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coolant low - ominous sign or normal?

 
Old 07-18-2012, 11:36 PM
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endless_corners
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Default coolant low - ominous sign or normal?

I purchased my cayenne in march. I never checked the coolant levels and have driven the pig for about 5k miles since. I had begun to notice low coolant warnings when driving enthusiatically over uneven and hilly terrain. I have been enjoying the car a fair amount since purchase Yesterday I checked the fluid levels and the reservoir was indeed below min.. so i filled it up to max range. So, since I dont know what the level was when i bought it i'm curious about coolant loss. Is it normal to consume a certain amount of coolant? Or could this be a sign of my coolant pipes leaking? Do the coolant pipes ever start by seeping or do they burst all at once? Trying to gauge what the norm is. Obviously I want to replace the plastic pipes with metal in the future but would rather wait a few months.
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:43 PM
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Dennis C
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Coolant pipes do sometimes leak for a while before they fail, so this could be a sign of impending disaster. My water pump also leaked a little bit before it failed, so you might check that.
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:50 PM
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I could be wrong but most German cars I have owned have the fluid to the low mark when cold and Max when hot. Also they are usually pressurized so look for a leaky seem on the tank.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:17 AM
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Cooling systems don't "consume" coolant. It's supposed to be a sealed system with no loss of the operating fluids. Slow leaks are a PITA to track down. Could be the coolant pipes, could be a hose leaking very slightly around where it attaches to a fitting, could be the water pump, reservoir itself, or a bad cap on the reservoir.

Whatever it is - monitor your fluid a bit more often and see if a pattern emerges. I'd suggest checking it with the system cold before starting the engine. Do it same time, same place so the car is sitting at the same level.

And if the pipes haven't been done - it's a "when" not an "if" on them exploding.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:20 AM
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thanks. I definitely WANT to do the coolant pipes.. but wasnt planning to do it for about 6 months. I also need to replace my valve body and who knows what else! But god i love this beast.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:22 AM
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Also, I guess I should confess... I added my oem mercedes coolant (that i use for the ml430) to top off the Porsche. Am I going to hell?!?!?
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:02 AM
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Coolant pipes. trust me.
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:07 PM
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alright folks. FINE. I ordered the ECS coolant pipe kit and I am dropping the p!g off at my indy next week. Dang it, I really wanted to replace the sticking valve body before doing this. But that issue is not as urgent (just annoying). At least I will be able to check the coolant pipes off the list. Too bad making money is harder than spending it.
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:48 PM
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You got that right. My P!g goes to the shop tomorrow morning for four new tires, a four wheel alignment and an oil change. That will be cheap, I'm sure...
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:55 PM
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what tires are you getting? I'm really leaning towards going with larger diameter tires when i need shoes.
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Old 07-20-2012, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by endless_corners View Post
Also, I guess I should confess... I added my oem mercedes coolant (that i use for the ml430) to top off the Porsche. Am I going to hell?!?!?
Probably not a good idea. Some coolants don't play well with others, and the Porsche coolant is the first one that I've seen when it dries, it leaves a rock hard deposit behind. There is the possibility of "gelling" where the two coolants form a mush, blocking water passages. Not a good thing.

You're better off adding plain water (or better yet - distilled water) to the system. The capacity of the system is enough that even a full reservoir of water added to it isn't going to change the freeze point enough to matter.
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:21 PM
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Good to know... when my mechanic does the coolant pipe upgrade.. will all the coolant be replaced then.. or would I have to specify to do a "full flush" and need to buy extra coolant?
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:02 PM
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You would need to specify if you want it flushed. You'll lose a gallon or less just doing the pipes.
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:49 PM
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how much does the system hold? That porsche coolant sure isnt cheap.
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Old 07-20-2012, 06:14 PM
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I think the complete system is between 3 and 4 gallons, but that's just going from memory.
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