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Old 11-04-2005, 01:21 AM   #1
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Angry 5 problems on my 97 Boxster cost $5,125?!?!?

After having great time with my 97 Boxster for about 1 month, nightmare started: I bought my baby to Porsche dealer to fix the RMS leak yesterday and they call me today telling me 5 bad news:

1) The Mass Air Flow Sensor is bad. It will cost me $500 for part and $300 for labor.

2) The Convertible Top doesn't go back down evenly, had to loosen parts to contact the top. There are 20 parts need to be replaced in order to fix this issue. It costs me $1,700 for parts and $800 for Labor.

3) Hand break need to be adjusted. It will cost me $135.

4) Coolant leak due to either the tube or tank is broken. Need to remove the fuel tank in order to inspect which part is broken. Lots of labor require so it will cost me $1,700 for this issue.

5) Motor mount need to be replaced. My extended warranty cover that.

I almost fell out of my chair when he told me my bill is gonna be $5,135. Does the charge make sense? Are those problems considered major? Can any of those problems be "DIYable"? I don't wanna let the "Stealership" to rip me off I paid $20K for my Box, $3k for extended warranty, $676 for 30K service, $250 for tires, $150 for alignment...etc. I don't wanna pay another $5K after I brought my car for 1 month. Any opinion will be appreciated


Last edited by 97Boxsterian; 11-04-2005 at 01:23 AM.
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Old 11-04-2005, 01:35 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear about the problem. I'm not an expert but I think the only major problem is the coolant leak. It might be a pain to investigate which part that actually causes the leaking. Other adjustments such as MAF, hand break, convertible top can probably be done by yourself. That way you can save maybe 2000 or 3000 bucks for DIY.
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Old 11-04-2005, 06:23 AM   #3
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Did you get a Porsche Used Car Inspection on this car? If so you may have some grounds for them missing some pretty obvious things?

I assume the RMS leak is being done under warranty?

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Old 11-04-2005, 06:26 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by 99-Boxster-MK
Did you get a Porsche Used Car Inspection on this car? If so you may have some grounds for them missing some pretty obvious things?

I assume the RMS leak is being done under warranty?

Mike


How many years is the RMS under warrenty...this car is 8+ years old?
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Old 11-04-2005, 07:05 AM   #5
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It seems to me that you have several issues to address:

Who sold you this car and did you get it inspected prior to purchase? You may have grounds against either or both of these parties as it appears they may have let you down a tad here.

Pull out your extended warranty and get very informed as to what is supposed to be covered. Insist that all that should be covered WILL be covered.

On the face of this, you are either very unlucky, gullilble (hope not) or you have been had.

Try to figure out which and if you can, seek some redress.

Keep asking questions, we are here for you!

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Old 11-04-2005, 07:48 AM   #6
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put it up for sale and try to get the extended warranty canceled, if not see if its transferable to the new owner they often are.
There are many great boxsters available for $25K and probably in newer model years no need to be married to this one forever.
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Old 11-04-2005, 08:19 AM   #7
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$300 labor to change a Mass airflow sensor???? That is insane. I would change it myself for sure. Was your check engine light on? Preaty sure it would come on if it is bad.
Coolant tank or tube? Coolant tank is in the back, see if you smell any colant in the rear trunk or pull up the carpet and look. As for the tube, I don't know what they are talking about on that one..But off hand do not see why the gas tank is needing to come out(unless their is a tube their that they are talking about). I RR my coolant tank this summer. I got the tank at Zimms Auto Technic for $259 and some change. With a 3rd hand this is a easy job, without a third hand it's dam near inpossable, lol.

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Old 11-04-2005, 01:58 PM   #8
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You might want to..

chat with a few local porsche club members and see who they use for repairs other than Porsche dealers. Most of what you'ree talking about can be done by a repair shop that does Porsche work for a labor rate a lot less than the dealer--I'm guessing a difference of $20-30/hour. I'm guessing there are a lot of good Porsche repair shops in the LA area.

