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Old 07-30-2012, 08:30 AM   #1
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Question seeking input from boxster onwers on their 986

starting the process of looking around for a boxster and am facing the same question all of you did before buying, which engine what year and how many miles. i would be very appreciative if you would post what you bought and why (year mileage and engine).

initially i am thinking of either a 2002 or 2003 S type manual with under 90K miles.

TIA
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:37 AM   #2
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I picked a 2001 S because 2001 was a transition year for the electronics and therefore I can update or backdate when I decide to swap the motor for a 3.4 or 3.6.
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:43 AM   #3
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I was looking at 2000 - 2004 and bought a 2003 S with ~45K miles for a few reasons:

1) 2003 has Rear Glass Window & I'm in Chicago, so thought it would be nicer for winter
2) Drove a base & an S, and I would have felt like I was missing the HP (particularly after driving a few 987s as well!)
3) Right option package -- The S I found had PSM, which I also wanted for winter, earlier models had different Traction Control options, but I didn't find it on many I looked at
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:46 AM   #4
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an S 2002 or newer with as low milage as you can afford to buy. 30 to 50K would be good.
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:58 AM   #5
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It took me a year of looking to find what I got. I ended up getting an 01 S with just under 46k miles. I like the S because the higher torque engine pulls better with the close ratio 6sp. than a std Boxster. To me its a bit more tractable and forgiving in slower traffic. Getting an S was secondary compared to getting a low mile well maintained model, I got lucky and ended up with both. I had considered an 05 because of the new interior and other upgrades, but didn't find anything in my financial comfort zone.
One thing I would rather have is the glass rear window, even as well kept (and garaged) as this one is the plastic is showing its age.
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:43 AM   #6
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its really all about what your actually going to use the car for? if your going to sit in stop and go traffic commuting to work then avoid a manual..also find one with a full service history for major repairs and maintainance its not always about lowest mileage car..the car i ended up with was not my first choice but after a great score on a prepurchase inspection i pulled the trigger and have had a great time ever since
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:56 AM   #7
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Got a MY2000 base because the deal was way too good to turn down. I don't need the "S", the extra HP/torque was not an attraction. Also had a MY2001 base that I was very happy with years ago. I've been around the 2005 and did not care at all for the dash set-up.
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:22 AM   #8
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I bought a 2002 base Boxster with 64,000 miles October of last year previous owner had spent close to $6000 in repairs and maintenance, I paid $9000 for the car. I put another $2,500 into the car for new top,IMS & RMS now I have a new car it's bulletproof for $11,500 You cannot find a cheaper performance car then the Boxster.
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:52 AM   #9
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I bought a 2001 Boxster base with 30k miles last year and have put on 10k miles trouble free. Glass rear window 2003 and on would be nice though. Have manual trans., did not need the S. Now have great air. cond. and heated seats. Make sure u get the options u want. PPI is mandatory unless u know what u are doing. Enjoy the search. Don't be in a hurry!Try the tiptronic if feel the need for the city.
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:59 AM   #10
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Bought a low miles 2003S (20k miles)

Wanted an S
Wanted glass window
Wanted a pre 2005 (I'm big and needed to do a console delete)

Car has done a bunch of long trips and so far has been hassle free. FUN!
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:28 AM   #11
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Base your decision on finding the most well maintained, best condition boxster that has a scrutable history behind it. I wouldn't obsess over the model the year - the negligible differences between them is not enough to take precedence over a well sorted vehicle .
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:33 AM   #12
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Bought a 2001 S because:

- More power is more fun and I didn't ever want "S" envy so it had to be an "S".
- It was the color I wanted...Black
- Manual 6 speed transmission was a requirement since its a Sport car and I find the shifting part of the fun. Its no big deal in traffic and the shifting helps keep you amused and your muscles moving so you don't get sore.
- There were no leaks of any kind on the underside, engine or ground during the PPI, still true today.
- The owner had detailed records back to the original owner and you could see took good care of the car. Only RMS replaced so far.
- It had only 55K miles
- The 3rd radiator in the S model helps keep things cooler. Excessive heat is the engines enemy.
- Bigger brakes on the S model.
- It was in my price range for a second car $14,500

Did my own PPI, 2 hours at the private sellers house.

Discovered:
- Driver seat recline not operational, but it was in the perfect position so I keep forgetting to investigate the fuse, wiring, switch and seat motor.
- RMS seal has been replaced at a dealership along with a new clutch after 45K.
- Needs new rear tires, got a $500 discount from the seller.

Missed:

- That it did not come with the Wheel lock lug nut key so I will have to find a way to get the 4 locking lug nuts off without a key.
- Wind shield wiper sprayer did not work. Thanks to this forum it took 20 minutes to find and reattach the fluid reservoir hose and add a hose clamp to prevent a future disconnect there.

