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Overheating after rear end shunt

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Hi all, I was a member on here previously but it's been a while and I've forgotten my own member details! Thought the easiest thing was to re-register and reintroduce myself.

My name is Chris, I live in the UK and I have been the sometimes proud and sometimes exasperated owner of a 1999, RHD, 3.4L 996 Carrera 2 with a 6 speed manual transmission. I've owned a number of performance cars and have always been an admirer of Porsche particularly the early 911s.

3 days ago while stationary my car was rear ended by a hatchback (Citroen Saxo). I estimate the impact speed to have been less than 10mph and an initial inspection revealed damage to the rear bumper cover, bumper support, heat shielding, L (NS) tail-pipe and L tail-light. The Saxo came away apparently unscathed; guess French cars are tougher than they look ;)

Following the accident on the way home the water level light flashed and the temperature went slightly over the normal level. I arranged recovery to the dealer who is providing an estimate for the repairs. The overheating persists and occurs on idle after 15min, it appears progressive and results in steam/water leakage from the coolant reservoir. The engine sounds/runs well, there is no contamination, oil level/quality is good, there is no check engine light, the oil pressure is steady at operating temp and sits just below 2. As yet, the dealer has been unable to identify a cause; the engine, ancillaries, exhaust and coolant systems appear intact. I suspect there may be damage to the coolant reservoir and have requested a pressure test.

I do not believe the overheating and accident can be a coincidence and I'm concerned there may be a more sinister cause or that I will find myself incurring costs in order to identify a problem and then be unable to retrieve those costs. Can the engine internals or electronics be damaged by such a rear impact? The last thing I want is to have the car 'repaired' and be left with an unreliable, undiagnosed overheating Porsche.

From an insurance point of view the driver who hit me and their insurers have admitted liability. I would be grateful for any advice regarding likely causes for the engine overheating and also with how to deal with the third party insurers given this mechanical symptom.

Thanks in advance, Chris


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Sounds like you have an exhaust leak and the hot

air is pointed right at one of the hoses to the

coolent reservoir. Once they remove the bumper,

they can start it up and feel for exhaust leaks.


Very good point. Never thought of that. I learn something new everyday.

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Thanks Paul, good idea. I asked the dealer to double check the exhaust. Although damaged in the tail-pipe region there are no obvious leaks.

Has anyone else encountered a similar problem?

Can the engine internals or ancillaries such as the water pump/thermostat/belt system be affected by the force of a rear impact?

How would you approach the third party insurers regarding this issue?

Cheers, Chris

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