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Yearly Archives: 2010

The Do It Yourself Oil Change (DIY)

Working on your own car can be an interesting and rewarding experience. Some people have a higher mechanical aptitude than others, but performing various basic repairs on your automobile can be mastered by anyone with an interest in doing so. We recommend that owners get more familiar with their car, even if it means changing a flat tire or just checking and setting the tire pressures — as long as the proper tools are utilized and correct procedures followed. For those who would like something more challenging, try performing your own engine oil and filter change. If you have never done this, ask your shop if you can observe their technician during an oil change and if they will explain why and what they are doing during every step of the process. The time and effort you pay to learn the proper procedure could pay big dividends towards your first oil and filter change experience. We recommend utilizing a factory or genuine engin ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Porsche Check Engine Light (MIL)

Check Engine Light Starting in 1996, all automobiles sold in the United States were mandated by the government to be equipped with On Board Diagnostics II (OBD-II). OBD-II is the protocol of the emissions system; however, it should be considered part of the operating parameters for the engine because it is part of the Digital Motor Electronics (DME) control unit. Much like a scan tool, OBD-II constantly oversees and interrogates the engine, watch­ing for any irregularity or change in operation that is impacting the engine’s emissions. Engine cylinder miss-fires, rich or lean running conditions, cold start opera­tion and fuel tank pressure are just a few of OBD-II over­sight responsibilities. Just about any sensor failure or engine operating system is monitored by OBD-II. The Check Engine Light (CEL) is also known as the Mal­function Indicator Light (MIL) or Service Engine Soon Light. When illuminated, it provides a means of notif ... read more

Automotive Lubricants

Since the introduction of synthetic lubricants, automo­tive maintenance has changed drastically. Some automotive manufactures’ recommen­dations have reached oil change intervals in the 15k and even 20k mile realm, but this does not mean that it is the best recommendation for your engine’s health and extended life. The modern Porsche’s (e.g. the 986-987s and 996-997s) require a more vigorous engine oil change schedule. We suggest that you change your engine oil and filter every 3-5k miles or 6 months (whichever comes first) based on how your car is driven to insure clean internal engine component operation. For cars driven primarily shorter distances (under 10 miles) and/or stop and go traffic a few times (or less) per week, a shorter oil change interval is needed. Cars driven longer distances regularly will do fine with a slightly longer oil change interval. While these service intervals may seem conservative, it is important to recognize that m ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

996 vs. 997 and Beyond

Aside from the GT3/RS, there have basically been two naturally aspirated (non-turbocharged), water cooled, flat 6 cylinder engine designs manufactured by Porsche since the introduction of the 1997 Boxster. These two engine designs are classified with the M96 and the M97 nomenclature. The M97 is superior and has various upgrades over the M96. These upgrades mainly lie in the IMS (intermediate shaft) bearing area, but the M97 was not introduced until the 2006 MY (Model Year). The M96 IMS bearing has been to blame for many of the commonly known engine failures, hence the desirable larger IMS bearing in the M97 engines. The new 997-2 (2009 on) engine (MA1) appeared and is quickly proving to be mechanically superior to both the M96s and M97s. It is classified as the MA1.01 for the 3.8 liter, and MA1.02 for the 3.6 liter. Eliminating the Intermediate Shaft and even one more timing chain, the engine utilizes just two camshaft timing chains, which si ... read more

Categories:

997

Automotive Tire Tips

Automotive Tire Tips

Since the introduction of the modern steel belted radial tire, automotive tires can now safely last upwards to 80,000 miles.  Most automotive manufacturers recommend that tires be in service no longer than 6 years on the vehicle, and no longer than 10 years from the date of manufacture.  DOT Number — Mandated by the federal government, every tire has a Department of Transportation number. Up until 1999, the last 3 digits (and from 2000 on, the last 4 digits) of the DOT number describes the week and year the tire was manufactured.  For example, tires manufactured in 1999 and earlier with a DOT number ending in 299 would mean the tire was manufactured in the 29th week of 1989 or 1999. From 2000 on, a tire manufactured in the 29th week of 2009 would have 2909. In all actuality, the amount of rubber that touches the road, also known as the contact patch, is only approximately a 3” x 8” rectangular section.  Contrary to popular belief ... read more

Categories:

Featured

Porsche Interior Water Intrusion

Water intrusion is one of the few unnoticed killers of the modern automobile. All modern Porsches are even more sensitive to water damage because of their many delicate electrical control units and computers. I remember this all started years ago when Porsche issued a service bulletin on the 924 to re-route and seal the antenna cable because water could travel along this cable and find its way into the central electrics panel inside the vehicle and create havoc with the electrical system. The main area to watch for water collection in the 986 thru 997’s is the front cowl area. The front cowl area is located just below the base of the windscreen and has water drains on both sides of the battery. There are two front cowl area cavities where debris such as leaves and dirt can collect and in time clog the front cowl drains. When these drains clog water will accumulate in these cavities and at a point migrate into the interior compartment of the vehicle. Water ... read more

Categories:

Chassis

Automotive Electrical System, Part 2

This month we cover issues relat­ing to the lead acid battery and what to do when you have trouble with one. Last month we looked at the components in the electri­cal system and how they interact. A typical battery problem scenario: you’ve been driving for a half hour or so (your Porsche is running great), you stop at a store for about 15 minutes, return to your car, insert and turn the key to start the engine and hear a rapid clicking noise (sometimes you will not hear anything). The engine is not turning over, so you try it again — nothing. You may have headlights and instrument lights and everything ap­pears to be OK, but your car will not start. The old adage of if the headlights come on doesn’t apply any longer. The battery may have enough voltage to run various items, but not the starter. Your car has a dead battery, so what do you do now? We will get back to that, but first some background. Usually a battery will just die from old age. It can ... read more

Categories:

Electrical
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