This 2002 Porsche 911 Cabriolet experienced a coolant leak that presented itself in a few different ways. First, the heater in the car stopped working followed shortly by a “low coolant” light. Our client wisely turned the car off and then noticed fluid leaking from the rear of the vehicle. The car was then towed in to us.
Once the car was on the lift it was easy to see that the coolant was coming from the water pump whose internal bearings had failed to the point that the pulley was very loose. Based on the amount of coolant residue in the engine compartment it appeared that the leak had been going on for some time. Porsche water pumps from this era are known to experience issues and it is not uncommon for us to replace them. The failure of this 996’s water pump started when the internal bearings failed causing the shaft to move during its rotation. This led to the impeller completely separating from the impeller shaft. Without the impeller moving coolant through the system, the car started to get hot and with the leak, the “low coolant” light came on.
The repair consisted of replacing the water pump, thermostat, gaskets and belt. Upon completion the coolant residue was cleaned from the engine compartment so that any new leaks could be more easily identified. The Porsche 996 was allowed to idle to operating temperature under a watchful eye, while we checked for leaks or any loose connections. Once this test was done the car was taken for a short test drive and then carefully inspected to ensure no leaks.
In the photos you will see what the car looked like when it was first put on the lift and you will see the coolant residue from the top view and from underneath. Next is the coolant being drained, the water pump being disconnected, and the thermostat removed. When the thermostat was removed pieces of the impeller fell out of the engine, as shown in the photograph. There is a photo of the old water pump with just the impeller shaft remaining with broken pieces next to it, and then the new water pump where the differences are obvious. Lastly, a photo of the new water pump and the new thermostat housing installed.
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