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Old 01-28-2009, 06:15 PM   #1
JMP
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High Mileage Boxster

Hello Everyone, I recently decided to purchase a used Boxster to re-build and put a custom body kit on it that a friend of mine makes for a hobby. I have re-built many, many sports cars in my life as it has been a lifelong passion of mine. My question is: I wanted to buy the cheapest Boxster I could find and din't really care what the cosmetic condition of the car was like. I found a very nice 99 Regular Boxster with the Triptronic nearby with about 117,000 miles on it. It came with all the maintenance manuals and it appears that it was regularly maintained by different Porsche Dealers. I paid less than $8,000 for it. It runs and drives absolutely perfectly!! It needs some cosmetic work of course, like a new top and seat upholstery along with a paint job but even the old paint is outstanding but has small scratches and rock chips in it plus I will need to paint the body kit so this is no big deal. But I have read many stories about engine failures in these cars and now I am worried. It seems like from what I have read that my engine WILL fail at some point so I wan't to know that with the high mileage, NO leaks (I use Amsoil), and NO problems at all, will this likely happen? I would like to hear from some people who have high milage Boxsters without any engine problems as there are enough posts concerning engine failures - I want to know how many there are still running good that have not had any real problems or if I am just really lucky or am sitting on a "Time Bomb" so to speak. Thank you all very much, Jerry


Last edited by JMP; 01-28-2009 at 06:18 PM. Reason: Mis-spelled words
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:30 PM   #2
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While some engines have failed, many more have not. You read about the failures on forums like this. But there aren't any scientific surveys on rate of failure, so it is really hard to say if there is a good statistical chance your engine will fail and when.

I think that if your 117k mile engine is running fine, then with proper maintenance and use it should go to 200k without major issue.

I think you should stop worrying and enjoy the car!!!

I plan on driving my 99k mile 00 S until the wheels fall off (or 997S'es are cheap enough for me to buy one)... whichever comes first.
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:51 PM   #3
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Here's a link to a recent discussion that should answer your question.

Boxsters with reliable engines
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Old 01-31-2009, 05:27 PM   #4
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I'm with Lucky. We have a 2000 2.7L w/ 107K miles and no problems. Just got an oil report after the 106K oil change that says the engine is in excellent shape with no unusual wear at all.
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Old 01-31-2009, 07:59 PM   #5
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Could go tomorrow or not. You just can't tell.

Drive and enjoy and keep the oil clean.
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Old 02-01-2009, 08:40 AM   #6
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Keep in mind, this site has a paying sponsor who sells expensive preventive
mods to your engine. "He who pays the piper calls the the tune."



I will try to address this without becoming too testy!

LONG before we took on the sponsor that you reference, the issue of the Boxe's engine foibles has been a hot topic. This is because folks wrote in to tell us about their engines imploding. This is clearly not the only site where this issue comes up; you can do a Google and fine this all over the internet.

If you were around long enough, you would know that my neighbors brand new box lost an engine at 12K miles, sitting at a traffic light.

That Box engines implode or explode is not at issue. The real issue is that no one has any real data on the subject except MAYBE Porsche and they simply deny the problem is extraordinary. Yet, I have seen the problem first hand and talked to the local SM at length about it. It was real (maybe be fixed now) and it was/is expensive.

Personally, as I have said, I don't know if the problem is statistically signfiicant. What we ALL know is that the repair is very expensive and makes many leary of an out of warranty Boxster.

In the future, if you want to state that we here at the forum are "on the take" then I suggest that you check out your facts. Believe me, to buy my integrity would cost a lot more than any sponsor pays on this site, or any other for that matter.

In fact, I am not sure how much it would cost as no one has ever tried to do it!
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jotoole
Brucelee

Been around a long time, must confess, I've never had the pleasure of meeting your neighbor or hearing of his Boxster's engine failure "sitting at a traffic light." I may have been in S.E. Asia at the time.

Did not state that you on the forum "are on the take." You reported your first hand observations and I take your word for it. But those are anecdotal.

"Facts" are what we need. I supplied some objective facts.

Your integrity for sale? Sorry, Brucelee. No bidders here.

IMO, there likely no way any "objective" facts will every be gathered regarding this particular issue. As you know, CR data is gathered from folks who voluntarialy answer a survey. This methdod will always create a bias, as any researcher knows. One bias is simply the folks who tend to read CR may or may not be typical of the average Boxster owner. We don't know.

Having said all that, I would love to see real data, which as far as I can tell, could only really be gathered by Porsche. Even that would be limited, but better than any other data base I can think of.

Alas, I don't see this happening. As I said earlier and many times, if the prospect of a grenaded engine is upsetting to folks, I don't see many options: Don't buy the car, buy a warranty, self-insure, bite your nails????

