Here’s how the 2020 Porsche Taycan is made

The Taycan is Porsche’s first production electric car, and while the underlying technology may be different from the Porsches that came before, the Taycan is still assembled in a factory just like any other car.

This detailed look (it’s nearly 30 minutes of raw footage) at the Taycan assembly line in Zuffenhausen, Germany, shows that, while some steps in the process are different, the Taycan is put together in much the same way as Porsche’s existing gasoline cars.

As with those gas cars, components are pieced together into subassemblies before being added to the chassis as it travels down the line. Except instead of flat-4, flat-6 and V-8 engines, workers are wrangling electric motors and battery packs. That means there are fewer overall parts involved, but also added steps to connect high-voltage wiring along the way.

Mechanical components–in this case the electric motors, battery pack, charging equipment, and suspension–are married to the body about halfway through the assembly process. It’s very similar to the way Porsche parent Volkswagen assembles cars based on its MQB platform, showing that the manufacturing efficiencies of modular platforms like MQB can carry over to electric cars.

Other steps of the process are virtually indistinguishable from the assembly process for gasoline cars. Taycan body shells are painted by robots and inspected by humans. Dashboards and seats are fitted. The powertrain is tested on a dynamometer.

Porsche is currently producing three Taycan variants: 4S, Turbo, and Turbo S. With a $105,150 starting price, the 4S is the de facto base model. Given Porsche’s traditional product cadence, a less-expensive model will likely be added below the 4S down the road.

Also keeping with tradition, the Turbo S is faster than the Turbo and 4S. The range-topping model boasts 750 horsepower and 774 pound-feet of torque with Launch Control, allowing for 0 to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds, according to Porsche.

While both the Turbo and Turbo S (along with long-range versions of the 4S), use the same 93.4-kilowatt-hour battery pack, the Turbo has a range advantage. EPA range ratings are 201 miles and 192 miles for the Turbo and Turbo S, respectively. The EPA hasn’t rated the 4S yet.

The Taycan will share its platform with at least two more electric cars. These will be production versions of the Audi E-Tron GT and Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo concepts. Porsche has also said that it will introduce an electric version of the Macan.

Please feel welcome to post here with any questions.

Jeremy Williams is the Oregon PCA Technical editor. He co-owns Matrix Integrated Inc. (Matrix Integrated Inc.) with his brother Justin. Jeremy can be reached at techeditor@oregonpca.org

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Adding Corn Fuel To Your Porsche?

A few vintage aircooled clients asked me what I thought about them filling their fuel tanks full of ethanol fuel (E10) before they put their cars away for winter hibernation. Another tech article is born!

As you might know, it’s challenging to find anything other than ethanol-laden fuel at the gas pump anymore. Most gas stations in Oregon, and across America, are selling E10 (10% ethanol, 90% “pure gas”), some might be selling E15 (15% ethanol, 85% “pure gas”). This is due to regulations from the federal government stating that the United States needs to ramp up to 36 billion gallons of alternative fuel use by 2022. Compare that to the U.S. having only used 11 billion gallons in 2010! So, we’re only going to see a lot more ethanol fuel.

Well what’s wrong with ethanol fuel, especially if the U.S. government is pushing it? Without getting into the politics of the fuel(oil/gas) and farming lobbies, ethanol fuel can wreak havoc with the components on/in classic and vintage vehicles (vehicles older than ~1986). More modern vehicles were produced with components which are much more ethanol-tolerant. Here are some ethanol fuel pros and cons thanks to Hemmings.com;

Pros of ethanol-supplemented fuel:

  • Ethanol is clean-burning and is a higher-octane fuel than conventional gas.
  • Ethanol is produced from renewable sources.
  • Ethanol-powered vehicles produce lower carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide emissions, and lower levels of hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide emissions.
  • Ethanol production keeps American farmers in business and creates new farming and ethanol-processing jobs.
  • Because ethanol is produced domestically, it reduces U.S. dependence on foreign oil and increases the nation’s energy independence.
  • Ethanol needs fewer fossil (coal) and petroleum (gas) fuels to produce more BTU of energy than gasoline (although it does require much more water).

