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Old 05-27-2013, 01:53 PM   #1
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Another Which One to Buy

Found 3 S models that I am considering.

2000 Ocean Blue, 69k at BMW dealer. Decent options, good condition. Asking 17k
2001 Artic Silver, 51k at Porsche dealer. Similar options to the 2000. Based on VIN, may be dual row IMS. Asking 17.9
2002 Cobalt blue, 60k at Acura dealer. Similar options to other 2, but has aftermarket blue top with glass window. Asking 16.9

I drove the 2002 as it is local, other two are 300 miles away.

I'm in CA. Prices and options are similar, I like the 2000 interior slightly better than the 2001/2002, but only slightly.

Records are mostly limited to what I can gleem from carfax, the 2001 at the Porsche dealer was largely serviced by them. I am leaning toward the 2001 since possibly the dual row bearing and better service records.

Thoughts

Thanks

Len

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Old 05-27-2013, 02:29 PM   #2
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To make a good decision, you really need to have an independent PPI performed on all three cars. Then compare again. Never trust anyone selling a used car to do your homework for you - this includes a Porsche dealer.
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:50 AM   #3
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Len, the dual-row IMS bearing would be a significant factor in any decision I made - and that means you need to have the engine serial numbers checked (for the 3.2, up to #M 671 11237).
The 2000 is more likely to have it than the 2001, especially if it was produced early in the model year ( the single-row bearing was not introduced until part way through the model year - thereafter, for a period, some had dual-row and some single).

If the car at the Porsche dealership was largely serviced there, they should be willing to reproduce the records for you - and that is a real plus. I would also ask for a printout to check on over-revs, etc. In my experience, the advantage in buying a used Porsche from a dealership is that most will only sell ones that they feel are decent cars. The ones they don't like generally go to auction. Why? If you buy a bad Porsche from a BMW dealer, they can say "Sorry, you should have bought a BMW." If you buy it at a Porsche dealership, they can't denigrate their own brand. Furthermore, as the entry level Porsche sports car is a used one, they don't want to turn off potential future customers.

It is also a good sign, IMO, that the car was owned by someone who serviced it at the same dealership and traded it in for another Porsche. In my experience, Porsche dealerships will often be prepared to give you some kind of a short-term guarantee on a used Porsche. If they do (even if it is only 30 days, bumper to bumper), that should provide some additional comfort that there are no patent defects that they are aware of.

Since there are 51K on it, you may also want to speak to them about including the 60K service as it will cost over 1K.

Good luck!

Brad

Last edited by southernstar; 05-28-2013 at 05:52 AM. Reason: sp
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:06 AM   #4
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The 01 at the Porsche dealership is probably too old for CPO but try to negotiate it into the deal. They might go for it since they've serviced it for a long time.
If successful, that would be my choice.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:14 AM   #5
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Don't pay a dime over 16k and with at least a 30 day money back guarantee at that price, NOT only a warranty. I'd say 13K -15k may be a fair price for those cars you mentioned, in CA.

If there is even a single drop of oil coming from the car I would drop the price another 1000 as something needs fixing.

There are plenty of Boxsters out there so you can afford to be very picky.

I paid 14500 for my 2001 S on a private sale and it was in perfect condition, 55k miles, not a drop of oil coming from it in the last year I owned and records to prove it was serviced regularly.

Don't forget that the Dealer probably picked the car up for 10k or less on a trade in.
They can afford to haggle down quite a bit.

How you haggle effectively is to SHOW the sales folks you are prepared to walk, so when you have them go back to "speak to the Manager", you get out of your seat and make sure they see you heading for the door.

Bring some ads from their competitors, some private sales or the blue book values printout.

You WILL need the money you saved to get something done eventually, and that typically happens in the first 1 year.

In my first year I needed Tires, Brake Fluid Flush and oil change...$800
On my list for the next year is a new starter and chain guides as the starter is noisy (Squeals) and my Timing is up against the spec limit, indicating worn chain guides. ~$1000
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:49 AM   #6
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They are all way overpriced
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:01 AM   #7
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The important options/equipment:

- PSM
- Litronic Headlights
- Glass rear window
- Windscreen
- Quality tires with remaining life

The 2002.5 (half model year) added the Litronic headlights as standard. Glass rear window wasn't standard until '03, but many have been retrofitted.

