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-   -   Bitching about my Boxster (http://986forum.com/forums/boxster-general-discussions/4815-bitching-about-my-boxster.html)

Unhappy 01-19-2006 08:39 AM

Bitching about my Boxster
 
I have a 02 Boxster I bought in Dec of 03 with 6k miles on it. As of 01-19-06 it has 28k miles on it. This car seems to be falling apart around me just as the warranty expired. The car is garage kept and I do tend to ďbabyĒ it to my wifeís dismay.

1st the plastic housing on the ebrake cracked and split in two (2 weeks out of warranty). I was going to replace the ebrake anyway because the leather has gotten funky & discolored. The dealer wanted close to $500 to replace, I found a nice one on eBay for $200. I am going to attempt the install myself any tips would be appreciated.

2nd the tether on the gas cap broke for no reason (4 weeks out of warranty). I have no idea how to fix this as it seems to be bolted to the fuel door lid.

3rd & most expensive, I put the top down on my way home from work yesterday ( as I do most days, I live in Florida and the top is down 75% of the time I am in it) and heard a dry crack. Sure enough that crappy plastic window finally cracked (5 weeks out of warranty). No matter how clean I kept it and I used some marine strength vinyl & plastic cleaner it still scratched & dried out. I am thinking about going with an aftermarket top with a glass window any recommendations will be appreciated.

Donít let me forget to mention the paint. It is triple black (interior, exterior & top). The car is 4 years old with 28k miles on it and it looks like I commute to Stuttgart and back once a week. The front is riddled with pocks & chips. I finally bought a bra, I am not crazy about the way it looks but Iíll live with it.

And donít get me started on taking it in for service. The closest dealers to me are about 50 miles away in Naples & Sarasota. Good luck getting an appointment in Naples if you are not bringing in a $100k car. Here is a story from my last trip to Sarasota. I brought the car in for its yearly maintenance ($750 thanks for nothing). Opened the trunk 2 days later only to discover someone had left an open half full jug of washer fluid in the trunk. I assume it was half full anyway because the rug was sopping wet and my books and gym bag were ruined. I tried contacting the manager and the service manager but never got return calls. I even sent them letters & mailed them the empty jug as proof and still havenít heard squat. Is expecting an apology too much to ask for? Itís been 4 weeks now I donít know what else to do.

I love this car. It was always a dream to own a rag-top but that dream is starting to sour. I owned a Lexus IS300 before this and never had a problem with the car and the service at Lexus is the best, they treat you like you just spent a million bucks in there every time you are there. I would have purchased a Lexus convertible but they are just too damned expensive.

Here is the question: Do I fix the top & sell it before I start having real problems under the hood? I donít want to start dumping thousands of $$ into this car. I always thought Porsche was a prestige automaker, but I have found some things on my car to be really cheaply made and am becoming very dissatisfied.

gRed04 01-19-2006 09:41 AM

Hi,

Sorry to hear about the problems nagging you right now. I know how that stuff can drive one crazy :)

It seems that the issues your having are not that out of the ordinary for any car that age. Mostly plastic related.

Even though you have low miles on the car it is still four years old. I have yet to see a plastic rear window on any make/model not look like crap after 2 yrs. At 4 yrs I guess not too surprising that it needs replacing.

I would be pissed about the dealer service though. Having owned other upscale vehicles I am always surprised to hear the service related horror stories. Never had that kind of service with other German makers ( haven't personally had that type of service with Porsche either ).

Based on the other posts you can find here I think it is not unreasonable to expect some real mechanically problems at some point in the future. Be it ignition, top related, MAF, or oil/coolant leaks. These seem to be the common problems as the cars age.

NeonShadow 01-19-2006 10:20 AM

Sorry to hear that.

As for service horros, strangely enough people who work in dealerships but have no passion for the cars they service tend to get extremely snobish. I usually brought in my parents Mercedes for service and for few years only worked with on guy there. After that person quite, every time I would bring in a car, I would have to almost force the issue. And when I would start talking to them in model designation and engine types, I would get a blank look as if I'm talking in greek.


I'm looking to purchase a boxster here in California. What would you recommend I watch out for?

Thanks and good luck with your car.

Porschev 01-19-2006 10:23 AM

I will agree with gRed04 saying that those problems are very small problems. If you feel that those are a big deal for you, you better fix them and sell you car and buy overpriced Toyota (Lexus). But there is another alternative, if you patient and calm, it is buying service manual, and start to explore you car, solving those nice and little problems. It really fun, then you fix it with your hands and brain. Majority of the people here take their car as a Lego toys but the grown up kids, it s a kinda hobby, and I am pretty sure that is not only related to the Boxsters, but for all Porsche cars. So relax, take a big breath, those problems happens. Buy the way, my window was cracked recently too, I bought several types of scotch tape and fix it. Good for now, I will solve later.

bigislandboxster 01-19-2006 11:00 AM

I would not be too dismayed at the relatively small problems you have been having (ebrake, gas cap, rear window), these are really pretty small when you put things into perspective....I was fanatical to a degree about the condition of my 98, seeing every chip, swirl mark, etc....Its a 7-8 year old car for chrise sake! Normal wear and tear is to be expected is what I am saying.....

