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Old 01-13-2009, 03:02 PM   #1
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Unhappy Scared new Boxster owner

Hi all! I've been a bimmer driver for 20 years and decided to cross over to the dark side this weekend. I just bought a 2000 S model w/38k from a Porsche dealership. The only reason I went with one that old was that it is in incredible condition. Full service history, sold new at this dealership etc. They did their 155 pt. inspection/replace thing and even put brand new mich. pilots all around...

My big concern is: I'm reading all over the place about catastrophic engine failures. It kind of puts a knot in my stomach having one of these cars out of wtty. I never had these kinds of problems with my bmws in the past.....

Can anyone say anything to make me feel better???

Thanks in advance!

sean

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Old 01-13-2009, 03:32 PM   #2
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Nope, your screwed. You're sitting in an inflatable life raft in the middle of the ocean, the raft has a hole in it and you are asthmatic. You have jumped out of an airplane with a backpack full of bricks instead of a parachute. You've climbed into a sleeping bag full of rattlesnakes.

Come on people!!!!!!! The internet isn't always right and paranoia never leads to good things. Just enjoy your frickin' Porsche!

Last edited by blue2000s; 01-13-2009 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 01-13-2009, 03:40 PM   #3
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Hi Sean

Welcome to the dark side, I've had my 01 S for 2 years and never had any problems with the car apart from a annoying alarm niggle which I'm getting sorted.

I use the S as my every day car 70miles per day come rain or shine or Evan snow for that matter.

PLEASE use year S and don't do as so many other do, HIDE it in a garage and only to let it lose on a nice sunny day, BORRING!!!

I've fitted a cracking s/s sports exhaust and had the engine remap and few other little tweaks .

I never get bored of that noise or driving it.

I hope this goes a little way to put your mind it rest, have fun .

Mark
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Old 01-13-2009, 03:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanZ4
Hi all! I've been a bimmer driver for 20 years and decided to cross over to the dark side this weekend. I just bought a 2000 S model w/38k from a Porsche dealership. The only reason I went with one that old was that it is in incredible condition. Full service history, sold new at this dealership etc. They did their 155 pt. inspection/replace thing and even put brand new mich. pilots all around...

My big concern is: I'm reading all over the place about catastrophic engine failures. It kind of puts a knot in my stomach having one of these cars out of wtty. I never had these kinds of problems with my bmws in the past.....

Can anyone say anything to make me feel better???

Thanks in advance!

sean
Surely it's not on the original engine with that kind of mileage? Most people see 5-10k miles before an engine/transmission full rebuild. I got almost 8,000 miles out of my first engine and that was pure luck!

But you should be fine as long as you've budgeted $12,000 every, say, 7500 miles for a new motor. They swap 'em in and out really fast at all the dealers. Most people just do that rather than an oil change, even if the motor hasn't let go yet.

Enjoy!

Matt
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:10 PM   #5
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The number of cars that have had catastrophic engine failure is a very small percentage, but design weaknesses have been identified. That said, there is always the possibility that any of us could be the next to go, but I wouldn't lose sleep over it.

Spend some time reading the posts by Jake Raby or visit his site www.flat6innovations.com. Oil change maintenance (every six thousand miles) is very important with these engines to extend reliability, as they are subject to fuel contamination in the oil that can lead to problems.

Drive and enjoy your new ride!
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:29 PM   #6
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Wink

I think a couple of the replies weren't exactly what he had in mind. The sarcasm can be felt from here. I bought a 1998 with 46K miles on it 1.5 years ago. Thus far not a bit of trouble whatsoever. The only problem is I don't get time to drive it as often as I would like. But as others have said, you have it now so drive it and ENJOY !
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:36 PM   #7
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Sean, these guys are teasing you a lot, but your issue hits me close to home, because I recently bought a 1999 with 15K miles and had the exact same thoughts. Ever since then I have been researching every source I can find, and this is what I think now:

1. There have been something like 200,000 Boxsters produced. I have found maybe 100 to 200 reports of engine failure, and many of these may be repeats. Check the NHTSA web site -- you'll find about 11 reports. Check the Better Business Bureau -- no reports of Boxster engine failure. Check Consumer Reports -- the Boxster is rated "Better Than Average" or "Much Better Than Average" for "Major Engine Problems" (recent "Best and Worst of 2009 Automobiles", was on the newsstands a couple of weeks ago).

2. My independent mechanic has been in business for years and is the only independent that I know of in the greater KC metro area. He said he is aware of "a couple" of engines blowing up. "A couple" isn't very many, considering how many are on the roads here.

