Go Back   986 Forum - for Porsche Boxster & Cayman Owners > Porsche Boxster & Cayman Forums > Boxster General Discussions

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-30-2011, 10:12 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 5
2005 Boxster - Cost to Own?

Im sure this question has been asked before, but I couldn't find it when I did a search.

I'm 25 and been looking to sell my 2004 325i and purchase my first Porsche.

I've been looking around and found two 2005 Boxster's with really low mileage (~30k). That are in pretty good shape and not too expensive.

The first shudders and feels like it's about to stall out when I tried to take off in first gear. Not sure what was going on there, but I was pretty turned off.

The second has an issue with the convertible top (it doesn't work). The dealer said they're going to fix it and get back to me early next week.

That brings me to the question - what does a Boxster cost to own? The two Porsche mechanics I have spoken with said that they're reliability is fantastic and that the only real charges that you need to worry about are brakes and tires (and normal maintenance). Same guy said that he's only done 5 IMS replacements in the last 15 years and that he hasn't had to do any for the 987.

Is the IMS/RMS issue greatly inflated? I also hear that the engines on these will go boom. That sounds horrendous. Electrical issues?

What does it cost to own a Boxster? Are there a lot of "repairs?"

MangoTheHuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2011, 11:18 PM   #2
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: San Antonio, Texas!
Posts: 733
I'm 25 too, and if your finances are anything like mine, you better learn to DIY. Even "general" maintenance (such as service interval stuff) is expensive on a Porsche... because it's a Porsche.

if you have your own tools and a place to work, it's not terribly expensive. Parts are the expensive part, but coming from a BMW, it shouldn't be that much more than you're used to.

lessons learned, NOTHING is cheap to fix. I don't really trust any mechanic to be honest with you. I have an Indy that I trust, but it's been a pretty long relationship and he's worked on my 914's a lot. Tires are about 1k for a good set. These go quickly if you have a heavy foot (and you will lol). Oil changes are the other "expensive" service ritual as it's about $100 (DIY) and recommended about every 3000 miles. This adds up when you're used to $20-$30 oil changes.

I haven't really worried too much about the IMS thing because if it DOES happen, the car's value is almost near what it costs to get the service done (I have a '00 base). If it blows, I get a new car. Other stuff to check is the condition of the coolant tank in the trunk, oil fill cap (check the part number. has it been updated? ask the dealer to put the newest revision of oil cap and gas cap.), ignition switch "play" (should be tight), console lid hinge, and the visor mirrors (they tend to break at the hinge).

Mine's a TIP so I haven't had to worry about clutch-related stuff or anything, so depending on what you're looking at, some other will chime in on other experiences with their Box.
stateofidleness is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 04:57 AM   #3
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Sanford NC
Posts: 2,343
Like a casino

you luck can vary. Most are reliable. My 2 were very very reliable and cheap to maintain. Tires are expensive, especially if you get into the larger wheel sizes. And learn to do your own oil changes and do them at 3k to keep the costs down and to monitor the engine condition. Develop a relationship with a good Porsche mechanic...someone who cares about the cars and cares about his reputation.

We know more about and talk more about our engines because we are interested, most people just drive their cars. And while their cars have issues, you don't hear much about them. So don't be put off by the problems you hear about...the other hundred Boxster drivers are out driving their cars and not posting.

My 2 cost me less to own over 5 years than the Honda of around the same year/mileage, or the Acura of the same year.

And yes I took the Boxsters to the grocery store, took the trash to the dump in them, took 2 of us away for weekends, fit a bag of golf clubs in the rear trunk, got a 20" pizza...etc.. And even fit some things in them that wouldn't fit in the CRV.

Last edited by mikefocke; 07-31-2011 at 02:33 PM.
mikefocke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 05:40 AM   #4
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Arlington Heights, IL
Posts: 1,557
I hope you 25 year olds are fully maxed out on your 401K contributions ($16,500 for 2011) plus another $5,000 in your self directed IRA's before you start thinking about buying Porsches. Pay yourself first, before paying Porsche.

I've owned my 2006 Boxster S since new. Custom ordered. All I've done in the past 5.5 years is put gas, fresh oil, new tires, new filters, fresh brake fluid, and new spark plugs into her. Pushing 42,000 miles.

In the coming 12-18 months I plan to proactively change the trans/gear fluid (OEM), flush coolant, and replace the serpt. belt. Don't know when I'll ever need to change brake pads. Never any unscheduled maintenance.

She's been very inexpensive to maintain, IMHO. The reliability and enjoyment have been HUGE.

*I've have spent $1,000's on detailing supplies!

** What I have NOT spent maintaining my Boxster, I've spent keeping the '97 Turbo (993) happy. But, I'm OK with that, mainly because I've done paragraph #1 for over 20 years.
Flavor 987S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 09:59 AM   #5
Registered User
KevinH1990's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,371
I don't have a 2005. I offer the following based on my experience with my 2000, and I think most will be applicable to an 05.

