All modern Porsches are now liquid-cooled. This allows the engines to be made of stronger alloys which can handle increased amounts of horsepower reliably. Unfortunately, the addition of liquid-cooling means there is an additional system in a Porsche, requiring additional repairs.
Air-Cooled Porsches Overheating
While uncommon, an air-cooled Porsche can still overheat. With air-cooled Porsches, the entire engine is used as one giant heat sink, moving air from driving. Fans are used to cool the engine down. The more surface area being exposed to the moving air, the more efficiently the engine is cooled. The greatest enemy to air cooled engines is dirt. Dirt buildup on the engine insulates it from air, which prevents air from cooling the engine. Similarly, dirty cooling fans restrict air from reaching the engine.
One form of dirt that is often forgotten about is the dirt in your Porsche’s oil. This affects both air and liquid-cooled Porsches, as dirty oil causes increased friction in engine components that generate heat. Dirty oil is also less effective at dissipating heat as clean oil. Keeping your Porsche regularly serviced and cleaning the fans and engine block is the best way to solve an overheating issue.
Liquid cooled Porsches can experience several issues that cause the engine to overheat. There is a checklist that Porsche repair technicians work their way through when diagnosing an overheating:
Low Coolant And Leaks
The first thing to check in an overheating Porsche is the coolant level. Low coolant allows the formation of air bubbles in the coolant system. Air bubbles can lead to what is known as an airlock, where coolant can no longer flow properly. The usual cause of low coolant is a poor maintenance or a leak in the system
A Stuck Thermostat
Something we don’t often think about in Florida is a car engine running too cold, but a cold engine is as damaging as a hot one. To prevent the engine from running too cold, a thermostat restricts coolant from flowing. When at operating temperature, the thermostat opens wide, allowing the coolant to flow freely. If the thermostat fails, it can get stuck in the closed positions, preventing coolant from flowing and cooling down in the radiator.
Damaged Radiators and Radiator Cap
Your Porsche’s radiator consists of multiple fins to increase surface area and allow the coolant in the pipes to be cooled more efficiently. If these fins become damaged or insulated in dirt, it reduces the radiators ability to cool. Unfortunately, heavily damaged radiators cannot be repaired and will need to be replaced
A radiator cap’s main purpose is to keep the cooling system pressurized. If a coolant cap fails, it allows steam to escape from the cooling system, which leads to the same issues found with coolant leaks.
What To Do If Your Porsche Is Overheating
All overheating incidents happen once you’ve already hit the road. Should your temperature gauge start climbing, turn off your car’s AC, open the windows, and put on the heater to maximum settings. We know in Florida this may seem like suicide, but having the heater on full allows the heater core to act as a second radiator and assist in cooling the engine. Try to drive the car as conservatively as possible, and find a safe place to stop.
Should you suspect your Porsche is running low on coolant, wait for a minimum of 30 minutes for the car to cool down before opening the radiator cap or coolant reservoir cap. The longer you wait, the less likely you are to be burnt by hot coolant. If you are unsure what is causing the issue, call a towing service to get your car to a Porsche Certified Service Center.
Expert Porsche Repair Service
Foreign Affairs Motorwerks is South Florida’s Premier Auto Repair, Performance, and Race Facility. We have been repairing, maintaining, and modifying Porsches since our doors first opened in 1978. For all your European car needs, come on down to our Pompano Beach shop, where one of our performance shop pros will be more than willing to help.