobs are programmed and working. The lead tech shared that all four program slots were taken in the control unit, likely meaning that one of the two earlier owners had likely lost keys or had this same issue. The service manager had shared that if the lights on the keys are working but not unlocking the doors there wasn't a way to re-sync the original keys. So, $289 later ($67 for half hour of labors and $222 for two keys) I'm back to where I was earlier. On the bright side the dealership was nice enough to wash my car so it will look good for the weekend!
I swung by the Austin dealership and learned they will need to charge me a 1/2 hour to read any error codes and try to resync my old fobs. Sunset Imports had the best price on key fobs so I ordered two to have on standby in case my old ones can't be mated. Hopefully, I will have this addressed on Friday. More to come...
Thanks in advance for any and all advice! I've read too many posts related to remote key fobs failing. None of the posted fixes have solved my challenges. Bulleted out: Third owner of 2003 Boxster bought with 28,000 miles in August 2008. Both key fobs worked properly at time of purchase. Roughly 18 months later my wife's key fob stopped working.She drives the Porsche maybe 5% of the time it is driven. I read up on fixes but nothing worked. Didn't take to dealership as I expected a fix to be too expensive for value received. [*]One month ago my fob stopped working. Read even more posts and no fix has worked. I'm a FIY type guy and dreading what dealerships might charge. [*]This morning my CDR23 base sound system stopped working. It simply displays "Porsche" and only the power switch works. None of the posted fixes involving locking and letting the car site and removing the appropriate fuse have fixed the problem. The symptoms include: Pushing the buttons on either key fob result in what appears to be proper lighting of the LED on the key fob itself. The red light atop the dashboard seems to flash properly when manually locking and unlocking with the physical key.It does not flash any confirmation strings when any of the key fob buttons are depressed.[*]When I get in the car and start the ignition the red dashboard switch light goes on solidly.[*]When I switch off the car sometime the locking mechanism cycles making it so that I have to pull the driver side door handle twice to get out.[*]Opening the passenger side door is a true hassel as I must get all the way in the car, lean over, and pull the door handle twice as the dashboard switch doesn't seem to work. Does anyone have a feel for what is going on here and how I should go about fixing the problem? This drama of risking the alarm going off every time I get in the car if I fumble getting the key in the lock together with the challenge of getting into the passenger side and the new lack of a radio is taking much of the joy out of my otherwise magical mid life crisis antidote! Please let me know if there is any more information I should provide. Thanks again, Trevor Austin, TX
Thanks Richard for the expert advice. Digging around I found that Blaupankt makes two nice stereos with BlueTooth and iPod integration, the Toronto and the Los Angeles which doesn't seem to have made it to the US, yet. Both of these ship with the ISO connectors but aren't widely distributed in the US. Crutchfields had a nice Kenwood Excelon KDC-X994 -> http://signature.crutchfield.com/s_113KDCX994/Kenwood-Excelon-KDC-X994.html?tp=5684#reviewDynamicContent The only challenge is the gloss black finish isn't going to match the matte black I have currently. If any one has any other suggestions for BT and iPod compatible non-MOST bus head units, please chime in! Thanks, Trevor
Would anyone know if the connectors on the Becker CDR-23 head unit are relatively standardized? And if not, does anyone know where I can buy adapters that would work with the connectors I would find on units I could buy from Crutchfields or someone similar? And does anyone have a suggestion for a great head unit that would work well in my Boxster? I do have two open cubbies. Thank in advance. Enjoy your weekend. I'm looking forward to handwashing and waxing my car this weekend. It's been way too long! -Trevor P.S. I can't imagine spending more than around $350ish.
One follow on question upon further reflection. If my 2003 Boxster doesn't have an amplifier, CD changer, or PCM and the fiber optics weren't connected to anything, might I have simply replaced the head unit with an aftermarket stereo/amp that has better text integration with an iPod? All the postings about adding iPod integration led me to believe that the fiber optics are an integral part of the stereo and that is what led me to buy a Dension Gateway off Ebay. I could always resell the Dension and CDR-23 on Ebay and head in a different direction if that would get me the best setup for a reasonable amount of money. Thanks again for your comments. Regards, Trevor
I dug around the forums and tutorials and couldn't find an answer to this question. I bought a used Dension Gateway off eBay and during a break from doing taxes this weekend installed the unit. I have a '03 Boxster that I bought used with a CDR-23 and no amplifier and no PCM. I was surprised when I pulled out the head unit there wasn't a complicated run of fiber optics going into the car, rather there was only a "u-turn" 5 inch loop of fiber. I went ahead and added the Dension as though it is a cd changer. I fully understand that the CDR-23 has to be activated to understand a CD changer now exists. And I'm pretty sure this has to be done by the Porsche dealership with the PST2 or PWIWS. I'm just a little confused as to what exactly they are going to connect the tester to that would allow them to program the CDR-23 that doesn't seem to be connected to the car through the MOST bus as I expected. Would they connect something directly to the radio? I'm hoping to coax the Porsche service center to reconfig the radio with some of the wife's home baked brownies so I figure it would be good to have everything accessible so it would go very quickly. And it would be good to know exactly for what I am asking! And that is why I am looking for some help from the experts... Thanks in advance, Trevor
Does anyone have experience with any of these fixes? I've already tried the Permatex one and it didn't stick for long. And does anyone know where I can replace the tabs that are missing? Thanks, Trevor
I did extensive searching on the forum and couldn't find any information on this topic... I bought a used 2003 Boxster with 28K miles 1 1/2 years ago. I noticed that the rear defroster switch lights up but nothing happens. Inspecting the situation I saw two disconnected leads that lie in the well for the top. At first I looked for where they would connect to the car's wiring harness. And then it struck me that these wires were disconnected from the defroster grid and window itself. One lead has only a flat tab that must be half of the original tab that adhered to the window and the other lead has only the terminated female connector. So, I'm asking you Porsche experts to help me out where my Bentley manual could not: 1. Any idea where I can get hold of a proper right angle tab to attach to the defroster grid? (or possibly provide a DIY kluge for a tab...) 2. Any sure fire way to adhere these new tabs to the windshield? I've had no success using the Advance Auto kit and/or solder on my 2000 Suburban's tailgate lift glass. Thanks in advance for any and all help/advice provided! -Trevor