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Old 05-25-2005, 09:00 PM   #1
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Thumbs down Excellence Mag. Review

I received my copy of Excellence Magazine today, and they gave an upbeat, yet dissappointing review of the new Boxster S.

Among many other accolades, they wrote the power and torque was a great improvement over previous year models, the interior was 10x better, didn't like the 19's on the car, preferring the 18's, and something that bothered me greatly:

"Disturbingly, it [the Boxster S with just 5,216 miles on it] also left a pool of oil on the floor of our garage—an ominous sign. A call to PCNA netted clearance to book the car into Sonnen Porsche, our local dealer. There, the technicians put the car on a lift and confirmed our suspicions."

"The oil was coming from a leaking rear main seal, something that's plagued many of the water-cooled sixes in Boxsters and 996's. We were hoping Porsche had eliminated this issue in its new-gen cars; perhaps the failure in this early 987 is a fluke? ..."

Fellow Porsche owners, I am pissed off! I really wanted to buy an '05 987S in a few years as a CPO, thinking that by now Porsche would have fixed this stupid problem in their boxer engines! I think every person on this list should write PCNA and challenge them to fix it for good and admit their faults.

You all have no idea how many nights I lie awake at night and wonder when mine is going to go out ... again!

Until I see something in writing from Porsche that says they acknowledge the problem and have actually corrected it in new engines, I do not think I will be upgrading my Box to a newer one.

I hate to say this, but those of you on this list who have just taken possession of 05's, watch your garage floor very carefully! At the first sign of a drip from your RMS, force the dealer to replace it immediately, warrant it in writing, and register a formal complaint in writing with PCNA and carbon copy the president of Porsche in Germany while you're at it.

Porsche. There is no substitute? I certainly think I can find a very nice subsitute if Porsche doesn't fix this problem for good. They've had 9 years to figure it out and will lose me as a repeat buyer if they don't get their crap together.

Thank you for reading, and I will now put away my soap box since I've now gotten this off my chest.

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Old 05-25-2005, 09:33 PM   #2
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wow tha really sucks, after only 5K miles no less.

But I see no point in getting upset. Porsche is not perfect and teh only reason they haven't been more aggresive about correcting this RMS issue in existing models is because they (as now confiremed by a 987 RMS failure) have no idea how to fix it.

I can only imagine how many thousands of hours their engineers have spent to come up with a solution. I only pray that my Extended warranty will cover this. I would have gone with coverage regardless but I almost prefer not to know...
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Old 05-25-2005, 11:59 PM   #3
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Yeah, this doesn't worry me at all. I'm not the type to freak out when things go wrong with a car, otherwise I'd never have bought this first-year 987.

If the rear main seal gives out, no biggie. They'll fix it. But thanks for the heads-up anyhow!

By the way, I've driven both the 986 and the 987. I really didn't like the 986's handling--I thought the steering was mushy and the body roll was rather excessive. Coupled with the lack of power, it wasn't an exciting ride, but I have to admit that I never drove one with upgraded suspension.

The 987 convinced me to buy a Boxster almost immediately. For the money, if you're buying a new car, Porsche really has improved your bang-for-the-buck IMMENSELY. These new cars are so much more dialed-in!

There's very little that I feel is worth griping about, as far as handling goes. I still hate the long throws of the shifter, but that's it!

Anyhow, if you were around here I'd let you take it for a spin and see for yourself. You might find yourself not worrying so much about RMS issues once you've had the chance to drive it.

Last edited by eslai; 05-26-2005 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 05-26-2005, 06:40 AM   #4
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i'm definately not going to buy another porsche again, there are alot of boxster owners out there that have no warranty, and if it goes out then it's not work fixing the heap of crap. screw the performance if you have to pay for new engines (upgrading to a 3.4 cost money only to still be unsure about the RMS in the new engine). imo, the boxster is the most unreliable car with the best performance you can buy for the money. since i've had mine i've had to fix:


radio (grounding noise when i use gas pedal)
window regulator broke
mass air flow sensor
wheel bearings (this is my doing)
convertible top doesn't always clamp straight when it's closing.
window seals sometimes leak
ac sometimes doesn't want to work just have to turn off/on the car to reset

i've had my vw passat for 10 years and have only had to relplace the power steering pump and now a heater core.

i'm not bashing the boxster, i love to drive mine when it works. but it is one poorly engineered machine. this was the 2nd worst car i've ever bought as far as little gremlins. 1st was a saab. imo porsche has forgotten about quality and are building mass breaking machines.
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Old 05-26-2005, 07:00 AM   #5
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eslai, this is a huge issue for me for one important reason: I pay cash for my cars. I learned a long time ago that leasing or financing depreciating items is a very unwise financial move indeed ... and it fosters a lack of self control within me (you and others may be different, and that would be good).