Cons of ethanol-supplemented fuel:

  • Ethanol creates 34 percent less energy than unadulterated gasoline per gallon. This equals a loss in fuel economy of up to 3 miles per gallon for E10 fuels. In terms of heat, ethanol produces 76,330 BTU per gallon, whereas diesel fuel produces 128,450 BTU per gallon, gasoline 116,090 BTU per gallon and LP gas 84,950 BTU per gallon. The fuel economy gets even worse with E85, a loss of 7 to 8 miles per gallon with its higher ethanol content. Consumer Reports, testing in 2006, verified a loss in fuel economy of up to 30 percent in a Chevy Tahoe designed to run on flex fuel when it was tested with both unleaded gas and E85. Poor fuel economy can also be attributed to improper fuel system calibration based on computer feedback from oxygen sensors because of the temperatures needed to burn ethanol.
  • Virtually any grain considered feedstock can be used to make ethanol, but some grains are better for producing ethanol than others. Corn happens to be one of the worst grains for making ethanol but we produce so much more of it than any other grain that it was the ingredient of choice for U.S. ethanol producers. In South America, ethanol is produced from sugar cane, which is easier to refine and gives a higher yield per acre than corn (1,200 gallons per acre vs. 300 gallons per acre of corn). The U.S. government did impose a 55 cents per gallon tariff to prevent the import of sugar cane-based ethanol into the United States, though that tariff has recently expired).
  • Ethanol is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs water more easily than gasoline. That leads to water condensation inside fuel tanks, carburetor fuel bowls and fuel lines where air spaces are present. Water content in fuel will also swell up the paper filter media inside fuel filters not specifically designed for flex fuels and can thus restrict fuel flow at the filter.
  • Ethanol also erodes fiberglass tanks, rubber hoses and plastic fuel lines. It contributes to rust in fuel systems by creating condensation in the unfilled portion of gas tanks. It will also dissolve varnish and rust in steel fuel components. These dissolved ingredients sit in the bottom of gas tanks until they are removed or they will enter the fuel system if the fuel level in the tank gets too low.

So, what are some steps you can take to diminish the damage from ethanol use in your classic/vintage Porsche? The easiest one is to fill only with 100% pure gas, gas without any ethanol in it. 100% pure gas will be considerably more expensive than the 91/92 octane (Premium/Supreme) E10 found at most gas stations, but if you don’t put many miles on your vintage Porsche each year, the annual cost for pure gas might be a minimal increase. Here is a listing of most of the gas stations in Oregon selling 100% pure gas; https://www.pure-gas.org/index.jsp?stateprov=OR

Hemmings.com also has some recommendations for upgrades you can make to your classic/vintage vehicle. Many come from OEM marine manufacturers who’ve been dealing with ethanol-related fuel issues for awhile now:

  • Replace any plastic or rubber fuel lines with ethanol-resistant hose or nylon tubing.
  • Install a water separator filter in the fuel line leading to the carburetor. Water collects in the filter and can be removed periodically.
  • Replace any fiberglass tanks with steel or aluminum.
  • Ensure that any O-rings in the fuel system are also ethanol-compatible.
  • Keep your tank as full as possible to prevent air space where condensation can form.
  • Use specific ethanol-compatible fuel storage additives. These are normally blue in color. Regular fuel stabilizers will not work unless they are labeled ethanol fuel-compatible.
  • Shop around for a marina or service station that does not pump E10 or E85. None of these stations will be affiliated with a major gasoline producer, but there are still some out there, especially in areas around lakes and rivers where boating is popular. You can find a “pure gas” map of many of these stations online at the Historic Vehicle Association website
  • Vent your fuel system during storage for extended periods; the moisture your fuel system might absorb from the outside will be less than the moisture created in the air space inside.
  • Use a fogging solution in your carburetor during storage to prevent condensation from collecting in fuel bowls.
  • Use of isopropyl alcohol-based dry gas will help to absorb system moisture. Regular dry gas is ethanol-based and will only make the problem worse. Isopropyl-based additives actually combine with the water molecules and removing moisture through the combustion chamber.
  • Use of a flex fuel-compatible fuel filter where possible will prevent degradation of the paper media in your filter by water in the fuel system.

