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Old 01-27-2006, 10:55 PM   #1
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Rear (plastic) window split -- above temp thresh outside.

So, this time last year, I was a Floridian. Had been a Floridian for five years. It's warm in Florida.

Now we're in Ohio. It's cold in Ohio. Very cold.

Winter came earlier than expected, I had some health problems, long story short, the last time the car was pulled into the garage, the top was down. Hadn't hooked up the trickle charger, hadn't done all the things I planned to for Winter storage. Just another day in the garage, that turned into a three month sit.

During that three months, the old Interstate battery died. No big deal, I had planned on replacing that with an Optima anyway. Did that tonight, looks great.

My brother was over, and volunteered to take it over to fill it up (funny how willing people are to do that sort of thing when a Boxster is around). I asked him to put the roof up when he came back.

Right about there, those of you in colder climates are probably yelling "noooo!"

Well, 'no' is right. He heard a *pop* when the roof clicked into place. Where the plastic window had been bent inside the car had simply snapped apart. There's now a long clean split right down the middle from side to side.

Now, it's only 40 degrees out, granted. But that's not like 10 or 20. It's been in the mid to high 50s during the days. Honestly, had I been thinking clearly, I wouldn't have asked him to close the roof because of the cold -- but even thinking clearly, I don't think I would have expected it to split like that.

So, ah, here's my question... Obviously I have to find out what my policy covers, but am I screwed? Maybe some bitter person snuck in and slashed it with a knife while I was asleep? Lol, I'm joking, mostly.

I just don't know what to expect. Not from repair, or replacement. Not from coverage. I'd love to get a glass window to replace it. Can new plastic simply be sewn into place? There's nothing otherwise wrong with the roof itself. I've looked at the visor, and it says not to operate the roof under 0 degrees Celsius, as I type this, it's 36 degrees here. It was 39/40 when this happened -- I'm not under warranty anymore, but is this something worth calling my local dealership (MAG/Mid-Western Auto Group in Columbus) about? I realize 4-8 degrees is a slim margin, but it IS a margin. Technically speaking, I (he) was operating it within recommended guidelines.

Coming full circle to the health problems, they're severe, and they've directly impacted my wallet. I'm simply unable to just pay for a roof, and really, not even for repairs. I suppose I'm asking for advice -- how do I approach my insurance company (USAA, who is wonderful in my experience), and do I approach Porsche?

Either way, am I looking to replace the plastic, or the roof? If the roof, is there likely going to be an out-of-pocket expense to get into a glass rear window?

Thanks in advance for any guidance. Nothing like having someone else driving your car, and they come in saying "I have some bad news." Your stomach turns -- I imagine the only one worse off is the one delivering the info. Happened on his watch, and despite the fact that it's not even remotely his fault, I'm sure he feels terrible.
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Old 01-28-2006, 12:13 AM   #2
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Technically the advice I have may not be "legal". Im not sure either way but, try calling the insurance adjuster and tell him your back window is cracked and you were'nt present when it happened. Take it to the Porsche dealership for a quote and fax it to the insurance company. They'll subtract the deductable and mail you a check for the differance. With your check buy a top from ebay plastic($400 +/-) or glass($700 +/-) have a descent shop install the top (approx $350-400). So your total will range from $750-$1100. I think the Porsche quote will be somewhere in the $2000 range, i've never checked. It may sound a bit petty but it might be an option for you. I guess it depends how flexible your ins. company is. Another option is to just have another plastic window sewn in for a reasonable price. If you have a local auto upholsterer stop by and ask them for a qoute. The labor is pretty much the same as the full install plus i'd say $50 for plastic. It just so happens my top cracked much the same way. I'll have a new glass top installed sometime before spring. I am a little worried about my premium going up if I file a claim on it. I will just pay out of pocket. Good luck w/ what ever route you take.
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Old 01-28-2006, 08:27 AM   #3
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I've been there

Plastic windows crack. It's happened to a lot of us. Just like light bulbs burning out -even if being operated in appropriate conditions, it happens. With that said, I think it would be a waste of your time to (try to) talk Porsche or a dealership.