I think spending a little less so you have $1000 budget to do some catch up maintenance right away and minor fixes is a good idea.
Typically a seller will not do the last maintenance if he knows he is going to sell the car soon.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:43 PM   #13
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I bought a base triptonic with 55,000 miles three years ago.I paid $10,500.I bought it from the original owner with all service record and bill of sale.I have not done anything to it except normal servicing(changed plugs,serpentine belt,air filter,wheel spacers).Absolutely no problems with it and still enjoy it very much.I was not looking for a car but a friend of mine wanted me to search for a Boxster for him.I found this one but he did not want artic silver so I bought it instead.I eventually found a 1999 base Boxster with 45,000 miles lapis blue with tan interior and sport wheels.I had a ppo done on it and only got new tires,spark plugs.This was three years ago and it is still running strong with no issues.It is always stressful buying a car for a friend not knowing if it will breakdown in a week and he blames you for it.Anyway it all turned out fine and we both enjoy our toy.Take your time,there are a lot of nice Boxsters out there for your pleasure.
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:24 PM   #14
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I bought a 2001 S with 64,000 miles. It had a great service history with a meticulous previous owner. I am glad that I got the S, but if the right base had come along at the right price, I probably would have bought it. Key for me was a 1 or 2 owner with a service history. I also wanted the grey interior since I am in Texas and it helps a little over the black interior with the relentless sun. I am not a big fan of the tan. I drove several Boxsters and the one I eventually bought was head and shoulders above the rest. You could tell it had been well cared for.
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lsg5cxoJ View Post
starting the process of looking around for a boxster and am facing the same question all of you did before buying, which engine what year and how many miles. i would be very appreciative if you would post what you bought and why (year mileage and engine).

initially i am thinking of either a 2002 or 2003 S type manual with under 90K miles.

TIA
Let us know what u decide on. We are here for u!PPI is a must.Service history is recommended.
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:27 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainman View Post
an S 2002 or newer with as low milage as you can afford to buy. 30 to 50K would be good.
That's what I did….2002 Boxster S….you will not think twice about another car again. Whereas, I know a few folks who have the Base model. They are smitten with my S! Once they drive it…they cannot go back!

So if you do NOT have the cash for an S - don't drive one or you'll be sorry!
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Old 07-31-2012, 06:58 AM   #17
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I drove 8 cars before choosing my Boxster. A mix of base and "S" models from 1997-2004 and many were pretty thrashed or poorly maintained. I chose a 98 because it was a one owner car with 67K miles, perfect maintenance history, and drove like it was new. It is a light weight strippy with no nanny controls or bells and whistles. The only creature comfort is an excellent A/C system.

I paid top dollar for a car with this year and mileage but it has been worth every penny. Everything works. After 7 years of ownership it has been very reliable although I have done several modifications and expected maintenance for a 14 year old car with 100k miles. Very satisfied owner with no plans to change horses.
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Old 07-31-2012, 07:52 AM   #18
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wow many thanks for the responses. i am going to look at a 2001 s with 65K that might fit the bill later this week. Hardest thing for me will be to take it slow and get the right car. in the end i am assuming it will be 2003 S for me. blue w gray int looks very sharp. I like the glass rear window. I also like the "5 spoke" porsche wheels.



I would be curious to hear what options you have found to be best used, ie traction control, heated seats. that is one area where I am not as sure what I really want. I live in NC close to beach so it is very hot/muggy in summer.

also thanks to recycledsixtie for the kind sentiments below, half the fun of buying a car like a Porsche Boxster is getting to know some of the other people that share the same passion for the car.

"Let us know what u decide on. We are here for u!PPI is a must.Service history is recommended. "
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Old 07-31-2012, 01:36 PM   #19
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For me a solid maintenance history is critical. After that I'd look for somewhere in the 50k to 70k miles on the clock. Anything in the 90k or 100k range and you're looking at a lot of suspension parts and other things wearing out. Cars with really low miles on them can be bad as well. Lack of exercise.

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Old 08-01-2012, 01:00 AM   #20
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Quote:
initially i am thinking of either a 2002 or 2003 S type manual with under 90K miles.
I have a Boxster S with over 100k on it, it was bought with high mileage, but came form a Porsche specialist, who not only stood behind the car for a year, but also advised me that any time i wanted to sell it, to give them a call as they would out offer any other dealer. They had also sold the car to the previous owner to me, who had changed to a Cayman.

So i had plenty of faith in the car and the support behind it.

Since I've had it, the only breakdown i have had is a coil pack go bad. Though, i have kept on top of the car since day one, anything that is looking like it will need to be done, gets done, i've been through the suspension, the cooling the brakes etc etc. a well maintaned example will always fetch more dollars than one that needs money thrown at it. People are more than suprised at the condition of mine for its mileage and i still have many asks to sell mine from boxster hunters and in gas stations.

The point is, maintenance is the big issue, as Johnny Danger and others have pointed out.

I've been to look at a number of cars for friends that have significanlty lower mileage than mine, but are frankly rough and need money thrown at them; condensors, rads, brakes all round, worn out bushes, tyres, more often than not many are fitted cheap arse no-make tyres. Mileage shouldnt be a problem if the car has been maintained properly. if the car has been properly looked after it should cause you little problem and cost less to maintain.

As others have said, buy the best example you can.. that is *not* the most expensive one you can find, but the best maintained one.
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