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Old 03-26-2016, 05:04 PM   #1
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Considering Buying A 2002 Boxster...

And I'm scared! :-)

Seriously though, it's a 2002 with 53,000 on the odo. Original owner sold it late last year and the second owner only had it for five months. Asking $10,500.

I drove it today, and was pretty happy with the performance, even though it was snowing. The clutch did seem awfully heavy, but I got used to it during the test drive. And, the gear box seemed a bit vague, if you know what I mean?

And, the CEL was on...

The dealer selling it claims that the original owner has the IMS bearing replaced.

I'm going to have the local Porsche dealership do a PPI. Can they tell if the IMS bearing has been replaced? Guessing no, but thought I'd ask.

Also, here in CO, it's required to have a front license plate. The front bumper has two square holes in it where the plate holder should be. How do I rectify this?

Anything else I should be looking for?

Any and all ideas, comments and suggestions would be welcomed. Thanks much.

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Old 03-30-2016, 03:56 AM   #2
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I had the PPI done. Here's what they found:

Rear main seal seeping.

2. Shift linkage not secured.

3. Mud flaps on all 4 corners damaged/missing.

4. Front sway bar end links torn.

5. Under paneling damaged.

6. Rear badge broken

7. Center glove compartment not latching

8. Left front fender painted 10-11.5microns (factory 4.5-6microns)

9. Left headlight replaced

10. Blinker switch not operating properly

11. Park brake adjustment

12. Broken right front side marker light

13. Gas cap seal cracked

14. Front trunk light inop

15. Battery cover securing nut broken

16. Oil over filled- Recommend oil change

17. Due for brake fluid service

18. Abnormal tire wear- recommend alignment

They also couldn't confirm that the IMS bearing has been replaced. It seems like the RMS seal is the biggest issue.

Thoughts or comments would be welcomed! Thanks!
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:01 AM   #3
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I believe your local climate has a lot to do with how long a battery lasts too. I'd say living in the northeast, I would go around 3-5 years before having to replace a battery. Then I moved to TX and then FL, I have to replace the battery every 2-3 years now and it doesn't matter which car. It's with the family Honda, to the daily BMW or SAAB and all three Porsches.
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:06 AM   #4
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Well if the IMS bearing was just changed, then I wouldn't think the rear main seal would be leaking. This is because the RMS is directly above the IMS bearing. So if it was leaking when they changed the IMS then they would have changed the seal as well. I would bet that the IMS has not been changed. Furthermore the heavy feeling clutch is most likely due to it being on its last legs. Most of the time the clutch, IMS and RMS are replaced at the same time since most of the labor is taking the transmission off to get to all these parts. These issues alone would make me walk away from this car, not to mention all of the others.
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:10 AM   #5
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Well if the IMS bearing was just changed, then I wouldn't think the rear main seal would be leaking. This is because the RMS is directly above the IMS bearing. So if it was leaking when they changed the IMS then they would have changed the seal as well. I would bet that the IMS has not been changed. Furthermore the heavy feeling clutch is most likely due to it being on its last legs. Most of the time the clutch, IMS and RMS are replaced at the same time since most of the labor is taking the transmission off to get to all these parts. These issues alone would make me walk away from this car, not to mention all of the others.
Yes, the mechanic said that if the IMS bearing was replaced, at least by someone reputable, they would have replaced the RMS, too. And it wouldn't be leaking.

The heavy feeling clutch could be the fact that my GTI has the lightest clutch I've ever driven.

I called a local Porsche shop in my area an he quoted $1,800 to do the IMS bearing and RMS seal. I assume that is reasonable?

Thanks for your response, by the way. It is appreciated!
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:18 AM   #6
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That price doesn't seem out of line to me. My clutch was heavy when I bought my car. I got a new clutch, IMS and RMS the next spring. After i got the new clutch it felt very light. Not quite Honda light, but much lighter. If you end up getting this car I would add a clutch to this job as well. It should only add $600-$800 to the price of the the job. There are lots of S models in the classified section of this site for good prices with far less problems. I would look around some more before jumping on the first one you see.

Last edited by tommy583; 03-30-2016 at 04:20 AM.
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:23 AM   #7
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You cannot trust what the dealer says!! If they do not have paperwork then it didn't happen. Did the PPI include a compression test and a leak down test?

What was the code for the CEL?

$1800 seems fair if they put an $800 bearing in. Lots of labor there and there will be some things found once they get into it. Clutch, CV joint, Slave Cyl, rear shocks, etc....

You need more info and we need some pics too!!!
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:27 AM   #8
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The oil being overfilled is also not good. Many problems can be caused by this. Not to mention if they can't fill the oil correctly I doubt they used the correct oil. Did the PPI tell you the reason the CEL is on? Jeez I don't really have a good feeling about this car.
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:31 AM   #9
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You cannot trust what the dealer says!! If they do not have paperwork then it didn't happen. Did the PPI include a compression test and a leak down test?

What was the code for the CEL?

$1800 seems fair if they put an $800 bearing in. Lots of labor there and there will be some things found once they get into it. Clutch, CV joint, Slave Cyl, rear shocks, etc....

You need more info and we need some pics too!!!
I don't know if they performed those tests. I will check, thanks.

I don't have the CEL code. The dealer says it was inactive 02 sensor codes.












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Old 03-30-2016, 04:33 AM   #10
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The oil being overfilled is also not good. Many problems can be caused by this. Not to mention if they can't fill the oil correctly I doubt they used the correct oil. Did the PPI tell you the reason the CEL is on? Jeez I don't really have a good feeling about this car.
Yeah, the dealer selling the car (not a Porsche dealer) over-filled the oil... I had a Porsche dealer run the PPI.
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Old 03-30-2016, 05:35 AM   #11
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From the pics, it's obvious that a previous driver drove over something that broke up some under parts. Ours is the same and there is LOTS of plastic under there to get damaged if you run over something.

