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Old 05-21-2006, 11:06 AM   #1
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1997 Boxster - variocam problem

hi

just had a bit of a shock. the emmissions light came on on the dashboard of my 97 boxster. this was a first - no probs in 5 years ownership.

took the car to the garage and was told one of the two variocam units has failed. they recommended i have both units replaced as they apparently wear evenly and if only one is replaced it is likely the other will wear unevenly... this is going to cost nearly 3000... gulp! im going to bite the bullet and have the repairs done but probably at an unofficial dealership to save some cost.

given the car is now 10yrs old is it likely that i will now have my hand in my pocket on a regular basis? any other big things that could go wrong soon?

i know this very broad question, but the car only has 35,000 miles on clock, lives in a garage and used only at weeknds for fun. trying to work out whether to keep it as an occasional toy for me and my father or sell it - i dont want to do this!!

many thanks for your help

ed
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Old 05-21-2006, 11:14 AM   #2
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I would be plenty pissed if my cams were gone at 35k miles.

Second opinion would be warranted here I think.

Best of luck.
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Old 05-21-2006, 11:34 AM   #3
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How often do cams go out on cars? I do not think that I have heard of this before.
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Old 05-21-2006, 01:12 PM   #4
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yeah i was well surprised... this is a porsche after all, very reliable... it sounded to me like a pretty catastrophic failure for such a low mileage high quality car.. but you do get one offs i guess...

i dont even know what sort of driver treatment would cause cam damage.... i dont thrash the car at all but have taken it up to the red line every once in a blue moon but only when the engine is properly warmed up... so im pretty sure its not my fault.

ill get a second opinion... any other big stuff that could go wrong circa 35k miles?

cheers
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Old 05-21-2006, 03:53 PM   #5
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Hi,

What do you mean by variocam units? The VarioCam is a system, not the actual Camshaft. In the '97 you have VarioCam vs VarioCam Plus in the later Cars. With VarioCam, an Electrical Solenoid is used to shift the phase of the Cams and this is what I suspect has gone faulty. Still, at 35k mi., it's somewhat unusual.

Swapping out the units is not that difficult, getting to the units is where most of your money will be spent. Try contacting a local Porsche Service Advisor to see if something can be done -wise.

There's no way to tell if your 10 y.o. Car will now start to cost you more in maintenance except to say that it will. At 35k mi., it will cost you less than at 100k mi. + 10 years, but maintenance will likely go up some. Consider that you've had many years with no maintenance expense and it all evens out. Sounds like a pretty good Car and I'd keep it, at least for now, if it does become untrustworthy, dump it. Good Luck!...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
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Old 05-21-2006, 04:16 PM   #6
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Wink

Good point Jim. I assumed he was speaking of the cams, not the control unit.

I guess I assumed that due to the horrendous cost involved.

Aye Carumba.
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