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Caymaniac
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Pink fluid puddle, then coolant low = heater core leak

On Thursday I drove 150 miles on the freeway to get home. Uneventful.

I pulled the car out of the garage tonight and found a sizable pink puddle under the car. Just front of cabin and in the center as best I can gauge.

I examined the liquid, and it is not oil or brake fluid.

I drove the car around the block and I could definitely smell coolant.

After a mile or so the coolant light came on and then went off. The car never actually warmed up, so the temp was not an issue.

Do I call Porsche roadside assistance for something like this, or do I add coolant and pray I don't get stranded and/or damage the engine after overheating on the 45 minute to the dealer?

2008 w/ 22k miles and 31 months old

Any tips or thoughts? Predictions?
 

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I would take the engine cover off first and check what the secondary coolant cap in the engine bay looks like. That could have failed or worked loose.

Good luck!
 

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On Thursday I drove 150 miles on the freeway to get home. Uneventful.

I pulled the car out of the garage tonight and found a sizable pink puddle under the car. Just front of cabin and in the center as best I can gauge.

I examined the liquid, and it is not oil or brake fluid.

I drove the car around the block and I could definitely smell coolant.

After a mile or so the coolant light came on and then went off. The car never actually warmed up, so the temp was not an issue.

Do I call Porsche roadside assistance for something like this, or do I add coolant and pray I don't get stranded and/or damage the engine after overheating on the 45 minute to the dealer?

2008 w/ 22k miles and 31 months old

Any tips or thoughts? Predictions?
Looks like that's two of us for having fluid leaking problems. I've got brake fluid on my floor. I will be calling Porsche Roadside tomorrow to have my car towed to the dealer. As for you, I'd call PR too, it's free and better safe than sorry. My dealer is 5 min away, I wouldn't consider driving 45min with a leak like that. Tells us how it goes.
 

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Since you found a puddle I suggest you do check the coolant cap under the hood/trunk/whatever you call it, and see if there are any leaks there. If there are, then replace the cap (or tighten it well if it was not tightened), add more coolant and let it sit to see if it will leak again. Otherwise there may be invisible leaks and you will need to take it to the dealer!
 

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Top it off and watch it b4 you go for a 45 min scoot to the dealer, don't imagine you'd want to loose all your coolant on the way there :eek: or call for a tow, that'd be me.

My 08 was in for a blower replacement last year and somehow at one end the line failed on them and dropped all the coolant, they told me it happened in the garage not on the road, not too worry, slightly suspect but what can you do.....maybe there are issues with clamps and I got lucky and it failed in the shop.....:crazy:
 

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Caymaniac
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I popped the engine cover and it cost me a plie of money.

grainy iphone pic in dark

My damned engine is so ridiculously clean in there after 2.5 years, I HAVE GOT TO GET A CLEAR COVER. I think red nail polish in the P O R S C H E lettering is all I need after a clean up. No sign of coolant. The expansion tank top is secure.

So, I am thinking it might be the water pump? I have seen that a few have failed around my same mileage milestone.

Calling for a tow in the morning. I am not going to screw around with overheating the engine when the car has an idiot light for a temp gauge.
 

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Crusin worlds most isolated city
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I had a strange one once in the 06 car.
One day the coolant warning went on and it needed a good 1-2 litres of water. However, no leaks, no puddles, no signs of anything abnormal before, after or ever again for years later. Figure that? :confused:
Oh well, not broken - dont fix. :confused:
 

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Dave,

Getting it towed is the best choice. I had coolant issues with my '06 CS that ended up requiring a replacement of the coolant reservoir, clamps, et al. It took a couple of iterations for the dealer to get it right. Whatever the cause, you'll be glad you had them check it. Just make sure you're satisfied with the fix.

Craig
 

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Dave,

Appears to be a leak from one the HVAC fittings or heater core. Coolant is tapped from the cooling system and runs through aluminum lines up to the defroster and heating unit attached to the firewall.

Cheers,
 

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Caymaniac
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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Dave,

Appears to be a leak from one the HVAC fittings or heater core. Coolant is tapped from the cooling system and runs through aluminum lines up to the defroster and heating unit attached to the firewall.

Cheers,
WTF?

How did you come up with THAT? :cheers:

I JUST got off the phone with the dealer. They said the heater core is leaking somewhere. Coolant inside the car...he said "It's a mess." Might be a pin hole leak, but they are not sure.

No idea how long it is going to take to fix it, or what needs to be fixed at this point, but it would be VERY EXPENSIVE if the car was not under warranty.

I asked, "What's up with that? The car is 2 years old and has 23k miles."

He said, "I don't know." In a puzzled voice...which I appreciate for it's honesty.:)


So now I am concerned about the coolant in the cabin and what needs to happen to clean it up. Replace the entire interior carpeting down to metal? I am ****ing serious. If my wife can still smell coolant, it is NOT FIXED.

Would you accept a smelly, coolant soaked car as "fixed"?
 

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WTF?

How did you come up with THAT? :cheers:

I JUST got off the phone with the dealer. They said the heater core is leaking somewhere. Coolant inside the car...he said "It's a mess." Might be a pin hole leak, but they are not sure.

No idea how long it is going to take to fix it, or what needs to be fixed at this point, but it would be VERY EXPENSIVE if the car was not under warranty.