For those of you with more modern vehicles (~1986+), your vehicle is better prepared to deal with the component effects of ethanol. That being said, still be aware of the MPG losses and hygroscopicity from ethanol fuel, so that you can maximize your investment.

Whichever direction you decide to go regarding ethanol-laden gas or 100% pure gas, just make sure to get out and enjoy your Porsche!Please feel welcome to post here with any questions.

Jeremy Williams is the Oregon PCA Technical editor. He co-owns Matrix Integrated Inc. (Matrix Integrated Inc.) with his brother Justin. Jeremy can be reached at techeditor@oregonpca.org

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Wind Buffeting – What is it? How Can I Alleviate it?

Have you ever heard the term “wind buffeting” and wondered what the heck it is? No, it’s not a new buffet restaurant at an Oregon Coast casino.

You’ve most likely experienced it already, but maybe weren’t sure what the phenomenon was called. Remember the times when you’ve been driving near or above freeway speeds with one window down, and you experience that sound and pressure which makes your head feel like it’s about to implode, and the quickest remedy is to roll another window down? That’s wind buffeting, which is described as the turbulent wind pressure experienced while driving at speed. If you’re a motorcyclist you might be familiar with it too; a result of the wind coming around a windshield or a fairing, causing your helmet to shake.

Wind buffeting is an issue on most vehicles, some worse than others. The new generations of Porsche Boxster, Cayman, and 911 are especially prone to this phenomenon. But there is help, beyond driving with both windows up, or both windows down. The folks at AWE Tuning in Pennsylvania are one such company who have created an elegant sort of mirror spoiler, called a Foiler Wind Diffuser, which eliminates wind buffeting on Porsche’s like the 2013+ “981” Boxster’s and Cayman’s, 2017+ 718’s, and 2013+ “991” 911’s.

Do you have an older Porsche model or another vehicle where wind buffeting is causing you a headache, yet there is no solution on the market? Crafty with wood, or familiar with one of the local plastic shops like TAP Plastics? Create your own using this style, and wave goodbye to wind buffeting, while letting the wind blow through your hair (unless you’re bald like me).

Please feel welcome to post here with any questions.

Jeremy Williams is the Oregon PCA Technical editor. He co-owns Matrix Integrated Inc. (Matrix Integrated Inc.) with his brother Justin. Jeremy can be reached at techeditor@oregonpca.org

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What the Heck is a PPI (Pre-Purchase Inspection)?

I’ve been hearing a lot of questions between members at ORPCA events, socials, auto-x, etc, about what to look for in this Porsche or that Porsche. Some have asked if they should spend the money to have a vehicle inspected before purchasing. So, let’s talk PPI’s (Pre-Purchase Inspections).

We all know that a Porsche is more than a vehicle, it’s an investment! And just like when buying a home, it’s highly recommended that you have a trained professional inspect the vehicle for any outstanding issues, deferred maintenance, or signs of tomfoolery. While I won’t cover every detail of a PPI, a general scope here will give you a solid idea as to the minimum of what you should expect to have covered:
— The Porsche specialist should drive the vehicle to check for any oddities during the road test (engine, transmission, brakes, wheel balance, alignment, etc.)
— With the vehicle on a lift, the technician should check for any fluid leaks (oil, gear/transmission, coolant if not aircooled, brake, power steering, etc.)
— Check for the conditions of fluids wherever possible
— Check for rubber related issues, often due to age; belts, mounts, seals, gaskets, boots, bushings, tire tread depth/condition/wear pattern/manufacture date
— Check outer brake pad depths at the minimum
— Check/test battery and charging system (i.e. alternator/generator)
— Check for any obvious signs of paint and/or body work
— Check other systems like lights, wipers, HVAC, radio, etc.
— Check electronic fault codes on ‘95+ vehicles (also check for signs of mechanical overrevs on 996/997’s, as well as camshaft deviation % on 986/996/997 due to a possible timing chain system issues)
— Compression test at the minimum on aircooled Porsches
— Check for any notorious and well-known issues specific to the exact model (this could even include cutting open the oil filter on an M96-engine’d 986/996/997 to check for metal and plastic debris from a failing IMS bearing or timing chain guide rails)

If the vehicle is a rare variant or special edition, making sure that the “numbers” (VIN, engine, etc.) match is very worthwhile, especially if you’re looking at spending top dollar for the vehicle.

