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Anyone have an idea of what's going on here? Is this oil coming from my exhaust? It's only coming from the left/driver's side exhaust tip.

A couple of weeks ago I was entering the freeway. When climbing the on ramp I gunned it. When I got to about 3rd gear 5500 RPM the car let out a huge cloud of white smoke from the exhaust. And now a couple weeks later I'm leaking this brownish orange fluid. Think it's related?

I don't notice any difference in how it drives. Seems to be running fine. No check engine lights. Regardless I'll be taking it in to the shop to have it looked at. Just wanted to see if anyone instantly recognized the problem.

gunk.jpg?t=1306932503

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A few things come to mind.

AOS (can you remove the oil filler cap with it idling or is it really hard to do that)

Leak from area above that one exhaust tip - perhaps oil filler tube, cam cover (getting into exhaust somehow)

Intermix (notice anything strange about the coolant?)

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I'm going to just take it in. Coolant levels are well below the minimum line.

Looks about the color when the oil and coolant intermix. Take a look at your oil and your coolant to see if there is any sign of intermix.

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Taking it to Autoscope (Dallas) in the AM. So if it's oil mixed with coolant how worried should I be? What would cause that to happen and what problems will it lead to if unattended to? I'm definitly going to get it repaired but I hope I haven't caused irreversible damage.

I'm going to just take it in. Coolant levels are well below the minimum line.

Looks about the color when the oil and coolant intermix. Take a look at your oil and your coolant to see if there is any sign of intermix.

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Anywhere from "not at all" to "very", depending upon the source of the intermix. It can come from a failing oil cooler (easy to replace and parts are about $200 or so), to either a popped sealing plug in the head, a bad head gasket, or a cracked head. The latter three are on the more expensive side..................

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Looks like rusty water to me. There is a lot of condensation inside your mufflers and not unusual to blow out some water when you first start the car. If the water was standing around for a few days it may start to turn rusty (orange/brown) color. I hope thats all it is.

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Hope it's nothing serious. Good point re checking viscosity. If it's slimy it's could be a big problem. If it's rusty watery, you could just heat up your afterburners to dry it out. Maybe it's just rust in the mufflers...

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yes there are. I'm hoping my coolant expansion tank is just cracked. Levels look really low in the expansion. That happened on my Boxster. The car is at Autoscope in Dallas. The guy was hopeful that the expansion tank was just cracked and I possibly have a RMS leak and that the two are just mixing on the outside of the car to leave the orange color. Of course he laid down the worst case scenario of needing a new engine for $20K. Awesome when I still owe $20K on the car. F me. Let's hope we don't have to go there and if we do I'm putting in a turbo.

tip.jpg?t=1307016773 I'm hoping the coolant reservoir

I'd bet your coolant expansion tank is leaking right above the drivers side muffler. My can did the exact same thing. Get under the car and see if there are stains under the exhaust tip.

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yes there are. I'm hoping my coolant expansion tank is just cracked. Levels look really low in the expansion. That happened on my Boxster. The car is at Autoscope in Dallas. The guy was hopeful that the expansion tank was just cracked and I possibly have a RMS leak and that the two are just mixing on the outside of the car to leave the orange color. Of course he laid down the worst case scenario of needing a new engine for $20K. Awesome when I still owe $20K on the car. F me. Let's hope we don't have to go there and if we do I'm putting in a turbo.

tip.jpg?t=1307016773 I'm hoping the coolant reservoir

I'd bet your coolant expansion tank is leaking right above the drivers side muffler. My can did the exact same thing. Get under the car and see if there are stains under the exhaust tip.

If you do end up having to do some engine internal work or option for replacement -- let me know.

Depending on year of the car, etc -- I might have an engine here -- or we can look to rebuild yours. Either way it would be far cheaper than the dealership.

I'm in Austin.

Mike

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if it is an intermix they can often be fixed, do a search or my threads. When I had my intermix in fall of 2008 basically everyone said I had to get a new engine. Well for less than $1,500 in parts and having the head fixed (a cracked head was the source of the intermix) and a significant amount of my time (learning curve) I now have over 11,000 miles on my fixed engine. More and more owners are fixing (or having fixed) engines with intermix. Even Jake Raby is now fixing cracked heads and Jake is a perfectionist.

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So the problem ended up being a cracked coolant tank,a cracked oil filler tube and cracked front plate gasket. Won't be needing a new engine thank God and my carMax extended warranty is covering $1850, more than half the cost of repairs. Meaning that warranty just paid for itself. Woot! They also tracked down a vacuum leak that was causing a stuttery start issue I was having and probably a loss of hp. This left me some cash to get the curb rash on my rear rims fixed, get my paint touched up and a new set if rear Pirelli Pzeros. Ive had a great experience with Autoscope so far. Can't wait to get my 996 back!

