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CEL comes on intermittently - 2001 Boxster

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2001 2.7L Boxster. CEL light would come on intermittently. Sometimes go out by itself but when it won't, I had the dealer fix it. Thousands of dollars later (under extended warranty) with 4 MAF's and other parts, AUTOBAHN PORSCHE, FORT WORTH TEXAS found the problem and it turns out is common. They found a cigarette wrapper cellophane in the air filter duct work. Here's how. The wrapper was stuck to the outside of the air filter. When a dealer changed the air filter, as they slipped it out of the assembly, the cellophane was scrapped off by the edge of the slot the filter slips into, You can't see this happening, but it does. Then the wrapper fell to the bottom of the filter duct work assembly. When the new filter was put in, the wrapper was now on the engine side of the filter, so the wrapper would float around inside and intermittently distort air flow. After removing it, no more problems. A year later, I change the air filter and sure enough, a week later the CEL came on. Took out the filter, looked into the slot with a flashlight and sure enough, found a June Bug (beetle about the size of a nickel) at the bottom of the duct. Took it out with a vacuum extension, reassembled, cleared the CEL and no more errors. So I wonder, all the guys that have intermittent CEL that try different things and then it comes back, did they remove the air filter and look down inside?

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It's a common issue on 986, you have to vacuum and blow out the filter housing with compressed air, before installing the new filter element.

Too bad dealers don't seem to know. It went through 3 dealers and 4 MAF's in 6 months and other parts before Autobahn found it.

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