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Old 08-09-2016, 07:31 PM   #1
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Can't believe we own a Porsche Boxster!

I just bought a 2002 Boxster Base Tiptronic with 35k this weekend! We paid 10k, an incredible value for a high performance sports car! Although, I know that we can expect our share of repairs. It will be my wife's daily driver and planning to take it to an independent Porsche shop to have it checked out. The previous owner has had the car for the last 8 years and has not had anything done to it in the past three years. He only put 3k on it during that time. He kept it covered in his garage and would start the car up every couple of weeks. After reading this forum, I probably should have had a PPI done. I'm guessing that I need to do the 30k service and brake fluid flush. Should I have anything else done? Can anyone recommend a good shop in Birmingham.

It has not had the IMSB done, but I've heard that the Tiptronic's don't have this problem as much, and you can cut the oil filter to check for metal shavings before it goes out. I'm still on the fence about getting it replaced.

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Old 08-09-2016, 07:37 PM   #2
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It for sure is a great value for a great car, one worth keeping for a while I think. The low entry cost makes repairs and upgrades seem not so expensive and maybe opens the way to getting the best as opposed to cheap parts and service.
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:59 PM   #3
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Congratulations! minimum service, I'd say oil change, all filters (oil, pollen, air) and replace plugs, brake fluid change and Enjoy the Ride!
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:19 PM   #4
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Yours is almost certainly a single row IMSB - the worst ! Like mine . I would say wait until you need a clutch but ..... !
Garage Queens also seem particularly vulnerable.
Read "Baz" (Hartech) and try not to get too paranoid.
Get the Pelican book and perhaps the Bentley manual.
Pick your sources of advice carefully. For reasons I do not understand many seem to want to give advice contrary to what the experienced M96 sources say. Odd and potentially very expensive !
A telling competency test is to ask what is the best specification of engine oil to use for this unusual engine. No, it isn't Duckhams 20-50 (sorry inside joke for UK. only)
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Old 08-10-2016, 04:47 AM   #5
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Make sure you do your research on the independent Porsche shop. There are some that are as bad as stealerships.
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Old 08-10-2016, 05:05 AM   #6
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Congrats on the new ride!!! She and you will love it.

BUT, without pics it didn't happen :-) Post up some pics, we looove pics, they can even be of you new car!
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Old 08-10-2016, 06:33 AM   #7
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"It has not had the IMSB done, but I've heard that the Tiptronic's don't have this problem as much, and you can cut the oil filter to check for metal shavings before it goes out. I'm still on the fence about getting it replaced."
There is no evidence to support Tiptronics having a lower failure rate and they are more expensive to have the IMSB replaced due to more hours involved in removing the trans. 2000-2005 Boxsters had the highest failure rates so at some point you should have it checked out with a PPI.
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Old 08-10-2016, 08:52 AM   #8
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This is a prime candidate for IMSB issue. Did the previous owner change the oil at least once per year? The longer that oil sits without it running under full load (i.e. the car has to actually be driven) the more trouble you're looking for.

But it sounds like you paid a competitive price. Good job. You never ever want to overpay for an out-of-warranty German car that was mass produced (excess supply everywhere) and the average buyer is not brave enough to buy.

You have to think of Porsche ownership this way. There are air-cooled cars and there are water-cooled. With water-cooled, you are buying an engine and the rest of the car has little if any value. The higher the mileage the closer you are to having issues and these cars by and large are not candidates for engine rebuilds like the air-cooled because the cost of rebuild exceeds the value of the car. Air-cooled cars were produced in such miniscule numbers (Porsche couldn't give them away at one point) that the scarcity today makes them well worth $10K+ engine rebuilds. An ironic but lucrative twist of fate but you can't argue with excess supply in the market.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:56 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by BhamBox View Post
The previous owner has had the car for the last 8 years and has not had anything done to it in the past three years. He only put 3k on it during that time. He kept it covered in his garage and would start the car up every couple of weeks.
I am generally Mr Sunshine when it comes to IMSB and the issues associated with it. But your above description concerns me because:

~ Garage queens seem to be more vulnerable to IMS failure because they sit for long periods of time and the oil drips down into the sump and off the IMSB, leaving the bearing dry at start-up (in most cases the grease in the bearing gets washed out but the bearing is lubricated by oil). 35K over 14 yrs is a GQ.