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That is great news. Curios, what is a front plate gasket? Had my engine is pieces and never new there was a front plate. If $1,850 is more than half the repairs, is the total more than $3,000. that seem like a lot for a coolant tank and oil filler tube.

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I'm glad my guess on the expansion tank was correct. I agree it sounds overpriced, last year my warranty covered the expansion tank, the passenger seat switch and a horn at Scottsdale Porsche. EFG paid $1650 and I paid $100 plus 4 hours at $10 per hour. My warranty will only pay $135 per hour and North Scottsdale Porsche charges $145 per hour.

I am really happy for you and feel good about the guess!!!!

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The order says "replace gasket for coolant plate right front engine" , "replace oil separator bottle and hoses", "replace coolant bottle" then a list of parts like manifold gasket, coolant sensor, tubes, hoses, vacuum reservoir and new coolant. Might be pricey but considering what I've paid in the past for repairs on my boxster without a warranty I'm pretty happy.

That is great news. Curios, what is a front plate gasket? Had my engine is pieces and never new there was a front plate. If $1,850 is more than half the repairs, is the total more than $3,000. that seem like a lot for a coolant tank and oil filler tube.

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  • 1 month later...

WOW! This exact thing happened to my '02 C4cab coming home today.

It was a 98 degree day, I was going up a mountain and had AC on.

Stopped at an intersection, left and ran through 1st into 2nd (not hammering) - in 2nd: big poof of white smoke - then no more smoke - I was <.5 miles from home so I parked - checked temp gauge (fine) let car idle ~1 min and shut off.

Same dripping/pooling of orange-ish brown liquid running down my driver's side exhaust, dripping off mid-way down the tip.

Any chance I can explore the leak myself - or easily get at expansion tank? I have no manuals and closest mechanic I've dealt with is in Greensboro at FCI... I am in Mt. Airy, NC ...85 miles away

Any recommendations? Mechanic near Mt. Airy, NC?

Also, I have a re-occuring camlifter solenoid issue w/check engine light - Any thoughts? It cycles on every 85 miles or so and stays on for ~100miles - I've replaced once and its not cheap

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WOW! This exact thing happened to my '02 C4cab coming home today.

It was a 98 degree day, I was going up a mountain and had AC on.

Stopped at an intersection, left and ran through 1st into 2nd (not hammering) - in 2nd: big poof of white smoke - then no more smoke - I was <.5 miles from home so I parked - checked temp gauge (fine) let car idle ~1 min and shut off.

Same dripping/pooling of orange-ish brown liquid running down my driver's side exhaust, dripping off mid-way down the tip.

Any chance I can explore the leak myself - or easily get at expansion tank? I have no manuals and closest mechanic I've dealt with is in Greensboro at FCI... I am in Mt. Airy, NC ...85 miles away

Any recommendations? Mechanic near Mt. Airy, NC?

Also, I have a re-occuring camlifter solenoid issue w/check engine light - Any thoughts? It cycles on every 85 miles or so and stays on for ~100miles - I've replaced once and its not cheap

NEXT MORNING:

coolant level in tank is considerably low >1.5" below MIN mark

started car - large plume of white smoke initially - did not smell oily - more like overheated radiator - think its residual - smoke petered out ~1 minute w/light throttle revs - engine temp at roughly 120 after running 3 mins.

Engine oil level well within spec.

Unless I hear otherwise, I plan to top up fluids (coolant and oil) Start up and let run to normal operating temp - making sure nothing seems unusual - I could use some help defining what's unusual...

Any help would be appreciated (I'm moving this thread to the main 996 forum) - Checked DYI already ...read the coolant tank replace, but not applicable.

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If the coolant looks and feels OK with no oil mixing you need to determine if the coolant is leaking from the tank, as I've seen that many times in the forums as a reason for that orangeish fluid near the drivers side exhaust. Check the hoses as well. If you have a lift or stands safely get under the car or from the top try to use a flashlight and extension mirror to see if the tank is leaking.

Do not drive the car if the coolant level is low. Fill it properly.

If the tank or system is NOT leaking.

What is the consistency of the fluid in the tank? If it is coffee colored it is possible it has mixed with your oil. Search for intermix. Don't drive the car if you see coffee or abnormally colored coolant. Have it towed to a shop.

Unless you did it yourself, for the solenoid take it back to where you had the work done and tell them it is still not working. It could be the actuator.

Edited by logray
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