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joaopk

Clear oily fluid leaking

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Hi Everyone,

Everyone has always been super helpful in the past so I wanted to ask before going to the local dealer for service just so I know what to prepare for.

I bought a 2002 996 Carrera 4S last year and I drive it maybe every other week on weekends. The other weekend, I drove the car and turned on the a/c for the first time.

After parking the car, the next day I noticed a clear oily fluid (kind of looks like vegetable oil) that had leaked on the right front in front of the passenger side front tire (near radiator) and also the same fluid toward the back near the rear driver side rear wheel. In the front, the leak was more and in the back the leak was less.

I noticed after also that the anti freeze level had dipped below the low mark but I didn't see a trace of any anti freeze on the garage floor. (Unless the anti freeze is clear?).

I am new to Porsche and really do not know much and I am still learning. I just wanted to get an idea of what it may be before I bring it to the dealer to find out that it is a major $$$.

Thank you in advance.

John

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Clear oily fluid - doesn't sound like that would have anything to do with the cooling system. Based on the placement I wonder if you're talking about brake fluid? It would be nice to know the source of the leak to know for sure. Your brake fluid is under the hood on the driver's side. How is the brake fluid level?

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Just a thought: since you ran the A/C for the first time the stuff in the front could just be residue on or under the condensers (normal) and it's just basically water mixed with a little something - possibly gas or whatever was on the ground.

I haven't seen this on my 996 yet, but on other cars if the A/C runs long enough on a hot day, it too can generate some condensation on the outside of the compressor and drip down onto the ground as water, picking up whatever oils or other stuff might be caked onto the car's internals. The A/C compressor is approximately near the rear passenger wheel. Next time it happens you could open up the rear deck lid and take a look at the A/C - see if you see any water dripping from it or on the pipes leading up to the condensers in the upper right of the engine bay.

But I agree with Loren to check the fluid smell, touch, and taste (just kidding about the taste). It could very well be something else.

Edited by logray

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Thank you Everyone for your replies. I haven't had access to my computer to see the responses until today.

It definitely has me baffled. It has since stopped leaking and there is only a little bit that drips towards the rear driver's side. (almost above the rear axle).

It is clear and looks like vegetable oil or corn oil. It has a slight lemony smell. (Couldn't think of anything closer).

I haven't had a chance to check the brake fluid tank but I did notice the anti freeze tank is below the low mark. I am going to check the brake fluid reservoir tonight.

I am new to the car and I am not sure if Porsche fluids have different colors when compared to other vehicles. (My other car is an Acura).

I just wanted to ask you guys here before I go to my local dealer and receive a pleasant shock if you know what I mean...

Also, does anyone have a independent shop they would recommend in northern NJ area. I currently bring my car to Town Motors Porsche in Englewood. I haven't been to anyone else and I am kind of scared to without any referrals.

Thank you for all your help.

John

Just a thought: since you ran the A/C for the first time the stuff in the front could just be residue on or under the condensers (normal) and it's just basically water mixed with a little something - possibly gas or whatever was on the ground.

I haven't seen this on my 996 yet, but on other cars if the A/C runs long enough on a hot day, it too can generate some condensation on the outside of the compressor and drip down onto the ground as water, picking up whatever oils or other stuff might be caked onto the car's internals. The A/C compressor is approximately near the rear passenger wheel. Next time it happens you could open up the rear deck lid and take a look at the A/C - see if you see any water dripping from it or on the pipes leading up to the condensers in the upper right of the engine bay.

But I agree with Loren to check the fluid smell, touch, and taste (just kidding about the taste). It could very well be something else.

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folks here from north jersey seem to like and recommend powertech in rockaway. I'll use them when the time comes. Unfortunately, I had to go to a dealer to order an extra key.

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Hi Everyone,

I dropped the car off at the dealer today. They told me the clear oily fluid in the front is condensation from the A/C. (I'm still puzzled because the fluid was oily like a clear vegetable oil). Now the bad news is that they told me that in the back I have a RMS leak. The previous owner of the car had the RMS fixed under warranty in 2007 by the dealer. Could the RMS fail in another 4 years? My heart just dropped agfter hearing this from the dealer because of all the RMS/ IMS posts I've read on the forums. I don't know what to expect. Worst case scenario, how much does a RMS repair cost? Just wondering how much everyone else paid to get the RMS fixed.

