Porsche: the name comes imbued with characteristic German capability, speed, engineering, and looks. Flashy, sophisticated, fast, stylish, luxurious—Porsche can (and does) do it all. The car preferred by sporty celebrities and wealthy parents alike, there is no doubt that Porsche cars are a great purchase. Despite their glitz and glamour, however, Porsches can face the same sorts of maintenance and technical failures as a run of the mill family car. One example is the air/oil separator—with turbo-charged engines and other add-ons, Porsches face problems just like anything else.
The air-oil separator is found in all Porsches, and is not unique to a specific style. It’s an emissions device placed in the back corner of the engine, generally on the top right-hand side. Its primary function is to collect lingering gas and vapor remaining in the crankcase, and funnel those gases back into the intake manifold. There, they are burned in the regular combustion chamber. The main job of the air-oil separator is to reduce emissions for the car overall.
When the air-oil separator fails, the results are not catastrophic, but if left untreated for a while, it can result in damage to the engine. If the air-oil separator is not working properly, it cannot separate the oil from the “air” that it is sucking back to be combusted, and oil is pulled into the intake manifold. This is not good for the engine, and can interfere with spark plugs and catalytic converters.
One of the most common—and telling—indicators that the air/oil separator is not functioning correctly is a large quantity of white smoke pouring out of the engine area. While this doesn’t happen every time, it is common enough to indicate air/oil separator failure across the board. Generally, the smoke will be accompanied by check engine light (the oil being drawn into the engine reduces the normal levels), and the oil cap can become very difficult to remove. This is due to the high vacuum levels of the engine.
The engine may also make a high-pitched squealing sound as air is being drawn through the crankcase seal—again, due to the high vacuum on the inside. Other indicating possibilities include oil leaks and dark smoke coming from the exhaust pipe.
If any of these signs occur, it’s absolutely crucial to take your Porsche to a specialized mechanic right away to avoid any long-term or reoccurring damage.
The best way to avoid any sort of problems, especially in a high-end Porsche, is to consistently and regularly follow the maintenance schedule proposed by the manufacturer. This information should be readily available in the owner’s manual that comes with the car, and further (or follow-up) questions can always be directed to a Porsche dealer or your mechanic.
However, it’s possible to do a little diagnosis yourself: measure the engine crankcase vacuum with a slack tube manometer by making a hole in the top of an old filler cap and adhering the gauge. The normal pressure ranges between four to seven inches of water—if the air/oil separator has failed, it will be between nine to twelves inches. If a manometer is not available, a regular vacuum gauge should work fine. If you are not sure—or don’t like to fiddle around under the hood—a mechanic should be able to diagnose the problem easily.
* Porsche 911 image credit goes to: Vladimir Mladenovic.
If you own a Porsche, you have probably heard the term “IMS Bearing Failure.” IMS stands for Intermediate Shaft (Bearing) which supports the intermediate shaft on the flywheel side of the motor. They work to drive the camshafts indirectly off the crankshaft and by using this intermediate shaft, it reduces the speeds of the chains and prolongs their life. The IMS bearing has become a standard build for Porsche’s horizontally-opposed flat 6 engine.
Not all models with IMS Bearings are prone to failure. For instance, the water-cooled Turbo, GT2 and GT3 models have the same internal setup as the earlier air-cooled engines and their bearings will rarely fail, or at least not in a way that would result in catastrophic engine failure. At worst, the engine will develop a slight knocking.
However, if you own one of the following, you should probably be on the lookout for an excellent European auto mechanic like the ones at Euro Plus Automotive.
Most cases of IMS bearing failure in Porsche occur due to multiple causes that focus in on the eventual breakdown of the bearing. Normal wear and tear is part of this, but it is not the most common cause. One of the most significant reasons for bearing failure in the IMS is when a high load combines with a lack of lubrication, which causes overheating. The overheated metal in the bearing causes friction and fracturing, leaving pits behind in its wake. These pits accelerate the cycle of wear and tear exponentially, causing premature IMS bearing failure.
In the worst of cases, a failed IMS bearing will throw your cam timing off, which will then cause contact between the valve and piston. If this happens, you will have to purchase another core. Otherwise, you will pay a continually increasing core charge from Porsche beyond the cost of the replacement engine.
