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Old 04-21-2014, 03:01 AM   #1
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just bought my first porsche

After some google searches i found this site. So far some great discussions.

Ive been looking at the Boxster for about 6 months and finally pulled the trigger. I picked up a 2003 2.7 with only 3000 miles on it. Barely broken in i presume. From what ive read, the 2003 is a good year having minor updates and slighlty more power than prior years.

Im hoping to hear some tips, warnings or anything else about these cars from people who have have/had them, work on them or just have an abundance of info on it.
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:43 AM   #2
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3k or 30k? If its 3k preserve it haha! but 30k then sounds like a great car, only worry would be that it wasn't driven regularly in the past. Age old worry is the ims, I would look into that and consider a retrofit since your low mileage boxster is still worth good money, I would suggest the retrofit.
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:47 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum. I am amazed at the low mileage on it. Some members may warn you about the low miles combined with an older car. I have had installed the IMS Guardian on my 2001 Boxster that gives a warning of an impending ims bearing failure. Or you could go ahead and replace the bearing with a new one. Or else just drive it as is and take your chances.

Of course pics of your new car would be great! And drive it like you stole it!
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Old 04-21-2014, 06:38 AM   #4
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If it were me, I'd get the oil changed ASAP along with other fluids as well (especially the brake fluid).

As others have mentioned, replacing the IMS bearing or going with the Guardian would be a good idea at this point since it was barely driven.
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:01 PM   #5
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Also don't forget that tires wear with age as well as miles. Paul walker learned the hard way on that one.


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Old 04-21-2014, 02:36 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. It is indeed only 3100 miles. The dealer i got it from told me it was from a collector with dozens of cars. Which explains the low milage. They told me they have this computer that runs fault codes and i cant remember what he called it. But i do know it wasnt the regular obd2 scanner.

It appears to have been stored inside and brakes, tires and everything else are original. I see no dry rot on the tires, but i will keep an eye now that its being driven again. They also told me all fluids were changed and the raido was sent out for repair due to some code they detected.

The bearing is something i heard about and i will ask them if that was changed, if not i will look into that. Its not the fastest car ive owned, but its the nicest and most fun to drive.
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:42 PM   #7
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I should add this is a reputable exotic car dealer and not your buy here pay here place, or even a local chevy dealer. With that said i trust them a bit more.
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:55 PM   #8
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If you do not mind me asking, how much or at least what ballpark did you pay for a car with so few miles?
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Old 04-21-2014, 03:38 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies. It is indeed only 3100 miles. The dealer i got it from told me it was from a collector with dozens of cars. Which explains the low milage. They told me they have this computer that runs fault codes and i cant remember what he called it. But i do know it wasnt the regular obd2 scanner.

It appears to have been stored inside and brakes, tires and everything else are original. I see no dry rot on the tires, but i will keep an eye now that its being driven again. They also told me all fluids were changed and the raido was sent out for repair due to some code they detected.

The bearing is something i heard about and i will ask them if that was changed, if not i will look into that. Its not the fastest car ive owned, but its the nicest and most fun to drive.
If it was my car I'd buy new tires flush all the fluids and run 500 to 1000 miles and flush them all again.
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Old 04-21-2014, 04:28 PM   #10
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It appears to have been stored inside and brakes, tires and everything else are original. I see no dry rot on the tires, but i will keep an eye now that its being driven again. They also told me all fluids were changed and the raido was sent out for repair due to some code they detected.
Tires definitely need changed if they're the originals. Age is just as much of a wear type as is use.
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Old 04-21-2014, 06:05 PM   #11
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fair enough. Should I change just the engine oil or all the fluids including trans, brake, coolant etc?

The car was $23,000 and some change, not including a few extras I had them install before I drove it home. Its more than most others of the same age however none of them even closely compared to this one in both mileage and condition.

At this point Im not even sure how to get at the engine lol, but being the type of car it is I see myself taking it in for most of the work I need. I have no issues jacking up my truck or vw, however this one will rack my nerves...
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Old 04-21-2014, 06:22 PM   #12
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Drive and enjoy! Sounds like a great find. Don't worry too much... you bought one of best built cars ever!
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:16 PM   #13
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The price is actually pretty good. Dont be afraid to DIY but I doubt your car will need any major services considering the miles. To get to the engine you crack the top opening the clamshell, then you remove the ball joints connecting the top as well as the the little clipping carpet piece, after that you must remove the storage shelf, then the sound proof carpeting, lastly the engine cover, viola.
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:47 AM   #14
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If the fluids have been changed, no need to do it again. I would be sure about the coolant. It may look fine but if it's old and acidic, it can lead to premature water pump failure. I would keep an eye on the coolant tank, cracks a common issue and may be more age than mileage related, and the AOS and drive it. I would then change the clutch out early, maybe 40-50K miles and get the IMS and water pump replaced at that time.
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:18 AM   #15
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Awesome find!

