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Old 02-04-2006, 10:13 AM   #1
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New Owners Beware - My saga

I purchased my 2001 Boxster after careful consideration and with much advice from this forum about 5 months ago. I purchased the car with the extended warranty and had a pre-purchase inspection completed on the car and really felt like I made a solid decision. I spent the first month romancing over what I would do with the car and learning everything I could.

The romance is over because about 3 weeks ago my engine died. Driving in Los Angeles, the engine suddenly starting making little noises and then more noises within about 30 minutes and finally when I pulled over to inspect, it would no longer start. After having the car towed to the dealer, he called the next day and told me he suspected that I had put diesel in the car. I panicked briefly (I don't think it's really possible to make this mistake at a normal gas station due to the size and placement of the nozzles). However, the dealer called the next day and told me that the crankshaft simply broke and that this was a fairly common occurrence.

The damage: $12,000

A call was put in to the extended warranty where they requested a tear-down that would cost another $4,000, which they would only cover if the damage was deemed as being "covered."

The painful process of waiting for the teardown, the inspector to arrive and then to fax documentation (service records, maintenance schedules, etc.) was just about one of the most nerve-wracking things I've had to go through in awhile since if there was a glitch, I'd be on the hook for perhaps $16,000.

I had contemplated posting my story earlier to the forum but it was simply too much to keep thinking about it. However, after much anxious waiting, the dealer finally got the green light from the extended warranty company and I'll be getting my car back next Friday. Needless to say, I am extremely thankful.

Here's some closing questions/comments:
1. My final out-of-pocket looks like it will be approximately $1,000 to the dealer for labor that was not covered by the warranty. Does anyone know if this is standard? My policy is supposed to cover everything but apparently there is a difference between the amount of labor charged by the dealer and what the warranty company was willing to pay. It doesn't make sense to me. I have a zero-deductible policy.

2. Make sure to purchase extended warranty. The original owner purchased the policy for a little over $2k but that has already paid for itself many times over. (I'm not sure which is the best one but so far aside from the hassle, they have paid out - Warranty Direct).

3. When purchasing/owning a vehicle, make SURE to obtain service records and keep any that you have. This was crucial because any type of warranty can be voided if insufficient documentation is produced. If you do service yourself, make sure to keep receipts for all the parts that you purchase.

4. Along the lines of number 3, make sure to maintain your vehicle AT LEAST according to the porsche recommendations. Otherwise, VOIDED warranty.

5. I'll reiterate what a lot of people are saying on this forum to prospective new owners: don't buy this car unless you've got EXTRA money to spare.

Hope everyone does better with their vehicle.

Simon
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Old 02-04-2006, 10:42 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear...

Extended warranties are tricky. You MUST read all of the fine print and gather as much info about the warranty company and their policies as possible before committing to them. They will most always try to find a way out. Great advice on keeping ALL receipts and documentation of work performed on your car.

A far as the crankshaft breaking...I can't say this is a common occurance. Do a search here and on other sites and you won't find any.

"5. I'll reiterate what a lot of people are saying on this forum to prospective new owners: don't buy this car unless you've got EXTRA money to spare. "

I don't think they meant an extra $16,000 to spare! What happened to you I don't believe is normal. I think people were referring to Porsche Marked Up intangibles such as top problems, cracking coolant reservoirs, RMS, oil filler tube replacement, etc...

Good luck and enjoy the car when its nursed back to health!
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Old 02-04-2006, 10:51 AM   #3
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Sorry to hear about your misfortune..glad you got things worked out. However I agree with previous post that your situation is not typical...extended warranty is still not clear cut...yes, in your situation it repaired catastophic breakdown, much like health care. The question is how often is catastophic illness/repair..

For normal upkeep, my not be required or financially advantageous...that is the gamble of the insurance business...

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Old 02-04-2006, 11:32 AM   #4
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Never heard of this type of failure on a Box although I am sure it is possible.

Get out that warranty contact and see if you can sidestep the $1000 also.

Good luck!

