Jump to content

Welcome to RennTech.org Community, Guest

There are many great features available to you once you register at RennTech.org
You are free to view posts here, but you must log in to reply to existing posts, or to start your own new topic. Like most online communities, there are costs involved to maintain a site like this - so we encourage our members to donate. All donations go to the costs operating and maintaining this site. We prefer that guests take part in our community and we offer a lot in return to those willing to join our corner of the Porsche world. This site is 99 percent member supported (less than 1 percent comes from advertising) - so please consider an annual donation to keep this site running.

Here are some of the features available - once you register at RennTech.org

  • View Classified Ads
  • DIY Tutorials
  • Porsche TSB Listings (limited)
  • VIN Decoder
  • Special Offers
  • OBD II P-Codes
  • Paint Codes
  • Registry
  • Videos System
  • View Reviews
  • and get rid of this welcome message

It takes just a few minutes to register, and it's FREE

Contributing Members also get these additional benefits:
(you become a Contributing Member by donating money to the operation of this site)

  • No ads - advertisements are removed
  • Access the Contributors Only Forum
  • Contributing Members Only Downloads
  • Send attachments with PMs
  • All image/file storage limits are substantially increased for all Contributing Members
  • Option Codes Lookup
  • VIN Option Lookups (limited)

Recommended Posts

Hi Guys and Gals...

 

I've got a '99 Carrera that I recently purchased. This afternoon I noticed a coolant smell and at slow parking lot speeds I saw steam coming from the rear. The temp gauge isn't registering hot but the light at the upper right of the gauge is blinking. Pulling in to my drive I saw a trail of liquid (obviously coolant) behind the car.

 

So, with this information I did some research via the owner's manual that says "permanent" coolant. I've never heard of such a thing. It also says to pre-mix the coolant based on ambient temperatures, which makes me think it's just like any other coolant. More research online. Porsche recommends Porsche coolant (go figure) the same way Harley Davidson recommends HD oil. More research. I read that Porsche uses an "organic" coolant that if mixed with other coolants will turn into a gel and, well, BOOM -- a very expensive boom at that.

 

I'm looking for educated guesses here. I don't know what coolants (if any) the previous owners used. If they used Porsche coolant, is there a brand that is similar or exceeds this spec? Is there a way to tell what kind of coolant the previous owners used? I mean, it smells like coolant, but I can't see the colors that were described in other articles -- pink-ish, green, or yellow.

 

Should I just drain the entire cooling system and start from scratch? What do the pros here recommend...???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
    You can remove these ads by becoming a Contributing Member.

I recommend a complete drain and flush like this http://www.renntech.org/forums/topic/43467-simple-3-step-complete-coolant-drain/?hl=simple

given you don't know what's the current coolant is.

 

Just get 3 gals Porsche coolant from Sunset http://www.sunsetporscheparts.com/oe-porsche/00004330149 and mix it with distilled water 50/50. Then you're set for the next 6yrs or so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Guys and Gals...

 

I've got a '99 Carrera that I recently purchased. This afternoon I noticed a coolant smell and at slow parking lot speeds I saw steam coming from the rear. The temp gauge isn't registering hot but the light at the upper right of the gauge is blinking. Pulling in to my drive I saw a trail of liquid (obviously coolant) behind the car.

 

So, with this information I did some research via the owner's manual that says "permanent" coolant. I've never heard of such a thing. It also says to pre-mix the coolant based on ambient temperatures, which makes me think it's just like any other coolant. More research online. Porsche recommends Porsche coolant (go figure) the same way Harley Davidson recommends HD oil. More research. I read that Porsche uses an "organic" coolant that if mixed with other coolants will turn into a gel and, well, BOOM -- a very expensive boom at that.

 

I'm looking for educated guesses here. I don't know what coolants (if any) the previous owners used. If they used Porsche coolant, is there a brand that is similar or exceeds this spec? Is there a way to tell what kind of coolant the previous owners used? I mean, it smells like coolant, but I can't see the colors that were described in other articles -- pink-ish, green, or yellow.

 

Should I just drain the entire cooling system and start from scratch? What do the pros here recommend...???

 

Porsche describes their coolant as "lifetime", but real world testing says that life is about 5-6 years before it starts to break down.  The factory coolant is an excellent product in its own right, and while not cheap, it has been known to not play well with some other products, so it is a good idea to stay with the factory brand after you do a system drain and flush with water to clean the system out as Ahsai mentioned above.

 

As he also mentioned, doing a through drain, flush, and recharge with a fresh 50/50 mix of the Porsche coolant and distilled water (only) will put you back in business for several years.  The factory coolant is the only one we use at the shop based upon years of putting it into customer's cars.  You won't go wrong with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can read my coolant expansion tank thread here:

 

http://rennlist.com/forums/996-forum/870786-need-some-advice-coolant-issue.html

 

Then the darn thing failed on me again! Changed it out last month with an OEM tank and a new cap.

 

Before you start draining and refilling, figure out what the cause of the failure is, the go forward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots to look into...