If you have experienced an IMS bearing failure, there is no turning back. Repairing it requires complete engine disassembly and replacing the intermediate shaft. It often needs a complete rebuild or engine replacement as well. Do not ignore your IMS bearings.
Prevention, early detection, and replacement of your IMS bearing before failure are your best options to save you the cost of engine failure. A service technician skilled in European vehicles can help you detect and replace your IMS bearing before it is too late.
There is only one measure to take to prolong the life of your IMS bearings. If you have a model 2006-2008 engine, the grease seals can be removed from the factory IMS Bearings to improve their lubrication and cooling. The only other option is to tear down the engine and install upgraded IMS bearings. If you have an older model (1997-2005), the IMS bearing is accessible without tearing down the engine.
It is important to note that any IMS upgrade you do to your engine must be preventive maintenance. Once your engine fails, replacing the IMS will no longer work. You have to rebuild or replace the entire engine. Otherwise, the new IMS bearing will become contaminated, causing further damage to your engine.
Look for these three warning signs to indicate IMS bearing failure:
* Porsche Emblem image credit goes to: tomeng.
Porsche vehicles are special and unique, making it necessary to enlist the help of a specialist when it comes to providing them with proper ongoing care. One issue that many vehicles experience, including Porsche models in the last twenty years, is water pump failure. This is a serious issue that can sometimes lead to engine failure if not addressed quickly. In this article we’ll talk about why the water pump is integral to your engine’s functioning, how to prevent failure, signs that it’s not working properly, and what you can do to fix the issue.
Porsche engines that were built in the last two decades are cooled with the help of a water pump, designed to help coolant flow through your engine optimally. When your engine is kept at the proper temperature, the motor oil can adequately grease important engine components. When the water pump fails, not only can the engine not be cooled well, it can lead to extensive part failure in other areas. Water pump issues are easily detected, but by the point that symptoms are noticeable other damage may have already occurred. This is why it is important to hire a Porsche specialist who can adequately assess damages in all Porsche vehicles and attend to their need with the correct procedures and parts for replacement.
Water pump failure doesn’t always have to occur. Porsche vehicles are typically well maintained by their owners; but that’s not to say that water pump problems won’t come up as your car ages. Water pump failure is most prevalent in older Porsche cars in which water pump seals, impellers, and drive belts have become worn out over time. This gives us good information to use when it comes to preventing water pump failure. Ongoing inspections and routine maintenance procedures can keep your automotive technician in the know about how your car is aging and performing on a regular basis.
It is most important that you are aware of possible issues your Porsche could be experiencing. Water pump failure produces several different symptoms, depending on where the problem originated. The symptoms your Porsche produces are essential for the diagnostic process, so pay close attention to the symptoms your car exhibits and report them to your Porsche specialist when you bring your car in for servicing. These are the most common symptoms of water pump failure to be on the lookout for:
Coolant leaks can occur for a number of reasons. However, if the coolant leak is near the center/front of your engine, it could be related to the water pump. Since the water pump is designed to hold the coolant, it’s not surprising that a failed water pump may leak this fluid if a seal or gasket fails. Leaking coolant can lead to other significant problems, so it’s best to have the problem addressed right away.
A failed water pump means that the engine cannot be cooled by the steady flow of coolant. Engine overheating occurs when the engine temperature rises beyond its normal range. Unfortunately when overheating happens it can cause serious engine damage as time passes. Keep your eye on your engine’s temperature gauge—especially during those hot summer months—and watch out for any steam emitted from your radiator indicating an overheating engine.
The drive belt that is responsible for powering the water pump can become loosened or damaged, which might produce an odd noise as it rotates quickly. This will cause an odd noise to come from your engine, often a high-pitched whining noise. Your trusted Porsche specialist may need to replace the drive belt if this is the cause of water pump issues.
Here at Euro Plus Automotive, we service all models of Porsche vehicles in the Los Angeles County, CA areas of Canoga Park, Woodland Hills, and the greater San Fernando Valley. As we mentioned before, water pump issues can occur in any vehicle; yet Porsches require specialized care and a high level of expertise. If you would like to know more about our shop and our qualifications, or would like to schedule an inspection, please request an appointment online or call us directly.