Such is life; you play the game and you take your chances!

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Old 02-02-2009, 08:38 PM   #8
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okay, I have to pipe in.

My car has 82k, and needs a 3rd engine.

If you want to delude yourself into thinking that bruce is overstating the problem, free country, delude away!

The reality of it is, these engines fail at a higher rate than a ford escort, and your are taking a very expensive gamble.

For those with high mileage engines...I envy you, and will keep you and your engine in my prayers. I wish you many miles of trouble free driving.
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Old 02-02-2009, 09:54 PM   #9
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Way out of Line

I think it's kind of ridiculous to say that the forum is on the take. Do you think Brucelee just makes these posts up? HAHAHA.

I read dozens of horror stories on these posts and concluded that there is a definite failure problem compared to other cars. I also agree that the failure percentage cannot be quantified for a number of reasons. It is scary, but we can draw a pretty good guess that the percentage isn't really high enough to worry about:

NHTSA: 11 reports of Boxster engine failures
BBB: 7 complaints to PCNA about Boxsters, NONE specifically mentioning engine failures
Consumer Reports lists most years of Boxsters as "Much Better than Average" for "Major Engine Problems".

Some people have obviously had more than their share of problems, but with over 200,000 Boxsters produced, if there was a failure rate of even 1% on that amount of production, there should be over 2000 blown engines. People here will cite a bunch of anecdotal evidence to the contrary and even claim a failure rate much higher than that, but their estimates are biased by their own experience. In point of fact, nowhere will you find anywhere near 2000 complaints of blown Boxster engines. In fact, you'll be lucky to identify 200 separate cases (many of the reports out there are duplicates). These well-meaning folks would extrapolate from their own bad experience that there MUST be a huge failure rate, and that is faulty logic.

If there is a major engine failure problem above, say, 1%, then we must logically conclude that 99% of these failures go completely unreported and UN-complained about. However, such a conclusion runs contrary to human nature, especially in the day and age of the internet. There is no logical reason why the 2000 people who supposedly suffered engine failures would remain silent about it. Certainly those who had engine failures in this forum are vocal enough. SO, if these people complain, why not the rest? Why aren't there a whole lot more complaints than there are???

I suspect the actual failure rate is probably 0.5% or less overall. That may very well be 3 times the failure rate for other engines, and therefore I do not excuse Porsche for it. However, if the failure rate is 1% or 0.5%, this means there is about a 99% chance you will NOT have an engine failure. And that's why I think the problem is greatly overstated.
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Old 02-03-2009, 03:29 AM   #10
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So if I read this correct, there are no posted "facts" of how many Boxster engines fail. Many guesses.. 1%, 2%, 3%... but no hard numbers.

So lets look at other factors. What else fails? Transmissions, wheel bearings, alternators, power steering pumps. Are there other components of the car that fail prematurely? This info may be available from the aftermarket suppliers and re-manufacturers... which would show a trend of the overall realiability of the vehicles.
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Old 02-03-2009, 07:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vath2001
So if I read this correct, there are no posted "facts" of how many Boxster engines fail. Many guesses.. 1%, 2%, 3%... but no hard numbers.

So lets look at other factors. What else fails? Transmissions, wheel bearings, alternators, power steering pumps. Are there other components of the car that fail prematurely? This info may be available from the aftermarket suppliers and re-manufacturers... which would show a trend of the overall realiability of the vehicles.

This is a reasonable question. You thoughts on the aftermarket as suppliers of data is good but I am not aware of anyone who tries to collect these data.

Based on the posts we see here, the trans and clutch set ups on the Box seems pretty robust. Ditto the Tiptronic. Don't remember any bad Tips but that's just a guess on my part.

We do see certain parts that seem to fail often, oil seperator, coolant tank, interior plastic parts, ignition switch, rear plastic window and seat belt receptacles. he stereo seems robust but folks hate it anyway!

I have no idea how this stacks up against other sports cars.

Oh, there is the RMS but that has been death. You can just duct tape that bad boy and drive around!
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Old 02-03-2009, 08:43 AM   #12
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I'm a long time Chicago PCA member and track instructor. We see alot of Boxsters at DE events, as well as autocrosses. In all this time, only our club president had a Box motor let go on him; this was a documented D chunk on a '99 2.5 that Porsche promptly replaced with a remanufactured.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my 3.2 holds up and am taking as many preventive actions as prudent sense mandates (LN billet oil filter adapter, ditching Mobil 1, frequent oil changes, etc).

I'm hoping I'm in that 99 percentile...
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
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...ditching Mobil 1...
What brand and weight are you running instead? And how did you arrive at that choice?

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