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Old 04-08-2013, 12:14 PM   #1
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Should I be nervous buying 2001 Base with just 31K miles?

I am considering buying a 2001 base 5 speed with 31K miles from a Mercedes dealer. Should I be nervous? Alternately, I am looking at a 2000 base with 40K miles for about $1100 less. The condition is comparable... solid interior and exterior with a few light scrapes here and there.

I've heard there can be issues if the cars are not driven enough... Any advice?

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Old 04-08-2013, 12:24 PM   #2
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I got a 2003 S with 26,000 miles about a year ago. Since then I have put on about 14,000 and use as my daily driver, and whenever I get an excuse to drive it vehicle.

I have had ZERO problems.

Get the PPI done, if all clears it will be $1,100 more well spent.

Misread the comparisons. The $1,100 might not matter either way, everything else remains the same!
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Last edited by Coffinhunter; 04-08-2013 at 12:29 PM. Reason: oops, misread...
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:26 PM   #3
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I have owned an '01 base boxster for 4 yrs and currently have 47k miles on it, and never any issues. I just spent a few thousand on brakes and cat delete pipes and ecu flash. I live the car but am closing on a house and am looking to sell it as money is tight. Let me know if you are interested. I am in Long Island
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:37 PM   #4
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On the face of it the S sounds like the better option of the two. The extra power is mighty useful on real world streets where regular cars today have more power than than back in 2001. The S engine also has some internal upgrades that didnt make their way into even the base Carrera engine.

Total mileage is not created equally. You might have one driver who used the car on long trips once or twice a week. While another used it more frequently but on very short trips that didnt allow the engine enough time to clear out. So you need a bit more background on the driver habits.
An oil analysis by blackstone labs would probably be a good thing given the low mileage, that could give you some insight into the care and maintenance.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:44 PM   #5
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They're both base models, or that's how I read it.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:55 PM   #6
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Yes, both are base models

Hi, Yes these two particular ones are both base models that I'm looking at. One has lower miles (by about 10K) and costs about 1,100 more. Have been worried about the low miles due to similar concerns mentioned here in the replies. But I am hugely encouraged by the comments of those buying low mile cars and having no issues in reliability. I will definitely look into Blackstone labs as well.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:10 PM   #7
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If the 2000 was an early production one with the dual row IMS bearing, there is a huge advantage: figures released by Porsche in the course of the class-action suit indicate that the failure rate for the dual row bearings was substantially less than 1%, while the single row bearing was 8 - 10%! While it is possible that the 2001 has a dual row bearing, one cannot be confident without removing the bearing (and the transmission and clutch). If the engine serial number of the 2000 is prior to M651 12851, when the single row bearing was first introduced, it has the dual row bearing.

Otherwise, the only differences between the 2000 and 2001 base models was:
1. interior lining on the top.
2. a three, rather than four spoke steering wheel.
3. In 2001 the HVAC controls were moved to an inconvenient location behind the shifter (where there had previously been a storage compartment) in order to allow the installation of virtually useless cupholders ( useful for only small cups, have a very low lip, and allow spilled liquids to drip/run down over the stereo and electronic HVAC controls)!
4, Inexplicably, in 2001 the digital speedometer was made smaller and moved from the bottom of the tachometer (allowing the driver to see both RPM's and speed at one glance) to the bottom of the analogue speedometer.
5. The mechanical frunk (front trunk release) was replaced with an electric one, creating problems getting at a dead battery.

Really, with confirmation of the vastly superior reliability of the dual row bearings over the later single row, one could argue that the early 2000 base 2.7 and 3.2 S are best of the 986 Boxsters? Why? They still have the double row bearings, but get the larger engines with more horsepower and torque (and much more flexibility), better gear ratios, longer rear arms for less bump-steer, improved ergonomics (lighted vanity mirrors, rear parcel shelf with sliding doors, rear seat map pockets, aluminum/leather shift knobs, aluminum door handles etc.), while maintaining the low weight of the original. While the later 2003 did get a glass rear window and a glove box, the weight was up - and in the case of the top, the weight of the window and the additioinal top bow put the increased weight up high, where it is decidedly unwanted.

Anyway, I would check the serial number of the 2000 and if it was manufactured prior to the introduction of the single row bearing, consider that a massive plus.

Brad

Last edited by southernstar; 04-08-2013 at 01:11 PM. Reason: sp
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:16 PM   #8
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I'd say they have been both driven the same # miles per year approximately.

