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Old 06-04-2010, 05:59 PM   #1
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Should I Buy This Car -- Opinions Please!

1998 Boxster with 26,XXX miles, tiptronic, owned by my sister since new, garage

kept. Am tempted but d-chunk, cylinder slippage and to a lesser degree IMS

failure(this I can least fix proactively) concern me. I may be lucky and the car

will run forever or something may happen soon after purchase! Any comments

will be appreciated.

Rob C., Tampa
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:00 PM   #2
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Slipped Sleeve only affected a few months in 1999, not 1998. IMS rarely affects 1998 Boxsters. The only real worry for a 1998 is RMS, which you can detect because a leak will form before the engine failure and it is a few hundred dollars to have the RMS replaced. If I was you I would learn more about this, because you do not seem very well advised on these issues. There is no reason to spend $3500 replacing the IMS on a 1998 Boxster.

If you decide to buy it enjoy, it and don't worry about engine failure. The number of people shouting on the internet about IMS and RMS engine failure are not proportionate to the over 200,000 Boxsters on the planet, of which 99% do not have these problems.

The Boxster is a great car, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:00 PM   #3
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Rick3000, I was under the impression that the concerns I have are common to

early year Boxsters. Having seen numerous post all over the internet about IMS

etc. What I dont like is that these failures end up with catastrophic results and

not something that is repairable at reasonable cost.

reluctantmechanic, yes the mileage is low. The color is ocean jade metallic and I

have only seen one other in that color and that was at the Porsche corral at

Sebring some years go. My son and I are the only ones to have washed/waxed

the car since new. Foam is blowing through vents but my son and I can fix that!


Thanks for the opinions!


Rob C.
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:33 PM   #4
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You may have seen a few hundred IMS failure posts on the internet (out of 200k+ Boxsters), but how many where for 1998 Boxsters? I have only ever seen one.

No one likes the potential for a $10k engine replacement, but few people take the time to realize what a low percentage of Boxsters it happens too. Just like many other potential Boxster owners you need to realize there are a disproportionate number of the people complaining on the internet vs. people praising how few problems they have.

I can only tell you what I know (which I like to think is quite a bit since I have been reading and learning about the Boxster for over three years). It's up to you to decide whether you want to believe me or not, and worry about issues that don't affect a 1998 Boxster.

If your sister has taken of the car, and it is in good condition with those miles I would jump on it. But I would still get a PPI (even though it is your sister) because cars that sit a lot tend to have some minor problems like vacuum leaks and bad hoses.

Summary:
Slipped Sleeve Failure - Affected 10/1/98-3/31/99 Check your door sticker for the date, and if you fall into those dates check to see if the engine has been replaced. If it hasn't failed in the first 10k miles it most likely is not going to fail.
IMS - Extremely rarely affects pre-2001 cars (same likelihood as any other car made today). The IMS was redesigned for MY2001 to be quieter however the new design, while quieter had some design defects that allowed the IMS to fail without warning.
RMS - Affects all 986 Boxsters, due to imperfections in the casting of the engine. A slow leak forms which can be fixed. If it is not fixed all of the oil can drain from the engine suddenly causing engine failure.

Edit - I have no intention of sounding rude or mean or short, but you are not the first potential owner that has posted about how they are hesitant about buying a Boxster due to the engine failure issues. Almost all of the potential owners that post on this forum bring this up, and it is tiring because most of them are not well informed. I am not saying an engine failure will not happen, but I am saying it isn't very likely.
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Old 06-05-2010, 05:22 AM   #5
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rick3000, love your confidence in the machine. Have been a PCA member since

1988, like to think I have looked around a bit on the Boxster engine failure prob-

lem. This is why I came to this forum of dedicated Boxster owners for input and

maybe the final deciding factor in my decision.

Have gotten all fired up to change the exhaust,wheels,sways,shocks etc. and

this one final area is holding me back.

Car was delivered in Nov/Dec of 1997 so I better look at the sticker in the door

jamb!

Thanks for the input, every bit helps.


Rob C.
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Old 06-05-2010, 05:26 AM   #6
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Forgot to mention, MAF replaced about 2 months ago at local Porsche dealer.