1. As others have said, being able to DIY most of the routine items will keep your cost down.
2. There is a lot of information on the web that will help you. At a minimum, read Mike Focke's page before you buy.
3. Consider purchasing a Durametric cable. It will enable you to diagnose many problems with the car. (It is almost like the car can talk to you and tell you what is wrong.) My wife bought a used one for me as a Christmas present and it was a good $100 investment. Even if you have to buy it new, it will be worth what you pay.
4. Owning another car makes dealing with issues on your Boxster more practical and economical. It allows you to work on problems over several days and wait for parts to arrive. A garage helps too. If you don't have another car, have a back up plan for getting to work while you work on the car or leave it with a mechanic for a few days.
5. While a Boxster has a lot of storage space for a sports car, I don't think I would enjoy using it to do my weekly grocery shopping.
6. Some people experience engine failures. Think about how you will deal with this if it happens.
7. I've had a few "flurries" of problems with my car. You might want to find a good independent mechanic before you encounter your first problem.
8. You might get a better deal if you buy a car from an individual seller. Most of us keep records of service and repairs that you might not receive from a dealer. The money you save could be useful when you need a repair.

Good luck.
2000 Arctic Silver/Black, Hard Top, On Board Computer
PNP Rear Speakers, HAES 6-channel amp, Avic Z140BH,
Painted Bumperettes, 2004 (OEM) Top and Frame
Homelink transmitter integrated in dash with Targa switch
Carrera Gauge Cluster with silver gauge faces, heated seats, litronics, painted console
KevinH1990 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 11:18 AM   #6
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 5
So, this would be my daily driver. I figure I could have a new Ford Fusion or a used Boxster with very low milesage for about the same MSRP. Obviously the variable being maintenance costs, etc.

I don't need the size because my girlfriend has a bigger car that we use for most long trips, shopping (it's just the two of us), etc.

I don't really have the luxury of letting the thing break down and hang out for a few days. At least, that is certainly not my preference. My girlfriend would have to drive me to work.

I do not have an issue with doing some work on the car myself - oil changes, brakes, etc. But I'm most certainly not a mechanic and my knowledge kind of ends there.

By the way, a full synthetic oil change every 3,000 miles seems extremely excessive?! Does the oil really break down after 3k miles?

Thanks all for the advice!
MangoTheHuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 01:05 PM   #7
Autobahn Glanz
WhipE350's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 1,282
Mango, I'll second everything others have said here.

Was your BMW expensive to maintain, did you do the work yourself? Some of these cars are very reliable, I have a 2000 'S' and looking at the service records from

the previous guy it was really no more then most other cars. I mean he paid more for the basic services but when a car takes 9 quarts of synthetic oil it adds

I tend to buy oil when they have the 5 quart specials with filter for $30 so for $65 I get two filters and enough oil for one change. One of the reasons folks change the oil that often is to check the filter for medal filings from possible IMS failure.

Regarding the IMS problem, do some reading and assess for yourself. Some think it is as high as 10-20%, others like me think it probably is <2%. I'll be replacing mine this fall but only because I really enjoying working on the car and doing the clutch, IMS, and RMS would be a great experience, also curiosity to see the IMS in my car drives me too.

I really have to strongly second the whole 401k thing, you'll be 51 like me before you know it and will look back and be so happy you saved.

Here are the costs for basic maintenance and repairs I did. I also did a bunch more stuff that completely was not needed. I got my car last fall with 53k miles on it:


- Oil change: $65
- Odometer bulb: $5
- 4 18inch Fuzion ZRi tires from Tirerack: $560 + $60 shipping + $60 mounting
- Front brake pads and rotors: $30 (Mintex) + $145 (Balo Coated)
- Clean radiators: $0
- Rear trunk shocks: $26 (Tuff)
- Fasteners for ragtop latch: $35 (Had someone else do this)


- Serpentine belt: $30 (Contitech)
- Spark plugs: $55 (Bosch)
- Trans fluid: $40 (Red Line)
- Fuel filter: $30 (Mann)
- Flush brakes and clutch: $15 (Super Blue)
- Fuel additive: $5

You can see everything here can be done in your driveway or garage, it saves a bunch. Whatever you end up doing get a PPI. Also look on this forum for members selling, I know if I buy again it would likely be from a member. Good luck!
WhipE350 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 03:53 PM   #8
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 5
The Bimmer was obviously more expensive to get work done then a Honda, but I treat my cars well and never had a lot of big expenses because of it. That being said, I did have some freak things happen like a window motor blowing ($375), a sensor going bad ($500), etc.

**************** happens and I just want to be prepared if something like that happened in a Porsche I do not have the technical expertise to fix it and not a clue what the cost would be.

