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Old 03-10-2014, 11:11 PM   #1
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Which Boxster S would be a better purchase in the long run?

I'm looking to buy a Porsche Boxster S. Right now, I've found a dealer selling a 2000 with 104,000 miles on it for $11,000 and a private seller with a 2003 with 40,000 miles for $17,000. Now I like the color of the 2003 and the fact that it is newer and looks to be in great shape, but it is significantly more expensive. But what I'm concerned about is major costs down the road. It seems much more likely that I will run into something like a timing belt replacement on the 2000 one due to the higher miles, and that would be a significant cost. Would it be better in the long run to buy the newer one with less miles? Or is 104,000 miles okay, given that it is much cheaper? I don't want to buy the older one and have to do a $4000 repair a year from now if the 2003 one won't give me that problem. Obviously there's still a chance that one would need a major repair, and a $4000 repair after spending $11,000 is easier to handle than after having spent $17,000.

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Old 03-10-2014, 11:30 PM   #2
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Buy the newest and best condition Boxster (preferably with full service records) you can afford. $6k buys you a newer car with much lower miles. IMO that worth a lot. You can easily spend that much in the first year of ownership on the wrong car. Remember the Ss were $50k to $60k cars new in the earlier 2000s and the cost to maintain/repair these cars still reflect the original purchase price. Whatever you buy definitely get a PPI buy a qualified late model Porsche mechanic. Good luck.
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:03 AM   #3
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I think the 2000 will have dual row IMS bearings which the 2003 definately does not, which could save you an engine.

The 2000 is a good price and if it has records to indicate it was regularly maintained and has had the clutch and other 60K maintenance done its a good buy. Also its been driven regularly and Boxsters seem to suffer if they have not had a good workout regularly.

The 2003 on the other hand does have nice low miles but I would expect a new clutch in the next 20K miles and do the IMS bearing replacement while your in there at a cost of about 4K at the dealer.

At 40k miles its a tough call whether it could still experience engine issues and that would make me a little nervous. If you read the forum threads about cars with issues you will notice that the less frequently driven cars can suffer from initial new car issues and engine failures for quite a few miles. In a sense they have not had their bugs worked out yet to tell whether they will be a money pit or totally reliable.

If it were me knowing what I know now after ~2 years into my 2001 S with 65K miles, I'd keep the 6K savings for all the mods and little maintenance things and go with the dual row bearing car knowing that there will be some predictable maintenance ahead but after that it will be as good as new and no unexpected surprises ahead.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:06 AM   #4
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Don't buy into any of the scare tactics about used cars. Test all the options yourself and research the ones you dont understand. If you like the way the car is priced and optioned then highly consider it. If you drive the car long enough during the test you should be able to notice if the car is acting up. I tell this to everyone. Just because someone worked on the car does not make it a better car. Too many bad mechanics around. All mechanics will find things that are "wrong" with any used car.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:47 AM   #5
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Good contrast in the two cars. If I am not mistaken it is an accessory belt not a timing belt. The former I just had replaced a few months ago. Not major $$$ or much work to replace.

High mileage vs. low mileage. The low mileage car has less wear and tear on the accessories, namely water pump, coolant reservoir, aos etc. The higher mileage car may not have had the accessories replaced. It would be good to get service history on both cars but with a dealer it may be harder.

Year 2000S as mentioned above it is a better designed IMS. However read up about ims and "buying a boxster" in this forum.

Either way you go it is good to put $$$$ aside in case of problems. Either car is a major discount from original purchase price.

