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Old 02-20-2009, 06:32 AM   #1
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Seeking advice on buying a 2000 2.7

Hey guys,

So I just got done looking at a really really nice 2000 2.7L boxster and even though the car is beautiful (interior and exterior is A1) I noticed two problems that may make me want to walk away from it.

1. Car has a rpm idle issue. I noticed while sitting in traffic that the car was feeling a little shakey at times and saw that the rpm's (under 1k idle) was bouncing between the 3rd/4th marker on the tac. causing the car to have a slight vibration. Any ideas what could be causing this?

2. He has maint. records for the car which is great, but he had the spark plugs changed and I guess the mechanic didn't do a very good job replacing the plugs. Essentially, he cracked the plastic sleeves causing some oil to get in there. The owner took the car back to shop after he noticed some smells and a drip. It was fixed after that. I don't know if this could dmg the engine or not so looking for some advice on this one.

The car has 95k on it, but honestly it drives like it's new. All the usuals were replaced already coolant tank at 85k and clutch at 65k.

Thanks for the help guys!

I'll be getting a PPI done at porsche dealer.


Last edited by Fastback; 02-20-2009 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:16 AM   #2
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The majority of the replies here will be to get a PPI (Pre Purchase Inspection) done on the car. The idle thing could be something as easy as cleaning the throttle body, or something much more ominous, and you are taking a gamble if you don't have a PPI performed.

Even though he has maintenance records, from the sound of the mechanic's abilities he wasn't a a very good one. I changed the plugs on my 2001 2.7 with no problems and it was the first time I have done it. And 50k of those 95k miles could have been at redline.

Bottom line: Unless you are getting a screaming good deal, there are a lot of used Boxsters out there.
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:21 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply! Yea I totally forgot to put that in my original post I'm getting a PPI done for sure at the local porsche dealer here. Hopefully that'll put my mind at ease a little. You're right about the mechanic though as why i'm a little hesitant. About the redline stuff though I mean who knows any used car you look at could have been driven that way just no way to tell. About the price though how much would you pay for a 2000 with 95k on the clock.
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:35 AM   #4
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Fastback, I do not mean to throw water on your fire, but if I were you, I would you pass on this car. Not because of anything you've written, but for what you have not written and the PPI will probably not show... what this car will cost you in repairs in the next two years.

The suspension is worn on this car with 95k on it. Unless the PO replaced the struts and all 9 control arms and wheel bearings, you will spend at least a grand or two in the next two years on one or more of these things.

The emissions and engine management sensors are probably the culprit for the idle issues. A mass air fuel sensor is a couple of hundred bucks, and then there's the four oxygen sensors that should have been replaced on a car with this many miles on it and they're $550 for a set if you install them yourself (easy to do, but not cheap!)

There's also a long laundry list of other things with the cooling system and the top mechanism that will hit you on a car with nearly 100k on it.

Here's the deal. In this crappy economy, you will find pristine Boxster S models in the 2003 or up model year (which is the only 986 I would ever buy) for just a little more money and they will have very low mileage on them (25k or so).

Don't be foolish like me. I bought a high mileage boxster on it for $15k and I have put another $15k repairing the car and fixing it up to look newer. Had I waited a year, I could have bought a much newer S model with the larger engine and far fewer miles and I would have been so much happier with myself and my car.

If you throw caution to the wind and buy this car, I would not pay a dime over $10k for it because you will certainly put another couple of grand into the car in the first year or two of ownership if not far more money. I don't care what the blue book value is, that's all the car would be worth to me considering what I know I'd have to do to it to keep it on the road running the right way.
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Last edited by RandallNeighbour; 02-20-2009 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:53 AM   #5
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Hi Randall,

Thanks a ton for the advice man! I read your site (iwantaporsche) and I did forget about the sensors. I'm thinking you're absolutely right about the MAF. I forgot I read a message on this board about a MAF needing to be cleaned/replaced if you have a crappy idle. I'll probably pass on this one since I'm looking at another boxster tomorrow (2000 S w/55k) so I'll see how that one goes. I'm coming from a 944 (owned for about 10yrs now) and when I bought it I had to do all the CV's and wheel bearings also. Funny how you can sometimes forget stuff when looking at a great car (exterior wise).

One question I have though is why would you only go for a 2003? As far as I can tell that year (mike fockes page) didn't have any super major revisions done or any engine fixes that would drop the failure rate.
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Old 02-20-2009, 08:00 AM   #6
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Just to add to Randall's post and to give you some perspective, thus far on my '01 2.7 bought w/33K miles, off the top of my head, I have replaced:

-Both lower control arms. (didn't fix the clunk, probably have to replace the rear track arms)

-Coolant reservoir

-Cabin air recirculator

-Alternator

-Ignition switch

The only thing my PPI showed was it needed a new rear wheel bearing, brakes in a few thousand miles, an alignment and the left side of the front bumper had been resprayed. All the above went in the first year of my ownership. Luckily, I bought an aftermarket warranty that picked up the first four issues or those would have been $$$$. I replaced the switch myself.
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Old 02-20-2009, 08:43 AM   #7
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Fastback, the 2003 was when Porsche added a glove box and most importantly, a glass window in the top which means you DON'T HAVE TO GET OUT OF THE FRIGGIN' CAR EVERY TIME YOU DROP THE TOP to crease the plastic so it doesn't crack or tear.

Why they didn't design it this way earlier is beyond me.

The 03's and 04's also had the most revisions done to them and will probably end up being the most reliable 986 models on the road.

The 2000 S with lower mileage is a much better car to be looking at IMO, but it's still a 9 year old car.