~ I assume the oil hasn't been changed in 3 yrs (or more)? GQs need to have their oil changed annually if the mileage is < 5K for that yr. If you use it as your wife's DD, then change the oil between 5-8K mi. Don't believe the mktg hype of 10K+ mi ranges for oil.

~ Starting a car and letting it just 'idle' is not good for a car. If you don't drive it up to full operating temps, water that collects in the muffler will not have a chance to evaporate. Plus you do nothing for the trans fluid, etc.

A PPI will not be able to diagnose the health of your IMSB. Oil analysis can give some indication, but the only way to know is tear off the trans and pull it.

I would recommend doing the maint that has been suggested to get it road worthy. Then, when financially feasible, replace the IMSB. You'll enjoy your Boxster much more after that.

PS. You may need a set of tires too based on their age.
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Old 08-10-2016, 11:31 AM   #10
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Congrats, it sounds like a nice car and good deal. Don't stress about the doom and gloom in some of the advice, but do consider it pretty sound. With normal care and attention to regular maintenance, these cars are very reliable and comparable in driving cost to other cars of similar age. Considering a lapse of use and maintenance on yours, Husker Boxster summarizes it all pretty well. For some more insight on what can be encountered in a similar situation, check out this recent thread:
http://986forum.com/forums/general-discussions/62450-what-you-dont-want-have-happen.html

#1 Enjoy your car and come back often to share your experiences and questions about it. Pics please....
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Old 08-10-2016, 12:22 PM   #11
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For some more insight on what can be encountered in a similar situation, check out this recent thread:
http://986forum.com/forums/general-discussions/62450-what-you-dont-want-have-happen.html

#1 Enjoy your car and come back often to share your experiences and questions about it. Pics please....
LOL....glad to see my little rant is still making the rounds. So what have I learned: 1:drive car. 2:drive car. 3:drive car.

A quick insight for a new owner on the IMS; we don't need to seque into yet another IMS discussion, just wanted to add my opinion for a new owner...here goes: At some point you are going to wish you that never heard ANYTHING about IMS failures; the more you look into the issue, the more you will think "today is the day my car might die horribly". If you never knew about the issue, you might have many years of happy driving, which at some point (MAYBE) you would have a catastrophic failure, at which point you would scream "Why didn't I know about this!". Not to sound morbid, but it's akin to "if you COULD know the time and manner of your own death, would you WANT to know?" The IMS bearing is not quite that bad, but you do have several factors against you... 1-it's a known failure point. 2-single row bearings fail more than dual row. 3-there is no way to inspect current bearing. 4-by the time you know something is wrong, the damage is likely done. 5-there is a better solution than the Porsche part. The really irritating thing is that even a better bearing can fail (albeit less), and even if it was invincible, some other part COULD fail leaving you with pretty yard art. Point is, you have a decision to make.

For me, I finally did mine, and ya know what? My old bearing looked brand new. The strangest part of this story is... in retrospect, if I somehow knew before removal my old bearing would be prefect upon extraction, I still would have done the upgrade. Just one less thing to check off the old (literally) mental freak out list.

In summary, do the maintenance, consider upgrades, drive, drive, drive and smile...a lot.
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Old 08-10-2016, 12:45 PM   #12
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I forgot the obvious question...do you have a service history? If the previous owner looked after, did you get, or can you contact? If he was the type of "always Porsche serviced", the shop should have records, BUT...for some reason shops purge their records if car hasn't been in for an amount of time.

Another thing would be with old fuel... Ethanol added fuels can gel after a time, would be worth the money to run some Techron through (not a plug, use what you like). You might want to have battery health checked, and (as was mentioned) tires. Other than that, a good service would be recommended.

Last thought (and not trying to be gloomy), but the water pump can be another known point of failure...nothing to do with setting around, just something you might want to keep in mind. Even something as stupid as the coolant overflow cap can be an issue, be worth the money to make sure you have the latest revision.

Oh, look at the time.... I should be going for my daily pleasure drive. Some people walk the dog, I drive a Porsche. It's a chore, sigh....
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Old 08-10-2016, 01:33 PM   #13
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It has not had the IMSB done, but I've heard that the Tiptronic's don't have this problem as much, and you can cut the oil filter to check for metal shavings before it goes out. I'm still on the fence about getting it replaced.
That is not true, Tips have the same engine with the same issues and the same IMSB.
More expensive to repair too.

Once you have metal shavings in the filter your engine is probably history... an expensive doorstop.

