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2001 Boxster bleeding to death...


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Hey everyone, if this post is in the incorrect forum, I apologize. I will repost if necessary.

I know this is a lengthy post so I'll give an early bulleted summary:

-2001 Boxster leaking oil

-Paid over $1,000 to have cam covers repaired at dealership (didn't fix it)

-Now dealership claims it's the RMS (another $1,000)

-Questions at end of post

Here is my situation:

About a month ago, my 986 boxster began a slow drip of oil onto the exhaust and I was signaled by a distinct burning smell after I parked her. After she'd sit overnight there would be a tiny puddle (maybe 1/8 cup) of oil on the floor. I immediately began checking around for someone who could diagnose the problem but within a short few days the leak drastically increased. In fact, the last night I drove it was when I pulled into my garage and it leaked about 4 or 5 cups of oil. You could even see a visible trail of oil behind the vehicle. I checked the oil again and it still wasn't low, but I dared not drive it anymore.

I had it flatbedded to a local shop to diagnose and they had no idea what they were talking about... they said it was transaxle fluid and they couldn't work on it. I then had it flatbedded to another local shop and they said they didn't even have the tools to diagnose it.

Well, to make a long story short, I broke down and had it bedded to the dealership over an hour away (Bert Wolfe in Charleston, WV.) After taking about a week, they finally called me and told me the leak was due to the Cam Covers. I didn't even know what these were until I researched it and found out they are Valve Covers. They quoted me $1,068 for the repair ($368 in repairs and the rest in labor at $100/hour). I asked if this would fix the problem and the guy said, "I'm sure this will."

Well, after a few more weeks over Christmas and New Year's, they call me and tell it is ready for pickup. So, I have someone drive me all the way up there and I lay down my credit card for the repairs. I drive her about 2/3rds of the way home and decide to pull over just to check everything out. Well, it was leaking like crazy-just as bad as before, if not worse! I shut off the engine and immediately check the oil level. To my surprise, it was fine! I knew these held a lot of oil, but I didn't expect it to hold up this well with such a nasty leak.

So, the next day I call the dealership and they tell me to send it back. If it was something they did wrong then they would absorb the repair costs. Well, the next day I have it flatbedded all the way back to Charleston (the dealership doesn't have towing service and I have now paid almost $400 to have it towed everywhere). This morning they call me and say the problem is at the back of the crankshaft or something. I asked them if it was another name for the Rear Main Seal and they said yes.

They are quoting me about another $1,000 for parts and labor. I guess I have no choice so I told them to do it. I am not a rich guy by any means... I work full time and go to school full time and I'm going to have to sell the car after it is fixed.

So here are my questions:

1) Is the dealership taking advantage of me? Should they not be at least partially liable for the second phase of repairs?

2) Since they are going to have to drop the engine out to fix this, should I have them replace anything else or check anything else while they are up in there? (IMS, etc.?)

3) Does anyone want to buy a 2001 dark red Boxster with 66,000 miles on it after it is properly repaired? haha

I sincerely appreciate any advice or guidance on this... I know you guys are a wealth of knowledge and expertise.

Thank you,

Aaron

boxfront.jpg

boxback.jpg

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  • Admin

:welcome:

Find a different dealer or good independent Porsche to save on repairs.

1. If the original leak was the RMS, and they missed it -- then yes they should provide some sort of compensation. Getting them to admit they missed something is a different story.

I would tell them - it IS the same problem - that they did not properly fix.

2. They do not drop the engine for an RMS repair - they drop the transmission and work on the engine in the car.

They should check the IMS to see if the seal is leaking and that the end bolts are the newer self encapsulated bolts. If it is not leaking it is best to leave it alone (IMHO).

3. Why sell the car if you enjoy it. Again, find a different dealer or good independent Porsche to save on repairs.

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They should check the IMS to see if the seal is leaking and that the end bolts are the newer self encapsulated bolts. If it is not leaking it is best to leave it alone (IMHO).

Interesting. The common opinion now seems to be that if you've got the tranny out, do the clutch, RMS and IMS bearing. What's your thinking about the quasi-hysteria around the failing IMS bearing that I've been seeing for the last year?

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I certainly appreciate the information. I am calling the dealership tomorrow to ask them if they can check the IMS while they're in there. I should mention on this thread that it is a tiptronic transmission. That may change some things...

I'll keep you all up to date. Thanks so much.

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I certainly appreciate the information. I am calling the dealership tomorrow to ask them if they can check the IMS while they're in there. I should mention on this thread that it is a tiptronic transmission. That may change some things...

I'll keep you all up to date. Thanks so much.

Aaron:

welcomeani.gif

For what it's worth, anecdotal evidence about IMS failures find them less likely to happen on Tiptronics and on cars that are always on the track.

Definitely find yourself a good independent mechanic and enjoy the very special car you have now!

As far as the dealer not being able to tell the difference between a cam cover leak on the one hand and either an RMS or IMS leak on the other hand, if you will just look at the layout of the engine you will see that the cam covers are on the "outer edges" of the engine, while the RMS and IMS seal and encapsulated bolts are at the rear centerline of the engine, one above the other.

I don't know how they can definitively say that it's now the RMS because, short of pulling off the tranny, there is no way to tell whether the leak is coming from the IMS area or from the RMS.

So, it might help if you ask them to put the car up on their lift and ask them to show you where the cam covers are and approximately where the RMS and IMS bearing and flange would be located.

