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Old 12-02-2013, 01:59 PM   #1
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Unhappy Seller won't PPI

I'm in the market for an inexpensive fun car to drive- my research has pointed me towards a circa 2003 Boxster S. I've lurked here in the forums for a bit and read the "Thinking of buying a Boxster ? - MUST READ !" -- thanks for all the great info, super helpful.

I've test drove this car: 2003 Porsche Boxster S Everything seems cool, the wheels have some scratching where they've rubbed against a curb and there's a small dent on the rear trunk where some cargo was too big to fit. This is a 2-owner car, he has all the service records, including a recent inspection from a local (Modesto, CA based) import mechanic shop: Kruse-Lucas Imports.

I think the price is fair, but he's not overly motivated to sell (so he represents) and isn't willing to take the car to a Porsche dealership for a PPI (1.5 hour drive each way) and I get that. He says the car is excellent, he know's it and doesn't feel the need to overly convince someone else, that the local inspection should be good enough. I haven't seen that inspection yet but I'm supposed to get a copy tomorrow.

Otherwise there's this car: 2004 Porsche Boxster S but that has a new engine installed. Is that good or bad? From what I understand this new engine would have a different setup that would not allow the IMS bearing to be replaced with the LN retro without engine removal, correct? Haven't contacted this owner yet. He's also 200+ miles away, the first guy is around the corner.

Looking for any direction or words of wisdom- hard to think rationally when I just want to get it and drive! (:

Thanks in advance,
Scott

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Old 12-02-2013, 02:57 PM   #2
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Both cars look well cared for. Will the seller of the first one allow you to take it to the local shop that has been working on it? You don't have to have the PPI done at a Porsche dealer, in fact, many dealers won't do a PPI. An independent shop that has experience with Porsches is ideal. The fact that the 60K mile service was done is good news. I would want the dent fixed just because it would bother me.

The second car also looks nice. As far as the engine goes, you can have the DOF system installed and enjoy, at least that is my understanding of those engines. The fact that it is an 18,000 mile engine is a positive in my book.

I doubt you can go wrong with either car, both look to have documented service history, and enthusiast owned. Even with a PPI, there is no guarantee. Good luck and welcome to the forum!
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Old 12-02-2013, 03:06 PM   #3
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Both cars look well cared for. Will the seller of the first one allow you to take it to the local shop that has been working on it? You don't have to have the PPI done at a Porsche dealer, in fact, many dealers won't do a PPI. An independent shop that has experience with Porsches is ideal. The fact that the 60K mile service was done is good news. I would want the dent fixed just because it would bother me.

The second car also looks nice. As far as the engine goes, you can have the DOF system installed and enjoy, at least that is my understanding of those engines. The fact that it is an 18,000 mile engine is a positive in my book.

I doubt you can go wrong with either car, both look to have documented service history, and enthusiast owned. Even with a PPI, there is no guarantee. Good luck and welcome to the forum!
Exactly. I can also understand some sellers baulking at certain aspects of "in-depth" PPI's. When I sold my car I drew the line at pulling coil packs / plugs or tearing into the engine in any way, if damage occurred (cracked plastic, stripped plug holes, after effect leaks, etc.) it very easily would of been on my nickel to repair what the "experts" broke, no thanks.
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Old 12-02-2013, 03:23 PM   #4
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Thank you gentlemen for your feedback - I really appreciate it!
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:01 PM   #5
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I will add that I purchased my 2001 S in Atlanta over the phone after seeing an AutoTrader ad from a Cadillac dealer, I live in Texas After looking at the CARFAX report, I noticed it had been serviced at the same shop for 7 years. I gave them a call, and they knew the car well, they said the owner was meticulous and the car wanted for nothing, they wouldn't hesitate to buy. I also knew that a Cadillac dealer wouldn't risk their reputation on a then 11 year old car unless it was perfect. They took it on a trade when the owner traded it for a 2005 Boxster that they had on the lot. With all of that information, I was comfortable with the purchase even though I did not get a PPI. So far, knock on wood, it has been an awesome car

It still gives me a grin every time I drive it(I have had it a year and a half now). Today, headed to the doctor with a sinus infection, I still had to have the top down since it was sunny and 70 degrees! A Turbo S was in front of me as we took the on ramp, loved hearing the output of his exhaust and mine, sweet Pick one and enjoy
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:33 PM   #6
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Ok, so on the topic of sinus infections check out the saline washes like the Neti Pot; on the topic of exhaust- so I'm not much of a car guy.. I think they're cool and all, just haven't been around sports cars in the flesh before. I owned a 82 Corvette (automatic, it was a dog) when I was 17, but that was it. Now 15 years later the first time I ever physically touched a Porsche was test driving that 2003 boxster s listed above a few days ago. While shifting into second I revved the engine- I had no idea the exhaust sounded SO cool! I mean, maybe all you guys are just used to it or something, but it caught me by surprise- it literally growled at me. Very cool memory! (:
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:45 PM   #7
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I use the Neil-Med saline wash which has helped significantly but I still get one infection a year, almost always this time of year

On the exhaust, yes, it is intoxicating and I don't ever get tired of it! Go under an overpass or a tunnel and give it some gas, if you don't grin, you are not alive! My wife never fails to grin when she hears it echo off the concrete, great stuff! Get an after market performance exhaust and it gets even better. I have the Top Speed exhaust with secondary cat delete pipes which gives more growl, less weight and bump in HP. A worthwhile upgrade.

