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Dumbest Thing I've Ever Done! Need Help!

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I think I all ready know the answer to this, but here goes. I just picked up my car from the body shop last night, so now you know I recently wrecked my 02 Boxster, but dialing my phone while driving to set up an oil change then running into the car in front of me still is not the dumbest thing I've done yet.

The body shop guy told me the low coolant light was on, but since he didn't have the right tool to burp the car that was that. I had had this happen before the previous time I wrecked it, so was familiar with this. I thought I could make it home, but the car overheated and I pulled off the highway to let the car cool. So, while on the side of the road with my lights and flashers on, since the car hadn't been driven in weeks, the battery was low and ultimately I lost power.

I called my wife, who had AAA and also told her to bring me some antifreeze or water. Well here goes. The tow truck driver arrives and I tell him all I need is a jump. Remember I'm on the side of a highway, 18 wheelers and cars are 2' away from my door, it's cold, dark and apparently this traumatized my brain and prevented it from working any further. The tow truck driver hooks up his jump pack to my battery, I start the car, it's running and here it comes............................. I run around to the back of the car, remember it's dark, I grab the water jug, take off the cap and pour the water in. I jump in my car start heading for home which is less than a couple of miles away. I'm monitoring my temperature gauge which which is fine, but apparently smoke is pouring out the exhaust. I'm starting to lose power, so pull over on the shoulder of the busy highway again. I can't believe it. My wife is behind me, so I jump in her car and ask her to call AAA again. What I forgot to tell you is, she is absolutely over this car! I start thinking about what the hell has happened here and then it dawns on me. I poured 1 gallon of water in my oil reservoir! Yep I did. So, I'm assuming I have just blown the engine? Why did it just quit and not peg the temp gauge? Sorry guys, I realize you are embarrassed that I own a Porsche, but promise I will seek counseling. Thanks for your response. If it's blown, which I all ready think I know the answer, maybe it's time to up the juice in this thing and put a 911 engine in. Is there a 911 engine that would fit in an 02 Boxster (non S) and where would you start looking to find one? Thanks for your help!

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The combination of overheating and water in the oil can be devastating, but without physically being able to look at or test the car, it is impossible to say what damage has been done. You need to do two things, pronto: One, get the contaminated oil out of the engine ASAP, being sure to also change the filter. Two, do not start the car until the cooling system as been properly refilled, and this will mean the use of a vacuum system because you do not want to run the car until the cooling system is ready to function. Then you can start purging the water out of the engine oil system.

Put a fresh filter and a full load of oil in it before starting it, then let it run at idle until fully warm, then bring the RPM’s up to about 1,500-2,000 for about 30 seconds. Let it idle again, shut it off and drain the oil and change the filter again.

Repeat the oil refill and filter, repeat the warm up and low engine speed run. Shut the car off and pull your dipstick looking for the classic “hot chocolate” look in the oil. If you find it, repeat the oil change again until the oil stays looking like oil and not an emulsion with water. Once the oil stays clean, take the car for a long, but casual drive to get it hot and allow the crankcase evacuation system to remove any remaining moisture.

Only time will tell what else may have happened…………..

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Flush out as much of that water-contaminated oil as you can get; the rest will boil off as steam when the engine reaches temperature. Just don't let it sit or you risk rust forming inside the engine.

Edited by grover
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I have "burped" my Boxsters a couple times. They have the pressure relief valve on the back of the car underneath the plastic

piece that sits across the oil and coolant fill caps.

That being said -- do what JFP suggested. You don't want to leave the coolant in the oil because it can start to attack

some of the softer metals (like bearings). So be sure to drain the oil quickly and completely.

Then follow JFP's instructions. I do wonder why your coolant light was low in the first place tho.

Once filled -- you shouldn't run across this unless you have a problem.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for your replies. Well I immediately drained the oil and water mixture, put new oil and new filter on, filled the coolant reservoir and it all came running out of the radiator which was obviously damaged in the accident and not repaired by the body shop. What I've come to conclude, since the engine now won't turnover, is that it probably wasn't the water in the oil that caused the car to smoke so badly an ultimately lose power, it was that there wasn't any coolant left in the reservoir/radiator and I just burnt the engine up. I'm assuming I should just start looking for a used engine because I hear once these aluminum engines get hot, there's not much use trying to have them repaired. Let me know what your thoughts.

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