The top issue is a know problem on early cars; Porsche changed the cables in '99' IIRC.

Unless I missed it, was this bought from a private party or dealer? If a dealer you should have recourse.
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Old 11-04-2005, 03:20 PM   #9
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I agree with some of the other folks. There is no need to panic just yet.
Your car appears to have been the victim of some deferred maintenance, but nothing that is not fixable.
As advised, find yourself a trustworthy independant Porsche repair shop and show them the list of stuff that needs to be done, then level with them about your ability to swallow the bitter pill of the repairs, and take them one at a time from a priority list.
At the end of the day you will have the Boxster you wanted, and will have the satisfaction of knowing you did not simply pass the problem(s) on to some other poor soul.
If it makes you feel better, think of the guy that is going to end up with a Boxster that was under water in New Orleans for a month.
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Old 11-04-2005, 03:31 PM   #10
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1) The Mass Airflow Sensor is literally a 5 minute DIY job! AND...you can find the sensor through vendors other than the dealer for hundreds less than what you were quoted.

2)The Top...search renntech org for problems and answers to the top...maybe its not as bad as they say...hell for $2500 i would try to fix myself!

3)The hand brake...nothing special about this...its a HAND BRAKE like all other cars! If it seems OK to you then don't worry about it at all. If it is bothering you I'm sure a basic mechanic can adjust it for under $50.

4)Coolant Leak...This is a pretty normal problem that has been talked up a bunch...go to renntech.org and see how to change yourself. Other than being a bit of a pain in the ass to change its really not hard to do. Save yourself the $1500 and spend 3+ hours changing it yourself.

5)The extended warranty...for $3000 it sure doesn't cover much! Why even have it? Cancel it immediatly 'cause your getting screwed!

Good luck!
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Old 11-04-2005, 05:16 PM   #11
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great points x -- indeed, renntech even has a whole forum dedicated to top issues alone:

http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?showforum=46
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Old 11-04-2005, 06:47 PM   #12
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which dealer in LA did you take it to?
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Old 11-05-2005, 04:29 AM   #13
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hi boxsterian
it is funny but you seem to have similar problems with your 97 as I had with mine(i have since change for an 2000 S)
the airflow unit is very expensive I kept the old one as a souvenir on my office shelf, it is only made by bosch and to my knowledge cannot be purchase outside an official porsche part supplier, I even tried Germany but the cost in Euro is around 500.
this unit as it is called regulate the air flow going into your engine and when faulty your motor will not run on 6 cylinder but less and causes misfire.
an other problem that I encounter is with the water pump which litterally snap, maybe you should keep an eye on this too, it snapped the supply belt and everything on the boxster in run by this belt (this is NOT the timing belt as there isn't one on the Box but a chain is used instead)
If you manage to buy and change the airflow mass unit yourself you will have to get it set up with a porsche approved electronic unit which connect under the passenger side of the dashboard.
I hope you can get your car sorted out quickly and cheaply to get you back motoring
it is madness to deal with a porsche dealership to repair a 97 Box, find a good local porsche specialist which will charge probably half the cost and have all the needed tools.

Last edited by olly986; 11-05-2005 at 04:34 AM.
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Old 11-05-2005, 10:00 PM   #14
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Thank you for all valuable advices! I appreciate that a lot!
Since the motor mount and RMS leak are covered by the warranty, I am not worried about that. I guess I will fix the rest of problem myself. The priority are:
1) Coolant leak and Mass Air Flow Sensor
2) Top issue
3) Hand break adjustment (may be I just live with it or just fix it when I have nothing to do in the future)

My Box is my wife's daily driver and we drive it out to dinner and grocery market every weekend. We don't feel anything wrong with it except sometime need to try 2-3 times to get the engine. The check engine light of my car never on, I doubt how serious the Coolant leak and MAF problems are. I check the oil and coolant level once a week and found both tank are always full. I notice both RMS leak and coolant in about 3 weeks ago when I bought my Box to a Porsche specialist to do the 30K service. He said it is not so bad and can be fixed in November when my extended warranty ready. I check the ground of my garage and see no coolant drop and just couple drops of engine oil every night. I smell no coolant on the back trunk so I assume my coolant leak is not so bad. I think the service rep from Porsche dealer just makes it a big deal and want my business.