I asked, "What's up with that? The car is 2 years old and has 23k miles."

He said, "I don't know." In a puzzled voice...which I appreciate for it's honesty.:)


So now I am concerned about the coolant in the cabin and what needs to happen to clean it up. Replace the entire interior carpeting down to metal? I am ****ing serious. If my wife can still smell coolant, it is NOT FIXED.

Would you accept a smelly, coolant soaked car as "fixed"?
No, I would not, but I also would not go ballistic until they said they were not going to fix it properly. Just set your expectation in a matter of fact manner, "so, I assume that with the coolant in the car you will just replace the carpeting, etc, right?" Repeat after me Dave - I will not use any expletives when talking to the service tech, I will not ....

Considering that the coolant is likley toxic I would not think Porsche would even consider leaving any remnant in the interior.

How did I know? It was the only logical explanation given the proximity and color of the fluid. That and we just took my car apart so I know what it looks like in there.

Cheers,
 

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Caymaniac
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No, I would not, but I also would not go ballistic until they said they were not going to fix it properly. Just set your expectation in a matter of fact manner, "so, I assume that with the coolant in the car you will just replace the carpeting, etc, right?" Repeat after me Dave - I will not use any expletives when talking to the service tech, I will not ....
That isn't my style. :cheers:

I have been in the people business since my first paper route at age 8.

Your quote is EXACTLY what I will say to the guy. :hilarious:

Wish me luck.
 

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Wish me luck.
Good luck.

Also, considering you track the car this also is probably a good time to get rid of the coolant and replace with just water and Redline Water Wetter. No point in leaving a deadly trail of glycol on the track.

Cheers,
 

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Caymaniac
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Update...although they are still not sure where the leak is coming from, exactly...they know it is inside the "evaporator case". They are taking it apart to check the heater core and fittings. Now the part that starts to get my blood pressure elevated...

The first guy (a technician) said , "It's a mess." and said that there was coolant "in the car."

My actual service advisor says, "No...the coolant is dripping outside. It didn't get on the inside of the car. It is dripping out of the hose where condensation drips from your AC condenser."

I know that this is NOT where the fluid was coming from. It was coming out from a gap in the underbody panels. So now I don't know if coolant got into the carpet or padding or not. I do know that the smell was so bad that my wife noticed it right away. Inside the car.

Anyone have a better feel for the odds of coolant getting into the cabin if it was leaking into the "evaporator case"?
 

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Now that is a drag......good luck, have you been to the dealer to see for yourself if in fact there is coolant inside, or is it too late to tell.
 

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Caymaniac
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Now that is a drag......good luck, have you been to the dealer to see for yourself if in fact there is coolant inside, or is it too late to tell.
I just got back from the dealership. Very few cars in stock. Very strange atmosphere. Ghost town.

Cool 550 Spyder replica in the shop.

Well, what do ya know? My car looks like they are stripping it down to make a race car. Pink soaked rags lying on the floor of the passenger side. I didn't have the heart to take pictures. It made me sick.

Why the service advisor felt it was a good idea to either A) tell me something when he didn't know the truth, or B) tell me a lie...I will never understand. He didn't think I was going to come in for a loaner car when he told me that coolant "didn't get on the carpet". After the first guy told me exactly what the reality was 2 hours earlier.

The heater core has a leak along one edge where the main body meets one end. They pressure tested it and are not sure if it is a bad weld or a pin hole in the radiator material, but they are replacing the unit. The whole process is going to take "weeks". The evaporator box/case was "half full" of coolant from the leak, and the interior of the car had become saturated before it leaked outside onto the ground.

This situation could have led to quite a mystery, and I feel lucky that I saw the puddle before the coolant light ever came on. And I was at home and not 200 miles away.

Again...the story about it leaking out the drain tube was BS. I have to assume that the SA just didn't want me to know that carpet was going to be subjected to an "industrial extractor" to see if they could clean the interior.

WTF? I thought that the dealership's incentive was to get repairs approved under warranty? Is this guy trying to work some margin angle where he gets money from Porsche to fix the car, then doesn't do what they approved...pocketing the balance in some way? I must be missing something here.

The bigger problem may be that my smoking hot wife LOVES the 2010 Meteor Gray Cayenne we have as a loaner. I literally JUST paid off our minivan. She is having fun in it, so the more Porsche fun she gets out of the deal, the better. :)
 

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Get another opinion - I just had the same issue and it was the water pump that failed.My tech says he has seen a few around 24-25K miles.
 

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Caymaniac
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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
***DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS BASED UPON WHAT THE DEALERSHIP SAYS***

Well...it was going to be "weeks" two fix.

Now we have to add the time to actually make a new carpet interior for the car. Seriously. There are currently no parts in the US or in "Germany". It will be 3 days before we know how long it is going to take for the manufacturing and delivery process. We are expecting "weeks" for that part.

THEN they can start the work to put the car back together.

Total down time may exceed a month.

**END OF DEALER INFORMATION***

This Cayenne is NOT worth my monthly payment. Now I am starting to get bummed.

150 miles a day? I am starting a log. I will drive every one.
 

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Why dont you check out Eric of bumper plugs or something. It is kinda expected for them not to stock the interior as it is probably not a very popular thing to change!
 
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