TECH SESSION – Top 10 Don’ts

Top10By Pedro P. Bonilla GCR PCA (from Provinz January 2015 page 12)

I thought I’d put together a quick “top 10” but it hasn’t been quick at all. This has taken serious thinking, to put them in order and to pick the top 10.

10. Don’t drive on worn tiresTireWorn

Make sure you regularly inspect your tires, and especially look at the inside edge which, because of the negative camber in our cars, tends to wear quicker. Worn tires can be very dangerous especially when wet since they lose their capability of pumping out water and can easily hydroplane and lose adhesion to the road.

9. Don’t drive with the wrong psiTPMSfailure

It’s almost as bad as driving on worn tires. Make sure to check tire pressure often and adjust accordingly. On new cars there’s a warning light to remind you, but on older cars you need to make it a habit. The correct psi should be shown on a sticker inside one of the door frames.

8. Don’t try to save using cheap gasolineOctane

By using a lower and cheaper grade of gasoline than the one recommended by Porsche, you may think you’re saving money, but in the long run the car will consume more  gallons per miles driven, throwing your “savings” out the window. The recommended gasoline grade is specified in your owner’s manual and/or next to the gas cap.

7. Don’t put oil in your coolantPort

It’s very easy to mistake (if you’re color blind) the coolant cap and the oil cap especially in a Boxster or Cayman where they are side-byside. The oil cap is always yellow and the coolant is blue. People who remove both caps at once could easily make the mistake. If you do mistakenly put oil in your coolant, the whole system needs to be flushed and replenished with new coolant.

6. Don’t put coolant in your oilOil

I know at least of half a dozen cases in the last couple of years where someone has put coolant in the oil or vice-versa. If coolant is mixed with the oil by mistake, the oil needs to be drained, filled with fresh oil, run for a few minutes and drained/filled again.

5. Don’t go over 8,000 km without an oil & filter changeFilter

The new synthetic oils can certainly go well over 8,000 km without breaking down, but the only (cheap) way of “looking” inside your engine is by inspecting your oil filter and carefully looking to see if there are any metal particles embedded in the filter’s paper folds. At our shop we always cut and spread out each and every oil filter element that we replace and then we carefully inspect it under a strong light source, with a magnifying glass and a magnet. A small amount of aluminum particles is normal and come from regular use. What you don’t want to see are shards, strands or large chips or any ferrous particles (attracted by the magnet) which are indications of unhealthy wear.

4. Don’t go over two years without a brake flushATEGold

Because brake fluid is very hygroscopic (water absorbing) it will pull in water molecules from the air, through the brake lines and into the brake fluid. As we all know, liquids are very hard to compress and that’s why brake fluid is a liquid. But when water mixes in, as soon as the fluid’s temperature reaches 212ºF the water boils and becomes vapor which is now a gas and is easily compressible. When this happens your brakes become mushy and the pedal feels like it wants to go down to the floorboard.

3. Don’t go over the recommended service mileageService

Porsche recommends specific service intervals for each particular car. Make sure you know your car’s service intervals and stick to them. The services performed at each interval make sure that your car runs in optimal condition and save you money in the long run.

2. Don’t overlook an “idiot” lightIdiotLights

First, make sure that they are all working by testing them regularly. If one of them is not working then when it needs to warn you of that issue you won’t know. To test the “idiot” lights switch on the ignition and look at the dash lights. They should all momentarily light up. If some don’t, their bulbs may be burnt out.

1. Don’t overlook your IMSDOF

If you have a “wasserboxer” (water-cooled flat-6) from 1997 through 2008 (except Turbos and GT3s) you could have an issue with your IMS (intermediate shaft) bearing. The good news is that there now is a final fix for the IMS bearing malady. It’s called the DOF (Direct Oil Feed). Contact us for details.

If you follow this list of 10 don’ts you and your car will be happy for a long time.

To learn more about all of these technical topics, please visit my website at:

Happy Porscheing,



george oneillTech Editor’s Note: To start the New Year off, I thought a Top 10 List might be of interest.

Pedro Bonilla again provides interesting insight into Porsche vehicles and what makes them tick. Read on and Happy New Year!

We are always looking for new technical articles so please contact me at to submit yours and to provide ideas and feedback!

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