Between 2,600 mi/mth for the 2001 and ~3000/mth for the 2000 so they both got enough miles to keep things lubed and moving.

I'd go for the 2001 model as there were a few upgrades/improvements in the systems if I recall correctly.

Honestly, if it were me, I'd hold out for an S model as you can't have too much power and the resale value will be better. The S increases the FUN factor and that's why we drive them, so...
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:02 PM   #9
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Interesting.... So if I'm getting this right, the tradeoff for the two years is that the 2001 and onward will give the improvements in padded top, cup holder and seatbelt (and some small styling items) while early 2000 and earlier (engine serial number of the 2000 is prior to M651 12851) will give a better chance of avoiding complete engine failure due to IMS.

Did I get that right?
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:23 PM   #10
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I have a 2001 Boxster base bought 2 years ago with 30k miles and now has 40k miles. It has heated seats(is that important to you?). I have had cv joints redone and the Ims Guardian installed. Could not be happier. Don't rush. It's a buyers market. Get a PPI done on the one you are serious about. Make sure it has the options you want- manual trans. or tiptronic etc etc..... enjoy!
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:14 PM   #11
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I have a 2001 S with 22,000 miles on it. No issues.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:37 PM   #12
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I bought my 99 with 45k miles on it, it sat in a barn for 8 years with about one drive a year. since then It has been a dream to drive.
BUT
if i were you, dont buy a base!!!!!! wait an extra paycheck or several and get an S. I always look for an affordable S, and when i do, i will sell my base in a heart beat.
regardless they are all fun
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:37 AM   #13
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No real styling changes until 2003 and apart from the padded top and arguably the new steering wheel, many consider the other detail changes in MY 2001 to be negative rather than positive. The most significant upgrades over MY 1997 - 1999: the engine (2.7 versus 2.5), gear ratios, fly by wire throttle and brushed aluminum interior trim all came in the 2000 model year.

What is not a matter of opinion, however, is that the mid 2000 MY change to a single row IMS bearing was a disaster (as even Porsche is about to acknowledge if the settlement goes through). Indeed, the dramatically higher failure rate of the single-row bearings as opposed to the earlier double row bearings was the principle evidence in favour of the plaintiffs.

Not saying that the 2001's aren't great cars. Lets face it, the IMS failure rate is only 8-10% so it is highly likely that you will not suffer a failure. Of course, if you do, the value of the car will drop to about 2-3 K as a roller! Yes, you can replace the single row factory bearing with a single row ceramic bearing (or one with a stronger center cap bolt from Pelican), but you are still stuck with a single row bearing.

If you have a double-row bearing, you can essentially ignore the worry (significantly less than 1% failure rate), especially if you change the oil at shorter intervals and install a magnetic drain plug. If and when you need a new clutch, as the labour costs are very little more, you can then choose to replace the IMS bearing. A word of caution here: the allegedly upgraded Pelican bearing for the earlier double-rows is actually a downgrade to a single row with a spacer!

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Old 04-09-2013, 06:26 AM   #14
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I bought a 2003 in 2008 with 14k miles on it. Now it has about 25k miles and has had zero issues so far. Someday, I'll replace the IMS when the clutch needs to be replaced, but until then I'm going to drive it on nice days and enjoy it.
If I have an IMSB failure, I'll look to upgrade to a 3.6 liter and make the car a real screamer to drive.
I looked for my car for about 1 year before buying one. I had a specific list of options that were important to me and I wanted only a 2003 or 2004 S. Mostly because of the glass rear window in the top. When the right car came along I negotiated a great price and bought it.
Don't be in a hurry there are a lot of them out there.
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:41 AM   #15
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So all this Boxster S talk has now made me widen my search a bit here. Here's what I've found in my range, including one S, though with higher miles...

Option 1: 2000 Boxster S with 62K mi "that idles a bit high sometimes when it is trying to cool down but other than that is in perfect condition" - I can pick up for $13.5 plus $350 inspection at dealer and 3 hour drive = $14K

Option 2: 2000 Boxster Base with 40K mi and upgraded factory rims (nice). Also in top condition. Can pick up for estimated $13K plus PPI and shipping = $14K

Option 3: 2001 Boxster Base with 31K mi. Can pick up for estimated $14K plus PPI and shipping = $15K

Any violent opinions either way? ***I should mention that reliability (or at least the greatest chance of it!) is important to me... do the mechanicals in the S make it any more reliable even with the higher miles? Or is it better to get it with lower miles? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

And thanks again everyone for all the great feedback already!
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:34 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnicholson30 View Post
So all this Boxster S talk has now made me widen my search a bit here. Here's what I've found in my range, including one S, though with higher miles...

