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Old 03-24-2008, 11:23 PM   #1
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2000 Boxster - Good used car value??? Reliability??

I am considering buying a used Boxster.

I have a somewhat unique situation. A very close relative is going to sell their 2000 Boxster. it is a base model (non-S) with the 5 speed transmission. Ocean blue with black leather.

Options that I know the car has are: 18" wheels. Factory upgraded suspension - something like M030 or R030 was installed on the car, "full leather" interior..I think the dash/doors are all leather. Heated seats. the steering wheel was ugpraded to the "S" style 3 spoke wheel... and the shifter was ugpraded to an "S" style shifter.

the car has 72,000 miles. it runs great, I have driven it recently.

I was offered the car at $15,000. If I hemmed/hawed, I might get the car a bit cheaper..after all it's a "family" deal.

I'm buying the car as a third vehicle/toy car. I would not use it for daily driving..although I'd probably drdive it a few days a week to work for fun. I commute a very short distance...5 miles each way..so even minor commuting would not put much mileage on the car.

I do not know much about the long term reliablity of the boxster. when I recently drove the car I was amazed at how tight and sturdy it felt, despite the mileage. the interior had a few knicks and scratches, as did the exterior...the car is not "showroom" perfect, but it looks very nice. for it's age, it looks an drives great. I was surpised that the clutch had so much grab/bite when I shifted from first to second. i was sort of expecting the clutch to be soggy and/or worn, but it grabbed hare and I could feel the car surge forward after each shift. not sure if porsche clutches are just really tough, or this one is good b/c the car was not driven too hard. the car's main driver is not what I would consider an "aggressive" driver, and while i'm sure he takes corners at speed, I don't think he was revving the stink out of it or powershifting on a regular basis. it was driven by a mature 50+ individual. nto that 50+ year old guys wouldn't abuse a car, but I know this person, and they don't thrash their cars.

the car had the rear main seal go out and the engine repalced by the dealer when the car was very new. the "second" engine has been in the car since around 15-20k miles.

if I do buy this car, I'm wondering what kind of things I should expect to go wrong , aside from normal things. I have owned sports cars before, but never a Porsche. I am not expecting the car to be maintenance free..any car with 72k is going to have somethig go wrong..so I expect there to be the occasional repair here and there, or for things to go wrong.

what I want to AVOID is a car that is notorious for engine, tranny, or other $$$ items to go bad and/or fail. i'd like to drive/enjoy it up to and over 100k miles if that is normal, feasible.


you think that price is fair for that type of car, assuming it's in good shape? from looking at the local autotrader and cars.com ads, it looks like base model 2000 boxster are int he 14-18k range... so 15k seems kind of middle of the road. the only real "plus" to this one is that it was heavily optioned when it sold. i recall being told that at the time, base model boxsters were in the 40k range new and this one was almost 50k due to option packages...and that there werne't many base model boxster with this much stuff on it b/c it made more sense to just get an S model at that point..so while it's not an S, it's a verynicely equipped base model.

i kinda think on a used car, the fact that it has some extras, doesn' reallyjack up it's value on a used car sale, not lke it would when new..but it does make it a bit better than a run of the mill 2000 base model. i helped the original owner test drive several boxsters at the time he bought htis one..and i remember thinking this one hadnled WAY better than the othe base models...b/c of the suspension package and 18" wheels. that stuff is the kind of thing I like....I want 18s and if I got one iwh stocks uspension, i'm the kind of person who woudl go out and buy aftermarket suspensiont o upgradeit..so getting it thrown in is nice.

so good deal or should it be cheaper? will I get nickel and dimed to death on repairs for a car like this, or will it be relatively reliable... at least in terms of the big ticket $$ items.


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Old 03-25-2008, 04:57 AM   #2
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I only had to read two lines in to offer my advice: No thanks!

No used car is more costly on an emotional level than one bought from or sold to a relative.
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:01 AM   #3
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I have owned a 2000 Boxster for about two years. I bought it with 30k on it and I'm now at 45k. While it has not had any major failures, it has required more repairs than I expected for such a low mileage car. (I had spent quite a bit of time on this and other forums prior to the purchase, so while I knew what to expect I'm still a little disappointed with the overall reliability of the car.)
The problems I have had include:
1. Mass Air Flow sensor
2. Oxygen sensor
3. Broken lid on "oddments tray" (center console bin)
4. Various problems with the evaporative system

I think Ofishbein makes a good point about buying a used car from a relative. Unless you are extremely fortunate and avoid major repairs, you need to think how you will react every time the car needs a repair. If it is going to affect your relationship, buy from a total stranger.

