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Old 04-01-2008, 05:56 AM   #1
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Need advice

Hello. I am new to the world of Porsches but am looking to procure my first Boxster. I have been reading much about it but have to admit that I am getting a bit leery about it. With all the things I read on the forums I am starting to wonder if the Boxster - or any Porsche for that matter - is going to be reliable. I'll be the first to admit that it drives like a dream but am I going to need to be rushing this thing to a dealer (the closes one is about 1.5 hours from my house) once a month?

I have been looking online at a Porsche Certified pre-owned 2004 S manual transmission with 13,200 miles on it. The dealer is asking $40K for the sweetie but I noticed in the service record that it already had the left valve cover gasket seal replaced at 2976 mile mark. Is this a sign of more problems to come or is this "normal"? The car is located 8 hours away from where I live so I would like to weed out any problems on paper first.

I am only looking a Porsche Certified because I need the extra piece of mind of having a possible RMS (or any other seal) problem be covered by the warranty. Any advice you guys could give would be very much appreciated. Sorry for asking so many questions!

R/
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Old 04-01-2008, 06:21 AM   #2
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Remember that most people post problems on a forum like this looking for help.

Your not going to post everyday that you car is running fine.

I don't think the gasket is an omen of more bad luck.

I think as long as its CPO'ed you should be fine. But I do think you should do better than 40K...
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:16 AM   #3
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It is very fair to say that the Boxster is no Honda or Toyota. By that standard, these cars are fragile and require repairs at a rate much higher that the Japanese standard.

This could be said about all German cars in my mind.

Having the CPO warranty is a very good thing IMHO.

However, if you are the kind of guy who loves the Lexus experience, you will likely be disapointed with the Boxster experience. The dealers are nowhere near the Lexus way of life, so all in all, it feels like a comedown.

Having said that, we love our Boxes here. We simply don't lie about them.

PS-the valve cover gasket means nothing in my mind.

Good luck.
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:45 AM   #4
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woah....I believe Dr. Burton has his 987S on this board for sale at about 43K......that price may be a little steep......I would spring the extra 3K to get Dr Burton's S.....but that's just me....

Secondly, I am on year #2 of my 987.....and so far fairly bullet proof....the little problems it does have I think are more a dealer that is too sloppy to fix a car than the car not being reliable....

2 years and the only cost of ownership was my 20K mile service so far.......
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Old 04-01-2008, 08:25 AM   #5
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CPO is the way to go in my opinion. I lucked out and found a car with barely 10K miles in showroom condition. In 40K miles I have only had one repair that cost over $300. That's nearly as good as my previous Japanese cars. But the problem is that if something does go wrong the parts are much more expensive and the labor is not cheap either, although Japanese car labor is now well over $100 per hour at some dealers too.

That being said I think you're dealer is being way optimistic with that price tag.
This market is terrible for car sales and particularly sports cars. All these years of unsustainable leverage have bitten the banks and credit markets in the butt big time. Now its hurting car sales. A 15% cut wouldn't surprise me for that Boxster.

I would agressively pursuit this CPO car, but start your offers VERY low. There is absolutely no point in negotiating lightly when you have EVERYTHING in your favor.
They can't afford to let a four year old previous generation car just sit around and they need to get rid of all this old inventory otherwise it will hurt new sales which is where they make their real margins.
I'd take at least $6K off my initial offer just to test the waters. They will surely say no and come back with $39K or something. If they go lower than $37K you know they are feeling pain. Which means you have them right where you want them. Offer $500 more each time they say no. Even if this goes on for weeks its worth it. That car aint going anywhere. I think most people in a position to buy a luxury car now are buying new not used. Whatever happens demmand they stick to the CPO...no compromise.
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Old 04-01-2008, 08:51 AM   #6
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I can appreciate your concern. When I was shopping last summer I became obsessed with the RMS situation after spending a lot of time on this forum. But like they say, the nature of the forum is to discuss problems, so its easy to get paranoid. I'm about as cynical as they come, but I decided to throw caution to the wind, and bought my '01 sight unseen thru the internet. Maybe I got lucky, but it's been extreme pleasure everyday since last July. I didn't get a CPO, but I bought a car that had just had a major service, and also had a long talk with the Porsche service dept...that put me at ease. Try to find a good local inde P service shop and then go for it. You won't regret it.

(by the way...an RMS service isn't the most expensive thing that can happen...so don't waste time worrying about it.)

Good luck!!
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:12 AM   #7
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I wouldn't worry about it too much. I would have to agree with Bruce though regarding expectations. From my 2.5 years of ownership (pre-owned, now w/ over 60K and no PPI), I've had to fix quite a few things, but it comes with the territory of Porsche ownership and higher mileage. I've learned a great deal about my car and how to fix / maintain it w/c I have truly enjoyed. I have also come to appreciate what it means to get "bitten by the bug"....but, I do have to say that nothing beats the permagrin from driving one of these cars!