Information gleaned from the PPI can help you budget for current and future repairs, as well as help you know if the vehicle asking price is fair, inflated, and/or should be adjusted based on PPI findings. After all, this is an investment you’re purchasing.

Please feel welcome to post here with any specific questions.

Jeremy Williams is the Oregon PCA Technical editor. He co-owns Matrix Integrated Inc. (Matrix Integrated Inc.) with his brother Justin. Jeremy can be reached at techeditor@oregonpca.org

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Part 3 – Hibernating Your Porsche

If you’re going to be putting away your beloved Porsche for the winter weather, here are some areas to think about in regard to vehicle hibernation:

#1 Fluids
Ideally, it’d be best to have the oil/filter changed before you put the vehicle away for hibernation, AND THEN again when it comes out of hibernation in the spring. The reason for this is to get rid of any nasty contaminants/condensation in the oil before they sit in the engine/crankcase for the winter months (these contaminants/condensation could cause some minor engine corrosion), and then by changing at least the oil again in the spring after hibernation (you can probably skip the filter change in the spring since the filter hasn’t been used much save for 1 or 2 starts), you’re getting rid of any possible condensation that may have accumulated over the winter.
However, I understand that this process can be expensive due to the cost of high quality engine oil (either high Zinc content for aircooled’s, or full synthetic for watercooled’s). So, if I was given a choice to change the oil/filter only a SINGLE time, either before or after winter hibernation, it’d really come down to mileage on the current oil/filter. If you have considerable mileage (~1500-4000mi) and especially short trips on the oil/filter as you head into late fall, then I’d recommend changing the oil/filter before the car goes into winter hibernation. If you just recently changed the oil/filter in earlier fall (less than ~1000mi on it), then I’d recommend changing it again when the car comes out of hibernation as any condensation that builds up in the new oil during the winter will get burned off in the spring once you start driving.

What about other fluids like transmission, gear, power steering, clutch, windshield washer, and brake? The only fluid that might gather considerable worrisome condensation over the winter is the brake fluid. The amount of water content in your brake fluid can be checked with a fluid tester, and it should not have more than 2% water content in it. Like with the oil change now or later question, if the brake fluid has 3.5%+ moisture, it’d be best to flush/bleed the brake fluid before going into hibernation. If it has 2-3.5%, then after hibernation may be best.

Be sure to fill your fuel tank all the way to the top. This will save your fuel system from oxidation and will also displace any water that may currently be in the system. Be sure to add the fuel system stabilizer at the same time, following their specific direction.

#2 Pre-storage
The next step is to find a good clean, dry, secure location to store your car. A garage with a concrete pad is ideal. Start by cleaning out the interior of the car. Vacuum, dust, clean…the more spotless your car is, the better it will handle storage. This is essential to preventing mold, mildew and critters from overcoming your precious interior. You might put a bag or two of silica gel, which absorbs any moisture in the air, on the floorboards to keep the interior extra dry.
Once the interior is spotless, you should now focus your attention on the exterior of the car. Start by washing the car from top to bottom. Make sure to really clean the wheels well, as brake dust is very corrosive. However, do not put the vehicle away wet! This is tricky if you try to drive the car right up to that first heavy rainy or snowy day. You should never put your car away wet unless you want to encourage mildew, mold, and/or rust to form everywhere the water collects.

When you wash the car use this opportunity to make sure that all the drains work. It’s not uncommon for drains to clog up during the fall with leaves, debris, etc. There are surprisingly more drains in the car than you think.

After washing and drying the car, if you haven’t detailed your car in a while, give it a proper wax job if it’s not too cold in your garage, as high-quality wax can be difficult to apply when it’s cold out.

#3 Storage
When all maintenance and cleaning items have been covered, you are now ready to position the car for storage.