Like they all said - change all the fluids - get some new tires and......drive it like you stole it!
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:20 PM   #16
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At the very least, get new tires!
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:33 PM   #17
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You have an 11 year old single bearing IMS with only 3,000 miles?

Unless the previous owner diligently changed the oil every year you are a prime candidate for a brand new purchase of the an LNE Guardian until you get the new IMS bearing in there.

Some of the experts have said its not a good idea to keep the old clutch when you swap out the old IMS bearing but I have to wonder if they had a 3,000 mile clutch in mind when giving that advice. Getting rid of that old single bearing devil will simply take 8 hours of shop time and one $600 part, or go with the lower cost Pelican bearing. Either way, that's too many years of sitting around for my comfort level. Even if it were dual row (97-99 Boxsters) I'd still get it out, it's past its sell by date. Ditto for the coolant tank (don't forget the new coolant cap) things get brittle with age... These cars need to be driven to stay tip top. If you're not driving them, then you really need to stay on top of preventative maintenance.
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Old 04-24-2014, 01:12 AM   #18
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This whole ism nonsense is making my head spin. This has all made me scared to drive it. To me its a brand new car. Did i really just spend 25,000 on a time bomb?

Maybe i can get some kind of warranty since the milage is so low. Replacing the bearing on 3,000 mile car seems silly. Some people say dont worry, just enjoy the car, and other people say change it out or youll have a beautiful lawn decoration.

The dealer i bought it from sells warrantys, ill buy one especially since it will cost roughly the same as replacing the bearing alone. Peace of mind and i can enjoy the car no matter what anybody says.

Thank you for all the replies, good and bad. I love my car and still love it despite all the ims hype. Ill post some pictures if chicago sees the sun anytime soon.
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Old 04-24-2014, 01:17 AM   #19
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Perfectlap, why should you change the oil every year if the car just sits? I cant see the oil breaking down if the engine isnt running. I would assume it would be no different than a quart of oil sitting on the back shelf collecting dust at the auto parts store.

Im not saying this to be argumentative, i just dont get why. Maybe if the car was stored outside exposed to the elements. With the number of posts you have i can only assume you know something i dont
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Old 04-24-2014, 02:32 AM   #20
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Perfectlap, why should you change the oil every year if the car just sits? I cant see the oil breaking down if the engine isnt running. I would assume it would be no different than a quart of oil sitting on the back shelf collecting dust at the auto parts store.

Im not saying this to be argumentative, i just dont get why. Maybe if the car was stored outside exposed to the elements. With the number of posts you have i can only assume you know something i dont

Why? Moisture in the oil is not your friend. Moisture in the oil built up over a decade? That's really not your friend. Do a search and look at folks go through to winterize their car every year. Ask yourself what happens to engine rings on cylinder heads (metal on metal) when it sits for a year, or 3 years, or 5 years, 10...?

You come to this board with folks with lots of hard earned lessons, ask some questions and get some answers. Maybe you like the answers and maybe you don't. But you've gotten a very consistent set of answers and you can choose to listen or not.

If it's me, I would change the all fluids. All means all. Brake fluid needs flushed every two years (not every 2 decades), the "lifetime" coolant is really good for 6 years. The filters (air and cabin) are probably crumbling. If your engine air filter crumbles, it could effect your MAF sensor (google) which will cause engine issues. This is a 5 minute DIY project that will cost $25. Belts on these cars need to be replaced regularly. Guess what happens to 20 year old belts (whether they were driven or not?). I would drive to the tire store to put new tires on, and that's about it on 20 year old tires.

Replace the coolant cap. Simple fix to prevent some serious issues.

I would put in a new IMS bearing. Why? Because the single row bearings fail at a rate near 10%, and many seem to suspect that the highest risk cars are the ones that got driven the least (and the oil sat around for years...). A failed IMS instantly grenades your engine. Period.

Did you buy a time bomb? Let's just say there was a class action law suit about the engine and there are plenty of facts out there about the weak spot in the engine (the IMS bearing). I didn't choose to replace my IMS, in part because my car was nearer to the end of it's life. Yours is at the START of it's life.

If you're not willing to do some preventative maintenance, this is the wrong car for you. The good news is this is easy stuff to fix up, then you'll have a cool reliable fun car.

Good luck with your new ride & welcome to the forum.


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