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I bought a 2003 Boxster S last week. It's like new as it only has 23, 300 miles on it. What a great car! Drove it a couple of times then took it to be smogged and then registered last Thursday. Tonight I drove it to dinner and then a movie. Starting it up after dinner the engine check light did not go off. Read the manual and it points to an emmision control or gas cap problem. Two factors may be causing this:

1. After dinner when unlocking the car I heard a little click coming from the gas cap area. I was wondering how vandals were kept out of this area and I found out when I opened the lid. There's a little locking pin that locks the lid along with the door. I pressed this pin just out of curiosity to see how it worked. I doubt this has anything to do with the problem but I thought I would mention it.

2. While I was waiting during the smog test I noticed from afar that the mechanic seemed to be struggling with the whole process as he kept refering to the owners manual and it was taking a lot longer than expected. I went out to the car and he explained that he had done Boxsters before but they were often different in the process. I'm wondering if he could have messed anything up doing the smog or when putting the covers back on. Also, I noticed that the gas cap is put through a pressure check that looked pretty severe. Could that be a problem?

I plan to take the car back to the smog station in a few days. They do a lot of smog checks so perhaps they might be able to ascertain the problem. I noticed an electronic connection between their electronics and under the dash of the Boxster. Would reconnecting that be able to trace the issue?

Any help would be appreciated.


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Sounds like you have a fuel system venting leak - which won't pass EPA standards or a smog test.

It would be best to get the fault code(s) read with the Durametric software, a PST2 or PIWIS tester. All of these tools connect to the OBD 2 connector under the dash.

Any of these tools will tell you where the leak is.

Where do you live? Perhaps someone near you can read the faults for you.

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I live close to San Diego. When I go back to the smog station will their machine be able to locate the leak if that is the problem?

Also, do you know if this problem is covered by warranty. I seem to remember that any problem with the pollution control system has an extended warranty period.


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Most smog stations are test only.

Unless it is something simple like a bad o-ring on the gas cap - they likely won't be able to spot the problem.

The stealership isn't going to cost you an arm and leg. Should be $40 to put it on the computer and they will

tell you right away what the problem is. Or do what loren said and get a Durametric tester if you are going

to keep the car for a while.

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I had a CEL issue on my 99 Boxster awhile back so I looked into getting a code reader. At the time, I read online that most auto parts stores will let you use theirs in their parking free of charge. I decided to get my own since I figured I'd be using it more than the one time. I picked one up from Sears for around $150 or so. I don't do much tooling beyond brakes on my car but it is nice to know what I'm in for when I take it to the shop.

I live in Scripps Ranch and work in Del Mar. You're more than welcome to stop by with your car some time. We can plug it in and read the codes.



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Thanks pvaughn. I am going back to the smog station this morning. A car guy friend at coffee this morning thought that the smog check machine they use had the ability to perform this check. I talked to the shop owner last night and he was more than willing to try to figure out the problem and make it right in case something was set amiss by the smog check. I'll post my results tonight.


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I ended up taking the car to Walters Porsche in Riverside, the original selling dealer where I had had a PPI done before I bought the car. I sense that I am in big trouble as they seem to be puzzled in finding the problem. The code fault is PO455. They have already worked on it for at least three hours and all they have been able to say is that there is evidence of mouse habitation around the gas tank and that the mice may have eaten part of a wire that carries some type of sensor signal.

I am half panicked that I could be the victim of inexperience, lack of knowledge, etc. in debugging this problem, as the bill continues to rise. Can anyone advise me on what I should do before this goes any further?


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I just received a call from the Service Advisor. They have isolated the problem to a shutoff valve located at the inlet to the charcoal cannister. However, he believes that it is not covered by Emmissions Control Warrenty. This seems incorrect to me as this is part of the ECS. Can anyone speak to this?


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