Persnickety tip; If you really want to go overboard, you can lay down a waterproof plastic drop-sheet where you will be storing the car. Before purchasing the plastic sheet, insure it is large enough to envelop the lower half of your vehicle. Park the car on the plastic drop sheet. The reason you should have a waterproof drop sheet is to prevent fluid transfers in both directions (ie prevent water vapor from rising from below the car, and prevent vehicle fluids from staining the cement storage pad). If you’re storing your vehicle outside, the plastic sheet will also help prevent lazy rodents from finding a nice winter nest up in your cabin filter area, engine bay, or interior. It might also be a good idea to lay a few non-poisonous rodent traps around if your vehicle can be easily accessed from outside, unless you have small children who will want to play with the traps. If you poison the rodents, they may then climb inside the vehicle and perish there, leaving you with a very nasty odor. Rodents are always looking for a cozy winter home and we have seen many client cars who have had nests built in their vehicle or engine bay. Your next step would be to tuck the plastic drop sheet up and around the bottom half of your vehicle. This once again prevents moisture from diffusing from underneath the car.

Once the car is in position, you can place the car on jack stands if you wish. The reasoning for this is two-fold;
1) it takes the strain off suspension components, thus slowing the aging on such components as bushings and shocks
2) it prevents your tires from developing “flat spots”
If you are not sure how to jack up your car, consult the vehicle manual for approved jacking points.

Regardless of jacking the vehicle up, we recommend inflating your tires to the maximum psi listed on the outer sidewall of the tire. Check the pressures, including spare, every few weeks to watch for any slow leaks.

Persnickety tip: Plugging the exhaust tips with steel wool will help prevent rodents and other critters from using your exhaust system as a winter home.

The next area to turn your attention too will be the vehicle’s battery. Most batteries do not winter well at all. All batteries discharge over time so you must ensure that your battery does not discharge too much, otherwise, it will age prematurely. The best solution to this problem is a special type of battery charger called a battery tender or maintainer. We prefer the CTEK brand, which Porsche private labels as their own. These battery-saving “smart” devices “float” a battery charge at a specific voltage vs constantly charging the battery blindly which can ruin it. $75 for a battery maintainer can save you from buying a $150+ battery every couple of years.
When you connect the battery tender to the battery, inspect for any corrosion (whitish crust) on the two battery terminal posts If you have any corrosion, you’ll want to clean it off with a fine brush.

Some of you may be wondering if, every few weeks, you should start your vehicle and allow it to run for a period of time. Starting the vehicle, letting it idle for 10min, and then shutting it off is not recommended. This start/idle/shutdown procedure will not allow the engine to reach optimal operating temperature to burn off contaminants in the system, like driving the vehicle for 30min+ will. Instead, this start/idle/shutdown procedure can create condensation in the system which can cause corrosion, contamination, and other issues.

At this stage, you’re almost done!

The last step will be to cover the car with a car cover if you have one, tucking the plastic sheet into the car cover. The ideal car cover for garage storage will be permeable and somewhat thick. Clearly the car should be covered to keep dust and sunlight from a garage window off of the vehicle. There are a large number of aftermarket car covers available. Don’t get the cheapest cover as it will be protecting your investment!

That’s it, you’re done winterizing your beloved Porsche. After a few months, your car will be ready to run free once again.

Feel free to post here with any specific hibernation questions.
Very happy holidays to you and yours!

Jeremy Williams is the Oregon PCA Technical editor. He co-owns Matrix Integrated Inc. (Matrix Integrated Inc.) with his brother Justin. Jeremy can be reached at techeditor@oregonpca.org

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Part 2 Winter Tech: Tires and Traction

Severe weather makes driving treacherous. Snow, ice, freezing rain, fog and even the winter sun can all conspire to make winter driving even more difficult and dangerous. With a little planning and a little training however, this winter doesn’t have to be a “white knuckle” winter for you. The two phenomenons associated with loss of grip in winter conditions are understeer and oversteer.

Understeer
Understeer is just what it sounds like; the car is not turning as much as you would like. Understeer is usually caused by entering a corner too fast, or by braking while trying to turn. Being in a car that refuses to turn can be very intimidating, and understeer is the most difficult situation to control on a slippery road.