Because of this life decision, my cars are purchased when then are 2-4 years old (I let someone else take the largest share of the depreciation hit) and driven for at least 10 years (to get all the value out of the car I can possible get).

When the 987's were released, I was hopeful they'd have fixed the RMS issues so I could begin saving money and buy an '05 or an '06 in 2010 ... hopefully a CPO car that I could take to the dealership for the next 4 years when problems arise.

I buy cars for a long period of ownership, especially dream cars like my Boxster. This is very dissappointing and now my plans must change.

I just might swap my 2.5 for a 3.4 instead. I do not read anything online from owners of 3.4's stating they have RMS issues—please correct me if I am wrong. Richard, can you tell me if this opinion is accurate?

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Old 05-26-2005, 07:04 AM   #6
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I guess I would not jump to conclusions on the 987. Lets see how many RMS we actually see in year 1.

Re: the past, I guess I am surprised that some smart CA lawyer has not generated a class action suit on this issue!

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Old 05-26-2005, 07:41 AM   #7
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Its just one car for now... I would hold your judgement.

Speaking of RMS, does anybody know the % failure rate on the 986. What I mean is out of 100 cars how many engines have a failure??

Just curious

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Old 05-26-2005, 07:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99-Boxster-MK
Its just one car for now... I would hold your judgement.

Speaking of RMS, does anybody know the % failure rate on the 986. What I mean is out of 100 cars how many engines have a failure??

Just curious

Mike
I suspect that only folks who know this with some reliability would be Porsche. I highly doubt this data is forthcoming volunatarily.

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Old 05-26-2005, 09:20 AM   #9
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It is interesting that this reliability/quality issue came up just now.
About a week ago I read an article in one of the local papers about a just-released JD Power new car "quality" survey.
The Power survey ranked 36 domestic (US) and import brands based on the number of "problems" per 100 cars reported by new car buyers within the first 30 days of ownership.
As I recall number one (fewest problems) was Lexus, with something on the order of 54 problems per 100 cars.
What about our favorite marque?
Porsche ranked 32nd out of the 36 brands, with 147 reported problems per 100 cars, barely beating out VW and Kia.
As a devoted Porschephile I found this ranking to be extremely disappointing, to say the least. Porsche built it's reputation on unmatched build quality, and it is disheartening to see them apparently abandoning their heritage in the pursuit of greater sales volume.
While I have no complaints whatever about the reliability of my own car, I am at times dismayed in reading about the perpetual problems some of the other forum members report about their cars.
I don't know whether the good folks at Porsche occasionally review what is being said on forums such as this (I'm sure their lawyers do), but hopefully they do, and take to heart some of the criticisms that are being levelled against their product.
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Old 05-26-2005, 09:29 AM   #10
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I always take those JD Power surveys with a grain of salt. Think of just how many people do not answer those survey requests due to busy schedules or just plain apathy. The only JD Power survey I ever answered was in regards to my home builder, who at the time I was less than pleased with, so I was all too happy to slam them good in the survey. If I had no issues with the builder, I probably would have trashed the survey request.
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Old 05-26-2005, 09:52 AM   #11
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well allot of reliability is down to maintenace and proper driving. A sportscar is a sensitive car, to compare it to a compact commuter car for reliability is ...wrong.
I can't believe how sloppy some people are withe their sports cars. Both in maintenace and driving/shifiting/braking. You have double the care of high performance car.
The Boxster was ranked by the German Motor Vehicles "commission" (who are much stricter than the U.S.) as the domestic sports car with the fewest 'fails'.
Granted the Boxster will never be a Honda S2000 for bullet proof reliability, Honda simply have far better resources and have built thousands more cars to perfect all the little gremlins.
But hey if you think an S2000 is more exciting to own/drive then you are getting the best of both worlds. Definitely the better choice for the daily driver concerned about repairs and maintenance.

I know several GT3, C4s, Turbo, M3, owner all former Boxster owners who all say that the 986 & S, is hands down the most fun they ever had.
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Old 05-26-2005, 11:43 AM   #12
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Talking

The last time I looked into this data, Porsche was ranked about 8th in the world on initial quality.

Then, they built the Cayeene, which has been a disaster from a reliablility standpoint.

My guess is that that is the great bogey for the lastest Porsche data.
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Old 05-26-2005, 11:59 AM   #13
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Perfectlap, no one here would argue with you on the fun factor of our cars.

