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2002 996 Carrera Intermittent smoke on start-up


Vehicle Information: Model: Carrera; Year: 2002; Body Type: Coupe; Total Mileage: 32,000;

I've read over the prior Qs and As about engine smoke at start-up, apparently caused by (a) flat engine configuration, (b) piston rings not yet seated, or ring gaps being aligned on the "bottom" of the piston(s), and (c) oil collection on the bottom of the cylinder while the car sits for extended periods, followed by some oil leakage into the combustion area of the cylinder(s). Based on my review of the website, your readers typically report this problem when the engine is cold, the car is relatively new, or the engine has recently been rebuilt. I have this intermittent engine smoking problem too, but it's not under the circumstances identified above. It happens for me only occasionally at DE events, i.e., after the engine has been driven hard. As you know, the sessions last about a half hour. I then drive the cool-down lap, but if I don't drive a supplemental cool-down period (e.g., approx. 5 minutes) around the paddock area after coming off the track, I'll get a fair amount of start-up smoke two hours later, when our run group is getting ready to go back out on the track. If I do the cool-down driving, no smoke. I bought the car in 2004, with 2200 miles on it, CPO from a reputable dealer, so I'm reasonably certain (though not sure) the prior owner didn't beat it up during the 2 years he had it. I drove it carefully for the next 6-8,000 miles, and then began novice DE events at approximately 10,000 miles. After 2 seasons of DE, I'm at intermediate level, and (as far as I can tell by comparing my driving with those around me) I'm pretty careful with handling the car and not abusing the engine or drive train on the track. Nevertheless, it's still track driving, which presumably is tough on the car. Any thoughts about why the smoking would only take place under the circumstances I've identified? The car is also my daily driver, and I've only had this problem at the track, under the circumstances identified above. Given your prior comments about Porche's preference for avoiding rebuilds in the field, i.e., at the dearler's shop, I'm concerned that I may be facing a significant engine problem, rebuild, or replacement. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

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