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Old 11-14-2014, 08:52 PM   #1
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Starter reliability/life span

Since the cold weather hit this week...my starter has stuck a few times briefly after starting the car. It did it just a couple times last winter then never heard it again. Thankfully it only remains stuck for less than a second.

I've read about cleaning and lubricating the solenoid and that will likely fix my problem. But should I have the starter rebuilt while it's out - how long do these usually last? I'm only at 65k miles for my 2000 S so I want to say a rebuild is not necessary - but if they crap out under 100k miles then maybe it's just worth doing while I have it out.

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Old 11-14-2014, 09:18 PM   #2
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Get a Bosch reman from Autozone. All moving parts replaced.

Reasonable price with the core exchange. Then don't worry about it.

Just sayin'...........

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Old 11-15-2014, 12:54 AM   #3
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Snap = my starter is doing exactly the same startup shriek @100,000km. It first started about 3 years ago but only on a couple of occasions but its suddenly reared its noisy head again last week.
Because its quite a convoluted job to remove, clean, grease and reinstall, I opted to buy a rebuilt Bosch unit from Pelican and have it shipped out to Australia.
The last thing I need is to spend 3-4 hours (hopefully) repairing the starter only to have it go out again - it was 36 deg. C in my garage today with even hotter weather forecast this weekend....
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Old 11-15-2014, 04:13 PM   #4
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... - it was 36 deg. C in my garage today with even hotter weather forecast this weekend....
When do your temperatures peak, January?
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Old 11-15-2014, 11:41 PM   #5
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Yes usually the temps peak Jan/ Feb but its started early this year.
I'm lucky living close to the Coral Sea coastline, the inland temps are currently running above 42/43 deg, C this week but we are (normally) about 10 degrees less than that, similar weather to SoCal.
Not a lot of fun delving under a cars engine today......
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Old 11-16-2014, 04:17 AM   #6
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Why can't Porsche find better suppliers? Starters, water pumps, radios....I've never seen a car with so few miles generate so many problems from accessories with which other manufacturers have achieved bullet-proof reliability 30 years ago. I "get" that brakes and tires are going to wear faster on a Porsche due to alignment settings and trade-offs between performance and reliability. However, a starter should never fail - nor a water pump. It's not exactly doing the toughest job in all of autodom, all it needs to do is spin under no-load. The last time I had to do a water pump on a mainstream car was in a 92 Ford with 260,000 miles on it. I couldn't exactly fault the car. I don't think I've replaced a starter since my '87 Cherokee.
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Old 11-16-2014, 05:15 AM   #7
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Why can't Porsche find better suppliers? Starters, water pumps, radios....I've never seen a car with so few miles generate so many problems from accessories with which other manufacturers have achieved bullet-proof reliability 30 years ago. I "get" that brakes and tires are going to wear faster on a Porsche due to alignment settings and trade-offs between performance and reliability. However, a starter should never fail - nor a water pump. It's not exactly doing the toughest job in all of autodom, all it needs to do is spin under no-load. The last time I had to do a water pump on a mainstream car was in a 92 Ford with 260,000 miles on it. I couldn't exactly fault the car. I don't think I've replaced a starter since my '87 Cherokee.
I'm in this guy's boat.

My Ranger has a 3.0, 225k on odo, has worked many times harder hauling massive loads, dozens of mountain & desert trips, lived outside for 5-6 years, has many times the starts, 6th clutch, has idled in winter as a shelter for outside work, and I just swapped the WP which was $80. Original starter. Alternator died last year.

P car has new starter, WP, alt, and so on at 130k, and WP had been swapped before.

Ford should have bought Porsche for some new perspective.
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:05 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by peterbrown77 View Post
Why can't Porsche find better suppliers? Starters, water pumps, radios....I've never seen a car with so few miles generate so many problems from accessories with which other manufacturers have achieved bullet-proof reliability 30 years ago. I "get" that brakes and tires are going to wear faster on a Porsche due to alignment settings and trade-offs between performance and reliability. However, a starter should never fail - nor a water pump. It's not exactly doing the toughest job in all of autodom, all it needs to do is spin under no-load. The last time I had to do a water pump on a mainstream car was in a 92 Ford with 260,000 miles on it. I couldn't exactly fault the car. I don't think I've replaced a starter since my '87 Cherokee.
I truly believe some of the problems reside in that these cars have such low mileage. Vehicles that sit for periods and don't get driven do tend to have more problems. There are a ton of people on here and who own these cars who would argue they are extremely reliable - they are also the ones who DD and put lots of mileage on them. The more you drive them - the more reliable they are, for the most part.
And - there are also lemons in every batch. Lots of people out there hate Fords for similar reasons.
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Old 11-16-2014, 10:03 AM   #9
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I truly believe some of the problems reside in that these cars have such low mileage. Vehicles that sit for periods and don't get driven do tend to have more problems. There are a ton of people on here and who own these cars who would argue they are extremely reliable - they are also the ones who DD and put lots of mileage on them. The more you drive them - the more reliable they are, for the most part.
And - there are also lemons in every batch. Lots of people out there hate Fords for similar reasons.
I wasn't defending Ford, just saying that was the last water pump I did. I've also had Volvos, Subarus, VWs, that never needed a water pump. The current champion is my '05 Corolla with 242,000 miles on it that has NEVER needed a part. Ever. Never been in the service department. Original light bulbs for Pete's sake. Tires, brakes, gas, oil. Yesterday I put in a new clutch "just because" I figured almost a quarter million miles was enough to ask and i'd rather do it at my convenience than the car's. Lo and behold, it was only about 60%-70% worn and I probably could have milked another 100,000 miles out of it.