It's the rear main seal failure fears in the back of some of our minds every single time we get into our cars that is so concerning!
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Old 05-26-2005, 01:10 PM   #14
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RMS failures are no picnic but I don't think its affecting 1 in 5 Boxsters or anything like that. Hard to put a number on it.

I'm talking about all the other reliability gripes. They are unavoidable with boutique car makers, Porsche is not a major auto maker. Not even close (They do have the biggest profits any car company, for sure)
as they grow bigger there will be teething problems.
Its a perspective I think needs to be understood by potential buyers and current owners. Most people will never own a Porsche and the limited production numbers mean that there is far less quality control and R&D to iron out the gremlins.

It still beats a Ferrari by a country mile this regard.
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Old 05-26-2005, 01:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandallNeighbour
I buy cars for a long period of ownership, especially dream cars like my Boxster. This is very dissappointing and now my plans must change.
I understand completely! I had my first car for ten years and I've had my Eclipse since 1999. I'm sure I'll be hanging on to the Boxster for a very long time as well, but I'm going to be getting an extended warranty for it that should cover the RMS issue...

...uh, right? I hope???

Just because you buy used doesn't mean you're completely left to your own devices, does it? And if you buy a sports car that you intend to keep for ten years, well I wouldn't think that buying a new engine somewhere within that timespan would be an unreasonable expenditure.

Eclipses had a problem with a phenomenon called "Crankwalk". Even though it was mainly an epidemic in the 1995 to 1996 model years, you still hear people talking about what a huge big deal it is. In reality the incidents were pretty far and few between as time went on, and any car made by any manufacturer can be the victim of premature thrust bearing wear.

My point with that story is that i think we can take the RMS issue as a worthy gamble. Maybe that's just my optimism, but I feel pretty confident about it.
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Old 05-26-2005, 08:29 PM   #16
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Don't fall for "the grass is always greener". On every board, for almost every car worth writing about, is a thread about starting a CA about something. On this forum it is the RMS, on the Miata.net it is the thrust bearing issue or clutch chatter. BMW M3's have the whole engine fail(read about all the M3 engines blowing up on roadfly etc, BMW's answer was to advise you never to rev the engine out of gear). Hell for a while there, five series were burning people's houses down.
Randall if you go 10 years with no RMS issue you will have still lost. Because, for 10 years you will have endured the pain of an RMS failure without ever having one. Sell the Boxster, buy a Lexus. Then if your timing belt just happens to be the 1 in however many that break, your interference engine will be a paperweight.

My Lexus was in the shop in the first 3000 and my Boxster is at 3300 without breaking it's Service Center cherry. And I love the Lexus and would call it a very very reliable car(now with 75k). BTW it has been towed from my house to Lexus one time because the variable valve timing got stuck> No biggie

If you want to make your cars seem maintenance free, buy an airplane.

Enjoy your Boxster!
BTW I am 16 and these are my first two cars that my parents bought for me. JK

I better go knock on wood or my Lexus timing belt and Porsche RMS are both gona fail tomorrow.
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Old 05-26-2005, 08:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexuspilot
BTW I am 16 and these are my first two cars that my parents bought for me.
.
Holy crap. I couldn't get my folks to buy me a stupid Atari.

You are a very mature sounding for a 16 year old.
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Old 05-26-2005, 09:41 PM   #18
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Sorry to hear some have trouble with their 986s or 987's. I have have my 2000 986 now since it was right at a year old and have Never seen a drop of oil on the garage floor. So it cant be happening to them all. other then basic maintanence and the many mods I have done really havent had any trouble with this car. It has been very reliable to me. Especially considering I also own a Mercedes and that is always in the shop. My 03 Rubicon never goes in the shop, except for oil changes andtire rotations....
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Old 05-26-2005, 09:41 PM   #19
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"Holy crap. I couldn't get my folks to buy me a stupid Atari.

You are a very mature sounding for a 16 year old."

The JK, meant just kidding.
I am 35 and have never had anything like a car given to me. My parents didn't buy me an atari either. I always dated girls for their cars not their other attributes.
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Old 05-27-2005, 07:47 AM   #20
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LexusPilot:

I DO own a 1995 LS400... 103k on the odometer. Love the car for what it is and what it is not.

I'm just pissed that Porsche would continue to produce a motor year after year after year where RMS issues crop up. This RMS issue is far bigger than Porsche is willing to admit publically because it would require a widespread recall from all the owners I've heard about who had RMS failure and all the Boxsters I hear about with new engines in them.

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