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Hot!987.2 Check engine coolest level light came on this morning

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911hillclimber
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2020/01/08 14:48:06 (permalink)

987.2 Check engine coolest level light came on this morning

As above..
switched it off as the warning came on when left standing for 9 days so stone cold.
checked the level and the min level was dry.
bought some Vw AUDI concentrate fluid and added 3 pints to get between min and max.
Started engine, no lights and all ok.
 
Now, I have never checked the level in my 3 years of ownership...so is this amount of loss to be expected?
no signs of leaks on the level driveway.
graham.

Club member since 1988

23 Replies Related Threads

    legin
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    Re: 987.2 Check engine coolest level light came on this morning 2020/01/08 15:29:44 (permalink)
    The level shouldnt go down.
    If its anything like mine you will have a infamous hose o ring leak.i have had two now , one at the front and recently one at the rear. The cold weather doesnt help because the o ring seals flatten with time and lose resilience in the cold. My front was corrosion and rear flattening. 
    You have to look quite hard to spot a small leak as it flashes off before you see a patch.
    Another rubbish solution to a problem that didnt exist. 
    Motorhead
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    Re: 987.2 Check engine coolest level light came on this morning 2020/01/08 17:29:02 (permalink)
    Graham,
     
    I'd agree with Nigel's comment that coolant loss isn't normal and should be investigated - I'd be inclined to check the level regularly to get an idea whether or not there's a leakage.
     
    One of the simplest (and cheapest) things to do is to replace the coolant cap just in case the O-ring seal is leaking (I think there may be another cap accessed by removing the engine cover??). Also check the couplings which can be seen in the front wheel arches for corrosion and leaks (a common problem on these cars).
     
    If there's nothing obvious, a static full system pressure test is the most efficient way to highlight leakages.
     
    Jeff

    987.2 Cayman S
    North Beds (R10 & R24)
    911hillclimber
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    Re: 987.2 Check engine coolest level light came on this morning 2020/01/08 17:46:43 (permalink)
    I suspected as much, hence asking the question.
    Ill have the front wheels off this weekend if dry and have a look at those joints.
    They were fine last year. As said, poor design by Porsche...

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    legin
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    Re: 987.2 Check engine coolest level light came on this morning 2020/01/08 17:51:02 (permalink)
    Check the rear as well. Roughly where the floor pan stops and the engine starts. They can leak without corroding. 
    AndrewT
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    Re: 987.2 Check engine coolest level light came on this morning 2020/01/08 18:19:23 (permalink)
    Graham,
    I agree with the suggestions about replacing the two coolant caps. Last year my Cayman suddenly started losing a significant quantity of water yet there were no signs of leakage under the car. The garage who diagnosed the problem said that as the water leaked past the cap under pressure it dripped onto the engine and evaporated hence no signs of water on the floor. Replacement of the two caps solved the problwm.

    Andrew.
    987.2 Cayman S
    Romsey, Hampshire. (R17).
    CLIFFWILKINS
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    Re: 987.2 Check engine coolest level light came on this morning 2020/01/08 18:47:26 (permalink)
    Yeah agree with comments above first port of call would be the coolant cap for me cheap enough.
    Best of luck.

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    911hillclimber
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    Re: 987.2 Check engine coolest level light came on this morning 2020/01/08 19:06:42 (permalink)
    Didn't know there were 2 caps!
    I used the cap in the boot adjacent to the oil filler.
    there was a good hiss as the pressure in the system leaked past as I turned it, so I presume the pressure is held so the caps are good?
    The second must be in the front?
    If the boot one is pressure tight, then the front must be ok too?
    will check on Friday.
    Thanks to all for the advice so far.
    Graham.

    Club member since 1988
    AndrewT
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    Re: 987.2 Check engine coolest level light came on this morning 2020/01/08 19:58:17 (permalink)
    Sorry to mislead, mine’s  a Cayman which has a ‘remote’ filler in the rear boot, the main cap is under the engine cover. I can’t remember whether my system was still pressurised even with the faulty cap(s).

