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Old 10-19-2014, 07:55 PM   #1
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Thinking of using a Boxster as a "hyper" daily driver.

My car is part of my work and I typically put 2,500+ miles per month on it. That's a lot of wear and tear. I've had my '99 Boxster for nearly two years now and it has been an excellent car. I drove it on the job for the first 6 months I owned it. But when I got it completely refurbished after a hail storm (it was left out at the shop overnight while getting some routine maintenance), I relegated it to weekend fun duty and bought a 2000 Jeep Wrangler for work.
The Wrangler, though a good, tough, versatile vehicle, has started to wear on me in the day to day grind. Clunky, noisy, slow, and average 16 mpg....
My weekend time with the Box is such a joy that I'm thinking about finding another one for a fairly inexpensive price that's not cosmetically perfect, but passes a PPI mechanically/functionally. Then, doing the clutch/RMS/IMS conversion before pressing it into service as my work car.
I realize I'd have to have it checked out regularly and take care of whatever it needs as I go along, but think it might be worth it for the extra driving pleasure.
So am I nuts? Can a Boxster hold up to such mileage?
And you higher mileage guys, what are some things I can expect to have to keep an extra eye on and replace on a regular basis.

Not yet committed to this idea, but it's tempting.
Thanks in advance!

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Old 10-19-2014, 08:05 PM   #2
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no, you are not nuts at all. It sounds lie a great idea. one nice boxster for weekend fun and one for DD that you rack up the miles on

Another car to look at is a 944, you can find them very cheap
I dont know about reliability and maintenance, but I am sure there are people on this forum that can comment
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Old 10-19-2014, 08:08 PM   #3
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Grab a cosmetically rough early 2.5 for little more than what it is worth as scraps, (they are out there) and you will not have much to loose! Besides at the end of the day, you may find the rough car has more character and offers something on its own. Totally not a crazy idea, and if you change your mind you have an extra car laying around to make into a spec racer!
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Old 10-20-2014, 03:00 AM   #4
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I Put about 30k per year on my 99 Carrera 4. The biggest issue you'll have will be regular maintenance items. Keep an eye open for sales on oil/filters, tires, and other maintenance stuff and stock up when there's a deal. Do as much DIY as you can. Watch the suspension parts and cv boots for wear. Get an alignment that sacrifices a bit of handling for better tire wear, but set up the weekend car for ultimate grip. I use an app to keep track of my mpgs and alert me when it's time for maintenance.
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Old 10-20-2014, 03:48 AM   #5
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@Jfro ... which app is that? thanks.
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Old 10-20-2014, 04:15 AM   #6
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Do it! My 2000 base Boxster is my daily driver. I rotate the other Boxsters in and out of the weekend driving line-up. Save the jeep for the crappy weather days and drive the Boxster the rest of the time.

Keep up on the oil changes and other maintenance. The only other thing I'd watch is the suspension on the crappy OKC roads.

It's a lot of fun to be able to drive these cars every day.

Rick
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Old 10-20-2014, 06:49 AM   #7
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i drive my 2001 boxster base as a DD .. and put on 3000km per month. she's happy .. im happy ... i just make sure i get my oil changed every 2-3 months.
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Old 10-20-2014, 07:44 AM   #8
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Maint expense will certainly be a lot higher with the Boxster than a vanilla sled like a Toyota Camry but a lot more fun to be had along the way. We only live once...
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Old 10-20-2014, 07:49 AM   #9
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Here's the app I've been using:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/road-trip-mpg-mileage-fuel/id298398207?mt=8
A couple of other bits: watch the water pump & cooling system, and maybe have a spare water pump on hand (if you find a deal).
Just 'cause I'm a data/info geek, I'll also use the app Dash Command (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dashcommand-obd-ii-gauge-dashboards/id321293183?mt=8) to monitor O2 sensors, exact water temps, and other parameters from time to time while I'm driving. If something is going to fail, I want to know about it early! It's easy to spot trends (poor mpg, high coolant temps, etc) in a regularly driven vehicle.
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Old 10-20-2014, 08:35 AM   #10
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I DD mine. I change the oil every 5k (about 3 months) and I get a UOA from Blackstone Labs. I have a list of stuff to keep an eye on including water pump (just changed due to dry residue on housing), cam deviation, and tire tread depth. My IMS was swapped at 90k and LN says it should be done again after 50k so that's on the list to watch out for. I also follow the major and minor maintenance schedules. It cost more for sure but I driving it more than any other car I've ever owned.
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Old 10-20-2014, 08:44 AM   #11
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Moderation is the key to all pleasure in life. The Boxster is a sports car: It is light and relative to passenger cars, it is fragile as a result of its lightened weight. A rough bump can knock the alignment off, bend a wheel, the control arms can wear out prematurely and typically moderate to high mileage cars have shot wheel bearings. My car has been mostly garage kept and driven only weekends yet I could not believe how utterly toasted the suspension and wheel bearings were when everything was taken out at ~80k miles. My mechanic filmed this extraction with his camera just for a laugh. And really, I'm not very hard on the car, I (mostly) ran 20 lbs factory Carrera wheels and stay off rough streets for the most part, I opt for the toll highway sometimes when it means travelling longer but the shorter route is filled with pot-holed sections of highway. Seeing those burnt parts made me realize that these cars may be reliable but they are definitely not durable.

