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Temperature light flashing red - how do I check the coolant level?


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Hi,

I am pretty new to my 996 & was out the other day in 95 degree heat zipping around with the top down, generally having a great time. I noticed the temp light flashing but the temp was in its normal range. I started to head home & cranked up the heat (assuming it might help - maybe not but then I blame John Candy), I made it home parked & was thinking of taking it out today but thought I should check it out first.

With that being said, after some reading I see there are some issues with the coolant tank expansion cracking, etc.

How can I check the expansion tank & the radiator? For that matter, how do I check the oil levels? I pop open the hood & its a little more mysterious on how they shoehorn everything into the 996.

Thanks,

Rich

Its a 1999 996 Cab.

Edited by RichTJ99
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(assuming it might help - maybe not but then I blame John Candy), I made it home parked & was thinking of taking it out today but thought I should check it out first.

Welcome, Rich!

Smart move, don't drive her again until this is resolved.

Love the John Candy reference. "Hey, you're going the wrong way!" "How does he know where we're going!"

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Flashing light=low coolant level. Open engine lid, look on the left side. There is a plastic tank with a cap. That is the coolant tank. With engine cold, remove the cap and fill to the maximum line level with 50/50 mix of Porsche Antifreeze and distilled water.

Engine oil level check - there is a dipstick in the engine bay just to the left of the air filter box. It is yellow and has a picture of an oil can on it. Pull, wipe, re-insert, pull and check the oil level. There are two little holes in the dip stick that indicate the minimum and maximum levels. Your oil level should be between those marks. I always keep mine topped off at the maximum level. It is about a 1 quart difference between min/max. If low add a little bit, check again, repeat. Always use a Porsche approved oil.

Find a copy of your owners manual and read it. Most of this is covered and it is simple car maintenance.

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Try and do these checks with the car on level ground. Top up to the correct levels, but I prefer to see the oil just below the full mark. Check them again in a few days time when the car is cold and in the same location as before, or on level ground.

Watch out for coolant drips on the left exhaust pipe (looking from the back). This could signify a split coolant header tank. If the water loss is slight it could be a defective coolant cap. Worth replacing for a start at about 20$.

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Can I use any off the shelf antifreeze to add to the coolant resiviour tank? It is low. I would like to get it to the full line when cold then check the level periodically to see if it is leaking.

Hard to answer, not knowing what is already in your system. Assuming it's a Porsche product, I'd stay with a Porsche coolant. You can also buy VW's coolant at a local dealership for less cost. Porsche's coolant is excellent, so stay with that.

For topping up the system, just use distilled water until the issue is completely resolved.

Mixing unknow coolant is NOT GOOD. You can get interations and gelling. Big problem.

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Can I use any off the shelf antifreeze to add to the coolant resiviour tank? It is low. I would like to get it to the full line when cold then check the level periodically to see if it is leaking.

Rather than go through all this experimentation, how about simply getting the system (and the cap) pressure tested? Takes about 15 min. and will positively confirm or deny a leak.............

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