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Old 06-06-2010, 02:23 AM   #1
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Is A Boxster Too Big Of A Risk

Hello everyone,
I just bought a 1999 Ocean Blue Boxster. I am seeing sooo much info on the IMS RMS failure. I am begining to think maybe I made a bad choice in cars. The one I purchased has 72,000 miles which did not seam like much. But after reading IMS failures at 15,000 I am beginning to freak. Is there anyway of knowing which VIN or packages are the "bad" ones.

John-
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Old 06-06-2010, 04:48 AM   #2
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Just relax and just enjoy the car. When you're ready for a clutch (or getting close), get the bearing replaced at the same time. The consensus seems to be that if your engine's made it past 60k or so it's out of the danger zone. In spite of that and the fact that I believe the problem is overblown, when my '02 S was ready for a clutch at 70k I had the bearing replaced. I've slept much better and enjoyed the car so much more since then.
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Old 06-06-2010, 05:05 AM   #3
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This is a cut and paset from and earlier post from Rick3000. Hopefully this helps!!

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.
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Old 06-06-2010, 06:53 AM   #4
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^ You beat me too it, I was about to repost that. I have an Ocean Blue 1999, and I've put about 33k miles on it in a little over three years. Its a great daily driver, I don't worry about engine failure, I enjoy the car. A lot of people don't realize that many of the Boxsters affected by engine failure are also the Boxsters that are weekend or summer only cars. All that sitting doesn't do the car (seals, fluids, etc) any good, you need to get out and drive it and enjoy it. I drive my Boxster whether it's sunny, raining, or blizzarding.
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Last edited by rick3000; 06-06-2010 at 07:13 AM.
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Old 06-06-2010, 12:03 PM   #5
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Change the oil every 3-5k miles. Filter too.

Drive it gently till it warms up, then vigorously. Could the IMS happen? Yes. But so could engine failure on any car. It's just us P-car people are so passionate and there is this thing called the Internet that allows word to spread.

I'm playing the odds, enjoying the car and taking it when I absolutely positively have to be there.

Best thing about your car is it has been used...that 72k miles is good.
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Old 06-06-2010, 12:26 PM   #6
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there is a serious risk for sure... the risk of putting a smile on your face everytime you see your boxster on your parking spot...
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Old 06-06-2010, 12:55 PM   #7
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Being a 99 model your biggest concerns are:
1- Slipped sleeves- we seldom see this MOF these days, its seems that all the weak engines have already failed and have been replaced. I have only had one failure call this year where someone had the symptoms of a slipped sleeve.

2- Cracked heads- This MOF is quickly becoming the most poplar with pre- 2002 engines in the 996 and pre 2003 in the Boxster. The best way to avoid this MOF is to change the water pump before it starts to have chipped impeller blades that end up in the cooling system and creating hot spots and cracked heads due to them.

The IMS is certainly a real possibility.
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Old 06-06-2010, 01:38 PM   #8
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This may sound like a stretch, but humor me...

If you're married, you probably didn't read a bunch of stuff on the Internet after the ceremony about cancer being the leading cause of death among women and say to yourself, "Holy crap, have I done the wrong thing? There's a 22% chance she'll die of cancer!"

If you fell in love with an Asian woman, would you rue this choice even more because she's 4.9% more likely to die of cancer than women of other races? Again, probably not. You fell in love, and whatever happens... happens.

Hopefully you love your Boxster - and if so, while you worry about it and want it to be healthy and live a long life, it may not be in your best interests to agonize about what might or might not happen.

Enjoy your car!
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Old 06-06-2010, 01:47 PM   #9
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Well said, sir!
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Old 06-06-2010, 01:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sd_boxster
This may sound like a stretch, but humor me...

If you're married, you probably didn't read a bunch of stuff on the Internet after the ceremony about cancer being the leading cause of death among women and say to yourself, "Holy crap, have I done the wrong thing? There's a 22% chance she'll die of cancer!"

If you fell in love with an Asian woman, would you rue this choice even more because she's 4.9% more likely to die of cancer than women of other races? Again, probably not. You fell in love, and whatever happens... happens.

Hopefully you love your Boxster - and if so, while you worry about it and want it to be healthy and live a long life, it may not be in your best interests to agonize about what might or might not happen.