Just make sure you get a PPI!

Good luck!

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Old 04-01-2008, 09:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perfectlap
otherwise it will hurt new sales which is where they make their real margins.
While I agree with the rest of your analysis, dealers actually make money in this order:
1) Parts & Service (contributing over 70% of operating profit)
2) Used Car Sales (contributing over 25% of operating profit)
3) New Car Sales (contributing less than 10% of operating profit)
Source: NADA.org

Also you may find a better deal on a new car than a used one right now. In recessionary times, new car sales decrease while used car sales increase. According to Automotive News, franchised dealerships sold 675,100 used cars and trucks in January 2008, an 8.0 percent increase from the year-ago month.

If the dealer comes down substantially from 40K (which I agree is too high), make sure you're still getting the CPO. I had one dealer drop the price on a used one I was considering, only to discover he was trying to recoup his profit by dropping the CPO on me. Read the fine print and good luck.
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:13 AM   #9
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yes you're absolutely spot on. I should have said Porsche make their bread and butter on new car sales, even in a slump they're still the most profitable car company in the world. The dealers on the other hand really feel it when the numbers come down. Pimps always get the lion's share!

You can get a better new car deal in this type of economic down turn but that's assuming the big hit of new car depreciation is not an issue to the buyer. In the present tight credit market with much fewer buyers going forward then just one year ago, you can surely expect there to be even sharper drops in new car depreciation. So you almost HAVE to get a really good deal on a new car sale. Meanwhile trade-ins are what they are and the dealers have allot of room to negotiate and right now they are struggling to show revenue. So from a consumer's point of view, the even lower entry price of a CPO Porsche has most of the upside of warranty protection with much less of the downside depreciation.
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:30 AM   #10
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Advice continued

I appreciate the feedback from you guys! So should I start negotiating the price now BEFORE I go to Connecticut to see it or once I get there? I would kind of hate to have to go out there twice.

R/
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:56 AM   #11
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I wouldn't go near the car without negotiating....as I mentioned and PL seconded...that asking price to me sounds ridiculous.....

I say my porsche and left it at the dealer and dealth with them primarily via the phone, the last thing you want is to be at the dealer and starting your negotiations.....the dealer will always play the why would you come this far and not buy it over 1000 dollars....what's a thousand dollars.....and after awhile you'll agree and buy it....

negotiate and then go see it if the price is right.....or fly to Minnesota and buy the good docs arctict silver 987S

http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.j...rice=&cardist=0

try this link
For Sale: 2005 Boxster S

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Old 04-01-2008, 11:12 AM   #12
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I agree with those that said to negotiate over phone/email before you go to look at the car. Cars are seductive and none are more seductive than a Porsche Boxster in the springtime.

Once you get them to agree on a price, have them email/fax you the "out the door" price which includes all the documentation fees, prep fees, etc. they expect you to pay. This is how I bought my boxster and it's a good technique to use if you and the dealer are far apart in the negotiation. And as someone said earlier, it's a lot easier to say "No" when you haven't traveled a long distance to buy your dream car.
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:42 AM   #13
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Hmm....I might disagree on negotiating first and checking out 2nd.

There's two problems with that approach.
1- You might not be so impressed with car when you see it.
2-They may not take your offers as seriously as if you put face time into it.

This is what I ALWAYS do:
I call and say "yeah how's it going I'm calling about this car". Ask all the basic questions that you should know before seeing it. Car history, accidents, repairs, dents, dings, tires, etc. Ask them to give you a 1-10 scale of 10 being right off the boat new. If you like what you hear take the trip but LEAVE THE WALLET AND CHECKBOOK AT HOME! Salesmen are very very good. You'll go in just to see it and once you are in fro the test drive you are as good as closed.
Never never ever ever ever make a deal with a salesmen on your first trip to the dealer. NEVER!!!
Check out the car drive it, see if you like it and go right back home without even leaving a deposit and don't tell them "I'll call you on Friday". Tell them you have to talk it over with your wife since she is the CFO of the house. Don't make an appointment of when you will speak again. But be friendly to the sales guy and DON'T let them sit you down "at the table". If they try to get you to sit down run out of there! Sitting at the table is just like giving them thousands of dollars.]
Basically the trip to the dealership is for your knowledge and piece of mind regarding the condition of the car and NOT for any manner of negotiating.