I like the idea of daily driving a Boxster engine wise, but only if you live where the weather is mild year round and the roads are very smooth. If you see extremes of heat or cold, and you feel a lot of rattling going on in the car because the roads are bad, then what's the point of driving a roadster in those conditions year round? Get the right tool for the right job.
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:20 AM   #12
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Some might not like the idea, but I would definitely get a more 'neutral' alignment.... unless you like replacing your rear tires every six weeks. That negative camber is great on the track but going down the highway I don't think it's a 'must'.
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Old 10-20-2014, 11:53 AM   #13
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Thank you for the opinions and advice.
The older I get, the more I feel like I should enjoy every day as much as possible.
I often find myself in construction zones and remote so-so roads, so durability is a bit of a concern. The area between OKC and Edmond is the biggest mess in creation (Rick, you probably know what I'm talking about ).
Having to replace the IMB, oxygen sensors and suspension components evey few years would be worth it, but I'll talk to my shop about those extreme maintenance schedules and costs.
I do have a great Porsche dedicated shop that does excellent and reasonable work, so that's a plus.
I think I've found my first possible candidate (silver '99 with green interior.... Lots of nicks and scratches, two dents, but everything works and drives great... $4,700) so I'll let you know what I find out.
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Old 10-20-2014, 12:43 PM   #14
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I DD my 97' Boxster. It was in pretty good shape when I got it, but now it's got it's fair share of nicks and scrapes. The upkeep on the Boxster has been pretty steep compared to the other cars that I have owned (other than the 190 AMG), but thats life I guess.

I have never owned a practical car, life is too short for that. I also daily drove my 911, 951 and 190E AMG. I don't care about resale value and I also don't care about keeping them nice.

Owning a sports car and not driving it is like having a smoking hot girlfriend and not having sex with her so she's good for the next guy.
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Old 10-20-2014, 01:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retroman1969 View Post
Thank you for the opinions and advice.
The older I get, the more I feel like I should enjoy every day as much as possible.
I often find myself in construction zones and remote so-so roads, so durability is a bit of a concern. The area between OKC and Edmond is the biggest mess in creation (Rick, you probably know what I'm talking about ).
Having to replace the IMB, oxygen sensors and suspension components evey few years would be worth it, but I'll talk to my shop about those extreme maintenance schedules and costs.
I do have a great Porsche dedicated shop that does excellent and reasonable work, so that's a plus.
I think I've found my first possible candidate (silver '99 with green interior.... Lots of nicks and scratches, two dents, but everything works and drives great... $4,700) so I'll let you know what I find out.

At that price you can drive it till it breaks, sell the broken car for a profit then get another. I say go for it!
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Old 10-20-2014, 03:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topless View Post
Maint expense will certainly be a lot higher with the Boxster than a vanilla sled like a Toyota Camry but a lot more fun to be had along the way. We only live once...
What he said...
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Old 10-20-2014, 06:21 PM   #17
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I don't know about a 'hyper' daily driver, but my 986 has been my daily driver for the past 7+ years. It is a great car, and if you are inventive you can fit quite a lot of stuff in one, an Aeron chair (I did this last week), a full size keg, golf clubs, skis (RTS required), etc.

Is the Boxster more expensive to drive everyday than a Toyota? Sure.
Is it way more fun? Definitely.

I consider the extra expense (maintenance, insurance, tires, parts, premium gasoline) a completely acceptable cost for how much more I enjoy getting from point A to point B, than with a Honda/Toyota/etc.

If you are okay with the cost, go for it, these cars where made to be driven. Plus, you could race it without caring about minor damage. You might even consider the same paint/interior color so that the parts are interchangeable.

Full disclosure, I do less 1,000 miles a month on average, and plan to retire my 986 to garage queen status before I hit 100k miles. I hit 90k last week.
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Old 10-20-2014, 07:15 PM   #18
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agreed

Quote:
Originally Posted by FormulaReed View Post
I DD my 97' Boxster. It was in pretty good shape when I got it, but now it's got it's fair share of nicks and scrapes. The upkeep on the Boxster has been pretty steep compared to the other cars that I have owned (other than the 190 AMG), but thats life I guess.

I have never owned a practical car, life is too short for that. I also daily drove my 911, 951 and 190E AMG. I don't care about resale value and I also don't care about keeping them nice.

Owning a sports car and not driving it is like having a smoking hot girlfriend and not having sex with her so she's good for the next guy.
120,000 of hard driving and I take care of it just like everything else.Bring your wallet and a wrench
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Old 10-20-2014, 07:40 PM   #19
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Sounds like a great plan. There are lots of '98-2000 Boxsters in th 5-7K region that would fit your bill.
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Old 10-21-2014, 05:14 AM   #20
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There are a couple of interesting deals out there right now but this is the only one that's close at the moment. Time is tight this week, but going to try to set up a PPI as soon as I can.
Although the maintenance costs are brought into question (and rightly so), I also think about people I know who are paying $500-$600 per month to own an economical Toyota or Nissan, etc.
I also know people who own a Honda, VW, etc, out of warranty who had to replace a blown engine or tranny for up to $6,000. My dad just had the tranny rebuilt in his 2002 Dodge Stratus to the tune of $3500. Not much different than on a Boxster, with the availability of tight low mileage used units out there on these cars.
Anyway, these are the ways I've tried to "rationalize" the idea. LOL!

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