    Andrew.
    987.2 Cayman S
    Romsey, Hampshire. (R17).
    911hillclimber
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    Re: 987.2 Check engine coolest level light came on this morning 2020/01/08 22:43:22 (permalink)
    Ok, just so I'm clear:
    My 987.2 / 2009/ 2.9 has the coolant cap in the boot behind a flap which also has the oil filler.
    The handbook only says check the fluid level via that boot mounted cap, which I did and have filled with 3 pints to get the fluid between min and max. I went for 1/2 way as the handbook stressed not to go over Max.
    There is no reference to another location, so I presume there is in fact just the one cap, a large blue one.
    It was this cap removal that gas a good hiss when initially turned 1/4 turn to remove it, and that must be the system press built-up when I started the engine. The warning light came on about minute after starting.
    If the cap was faulty, then the pressure would not be there.
    Things are never simple with this car, so I suspect the front cross tubes will need some new ones. Prob do them the same time as the front discs and pads.
     
    I notice that Design911 do a kit of parts for about £500, but these are Porsche parts, so I guess the same kit is available for less from OPC?
     
    As an aside, the car has been totally smoke free since fitting the new AOS.

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    legin
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    Re: 987.2 Check engine coolest level light came on this morning 2020/01/08 22:50:33 (permalink)
    There is a second cap and seperate vent valve under the top engine cover, part of the header tank.  This is for initial filling and burping the system so a service job normally, the PAS fluid level is also under there. The blue boot one is intended for topping off. 
     
    My money is still on hose o rings so look at the hose connection points
    911hillclimber
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    Re: 987.2 Check engine coolest level light came on this morning 2020/01/09 07:12:45 (permalink)
    Thank you for that, I'll check that too!
    my Skoda Superb is trouble free, same miles.
    The Boxster not so robust...

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    Motorhead
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    Re: 987.2 Check engine coolest level light came on this morning 2020/01/09 09:31:57 (permalink)
    Graham,
     
    It'll be just as well to check the integrity of the expansion tank cap.
     
    Maybe it's a bit unfair to compare the robustness of the mid-engined Boxster's cooling system with that of your front-engined Skoda which has a relatively small number of connectors. You might to want to take a look at the coolant piping system on the Boxster PET:
     
    https://www.porsche.com/uk/accessoriesandservice/classic/genuineparts/originalpartscatalogue/
     
    Just dial in your 987.2 cars's details and have a look from Illustration: 105-000. Engine at the rear + two coolant radiators up-front = lots of pipes and connectors, any one of which can fail, especially when corrosion kicks-in over the years. Having said that, the connector design doesn't appear to be particularly robust given the number of replacements being reported on the older cars due to corrosion.
     
    Jeff

    987.2 Cayman S
    North Beds (R10 & R24)
    911hillclimber
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    Re: 987.2 Check engine coolest level light came on this morning 2020/01/09 22:41:43 (permalink)
    Yes, take your point, I meant in general the Skoda just seems to go on and on, miles, towing, shopping, living in airport parking without a flat battery.
    This Boxster seems to have a line of small and larger issues that keep on tarnishing the car.
     
    Still, it is a well known weakness, so will simply get on with it soon.
    Maybe 60K miles is too much for a Boxster!

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    legin
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    Re: 987.2 Check engine coolest level light came on this morning 2020/01/10 07:39:21 (permalink)
    I agree that the 987/997 are nothing special when it comes to reliability and infact below par but fortunately the failures on a gen 2 at least are minor end in the scheme of things.
    The failure of the hoses is age related not mileage related for most part.
    911hillclimber
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    Re: 987.2 Check engine coolest level light came on this morning 2020/01/12 12:08:33 (permalink)
    So:
    Took the car for a cruise yesterday, about 80 miles, temp gauge rock steady @ 80/81 Deg C which I think is right. It has always been at this level since I had the car.
    Before setting off, checked the coolant level via the boot Blue Cap and it was where I filled it to 3 days before, mid-way max to min.
    Had a good pressure release in doing so.
     