Option 1: 2000 Boxster S with 62K mi "that idles a bit high sometimes when it is trying to cool down but other than that is in perfect condition" - I can pick up for $13.5 plus $350 inspection at dealer and 3 hour drive = $14K

Option 2: 2000 Boxster Base with 40K mi and upgraded factory rims (nice). Also in top condition. Can pick up for estimated $13K plus PPI and shipping = $14K

Option 3: 2001 Boxster Base with 31K mi. Can pick up for estimated $14K plus PPI and shipping = $15K

Any violent opinions either way? ***I should mention that reliability (or at least the greatest chance of it!) is important to me... do the mechanicals in the S make it any more reliable even with the higher miles? Or is it better to get it with lower miles? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

And thanks again everyone for all the great feedback already!
You really have to drive the ones you are most interested in and take in the entire experience. I drove a couple of cars that had serious issues that were apparent when driving them.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:30 AM   #17
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I agree totally with Dave S - you have to drive them and, unless you are purchasing from a Porsche dealer (where they should provide one), get a PPI on any Porsche that is out of the factory warranty period. As to the 2000 S - they are no more or less reliable than the base version, if maintained and driven equally.

Take note that the 60,000 mile point is one where a major service is required (and which should have been done prior to purchase - e.g., changing serpentine belt, brake fluid, coolant etc.); furthermore, it is a point at which numerous owners have experienced the need to replace various components including the clutch, air/oil separator, water pump, coolant reservoir, MAF sensor. My own car is approaching that mileage (57,000 miles) and I am debating replacing the air/oil separator and water pump, even though there are no signs of problems with either to this point.

Brad
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:33 AM   #18
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I agree also that you really need to drive them. I drove some that looked great on"paper" but once on the road it was very obvious that it was not the "one". When I drove my 2001 S, I knew right away that it was the right Boxster. Pictures, descriptions, etc can only go so far. The feel of the car will tell you whether or not to go to the next step and get a PPI. Also, be on the look out for the service history.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:52 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by southernstar View Post
If the 2000 was an early production one with the dual row IMS bearing, there is a huge advantage: figures released by Porsche in the course of the class-action suit indicate that the failure rate for the dual row bearings was substantially less than 1%, while the single row bearing was 8 - 10%! While it is possible that the 2001 has a dual row bearing, one cannot be confident without removing the bearing (and the transmission and clutch). If the engine serial number of the 2000 is prior to M651 12851, when the single row bearing was first introduced, it has the dual row bearing.

Otherwise, the only differences between the 2000 and 2001 base models was:
1. interior lining on the top.
2. a three, rather than four spoke steering wheel.
3. In 2001 the HVAC controls were moved to an inconvenient location behind the shifter (where there had previously been a storage compartment) in order to allow the installation of virtually useless cupholders ( useful for only small cups, have a very low lip, and allow spilled liquids to drip/run down over the stereo and electronic HVAC controls)!
4, Inexplicably, in 2001 the digital speedometer was made smaller and moved from the bottom of the tachometer (allowing the driver to see both RPM's and speed at one glance) to the bottom of the analogue speedometer.
5. The mechanical frunk (front trunk release) was replaced with an electric one, creating problems getting at a dead battery.

Really, with confirmation of the vastly superior reliability of the dual row bearings over the later single row, one could argue that the early 2000 base 2.7 and 3.2 S are best of the 986 Boxsters? Why? They still have the double row bearings, but get the larger engines with more horsepower and torque (and much more flexibility), better gear ratios, longer rear arms for less bump-steer, improved ergonomics (lighted vanity mirrors, rear parcel shelf with sliding doors, rear seat map pockets, aluminum/leather shift knobs, aluminum door handles etc.), while maintaining the low weight of the original. While the later 2003 did get a glass rear window and a glove box, the weight was up - and in the case of the top, the weight of the window and the additioinal top bow put the increased weight up high, where it is decidedly unwanted.

Anyway, I would check the serial number of the 2000 and if it was manufactured prior to the introduction of the single row bearing, consider that a massive plus.

Brad
Wow, this is heavy ammo for the sales ad of my MY 2000
Guess I can price at a level comparable with 2005 and newer...
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:23 AM   #20
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Wouldn't that be nice! Assuming your 2000 was built before the change-over to single row bearings, however, it shouldn't hurt in selling it to a knowlegeable buyer.

Brad

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