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Old 10-16-2013, 09:35 AM   #1
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After 10 months of ownership...SHOULD I EXCHANGE IT?

I have a 2002 base Tiptronic Boxster that i acquired on December of las year.
2 months after buying it had a problem with the coolant tank ($600) and not even a month after that I had to change all brakes along with the rear rotors ($900). a week after I had to change the rear tires ($400).
A month ago the AOS failed and I had to take care for a vacuum leak on the secondary air injection system (1388) so that two days later the battery would die on me ($150)
Ultimately it is my fault as I didnt know anything about car and didnt assess the state of the car.
After experiencing the pleasure that it is to drive a car with such great handling, I realize what this very forum has taught me: It is better to wait and buy the S manual version.
The dealer told me that soon i will have to change the coolant tank because it has some minor bleeding and I know i will have to buy the front rotors too.
Now that I'm aware of this forum and the value of a proper PPI and the common issues the Boxster is prone to; I'm pondering about exchanging my base for an S with manual transmission.
Thoughts?

I would appreciate the input of this community

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Old 10-16-2013, 10:12 AM   #2
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Personal decision really, but if you want the "S" I would bail now before there's more depreciation on your current Boxster. But keep in mind those "gremlins" are pretty standard throughout. You have to determine the willingness to pony up when some thing needs to be replaced. I've heard many times there's nothing more expensive then an old Porsche, but I'm willing to keep owning one.
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:29 AM   #3
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I'm not sure how you spend $600.00 on the coolant tank this year and it now needs replacing..... In any event, yes you should have had a PPI but by now, you have a pretty good idea what is wrong with the car. As has been pointed out, the coolant expansion tanks and A/OS are fairly common problems with these cars and, unless they have been recently replaced on the Boxster S you buy, there is no guarantee that you won't soon need to replace them on that car as well. Brakes and tires are a wear item on any car and unlike many cars, at least one seldom needs to replace the calipers on a Boxster.

We have no idea how many miles are on your Boxster and whether you know the maintenance history, but that combined with what you already have replaced and have diagnosed for future replacement should go a long ways towards telling you whether it will continue to have significant maintenance issues. If your car has over 80,000 miles and has the original suspension components, they may soon be due for replacement. Ditto the clutch.

Having said all of that, if you heart is set on a Boxster S with a 6 speed manual, then get one. Just make sure to check out the maintenance records and have a thorough PPI!

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Old 10-16-2013, 10:30 AM   #4
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best value for money is always the car that the other guy got tired of fixing - most of the work is done by the time you get your hands on it and he typically gives it away because he's so tired of fixing it ...
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:40 AM   #5
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You did not say how many miles you have on it. If it is high mileage then it is more likely that accessories need to be replaced. Obviously the previous owner was not into proactive replacement. Tiptronic = more moving parts. Possibly harder to sell.
Non S model also likely harder to sell.

For myself what I did when buying my Boxster 2001 base:
- buy privately(unless you buy a car from the Porsche stealership which is certified previous owned with a P car warranty which is also more $$$)
- buying privately you are able to get better access to receipts for work done.
- offer purchase price(lower than asked) subject to PPI. Deduct costs of work to be done from your offer.
- looked for a manual transmission and lower mileage( I bought mine with 30k miles)
- Boxsters are easy to buy and can be hard to sell. Much patience is needed buying and selling.
- Do not be in a hurry!
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:56 AM   #6
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All of the items you have encountered are fairly standard and to be expected, depending on mileage. If you are not prepared for more of the same, e.g. around $2K per year, it might be time to get out. You could have greatly lowered your costs through some simple DIY (Brakes) and/or a good Indy and being more discriminant on what the dealer is doing (e.g. SAI).
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Old 10-16-2013, 11:20 AM   #7
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Just go buy a manual S now and sell your base after before more stuff needs to be replaced...
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:37 PM   #8
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There are two different issues in your post that I'd like to address;

1. Lots of unplanned maintanence
2. Desire for a manual S model

#1 is going to be roughly the same for both a base or an S model (given the same year and mileage). More important is getting a PPI so you know what to expect. A well maintained car will sell for more money than one that will need a lot of work - at the end of the day its hard to say which car will be cheaper overall. Some folks are willing to pay more up front to avoid repair bills and some (like me) are happy with a car that needs some work because I do most of the repairs myself or can get them done somewhat cheaply. The key point here is that the PPI will help you to set your expectations so you don't have any surprises (surprises are what seems to irritate owners the most).

#2 is really a personal decision - although almost everyone on this forum will agree that more power and a manual transmission is a good thing!

Best of luck and let us know what you decide to do...
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:18 PM   #9
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Get the S. Look for one that has had the IMS replaced already, peferably one that is being sold in the Porsche forums, enthusiasts do preventative maintenance and upgrades -- and they don't wait too long to change oil.
Do the UDD pulley mod. Get lighter wheels and sticky tires.