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Old 12-02-2013, 08:11 PM   #8
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Perhaps the seller would allow a PPI at a local independent shop.
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Old 12-02-2013, 08:38 PM   #9
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The point of a PPI is so that you have someone not emotionally involved to give you an unbiased report of the general condition of the car. No, its not perfect but its definitely worth it due to the potentially high cost of Porsche repairs.

Very few people sell a car right after they spent $2,000 fixing every known problem - most will do the major stuff but many minor issues almost always remain unresolved. Like maybe a seeping water pump that will soon start to leak/drip or an AOS that fails the oil cap suction test or a slightly grinding wheel bearing or a leaky cam cover gasket - things that a qualified Porsche mechanic will catch that the average buyer may not.

So, do you want to know what needs to be fixed before or after you buy it?
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Old 12-02-2013, 10:23 PM   #10
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BruceH-
Sweet thread on the exhaust, looks like the mufflers + 2nd cat delete pipes is the way to go.. It'd probably be good to do this after some months of owning the car so I could further appreciate the before/after difference.

thom4782-
Yes, a PPI was already done just over a month ago at the local shop. I guess I had it in my mind that only the Porsche dealership could check for PIWIS/DME to see if there had been previous engine abuse. Am I right in that assumption or not?

thstone-
Thanks for the input. During the recent 60k maintenance there were some issues fixed like rebuilt bosch alternator, coolant tank leak, new battery, etc. From what I can see the rear tires have about 40% life remaining, fronts 75% (non-matching), and in a report the clutch was estimated at 40% wear.

As for what I'd do, based upon my reading here, I think when the clutch needs to be replaced I'd put in a SACHS and add the LN IMS retrofit for a softer pillow at night while we're there.

Thanks again everyone for the responses- looking forward to joining the club soon!
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Old 12-03-2013, 04:02 AM   #11
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It depends. Some local shops have reasonably shophisticated diagnostic computers, e.g. Autologic or Durametric, that can provide a lot of specific information. I'll confess I don't know what the PIWIS can provide in addition, but I wouldn't let that stop me from buying what seem like a great car otherwise.
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:49 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by scottvd View Post
I'm in the market for an inexpensive fun car to drive- my research has pointed me towards a circa 2003 Boxster S. I've lurked here in the forums for a bit and read the "Thinking of buying a Boxster ? - MUST READ !" -- thanks for all the great info, super helpful.

I've test drove this car: 2003 Porsche Boxster S Everything seems cool, the wheels have some scratching where they've rubbed against a curb and there's a small dent on the rear trunk where some cargo was too big to fit. This is a 2-owner car, he has all the service records, including a recent inspection from a local (Modesto, CA based) import mechanic shop: Kruse-Lucas Imports.

I think the price is fair, but he's not overly motivated to sell (so he represents) and isn't willing to take the car to a Porsche dealership for a PPI (1.5 hour drive each way) and I get that. He says the car is excellent, he know's it and doesn't feel the need to overly convince someone else, that the local inspection should be good enough. I haven't seen that inspection yet but I'm supposed to get a copy tomorrow.

Otherwise there's this car: 2004 Porsche Boxster S but that has a new engine installed. Is that good or bad? From what I understand this new engine would have a different setup that would not allow the IMS bearing to be replaced with the LN retro without engine removal, correct? Haven't contacted this owner yet. He's also 200+ miles away, the first guy is around the corner.

Looking for any direction or words of wisdom- hard to think rationally when I just want to get it and drive! (:

Thanks in advance,
Scott
I'm a bit late to the dance on this thread, but when it comes to PPI's, I'd walk away from anyone that does not want to do one, or starts placing boundaries (who can do it, what can be looked at, who gets to see the data first, etc.) on getting one done. The object of the PPI is to determine the car's current condition and anything that would be needed after purchase. Armed with a dispassionate view of the car's condition, the buyer can enter into serious negotiations on the final price. If the car is as good as the seller says, they have nothing to be concerned about, but having done more than a few of these, you would be amazed at what someone calls "pristine".............
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:07 AM   #13
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I'm a bit late to the dance on this thread, but when it comes to PPI's, I'd walk away from anyone that does not want to do one, or starts placing boundaries (who can do it, what can be looked at, who gets to see the data first, etc.) on getting one done. The object of the PPI is to determine the car's current condition and anything that would be needed after purchase. Armed with a dispassionate view of the car's condition, the buyer can enter into serious negotiations on the final price. If the car is as good as the seller says, they have nothing to be concerned about, but having done more than a few of these, you would be amazed at what someone calls "pristine".............
While I usually wholeheartedly agree with you JFP, based on one past experience I believe that the seller owes it to himself to be prudent about where and who starts digging into your car.