Oh, and guess what - my synchros on the Corolla's 5-speed are PERFECT, unlike that POS Getrag unit in the Boxster. I'll tackle that next spring but it's unforgivable IMO. Synchros should never wear out in normal use.
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Old 11-16-2014, 10:33 AM   #10
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Why can't Porsche find better suppliers? Starters, water pumps, radios....
This is one of the biggest criticisms of the 986/996 - that they were the first Porsche's built to a budget and in doing so, Porsche outsourced most of the components to the lowest priced supplier. As a result, quality and reliability suffered.
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Old 11-16-2014, 10:59 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by patssle View Post
Since the cold weather hit this week...my starter has stuck a few times briefly after starting the car. It did it just a couple times last winter then never heard it again. Thankfully it only remains stuck for less than a second.

I've read about cleaning and lubricating the solenoid and that will likely fix my problem. But should I have the starter rebuilt while it's out - how long do these usually last? I'm only at 65k miles for my 2000 S so I want to say a rebuild is not necessary - but if they crap out under 100k miles then maybe it's just worth doing while I have it out.
I took mine to a local starter and alternator rebuilder and had everything replaced on it for just over 100 dollars in a couple hours. The original was on there for 120,000+ miles so I think it did okay. The tiptronic does use a larger starter unit however. It made a few noises on start up very sporadically for about a year before it started getting more common and then I had it repaired.
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Old 11-17-2014, 05:21 PM   #12
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Dived in and removed the starter - what a task! I could replace the starter on 10 914s in the time it took me just to remove this one. Whew. I think I'll get it rebuilt while it's out...probably not completely necessary but it'll last me a long time for sure.

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Old 11-17-2014, 06:54 PM   #13
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Ha! Mileage has almost nothing to do with starter motor life. You could start your car 10 times in a day and only drive 10 miles.
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Old 11-18-2014, 06:49 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by patssle View Post
Since the cold weather hit this week...my starter has stuck a few times briefly after starting the car. It did it just a couple times last winter then never heard it again. Thankfully it only remains stuck for less than a second.

I've read about cleaning and lubricating the solenoid and that will likely fix my problem. But should I have the starter rebuilt while it's out - how long do these usually last? I'm only at 65k miles for my 2000 S so I want to say a rebuild is not necessary - but if they crap out under 100k miles then maybe it's just worth doing while I have it out.
While actual mileage on the car may have nothing to do with how long the starter will last..........

I also have a MY2000 and my starter failed at 66K
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:15 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by peterbrown77 View Post
Why can't Porsche find better suppliers? Starters, water pumps, radios....I've never seen a car with so few miles generate so many problems from accessories with which other manufacturers have achieved bullet-proof reliability 30 years ago. I "get" that brakes and tires are going to wear faster on a Porsche due to alignment settings and trade-offs between performance and reliability. However, a starter should never fail - nor a water pump. It's not exactly doing the toughest job in all of autodom, all it needs to do is spin under no-load. The last time I had to do a water pump on a mainstream car was in a 92 Ford with 260,000 miles on it. I couldn't exactly fault the car. I don't think I've replaced a starter since my '87 Cherokee.
Porsche could have done all these things. But, according to the historians, as designed the Boxster would have cost significantly more to manufacture than the outgoing 993. The 993 was barely selling 1,500 cars in all of North America during the greatest bull market in the post war era. Americans were buying two of everything... except Porsches. The bean counters figured the Boxster would be a Sunday car and the cut backs that would be REQUIRED had to come in these areas for sure, other areas still up to debate. Also, that sort of cost-cutting had a self-serving motivation in that it kept their dealer service departments busy and kept their over-priced, designed to last four years parts shelves full. Porsche needed to up the numbers from not only the sales floor but the service departments as well. The first time I had an out-of-warranty part go out on me, I marched like an idiot over to the biggest and most conspicuous dealer in the state. They replaced the throttle in about two hours handed me a bill for ~$300 and I was on my way. I thought "well that wasn't too painful...".

Also, I can excuse a 50/50 Porsche water pump circa the near bankruptcy 1996 era but today? Not so much. Or maybe this is why Lotus used a Celica engine. If you can't beat them, buy from them. Collect the margin, deliver the brand experience in other areas. I guess Porsche were too proud to beg.

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