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Oil Level Indicator Problem - only when cold?

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All, I have an intermittent problem on my 986 S which the last owner told me about and I didn't see an issue with it.

Basically when the engine is cold and you turn the ignition key you get this error


As soon as the car is warm it works perfectly normally like this.



It only happens when its cold no other time. It's just been serviced and the fault cleared on the ecu but just returns. The car operates perfectly and after 10 mins or so it works normally as I have stated. It's just a bit annoying first thing when I see it thats all.

Obviously there is no problem with the oil as the dipstick is fine and the electronic guage works fine after 10 minutes.

I had the contacts checked and all was ok so today I have had the oil level sender replaced but the error is still happening??

Any other ideas.

Your help would be appreciated.



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Cold is when it first starts or the engine temp is under 50 degrees.

Oil is 0w40 and just been serviced. Has done it for a couple of years.

Havent had oil pressure checked under these conditions.

Someone else has mentioned instrument cluster could be faulty?

Edited by jsm
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Hi jsm, got your email.

I also had the oil sensor (assume it's the same as the sender) replaced but didn't fix. Porsche wanted about $1500 for new cluster plus labour. I called a breaker in the Porche GT magazine and they had one which matched my part number and was within a thousand miles of my cluster. Paid 120 pounds about $150. Here's a link to a hack site with clear instructions for cluster removal http://boxsters.addr.com/hacks/index.htm

I'm not exaggerating when I say it's a one hour job maybe less. You need a torx screwdriver set. Remove two screws lift up pod with cluster. You can unplug the three conectors and move it to the side and try your replacement unit. I disconnected the battery but I've read some people leave battery connected.

Replacing the cluster fixed my problem. Some differences to yours, my one was solid failure. The whole display just flashed for so many seconds and then went to the time display.

Other thing is, your dislplay looks to be from a newer model. My car is a 2002 S. With the replacement cluster in place I get a five second count down and then the oil level is shown between the upper and lower marks. Maybe yours is a more advanced computer display?

Your working display seems to suggest you have too much oil, it's above the max. Is that normal?

Anyway, if you can borrow a cluster or willing to buy one to try it's really a straight forward job. Like you I lived with it, but it was great to get it solved.


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Alan, thanks for your help. My car is the same a 2002 S uk model. Are you in Glasgow Scotland or is there another one as you post mentions £££ then $$$??

The level is right and the prob was noted when I bought it and described by the previous owner to me as being there for a couple of years. I thought a sender change would sort it but today I was disappointed.

My car has the onboard computer but nothing else unusual about the clocks I dont think?

Edited by jsm
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Alan, what was the score reference the mileage. Can it be reset to the current mileage reading on your original cluster which is the true mileage or did you end up up with the mileage of the donor car showing?

That wouldnt be good.

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