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Old 03-19-2014, 09:37 PM   #1
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Thinking of buying a Boxster

I know it's been beaten to death around here, but to be honest all the failure talk has me worried.

It's a 97 2.5 with 35k miles. I know it's a needle in a haystack kind of failure, but how worried should I be?

This will be my first p-car. I'm seriously giddy at the thought of owning one.

So, as a newb, I beg you to talk me into buying this sweet little car.

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Old 03-19-2014, 09:40 PM   #2
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Buy it. Nothing is going to happen to that car, you will love it!

After driving my 2000 S model for 7 months, It has brought me nothing but joy and I don't even think about silly IMSB issues anymore.

Change the oil regularly and drive it in the higher rpm range. just like the doctor ordered.
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Buy it. Nothing is going to happen to that car, you will love it!

After driving my 2000 S model for 7 months, It has brought me nothing but joy and I don't even think about silly IMSB issues anymore.

Change the oil regularly and drive it in the higher rpm range. just like the doctor ordered.
What he said.

Love my S. Relatively cheap to buy and like the one your are looking it has low mile. I've driven it 7,000 miles and it's been great. I will enjoy it more then the previous owner and he paid over $40k in depreciation.
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Old 03-20-2014, 02:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
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Buy it. Nothing is going to happen to that car, you will love it!
How can you possibly say that nothing is going to happen to the car when .Jack has given us no meaningful information regardig servicing, condition, history etc, etc.
We all hope new owners have a trouble free experiences but sweeping statements like that isn't helpfull to newbies.....

.Jack, if you are not sure you are doing the right thing, read, read and read again as much as you can about Boxsters and then get a good Porsche shop to do a pre-purchase inspection. It will be the best dollar cost you will invest in the car.
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Old 03-20-2014, 04:33 AM   #5
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Buy it, drive it and don't worry.. they are great cars!
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Old 03-20-2014, 05:29 AM   #6
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I am 100% in Steve Tinker's camp. Read above about "Thinking about buying a Boxster". Do your research . Try several cars. Early cars are cheaper and I do like the low mileage aspect because accessories have less wear on them.

You cannot run a Box for the cost of running a Miata but then these two cars it is like comparing apples to oranges. Plan on spending $1500-2000 a year.

Ask for receipts for work done. Don't rush to buy one and of course get a PPI done.
Accident damage etc?

Cheers, Guy.
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Old 03-20-2014, 06:14 AM   #7
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I'm in the "go for it" camp. Bought mine on a whim 5 years ago and, apart from maintenance items like brakes and coolant tank, I have had no major trouble from it at all over 40k+ km of ownership. I do lots of extended road trips and never worry about the reliability. The car now has 133000 km on the clock.

Now, if I had found this forum before I bought the car and started reading Raby's hype about the 457 modes of failure then I probably would have been scared off buying one, and that would have been a great pity. I am so glad I have had the experience of owning this car. It is like no other car I have ever owned or driven.
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:26 AM   #8
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Pick up a copy of Excellence Magazine's buyer's guide. It discusses weak spots for each Boxster year and as well as listing a range of prices. Don't ever make a German car purchase without having a basic understanding of the car's weak points. Coming to a forum is not a substitute for this. Also, I recommend buying a 2.7 or 3.2 Boxster with the IMS issue already sorted out.
At this point there are many cars like this out there and forum members are always looking to sell their cars. Start with the Porsche forum classifieds first. Then try private sellers. As a last resort go the middle man used car dealer route unless your state has some lemon law guarantees. This was the case with my purchase, NJ required a 1 year limited warranty for dealer sales....but my car only had 9K miles when I picked it up. When stepping into a car that has seen very low mileage or very high mileage, you need to do some research. Both can have very costly expenses awaiting.
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:34 AM   #9
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The only thing I know about the car is from a carfax. One owner car from Texas, no accidents, the only services reported were an a/c recharge and a fairly recent emission test failure. The car did pass emissions shortly thereafter.

It is at a used car dealership, and they want far too much for it. I still have to look at the car, but if I can get the deal done right, I would put in the money for the longeveity upgrades before the aftermatket warranty wears out.
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:51 AM   #10
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I actually found this forum looking for classifieds and saw some really nice ones. I'm not quite jumping in with both feet yet, but I would like to be driving this thing on 4/1.
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:06 AM   #11
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Other than displacement, why the 2.7 and 3.4 engines recommended?
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:15 AM   #12
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Go for it!

And if you decides to replace the IMSB, go with OEM. The Aftermarket IMSB has yet to be proven better than the OEM; the aftermarket IMSB can fail earlier. After all there's only few percentage of them failed, right? Then the OEM IMSB must be pretty good.
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Old 03-20-2014, 10:41 AM   #13
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Buy it.