South Florida has one of the best sports car communities in the country. Take a trip to Sebring with your PCA chapter.
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:50 PM   #10
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When I first got my Boxster 4+ years ago, I hadn't worked on cars for decades. But, I started buying books and tools and spent dozens of hours reading tons of tech articles. I have so far been able to do all of my own repair and maintenance and have saved thousands of dollars from lining the dealer's pockets. I'd have a go at learning to fix it yourself if I were you. You might even have fun.
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:15 PM   #11
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If you can get into something 5 or more years newer than it may not need much for a while. I'm on the fence about doing just that except I won't settle for anything but an '09 or newer ( new motor). I'm definitely sick of fixing so I've got to go newer but depreciation is for the rich...Then there's the fact that the longer you own one the more new parts you've put into it...I love my car and was planning on keeping it a long time so I've used OEM parts exclusively.....
have I helped you?
Can you afford a Spyder????
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southernstar View Post
I'm not sure how you spend $600.00 on the coolant tank this year and it now needs replacing.....
You are absolutely right, before it was the "cap" now they said it was "bleeding"
I asked the guy, "if 6 months ago, you looked at it, why does it need replacing now?"
And then he gave me a "explanation" that i feel discredited the Porsche brand instead of owning up to the issue.
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:45 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mark_T View Post
When I first got my Boxster 4+ years ago, I hadn't worked on cars for decades. But, I started buying books and tools and spent dozens of hours reading tons of tech articles. I have so far been able to do all of my own repair and maintenance and have saved thousands of dollars from lining the dealer's pockets. I'd have a go at learning to fix it yourself if I were you. You might even have fun.
Until now, I had never done any work on a car. But after finding great info in this forum I have managed to desnorkle the car, clean the MAF, clean the engine, recharge the A/C, change all filters and even clean the radiators all by myself. It made me feel pretty accomplished but my house does not have a garage and its been really hot out there to do any work on it. So it really takes from the fun of working in the car
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:49 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by recycledsixtie View Post
You did not say how many miles you have on it. If it is high mileage then it is more likely that accessories need to be replaced. Obviously the previous owner was not into proactive replacement. Tiptronic = more moving parts.
It currently has 89k miles. And you are right, I think the previous owners did not give it proper care.

My train of thought was " If I'm gonna spend the same amount buying pieces than upgrading to the better model why not do it now before I have to spend even more?"
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:00 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by batshapedheart View Post
You are absolutely right, before it was the "cap" now they said it was "bleeding"
I asked the guy, "if 6 months ago, you looked at it, why does it need replacing now?"
And then he gave me a "explanation" that i feel discredited the Porsche brand instead of owning up to the issue.
The coolant system is an "eco-system" as far as replacing things.
If you don't address the coolant cap before tinkering about with the coolant tank or water pump the pressure will be always be off and you'll end up with weird coolant levels every time you check the trunk. Removing an old coolant cap is like trying to re-use the same piece of scotch tape. It's not going to hold tight once screwed back on.

If you flush the system without updating to the most recent coolant cap, or periodically changing it, you can end up with air in the system which will cause the original and now brittle coolant tank to split, spill all that coolant (1-800 flat bed).

Also, ask your mechanic if they filled with an Airlift. If a shop does a lot of these they should not be doing it old school. As a general rule put a new coolant cap on every time you refresh the brake fluid. It's a cheap part that can cause expensive damage. If this was a dealer, find a an indepedent mechanic. Maybe Pedro can point you towards one.
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:06 PM   #16
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My opinion is... I think your too far committed to give up now!
Just think, one way to look at it is... once you get it up to par, it will be a brand new car again . I understand your hardship, but once my 01' got a new water pump, brakes, tires, thermostat, heater, front engine fan; I have been maintenance free for over a year now...."knock on wood."
Your pain is normal ownership, and still "less" maintenance than our wives lol All relationships are tough at first....keep your 02' alive and running!
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:53 PM   #17
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Get a 987.1 S. I had an 01S and it was always breaking something. I own 2 987Ss and had a third. Put a combined total of 51K mi on them and the only problems have been 1 water pump (fixed under warranty) and a temp sensor that was $50 and 2 hrs of my time to replace.
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Old 10-17-2013, 07:39 AM   #18
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Get a 987.1 S. I had an 01S and it was always breaking something..
^ I had exactly one repair on my 2000 S for the first 70K miles/9 years. It Needed a new throttle body, even at the dealer that was only a $300 repair. Other than that it was by far the most reliable car I've ever driven and mine is not a Souther California Sunday driver. It was driven year-round on winter beaten roads. I thought I was driving a Lexus. Mine is a Valmet build btw.

Unfortunately when the big ticket maintenace repairs came due (clutch/IMS, shocks, etc.) it was time to break open the piggybank. But that's true of all Boxsters/Caymans and Carreras. My rule now is "in by 20K miles out by 50K".
Let the previous owner take the first big hit on depreciation and let the next owner pay up for major maintenance.
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Old 10-17-2013, 03:38 PM   #19
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My rule now is "in by 20K miles out by 50K".
Not to hijack the thread (or to do so only temporarily ), but PL...is that your rule, or is it "in by 20K miles out by 50K, except for with this car." (I noticed from your post you apparently have at least 70K on the odo---about what I have on my 01S, coincidentally.)

Just curious as to when you planned on selling her...?
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Old 10-17-2013, 07:26 PM   #20
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03 Base Boxster trade-up

I owned a 03, my first porsche, and "found" out the hard way how important a PPI is... The beauty of a blk/blk manual porsche hypnotized me and it wasn't even an S model.
Clutch, Flywheel, RMS, 65k maintenance, and some cosmetic repairs = $4.2K
But at least I knew where it stood mechanically now.

DE events, autocross, rallies, car shows and 6 mths later.....

Proud new owner of a 06 Caymen S.

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