Tech did not mention any other problems to my son at the time.
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Old 06-05-2010, 05:27 AM   #7
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Nothing is better than knowing the complete history of the vehicle. Especially if you know that it has been taken care of and services have been performed on time, I would not even hesitate to purchase the vehicle. The internet can be a very pessimistic place.
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Old 06-05-2010, 05:47 AM   #8
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It is a great car. If you're remotely interested, buy it and keep it in the family. Sounds like you are committed to keeping it clean and in great condition, so you won't lose any money by keeping it around for a year or so, if you lament the decision then, you can sell it again without any financial loss.
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Old 06-05-2010, 06:33 AM   #9
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Buy it if you want it. Just keep in mind its a normal 12+ year old car with all of the issues associated with age.


Has the oil been changed every year? With mileage that low -- I'd be concerned if the oil wasn't changed annually (without regard to actual miles driven).


How old are the tires? How about the other fluids and filters (brake fluid must be changed every couple of years).
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:54 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the confidence. The exterior and interior are as new, my son and I

have taken care of that since new. Always used Zaino but have recently switched

to Collinite. Tires were replaced this time last year. Top has been treated with

Porsche waterproofing spray annually. Rear window done with Plexus and looks

very clear. No stone chips in front and my son now works part time at a local shop

that does clear bra film!

One issue is the foam from the AC/heat mixing door, the foam is coming through

the vents. I think we can fix this as I have found a DIY fix on the internet and it

looks like something we can handle.

For peace of mind I may take it to the local Porsche dealer(Reeves) and have it

looked over for good measure! There may be something that none of us are

aware of.

The Tip is not what I would really like but everything else outweighs that feature.

Was just looking at hardtops on Ebay!!!


Oil has always been Mobil 1.
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:08 AM   #11
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buying a car from a relative can be a win/win or a problem. you need to talk to them ahead of time and agree that there are no hard feelings if you buy it and the next day the motor blows up.... you need to at least talk about it..

when you buy from a stranger, you buy it and that's it.. but when you buy a car from family - some people can wind up with bad blood over $$ issues or repair problems. as long as this is all worked out and discussed in advance it can be a great deal.

i shoudl know, I bought my boxster from my dad. i knew the history, which was good..and he wanted to unload it. we worked out a fair price, and it was a true win win. i still let him borrow it from time to time... everyone is happy.

that being said - you may want to test driv eother ones. there are "S" models with more power, better brakes..newer ones with glass windows, etc etc..

if you are getting a great "family" deal..it might be the best buy out there. if she is selling it to you for "full retail"... you would likely be better off finding the "perfect" boxster - that is exactly what you want, and just ge ta really good PPI done to ensure nothing is wrong with it.


good luck.

the boxster is a blast to drive. whatever one you get - as long as you get a good one - you'll be VERY happy.

nothign is quite like a great drive in teh box on a nice day with the top down.
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:19 AM   #12
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Haven't talked price yet. Have gotten three cars from them in the past. A 300ZX

and my present two vehicles, Lexus GS400 and Nissan pickup.

Know that there are newer, faster cars out there but for the time being this

could be a good choice.
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:43 AM   #13
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I bought a 98 with 39k, showroom condition for 12K in Jan. I was never worried about the purchase until I got here. Dont let your preocupied mind bother you, there are thousands of unaware owners that enjoy the hell out of their boxsters everyday without trouble. It is an awesome car, and being in the family spares you from worrying about unknown mistreatment. If you like the car, go for it, but forget about all the issues once it is yours, just enjoy it.

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Old 06-05-2010, 10:18 AM   #14
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I follow the IMS issue pretty well and

I wouldn't say the '98 is any more immune than any other year from an IMS failure. I'd guess more early Boxsters were bought by people who drive them frequently and hard and that can be good for them. But less than 3k a year is a warning sign to me....I'd rather see double that.

If you buy it, consider the 60k or 90k service items as the car is just plain old...that is what I did when I bought my '01S and that was 5 years ago.
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Old 06-05-2010, 10:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefocke
I wouldn't say the '98 is any more immune than any other year from an IMS failure. I'd guess more early Boxsters were bought by people who drive them frequently and hard and that can be good for them. But less than 3k a year is a warning sign to me....I'd rather see double that.

If you buy it, consider the 60k or 90k service items as the car is just plain old...that is what I did when I bought my '01S and that was 5 years ago.
Would you rather buy a 70k mile car, that you don t know, over a low mileage, mint condition, known car just bc some people over the net say that they are more prone to IMS failure????? I wouldl go for a low mileage car no matter what.

How much is she asking for it?

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Old 06-05-2010, 10:28 AM   #16
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All input is good. I'l probably decide by Monday if I want the car or not.


Rob C.
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