In your list above, A few things bother me, but might not keep me from buying if a good deal could be struck...

1,2,4,10 &18. 1&18 can be big $$ if you are not fully informed as to costs. The alignment issue can be an indicator of deeper issues combined with 8&9 if there was a decent hit on the left front corner. This could tie in with the damaged under-tray parts...

All of this internet diagnosis, is being done from my office in MD :-) I'm not trying to scare you away just give you info and some leverage if you wish to negotiate. I will give you my usual spiel here: There is nothing more expensive than a cheep Porsche. You could negotiate down to $9K and feel good but have to spend $4K in IMS/RMS, clutch and other bits in the first 6 months. So, maybe look for a $13K Box with a solid service history and not so many unknowns.... For me, if I could confirm that there is no chassis damage (bad tire wear) then I might be inclined to beat the selling dealer like a rented Mule and if can't get to my "safe" price, then walk away. I can do 99% of my service so that changes my calculus when buying. If you are looking at paying for service, then I would recommend you move on, add $3K to your budget for a MY2002, car find a private seller with a good service history. Beat him like a rented Mule and have a car you can have confidence in and we won't completely pick apart.
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Old 03-30-2016, 05:45 AM   #12
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if the dealer could fix some of those major items, especially the labor intensive ones within the same price that could be a good deal. or maybe you can use the PPI results as a severe haggling tool. sometimes dealers just want the cars off the lot and are willing to make a deal, no matter what that would be.

when i bought my Honda S2000 it had shot suspension, shot brakes and a bunch of other small items. a PPI showed all of those and i agreed to buy if it they fixed everything. they did within the same price and i got myself a good deal and an overhauled car. but beware of them trying to be sneaky and put used parts.. i had to stay on top of these guys and demanded to see all parts going on the car.
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Old 03-30-2016, 05:47 AM   #13
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I just looked up 2002-03-S for sale yesterday
Several low teens $ low milage <70k miles
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Old 03-30-2016, 05:47 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by jcslocum View Post
From the pics, it's obvious that a previous driver drove over something that broke up some under parts. Ours is the same and there is LOTS of plastic under there to get damaged if you run over something.

In your list above, A few things bother me, but might not keep me from buying if a good deal could be struck...

1,2,4,10 &18. 1&18 can be big $$ if you are not fully informed as to costs. The alignment issue can be an indicator of deeper issues combined with 8&9 if there was a decent hit on the left front corner. This could tie in with the damaged under-tray parts...

All of this internet diagnosis, is being done from my office in MD :-) I'm not trying to scare you away just give you info and some leverage if you wish to negotiate. I will give you my usual spiel here: There is nothing more expensive than a cheep Porsche. You could negotiate down to $9K and feel good but have to spend $4K in IMS/RMS, clutch and other bits in the first 6 months. So, maybe look for a $13K Box with a solid service history and not so many unknowns.... For me, if I could confirm that there is no chassis damage (bad tire wear) then I might be inclined to beat the selling dealer like a rented Mule and if can't get to my "safe" price, then walk away. I can do 99% of my service so that changes my calculus when buying. If you are looking at paying for service, then I would recommend you move on, add $3K to your budget for a MY2002, car find a private seller with a good service history. Beat him like a rented Mule and have a car you can have confidence in and we won't completely pick apart.
Thanks for the advice. I would definitely get the IMS bearing and RMS seal replaced, at the minimum.
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Old 03-30-2016, 05:49 AM   #15
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if the dealer could fix some of those major items, especially the labor intensive ones within the same price that could be a good deal. or maybe you can use the PPI results as a severe haggling tool. sometimes dealers just want the cars off the lot and are willing to make a deal, no matter what that would be.

when i bought my Honda S2000 it had shot suspension, shot brakes and a bunch of other small items. a PPI showed all of those and i agreed to buy if it they fixed everything. they did within the same price and i got myself a good deal and an overhauled car. but beware of them trying to be sneaky and put used parts.. i had to stay on top of these guys and demanded to see all parts going on the car.
Unfortunately, the dealer selling it isn't a Porsche dealer. I wouldn't have the work done there. There's a local shop in my area which has a stellar reputation.
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Old 03-30-2016, 05:55 AM   #16
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What area of the country are you in? Do you have any other pics of the car? Like the outside or interior?
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Old 03-30-2016, 06:02 AM   #17
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What area of the country are you in? Do you have any other pics of the car? Like the outside or interior?
Colorado. No pictures yet. The exterior and interior are very good. Better than I expected for a 14 year old car.
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Old 03-30-2016, 07:32 AM   #18
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I would look around some more before jumping on the first one you see.
As usual, Tommy is right. There are too many issue and unknowns on this Boxster. There are a lot of Boxsters for sale. Even low mileage ones. Stop, take your time and buy one from an owner or a dealer if it is in pristine condition. And, very smart move in getting a PPI. It would have been bad to get that Boxster home then discover all of those issues. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 03-30-2016, 02:35 PM   #19
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Lol. Told the dealer about all the issues and suddenly he has a buyer with a $500 deposit who wants the car Friday. Somewhat relieved, actually. A 2003 with 22,000 miles on it just popped up too. Fate, maybe? :-)
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Old 03-30-2016, 02:44 PM   #20
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What part of Colorado are you in? I use Berg Performance (indy) to service my Boxster and they've been fantastic. I ended up having to go to Las Vegas for mine as the Boxsters around here seem way overpriced.

Oh, and none of my cars have the front plate on it.

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