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Old 05-08-2013, 09:48 AM   #1
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My '97 hit 100,000mi today, will it make it to 150K, 175K, or 200K? Details provided.

I bought my ’97 Boxster recently with 96,000mi and yesterday hit the 100,000mi mark. While I realize there are no guarantees and it is impossible to predict, I was hoping to get some informed guesses on the chances (percentage) of this car making it (without catastrophic failure) to 150,000, 175,000, or 200,000 miles. I am providing relevant information (past, present, and future). I can’t think of a better group that would have insight into how Boxsters age/fail and provide the most informed opinions.

Past
- Purchased with 96,000mi
- Car was one of the first 1000 made, and in Germany
- Three prior owners each around the same duration (New York, California, and Arizona)
- No major gaps in use, averaged 3,000-6,000mi per year
- Rear main seal replaced under warrantee early in its life
-No evidence of engine or transmission replacement
- Zero overrevs logged
- Total hours around 3,100, at the 97,000mi mark
- Engine oil changed every 1,500 to 2,500mi for most of its life
- Water pump replaced
- Original AOS
- I am fairly certain IMSB has not been replaced

Present
- After 3,000 miles, oil level (based on dash) has not dropped a single bar
- Mileage is consistently 25-27 MPG, mostly highway driving
- According to my experience mechanic, that has built many spec Boxsters, “it pulls very strong”
- Value train noise at start up. Louder and last longer (always less than 1 second) when the car has not been driven for more than a day.
- No other engine noises while driving
- NO leaks
- Transmission has a moderate “grind” going into 3rd under hard acceleration and at higher RPMs. Being very deliberate I can avoid it when shifting below 5K RPM.
- Transaxle fluid changed at 97,000mi. Mechanic said “it was gross, lots of brass….” Shifts better but still grinds into 3rd unless I am very careful

Future
- I live in Arizona and will drive year around
- Continued daily driver, 4-5 days a week, 50 miles a day, mostly highway with little traffic. Slide around a few turns and try to hit 6K at least a few times a day….
- Using Mobil 1, but will change to some “better” soon and change every 5-6K mi
- Given clutch is fresh (likely replace around 75-80K mi), I have no plans to change the IMSB. I am easy on clutches and would expect it to last until close to 200k
- Keep stock, no major modifications
- I will reasonable perform preventative maintenance and repairs as needed but do not expect to go through the book of projects.

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Old 05-08-2013, 09:59 AM   #2
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Sounds like it will easily last another 100,000 miles. At least one member on here has reached over 225,000 miles and I think he has had no major problems.

My 2000 Boxster is at 95,000 miles right now and I drive it hard. It drives great.
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:05 AM   #3
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225,000 miles and still strong

Hi,I put 225,000 miles on a 98 Boxster. The key I think is I changed oil every 5,000 miles. I gave it to nephew because I take long trips. It is still going strong. Happy motoring.
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:18 AM   #4
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There's a theory out there that says most of the engine failures happen in the lower mileage range...so once you pass that "break-in" phase, your odds of failure are lower. If you're willing to spend the money (if you do suffer a failure), your car could last past 500k miles.

enjoy it!
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:39 AM   #5
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welcome to the 100k-miles club!

I just replaced my original water pump at 141k-miles....vroom-a-grin!
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:59 AM   #6
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that's neat that it's one of the first 1000-an earlybird- sounds like that syncro's toast
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:49 AM   #7
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Sounds very much like my early '97, which is on 115k, except no gear grind and still on original clutch. Does remind me that I really ought to change to gearbox oil. Mine can be noisy on start up, too, but like yours, only for a moment. Doesn't worry me.

My oil level seems to drop about a bar between changes - change about every 6k miles. Think a lot depends on how many cold starts you do, rather than miles.

Personally, I think these early 2.5s are fairly solid as M96 engines go.

Beyond the bits you mention, would expect the following to be on last legs unless already replaced:

Coils
Rads
Various suspension bushes
Dampers /shocks
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:24 PM   #8
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Congrat's! Seems like a lot of cars are making it to 100K miles without any significant problems (original IMS).

My car is at 126K miles and running fine before being rear-ended. I bought a replacement '97 chassis where the engine blew at 204,000 and my engine/trans will go into that car for Spec racing.

The VIN indicates that the replacement chassis was #341 off the assembly line in Germany. The previous owner was quite pleased with getting over 200,000 miles from the car.
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Last edited by thstone; 05-08-2013 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:42 PM   #9
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get an oil analysis done (Blackstone labs).

Do you have records for previous owners changing the oil that frequently?
Those change intervals sound too good to be true for a 96K mile car.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:54 PM   #10
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THANKS for the input and insight!!!

- I am worried about the 3rd gear syncro, but am hoping to manage it and worse case would not consider a rebuild "catastrophic"

- The suspension is fresh, need to check the bushings closer next time I get the chance

- The coils are original and show some minor cracks, fingers crossed until I replace then with the next set of plugs

- Was not expecting to change the radiators. They look dirty but I am not sure if they are original. Runs about the expected temperature, though I am concerning going into my first Arizona summer

- For the engine I am more worried about the value train than the IMS and would consider some maintenance...but given the mileage that's a tough risk/reward tradoff. Would an oil analysis give me more specific insight into possible valve train (or other engine) wear?

- The only maintenance information I have is from the carfax and calling the shops listed. It is pretty clear the oil was changed very frequently (1,500 to 2,500) until the last few years of the final owner.

Thanks again!

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