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Coolant Flush and Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Coolant Flush and Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$20 to $50

Talent:

**

Tools:

T25 Torx, 10mm wrench, Air Lift Vacuum Tool, pliers, large bucket, hose pinchers

Applicable Models:

Porsche 987 Cayman (2007-08)
Porsche 987 Cayman S (2006-08)

Parts Required:

Coolant, distilled water, cap

Hot Tip:

Get a really big bucket

Performance Gain:

Fresh coolant

Complementary Modification:

New hoses

Modern coolants last a very long time and if you need to drain your coolant to work on other parts of the vehicle, you really should consider draining it into a clean container so you can reuse it. This article will show you how to drain the coolant system and fill and bleed the system. This is also a very good time to check the condition of your hoses. There will be several different types of fasteners on your hoses and depending on who worked on it last, none of them may be the same so be prepared.

Unlike an old American car that has a radiator in front of the engine with an easily accessible drain plug (to drain) and fill cap (which just requires pouring fluid in), the Porsche Cayman is a little more involved. While it is possible to fill and bleed the Cayman without a vacuum system, we recommend you rent, borrow or buy one to perform this job correctly. The reason for this is simple: you need to avoid getting air in the cooling system and a vacuum is the best way to avoid this.

A couple of safety precautions/instructions you may want to observe before beginning:

Allow cooling system to cool down to a coolant temperature of less than 90 degrees C. Open the cap of cooling system slowly; turn a conventional coolant cap as far as the first detent and turn a screwed coolant cap approx. 1/2 turn and release the pressure. Wear protective gloves, protective clothing and eye protection. Always dispose of used coolant in accordance with the regulations in your region; NEVER pour coolant down a drain, into the ground or a sewer.

Begin by safely jacking up and supporting your car. Please see our article on jacking up your vehicle for additional help.

You will need to remove the upper engine cover so please see our article on engine cover removal for additional assistance.
Figure 1

You will need to remove the upper engine cover so please see our article on engine cover removal for additional assistance.

With the engine cover removed and the engine and cooling system cold and not under pressure remove the fill cap and the reservoir caps (red arrows).
Figure 2

With the engine cover removed and the engine and cooling system cold and not under pressure remove the fill cap and the reservoir caps (red arrows).

Remove the under tray at the rear by removing the four T25 Torx screws (red arrows) and the two 10mm screws (yellow arrows) and lower the tray.
Figure 3

Remove the under tray at the rear by removing the four T25 Torx screws (red arrows) and the two 10mm screws (yellow arrows) and lower the tray.

There are several coolant hoses at the front of the engine: the thermostat hose (yellow arrow), the hose to the heater core (red arrow) and the main coolant line to the engine (blue arrow).
Figure 4

There are several coolant hoses at the front of the engine: the thermostat hose (yellow arrow), the hose to the heater core (red arrow) and the main coolant line to the engine (blue arrow). Depending one who worked on the car last will depend on what type of clamps you will find but the main line will always be a quick disconnect. Make sure you have the proper tool to disconnect whatever clamps you find on your vehicle.

Place a large catch tray under the vehicle.
Figure 5

Place a large catch tray under the vehicle.

Disconnect the hoses (red and yellow arrows) from the engine and allow them to drain into the catch tray.
Figure 6

Disconnect the hoses (red and yellow arrows) from the engine and allow them to drain into the catch tray. If you safely can raise the front of the vehicle on your jack it will help further drain the front radiators. Once the system has drained reconnect all the hoses.

Make sure you use the proper coolant; I like to use the Porsche coolant even though it is a little more expensive.
Figure 7

Make sure you use the proper coolant; I like to use the Porsche coolant even though it is a little more expensive. Make sure you do a proper mix of coolant to distilled water for the area you live in. The coolant preforms many functions but the main one is to protect against freezing and there should be a list of temperatures that the mixtures are good for on the coolant.

The proper way to finish removing the old coolant and filling the system with new coolant is by using a vacuum filling device, we like the Airlift system.
Figure 8

The proper way to finish removing the old coolant and filling the system with new coolant is by using a vacuum filling device, we like the Airlift system. Begin by pinching off the fill and breather lines from the fill cap to reservoir (red arrow).

Next install the vacuum system and pull a vacuum on the system.
Figure 9

Next install the vacuum system and pull a vacuum on the system. You should be able to get close to perfect vacuum (29 on the airlift gauge) however this will vary depending on how much coolant you got out of the system. Now close the valve and observe the vacuum gauge over the course of a few minutes; 5-10 works for me. If you see the needle moving, you have a leak. Double check all connections and hose clamps. If the vacuum reading holds steady you are ready to fill the system.

Once the system is under vacuum change to the fill hose and place the fill hose into your container of clean new coolant.
Figure 10

Once the system is under vacuum change to the fill hose and place the fill hose into your container of clean new coolant. The higher you can get your coolant to the reservoir the better. Slowly open the valve and let the vacuum suck the fresh coolant into the system and fill it. Make sure the hose stays submerged in the coolant, if it does not you will introduce air into the system and need to start over again.

As the system fills up you can slowly open the valve more until the system is completely filled.
Figure 11

As the system fills up you can slowly open the valve more until the system is completely filled.

Always replace the cap on the reservoir; it contains the valve that keeps the system closed when under pressure.
Figure 12

Always replace the cap on the reservoir; it contains the valve that keeps the system closed when under pressure.

Remove the hose pinchers, install the caps and run the motor up to temperature.
Figure 13

Remove the hose pinchers, install the caps and run the motor up to temperature. If a coolant light comes on you have introduced air into the system. Shut off the engine and let it cool and then when you safely can add coolant and repeat until the coolant level is between the minimum and maximum level under the fill cap.

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Comments and Suggestions:
frank 08 caymen Comments: where can I buy the air lift vacumn tool to service the cooling system
February 28, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: http://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog/shopcart/TOOL/POR_TOOL_WTD024_pg1.htm - Casey at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Mon 3/27/2017 03:15:13 AM