 

Small update......

 

I'll keep y'all posted on the progress as it unfolds. The fluid definitely is coming from the left rear side of the engine, which does point me toward coolant reservoir tank, cap, or combination thereof. The fluid is pretty clear, which might mean there was a greater concentration of water to coolant, possibly done where I bought it as they might have thought a car's a car. As the car rolls the temp goes down (it did start to creep up this evening, unlike earlier today) but definitely rises a bit at red lights (still well inside of "safe" temps), so I don't think it would be the water pump *fingers crossed*. There is also a belt chirp coming from the right side on acceleration, then a small burst of energy when the chirp stops -- could that be related to the cooling system or A/C? Either way the belt needs to be tended to as well. I intend to have the dealer do all the diagnosis (and pay for it) and go from there. If they used the wrong coolant and the old coolant turned to gel (as I've read about, but not sure of the truth behind it) I'd much prefer the financial burden be on someone else's shoulders for that mistake.

 

I'm used to playing with my cars, but I prefer to have everything at 100% BEFORE tinkering so I have a better idea where to start when something goes south. I hope I didn't buy someone else's nightmare. *laughs*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots to look into...

 

Small update......

 

I'll keep y'all posted on the progress as it unfolds. The fluid definitely is coming from the left rear side of the engine, which does point me toward coolant reservoir tank, cap, or combination thereof. The fluid is pretty clear, which might mean there was a greater concentration of water to coolant, possibly done where I bought it as they might have thought a car's a car. As the car rolls the temp goes down (it did start to creep up this evening, unlike earlier today) but definitely rises a bit at red lights (still well inside of "safe" temps), so I don't think it would be the water pump *fingers crossed*. There is also a belt chirp coming from the right side on acceleration, then a small burst of energy when the chirp stops -- could that be related to the cooling system or A/C? Either way the belt needs to be tended to as well. I intend to have the dealer do all the diagnosis (and pay for it) and go from there. If they used the wrong coolant and the old coolant turned to gel (as I've read about, but not sure of the truth behind it) I'd much prefer the financial burden be on someone else's shoulders for that mistake.

 

I'm used to playing with my cars, but I prefer to have everything at 100% BEFORE tinkering so I have a better idea where to start when something goes south. I hope I didn't buy someone else's nightmare. *laughs*

 

The gelation problem is real, caused by mixing of the Porsche coolant with some aftermarket coolant products.  Similar issues have happened with other makes of cars as well, so it is not isolated to Porsche.  Normally, when this happens, the car suddenly and inexplicably over heats and refuses to cool down because gel is blocking the radiator channels and the coolant cannot circulate.

 

Part of your problem may be an air pocket in the cooling system (because of the design layout of the car, you have long run coolant lines going to the front of the car, with both the engine and radiators higher, so it is rather easy to get air trapped in the system.  The ideal method to prevent this is by using a vacuum filling system (which evacuates all of the air out of the coolant system before pulling in the fresh coolant charge, eliminating any chance of an air pocket).  Porsche dealers and most independents are equipped to change out the coolant this way as it is a 5 min. process with the correct tools as opposed to trying to "burp" the air out without overheating the engine.

 

As alloy engines do not like overheating or hot pockets in the cooling system, I would recommend not driving the car until this can be corrected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if the belt chirping is due to coolant leaking onto the belt.  Could probably happen from the expansion tank or from a failing water pump.  I had the water pump completely fail on my Boxster S and it caused belt chirping initially, puffs of smoke, then a very wet driveway when I shut off the motor and a bunch of coolant decided to come out from the bearing on the pump.

 

It's worth investigating and possibly replacing the pump while you're at this.  I'm sure you've read up on the pumps.  Best case scenario, you have a factory unit in there with the plastic impeller.  As you probably know, they can toss bits of plastic into your motor over time as the age.  Worse, you could have a replacement unit with metal impellers.  If it fails, you don't want that metal grinding on your case.

 

FWIW, I'm replacing the water pump on my newly acquired '04 C4S as a preventative measure since it's actually the original part with ~94k miles on it.

 

Interested to see what they diagnose this as.  Even if it is the coolant reservoir tank, if you have to flush the coolant anyway, you might seriously consider doing the pump while at it.  Just my two cents.  Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, I will put in my $.02 worth. Lifetime coolant is a bad idea, unless you define it as the lifetime of the engine (i.e. When the engine fails die to bad coolant). When my car was made (2000) Porsche recommended oil changes every 15,000 miles, what a joke! Do you know anyone who recommends going 15,000 miles on these cars today?

When I had my intermix/cracked head back in 2008 I drained and flushed the entire coolant system several times to remove the contamination. Since then I have run PEAK coolant and have had no problems whatsoever. If you want to pay the extra for the Porsche coolant be my guest, but a coolant rated for an aluminum engine will work just as well. This is somewhat like buying only Porsche OEM parts. For many of these it is just a label on the box, but the exact same parts are available from the same manufacturer without the Porsche mark on the box at a lower cost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, I will put in my $.02 worth. Lifetime coolant is a bad idea, unless you define it as the lifetime of the engine (i.e. When the engine fails die to bad coolant). When my car was made (2000) Porsche recommended oil changes every 15,000 miles, what a joke! Do you know anyone who recommends going 15,000 miles on these cars today?