So, what can you do in this situation? First, there are several things driving experts say you should NOT do. Don’t increase your steering angle, because the tires have already lost grip and increasing the steering will only make it worse. Don’t hit the brakes because the front tires are already skidding, and more brake pressure will only make it still worse.
Driving experts say that your best chance of correcting an understeer is to lift off the accelerator and stay off the brake. As the car’s weight shifts forward, it will load the front tires, improving their grip while you carefully decrease the steering angle. This improved grip and slower speed should allow you to steer smoothly back into the corner.

 
 
Oversteer
Like understeer, oversteer is exactly what it sounds like; your car turns more than you want it to. Oversteer occurs when you lose grip on the rear tires in a corner, and the side force pulls the back of the car to the outside of the turn. This is generally the result of excessive speed when entering a corner. However as well, if you suddenly decelerate in the corner, the weight transfers to the front, giving less grip to the rear tires and allows the centrifugal force to pull the back of the car to the outside of the curve. If your car starts to lose grip on the rear wheels because of this weight transfer, driving experts say you should gently accelerate to transfer the weight back to the rear wheels, while you steer in the same direction in which the rear end is sliding. Remember to look down the road in the direction you want the car to go.

All in all, driving experts say to avoid oversteer, adjust your speed before the corner. In rear-wheel drive cars, make sure the oversteer is not coming from simple wheel spin. If it is, adjust your accelerator pressure to eliminate the wheel spin.

 
 
Winter Air Pressure; You Can’t Just Set It…And Then Forget It
Maintaining the correct air pressure is a requirement for good handling, traction and durability. The tire pressure recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual or on the tire information placard on the driver side b-pillar is a “cold” pressure, so it should be checked in the morning before you drive more than a few miles.

The fall and early winter months are the most critical times to check your tire’s inflation pressures because air is a gas which contracts as the days get shorter and the temperatures get colder. For every 10-degree Fahrenheit change in outside temperature, your tire’s inflation pressure will change by about 1 psi (they’ll increase with higher temperatures and decrease with lower temps). If you park your Porsche in an attached or heated garage you will also “lose” pressure when you leave the warmth of the garage and venture into the real world outside. So, add 1 psi of “cold” tire pressure to compensate for each 10 degree temperature difference.

And finally, don’t forget to keep your valve stem caps on. If left off, moisture can freeze in the valve and allow the air to escape.

Any and all questions on these topics are welcome, please ask!

Part 3 of Winter Tech will discuss putting your Porsche away in hibernation. Until then, drive safe and alert!

Jeremy Williams is the Oregon PCA Technical editor. He co-owns Matrix Integrated Inc. (Matrix Integrated Inc.) with his brother Justin. Jeremy can be reached at techeditor@oregonpca.org

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Part 1 Winter Tech: Tires

As we head towards winter, we all need to be thinking about preparing our Porsche’s for either winter driving or hibernation (that is, unless you’re taking it with you to Arizona). Over the next few months in the Tech Blog, we will discuss winter related topics, much of it pulled from our previous ORPCA winter tech session titled “Fun With Old Man Winter.”
Our first topic will be winter tires. There is plenty of information on this topic, so we’ll just focus on some key highlights.

If you’ll be driving your Porsche this winter season, do you really need winter-specific tires? If your tires are bald 10 year-old summer tires, then you certainly should not be driving any further on them due to their expiration, winter or not. If you will be headed into the mountain passes, then you’ll definitely want to use winter-rated tires for extra safety and security. If you’ll be staying in the Portland/Vancouver metro area only, it’s worthwhile to seriously consider winter tires this season. While it’s great to have the luxury of staying off the roads when it’s snowing, it’s even better to have the freedom of movement that winter tires provide. As we’ve seen in previous years, how do you know where you will be when a winter storm hits–maybe at home, at work, or out of town visiting relatives for the holidays. And who ever had an emergency that they could schedule around the weather? Bottom line, is it worth gambling with the safety of your vehicle, yourself and others, especially when your collision deductible and future insurance premiums are on the table?
We all know that tires are a compromise. One tire can’t be the fastest on the track, most controllable in the snow, and longest wearing. The ultra-high-performance summer tire that grips the track is incompetent as its tread compound becomes like “hard plastic” at below 32°F. Specific winter tires deliver much better slush, snow and ice performance than summer or all-season tires because their tread designs/compounds are engineered to master those colder temps and winter conditions. How do they do this? New winter tires begin with deeper tread depths and more open tread designs, and they also feature softer tread compounds that remain pliable in extreme cold temperatures. Keep in mind that while the extra tread depth and softer compounds allow new winter tires to provide more traction in deep snow, it also contributes to more tread squirm and drivers may notice a reduction in handling responsiveness. A recommended 3-5psi increase in inflation pressures increase tire stability and help offset the reduction in responsiveness.