$15,000 may be a fair price, but you could buy a 2000 with 30,000 miles for a price in the high teens to low-twenties. The car you describe does have some nice options. If the top is in good shape, the maintenance is up to date and it doesn't need new tires then it might be a reasonable deal. Check prices of cars that sold on eBay for a better idea of actual sale prices than the asking prices you are seeing on AutoTrader. The market for Boxsters seem soft to me, and your relative may not be aware of current values.
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:12 AM   #4
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This is the craziest advice I have ever heard. I would MUCH rather buy a car from a relative who takes good care of something than a total stranger who may red line the car at every red light and could be selling it because he/she has an engine seal that is hidden and starting to leak.

As for the car, I have had no major repairs on my 00, and it has been into a shop only once for a coolant leak. The 6 dollar cap has since been replaced and I have had a trouble free year. I wouldn't shy away because of the age, old porsche are all over the streets.
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Old 03-25-2008, 02:58 PM   #5
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The deal itself is decent, nothing to write home about.

I'm with maxferran on this... the best part of it is you KNOW who had the car before, you KNOW how/where they maintained it, you KNOW it's been well taken care of.

But when it comes to buying from family or friends, always keep this in your head... It is a car, it WILL have problems. If you go into this deal knowing that there is a chance the engine could crap out the next day, will you be ok with that?

I bought a car from a friend and it needed about $900 of work shortly after I purchased it. I don't feel robbed in anyway because a) I know they took care of the car, b) they didn't try to deceive me in anyway, and c) it's a car, these things happen.

If it's a 3rd car, go for it (what else could you get for $15?). Like you said, that smile you get whenever you drive it could be at your disposal 24/7!

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 03-25-2008, 03:39 PM   #6
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The points noted below are good about knowing where the car came from and its history but as also noted things do happen. I sold a vehicle to my brother-in-law a number of years ago and the transmission went out on it a month later. I had always maintained the car well (they knew that) but they still had negative feelings towards me about the deal. I think it was just that the experience was painful for them and somehow they thought I knew something was wrong with the car (I didn't of course). I'll never transact with a relative again.
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Old 03-25-2008, 06:22 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by KevinH1990
The problems I have had include:
1. Mass Air Flow sensor
2. Oxygen sensor
3. Broken lid on "oddments tray" (center console bin)
4. Various problems with the evaporative system
You gotta at least make the concession that items 1 through 3 on the above list are known pieces of crap and therefore should not be shocking.
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Old 03-25-2008, 06:35 PM   #8
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Don't take this the wrong way.....

Don't buy a Porsche since IME you're the kind of owner that will have nothing but problems with the car. Drive it 5 miles once in awhile? A slow painful death for a nice car.
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Last edited by Paul; 03-25-2008 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 03-26-2008, 01:00 PM   #9
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maybe I mis-stated how often I'd use the car.

I live 5 miles from work. I would use the boxster to go to and from work and I might switch off with my other car. I am married w/3 kids. 35 yrs old. We have a brand new SUV we use for "family" stuff. My wife drives that as she is home w/kids. I have a nice but "older" sedan that commutes great but is boring boring boring. it's paid for and it a VERY nice "beater" type car. I am looking for a third toy car to drive to/from work and to play wtih on weekends. with small kids it's not like I'll be taking off every sat and sun to cruise the twisties...but i'm sure i'll get SOME chances to drive it or take my young son for drives....

can you shutoff the airbag on a 2000 on the pass side to avoid hurting small kids??

anyway... my financial situation allows for a third car, but not a $30k third car. the big appeal to this car is that it would be pretty cheap and i'd not be worried that ti's a big POS that has some secret hidden problem that is getting dumped on me. i KNOW that any used car can do that..and i'd be ok with it if it did happena nd it would NOT sour the relationship. i'm not worried about that.

i'm more worried about tyring to "steal" it from them if they don'treally want to cut me a "super" deal and would rather just sell it on the open market and get as much cash as they can. the appeal to selin to me is that this person would be able to sell it fast and if they want tos ell fast, wh not give me the smokin deal an dnot the carmax guy or some other palce that gives you bottom dollar.