On the subject of having the car serviced, that is just terrible, you deserve better service, so if I were you, I would find an independent mechanic who you trust and is experienced with the Boxster.....Now that you do not have the warranty you no longer have to probably go thru a dealership mechanic...There are other good ones out there, you just have to find them!

If regular maintenance and the possibility for bigger repairs down the road scare you, then maybe its not for you.....Hell, I might be with you once my warranty expires in 2 1/2 years! ;) ...Hopefully not tho, I love driving this car...

Lou

Perfectlap 01-19-2006 11:19 AM

This is one of the more interesting posts I've read since I first visited this site a year ago.
Basically I'll say this: A Porsche owner in the mid 80's and early 90's would have murdered people to only have the problems you have experienced. For a boutique automaker they are minimal. Sorry to hear about your dealer hassles, how far are in FL are you from Brumos Porsche? That's rated as the best Porsche dealership in the country.

Its good that you are staying on top of your maintenance as that will prevent most of the problems you may encounter. All convertible tops have to be replaced eventualy. So my advice is to get one of the GAHH glass tops and cover it daily with a a softop cover. Spray it with Raggtopp.

As for your paint Get some 3M rubbuing compound for dark cars, follow with 3M swirl remover and finish with the 3M hand glaze. If you can get your hands on a Porter Cable polisher you can dramtically bring back the paint finish.

The chips can be repaired also. Call Tower Paint and give them your VIN# and you can get a spray can of the exact color black. Get some 600 grit sand paper from an auto parts store and take looseleaf hole punch and cut out a small piece of the sand paper and glue it to the top of the pencil eraser. Press the sand paper against the paint chip and turn it slowly to even out the chip. Use some paint thiner to remove dirt and crud from the chip before using the paint. Dip the top of a pen or needle into some of you color matched paint and drop a tiny bit of the paint into each chip. Once it cures sand down the filled in chips with some 800 grit sand paper to even out the surface. Follow up with the 3M Rubbing Compound and swirl remover. Again a Porter Cable orbital polisher can do wonders on chip repair. Black is an easy color to fix chips. Silver not so easy.

And use Meguairs NXT weekly. I don't advocate their products usually but the NXT is excellent for hiding swirls on black. Use Sonus Der Wunder (autopia-carcare.com) polishing towels and AVOID auto store microfiber towels which are nothing more than janitorial towels at much higher cost. On Black cars you want to avoid using Microfiber with split ends, stick with looped ends. Also do most of your post wax, and daily buffing with a dedicated Buffing towel like the Meguiar's gold class (ooops another plug).
On you black plastic interior and dash try Klasse VLRP. The best detailing product I use. Also try the Klasse All In One and Klasse Sealant Glaze once you have restored the paint.

slogans7 01-19-2006 12:02 PM

As an owner of another triple-black '02, I'm wondering if the vehicle you bought used to live somewhere other than Florida. A plastic window from an '02 shouldn't have cracked IMO. Perhaps it had been in a colder climate and left exposed. What did the window look like when you bought it?

I feel your pain on the damage to the hood, but that will happend on virtually any black car. Follow 'Lap's advice on repairing the chips. And don't forget to clay your car when you wash/polish/wax it, particularly the hood.

And I would agree that a good independent mechanic will appreciate your business and not charge you to subsidize a fancy building and advertising. :cheers:

MikenOH 01-19-2006 12:20 PM

Black cars--never again.
 
My wife's E320 looked like it had been straffed by something after a few years of driving on interstates. I tried various waxes but nothing seemed to help. I hear the 3M film is worth considering; I'd probably try that first after getting the front end resprayed.

The chip repair process that another respondent has recommended is worth trying. If you got the time and a steady hand, you can repair most of the small chips to the point where they aren't noticable.

The rear window can probably have new plastic sewed in; I did this through an upholstery shop on a TR6 years ago and it put off getting a new top for several years. I also recommend Plexus--the best stuff I've ever found for a plastic window.

xclusivecar 01-19-2006 03:07 PM

1) Replace the e-brake and be done with this one. Do you keep the car outside year round? Sounds as if heat, sun, and humidity took its toll on this one.

2)Forget the tether on the gas cap. No biggy. My '00S doesn't have a tether and I didn't even know they had one. Just place the cap between the windshield wiper and plastic cowl when fueling.

3)Window cracking is pretty normal...especially with how these tops fold. Did you "chop" it religiously while lowering the top? Some people do disagree with the benefit of "chopping", but as you lower the window you can really see how stressed it becomes before it finishes its fold down. Only if its 85 degrees and up do I not "chop" it since the window is so pliable at this point.

4)Being so low to the ground you can only expect to encounter chips as you did. I have my bumper re-painted yearly since I do drive my car year round (even in Chicago's winter). Your's being black only adds to being able to notice all of the imperfections.

