September 3, 2016

Porsche Diversions Porsche Diversions

After pounding out nearly 100 hours straight on the IH box - it was time for some alternative entertainment....of the German kind:

The E-tek Porsche Boxster is a completely different ride than is the 67 Galaxie, the 46 Merc, or the 71 Datsun. It's fast, smooth, classy and a completely different experience than anything else I own. But over the summer, the German super-sport had begun to fail. Idle started to get choppy. It began to lurch and then, last week, warm-up started taking longer and idle was almost non-existent.

Being a new, sophisticated, EFI model, many people would shy away from trying their hand at trying to fix it's woes. But in reality, the newer machinery, with it's complex computer systems and multitude of sensors, is actually quite easy for the do-it-yourselfer to remedy. Most issues are due to either dirty - or damaged  - sensors and the ODB system points you in the general direction. All you have to do is plug in an ODB2 reader, Google the codes and then Google some forums to get the most likely answers to the issue.

In my case, my $50 ODB2 reader showed 3 codes: P0102, P1126 and P0507. Plugging them all into Google led me to the Pelican Parts ( technical page. Pelican Parts is a European specific repair shop online presence, with parts house and information center run by some of the nicest guys I've ever met - online.

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After reading some of the tech articles and conversing online with one of their tech experts, I learn that P0102 is the Mass Airflow Circuit, P1126 an O2 sensor code and P0507 an Idle Air Control System error code. Translation?  The MAF sensor and throttle body needed to be cleaned!

So off I went into the shop, grabbed a can of Thottlebody cleaner and one specifically for MAF sensors and went to work. After putting the Boxster into engine-access mode (roof half up, engine covers removed), I removed both items from the engine and proceeded to clean them up:

MAF sensor location: Both the MAF and TB are fairly easily accessible, if you don't mind leaning over the ass-end of your boxster for several hours....

 MAF sensor removal: Oddly, Porsche decided to use T20 Security Torx screws on it, which is great because I got to use a tool that until this point, laid dormant in my tool box!

Security Torx have a little 'nipple' in the middle, so a special driver bit is required:

Once the MAF and TB were out, they got spray-cleaned with specific cleaners available at any auto-parts of general goods store. I got mine at Ukrainian Tire.

Image result for Porsche MAF sensor

Good MAF photo with insets of wire connection, T20 Secure-bit and a can of CRC's MAF cleaner. (From Pelican Parts)

You can see how this might affect performance.... The dirt and intake crud was probably affecting how much the throttle plate could move - and especially close - causing the "Idle Air Control" error.


One side cleaned:

Other side cleaned:

Cleaned MAF:
Image result for Porsche MAF sensor

Once everything was re-installed, I cleaned up the engine compartment and - with fingers crossed - started it up. And WHAT A DIFFERENCE!  Every issue I was experiencing prior was gone. With the ODB2 Code Reader I reset all the codes and took it for a test drive. Driveability was back to normal and NONE of the codes returned. Who said Porsche's cars were expensive and hard to work on? In my book, THAT'S a cheap fix!

Image result for porsche boxster engine compartment

So, with the drivers back in order, I can enjoy what's left of summer cruising while continuing the restorations on the IH and the 240Z. I LOVE cars.