Porsches are high-performance vehicles that are renowned for being unique. One feature that contributes to their uniqueness is the air-oil separator found in each Porsche. Because most vehicles lack this component, you may not have heard of it before. Nonetheless, it is an important part of your Porsche, so you should know how to identify problems with it and take care of it if it’s not working properly.
As suggested by the name, the purpose of your Porsche’s air-oil separator is to ensure that the air and oil in your vehicle do not contaminate each other. When air escapes from your Porsche’s crankshaft, it passes through the crankcase, where it picks up oil vapors before traveling through the intake manifold and back into the engine.
The air-oil separator is a filter between your vehicle’s crankcase and its intake manifold that catches the oil particles out of the air and redirects them back to the crankcase. If the separator breaks, then oily air will filter unchecked into your vehicle’s combustion chambers. This can lead to a variety of problems, including a build-up of carbon deposits and damage to your Porsche’s spark plugs. This is why it is very important that your vehicle’s air-oil separator be kept in good working order.
The most frequent cause of air-oil separator failure is normal wear and tear. Like all of your Porsche’s parts, the air-oil separator is hardy but cannot last forever. Over time, the filter will wear down or fail completely. This can happen especially quickly if you do not perform regular maintenance on your vehicle.
Luckily, there are several clear signs that you can use to determine if your Porsche’s air-oil separator is failing.
The first of these is the illumination of your vehicle’s check engine light. Your vehicle’s air-oil separator is one of the components connected to its check engine light, so if the light comes on, there is a chance that the air-oil separator may be experiencing problems. Regardless, if the light comes on, you should take your vehicle to a professional to have the problem diagnosed and addressed as soon as possible.
Another symptom that may indicate problems with your vehicle’s air-oil separator is oil leaks. If your separator is failing, you will likely notice oil puddles forming in your driveway or regular parking spots. Similarly, an additional indicator of air-oil separator failure is increased oil usage. Again, oil captured by the air-oil separator is redirected back to the crankcase, where it is used normally. However, if the separator fails, the oil will be sent to your vehicle’s combustion chambers, which will deplete your vehicle’s oil levels at an unnaturally quick rate.
Of course, oil leaks and increased oil usage can be caused by several different factors, not just air-oil separator failure. However, no matter the cause of the problem, these symptoms are indicative of serious engine issues that should be examined by a mechanic immediately.
A third and final common symptom of air-oil separator failure is dark smoke coming from your vehicle’s exhaust system. This smoke will be caused by the uneven balance of air and oil in your Porsche’s engine and can grow to serious proportions, causing issues for both you and any drivers behind you. This symptom usually indicates severe air-oil separator failure and means that your vehicle needs attention right away. Continuing to drive without having this problem addressed can be extremely dangerous for you and others on the road.
Ultimately, the longer you leave a potential air-oil separator failure alone, the bigger the consequences. At best, doing so will lead to increased repair costs, and at worst, it can cause harm to your Porsche, yourself, or others. Therefore, you should keep a careful eye out for any potential signs of air-oil separator issues.
The air-oil separator is a finicky, specialized piece that requires an experienced professional to fix it. We here at European Service Center pride ourselves on being the leading repair shop in the Atlanta area for handling air-oil separator failures in Porsches.
For years, our top-notch mechanics have provided exemplary service to customers from Alpharetta, Chamblee, Cumming, Norcross, Dunwoody, Buckhead, Roswell, and Atlanta, GA. We are experts when it comes to European vehicles, and we would love to help you ensure that your Porsche is in top condition, so give us a call today.