the car is clean. if I could get a boxster S wih the same options for 20k..and i'd only save like 5k to get this one, maybe i'd ust rather wait another 6 months, save a bit more and go for a slightly better car. a big part of the appeal is maybe getting it as cheap as 12-13k...which honestly..is a pretty low price considering how nice of a car it is.

where else can I get a car this cool for so cheap.

the funny thing is that when you drive it - people think it's like a super expensive car. i took it out the other day and the neighbors were like "ooohhh" he's got the "expensive car" or something lke that...this is coming from people who have $40k-50k cars in their garage but know nothing about cars.. they jsut see the badge know it's a porsche and assume it cost 80k.. or something...

i'll let you all know if i buy it. so far the seller is on the fence. not sure he really wants to part iwth it...but if he does, i get first crack.
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Old 03-26-2008, 02:47 PM   #10
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just a couple of comments

1st, while I'm not 100% certain, I really, really don't think that there is an air-bag cut-off on that car.

Next - if you're already thinking you have a preference for and/or are willing to wait for an "S", you're in trouble. While that car has a lot of the nice options, just as there's "no substitute" for Porsche, there's similarly no substitute for the extra H.P. / torque of the larger motor. Have you driven an S to compare?

Next: Has the car been garaged? For its whole 'life'? That would make a huge difference for me. I know I paid a premium for my car b/c of its condition and the fact it had been so well cared for.

While mine is a 'daily driver', I have an ultra short commute (not even time for it to warm up) - I think that the Boxster would be perfect as the fun / toy car as long as you don't let it sit too much, and it does not sound like that would be a problem for you.

For sure they are fun. For sure they are admired (even here, where I'm surrounded by tons of exotics, and all the non-exotics seem to be MB's, BMW's, Lexus, Audi, etc..). For sure maint. can be expensive, but I don't think it's really that out of line with other high-end cars, so as long as you bear in mind that most cars need maint., I don't think you'll go too wrong.

Please let us know what you're doing ...
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Old 03-27-2008, 12:50 AM   #11
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Thumbs up

If I read your posts correctly ( reading between the lines ) you appear to really want this car and are seeking validation to pull the trigger on the deal. Let me be the first to say " GO FOR IT " !! It's a car, you have to expect problems could arise. At least you know the previous owner and how he treated it. A big positive in my book. And as a third car if it does need repairs you won't have to worry about getting to work. And boy those weekend drives will make you happy! I toyed with the idea of various cars before I bought mine and I have NO regrets. I must say however that I haven't had a bit of trouble with mind so far.

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Old 03-27-2008, 04:01 PM   #12
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Not that I want to start a family fued -- but you really should negotiate. That's fairly high miles for a Boxster.

Plus we're in a recession -- nobody buys cars like this in a recession!
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Old 03-27-2008, 04:20 PM   #13
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If I had the dough, I would look for something with fewer miles. The Box is NOT a Honda and is not cheap to fix either.

Specific to buying from a relative, it depends on the relative.

I wouldn't buy a Coke from some of mine!
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Old 03-28-2008, 09:48 AM   #14
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just out of curiosity - suppose the motor did go out on me... what does it cost to get it replaced/fixed? dealer vs porsche independent? that will give me an idea as to what I can expect as the "worst case scenario"...

i have NOT test driven an "S". maybe I should. and in fact, *IF* this car is truly offered to me for sale, I think I will FORCE myself to go test drive an "S" AND this 2000 base - back to back - and see what I really think. If I suddenly am "in love" with an S, I migth think about waiting and searching for an "S" model.

the big decision would be - HOW much MORE do I like an "S" and HOW CHEAP would I really be able to get the base for. If it turns out I coudl buy the base for a "family" deal for $10k.... how do I justify another 10k to get an "S" if I only like it a "little" more.

if the power difference is VERY noticeable, then I'll probalby like the S more, and it will come down to how cheap is the base..and does the price difference justify going for the car I like more.

when he finally decides to sell it, i'll get a realistic price and then I can test drive an S and see which way I go. right now, he's "talking" about selling....
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Old 03-28-2008, 03:32 PM   #15
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Used equivalent motors can be had for as little as $2-3K with little or no known history of them. Some folks use a blown motor as an excuse to get a Box S motor (3.2l) or 996 motor (3.4l) installed. I *think* new "crate" motors are in the $8-12K range. The strength of the Euro is not your friend right now.

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