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Old 05-11-2006, 12:15 AM   #1
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what does it take to be a satisfied porsche owner?

Have been thinking a lot over the last week or so, as I continue to drive my car with a worsening vibration (new tires due in next week - unfortunately will be out of town for 2 weeks, so the new tires won't be put on until late May ), as to whether or not I’m a satisfied Porsche owner or if my expectations are too high, thus impeding my achievement of satisfaction. Let me give a brief account of my experience so far and then you guys can give me your thoughts...

First, I’ve had this car in for warranty issues more than any other car I’ve ever owned (Honda, vw, Subaru, Toyota) and I’ve only owned the box for 3 months. Between things falling off on the inside, things coming loose on the outside and my continued vibrations, I find myself sometimes choosing to drive the beetle (yeah, still have it) over the Porsche!

Second, it seems like this forum is filled with, ‘things gone wrong with my boxster’ threads. Of course, this could be the nature of such a venue – one is more prone to post the bad things about a car –seeking direction or guidance – rather than celebrating consecutive ‘problem-free’ driving days. At any rate, the constant influx of ‘problem’ threads pushes me to wonder if the boxster can really be considered a low-maintenance, reliable, daily driver, in addition to the “sports car among roadsters!”

Before I bought my boxster I heard many tales of Porsche owner’s whose cars were constantly in the shop for one thing or another. Naturally this concerned me, knowing I’d be buying a car that would have to be my everyday driver. However, I felt I conducted a fair amount of research into the reliability of the 986 and 987’s prior to making my investment.

There’s a part of me that wants to believe that any car over $30k should be both incredible and impeccable. I also want to believe that if Honda can make a car for less than $20k that provides years of hassle-free reliability, then Porsche should no doubt exceed that feat. However, my inner voice warns of making comparisons across great divides.

I guess this is my question – does owning a Porsche mean endeavoring to have the constant wonder of, ‘what is that rattle’ or ‘will it start today’ or ‘if I put the top down, will it come back up’ or ‘do I have an extra $1000 to replace this part, etc?’ To be a satisfied Porsche owner, does one have to surrender the idea that paying a lot of money for the car to begin with automatically implies a higher level of reliability? Is it better to view Porsche ownership more as a slightly tumultuous relationship between car, pocket book and piece of mind? Is Porsche the hot, but high maintenance blond trophy wife who needs a 3 hour massage and $250 makeover just to get the mail, whereas the Toyota/Honda or their luxury divisions are (or can be) the attractive, no make-up, natural beauty wife whose happy whether it’s a night at the movies or front row tix to Miss Saigon and a night cap atop the John Hancock overlooking Lake Michigan at sunset? Am I asking to have my cake and eat it too? Should I divorce the high end broad and wait to re-kindle the affair when I can afford to have a weekend mistress with her own little bank account, all the while my ‘mail-order’ Asian bride covers my entire weekday needs?

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Old 05-11-2006, 01:05 AM   #2
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I can sense your frustration. All I can say is you have to be very persistent with the dealership. Keep all your records! Don't give up! Did you speak directly with the service manager?
Do you have a lemon law? Could this be a case? The car is warranty.

Once this get rectified that LOVING feeling getting into your car will come back


As for the forum being filled with ‘things gone wrong with my boxster’ . I've learned so.........much reading those forums.
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Old 05-11-2006, 06:27 AM   #3
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The way you just described your Boxster is the same way most people describe VW's and in particular the MK4 line up like your Beetle is. My Jetta VR6 has been in for maf sensors, coil packs, window regulators, the window glass falling inside the door all kinds of crap. People think I'm nuts owning two high maintance European cars that are notorius for problematic years of ownership.

Guess what, I just love the cars and could care a less about the problems. I just deal with them as they come. The Jetta now has been a charm to own in the last 2 years as it's been really reliable after all the bugs were worked out. I have it slightly modified and the dealer has no problems with that.