Are 2 winter tires enough, or should you use 4? Nearly every tire manufacturer recommends four winter tires be used on rear wheel, four wheel/all-wheel, and/or front wheel drive vehicles. This is because if you use two dissimilar types of tires on your vehicle, you’ll have a vehicle that has a “split” personality. One end of the vehicle won’t react and perform the same as the other in the dry, wet, slush and snow conditions you may encounter before the end of winter. Especially in emergency situations, you’ll find that your vehicle will probably understeer in one condition and oversteer in another. By installing four winter tires, you maintain the most balanced and controlled handling possible in all winter driving conditions.

Should you use the same sized tires as you do for your summer or all-season tires? Actually no, as a wide and low-profile tire has to “plow” a wider path through snow which causes more resistance. The narrower the tire, the easier you can get through snow. So, if you have the option of going with a narrower/taller tire, this would be preferred.

As they say, until next time, keep the shiny side up and the (winter) rubber side down.

Jeremy Williams is the Oregon PCA Technical editor. He co-owns Matrix Integrated Inc. (Matrix Integrated Inc.) with his brother Justin. Jeremy can be reached at techeditor@oregonpca.org

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Radiator Fans: Are You Boarding Porsche Airlines?

In this hot summer weather, have you been hearing a jet engine sound from the front of your watercooled Porsche?
Does the sound continue even after you have shut the engine off?
If so, you may have a failed radiator fan. Due to how low Porsche’s are to the ground, and with their massively open bumper intake ducts, it is not uncommon to have a fair amount of road debris like leaves, twigs, even sizable rocks, in these ducts. What happens once enough of this debris piles up, is that the debris blocks the fresh airflow to your front radiators (most watercooled Porsche’s have 3 radiators up front; a center, a left, and a right). This in turn can cause the engine’s coolant temperature to overheat, causing the radiator fans to work much harder, often fatiguing their motors sooner than later. Once one of your side (left or right) radiator fans fail, then the engine management computer module sees that the coolant temperature is increasing beyond its engineered parameters, so the opposite side radiator fan increases to a much faster speed to try to overcompensate and cool the engine temp down; this is the jet engine sound you may hear from the front of your Porsche.

One way to prevent this from happening is to make sure you’re having your Porsche maintained on a regular interval (every 12-20k depending on model year), as one of the items on Porsche’s inspection list is to clear any blockages from the radiators and air intakes. Without blockages, your Porsche will run cooler and more efficiently, and in general be a jollier Porsche.
Happy Porsche motoring!

As always, let us know if you have any specific questions, and/or a topic suggestion for a future technical blog submission.

Jeremy Williams is the Oregon PCA Technical editor. He co-owns Matrix Integrated Inc. (Matrix Integrated Inc.) with his brother Justin. Jeremy can be reached at techeditor@oregonpca.org


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What is That Debris in my 986/996 Oil Filter?