    After the drive left it on the level overnight.
    Today, checked the rear blue cap for level, a good hiss and level where it was.
    Took the engine cover off and the blue cap on the engine was as dirty as the rest of the engine, but not a sign of a leak or anything, just usual road dirt.
    AOS was all oil tight too!
    Removed and cleaned the blue cap, all ok inside, back on tight.
     
    Took a look at the water pump while feeling enthusiastic and all dry down there and the rest looking good, so buttoned the lot back up.
    Decided to leave the front pie inspection to when the car is all jacked-up and wheels off for the new disc brakes in a few weeks time and see if the pipes etc are leaking.
     
    When I had the car serviced last (August) at Zuffenhaus there was no mention of the pipes in the inspection, just the rusty brakes at the front, nothing else to report and they are usually very eagle-eyed.

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    Motorhead
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    Re: 987.2 Check engine coolest level light came on this morning 2020/01/12 12:58:41 (permalink)
    All good then Graham, but I'd be inclined to keep an eye on the level over the next 1k miles or so just in case.
     
    Yes, an indicated 80 deg C is the correct stable running temperature, but word is that it's not necessarily the "true" temperature. In their wisdom I understand that Porsche have decided that as long as the coolant temperature lies within acceptable limits then the gauge will indicate 80 deg C to avoid owners worrying about the coolant temperature. I'm sure that they would prefer just to have the warning light and message and save on the cost of fitting a temperature gauge..!
     
    There'll probably be some corrosion around the coolant pipe joints at the front, but Zuffenhaus will be able to advise you if any work is necessary at the moment. You could try applying some Würth anti-corrosion spray around the joints.
     
    Jeff

    987.2 Cayman S
    North Beds (R10 & R24)
    Briggy
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    Re: 987.2 Check engine coolest level light came on this morning 2020/01/12 16:24:16 (permalink)
    I have exactly the same issue on my 987.2 i.e. low coolant warning. I also went for a drive and no drop in levels. So I've been using it to commute to work for the last 2 weeks, which is 10 miles there and 10 miles back. Checked the coolant today and it's below minimum. I only had 250ml of distilled water and it took all of that without coming up to minimum.
     
    I've now ordered both coolant caps :
     
    996 106 447 04 Coolant expansion tank cap.
    987 106 044 00 Coolant end cap.
    987 106 170 00 Seal for above.
     
    If I fit those, top up the level, use it to commute for another 2 weeks and the levels have stayed the same, then I know one of the caps was to blame. If not, my money is on the crossover pipes.
     
    These filler caps are pretty cheap Graham, hence why I'm trying this avenue first.
     
    Cheers,
    Bryan

    987.2 Cayman S
    Motorhead
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    Re: 987.2 Check engine coolest level light came on this morning 2020/01/12 17:37:56 (permalink)
    Sounds like a good plan Bryan.
     
    The problem is that there are so many pipes and connectors in the system (see the link in my post #13 above) that if it's a very minor leak it's very hard to hunt it down, especially at the "hot" end near the engine bay where the coolant will evaporate very rapidly. I guess that the best way to find the leak would be to get a static pressure test performed with the vehicle on a lift where any visible issues should be evident.
     
    The coolant pump is also a well-documented source of leaks, so when you remove the engine cover it would be wise to check in that area too.
     
    Jeff
    post edited by Motorhead - 2020/01/12 18:01:53

    987.2 Cayman S
    North Beds (R10 & R24)
    911hillclimber
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    Re: 987.2 Check engine coolest level light came on this morning 2020/01/12 17:43:36 (permalink)
    Always try the simplest and cheapest ideas first!
    there are no signs of wetting present or past around the two blue caps so I presume (dangerous....) that there is no fluid coming out from them.
    Change them so you can cross them off the list of possibles!
     
    I plan to check the level every time I take the car out before start up, so easy to check in seconds.
    if it drops then the pipes will be next.

    Club member since 1988
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