Insurance
I consider myself one of the lucky ones. My insurance covered it (and in my case, it was the insurance company's decision on whether a new plastic window needed to be stitched in or the entire top replaced.) The scenario you described is different from mine in that I got out of my car in the midst of lowering the top and did "the chop." Had I not done that, it would have been considered a mechanical problem, thus not covered. If your brother had been driving and threw a rod or something, insurance wouldn't even consider covering that because it's a mechanical problem -a problem occurring during normal operation.
Give your insurance company a call. You say they're wonderful, they may be able to work with you.
Getting it fixed
New Plastic Window - The most affordable fix is replacing the plastic window. I've received quotes ranging from $500 to $800 in my neck of the woods. This will depend on the condition of the top's stitching around the window. (I've been told that it requires a special machine that melts and bonds.)
New Glass Top - A glass window requires an entirely new top. I've never explored that option because I find the window looks disproportionately small.
New Top - If the plastic can't be replaced, a new top you shall need. I've received quotes from $1650 (installed) from independent shops to the ballpark of $3k from dealerships.
Hardtop - This was the route I went. My hardtop cost $2145 shipped from the dealership (Brandywine in PA). I keep my hardtop on most of the time for the following reasons:
  1. Ironically, I'm not really a convertible guy (girls dig it though). I get sunburned fairly quickly (everyone loves a redhead).
  2. Winter and summer both have temperatures not conducive for convertible cruising where I live.
  3. I love the way it looks. Kinda seems like a whole different car to me.
Health
Your health is more important any piece of plastic -it's more important than any Porsche. You know that. Don't sweat the car. If it's not in the cards to fix the top right now, so be it. Can I assume that since you've had it stored for 3 months that you have another vehicle to drive? The Boxster is still drivable and still looks great with the top down.
I hope this information helps you out bryant. If you have any other questions, post away or feel free to PM me.
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Old 01-28-2006, 08:48 AM   #4
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Sorry to hear anbout the rear window. Im up north in ohio had the same thing happen to me in the end of December. I got the car for xmas. I also had the car in a heated garage ~50 deg when I was showing a friend the new ride the window cracked on the way down. There is a great thread just search convertible tops. The GAAH top seems nice and has a lot of good feed back. The thread mentions a discount that the top installer is SUPPOSED to give you when ordering from GAAH. Seems the two Official GAAH dealers up here just mark up the top to get the difference in the discount. I called both before I had this information, then went back to them and they quoted me the same price for the top (after the discount). NICE Even better one is the dealer was cheaper than the top place on install. So I a going to order from CabrioWorld and have the dealer install the top and have the brakes bleed at the same time (they discount the job if other work is being done). I'd be real careful with the insurance stuff there good at knowing what to look for. At least on mine the way the crease is theres no doubt it was just the top it self. Also checked having the window replaced with plastic (can be done non porsche plastic window(they dont make a replacement) cost is only a few hundred bucks less then total replacement (from what I've found) and you still have to deal with the plastic window) If your weathers anything like ours the glass window is the best bet!!!

$ 3400.00 new top installed at dealer (porsche top plastic window)
$ 1200.00 new top (after market) (dealer installed) Glass window
$ 1485.00 new top (after market)( top place 1) Glass window
$ 1450.00 new top (after market) top place 2 Glass window

Yeah I know the dealer is cheaper !!!wth TheY must want by business and there going to get it.... Good luck....
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Old 01-28-2006, 09:15 AM   #5
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Lest anyone misunderstand, I was completely joking about the "someone slashed my window" quip. Basically, when I asked how to approach my insurance company, I just wasn't sure what was important to tell them, and what wasn't. Figured some here had to have experienced this, so wanted to ask. Just don't want people thinking this is a thread about defrauding USAA. Were that my goal, I'd have been loathe to post here with my last name as the username, the name of my insurance company, and my city and state in the postbit.