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Old 02-04-2006, 11:41 AM   #5
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If your warranty states that you have some out-of-pocket exposure, try to negotiate with the dealer, and reduce your $1,000 amount to something less. Let's face it; the dealer is getting about $15K. I am sure there is a "rich" margin in there to help you reduce your potential $1K exposure.
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Old 02-04-2006, 11:55 AM   #6
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Idjiot, sorry to hear of you're bad luck but glad to hear you escaped a "worst case scenario".

I'm not familiar with extended warranties. Are there a lot of companies offering them? Does Porsche offer one? How about AAA?

Those of you have them, who did you go with and why?

Thanks, Jim
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Old 02-04-2006, 01:13 PM   #7
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Interesting that the warranty outfit requested and got a "teardown" from the dealer. I thought that Porsche std practice with the Box was for a dealer to take the motor down only far enough to establish whether they had an engine replacement situation on their hands.
Different with a 3rd party warranty?
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Old 02-04-2006, 01:19 PM   #8
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If the warranty company will pay up to $100 per hour but the shop charges $145 per hour, who eats the difference. You, or your shop. If that is why you owe something then you could have asked the dealer to do it at the rate being paid. More so if it is the warranty being sold by that dealer.

First time I have heard of a crankshaft problem. More likely the intermediate shaft.
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Old 02-04-2006, 01:42 PM   #9
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Porsche offers extended warranties in two ways.

You can extend it when you buy the car new.

or, you can buy a CPO car from them.

Otherwise, you have to go aftermarket.

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Old 02-04-2006, 02:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idjiot
However, the dealer called the next day and told me that the crankshaft simply broke and that this was a fairly common occurrence.
Simon
Are you sure he didn't state "Intermediate Shaft" failure?
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Old 02-04-2006, 07:28 PM   #11
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Intermediate crankshaft

I think it may have been the intermediate instead of just the "crankshaft" itself. I'll admit that I'm not too technical when it gets down inside the engine itself. When I get the car back, I'm sure I'll receive the full explanation.

As for thoughts on the cost of ownership for the car, I'm definitely glad that I was able to buffer the costs of the engine replacement with the warranty. It's certainly one of those "luck of the draw" things but ultimately, I think new Porsche owners need to be prepared for this type of out-of-pocket expense. I personally "budgeted" about $200 per month worth of maintenance for the car just for planning purposes.

As far as the teardown goes, I believe it's standard practice. The two guys from local dealers that I spoke with both concurred that it's pretty much standard.

I'll try to talk to the dealer to see if they can cut me some slack on the remaining amount - although it just doesnt' make sense that the warranty company would not reimburse in full.

Thanks for the thoughts everyone.
Simon
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Old 02-05-2006, 09:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idjiot
I personally "budgeted" about $200 per month worth of maintenance for the car just for planning purposes.

I think you were smart in figuring $200/month ownership costs. Although I believe this is a high number you'd have a nice little savings tucked away. After a few years you could use the money on a down payment for a newer, fully warrantied Boxster!
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Old 02-05-2006, 10:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucelee
Porsche offers extended warranties in two ways.

You can extend it when you buy the car new.

or, you can buy a CPO car from them.

Otherwise, you have to go aftermarket.

Brucelee, I bought mine from a Porsche dealer and later received a Stainless silver box from PCNA with a letter stating the car was given the 100 point inspection and was a "Certified" Porsche car. The car is a 1997 with very low miles. I have nothing from the dealer stating this and am curious if the 2 year "Certified" warranty would apply to this vehicle. Car has been perfect to date but then its only just touched 11,200 miles. Seems you know your stuff, just curious here.
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Old 02-05-2006, 11:17 AM   #14
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"Brucelee, I bought mine from a Porsche dealer and later received a Stainless silver box from PCNA with a letter stating the car was given the 100 point inspection and was a "Certified" Porsche car. The car is a 1997 with very low miles. I have nothing from the dealer stating this and am curious if the 2 year "Certified" warranty would apply to this vehicle. Car has been perfect to date but then its only just touched 11,200 miles. Seems you know your stuff, just curious here"

If the car has any kind of Porsche extended warranty, this will be indicated in the computer system in the service dept of any Porsche dealer. You can check any old time.

However, since the EW is a 6 yr/100K warranty from the date of inception, it is unlikely you have the Porsche extended warranty.

Let us know!
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