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Engine failure. Clues anyone?

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Hi to all

I have a 2006 Canadian Boxster 2.7 with 5 speed manual purchased certified in February 2010. It has just over 20,000 Km.

I was driving at around 50 km/h yesterday in third gear when I heard a metallic sound from engine . Few seconds later, the engine died. Tried to restart, but it would not spin freely. I have not noticed anything special prior to the incident.

Car was towed to dealer, where a quick diagnostic was ran before service closed for the weekend. They found misfire in cylinder 3, they took out the spark plug and found its electrodes had been smashed flat by either the piston or something pushed by the piston. They are going to disassemble the engine next week.

Any clues as to what could have happen?

Does the engine need to be completely replaced if something went loose in a cylinder?

I hope this is all covered by the certified warranty.

Thanks for your time,


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Sorry, but it has all the indicators of an IMS failure (rear bearing on the intermediate shaft fails, cam chains lose tension, one or more cams jump time, valves make contact with pistons, instant boat anchor). Usually, this requires either a new engine, or an extensive rebuild............

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Hey guys,

I will definitely push hard for a new engine if the problem is what you guys are thinking. I am not sure about the rebuilt. Plus I think a new engine is under warranty for at least two years after installation.

Are such failures common? A friend of mine had an engine failure (other problem) on a 2003 Carrera 4S, 3 months after the warranty expiry. After he complained, Porsche did pay for the new engine, and he paid for the installation.

The last thing I want is to loose confidence in my Boxster or Porsche since I love my car a lot. And I waited so long before getting one...

I will let you know what the dealer finds and how it is covered under the certified warranty. Based on the CPO terms none of the exclusions are applicable, so it should cover everything... but you never know!

Thanks again for taking time to reply to my post, I appreciate it very much.


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Are such failures common?

More common that Porsche, and some other Boxster websites, would like to admit. There is an aftermarket replacement bearing assembly designed to reduce the probability of it reoccurring (recently written up in Excellence magazine) which many have had great success with, and some nay-sayers claim is pure commercial "clap trap". Read up on the subject.................

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I finally got good news today. The dealer ordered a rebuilt engine and it will probably be installed by the end of next week. They did not diagnose the source of the problem, they just inspected the inside of the cylinders with a camera and saw that the engine was severely damaged.

I had hopped to purchase an extended warranty after the CPO warranty period runs out, but it turns out you have to be under the original warranty to buy an extended one from Porsche. The rebuilt engine is worth around twelve thousand dollars, so I hope that I won't go through another one.

Anyway, thanks to both of you guys for taking time to reply to my post.

I really look forward to driving my car again...


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  • 2 weeks later...

I got my car this week with the rebuilt engine. After they replaced the engine, the starter failed so I had to wait a bit more for this to get fixed. CPO covered everything.

I don't know if this may help other owners, but here are the differences between the two engines I noticed. Remember, I had the failed engine only for 2,000km, so I assumed at the time this was normal.

- The engine that failed always made a whining sound when revving, valves clicked on start up, and it made a metallic noise when cold between 2,800 and 3,000 rpm. All of these disappeared when I revved the engine harder once it was at its operating temperature.

- The engine that failed made a lot of metallic vibrations a few days before it failed, again when cold and revving around 2,500 rmp it stopped.

- The new engine is more quiet and revs much more smoothly.

One more question.

I asked the dealer if there was a break in period for rebuilt engine, since he did not mention this to me when handing me car. His answer wasn't clear: he mentioned to not rev the engine too high for the first 1,000 km or so. This is different from what is specified in the manual which is max 4,200 rpm for first 3,000 km.

So, is there a break in period for rebuilt engines, if so is it the same as for a new engine?

Edited by spriggan
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