I have 132,000 miles on my Boxster engine with original everything. This engine has been revved to redline over 10,000 times (seriously) and has more than 80 track days with >200 hours of track time being driven harder than you could imagine. Still runs perfect.

Worst case, buy the car and have the IMS bearing replaced if that is what is takes for you to sleep better.

But definitely buy the car. We are all living the dream.
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Old 03-20-2014, 10:50 AM   #14
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Get the inspection done, and if it is good, then buy it. Keep in mind that it is a 17 year old car, and it may need some repairs. I am coming up on two years of ownership, and have spent VERY little money in repairs. I really don't do most of the work myself either.

Drive it like the Dr. ordered and you should be fine. But again. It is 17 years old. Better reliability than a lot of 17 year old cars, but still 17.
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:01 AM   #15
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Be cautious about using a forum to be your guild
There are many strong opinions here as well as real world experiences
You have to filter and you can get some good insight as to trouble areas to look for
Take Oil for example. It's all over the place as to what to use, but through all that is a common thread - what ever you use - change it often

You need your used car radar for any car but for high end sports cars knowing their trouble spots can help you weed out

You are looking at a 16+ year old car.
Low mileage on older boxsters has it's own debates as to being good or bad
Be knowledgeable about the models and what you want as far as options and let that help guild you.
For me it was the S model with 3.2 liter and I didn't want to have to immediately replace tires and brakes. The underside needed to be dry of fluids and all the other things to look for.

Good luck
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:23 AM   #16
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You should be moderately worried, but not focused on the IMS. There are many issues and maintenance items to worry about. If you answer No to any of the following look elsewhere:

1. Are you interested and capable of performing basic to moderate troubleshooting?
2. Are you interested and capable of performing basic to moderate maintenance and repairs?
3. Can you afford $2K per year on average for maintenance and/or repairs
4. Are you capable of absorbing a worse case event of losing your purchase price minus $2-3K?

I bought a '97 with 96K miles a year and a half ago and frankly the car is a PITA. Since I can answer yes to all of the above my annual costs have stayed under $2K and I still consider it a reasonable risk to take
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Old 03-20-2014, 01:02 PM   #17
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Had my 2001 S for 2 years and no issues.

However you will have an old car and like any old car it will need some of the more major overhauls as parts wear out.

At 80K miles things like Belts, some hoses, suspension components, water pump, vario cam guides, clutch, perhaps a sensor here or there.

Plastic/rubber eventually gets less pliable and could cause vacumm leaks and other inconvenient things that if taken care of yourself will save loads of money and result in a reliable car.

The IMSB issue is a DIY $500 fix or a $2500 shop fix so you can make that issue go away for a long time either way.

You must buy a Boxster and live the dream and drive it hard. Enthusiasts will help support you along the way.
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Old 03-20-2014, 01:43 PM   #18
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I'm going to make some generalizations that aren't always the case, but things that I look out for.

Things to look out for when buying a used car:
1) "Mom & Pop" lots that don't sell new cars, especially if the car you are looking at is the nicest one on the lot. I doubt that anyone traded their Porsche, in "excellent" condition, in on a minivan with 120,000 miles on it. Chances are it was purchased at an auction, and for not very much money. It sold at an auction because nobody else would touch it. It probably has been neglected and needs major work. Service records will be minimal at best so you will have to assume that noting has been done.

2) Learning as much as you can about Boxsters before purchasing is a wonderful idea. It doesn't mean you have to do any work yourself, but you will know what questions to ask and what service records to look for.

3) Absolutely, 100% get a PPI from either a Porsche dealer, or an independent shop that is recommended on here, but NOT one that the dealer recommends, or the dealer's mechanic.

4) I don't like to gamble with a $10k+ repair, so I have opted to get the IMS bearing replaced with a ceramic. I have also just ordered the direct oil feed system for a little added security. Chances are nothing will happen, but I like to hedge my bets.

5) Carfax is a nice in principal, but it doesn't show everything, it shows only "reported" items. Those items never include oil changes and other maintenance items that show how well a car has been cared for, or beaten on in its life.

If those things haven't scared you off, then go for it! They are terribly fun.
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Old 03-20-2014, 03:55 PM   #19
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Thanks for all the replies.

I will give the car a good look, and see if it goes anywhere. If it looks good I'll have it inspected and see if we can make a deal.

If this one falls through, I'll be patient, but I'm pretty certain that I need one of these cars.
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:10 AM   #20
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Well, I went and saw the car.

RMS leak, bald front tires, LR strut was junk. $14,300 otd.

Needless to say I passed, but I did get to drive one finally. I am now certain that I need one of these cars. Its just a matter of time until I find the right one.

What a fun little car.

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