You must make cleaning your front Porsche Boxster radiators a part of your primary maintenance routine. This is a part of maintenance that is often overlooked.
At the first hint of your Porsche Boxster running hotter than normal, you need to check your radiators to ensure that the air intakes have not become clogged up with road debris.
Your Radiators are Exposed and Unprotected
Due to the low aerodynamic design of the front of the Porsche bumper, debris collects in the inner corners of each radiator.
Porsche Boxster radiators sit lower than most other cars. Air flow to the radiators is inhibited by road debris that collects in each bumper air duct. The further complication is that there are 2 layers of radiators when consider the AC condensers and the radiators combined.
Starting as early as 20,000 miles, you need to consider cleaning your front Porsche Boxster radiators and condensers. Road debris will collect in your bumper areas.
Save Your Radiators and AC Condensers
Clean your radiator cavities yearly. Use a shop vac and a crevice tool to remove all road debris from each corner of your bumper intakes.
This will save your radiators and ac condensers from early corrosion damage and make your cooling system more efficient. Many expensive radiator repairs can be avoided.
If your radiators or ac condensers start to corrode, they cannot be repaired and have to be replaced.
Yearly Maintenance of Your Radiators
As part of your yearly maintenance, you need to clean your radiators, or whenever you are washing your car. The radiators on the Porsche Boxster are located in the front bumper of the car.
Look thru your front bumper crevices for various road debris; leaves, sticks, garbage, etc.
986/987/987-2/981 models of Porsche Boxster and Caymans do not have any screen protection for the radiators and the road has direct access to your primary cooling system.
You must vacuum out all visible debris. But debris may have already made its way deep into your bumper area and behind the ac condensers.
The Best Way to Access Porsche Boxster Radiators
Unfortunately, the best way to access your radiators for cleaning is to remove the front bumper. Once you remove the bumper then you then need to remove the ac condensers and this gives you complete access to the radiators.
This will allow you to thoroughly clean your radiators. It is incredible how much debris gets through to behind the AC condensers.
How To Access Your Boxster Radiators
Access to the Boxster Radiators involves the removal of the front bumper.
This process is covered in detail in Project 68 of 101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster (Motorbooks Workshop). This book is highly recommended.
Step 1 Raise the Front of your Boxster
Loosen both front wheel lug nuts before you place the front of your Boxster on Jack Stands.
Remove the front wheels
Remove the wheel liners for each front tire. Take the time to inspect all areas under the wheel liners for any future potential issues. Wheel liner removal involves the removal of plastic rivets, plastic nuts, and multiple regular Phillips screws.
Remove 4 screws from the Frunk that attach the interior of the Boxster Frunk to the bumper. This will allow you to remove the plastic cover over the front trunk latch.
Under the cover are 2 screws (1 on each side.) that go into the front bumper.
Remove 3 screws from underneath the skid shield that installs into the front bumper
Remove the side markers and the screws behind them.
Remove the 2 torx screws that hold each air duct scoop in place and 3 interior torx screws inside each scoop. Remove each air scoop.
CAREFUL: the right air scoop has the outdoor air temperature probe located in it and it requires your attention to remove it and ultimately to remove the scoop.
Remove Front Bumper Cover and start cleaning your radiators.
You need to give careful consideration for opening the gap between the AC condensers and the Radiators as this area can have extensive build up of road debris.
Burner’s Cars does an excellent walk-thru on removing all debris from your radiators and cleaning your condensers located behind the radiators of your car.
Ben was truly amazed at how much debris he found (5:10 mark.)
Quick follow up, I must say (that) of all the things I did to the cooling system on my Porsche 986 cleaning out the radiators was probably the most necessary. It made a notable difference in how quickly the car heats up and how well it cools itself … I think I can actually tell the difference. So it is clearly something that was necessary.Ben Burner
How To Access Your Radiators From the 101 Projects Book
The 101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster Book has a dedicated chapter (Chapter 32) on the replacement of your Boxster Radiators. It makes an excellent reference for the procedures to gain access to the radiators and condensers for cleaning.
How To Protect Your Radiators
What can you do to prevent debris from collecting in your bumper grilles? You can install grills to protect your air intakes by using Porsche Boxster/Cayman Zunsport Radiator Grilles.
Zunsport makes custom grills for your Boxster that are super easy to install, look great, stay in place, and will protect your radiators. Check out the post below: