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Old 08-26-2007, 04:13 AM   #1
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Boxster-reliable daily driver-maintenance costs?

I drive a BMW 99 323ic (conv.) 5-spd manual and use it as daily driver (18k annual miles-123k total miles). Since buying it 3 years ago, this car has been a great reliable daily driver only requiring regular repairs and maintenance which my local garage has handled. I was planning to move up to a newer 300ci (conv). A friend recommended a boxster so I test drove a 99 and was immediately hooked, albeit the 3.0 bimmer might be a tad faster. However, the bimmer cannot compare to the Boxster’s exhilarating handling, wow! After hours of internet research I have concerns of the boxster's reliability, repair and maintenance costs. The local Cherry Hill, NJ Porsche dealer appears to be the only maintenance/repair shop in my area. I currently have the 99 biimer up for sale on auto trader and looking for a 2000 Boxster (possbily an S). I think 2000 started the increase for the standard boxster to 217 HP and the S went to 250 HP. I know miles are commensurate with the selling price of any vehicle, I am just concerned about how many miles the boxster might have on it when I buy it and what are going to be the cost of the next scheduled maintenance/repairs. Can anyone in this forum tell me what is the required maintenance, at what periodic mileage intervals and what are the expected costs? What are the cost of regular repairs, e.g. brakes, oil changes, filters and other regular ones? Do oil changes cost $140? Also, how reliable are boxster’s as daily drivers? Is there a web-site to use a resource? I know this a lot to cover. I just don't want to spend a lot after the initial cost of the boxster. I would really appreciate anyone in this forum sharing their knowledge. Thank you.
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Old 08-26-2007, 07:10 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

I think you've found the best resource here on this forum for answering your questions. The Box is an excellent daily driver and many forum members use them as such, including me. You will need a set of snows, however, for winter driving (don't even think about using summer tires in snow and all-seasons aren't good in snow over 2"). But to answer your main queston, a Boxster is a very capable daily driver.

Is a Boxster stone cold, Japanese reliable? No, but it's like a trophy date - the thrills and excitement generally outweigh the cost and occasional disappointment. Since you already own an expensive German automobile, the repair / service costs should be comparable. Make no mistake - nothing on a Porsche is cheap. Many forum members have purchased extended warranties to give them peace of mind on any impending repair bills while others pay as they go. Yes, oil changes can cost $140 but the Box has 9 qts of Mobil 1 Extd Life oil coarsing through its veins and a $20 filter, so you're already up to $90 worth of materials.

Search The Forum for DeliriousGA. He has a link to his website on Boxster service intervals, what is necessary at ea interval, and how to do many of them yourself. Some things on a Box are easy to do yourself - I change my own oil, just changed anti freeze, and plan to change the spark plugs this week. If you a bit handy with tools, you can save yourself some $$$.

One thing most forum members will tell a prospective buyer is to buy the newest S you can afford. It would definitely be a good idea for you to test drive an S since you've driven a base and are a bit concerned about the HP. Many forum members like to add HP mods, but in all honesty the Box motor is not capable of big HP increases unless you want to spend cubic $$$. Most of the mods come at 10-15 HP increases at $500 - $1000 per mod. If you are concerned with the HP at purchase time, you may want to reconsider buying a Box. They are not ground pounders.

Another Search The Forum topic is RandallNeighbor. He has a list of items to consider when purchasing a Boxster. Required reading for a prospective buyer. Unless you are looking to purchase a CPO car from a Porsche dealership, you should have any car you are seriously considering looked at by a reputable mechanic (the process is called a Pre-Purchase Inspection - PPI). Randall speaks about it in his link. Based on the years you mention you are interested in, you may not be able to find a CPO car. BTW, one of our forum members (DrBurton) has a very nice 05 S for sale that is very low mileage. Even though it's not near the years you are interested in, just thought I'd mention it. He has a thread from Fri about the impending sale.

Hope this helps. Other members will probably chime in with their thoughts. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

Good luck.
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Old 08-26-2007, 07:17 PM   #3
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Good post husker!
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Old 08-26-2007, 08:17 PM   #4
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I skimmed your post, but my Boxster is a daily driver. It was in the shop the first two weeks I had it, and it has been almost four months with no problems, but I am taking it in for a few common smaller problems this week. Overall, I am very pleased with the Boxster as a daily driver. It is fun and the repairs do cost a bit more than a sedan, but it is well worth it. Oil changes are needed only ever 15k miles so they aren't to expenive spread out over a longer period of time. My only complaint is the milage, I average about 280 miles a tank at 24 mpg, but that is 85% city and 15% highway. Once you get your Boxster in shape and maintain it it will last, my dad had his Porsche for 16 years.
Go for the Box and you won't be disappointed,
I would also check out:
http://www.iwantaporsche.net/BoxsterInfo.htm
http://mike.focke.googlepages.com/mikesporscheboxsterwebpages
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Old 08-27-2007, 04:27 PM   #5
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Thank you

I really appreciate the valuable information you have provided. I will take your advice and persue your research avenues a little further. It appears that the Boxsters are everything I have been looking for and then some.....and a daily driver. Now the anticpation and the quest to find the best one for my dollar begins. Thank you to all members that responded. Dan
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Old 08-27-2007, 04:58 PM   #6
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I have put almost 17k on mine since November, and I haven't had any issues at all, except this darn check engine light that I think is a MAF (Mass Air Flow sensor)... I just haven't gotten around to replacing it yet.

