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Old 08-07-2013, 06:06 PM   #1
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Bad purchased Boxster?

Hi,

I bought a 98 26k miles well maintained Boxster 6 months ago. Yesterday the CE light came up and it started to make some noise, juddering and clatter from 1800 to 2500 rpms. It was ok iddling, and I think it only did that while in 1st to 3d gears, and it didn't do it if I had it on reverse. Sometimes it didn't juddered while in those conditions though, but the noise was constant if it was in gear.
I took it to the workshop and I'm still waiting for the diagnostic, but apparently the chain skipped a tooth, and they need to look inside to know what's wrong with it. They said it could be just a failed tensioner. They didn't tell me how much would it cost, but they did tell me that it shouldn't be a major problem.
I'm really worried it might be an IMS failure
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:31 PM   #2
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Yikes!

I would make sure that whoever you take it to REALLY knows this motor. I wouldn't go to any random shop for an issue like that.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:35 PM   #3
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That said, it's not very hard to visually check the IMS bearing's condition if you get the clutch out of the way. You may as well be ready to replace it if you get in there though.... You'll need a special tool to remove an IMSB. I have one if you need it, although international shipping could take awhile. I wouldn't even think about starting the motor til you've checked that that's not the issue.
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Old 08-08-2013, 02:02 AM   #4
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Thank you black_box. I took it to a Porsche specialist, and I'm still waiting for the diagnostic. The thing is that they'll charge me 8 hours of labour for it
The car was running, but I've read about IMS failures that needed a new engine, even with the engine still running. I'll pay for the diagnostic, and the mechanic at the shop told me that I shouldn't be worried, that the engine doesn't seam trashed but the thing is it's the first time I went to a Porsche workshop, so I don't know what he means by 'I shouldn't be worried'. If the repair estimate surpasses 3k, I'm worried because I can't pay that right now. And with one skipped tooth, I don't know if there are any bent valves, or if the engine needs to be rebuilt.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:14 AM   #5
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Reminds me of the first time i went to my indy P mechanic. He said the same thing, "don't be worried, it's a simple repair". I ended up with a $1,000 bill!!!

Good luck, mate! Hope it gets sorted out.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:09 AM   #6
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The shop should be able to get an initial indication of a possible IMS failure by examining the oil filter for metal debris. While other causes can also show metal in the filter, this is a classic IMS indicator. It takes about 15 minutes to check this out. If metal is there, you're probably looking at an engine rebuild or worse. Best of luck.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dgnarvs View Post
Reminds me of the first time i went to my indy P mechanic. He said the same thing, "don't be worried, it's a simple repair". I ended up with a $1,000 bill!!!

Good luck, mate! Hope it gets sorted out.
Yes $1000 seems to be the magic number for me when I go to my indy shop. I try to limit my visits there to twice a year.

Also sorry to hear about the skipped tooth motor.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:42 AM   #8
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I'm betting against it being the IMSB. Hope the damage was not extensive, good luck
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:32 AM   #9
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Did the previous owner tell you if the engine had some in warranty work performed? In other words in the car's first four years.
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:37 PM   #10
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Well, I got my diagnosis back: the car has a bad solenoid / variocam actuator. At least is what my Porsche specialist said.
They quoted me 2300 euros in parts and labour as an estimated repair. They've found error codes indicating timing issues, and that the problem would be probably a bad actuator, not only the solenoid.

This is what they think:

99610421554 lid 3x
99610505158 variocam 1/3 986/996 tensioner
99610517353 Tensioner blade 2x
99610517552 Tensioner blade 2x
99610525300 ??
99660590100 Solenoid valve
99970721540 O-ring 3x
99970734341 O-ring 3x
MOB1 Oil 5W40 2L
Labour 14h

The car has only 26K miles in 14 years, and this is its service history (that I know of)

27/7/2005 21k miles minor service
Oil Mobil1 - 5w40

21/2/2008 22.9k miles major service
(changed spark plugs) Oil Mobil1 - 5w40

20/8/2010 25.1k miles major service
(changed spark plugs) Oil Castrol SLX- 5w40

19/10/2012 25.8k miles minor service
Client complaints of problems with cold start; changed power window engine drivers side
99660612300 - 996 (98-05) Boxster (97-99) Mass air flow meter
Oil Castrol SLX 0W40

The change to 0W40 doesn't seem good to me.
I'll have to warn the workshop that the car has 0w40, but I wouldn't like to change the oil there, because I'll pay 3 times the oil cost, and I can't afford a much higher bill right now. I'll change it as soon as the car is out of the specialist. The workshop is going to tell me something more after opening the valve cover (hopefully tomorrow).

What do you think of this?
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:35 PM   #11
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I think that for a 'well maintained' Boxster your car has missed a crapton of oil changes...
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:58 AM   #12
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Sorry about your problems.. Saying it is well maintained and properly looked after - when not knowing its service history between 1998 and 2005, is really just taking a guess..

Here is my service history for comparison, it's a 2000 mod.