And don't worry guys - I have had a 401k going since I graduated college
MangoTheHuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 03:53 PM   #9
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: BC
Posts: 1,261
3000 miles between oil changes is excessive unless you're beating the crap out of the car
2001 Boxster, 5 spd, Seal Grey
clickman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2011, 04:16 PM   #10
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: California
Posts: 65
The reason your Porsche mechanic said he hadnít done any IMS replacements on 987ís is because you canít replace the IMS on a 987 without rebuilding the whole engine. Rate of IMS failure is believed to be the same on the 987 as the 986 engine (from all Iíve read on the internet)
surf40 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2011, 12:49 PM   #11
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Southern New jersey
Posts: 1,054
Well, you're going to get some EXTREMELY varied opinions.
Most '05 987's have the same IMS as an '04, and thus CAN be replaced without tearing down the engine. It's completely unknown whether the IMS update in ~'06 was an improvement or not. I doubt there is any benefit to changing the oil more frequently than every 5k, or annually, whichever comes first.
stephen wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2011, 02:00 PM   #12
Opposed to Subie Burble
Overdrive's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Central CT
Posts: 1,197
Originally Posted by mikefocke
...And yes I took the Boxsters to the grocery store, took the trash to the dump in them, took 2 of us away for weekends, fit a bag of golf clubs in the rear trunk, got a 20" pizza...etc.. And even fit some things in them that wouldn't fit in the CRV.
Mike, you're my hero.

To the original poster, I would say since you're planning on having the car as a daily driver, stick with an oil change every 5,000 miles, or once a year should you not make it to that mileage, which I doubt. If you get a good synthetic like MOTUL you could get much more out of it, and 5,000 would be erring on the side of caution, which I'd say is wise. I still am amazed that the little 2.5 really takes nearly 9 quarts of oil and puts it to use, but you're looking at maybe $300/yr for oil changes, if that, since you plan on doing them yourself. It could be worse.

I can't give you specific experience when it comes to an '05 as I own a '97 and I'm still learning about it daily, but if you can comfortably have aside a few thousand dollars a year for any maintenance that can come up, and you're willing to take a few dives and DIY some of the things that may occur that aren't your run of the mill oil change, brakes, etc., pick up Wayne Dempsey's 101 Boxster Projects, a Bentley manual, as well as shop around online for some parts, you'll save yourself a good amount of money and enjoy the car and the fact that you're the one keeping it on the road more often than not. Mikefocke has an awesome website full of info, and you have a lot of other people here at your disposal to help you out with whatever will come.

1997 Arctic Silver Boxster, 5-spd
Robbins glass window top
Overdrive is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2011, 03:36 PM   #13
Certified Boxster Addict
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 7,517
Rule #1: There are no cheap Porsche's.

With that being said, many of the previous posters provided some good insight, but the reality is that as your car ages in years and miles, you need to expect and be prepared for a typical annual cost of ~$1,000. And always have $2,000 in reserve just in case something expensive happens.

Repair costs: (ask me how I know)

Tires: $800-$1000
Clutch: $1500-$2400 (don't forget that expensive dual mass flywheel!)
Brakes: $300-$700 (pads/rotors)
Oil Change: $85 (DIY, 9qts of Mobil 1 + filter + 2 beers) every 3,000 miles
60K Service: $350 (DIY parts only) or $750 (local shop) or $900 (dealer)
Front motor mount: $400
1999 996 C2 - sold - bought back - sold for more
1997 Spec Boxster BSR #254
1979 911 SC
POC Licensed DE/TT Instructor

Last edited by thstone; 08-01-2011 at 03:39 PM.
thstone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2011, 04:26 PM   #14
Registered User
tonycarreon's Avatar
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Frederick, MD
Posts: 1,396

so far, i'm in for $5,658.31 since may 2009, including the new GAHH top (upgrade, not required), plus around $425 in oil changes (i do my own). i bought the car with 65k miles and i've put 25K miles on it. except the alternator ($237) nothing was a complete failure requiring replacement. the strut mount ($445), motor mount ($314) and control arm ($500) were failing, but had not failed. the rest were preventative/maintenance items.

60k Mile Service
Headlight Assembly Connector
Strut Mount
Air Filter
Polyrib Belt
Coolant Cap Update
Cabin Filter
Replace Sparkplugs
Replace Fuel Filter
Replace Engine Mount
CV Boots
4 Tires
Replace Alternator
Brake System Flush
Lower Control Arm
Oil Changes (x4)

prior to my ownership, the only records i have include:
15k mile service
gas cap recall
brake fluid flush
shift cable recall
30k mile service
45 mile service
mass air flow sensor
rear main seal
throttle body cleaning
along with tires, headlights, wipers and oil changes...

"Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary... that's what gets you."

Last edited by tonycarreon; 08-01-2011 at 04:37 PM.
tonycarreon is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:14 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2018 Pelican Parts, LLC - Posts may be archived for display on the Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page