Do you own a ’97-04 Boxster (986 chassis) or a ’99-04 911 (996 chassis)?
Do you or your mechanic cut open your oil filter during oil changes, and spread the filter media out to check for debris? If not, you should! If you already do, then you may already know that there’s a higher likelihood of the debris you’re seeing is either IMS bearing material (shiny silver), timing chain material (shiny silver), or plastic timing chain ramp material (dark brown or black).
This oil filter media inspection is something both of our shop locations perform during 986/996 oil changes, because it’s a straightforward way to be alerted to an engine component starting to fail.
Here are two pictures of the worst M96 oil filter debris we’ve ever seen:

Note that both metallic (IMS bearing and/or timing chain) material, and plastic timing chain ramp material are easily visible throughout the filter media.
Unfortunately, this client had purchased the vehicle sight unseen, and without a pre-purchase inspection. Since this engine could be hiding too many unknowns deep inside and thus possibly too costly to try to salvage, this client decided that an engine replacement would be their next step.
Here is a picture of an M96 filter with much more debris than we’re comfortable seeing:

Here is a picture of what we more commonly see in an M96 oil filter:

The two upper longer metallic pieces are starting to get larger in size than we’re normally seeing or feel comfortable seeing. The very small round metallic flake is pretty consistent with other M96’s.
While we’d like to see no metal debris whatsoever, even on non-Porsche (i.e. BMW) engines, it’s not uncommon to see very small flakes of shiny metallic debris here and there.
All in all, if you own an M96 engine, we would highly recommend that you make it standard practice to cut open and thoroughly check the oil filter media for any abnormal debris. If you find numerous or sizable pieces of debris, consult a professional Porsche specialty shop for further advice.

In a future tech blog post, I will show different stages of plastic timing chain ramp failure and what that means for your engine.

As always, let us know if you have any specific questions, and/or a topic suggestion for a future technical blog submission.

Jeremy Williams is the Oregon PCA Technical editor. He co-owns Matrix Integrated Inc. (Matrix Integrated Inc.) with his brother Justin. Jeremy can be reached at techeditor@oregonpca.org

 

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Watch those low mileage cars

I was recently at a club event where a new member was asking me what to look for in a specific low mileage Porsche (997 chassis 911). The specific model isn’t critical for this tech article, but what I do feel is worthy of mentioning are a few key technical aspects to keep in mind when searching for a previously-loved low mileage Porsche. While lower mileage specimens can be of higher value, they can be quite a headache and costly if they’ve been neglected.

As I mentioned to the member, if I were given the option of a 10yo Porsche with only 25k on the odometer but no maintenance invoices in the glovebox, vs a 10yo Porsche with 75k on it and at least a small folder of preventative maintenance invoices (some repair invoices are ok, but you also don’t want to buy a lemon), with everything else equal, I’d most often choose the latter. As I’ve mentioned in previous tech articles, if your engine doesn’t achieve the recommended 3500-5000mi non-synthetic or 5000-7500mi synthetic oil change interval within a year, our recommendation is to have the oil and filter changed every year. Brake fluid on a street car should be flushed every 2years regardless of mileage, and every 4years for a coolant flush on the later watercooled cars. This is due to condensation and contaminants which build up in the fluid. One some vehicles, like vintage 356’s, 912’s, and 911’s, the worst thing you can do is let them sit (besides, it’s just not nice to make a Porsche lonely for so long!). This is where a vehicle with ultra-low mileage and no maintenance history can be a vehicle to possibly walk away from based on the cost to repair correctly. On these vehicles, the corrosion which occurs in the brake system due to moisture will cause the brake components will seize up.

brakes1

As well, seals and other rubber components can often dry up and get brittle due to little/no use, then start cracking and leaking. Thankfully this isn’t as much the case on the newer watercooled cars due to differences and improvements in component technology, however a 10yr old watercooled which has never had the brake fluid flushed could still have corrosion in the brake system. This might mean new brake calipers and possibly brake lines on a newer vehicle, which if properly maintained should never need to be replaced otherwise. As well, the safety/reliability of tires will typically be expired by the 10yr mark so be prepared for 4-5 new tires too. Moreover, the fuel tank will probably have water in it and the fuel has now turned towards varnish, so the fuel tank will need to be drained. The blinker fluid and the gefunkt tank might be comprised as well, so it wouldn’t hurt to have those checked while you’re at it. 😉

brakes2

 

 

Porsche’s were originally designed to be driven so get out there and exercise them, as well as your own heart!

Jeremy Williams is the Oregon PCA Technical editor. He co-owns Matrix Integrated Inc. (Matrix Integrated Inc.) with his brother Justin. Jeremy can be reached at techeditor@oregonpca.org

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