I think you may just be expecting more quality for your money, what your paying for is Porsche's racing team, your a sponsor by buying a 20k car for 30k my friend. That the enjoyment we get of owning a Boxster lol...
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Old 05-11-2006, 06:40 AM   #4
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I own a '05 VW Touareg and my '05 Boxster S, both cars are not known for reliability and they were also both expensive. I was willing to take the risk at the point of purchase b/c I feel the driving experience is so much better than the other cars I looked at.

I am happy to report I haven't had any problems with either car So now I get the great driving experience without the hassle.

I do expect my luck will run out at some point but I'm OK with getting the car fixed under warranty since I'm so happy about owning them.

So my thought is that most people who buy a Porsche know in advance that maintenance and problems could be an issue, but are willing to make that sacrifice for the other benefits the car can offer.

If you really want to drive a car that isn't going to go to the shop, follow Consumer Reports advice and get a Japanese car, but try not to fall asleep at the wheel from the boredom.
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Old 05-11-2006, 06:48 AM   #5
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Hi,

Jeez... it's only a Car. You're at that in-between stage which can be frustrating, and maybe you're just venting. But, wait until the Tires come in before deciding that you have a perennial issue with your Car and condemning it out-of-hand.

Not that it will make you feel any better, but I've not had any of the issues you describe with my Used '99 w/ 25k mi. now on it. I suspect that once the Tire issue is dealt with on your Car you'll be in the same boat. Did mine have teething pains? Maybe, who knows? But as the second owner, I was spared that pain and inconvenience as the PO either got it right, or kept it right.

The Boxster has become the new Standard against which all other comers are measured. I just read an article the other day which held the M3 Roadster up against the Boxster, and others comparing it against the S2000, the Solstace, MR2, even the RS4, and the Boxster came out on Top against them all. And not just in performance, but in style, Fit & Finish, Feel and Bang for the Buck!

And, of course Forums like this are essentially What's Wrong with this Car Forums, that's their inherrent nature. Personally, I don't see anyone studying these Forums and concluding that this is the Car they should buy. For all the horror stories, I'd expect to see the majority of them RUN, and perhaps that actually occurs without our knowing it.

Your analogy comparing the Boxster to High/Low Maintenance women is less appropriate than comparing a Draught Horse and a Thoroughbred. Give the Draught Horse a bale of hay, keep it outside and it'll pull a wagon all day for years whereas the Thoroughbred requires a specialty diet, receives more Healthcare than the average Kindergarten Class annually, and must be housed indoors lest it succumb to Colds, Arthritis, or Colitis. But the Thoroughbred is more highly refined than any Draught Horse and needs that extra care.

If you truly studied this and other Forums, Magazines, and the like, you had to be aware that the Boxster was no Toyota Cambry on the reliability scale. Yet, you still chose to buy it, whether for the Performance, the Bling Factor or some combination thereof. Unfortunately, a lot of people are unrealistic when it comes to Cars and often buy the wrong one for them, a Boxster isn't for everyone.

For it to fit into my needs, I had to be able to maintain my Car myself, no extra $$ for Dealers or Mechanics as I own 3 other classics which all draw down my resources. Once I was certain I could perform all but the most Major of chores myself, I decided to go ahead, but by a thin margin actually. But, I have 35 years experience with Classic or Performance cars and had a much better idea of what it took to be a long-term owner of a Boxster than some people.

I suspect that a lot of disastisfied owners never saw beyond the Car's very strong allure before taking the plunge and now they are the Poster Children for Buyer's Remorse.

My advice? Wear the pants off the Warranty and get it sorted out. Then make the choice if in fact this is the right Car for you. Hope this helps...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

Last edited by MNBoxster; 05-11-2006 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 05-11-2006, 06:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by 986Jim
the window glass falling inside the door all kinds of crap.
That happened to me in my Jetta on Christmas Eve in a ridiculous blizzard with my parents in the car driving home from visiting my grandmother in the hospital.

Talk about crappy timing...
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Old 05-11-2006, 07:25 AM   #7
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To my knowledge, there is no German car out today that would receive high marks from its owner for reliability or value.

I love the way certain German cars look, drive and perform. However, I HATE the way they have become flat out unreliable.

Mercedes is perhaps the most obvious example of this but IMO, they all have fallen prey to this.

