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Old 02-19-2022, 12:45 PM   #1
equ
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topping off coolant in the porsche

For the first time ever, on one of the colder days (teens outside and mid-30's in my unheated garage), I got a coolant below min message on my 981S. It seemed to go away rather quickly and did not come back for a few more drives and then came back on on another cold morning.

I'm guessing the level is just below the minimum desired by the sensor so on colder starts it triggers the warning that goes away quickly. Guessing it needs to be topped up, but just a bit, so it's at minimum when I check under the cap. It does seem to be below minimum right now. I have a sense that they don't "like" being much above min when cold.

Question: do I top it up with distilled, mix distilled and porsche coolant 50:50 or coolant only? A search says it uses g40 variety.

Car is coming up on 9 years old with just under 28k miles. It is occasionally started below freezing (but not below 0F, or even 10F). I don't think there is a leak; this is likely normal, slow evaporation.

To my knowledge, coolant has not been flushed and I'm sure the more mechanical among you will say it needs it on time. I'd like to postpone that as much as possible. It only does 2k miles/year these days. (Also the only time we lost an engine in a car was when I wanted to be 'ahead' on maintenance and had an indie shop flush a Subie's coolant. Attribute fault somewhere: shop, subie's head gasket, it was going to go anyway, whatever... I'm scared of coolant flushes unless absolutely necessary, e.g. water pump replacement)
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Old 02-19-2022, 12:53 PM   #2
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You can easily get away with just topping off with distilled water if it is in the order of a cup or two (probably more). I'm a stickler, so anything above that I'd go with a 50:50 mix. But where you are doesn't get THAT cold, so you are probably ok no matter what.

My V70R seemed to mysteriously need a light top off every few years. My LR4 has required it as well, but soon enough I will be doing a lot of preventive cooling system work on that car.
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Old 02-19-2022, 01:27 PM   #3
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I would get into the habit of flushing it, yes, every couple of years. Same with brake fluid.

For top offs, I agree with FC; water is probably ok but Iíd just do a 50/50 mix if itís more than a little bit.
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Old 02-19-2022, 02:13 PM   #4
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Ok, "cool".

FWIW, when I look back on service receipts, coolant protection was tested in 5/2021. I guess I'll add a bit of distilled (which is what I was thinking). Next time I may go with the g40.
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Old 02-19-2022, 02:17 PM   #5
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I would get into the habit of flushing it, yes, every couple of years. Same with brake fluid.

For top offs, I agree with FC; water is probably ok but Iíd just do a 50/50 mix if itís more than a little bit.
I do the brake flush every 2 (ok at worst 3) years. But coolant at the same frequency after my experience with losing an engine? Hopefully not. Maybe next year, we'll see. 10yrs/30k miles seem like nice round numbers. It's still on the original drive belt too, that should come up at some point. The only thing the car needed beyond oil, tires and brake fluid has been plugs & coils.

The car has a very nice visible coolant gauge that I check on every drive. I also know the different thermostat set point it goes to when 'sport' is pressed (S/C on 981/991). So far all look good during operation.
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Old 02-19-2022, 09:53 PM   #6
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Might want to check for a coolant leak around the right rear tire. It seems like Porsche water pumps are no better than n55 BMW water pumps. Hopefully it's not that
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Old 02-19-2022, 10:27 PM   #7
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Yes, good idea to have the water pump checked at some point. The good news is thatís a fairly cheap job, and gets you a new drive belt and a coolant flush, too.
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Old 02-20-2022, 09:53 AM   #8
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Yes, good idea to have the water pump checked at some point. The good news is thatís a fairly cheap job, and gets you a new drive belt and a coolant flush, too.
I think equ was with you until coolant flush.
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Old 02-20-2022, 11:05 AM   #9
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Lol. I certainly understand being gun shy after losing an engine but, mechanically, Iím not sure how a coolant flush is particularly risky?
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Old 02-20-2022, 11:20 AM   #10
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Lol. I certainly understand being gun shy after losing an engine but, mechanically, Iím not sure how a coolant flush is particularly risky?
I was just commenting on how that might not be the biggest selling point.
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