3. If the problem is as bad as everyone says, why aren't there THOUSANDS, or TENS OF THOUSANDS, of reports? If the failure rate is 10% of 200,000 Boxsters, wouldn't we expect to see 20,000 reports? Not just in forums like these, but at the BBB and NHTSA? I found maybe 200 reports, tops. Did the other 19,800 people have an engine blow up and just bent over and took it in the shorts without even complaining? If so, their response is sure a lot milder than mine would be. And I gotta wonder, why does everyone here seem to like their car so much if it is really a time bomb.

4. Google "Porsche" and "still on the road" and you get statistics from 60% up to 96%. Considering how many Boxsters have been produced, if 20,000 of them had failures, I don't see how those statistics could hold up. Of course this could all be BS but still . . .

5. Having said that, I'd hazard a SWAG that the actual failure rate is maybe 1%. Note that 1% is still a lot of engines -- more than enough for Mr. Jake Raby to analyze and work on. It's also a much higher engine failure rate than, say, a Honda or Toyota. I'd wager the rate is totally unacceptable in the industry. But at 1%, that still gives the rest of us a 99% chance that there will be NO problems. Dunno about you, but if I get a 99% on a test, I feel pretty good.

6. I know, I know, lots of people posting here have had failures, and some people have even had multiple engine failures, and they will tell you the failure rate MUST be much worse because something bad happened to them. I certainly sympathize, but anecdotal evidence that doesn't contradict the overall statistics. And, for all we know, maybe these people are abusing their cars and not taking proper care of them. It's the internet, anybody can claim to drive like my granny and that they change the oil every 1000 miles.

7. Bottom line is, like me, you're stuck with the car now, whether you like it or not. You'd lose more money than a new Jake Raby engine if you tried to trade it in again. So, you may as well enjoy it. Enjoy it, but come up with a back up plan of what you will do if you are one of the unfortunate ones. My "plan" is to save like hell for a new Jake Raby engine and pray that I never need it. I think the odds favor me. Now, please excuse me while I pray . . .
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:36 PM   #8
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You want to feel better? Go back to the dealership and ask if there's a warranty you can purchase on the car, if not there are a few aftermarket ones you can buy.

Or you can do like the last guy that owned your car for 38K miles, drive the piss out of it and enjoy yourself!!
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:43 PM   #9
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SeanZ4, welcome to the forum. Jake said the perfect sttement just yesterday:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Raby
Don't be afraid.. Just drive it. If it breaks, then deal with it.
A lot of these engines fail, but a lot more don't...
I bought my MY99 with 78k on the OD, it now has nearly 104k on it i drive it daily, I autocross it at least once a month (even won coverall class champ with it). Educate yourself on the quirks of this fun car, education is knowledge, knowledge is peace of mind. Enjoy!
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:55 PM   #10
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Welcome to the forum:

I have a 2000 base Boxster and bought it about 10 months ago with 30,000 miles. So far, I have drove it about 10,000 miles (several 500+ mile trips) and the car is completely reliable. No problems at all. Just drive it and enjoy.

Eric
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:17 PM   #11
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We will never have data on this issue so it is really a shot in the dark.

One thing we DO know is how expensive it is to recover from an engine failure. This is not true for all other cars but certainly, most of us blanch when we hear the tab on a used or rebuilt engine for our Box.

Since the car is tough to work on, most of us could not replace the engine ourselves so we have to add labor. Some of us could actually do an engine on a Miata or a Corvette I think.

I can tell you that the number of engine failures is MUCH higher than 100-200 in the Boxster run.

How do I know.? When I was dealing Porsches, I had a good buddy who was the svs manager at the local dealer. I mentioned to him that everytime I walked around the svs bays, I saw an engine/trans unit or 2 out of a car. He told me they did a new engine PER WEEK on average.

I didn't believe him but then I saw that he was serious. Whoa baby!

This same guy got the factory to eat half the cost on a 99 carerra engine in a car that I sold to some guy. At 66K miles, he was on the freeway and BAM, all gone.

Sad but true. Beautiful 911, one owner, great service records and the whole deal.

Where is the $1500 engine when you need it?

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Old 01-13-2009, 05:46 PM   #12
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If it makes you feel better, the online forum was my reason to not buy a 7 series BMW for the family cruiser. It was also the reason to pass on an S-Class Mercedes. If you talk to an owner of either, they will sing praises till your deaf. These things scare you, often without justice.