Wait a few days. See if they call you first. If they don't call you then make a call and say "I talked to my wife and she's not crazy about buying a Porsche in this economy but I think I can sway her". Then make a really lowball offer and this is the important part: DON'T SAY ANOTHER WORD AFTER YOU NAME THE PRICE.
Wait to see what they say. If they say no or I have to talk to the manager, say"Ok, let me know". When they call back with the a higher counter offer say "well let me run it my wife". Wait a day to go by. Then call back with a marginally higher offer than your initial offer. In other words you are basically ignoring their counter offer. Keep at it with "I have to check with my wife" until they call you back with a yes or an offer that is SLIGHTLY more than your previous offer. If they say "no we can't do it for that price" and they don't offer to check with manager then just say "Alright thanks anyway" and hang up. That will really hurt them and they will go back to their desks thinking about the missed sale. See if they call you back, I bet you they do. A good salesmen will never walk away from a deal on price when you are at least close on price. Certainly not in this economy.

p.s.
Good suggestion on faxing the outdoor the price. This can be negotiated as well.
I had to recently walk out of a deal because they tried to tack on a $800 dealer fee at the last minute, literraly. My folks were about to sign when I said "what's that for?" and they said "dealer fee, everyone pays it". And I said "????what do my folks get for that"? and they're like "uh sorry that can't be negotiated". To which I respond "so in other words they don't get anything for that? ok Have a nice day". They all looked at me with jaws open as we walked right out and drove away.
The next day a really junior sales guy was put on grovel duty and said "ok we will drop the dealer fee". I was inclined to bust balls and say "well since last night I saw another car this morning and I'm not so crazy about the price we agree to".
But I had to leave Florida that day. But you get the point. Don't let them add in any extra fees at the end for things you aren't getting something for.
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Old 04-01-2008, 06:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Hmm....I might disagree on negotiating first and checking out 2nd.
This is a good point - negotiating over phone/email works best with new cars. I forgot we were talking about a used car.

I have seen pictures of used cars that looked incredible both inside and out. Then when I saw the car in person, it was below average. Basically, pictures lie. And then there was the Boxster I test drove that looked great - but the interior smelled so bad I couldn't bear to drive it. Make sure this is a car that doesn't have any of those issues before you fall in love with it. As PL said, leave the checkbook at home and use the wife as "bad cop".

One more thing, get the wholesale/retail value for this car from vmrintl.com and galves.com (small fee). They generally give the lowest (and most accurate) values IMO. Print these out and use them as leverage in your negotiation.
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:32 PM   #15
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I agree on seeing the car first.

And test driving and looking and test driving some more. And then negotiating.

During my search I went to see many cars. At least 20.

You need to see the car in good daylight and if interested test drive it more than once at different times.

It takes allot of effort to find the right car.

for example:

One 05 with 5000 miles looked great in the pictures (as expected) and I was excited. I test drove it and found that there were numerous large scratches on the back rear panels.

Another 06 with less than 10000 miles was had long scratches on the hood.

Another 05 with 20K miles had the most worn out controls I have ever seen.

I finally bought on an 05 with 39000 miles. Yes, the most miles of any car I test drove. It does not have one scratch on it. Not one. Honest.

The interior is impeccable. My wife was is a interior designer type can't believe the way the car looks.

The only issue is a very slightly warped spoiler which will be replaced soon by the dealer at no cost to me.


Take your time, let them know you are seriously searching and ready to buy the right car at the right price.

then pull the trigger when you are ready and have fun.
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Old 04-02-2008, 07:29 AM   #16
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Thanks guys! And I'll use the husband as the bad cop...as I am a female. Am getting my list of questions ready for the dealer so I can weed out any potential problems before I trek up there!

Thanks again for all the help!

R/
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:35 AM   #17
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Checkout this one on craigslist in NH. Red 02 Boxster S 5500 mi $27749.00!! sale-591528063@craigslist.org May be gone , but maybe not.
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Old 04-04-2008, 08:06 AM   #18
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For another price comparison, I bought a midnight blue 2003 S with 3400 (yes, I typed that correctly) miles for $30K. It wasn't CPO, but $40K definitely sounds steep.
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:15 AM   #19
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3400? do you know anything about the previous owner?
Was it Jerry Seinfeld? too busy with his other 69 cars?
Did you have PPI performed? Sometimes mileage that low can work against you.
I'm sure you would have no trouble getting an extended warrant from warranty direct. They perform an inspection before they insure. maybe you can kill two birds with one stone there.
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennedi
I appreciate the feedback from you guys! So should I start negotiating the price now BEFORE I go to Connecticut to see it or once I get there? I would kind of hate to have to go out there twice.

R/
Kennedi
Kennedi,

Never tell the dealer you don't want to make 2 trips. And never think it yourself. Unless they sell you the car for 34K with CPO you MUST WALK OUT without buying. Then call them back a week later and let the negotiations begin. Your strongest bargaining position is with your back to them and walking away.

You do not want to go there with your checkbook. You do not want to go there thinking you will buy it. You want to go there to inspect and drive the car. Then you want to go home and think about the purchase rationally without the dealer's pressure.

If they say that they can only give you such and such a price if you buy now then politely ask them what's wrong with the car that they want to get rid of it so quickly.

Regards,
Alan

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