5)Besides my now gone Honda Accord...this has been the most mechanically reliable car I have owned. I didn't expect this going in mind you. All of your problems seem to be on the cosmetic side. Fix these, keep the car and drive it as it was meant and it will reward you with great reliability. :cheers:

JNC 01-20-2006 01:12 PM

For paint restoration, see Zaino string in general discussion.... :troll:

slogans7 01-21-2006 04:52 PM

Doh! After my comments about the plastic rear window, I cracked mine today. My wife and I went to the informal car show at Crystal Cove (CA) to see her friends that own the Fisker company, and it was a rather cold morning. When I put the top down after the show, I gave it the standard "chop" and it cracked. Now I've gotta replace the window after all! Lesson: don't chop when it's cold.

natecooper 01-21-2006 08:41 PM

I bought an 01' a bit over a year ago with 13k miles and last year spent around 3k in 'extra' repairs, but on the other hand I got the car with 13k miles for $20k less than the original sticker. So who am I to complain? I went through the same thoughts about getting rid of it, but my goal is to pay it off and purchase a more care free car. Considering you have under 30k miles on it, I assume you have the same goal. The thing that kept me from selling it 6 months ago (when I was feeling how you are) is the fact that I know, if I sold it, 10 years from now I would be absolutely kicking myself.

I love Porschev's idea of getting the service manual. The turning point for me was when my shift cable broke, leaveing me stuck on the side of the road watching '94 miata's drive by. Searching this forum I found out how to pull apart the center console and I fixed the problem for about 50 bucks (vs. 300 at a dealer). Ever since, in a strange way, I feel much more attached to the car. I have also fixed a few other minor issues, saving in the range of 500 bucks.

These cars will have more than average problems with them, no doubt, but that is not why you bought the car. You own a Porsche because you are a passionate driver. Right now you are this forums equivilant of a teenager calling a suicide hotline. People who call suicide hotlines don't really want to kill themselves, they just want to know they are not alone. You my friend, are not alone.

bmussatti 01-22-2006 10:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slogans7
Doh! After my comments about the plastic rear window, I cracked mine today. My wife and I went to the informal car show at Crystal Cove (CA) to see her friends that own the Fisker company, and it was a rather cold morning. When I put the top down after the show, I gave it the standard "chop" and it cracked. Now I've gotta replace the window after all! Lesson: don't chop when it's cold.


Slogans, what is the Fisker company??

Unhappy 01-22-2006 11:17 AM

I wanted an affordable high performace roadster what i got is a vo-tech project.
Just kidding
Thanks for all the replies and the suggestions.
Sometimes you need to blow off some steam and the wife just doesn't understand the relationship between me and my Boxster. (she is looking for an excuse to get rid of it lol)
Can anyone can recomend a good mechanic in the Ft Myers / Cape Coral (florida that is)?

wild1poet2 01-22-2006 04:56 PM

Hey Unhappy, tell your wife you are thinking of trading the Boxster for a Big Dog Chopper. Then she'll want you to keep the Porsche. Marriage is about compromise.

MLegere 01-22-2006 06:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Perfectlap
This is one of the more interesting posts I've read since I first visited this site a year ago.
Basically I'll say this: A Porsche owner in the mid 80's and early 90's would have murdered people to only have the problems you have experienced. For a boutique automaker they are minimal. Sorry to hear about your dealer hassles, how far are in FL are you from Brumos Porsche? That's rated as the best Porsche dealership in the country.

Its good that you are staying on top of your maintenance as that will prevent most of the problems you may encounter. All convertible tops have to be replaced eventualy. So my advice is to get one of the GAHH glass tops and cover it daily with a a softop cover. Spray it with Raggtopp.

As for your paint Get some 3M rubbuing compound for dark cars, follow with 3M swirl remover and finish with the 3M hand glaze. If you can get your hands on a Porter Cable polisher you can dramtically bring back the paint finish.

The chips can be repaired also. Call Tower Paint and give them your VIN# and you can get a spray can of the exact color black. Get some 600 grit sand paper from an auto parts store and take looseleaf hole punch and cut out a small piece of the sand paper and glue it to the top of the pencil eraser. Press the sand paper against the paint chip and turn it slowly to even out the chip. Use some paint thiner to remove dirt and crud from the chip before using the paint. Dip the top of a pen or needle into some of you color matched paint and drop a tiny bit of the paint into each chip. Once it cures sand down the filled in chips with some 800 grit sand paper to even out the surface. Follow up with the 3M Rubbing Compound and swirl remover. Again a Porter Cable orbital polisher can do wonders on chip repair. Black is an easy color to fix chips. Silver not so easy.

And use Meguairs NXT weekly. I don't advocate their products usually but the NXT is excellent for hiding swirls on black. Use Sonus Der Wunder (autopia-carcare.com) polishing towels and AVOID auto store microfiber towels which are nothing more than janitorial towels at much higher cost. On Black cars you want to avoid using Microfiber with split ends, stick with looped ends. Also do most of your post wax, and daily buffing with a dedicated Buffing towel like the Meguiar's gold class (ooops another plug).
On you black plastic interior and dash try Klasse VLRP. The best detailing product I use. Also try the Klasse All In One and Klasse Sealant Glaze once you have restored the paint.

That is a great post..... :cheers:


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