Frankly, at that price point I'd be looking at an '03S or '04S. They added a glass rear window as standard, along with some extra horsepower.

I would think those cars should be in the $11-$12K range, especially if they will need maintenance (brake fluid flush, air filters, fuel filter, oil, spark plugs, tires, etc.). That is $2-$3K on these cars.

Get a PPI on whatever car you chose from an independent knowledgeable service provider.



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Old 05-28-2013, 09:09 AM   #8
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For a Porsche with more than 50k miles, lean towards the one that has had the most standard repairs-- clutch/IMS, shocks, water pump and or coolant tank, rotors, AOS. Nearly all of these are over $1000 repairs with a cheaper than the dealer independent Porsche specialist. At the dealer these repairs would easily cost you an eye or hand. And these repairs are common below 100k miles. I took my car to the dealer for a top to bottom diagnostic at 60k miles and the service manager gave me an estimate that we both knew was comical. He didn't even try to book me on coming for any of the work. but $120 fee to check everything "by the book" was well worth it as I knew they would try and get me to fix anything that was remotely fixable to drive up the bill.

P.s.
For the asking prices on those three, they need to be providing you with receipts of ALL the aforementioned work or the mileage absolutely needs to be well under 40k. I love these guys who do no major maintenance on their cars and then ask maximum asking price. But that's the danger of being an uninformed buyer. also without PPI the condition is a question mark, don't be fooled by shiny paint and a clean interior. My car was spotless before the $12000 in repairs required between 60-80k miles. And without the estimate of discovered repairs in addition to likely repairs (known Boxster weak spots) you have no way of arriving at what is fair or above market.
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:01 AM   #9
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Boxsters must be one of very few items that are cheaper in the UK to the US.

You could get any of these cars here for no more than 6.5K ($10k)

As for choosing one they all sound way too high and I never buy from a dealer. Always a really good private one for 20% less.
Don't rush, check service history especially oil changes and get someone who knows what to look out for in a Boxster if you don't.
I always but from a one owner middle aged man who has cared for his car by taking it to Porsche for it's servicing or a good indie.
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:03 AM   #10
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Perfectlap makes a number of valid points. However, from my perspective, some repairs are more important than others:

OEM brake rotors can be purchased at Pelican for about $500.00 for a set; other brands for quite a bit less. So, to me, that would not be a significant factor (especially since rotors tend to need replacement every second brake job).

Yes, the water pumps can fail early; however, many cars seem to have no problems with their original pumps for more than 100,000 miles (and some many more). Certainly, I would rather have an original pump with 50k miles than an aftermarket replacement (which seem doomed to fail pretty quickly).

Coolant expansion tanks and the AOS are weak points and yes, I would be happy to hear that they had been replaced recently if looking to purchase a car. Since these require OEM parts to repair, they should definitely save some money in the long run. However, you must keep in mind that these are not hugely expensive - at an good Indy, you can expect to pay about $400.00 to replace the AOS; $600 to replace the coolant expansion tank.

The MAF and ignition switch are also parts that often need replacement. The latter, of course, is also a relativle inexpensive repair using the Audi switch (about $200.00 including the part) and the former is only expensive if using the Porsche MAF.

Suspension components - depends upon how/where the car was driven, but yes, some cars will be at or near needing replacement as they pass 50,000 miles, while others are able to exceed 100,000. This is an expensive fix but I would want to make sure that some of the cheap Ebay parts were not used in any repairs!

Clutch - again, some owners get well over 100k miles on their original clutch, others as little as 30k. To me, the fact that a car has its original clutch at 50K miles is probably a very good sign that the car was not abused by a bad driver (riding the clutch etc.), or one who liked to make jack-rabbit starts (hard on the CV joints, axles, gears etc.). If at that mileage it is still smooth with a friction point not too high up (and some upper play), it does not need replacement and may not for years to come.

Bodywork and paint are also VERY expensive to repair properly, so that must go into the equation. So too the convertible top, if being installed by a professional.

IMS Bearing - nice if upgraded, to be sure. Especially if the car has a single-row.

And finally, yes, service records - at least for the last several years, are critical on these cars.