That said, thanks a bunch for the info. It's been helpful. I'm calling USAA now. Our home was struck by lightning a few years ago, and a good 80% of the electronics within were completely destroyed. USAA was amazing through the whole thing, even went above and beyond a few places. I hope they'll be as good here, and I'm sure they'll be fair, at the very least.

The one upside to my health issues is we're not in a gigantic rush to get this fixed, as I can't drive the car right now. So that's working in our favor, at least.

Thanks all.
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Old 01-28-2006, 09:46 AM   #6
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bryant, most importantly, I hope you get well soon!
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Old 01-28-2006, 11:48 AM   #7
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Did my chop too..with cracked plastic window

I am another Ohioan who chopped his window to a nice crack. It is 51 degrees today. Unseasonably warm for mid-winter, so I dropped the top, did the top, to hear the horrible crack. So my question is this;

1) I don't suppose top replacement is a warranty item..I am still under warranty.

2) I know this question has been covered extensively in this forum, but there is still no clear answer to me atleast..the question of engine access with the glass top. Is there a definatively answer...

I hate that plastic window..my only criticism of the car.....

docdyh
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Old 01-28-2006, 11:56 AM   #8
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Hi,

I feel for both you guys... But, for others, a little caution may be in order so you can avoid this happening to you. Even if the Temp rises, Plastic also dries out making it more Temperature sensitive with regard to it's Elasticity and more prone to cracking in general.

There are a number of things you can do to try and prevent this. Easiest is simply to idle the Car until it's warm and let the Engine Heat warm up the window. You can use a Hair Dryer for a couple minutes to heat it up, or just put a Heat or Flood Lamp over it for 10-20 minutes (not too close to the Paint!). Also, store the Car with the Top Up if possible. If folding a Cold Top, try taking a towel and wetting it, then heat it in a Microwave for a couple minutes, then lay it over the window (using Tongs, Gloves or something to keep from getting Scalded) and let the Heat soak into the Plastic.

All a pain, I know, but maybe less so than dealing with a cracked window. Hope this helps...

Happy Motoring!...Jim'99
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Old 01-28-2006, 03:08 PM   #9
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Do what I did. Take it back to the dealer and complain about it. My entire soft-top was replaced for free. I had (like most Boxster owners), extremely serious graze marks on the either sides of the soft-top. They told me that a Porshce rep. was in town and I finally brought the car in and he inspected it. He never said a word but ordered the dealership to replace the top. I pretty much told them that the "normal wear and tear" wasn't a good enough explanation and that I didn't expect a $50,000 car would have such faults!

So the same goes for that *pos* plastic that they use in the back!

-jollyroger
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Old 01-28-2006, 05:02 PM   #10
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Talked to USAA tonight, an adjuster is calling us back in a few days to talk about all of it. We'll see how it goes. Will update this thread now and again so it might be of use to someone else who goes through the same later (and as a cautionary tale -- good call on heating the plastic up first).

Hey, if *anything* had to break on my car, let it be the roof. When I'm in it, I want the top down.

Another bit of good news. Sat for 3 months, not a drip of oil on the floor underneath when we pulled it out.

FWIW, installing the Optima battery was a breeze. Followed the link below to the letter, and it went in perfectly in about 20 minutes.

http://tech.rennlist.com/boxster/Porsche_Optima_Battery%20Install_Oggie.pdf

Finally, thanks for the health comments. Didn't intend to make an issue of it, just found it relevant as it played into my (in)ability to just go out of pocket on a new top. These things happen -- but hey, I could be sick and *not* own a Boxster.
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Old 01-28-2006, 05:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docdyh
I am another Ohioan who chopped his window to a nice crack. It is 51 degrees today. Unseasonably warm for mid-winter, so I dropped the top, did the top, to hear the horrible crack. So my question is this;

1) I don't suppose top replacement is a warranty item..I am still under warranty.

2) I know this question has been covered extensively in this forum, but there is still no clear answer to me atleast..the question of engine access with the glass top. Is there a definatively answer...