If it is an agreed upon shop with a decent reputation that's one thing, if not that is another. Where I live if you go to the online yellow pages (as of a few years ago in this case) and type in "Porsche Repair Shop" then the city where I'm at, that is how one prior prospective buyer decided on who was to perform a PPI. Got there and witnessed the shop "techs" spend 30 minutes trying to figure out how to change a front light bulb on a 996, I am not embellishing one iota. I walked out and drove home.

Have heard of a few other "issues" along these lines, never from a reputable shop though. I will continue to place REASONABLE boundaries to protect myself if I sell............
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:49 AM   #14
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related question: How would a mechanic estimate remaining clutch life without dropping the transmission?
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:05 PM   #15
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Probably by how far from the floor the pedal travels before it engages.
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:45 PM   #16
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I know that I'm beating a dead horse here, but...

I agree with the seller. I would never, not for one minute, consider making a 3 hour round trip plus inspection time for someone who might buy my car. Local shops only. There are more buyers than sellers...

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Old 12-03-2013, 12:57 PM   #17
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If I was the seller I'd agree to a PPI in this case, but I'd want the prospective buyer to give me $200-$300 up front for my time and inconvenience. If the buyer buys the car, the $200-$300 comes off the purchase price. If not, it goes into the sellers pocket.
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Old 12-03-2013, 01:56 PM   #18
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Purchased mine without a PPI. Grew up in auto machine shop/garage my father owned so this gives me some insight on what to look and listen for, plus, I've been restoring cars for many years. If the car has been maintained locally, just check with them. I know of no shops that will remove and engine and transmission to do a thorough check for a couple of hundred bucks. This goes again, with the cars mileage, maintenance history and owner usage of the car. The shop doing the PPI will use their experience as to give the vehicle a thorough once over of condition and what will need to be done after purchase. Any used car your buying you are taking a chance...you just never know. Me, I look at the inside and outside, type of tires, gas he buys, even the wax he uses. If he cares, it shows...then go for drive. Then decide and negotiate. Know what this particular model sells for which gives you a little wiggle room, oh, cash in hand speaks real loud on your seriousness to buy. Good luck.
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Old 12-03-2013, 02:04 PM   #19
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While I usually wholeheartedly agree with you JFP, based on one past experience I believe that the seller owes it to himself to be prudent about where and who starts digging into your car.

If it is an agreed upon shop with a decent reputation that's one thing, if not that is another. Where I live if you go to the online yellow pages (as of a few years ago in this case) and type in "Porsche Repair Shop" then the city where I'm at, that is how one prior prospective buyer decided on who was to perform a PPI. Got there and witnessed the shop "techs" spend 30 minutes trying to figure out how to change a front light bulb on a 996, I am not embellishing one iota. I walked out and drove home.

Have heard of a few other "issues" along these lines, never from a reputable shop though. I will continue to place REASONABLE boundaries to protect myself if I sell............
"Reasonableness" is the key on this topic, and as with most things, what is reasonable to one is sometimes questionable to another. In the case of a three hour drive, that lacks reasonableness; but at the same time having the seller tell you that the car can only be PPI'ed at the shop of his choice, or only certain things can be looked at, and worst of all, being told that only the seller can see the results of the check is just plain nonsense and completely unreasonable. And yes, I have seen these exact boundaries placed on more than one car.

If you can't come to a "reasonable" agreement on what the PPI will be, time to walk away..........
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Old 12-03-2013, 02:22 PM   #20
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"Reasonableness" is the key on this topic, and as with most things, what is reasonable io one is sometimes questionable to another. In the case of a three hour drive, that lacks reasonableness; but at the same time having the seller tell you that the car can only be PPI'ed at the shop of his choice, or only certain things can be looked at, and worst of all, being told that only the seller can see the results of the check is just plain nonsense and completely unreasonable. And yes, I have seen these exact boundaries placed on more than one car.

If you can't come to a "reasonable" agreement on what the PPI will be, time to walk away..........
It looks as if we are on the same page after all. I took your prior post "walk away if the seller places any boundaries" as to suggest the seller forfeit any say in what the prospective buyer wants / where to check the car out, for me that would be out of the question.

Side note; the PPI that was ultimately performed on my car was by a local shop who builds 911's for Lemans and Grand Am teams, and their cars regularly win. Sgt Brad was the buyer of the car and he paid for the PPI. Brad contacted me a few weeks after the sale and said the shop came back after him for an additional $500 for repairs that they had "an invoice dispute / discrepancy" over. I was a bit surprised at the whole scenario but got involved and talked to the shop since they were local and it was eventually dropped.

My guess is that you see the other side of the spectrum being a shop owner, it's just that my limited exposure to P-Car PPI's as a seller has been a bit sour.

P.S. Knowing now what I wish I knew then there a 2 or 3 shops within an hour from my location that I'd completely trust.

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