I bought my box in a local used car dealer. I called them several time and they sound like they don't want to be responsible for that. I don't want to spend time with them and I will try to fix my car as soon as possible and may go back to sue the dealer for the money and time I spend on this mass. My advice for all used car shopper: PPI is a MUST and stay away from used car dealership.

Last edited by 97Boxsterian; 11-05-2005 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 11-06-2005, 01:59 AM   #15
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hi boxsterian
the mass airflow problem I had did not show on any dashboard light and as you mention the hard starting there is an explanation on your other thread about right amount of air for fuel to ignite your engine, I believe the airflow is more than likely your start problem
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Old 11-06-2005, 07:09 AM   #16
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"PI is a MUST and stay away from used car dealership."

I agree a PPI is prudent and always recommend them to my buyers.

My bias here is clear--I am a used care dealer, specializing in Porsche and Corvette.

I can tell you that all dealers like, all people, are not alike.

There are plenty of reputable dealers and then there are those who are not.

This is similar to private party sellers. Some are selling to you with full disclosure, some are not.

Specific to your issues, I can tell you that some of the issues that have arisen would NOT have been detected by most dealers. The coolant leak is certainly one, the MAF the other.

I am not defending nor attacking your selling dealer, I simply do not have enough info to have any informed opinion.

However, broad generalizations are normally avoided because they are so often wrong.

Caveat Emptor and Good Luck with your warranty coverage.

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Old 11-06-2005, 09:18 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by olly986
hi boxsterian
the mass airflow problem I had did not show on any dashboard light and as you mention the hard starting there is an explanation on your other thread about right amount of air for fuel to ignite your engine, I believe the airflow is more than likely your start problem
I agree with you. I plan to clean MAF first and see if the problem goes away. If not, I will replace it. Thanks for your opinion!
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Old 11-06-2005, 05:50 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Brucelee
"PI is a MUST and stay away from used car dealership."

I agree a PPI is prudent and always recommend them to my buyers.

My bias here is clear--I am a used care dealer, specializing in Porsche and Corvette.

I can tell you that all dealers like, all people, are not alike.

There are plenty of reputable dealers and then there are those who are not.

.......

Let me correct my previous comment about used car dealership:
Not all used car dealerships are bad, just need to find a trustworthy one. Not only research on the car before you buy it but also research on the dealership's reputation too.
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Old 11-06-2005, 07:32 PM   #19
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"Let me correct my previous comment about used car dealership:
Not all used car dealerships are bad, just need to find a trustworthy one. Not only research on the car before you buy it but also research on the dealership's reputation too."

Absolutely! As I indicated, there are dealerships that give the rest of us a bad name.

Again, if I can assist you with information of any kind, please feel free to ask.

Thanks and good luck!

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Old 11-09-2005, 12:59 AM   #20
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Unhappy

Problems update:
Porsche Dealer called me today saying my extended warranty will not cover RMS leak because it is an existing condition when I bought my car in a month ago.

Another funny story they told me is the coolant leak is caused by a screw which mount the after-market CD changer was screwed in one of the coolant hose. The one who installed the CD changer for the last owner must be an idiot. The Porsche Dealer guy told me replacing the host is away more time consuming than replacing the coolant tank coz there are lots of coolant hoses go around the engine and underneath the car. He said they need to remove the fuel tank in order to get into the leaking spot of the coolant host.

After searching in renntech.org, I am confident to try to replace the MAF sensor and coolant tank myself. But now, it seems like the problem is not about the coolant tank but the hoses. I guess I have no choice but going after the seller for that. Should I just let the Porsche dealer fix those and then send the bill to the seller? Has anyone ever filed small claim against car seller? Do I have a case here?

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