I frequent a BMW board and it is the same litany of complaints.

In contrast, I frequent a C5 board where the issues of MUCH less prevelant.

And I don't see any indication that ANY of the German makers are listening and improving their products on the reliability front. The defect rates at Porsche would be a reason for mass suicide at Lexus.

If I were on the Board of a German car company, I would be ALL over the CEO of that company. Sadly, the way these companies are structured, I would likely be a labor rep and of course, would not TOUCH the issue of reliability at all.

And so it goes.
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Old 05-11-2006, 07:28 AM   #8
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Talking

BTW- I have bought and sold about 30 Porsches over the past several years so I have a pretty decent sample size to chat about defect rates.
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Old 05-11-2006, 07:36 AM   #9
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this is all good - keep it coming!
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Old 05-11-2006, 09:04 AM   #10
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for porsche, it's all about driving. The cars provide such a wonderful experience behind the wheel that most owners just accept the idiosyncrasies that come with the purchase.

if you want to feel better about the quality of your car, take it to a track. not an autocross course, a road race course. at the end of the day when:

-- the ricers have melted
-- the US cars are out of brakes, overheated and burning oil
-- the british cars never made it to the event (they broke on the way over)

you will ponder.

you look around and you will see the porsches: porsches sitting there, just smiling, eager to run just one more session. it is then that you will finally appreciate what these cars are all about.

on another note, consider you purchased the first iteration of the 987. it will have some kinks that will need to be worked out since it is, in essence, a new model. overall, these cars are pretty reliable. most quality gripes online appear because people are far more likely to seek out a forum in which to ******************** about problems than they are a place to rave about the absence of problems.

i have a '99 986 with 95,000 miles on it. i drive the HELL out of it. i've had a few problems, but nothing major considering the age and mileage. i take it to the track ALL THE TIME. the majority of money spent on the car is for consumables: tires, brakes, fuel, etc. (i spend a lot of money on extra 'stuff' and on track time as well).

sure, some things have broken. here's a quick run-down:

- coolant reservoir
- wheel bearing
- convertible top
- window regulator
- mass air flow sensor
- water pump
- shock tower bearing mount
- microswitch (for conv. top)


for a car that's now almost seven years old with 100K on the odometer, that's a pretty short list of problems. it’s remarkable if you consider how the car is driven. my gut tells me that the people who constantly ******************** about the little things are the people who didn't buy the car to drive it so much as to be seen in it; they're used to lexus. i'll take a car with some hiccups and a SOUL over a zero defect vehicle that's lifeless.

finally, i’m not excusing any repetetive quality issues porsche may exhibit. considering the per vehicle profit margins porsche ag currently realizes, they have created a very strong perceived value in their product lines. porsche must aspire to become that perception or they will surely lose market share in the long run.

enough of the rambling……take care!
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Old 05-11-2006, 09:05 AM   #11
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i think it's a safe to assume that the cause of all your problems are the faux-yellow calipers....never mess with karma, my friend.

i'm reading this thread with great interest as i question my own tolerance for unreliability. Having driven a MB e320 for the last 5 years and an Infiniti prior to that -- I have become accustom to reliable autos (BL--- i had no major issues with my benz) in addition, i have also been spoiled by both dealerships--treated very well with great service, loaners and washes,etc,etc.....

We pay a premium for our Boxsters and i have to say the smile on my face as i drive to work is the the reward for that premium. However;.if i have to constantly drive to the dealer as opposed to my office-- not sure how long i'd be smiling....

Good thing is my calipers are Boxster S RED-- and i am not tempting the fates! So, i should be fine........

RD
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Old 05-11-2006, 11:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
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What does it take to be a satisfied Porsche owner?
Open the door, sit down, start and drive.
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Old 05-11-2006, 04:26 PM   #13
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what does it take to be a satisfied porsche owner?

So far, our '06 Boxster has been flawless! We've had it three months with nary a hitch in the git-a-long!
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Old 05-11-2006, 05:57 PM   #14
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Open the door, sit down, start and drive.


Of all the cars I have had in my 30 years of driving NONE have given me as much sheer joy as my various Porsche's. For me that's what makes a happy customer.