Last edited by Tcar; 08-10-2016 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 08-10-2016, 01:58 PM   #14
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Holy crap what did I get my self into...lol!!! I found a great shop in Bham, now I need to find out what this is going to cost because I'm already fretting over this ticking time bomb. I thought I was safe because of the low miles and Tiptronic, but instead I would been better of with a high mileage stick. I have a lot to learn! This forum is freaking awesome, I can't believe everyone taking the time to help a newbie. Hopefully, I can contribute to the forum and pay it forward. I will post some pictures soon.
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Old 08-10-2016, 06:19 PM   #15
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In Bham:
1) Momentum Motorsports near Pelham, specifically Carl.
2) Eurasian Motors in Southside (don't believe the "asian," you will only see Porsches there), they are all good there but no pampered waiting area.
3) Tom Williams is pretty ok for a dealership, but there are no bargains
4) learn to do your own oil changes and save about $100 per, gain some knowlege of your car & street cred from doing them.
5) strongly consider PCA mbrshp & DE @ Barber.
BOL
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Old 08-10-2016, 07:01 PM   #16
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Clouded ownership

We have our 2003 2.7 Tiptronic for 4 months 52,000 kms, serviced every year irrespective of distance travelled, in some cases only 1-2000 kms per year, we love the car but agree that this IMS spook tends to undermine the ownership experience.
We have put another 3000 kms on it since buying it, its running perfectly so far.

Since we only paid about 25% of the original purchase price for what looks and drives like a new car I guess if it gives us another 5 years of enjoyment without major equipment failure, we will be ahead of the first owner who experienced a $100,000 depreciation in just over 52,000 kms, Porsches are expensive here in Australia.

BTW i'm 76 years old, maybe I will have a major equipment failure first,

Cheers Alan
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Old 08-10-2016, 07:20 PM   #17
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Holy crap what did I get my self into...lol!!! I found a great shop in Bham, now I need to find out what this is going to cost because I'm already fretting over this ticking time bomb. I thought I was safe because of the low miles and Tiptronic, but instead I would been better of with a high mileage stick. I have a lot to learn! This forum is freaking awesome, I can't believe everyone taking the time to help a newbie. Hopefully, I can contribute to the forum and pay it forward. I will post some pictures soon.
A ticking time bomb it is not. Don't let the masses scare you. A ticking time bomb implies that it will explode....whereas the huge, vast majority of these cars don't. Only a small percentage of cars will experience IMS failures, and of those, not all of them are toast. I've known a few people who found metal shavings and lived to talk about it - without a full engine rebuild or anything. It's shocks me how many people have changed out the IMS only to find their IMS was pristine.

Do the normal maintenance you would on any car - regular oil changes, lots of driving and push the pedal down now and then and the odds are in your favour that all will be well.
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Old 08-10-2016, 08:39 PM   #18
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Just enjoy your car! I've got 131K on my 2000S....owned it for 8 years and 55K miles. Very trouble free car that's as much fun now as when I bought it. Hope you have the same experience.
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Old 08-11-2016, 04:34 PM   #19
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I was quoted over 3k from the Indy Porsche shops in my area. They each said it was an overblown problem and they would not get it done if it was their car. One shop said they only saw 4 IMS failures in six years and never in a Tip.

I know this is not going to be a popular decision, but I've decided not to replace the IMS. If the failure rate is 8-10%, I like my odds. Would you gamble 10k to win 3k if you had a 90% chance of winning?

I'm going to change the oil every 3k, use a magnetic oil plug, tear the oil filter to check for metal shavings and cross my fingers.
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Old 08-11-2016, 04:41 PM   #20
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In Bham:
1) Momentum Motorsports near Pelham, specifically Carl.
2) Eurasian Motors in Southside (don't believe the "asian," you will only see Porsches there), they are all good there but no pampered waiting area.
3) Tom Williams is pretty ok for a dealership, but there are no bargains
4) learn to do your own oil changes and save about $100 per, gain some knowlege of your car & street cred from doing them.
5) strongly consider PCA mbrshp & DE @ Barber.
BOL
Thank you for your recommendations! I'm kind of leaning towards Momentum even though it is a little further from Trussville. I watched a YouTube video on how to do a Boxster oil change and it was a lot easier than I thought. I was anticipating it to be harder based on the cost of the oil change from Momentum and Eurasian. I will check out PCA/Barber.

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