I hate that plastic window..my only criticism of the car.....

docdyh
I don't believe it is covered in the Factory warranty mines out but I did ask the dealer if it was covered anyway and they said no(if it where in warranty). If you have a after market warranty you might have a better chance although most times in my experience those warrantys only cover drive train . You might have gotten a premium warranty you will have to check. I really tossed around the plastic window, glass window debate again search the thread under convertible top. My research finds the glass after market window hinders very little if any service space. If there is a problem the top can be unhooked and moved out of the way easily. I'm going with glass due to our weather conditions and also want to spend my time driving the car not chopping and blow drying the plastic window. (no offence MN i have learned alot from reading your posts just my opinion) best of luck Stoddard is the dealer that gave me the decent price.
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Old 01-29-2006, 12:20 AM   #12
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Thanks for the info BadboyS..hey I take mine to stoddard too. What price did they quoate your for top replacment? and where did you buy your glass top?

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Old 01-29-2006, 12:40 PM   #13
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Stroddard said $650.00 but I am getting the brakes bleed too which they knock 50.00 off the price so 600.00. I am going to order from cabrio world. Gaah said they sell to dealers and the two I called here one in eastlake one in mentor marketed up the price Clover has never done a porsche boxster top before Tops said they have but there labor is more than the dealer they want 750.00 which has changed to 720.00 then I was quoted 9-10 hours at 65.00 per hour. They dont list the glass top and were supposed to check into it and call me last week Im still waiting. I know gaah has it, its on there web site but no computer access there. I think the dealer is the best deal plus if any problems I think they will be easier to deal with. Tops was very busy with all the hot rod guys stuff (full interiors ) they weren't sure when they would get to it. Nice

I'm going to order this week to get it in and ready for spring. Gene said give him a couple days notice and will have it done in a day (brake bleeding too) .. Good luck

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Old 01-29-2006, 01:57 PM   #14
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Isn't the cabrioworld top a GAHH top? I assume that you went with the glass top? Please let me know how the installation goes and post some pics when complete if possible. I think I will go with Stoddard if your tops comes out good.

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Old 01-31-2006, 05:21 PM   #15
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Smile Glass all the way..

Well Doc well find out I ordered top today.... I did see on another thread that the top came in a Gaah box.. If it is a GAAH top then I just saved myself 300.00 by ordering from Cabrio World over GAAH them self. Cabro World was great on the phone (I should have asked the Gaah question) Hope to it see thursday or friday. Ordered this am and it went out this afternoon. Planning on install sometime in april if the weather stays mild maybe sooner!!!!!
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Old 02-02-2006, 04:33 PM   #16
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Bro,

Is there any way you can cancel that order? There's one for sale on eBay. Looks good and the high bid (1 bidder) is $49.01.

Here's the item #: 8034957266

-jollyroger
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Old 02-02-2006, 05:01 PM   #17
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thanks for the info I received the top today.. They cut the GAAH label off the box. There is a GAAH sticker in the corner of the glass window. They must have missed it. I saw a couple of used tops on the web the last month. I wanted to go new, I dont want any problems plus not sure if the dealer would put on a used top. Next will be install two or three months away!!!! Ohio weather Blah
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Old 02-02-2006, 06:40 PM   #18
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Wow, 50 degrees and you guys think you can put the top down without a chance of cracking?

Well I am in Indiana so I'm with you Ohio guys for weather.

Here is what I do whenever I want to put my top down.
1) I reach back and poke the window with my finger
2) If I can feel the window give like a piece of rubber then its ok to put the top down.
3) If the window moves like a hard pice of plastic then I don't put the top down.


Its as simple as that.
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Old 02-02-2006, 06:48 PM   #19
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hey badboy...

you got a deal..the prices just went up..now $950 from cabrioworld and over $1000 from GAHH...

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Old 02-04-2006, 03:30 PM   #20
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I can't believe It!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! $300.00 diff in just a week Man talk about timing Sorry you didn't get in Hopefully it will drop again soon. now it may be worth it to have the plastic replaced. Tops in mentort wanted ~ 500.00 to removed the top and but a new piece of plastic in.. Stoddard wanted 1000.00 I believe With the 17 inches of snow expected i doubt will be getting out soon anyhow...


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