Enjoy your car!
when i was a much younger man i didnt go out with 2 women because they had cancer but later on in life i married a woman who got cancer and died. i played it safe with the car and bought gen2
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Old 06-06-2010, 03:40 PM   #11
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I spent allot of time on the RX8 forum a few years ago when I had my 2004 RX8.
The Renesis rotary had some really serious engine issues and Mazda replaced a TON of them. I know, I manufacture the shipping containers they use for their reman program. Mazda rotaries have been "bearly, bearly, good to me!" (to quote the old Saturday Night Live baseball reporter skit!)
However, even though the percentage of customers with engine problems was less than 15% and engine replacements was in the single digits, this didn't stop the customers with those problems from overwhelming the forum and running most others away to happier net experience websites.
I come on here often, but in spurts, and the threads always at the top are those with issues ranging from water leaks and rattles and squeaks to water pumps to serious stuff like IMS failures.
It is the nature of forums like this for those with issues to be here in force trying to resolve them, complain about them, and yes, whine about them. (a few)
This is only normal for those trying to resolve what is always a very expensive issue with cars in the Porsche price range. The vast majority of the postors are here enjoying their cars and friends on the forum and most with experience go on these problem threads with solutions that have been found over the years everyone has been here.
As is remarked on above, IMS and other serious issues are catastrophic for the victims, but are still low numbers of cars, percentage wise.
Jake Raby does not "fear monger" that I see, though others have claimed it. He also does not chocolate coat the real expense of one of these failures, but again, they are a very small percentage of owners experiencing them.
All in all, I see no ther car in the price range of whatever year Boxster you choose to buy that has the balance, handling, outright fun and practicality of the Boxster and, as mentioned above, ALL high performance cars have issues of one kind or another.
Enjoy your car the way it was meant to be enjoyed, but if you're having trouble sleeping at night over the IMS issue, buy an aftermarket extended warranty. There are a couple of threads on which are the best.
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Old 06-07-2010, 04:16 AM   #12
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One issue with risk is to understand the consequences of an adverse event. If the event can take you out of the game, you look at it one way.

If it is only annoying, you look at it another.


This is tied to your financial circumstances. If a blown engine will devastate you, you might want to reconsider.

Either way, owning a used Box is not like owning a used Honda.

You decide and good luck.
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Old 06-07-2010, 05:13 PM   #13
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I have to say i feel good about owning one with so many miles on it. I feel like it is already past the breaking point. Thanks everyone. I will be on here everyday posting and learning about my new toy. thanks John
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Old 06-08-2010, 02:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauiboxster
I have to say i feel good about owning one with so many miles on it. I feel like it is already past the breaking point. Thanks everyone. I will be on here everyday posting and learning about my new toy. thanks John
Naw, its not past the breaking point. Something going to break. Starter, water pump, alternator, micro switch in the top..... something. These aren't Honda's. Porsche makes a nice car, but the long term durability of the components is not world class. Having said that, I still enjoy it more than my last Honda.
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Old 06-08-2010, 07:56 AM   #15
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^ What are you basing that on? Every car made requires that you replace the parts you listed at some point. A Porsche will definitely cost more to maintain, and it may need replacements a bit sooner, but it's not like you will be replacing things 2-3 times more than on another car. The maintenance schedule is roughly the same for most cars. (with the exception of the Boxster eating rear tires)

There a people driving Boxsters with well over 150k-200k miles on the original engine, and all they have had to deal with is routine maintenance.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:24 AM   #16
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The 986 has some proven "weak spots" that may in fact need to be changed 2-3 times more frequently than other cars, the water pump is one of them.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:42 AM   #17
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If you've got the cash and don't like to worry at night just upgrade the IMS bearing unit with the one sold by the forum sponsor flat 6 innovations.
I wouldn't wait for the clutch to wear out if you are a worrier. Take it to your local Porsche specialist and git er done. You'll have a new nicely working clutch good for another 10 years and you'll have reduced the possibility of having to cough up $15K for a new egine job. Avoiding that possibility is worth more to me than trying to squeeze some more life out of the ageing clutch. Doing just the RMS (no clutch) I think is about a $1200 job. Maybe less if they've done a few and are efficient.
They say its rare for the IMS to wreck the engine but just on this board I can count four that have occurred (two by the same forum member) to existing forum members, meaning they were posting before the catastrophe and not because of it.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:45 AM   #18
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The original plastic fin water pumps tended to break, but once you replace it with the metal fin water pump they last just as long as any other car. The Boxster has its problem areas but a $400 water pump is hardly a reason not to buy such a fun car.

If you want to worry, go ahead and worry. I'll be out enjoying my Boxster while you do.

I think this sums it up nicely:
http://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/problemareas
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:17 PM   #19
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I base my statements on a Civic that had 190 on it before the front tires started to fall off. No starter, no water pump, no switches, most of the light bulb were still factory.
My Acura went 150, but it needed more "stuff"... motor mount, calipers, etc.

Porsche durability is well noted in the transcripts of this forum. Its a great car... but expect more maintenance and replacement. Not sure who said it, but one of our members suggested to put away $100 a month for Boxster maintenance. A very good idea, which I susbscibe too.
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Old 06-08-2010, 07:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen wilson
The 986 has some proven "weak spots" that may in fact need to be changed 2-3 times more frequently than other cars, the water pump is one of them.
...don't forget lower front control arms. Those seem to go out all too quickly.

(while we're piling on)
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