I will never buy another old, out of warranty Porsche. My next one will be a 2 year old garage queen with a 100k CPO warranty. I will also beat PCNA to death with their own stick (the CPO warranty). I will work overtime to make them pay for their crappy workmanship at every opportunity. Every Houston dealership's service department will know me and hate my guts for the way I constantly bring the car in for squeaks and leaks and everything else I can find wrong with the car.

I love the car, the prestige of ownership of the badge, and the handling and balance of the boxster/cayman... I just hate the corner cutting that Porsche has done.

One more thing: Never buy a sports car without having a four wheel laser alignment done on the car before you sign the papers for it. A bent subframe or slightly bent control arm is very hard to detect on a rack visually, but the equipment never lies. If the car cannot be brought into perfect alignment, walk away from it. Someone's slammed it up against a curb at least once.
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Last edited by RandallNeighbour; 02-20-2009 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:21 AM   #8
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It's interesting to read here that almost everyone who had bought a 986 after I did are all 97-2002.

The only reason that I can think of is they're cheap, but reading Randall's post it reinforces the fact that I didn't make a mistake by getting a 04.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandallNeighbour
Fastback, the 2003 was when Porsche added a glove box and most importantly, a glass window in the top which means you DON'T HAVE TO GET OUT OF THE FRIGGIN' CAR EVERY TIME YOU DROP THE TOP to crease the plastic so it doesn't crack or tear.

Why they didn't design it this way earlier is beyond me.

The 03's and 04's also had the most revisions done to them and will probably end up being the most reliable 986 models on the road.

The 2000 S with lower mileage is a much better car to be looking at IMO, but it's still a 9 year old car.

I will never buy another old, out of warranty Porsche. My next one will be a 2 year old garage queen with a 100k CPO warranty. I will also beat PCNA to death with their own stick (the CPO warranty). I will work overtime to make them pay for their crappy workmanship at every opportunity. Every Houston dealership's service department will know me and hate my guts for the way I constantly bring the car in for squeaks and leaks and everything else I can find wrong with the car.

I love the car, the prestige of ownership of the badge, and the handling and balance of the boxster/cayman... I just hate the corner cutting that Porsche has done.

One more thing: Never buy a sports car without having a four wheel laser alignment done on the car before you sign the papers for it. A bent subframe or slightly bent control arm is very hard to detect on a rack visually, but the equipment never lies. If the car cannot be brought into perfect alignment, walk away from it. Someone's slammed it up against a curb at least once.


HAHAHA - Randall, Amen...

There are definitely no shortcuts with Porsche's. I too, agree that if I do it again, the car will be under the original Porsche warranty, and I will go for the extended CPO. It's very hit or miss with aftermarket warranties on these cars, and they have all sorts of problems (I remember reading that an F355 should cost you about $3K-$5K / year in maint.) Really??? 'cause I've dropped that keeping my Boxster running.

Fastback, do your best to buy a "perfect" car. PPI's are only 1.5 - 2 hrs of labor, and you should see/hear/smell ZERO flaws on it. You will be happier.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:40 AM   #10
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it comes down to how much you can spend and do you want to spend it NOW or LATER?

if you buy a newer lower mileage car with a warranty - you will pay more NOW but you won't be out of pocket for big $$ repairs.

if you buy an older car you will get a cheaper price but get nickel and dimed with maintenance and upkeep.

i bought a 2000 2.7 5 speed and I love it. I was shopping for base vs. S and bre 03 vs 03/04. I WANTED an 03+S but my dad put up his 2000 base for sale and made me a really great offer. i like his car and decided to help him by buying his, I did get a deep discount...and it'sa pile of fun. part of me wishes I had just spent more to get a newer faster S - but our deal was a win-win so my situation was somewhat unique.

if i had it to do over - and my dad was NOT selling his car - i'd try to get an S and an 03+. but i promise you that even a 200 0 base is a pile of fun. my car has 18s and m030 - which is a blast. these cars are all about handling, and the wheels/suspension make a big difference.

if you are into "fixing" cars upa nd moding them, you could get a smokni deal on an older one that needs new suspension, then do NOT put in OEM struts.. but instead buy ROW M030 or a coilover setup, and have a car that corners EVEN MORE ON RAILS than a stock one. you'll love it.

bottom line is these cars can be cheap to buy if you get an old one - but they are not cheap to fix. it's always nice to have a newer car but your budget may not allow it.

in this market though - i bet there is a huge variation in prices cars sell for. some guy who bought his car on his HELOC and paid cash - and has it listed for $25k and has had NO bites for 6 months..and is dying to get some cash in his pocket beause he is getting foreclosed on - or some other financial crisis like a divorce, etc etc... will probably let it go way under market just to move it. no laon to pay off...the car is just an asset he needs to liquidate...who knows how low he would go...

if you look hard and negotiate hard you could probably find some killer deals on these cars.
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:15 PM   #11
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Boy are people negative today

I've been the 3rd owner of 2 Boxsters and they have cost me about $15 per month in unscheduled maintenance averaged over more 5 years.

Is any 90k car going to have wear issues a 20-30k car doesn't yet have? Sure. Any car, not just a Porsche.

The point about parts costs being very high and dealer labor the same is certainly valid...for any year Porsche.

But there are ways of getting around some of that buying the parts online from the original manufacturer and not after Porsche and the dealer's markups have been applied (My O2 sensor the other day from ********************************az was $94 and it was a Bosch, same as Porsche buys). And doing some of the labor yourself, having some done by generic mechanics and some by independent Porsche mechanics. The trick is knowing which is the appropriate approach and you have the on-line forums and the collective experience to advise you on that.

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