Brad
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:17 AM   #11
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I'm not saying all those need to fixed between 50-100k. The point is that they should be factored into what has not been done. If the list of repairs that have not been done is a long one then thats a problem in my book as it leaves little or no wiggle room on the cost of car + repairs if you intend to secure a good deal. And with this glut of Boxsters, Caymans and water-cooled 911's there is absolutely no reason not to score a good deal. The world has never seen so many well kept Porsches for sale, literraly tens of thousands.
So you can score one of three deals:
1- no repairs and pay market price for the car
2- some repairs and pay market price for the car
3- some repairs and pay below market for the car.

If you pay market there's no margin if you end up with just a couple of expensive repairs, most of which are common.

Also rotors are a $1000 repair unless you are a DIY'er which the vast majority of Porsche drivers are not. Most shops aren't keen on you bringing them parts you scored at a discount online.
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Old 05-28-2013, 01:23 PM   #12
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Perfectlap, my indy (actually, both that I use) have no problem with me providing the parts. If you are already getting the brakes done and the rotors require turning - typically only a one-time thing and not even that if you are tracking your car, there is no additional labour cost involved in replacing the rotors with new rather than machined ones.

I agree fully with your analysis of the current market - at least in certain areas where Porsches are quite common. I am not saying that the cost of future repairs should not be taken into account - it should. However, I also think that the purchase of a used Porsche involves a weighing process as we are rarely comparing two identical cars, or two purchasers with the same priorities.

Color Scheme: This may sound trivial to some, but if you live in a hot climate and cannot tolerate a black interior in a convertible, that may take some cars right out of the equation. Even if a purchaser's preference has no practical basis, you will be living with the car and if you hate a certain colour scheme it may not matter how many items have been replaced.

Equipment: Certain option packages are important to some buyers and, as we all know, they can be very expensive to retrofit. For example, optional wheels, the wind deflector, cruise control, etc.

Cosmetic Condition: We all take pride in our rides and what value are we to put on the relative cosmetic condition of two cars? Road rash can be expensive to repair on wheels (and significant damage there should cause concerns about how the vehicle was driven and whether there was also damage to the suspension components etc.). What value do we put on an absence of knicks and dings in the doors, etc.? A tear in the rear window may seem like a minor cosmetic issue, but as we all know, water leaks in a Boxster that get to the passenger side floor can lead to very expensive damage to the immobilizer. Regardless, in my experience, cars that are kept cosmetically perfect tend to show an owner who took pride in his/her car. That owner is, in my experience, much less likely to abuse his car. That will have bearing on the life expectancy of various components, will it not?

Mileage/Age: All things being equal (and they seldom are), the newer car with lower mileage should have less problems than the older one with higher mileage.

Intended use: If you intend to put on very low annual mileage, that will impact positively on the life-expectancy of various components. For example, my car has averaged about 7000 km ( 4600 miles) yearly since new and continues to be driven at about the same rate by myself. This year I replaced the serpentine belt and inspected the water pump for leakage and bearing wear. There was zero signs of either and, according to my Indy, there is no reason to believe that it can't last me for another five years (or more); of course, in five years I will still only be approaching 80,000 miles. If I were driving the car 12,000 miles a year, I would be reaching that mileage in slightly less than 2 years.

The perfect used Porsche would be one with the purchaser's preferred color scheme, options, with low mileage and in perfect cosmetic condition. All components that are failure prone (clutch, waterpump, AOS, MAF sensor, brakes, tires, battery, coolant reservoir, suspension arms, struts, top, etc.) will have been replaced by factory original equipment in the last 6 months prior to purchase, not because they had failed, but as a prophylactic measure. The only non-Porsche parts would be, of course, the new tires and an ugraded RMS bearing. And of course, the price would not reflect these expenses, but be typical for a Boxster of that vintage.

No one is going to find that car, are they? Even if someone does, the rest of us will have to balance price as against the condition, mechanical and cosmetic, and our individual preferences and intended use. For most people, the closer you get to optimal, the more you should be prepared to pay.
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Old 05-28-2013, 01:25 PM   #13
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Those prices are what we pay in British Columbia! They seem $3-4000 too high for California. Any of those cars have the M030 option, or do you care?
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:51 PM   #14
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Thanks for the replies. Yes, any car I get will definitely have a PPI first.

I'm surprised by the comments that apparently spotless early S models should be 12-13k cars. Almost all that I see posted on Autotrader that are in the sub 60k mile range are listed between $16-22k, at least here in CA. Maybe the prices shot up in the last month due to our nice weather.

Still looking before I decide

Thanks

Len

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