BTW, all of my Porsches have been reliable. In fact, they only became marginal after I decided to park them and drive something else every day
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Old 05-11-2006, 06:33 PM   #15
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I didn't read everyone else's replies so my apologies if I'm being redundant.

Every car I've ever seen has had its share of quirks. In this case though you're dealing with a sports car, and the requirements for a sports car are much different than your average Accord. Rattles, squeaks, etc.--a lot of that comes with the territory.

Not only that but you've bought a Porsche. That's a luxury car and you're going to pay luxury prices for everything. Not that that means you shouldn't expect the best!

I've had my car in for a bazillion little things but it doesn't bother me because the dealer works on the car and tries its best to resolve the issues. This doesn't diminish my enjoyment of the car at all because of the things that it does SO well.

At first I was a bit annoyed, but once the car got to a state where most of the little annoyances were taken care of, all was well. Now I'm hacking away at them about the stereo issues and hopefully something good will happen there!
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Old 05-13-2006, 12:15 PM   #16
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It takes two Porsches....

that would satisfy me! And of course "doing two chicks at the same time." What movie is that from?
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Old 05-13-2006, 10:55 PM   #17
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that would satisfy me! And of course "doing two chicks at the same time." What movie is that from?
Office Space.

But more on topic, I drove a 2001 Honda Prelude before this. It was a sporty car: 5-speed, 200hp from a 2.2L DOHC 4-cylinder. And when I traded it in with 53k miles, (a few weeks ago I might add) it had had only 1 problem: I had to replace the tires once. That's it. But was I satisfied? Not really. The styling was a bit strange, interior was a bit spartan (no automatic A/C, no digital guages, pretty basic radio, no power seats). And it drove...well like a 4-cylinder Honda.

Now I have a 2002 Boxster S. I'm getting an extended warranty that covers EVERYTHING, so at least if something breaks I won't go bankrupt trying to fix it, plus it offers great peace of mind. And I love it. I take very good care of my cars, always use the best parts and fluids, never drive them hard or push them past their limits. My dad was the same way and we've had many cars with many reliability ratings (from great to terrible) but never had any major problems. Except for our 68 Chevelle. That's had problems with the power disc braks, the transmission, the Alpine stereo, you name it. But we love that car way more than our Preludes (my dad has a 96 Prelude), even though neither one has ever so much as hiccuped.

Last edited by Wintermute; 05-13-2006 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 05-30-2006, 10:56 PM   #18
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I'm sensing a pay to play mentality here. I also notice that almost all of you own 2005+ model cars. I'd like to hear from the guys like me who own older models(1997-2000). I just got my Boxster 3 months and All I can say Is "Where's the horses!" And no I'm currently not driving a Ferrari or Benz. My current drive is a 1998 jeep grand cherokee 5.2 v8 230 HP. Just a newbies opion that's open for debate.
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Old 05-31-2006, 07:05 AM   #19
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i think you could of bought any car and problems would arise. its not to say that you have to be satisfied with being a porsche owner. you could of bought a mini convertible and faced the exact same problems. i too have had minor irritations with my boxster, and some major issues. i just figure with any car this is common.

i am satisfied with the car, it is suppose to be the best handling convertible car on the market. the looks are gorgeous. rear mid engine is very cool. i get my hockey bag in the front trunk. my goalie pads in the rear trunk. you couldnt ask for more in a sports car today.

very simple car with out all the bells n whistles interior compared to todays cars on the market. i would expect that with the technology in new cars today that they will have greater problems and more visits to the shop.

i think we have it easy driving a boxster.
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Old 05-31-2006, 07:13 AM   #20
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"Where's the horses!"

"Where's the horses!"

well i own a 2002 boxster, and i don't think that i really need more horse power. i am however only a night n weekend driver. driving within the city 500hp i have no use for. wheres the horses is only a concern if you plan to put the car in races. n really the boxster is limited in h.p, n there are a number of cars with far more horse power n made for race. i'm not sure how many convertibles are made for racing! i know my first choice wouldnt be a boxster to race anyone. id probably take a subaru or a honda........

just my opinion.

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