I've just done the normal tune-up and maintenance.
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:00 PM   #7
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I drive an 04 S daily for a year and a half. No significant problems, never have I seen the "Check Engine Light" or had serious engine problems.

I take good care of the car though. I've had tiny problems such a brake light not working which took the dealer 10 minutes (free) to fix.

I do a full detail on the car twice a year.

Go for it! One of the best cars to drive... While I certainly recommend the S, from personal experience your gas expenses will increase since we are talking about a daily driver. The 3.2 sucks up gas quick.

enjoy!

Last edited by aBsOlUt; 08-27-2007 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:40 PM   #8
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I've got a '97 and it is a daily driver. Mostly highway and 70mph. (tollway!) I bought the car with 9,700 miles on it two years ago November. I now have 22,300 on it and love the car. I've done tires, 2 alighnments, had to replace roof cables ($1500) and a radiator cap that resulted in a $350 tow. The dealer fixed it for free. Overall this is not like my old Lexus. Little stuff that I am always tinkering with. But the fun of owning this car can not be minimized...hell I go for a drive around the 1 mile square I live in just to get the sound fix it offers any time I can! I do agree with Randall that the cost of ownership can be steep, it's a gamble. I guess in my mind I bought this thing "cheap" and I'll pay as I go. But for the money so far it's been a blast. If you are a true "Car Guy", I expect you'll buy a lawn chair for your garage so you can sit and look at it when you have time. Good Luck!
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Old 08-27-2007, 06:52 PM   #9
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I've had some issues with my 2000, but nothing fatal. I had about $1000 of unplanned expenses in my first year of ownership including the Mass Air Flow sensor and a fuel system vent tube.

You can make Boxster ownership more practical with some planning.

1. Find a good independent Porsche mechanic. I know you said you thought that the dealer was the only option in your area, but with some research you may discover another option.
2. Plan for tire replacement. Learn about the available options and buy over the Internet. This can save you several hundred dollars on each tire change. The same advice applies to the battery.
3. Learn to do some maintenance yourself and buy the parts on line. Changing the oil is not that difficult. You should also be able to handle the cabin filter and the air filter.
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Old 08-27-2007, 07:08 PM   #10
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Buy an S. Don't settle for less. No one ever says, 'Gee whiz, I should have bought the slower one with the smaller engine.'

And if you are patient, you can find a garage queen in NJ that some guy bought and never had time to drive.

With all my mechanical problems, I still love my car. I drive it like I stole it once or twice a month and put it back in the garage.

However, I'd be happy to drive it every day to work if I wasn't carpooling with my wife and golden retreiver.
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Old 08-27-2007, 09:33 PM   #11
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Also, how reliable are boxster’s as daily drivers?

I have yet to encounter an issues that wasn't MY fault.

Is there a web-site to use a resource?

Yeah,you posted on it.
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Old 08-28-2007, 05:40 AM   #12
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I would suggest that you spend the dough and get the S.

In your area of the world, winter driving and potholes will be a challenge but are resolvable. Watch the POTHOLES!

The car is tighter than your BMW and has less storage room. Will be a tad bumpier in traffic.

Shop wisely and find a car that is pristine and you should love your experience.

PS-warranty is a good idea.
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Old 08-28-2007, 07:36 AM   #13
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Maintenance costs are high, so is enjoyment

30k service is around $800, 60k is around $1000 but you can reduce those costs by doing many of the trivial things yourself.

A oil change is around $150 but the cost to do it yourself is around $60. Highest quality oil but done only every 15k.

There are entire web sites devoted to do-it-yourself instructions with pictures of how to do things.

Parts can be bought from dealers who discount on-line, the same parts catalogs the dealers use are available on line of for download. And many parts are generic parts for which the OEM equivalent is available at 50% of the local dealer's price.

Reliable? Mine has averaged $10 per month in unscheduled maintenance costs. It has never had a breakdown that left me stranded.

There are web sites of Boxster/Cayman owners who will go out of their way to help you. here and www.ppbb.com and www.renntech.org. There is also a Boxster racing board if you decide to get serious in improving your ability to drive the car. For most of us, the car's capabilities vastly exceed our ability to drive the car.

I used my '01 for several years as a daily driver to work, to the grocery store, on any errand that allowed me to drive it. I'll confess to parking it for 2 months of the year when snow was on the ground. More to preserve it and because I wanted summer tires and didn't want the expense of all-weather tires since I had another car/suv. Now I am retired, it is strictly a "toy car".

The two trunks make it practical. A set of golf clubs fit in the back.

In all, an enjoyable car.

Don't be scared of problem reports. On any enthusiast's board, you'll hear of problems. The ones with problems don't post, they are out driving.

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