All Porsche drivers know the superior handling and driving experience that this brand offers, which makes driving all other vehicles pale in comparison. It’s why the name Porsche is synonymous with power and excellence.
As your Porsche ages, as with all cars, you’ll start to notice some issues begin to arise as parts naturally become worn. A common part failure that appears in older Porsches is air-oil separator failure. This problem will affect the performance of your Porsche and therefore needs to be addressed swiftly. Let’s look at this part more closely and learn some of the symptoms that indicate its failure.
What is the air-oil separator and what does it do?
All Porsche models have a PCV system or Positive Crankcase Ventilation system. The PCV system is needed to draw pressure and gas buildup from the crankcase. To do this, the system has many hoses which all lead back to the inlet system.
In simple terms, the PCV valve recycles excess fuel, oil, and water and returns them to the combustion chamber where they can be properly and safely burned. This reduces the number of harmful toxins that are released into the environment and also prevents damage to your car’s inner workings from toxin-laden, blow-by gases.
The majority of the substances that run through the PCV system are unburnt fuel, but as mentioned, there can be some oil, too. This oil can settle as a film or a vapor which should never be allowed to enter your Porsche’s inlet system or engine. To catch this, your Porsche has an air-oil separator that stops any oil in the system from leaving behind deposits of carbon and affecting the quality of your fuel.
The oil that is collected by the air-oil separator doesn’t go to waste, however. The separator also has a drain to collect oil that can pass through to allow it to go back into the oil system.
How to Tell if the Air-Oil Separator is Failing
As you can see, the air-oil separator has a vital job to do, so knowing when it’s developing problems is important. Failure of the separator can cause expensive problems for your Porsche and can easily go unnoticed, because its failure doesn’t stop your car from operating.
Therefore, pay attention to the symptoms listed below, and if they start to appear in your Porsche, seek professional diagnostics as soon as possible.
1. Illumination of Engine Management Light
Also known as the check engine light, the EML can illuminate for many reasons, so it doesn’t always point to a separator issue. The air-oil separator can cause the EML to illuminate because its function directly impacts engine performance. Without the separator working correctly, oil will contaminate the fuel and in turn, the combustion chamber of the engine leading to reduced performance and the illumination of the check engine light. As mentioned, however, the EML may illuminate for other reasons, which is why you need to visit your local automotive shop for diagnostic work as soon as the light illuminates.
2. Leaking Oil
Oil leaks can be caused by many things, including the separator. Remember, the separator stores and distributes the oil it collects. So, if the drain develops cracks or damage, it can allow the oil to leak from the system. If this happens, you’ll notice spots of oil on the ground underneath your parked car. It’s best to let the professionals resolve oil leaks, because they can be tricky for a novice to find and repair.
3. Dark Smoke Emissions
The emissions that your Porsche emits can tell you a lot about its overall health. Healthy emissions are completely clear. Emissions of any other color point to an issue that needs professional assistance. In the case of separator failure, the emissions your Porsche releases will be dark-colored and smokey, because of the oil that has burned alongside the fuel.
Visit Germany’s Best Inc.
At Germany’s Best, Inc. of Berkeley, Emeryville, Piedmont, and Oakland, CA, we know what it takes to get your Porsche back to peak function after air-oil separator failure. We’ll work thoroughly and methodically to ensure the issue is resolved quickly and will give you great tips on future care and maintenance. Call our friendly customer service team today to find out what we can do for you.