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Coolant system failure the day after 966TT purchase

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Old 11-12-2017, 06:46 PM
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Coolant system failure the day after 966TT purchase

Hi all. This is my first post. I purchased a 2004 996TT with 53,000 Miles a couple of days ago from the used car lot at a Mercedes dealer in South Carolina. My pre-purchase research on sites like this identified a few items to verify before purchase, one of them being the coolant lines for leaks. Before flying over from Houston to purchase and pick it up, I asked the dealer for all records and for a status of the lines and hoses, specifically the coolant lines. The records are all in order and I received a text back indicating "All lines and hoses are perfect". I also got an inspection and service report from them noting that one of the coolant lines by the engine had a small leak and was crimped to fix the leak. On the 1100 mile drive home, specifically around the 950 mile mark, the battery light came on and the voltage suddenly dropped to 11V. I pulled over immediately and stopped the car, then noted that coolant was rapidly draining onto the ground directly below the engine. It had also been blown out the tail and was coating the entire back of the car. It has now been towed to a Mercedes dealer in Houston, where they will determine the damage some time over the next couple of days.

My questions are as follows:
1. Should I allow a Mercedes dealer to work on the car, or is this one of those "Porsche mechanic only" types of items?
2. Given the battery issue, can I assume the coolant destroyed the alternator? What else should I have them check if they drop the engine?

As a side note, the dealer I purchased it from has said "We don't know what we could do to help" which is not unexpected. This car was purchased as is and I have no warranty, so not sure if there are any legal options, given that they crimped the line rather than fixing it and then told me the lines and hoses were "perfect". Keep in mind that it failed catestrophically within 24 hours of purchase and under normal highway driving conditions. Given that they are a Mercedes dealer and told me their reputation is everything to their business, I will offer to allow them to support this claim by assisting with this situation. Otherwise, I will launch a concerted campaign via social media to destroy them.
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Old 11-12-2017, 07:14 PM
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There are several coolant fittings that are glued in on these cars. The glue fails over time and the fitting comes out putting fluid everywhere. This problem is so common that some tracks won't let these cars run unless the fittings are pinned or welded into place. There are a few of them that are accessable with the engine in the car by removing some of the accessories. There are also a few that require the engine to be removed. I would say that if it is one of the accessable fittings you should have the dealer JB Weld epoxy it back into place. If it is another you should tow the car to a specialist. I wouldn't place blame on anyone for the issue, it is just a matter of time with these cars. Sorry for the bad luck though.
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Old 11-12-2017, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by TexasNewfie View Post
Hi all. This is my first post. I purchased a 2004 996TT with 53,000 Miles a couple of days ago from the used car lot at a Mercedes dealer in South Carolina. My pre-purchase research on sites like this identified a few items to verify before purchase, one of them being the coolant lines for leaks. Before flying over from Houston to purchase and pick it up, I asked the dealer for all records and for a status of the lines and hoses, specifically the coolant lines. The records are all in order and I received a text back indicating "All lines and hoses are perfect". I also got an inspection and service report from them noting that one of the coolant lines by the engine had a small leak and was crimped to fix the leak. On the 1100 mile drive home, specifically around the 950 mile mark, the battery light came on and the voltage suddenly dropped to 11V. I pulled over immediately and stopped the car, then noted that coolant was rapidly draining onto the ground directly below the engine. It had also been blown out the tail and was coating the entire back of the car. It has now been towed to a Mercedes dealer in Houston, where they will determine the damage some time over the next couple of days.

My questions are as follows:
1. Should I allow a Mercedes dealer to work on the car, or is this one of those "Porsche mechanic only" types of items?
2. Given the battery issue, can I assume the coolant destroyed the alternator? What else should I have them check if they drop the engine?

As a side note, the dealer I purchased it from has said "We don't know what we could do to help" which is not unexpected. This car was purchased as is and I have no warranty, so not sure if there are any legal options, given that they crimped the line rather than fixing it and then told me the lines and hoses were "perfect". Keep in mind that it failed catestrophically within 24 hours of purchase and under normal highway driving conditions. Given that they are a Mercedes dealer and told me their reputation is everything to their business, I will offer to allow them to support this claim by assisting with this situation. Otherwise, I will launch a concerted campaign via social media to destroy them.