Take a look at the photo and diagrams posted on Mike Focke's website for an idea of what the cam covers look like and where they are located, here: http://sites.google....2/camcoverleaks

Here is that photo:

post-6627-0-79597800-1294376062_thumb.jp

By contrast, here is a photo of the rear of the engine, with the transmission off, for an idea of where the RMS and where the IMS flange is located:

post-6627-0-32870500-1294375890_thumb.jp

Good luck and don't let the dealer snow you. You work too hard for your money to let them take it from you without having earned it!

Regards, Maurice.

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The car I recently acquired (2000 S) showed receipts at an independent repair shop with the previous owner reporting oil leaks. The shop replaced leaking spark plug tubes, rubber cam plug seals and the rear mail seal (with an updated design). The point is a thorough job might entail multiple jobs. There was also a gear oil leak on one of the axles and the total for all the work was about $1,500 at the independent shop. $1,000 for sealing the cam covers seems pretty high to me but I'm no expert.

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My shop is two for two on actual IMS failures -- Both were tiptronics

a 99 and a 03 S.

We have a 99 manual engine diagnosed as a IMS fail -- but we haven't confirmed it yet.

I also know of a recent '05 manual that failed -- but it was R&R'd at the dealership at no charge!

Your mileage and IMS may vary,

Mike

Edited by txhokie4life
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  • 3 weeks later...

Devastating update time:

Last week I got a call from Bert Wolfe telling me there was a leak on the transmission and the seal had to be replaced (RMS). I tell them to go for it... Well, today they call me back and tell me that there were metal shavings in the transmission fluid and they recommend to have the tranny replaced. I cringed as he proceeded to tell me that a new replacement transmission was going to be $8000 and a used transmission is going to cost $3000.

(I am wondering if the leak was the transmission all along and they misdiagnosed it.) I wouldn't know how to prove it anyway.

I am checking around locally to see if any shops are able to install a tiptronic transmission in this Boxster, but I highly doubt anyone where I live can do this type of surgery.

The dealership said they would work with me on the labor, but at this point I'm not sure what my options are. Does anyone know of a place that I could find a 2001 Boxster tiptronic transmission?

Thanks for the help,

Aaron

Edited by aaroncaserta
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  • 4 weeks later...

Devastating update time:

Last week I got a call from Bert Wolfe telling me there was a leak on the transmission and the seal had to be replaced (RMS). I tell them to go for it... Well, today they call me back and tell me that there were metal shavings in the transmission fluid and they recommend to have the tranny replaced. I cringed as he proceeded to tell me that a new replacement transmission was going to be $8000 and a used transmission is going to cost $3000.

(I am wondering if the leak was the transmission all along and they misdiagnosed it.) I wouldn't know how to prove it anyway.

I am checking around locally to see if any shops are able to install a tiptronic transmission in this Boxster, but I highly doubt anyone where I live can do this type of surgery.

The dealership said they would work with me on the labor, but at this point I'm not sure what my options are. Does anyone know of a place that I could find a 2001 Boxster tiptronic transmission?

Thanks for the help,

Aaron

Seems to high. Are they charging you twice for labor? Once for the RMS and then again to remove tranny? Just asking?

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  • 2 months later...

Hey everyone, just wanted to bring an update to everything so far.

Good news: Basically, they admitted that the transmission was their fault and they replaced it with a used unit with about 20k on it. I am happy about this because the old one had 66k on it. I paid them $2,300 for a list of other repairs such as O2 sensor, RMS, installation of the tranny, liquids, seals, etc. I was still OK with this because the car needed this stuff anyway and it was much cheaper than the originally quoted $6,000!

Bad news: I bring the vehicle home and drive about 200 miles on it on the same tank of fuel just to have it die on me and not start back up. I was pulling it into a parking spot and the engine shuts off and all the lights come on the dashboard. I try to restart to no avail. It cranks light it is trying to start but the engine doens't turn over. I let it sit for a while and tried it again, nothing. I try it again the next day and nothing. Then today, I go try it one last time and it fires up! I leave it running for 5 minutes, rev it a little and it does just fine so without shutting it off I put it into drive and go about 15 feet then it dies on me again. I check the fuses for the fuel pump and fuel injectors: both are good. I pull the fuel pump relay out and put it back in (this is above the fuse box) and no difference.

Any ideas? I sincerely appreciate any help...

Thanks,

Aaron

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+1 to previous comment. Had t Nissan once that went through a similar calamity of issues at the dealer.

First it went in for a radiator leak, then the techs forgot to seal the trans fluid cooler hose properly, which ended up being a new transmission, however when they put the trans in it fried the electronics which...

Anyways definitely back to the dealer (and get them to pay for the tow this time). Porsche is a reputable brand and if you give them some grief you might be surprised about them picking up the repair tab. Of course, this time it could be something simple, hopefully.

Unless you have the tools to test the fuel pressure or a DTC code reader like Durametric/etc, it's difficult to say what the problem is.

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I took it to a local shop because I didn't want to have to pay another $200 to tow it an hour away to the dealership. The shop called me today and said that after much testing they have determined that it is going to be one of two things. 1) Crank sensor - $276.29 or 2) the PCM. They are confident that the crank sensor should fix the problem but I wanted to seek advice from you all. They tested the fuel pump and it is good.

Is this a daunting task to install a crank sensor? They quoted labor at $357.50. Thanks for any information.

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