I bought a lexus because it didn't have horror stories on the forums. Overkill, yes.
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:27 PM   #13
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I heard there's going to be a terrorist attack in multiple american cities in the next few days. Stay away from major airports, train and subway stations and large buildings.

I also heard on CNN that there's these killer bees coming from south africa.

And those germs on door knobs and your keyboard at work.

And, you might as well try to stay home tomorrow, you might get hit by a dump truck or a hummer... brain juice is hard to clean off those roll bars.

This forum is getting worse day by day...
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:55 PM   #14
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I am not singling out the guy who started this thread, but these constant "I am so afraid of an engine failure" posts are starting to get very annoying. There is nothing to worry about. If it happens, it happens, life is too short to worry about things you cannot control (knock on wood). There have been over 200,000 Boxsters sold, and the vast majority of them run perfectly.
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:00 PM   #15
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Greetings fellow new Boxster owner. Being a new owner, I'm probably still seeing ownership through rose colored glasses however, allow me to share with you some of my thoughts, and research. When the later 98-99's came out they suffered from the 'slipped sleeve' issue, from what I've been able to gather, Porsche did a silent recall in that they replaced the engines while trying not to make any noise. Regardless, not getting off on the right foot with customers. The other issue, IMS failures, seam to occur on a percentage of horizontality opposed Porsche engines, we'll have to deal with them but there seam to be a few things as owners we can do.

When my wife and I researched our purchase, we "sampled" the market on E-bay. What we would do is search Porsche>Boxster>1997-2004>sort from lowest price. I no longer have the papers I jotted down the info on so I don't have hard numbers but basically we were looking for 'rollers' and found very few. Most of the rollers were unfortunately due to vandalism One was due to flooding. Plenty of wrecks, and lots over 100k on the odometer. In short, while there is a risk, the cars are great drivers, the prices have dropped dramatically, making now an attractive entry point!
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:10 PM   #16
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The sarcasm aside, I'm a prospective buyer of either a 2000 Bosxter S, like yours, or either a BMW 330Ci or e46 M3 to be specific, and as a college student I don't know if I can pull the trigger on a gamble on a design flaw out of the factory, the BMW while still expensive wouldn't worry me as much. It's easy to say just drive it and deal with it if something happens, but I'm not in the position financially to deal with it if it does happen, that's the worrisome part for me, an e46 is looking more secure for me.

That aside, it's important to remember that 100% of people with problems come online to post about problems, and 5% will come on here just to say they love their car. Every car has it's issues, but what that means is that it's going to seem a lot more negative than it really is because people are on here for solutions, the ones that are working fine are out there enjoying their cars, think about it like a shop... Everyones there for some kind of trouble, no ones there because they want to, and it's going to seem like all cars are unreliable... I'm sure you get it?

Now on to your situation, really, you're already in it, enjoy the car that will bring you the joy no other car can, for thebpeice of mind you're seeking look for some aftermarket warranties, or go have a Porsche tech give it a really thorough look through, and drive it like you stole it, the Porsches that fail are the ones sitting in a garage all the time, enjoy your car, most likely if the interior was cared for, so was everything else!
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:20 PM   #17
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Just to clarify what 941MXVET said:
Slipped Sleeve failure affected 1999 Boxster's manufactured in the first few months of 1999. RMS affects all models, and IMS only affects 2001+ Boxsters due to the redesigned intermediate shaft, but some pre-'01 IMS failures have been reported (rarely).

I would be willing to bet no one could find more than maybe 500 documented Boxster engine failures. Everyone with a problem does a google search and post here, very few people come to this forum without a problem.
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:27 PM   #18
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Would the 2000 be a sweet-spot per se? RMS is no big deal as long as corrected early, as with any car, right? And that would probably be it for the bigger issues right?
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:01 PM   #19
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Thanks Rick3000, I got a little long winded. Nineteen89, search all the 2000 Boxster S's for sale, find what their average milage is, and how many if any are being sold as rollers.
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Old 01-14-2009, 04:10 AM   #20
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Why do people who drive cars capable of 150 mph act like such little girls at times. You've got a Porsche because you wanted to be cool, you wanted to impress people or like the majority of Boxster owners you wanted the pleasure of driving a really nice car. Everyone got what they wanted, but there is nothing for nothing. Before I got my Boxster I drove a souped up 64 MGB for 25 years that was almost as fast as the Box. It was more dependable than any stock B but I still couldn't take it on any trip where I couldn't get it towed home. The only thing was that I could work on it. Be happy that you drive such dependable cars. Ed

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