Date KM Parts / Job
05.07.13 157144
12.04.13 155449 MOT
26.04.13 155466 Discs rear, pads rear, Expansion tank, fluids, struts front,
26.11.12 152846 Alarm error
30.05.12 148908 Alarm error misc.
24.04.12 Summer tires
13.03.12 147240 Coil replacement
31.10.11 145054 Ignition replacement
24.06.11 New cab
17.06.11 142688 MOT
16.05.11 142688 Main service; Filters, sparkplugs, oil, brakefluiid, struts, tranny simrings, stabilators
08.07.10 134872 Replaced waterpump
17.06.10 134210 4 x Lower Cast Sub Assembly Arm
04.06.10 133292 Small service
23.10.09 122812 Big service, lots of things done
06.05.08 118584 Big service, lots of things done
31.07.07 114302 MOT
16.08.06 106280 Small service
12.10.05 97354 Big service, new MAF +++
02.06.05 93412 New brakediscs all round +++
11.03.03 79477 Big service
09.07.02 54023 Small service
23.07.01 41700 Big service
23.10.00 23151 Small service


Quote:
Originally Posted by urban View Post
Well, I got my diagnosis back: the car has a bad solenoid / variocam actuator. At least is what my Porsche specialist said.
They quoted me 2300 euros in parts and labour as an estimated repair. They've found error codes indicating timing issues, and that the problem would be probably a bad actuator, not only the solenoid.

This is what they think:

99610421554 lid 3x
99610505158 variocam 1/3 986/996 tensioner
99610517353 Tensioner blade 2x
99610517552 Tensioner blade 2x
99610525300 ??
99660590100 Solenoid valve
99970721540 O-ring 3x
99970734341 O-ring 3x
MOB1 Oil 5W40 2L
Labour 14h

The car has only 26K miles in 14 years, and this is its service history (that I know of)

27/7/2005 21k miles minor service
Oil Mobil1 - 5w40

21/2/2008 22.9k miles major service
(changed spark plugs) Oil Mobil1 - 5w40

20/8/2010 25.1k miles major service
(changed spark plugs) Oil Castrol SLX- 5w40

19/10/2012 25.8k miles minor service
Client complaints of problems with cold start; changed power window engine drivers side
99660612300 - 996 (98-05) Boxster (97-99) Mass air flow meter
Oil Castrol SLX 0W40

The change to 0W40 doesn't seem good to me.
I'll have to warn the workshop that the car has 0w40, but I wouldn't like to change the oil there, because I'll pay 3 times the oil cost, and I can't afford a much higher bill right now. I'll change it as soon as the car is out of the specialist. The workshop is going to tell me something more after opening the valve cover (hopefully tomorrow).

What do you think of this?
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squozen View Post
I think that for a 'well maintained' Boxster your car has missed a crapton of oil changes...
I only have the maintenance from 2005 onwards. The previous owner changed oil every 2k miles / 2.5 year intervals. I didn't think it was that bad
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:07 AM   #14
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I'm sorry, I have the rest of the service history, but I don't have the invoices:

15/9/99 11K miles - small service
15/10/01 18K miles - small service

And I have the brake fluid changes with each service except the first one.

Thing is, I'm a bit afraid that the solenoid/actuator problem isn't very common, and that it will be hard to find out where the problem is coming from. I hope to get news from the workshop today. I've read a couple of posts about it, but I couldn't find anything about the reason it happened (I'm hoping it was only because the car wasn't driven that much). I'm planning to use the car regularly (as I don't have another one), and probably about 7500 miles a year, so if it was because the car wasn't used regularly it probably won't happen again.
Has anyone had the solenoid/actuator problem? Did you need to replace any other (costly) parts?

Last edited by urban; 08-14-2013 at 01:16 AM.
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:54 AM   #15
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Are you considering an option that is to not let the shop fix it? Just make sure they charge a fixed price, and not "hrly charge until we find / fix the problem".

Also, the 01 service should have been a big one, not a small one.
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:07 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haz View Post
Are you considering an option that is to not let the shop fix it? Just make sure they charge a fixed price, and not "hrly charge until we find / fix the problem".
Yeah, they're going to do that, but I needed to have an estimate of how much I'd probably spend (to know if I can afford it right now), and they gave me that estimate based on the problem they think I have.
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:14 AM   #17
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I see. Good luck. Let them know that you do not have an unlimited budget for the fix and if they discover that the cost will surpass your fixed budget, to have them call you first..
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:08 AM   #18
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The passenger side solenoid failed in my car. The shop replaced just it. No other costly parts were needed.
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:17 PM   #19
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Thanks, haz.

thom4782, were the symptoms similar?
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:11 PM   #20
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I took my 01S into an independent shop because I had a CEL. Otherwise the car ran smoothly with no apparent symptoms.

When diagnosed, the shop found several codes. P0410 and P1411 indicated a vacuum leak. They also found an unusual camshaft reading on the passenger side. A new solenoid fixed the camshaft problem. The variocam itself and its chain rails were OK. A new vacuum canister fixed the CEL problem.
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