When I had my intermix/cracked head back in 2008 I drained and flushed the entire coolant system several times to remove the contamination. Since then I have run PEAK coolant and have had no problems whatsoever. If you want to pay the extra for the Porsche coolant be my guest, but a coolant rated for an aluminum engine will work just as well. This is somewhat like buying only Porsche OEM parts. For many of these it is just a label on the box, but the exact same parts are available from the same manufacturer without the Porsche mark on the box at a lower cost.

 

You said the magic words:

 

" I drained and flushed the entire coolant system several times to remove the contamination. Since then I have run PEAK coolant and have had no problems whatsoever."

 

As long as this is done, you can use any alloy compatible coolant in these cars with one caveat:  All dealers and most independent shops are aware of the gelation issue with these cars, and as a result stick with the factory coolant to prevent issues.  So if your car came into their shop after you did your flush and refill, and if the car needed a coolant top up, they would add Porsche coolant.  If the aftermarket coolant is compatible, there will be no problems, but if not; well you can guess what may come next.  So if you are going to use a non Porsche coolant, I would suggest putting a small label near the coolant tank saying so, just to eliminate any chance for future trouble.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update...

 

I let her sit all weekend. This morning I figured I was going to drain the coolant anyway, so using the 'ol shadetree pitcher and gardenhose fill technique, I filled (and filled, and filled) the reservoir until I noticed the puddle forming under the car. Looking under the car it appears that ALL of the fluid is running out the water pump. So guess what I've got to do...

 

Next stop -- price a water pump for a 1999 Porsche Carrera. Woot!!

 

Nice thing is that the water pump doesn't appear to be a difficult fix on these (other than lowering the engine a bit), unlike V-8s with the water pump inside the engine.

 

Wish me luck... Ugh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Buy the original Porsche part, otherwise you may find yourself in the same predicament (or worse) one year down the road.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree with wizard and I highly recommend sunsetporschparts.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a little info on the same job that I just completed:

 

http://rennlist.com/forums/996-forum/916373-installed-new-water-pump-thermostat-what-do-you-think-of-this-oil-leak.html

 

I would also buy the new little plastic white connector piece from Porsche shown in my thread and replace it also. Best of luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part is ordered... Not as expensive as I initially thought *wipes brow*. Paul -- I read your post -- GREAT job! And yes, I'll be needing that new fangled vacuum pump to load the juice when I fill it up. I'll also be replacing as many plastic fittings with brass as I encounter them. Thanks for the suggestion!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And BTW, I recommend that you replace that one fitting with a new plastic one from Porsche, that way you can keep the OEM spring clamp on the fitting. I had to put the crummy hose clamps on it because the barb fitting was too big. YMMV

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update....

 

All parts are in. Yes -- it was the water pump. Not a difficult surgery with the exception of the most inboard 10mm bolt (between the water pump and drive pulleys). That was not a lot of fun to remove/replace. Anyway, first batch of coolant is in. To check the rules for filling the coolant I believe I follow this procedure:

 

1) Flip the pressure release valve and remove res cap.

2) Fill coolant 50/50 mixture to neck of reservoir.

3) Run engine.

4) Fill again and replace cap.

5) Let engine run and warm up until cooling fan kicks on.

6) Remove cap and fill again.

7) Lather, rinse, repeat...

 

British cars are so much less complex. *laughs* Then again, balancing those Zenith-Strombergs every other day did kinda suck. At least this is a once-every-ten-year (or so) thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Without the use of a vacuum filling system it shall be a time-consuming and hazardous task, any trapped air bubbles are indeed very difficult to remove without vacuum tool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got it all done. Yes, without the vacuum filling pump it was time consuming. The key there was to run the heater when filling it. Every morning I check the level and top it up. No worries now as the temp only goes above the 180 mark at extended stops, but it only goes up to around 190.

 

One small question:

 

When I put it all back together the check engine light came on. I figured it was from disconnecting the sensor on the air intake, so I disconnected the battery's positive cable and it did the trick. However, this morning after a small jaunt the light came on again. Suggestions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got it all done. Yes, without the vacuum filling pump it was time consuming. The key there was to run the heater when filling it. Every morning I check the level and top it up. No worries now as the temp only goes above the 180 mark at extended stops, but it only goes up to around 190.

 

One small question:

 

When I put it all back together the check engine light came on. I figured it was from disconnecting the sensor on the air intake, so I disconnected the battery's positive cable and it did the trick. However, this morning after a small jaunt the light came on again. Suggestions?

 

Sure; first, never disconnect the battery to clear a code without first reading it.  Doing so loses all of the accumulated systems diagnostic data that could have identified the problem and helped get it fixed.  Second, now that codes are back, get the car scanned and let us know what you found.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.