As mentioned above get a PPI done on the one you like. Any problems found can be renegotiated in the price.
Enjoy the ride! G.
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:09 AM   #6
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Depends on the work done to either. My Boxster has 90K miles now. but I've put well over $12K in preventative maintenance, upgrades and repairs into it. All that repair work started around the high 60K mile range. Before that this car never made a peep. Also, high mileage engine isn't as tight as newer mileage engine. This is a sports car afterall, without some tuning, they leave some power on the table with time and age. Not a big deal if you're not a leadfoot meister. Either way, I don't see the point of getting into a high mileage water-cooled Porsche that's not had a very extensive list of repairs... suspension, clutch/IMS, cooling system, top condition, bodwork, etc. it can get out of hand quickly. And the time to do all that is time you're not sitting in your quickly depreciating mass produced Porsche.
Also, there's no such things as a $11K Porsche... that runs like a sports car.
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:55 AM   #7
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2003 has glass rear window
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:10 AM   #8
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Being the owner of a 2000 S, I must admit some loyalty. Either car will likely require 2-4000 in maintenance during your first year. Get the PPI done for the more likely candidate. welcome to the club - it's well worth it!
BTW, our cars don't have timing belts - there are chains in there, and they're not usually an issue. Do you homework on:
IMS
RMS
Air-oil separator
2nd gear pop-out
top issues
tire wear
window regulators
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Old 03-11-2014, 01:10 PM   #9
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2003 has a few more horsepower... but i would not buy an S with that many miles, not because it wont run great with that many but because you can buy one with 60-80k for 13k or so easy... which is what i recommend... wait and see if you can find a middle ground car... if you are to avoid any years avoid 2001 and 2002... the 2000 has the safer bearing... and the 2003 has a glass rear window and a few more horsepower *you can find earlier cars with a glass window upgrade*
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Old 03-11-2014, 01:44 PM   #10
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Remember, those are just the asking prices. Take both for a good test drive and PPI. I like having a glass window and I'm sure you would also but any year of these cars S or not, are a blast to drive.
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Old 03-11-2014, 01:48 PM   #11
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2003 S models and up is my recommendation. Every year newer the car is the better they became all the way around.

That glass rear window in the 2003 is a lot more valuable that you might think... getting out each and every time you want to drop the top to "chop" the plastic in half so it doesnt kink up and crack or tear is a PAIN IN THE ASS... and it should not be that way in a Porsche. Miata? Yeah. Porsche? NO WAY!

You also get a glove box in the 2003 and up models.
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Old 03-11-2014, 02:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGJake111 View Post
2003 has a few more horsepower....
yes but the 03-04's were also the heaviest 986's. And the power bump was not huge.

glass top is nice, but you can have this upgraded in some areas for as little as $900.
And the upgrade of a newer top makes the whole car look newer.
After 11 years that glass top might start looking a little worn.

Overall, I think 1997-1999 is essentially the same car, 2000 - 2004 same car, 2005-2008 same car, 2009-2011 same car.
I would concentrate on mileage in each category, a good amount per year, say at least 2,500 miles, is ideal.
Once mileage crosses over ~60K miles some big expenses will be on the way if you intend to keep it more than a couple of years.
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Old 03-11-2014, 02:48 PM   #13
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yes but the 03-04's were also the heaviest 986's. And the power bump was not huge.
where does the extra weight come in.... for me personally i prefer the 2.5s and the 2000s but yeah where is the weight from?
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:38 PM   #14
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Cool

The most important item that the 03 has that the 00 doesnt is the cupholder.........
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:49 PM   #15
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The most important item that the 03 has that the 00 doesnt is the cupholder.........
Glove box?
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:52 PM   #16
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The most important item that the 03 has that the 00 doesnt is the cupholder.........
My PO was such an American she had them added to the 99 haha which is honestly a pain because now the air con is down in the lowest slot of the console... making me have to look further down and navigate my hand around the shifter to adjust it.
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Old 03-11-2014, 06:05 PM   #17
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and it should not be that way in a Porsche. Miata? Yeah. Porsche? NO WAY!

You also get a glove box in the 2003 and up models.
Glove boxes and cup holders are for Miata's...NOT Porsches!
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Old 03-11-2014, 06:07 PM   #18
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After decades of Japanese vehicle ownership, I have decided that Germans make the 'best' cars but that they age much quicker. Buy the newest possible.
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:41 PM   #19
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:55 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by BIGJake111 View Post
2003 has a few more horsepower... but i would not buy an S with that many miles, not because it wont run great with that many but because you can buy one with 60-80k for 13k or so easy... which is what i recommend... wait and see if you can find a middle ground car... if you are to avoid any years avoid 2001 and 2002... the 2000 has the safer bearing... and the 2003 has a glass rear window and a few more horsepower *you can find earlier cars with a glass window upgrade*
Actually my 2001 S has Dual row IMS and the 2000-2001 S has the beefier 3.2l engine with thicker more robust Cylinder walls so its actually a good thing, however part way through 2001 the S started getting single row IMS bearings as well so you virtually have to go by serial numbers to see which you get.

2002 on is a heavier car so, compromises everywhere.

I think its a dead heat for either option of the 2001 S or the 2003 S.


My 2001 S has 71k miles now and no issues at all and I drive the crap out of it at every opportunity and its the dailly driver and Auto-X machine as well.

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