Also, I am thinking about doing the 45K service from the dealer. The car has 39500 miles right now but I don;t really drive it that often. They said the 45K service is about $950. Is this also about right?

I've never owned a Porsche before and so far in the last 1 1/2 years I have had it, I have had no problems and the car has been a dream.

Thank you,

John

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Hah! Cool I got it right. ;-). The fluid probably looked oily because of whatever is on the ground or even oil or grime that has entered the front radiators. This is pretty common actually on any car.

The RMS seal itself costs about $20 or less and is a fairly straight forward thing to do. A little RMS leak or weep is generally not a bad thing, especially if it was recently done in 2007 and the car doesn't use or leak a lot of oil. Yes they can leak again in the future. It is a service item that should be replaced every so often.

It's removing the transmission and reinstalling that takes all the shop labor time.

In addition, it could also be the IMS flange that is leaking.

Just my opinion, but the $950 for 45k service is way to high, a lot of these things are DIY - and an independent shop wouldn't charge as much.

I would purchase the IMS Guradian from Jake Raby flat 6 innovations to monitor your IMS bearing, if you haven't had the IMS bearing retrofit. This will give you warning if it is about to fail.

Edited by logray

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Hi Everyone,

I dropped the car off at the dealer today. They told me the clear oily fluid in the front is condensation from the A/C. (I'm still puzzled because the fluid was oily like a clear vegetable oil). Now the bad news is that they told me that in the back I have a RMS leak. The previous owner of the car had the RMS fixed under warranty in 2007 by the dealer. Could the RMS fail in another 4 years? My heart just dropped agfter hearing this from the dealer because of all the RMS/ IMS posts I've read on the forums. I don't know what to expect. Worst case scenario, how much does a RMS repair cost? Just wondering how much everyone else paid to get the RMS fixed.

Also, I am thinking about doing the 45K service from the dealer. The car has 39500 miles right now but I don;t really drive it that often. They said the 45K service is about $950. Is this also about right?

I've never owned a Porsche before and so far in the last 1 1/2 years I have had it, I have had no problems and the car has been a dream.

Thank you,

John

$950 for the 45k Service?, Wow, that is high :eek: , I just had my L&N IMS retro fit done along with the RMS (free with the IMS from L&N) , pressure plate, clutch, throw out bearing, pilot bearing and 45K Service for $1616.00 ( Parts and Labor) from a friend of mine who is a Porsche Certified, ASE Master Mechanic. Too bad you are not in Central Florida where i am located, could save you $$$. Look around, there has to be other Certified Porsche mechanics out there in your area that are less costly and still do a good job.

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John,

The 15,000 / 45,000 / 75,000 mile service is considered "Minor Maintenance" by Porsche. Check out this RennTech link:

http://www.renntech.org/forums/maint/maint_us_mm_02/

The 30,000 / 60,000 / 90,000 mile service is considered "Major Maintenance" by Porsche. Check out this RennTeck link:

http://www.renntech.org/forums/maint/maint_us_mj_02/

In 2006, I paid $398.45 for the Minor Maintenance at my dealer. Last year I paid $500.79 for the Major Maintenance, again, at my dealer. $950.00 for Minor Maintenance is a bit much. Compare what the dealer says he is going to do with the above link. Now, all bets are off if the dealer is including other maintenance items like spark plugs (every four years), brake fluid flush (every two years), air bag system inspection (tenth year - then every two years thereafter). Check out this RennTech link:

http://www.renntech.org/forums/maint/maint_us_add/

The RMS is generally not replaced - unless the leak is severe - until the clutch is replaced. The problem is that it is impossible to tell whether the RMS is leaking or the IMS bearing is leaking. I concur with logray's suggestion to monitor the health of the IMS bearing. But........don't obsess about it. I've got two Stuttgart grenades (996 and 986) and sleep well at night.

Bill

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