04 Porsche Boxster Smoking on Start Up


Is it NORMAL for a 04 Boxster with 12800 miles, purchased new, to blow clouds of smoke when started up after sitting for a few hours or overnight? The dealer and zone manager say yes. I say a puff is acceptable, but a plume that engulfs the car and garage is not. Help, I’m frustrated.


Heck no. They must have a couple of used Boxters sittiing around. Ask them to start up the normal ones. At 12,800 even a puff, in warm weather, would be a bad sign.


you bought this new?

has it been doing this forever?

since when?

what maintenance have you done, just prior to this starting?

any muffler work? or emissions work?

not to ask too silly a question, but what does the smoke smell like? antifreeze, oil,? anything special?


Nope . . and there is a great article in the November 2007 Road & Track on the Boxter and the terrible problems with them. Get yourself a copy and re-visit your dealer with a copy in hand. The problems are so severe that they suggest that dealers are replacing entire engines on as many as 50% of the 1999 models. Check it out. Rocketman


On a normal engine with vertical cylinders, oil leaking past worn valve guides, when the engine is shut off, will cause a little smoke on startup. My 305 Chevy did this at about 300,000 miles. I did not bother fixing it at such a high mileage. The Boxer has a pancake (flat) engine, so there must be a lot of wear to let the oil in the valve covers migrate into the cylinders. I would not accept this as “normal”.


What color smoke? Does it have an odor? Is it using oil or coolant? Is there any relationship with the events and the weather (damp cool vs warm and dry) or where you park it (think hill)


New, since day 1. Mobil 1 oil changes every 5000 miles by Porsche dealer. No other work done other than they replaced the oil/air seperator twice. And they still say it’s normal. Smells like oil and has a blueish color to it.


BTW . . . clouds of smoke on a 2004 car with 13,000 miles is horrible! Porsche should be and is recalling these vehicles for repair, seems like it is just being kept kinda quiet. Take it to another dealer if this one says “it’s nornmal” . . call the zone manager . . . get it fixed by Porsche. Rocketman


Check the level of the power steering fluid.

Our Lexus had the same symptoms. Parked overnight, on start-up, anywhere from a small puff to an engulfing cloud of white smoke.

Solution: replace a $25 valve between the PS system and “something” in the engine. The value is used to provide varing degrees of pressure to the PS system, but if it leaks the fluid flows in the opposite direction.