LOL good luck. But seriously, what are the used car warranty laws in your state and state purchased. Be nice, it helps. Sometimes this becomes a case of caveat emptor. Either way you would have had to address it, so it's just sooner than later.

I just bought the 2nd car sight unseen after saying I would never do that again. I'm spending tons of $$ making it right. It's life, at least you're fortunate to have broken down in a Porsche.

Good luck.
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Old 11-12-2017, 07:17 PM
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There are no lines to crimp. Some people do crimp leaking radiator end caps. But that is up front. You need to know exactly what let go to determine if the Mercedes dealer may have any liability. Sounds to me like the water pump may have let go and took the belt out with it so the altenator stopped spinning. Wish you the best getting it back on the road. These cars are solid if taken care of. Get it home and start going through it. It will bring you loads of fun.
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Old 11-12-2017, 07:20 PM
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Driversource is a good place to see about your problem, they are in Houston.
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Old 11-12-2017, 08:24 PM
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Thanks for the feedback guys. brnrdtns I will check out Driversource. Third-Reef the drive belt still looks like its in place and in good shape, at least the portion of it that I can see.
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Old 11-12-2017, 08:31 PM
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if its a coolant fitting theres a good chance the m/b dealer knows nothing about them failing which every porsche shop and indy shop knows about. not sure why you have at another m/b dealer since the odds they know any more than any other m/b dealer is slight. have it towed to a porsche shop and let them look at it
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:07 PM
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wow, sad story. agree with "their are no lines to "crimp".

you are one of the unfortunate few, to experience the dreaded coolant line fitting failure.

do NOT trust a MB dealer. take it to a known reputable Pcar shop ( hopefully an indie ) and have them welded/pinned, or even jb welded back.

sorry to hear of your troubles. once properly repaired you will love your car. i'm not even sure i'd take on the battle with the seller, given a "no warranty/as is" purchase. i would simply focus on the repair of your car. should be about 3k to fix, not counting hassle and transport etc.
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:49 PM
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Sorry to hear about your issues. But you do have a 14 year old car. 60K miles is time for a major service, but even though you are only at 53K, you should consider some level of preventive maintenance. Since you are already having coolant issues, you might want to consider replacing all the hoses, the coolant, even though it is “lifetime”,and the overflow tanks, which is a failure point. Consider having the engine pulled to weld the coolant pipes-also a known failure point. And if you go this route, replace the water pump also. The engines are typically bulletproof, but the peripherals require maintenance.

Enjoy the car. They are great cars.
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:18 PM
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I towed it to the MB shop because it was one of the only places to drop it after hours on a saturday. Porsche of North Houston locks their gates after 2:00PM and I don't know of any independents in the North Houston area. Driversource is in West Houston, with is another Thirty miles away. Unless one of you guys knows of an independent place in North Houston, I may just bring it to Porsche of North Houston, which is a four miles away from the MB dealer. It sounds like the cost is 3 grand either way if a coolant line needs to be replaced, regardless if its an independent or a Porsche dealer.
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:25 PM
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Found a place online called European Auto Techniks. They have great ratings online and its 4 miles from the MB dealer where it is now. Has anyone heard of this place.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:24 AM
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I'd first work with the seller to resolve the problem. As others have mentioned, this is not an uncommon problem, unfortunately (do a search here on pinning/welding coolant lines).

As you've just purchased the car, you have a shot at having the whatever part contains the leaking fitting being replaced with a new OEM piece at the selling dealer's cost. And if it entails a motor drop, you can possibly arrange for pinning or welding the rest of the fittings without having to cover the costs of R&Ring the motor. This is the best case that I'd be shooting for...

If you want pinning/welding done, you'll likely need to go to an independent. Just see how much you can get. And don't see the SC dealer as a crook - as others have said, this could just be very unfortunate timing. Play it right and make it your good fortune :-p

Good luck!
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:43 AM
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Google “independent Porsche service” there is a site I’ve used that has a consolidated list of locations of shops that other Porsche owners have used with success.
Shawn
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Old 11-13-2017, 02:10 AM
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IMO just take it to a good indy shop and have the fittings pinned. Fix this the right way or you will be back doing the same thing.
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Old 11-13-2017, 04:21 AM
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its worth another trip by tow to take it to drivers source. they know what to do and wont rip you off
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