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Old 05-01-2017, 11:45 PM   #1
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What to do first?

hi -- brand new member here, seeking advice.

Let's say, (not so) hypothetically that you just inherited a 2002 Boxster base, 5-speed manual, ~80K miles, clean title. Unknown history, other than always a California car. I am not interested in taking the car to the track -- just great weekend (etc.) drives.

What should I do next? I am naively thinking:
  1. find a good nearby Porsche specialty mechanic
  2. ask mechanic to do a thorough inspection and prioritize safety items
  3. get mechanic to make a list of "reliability" items, and take care of urgent ones
  4. figure out what needs to be "zero-timed" from a regular maintenance schedule and do that (??)
  5. begin tackling comfort-related items that are important to me
  6. ???

I am not fabulously mechanically inclined, though I don't mind changing the oil on my motorcycle, fwiw.

Thanks very much!

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Old 05-02-2017, 01:34 AM   #2
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Looks like you have it covered to me.
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Old 05-02-2017, 02:52 AM   #3
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Do an oil change. Start fresh.

Drive it. How does it feel / sound? Anything stand out?

Start there.
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Old 05-02-2017, 03:11 AM   #4
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I can't remember for sure without going out in the garage and looking, but isn't 80k miles a major service point?
Fresh fluids, check the tires for age, have a good independent mechanic do the 80k and have him give the car a good going over, and you should be good to go.
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:25 AM   #5
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If you have an unknown history assume none of the regular maintenance was done. The last major schedule prior to 80K miles was the 60K maintenance so I would do that one.

Check this out:

Maintenance Schedule - Porsche Boxster (986) FAQ
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Old 11-12-2017, 04:06 PM   #6
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update...

I picked up the car last weekend. It's no longer hypothetical - I now have a "free" 2002 Porsche Boxster base 5-speed. I get the report back from the local independent mechanic next week.

It drives at least... turns out it has 110K miles.

So far I've found these issues:

1. squeaks when wheel turns all the way left.
2. brakes pulse -- perhaps a warped rotor?
3. air conditioning doesn't
4. front & rear fenders are shot. Front one will absolutely need replacing.
5. check-engine light on (still need to read code).
6. cannot hold gas pump fill-up nozzle on -- "clicks" off all the time. have to fill *very* slowly.
7. right turn signal non-functional
8. 2003 glass-window top, but not fit well.
9. rear defrost doesn't work. Maybe not hooked up?
10. trunk/frunk liners missing snap-fittings.
11. Two keys, only one works -- other sets off alarm.
12. and many, many other cosmetic issues.

Well - the price was right. Let's see how much this free car will cost me :-)
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Old 11-12-2017, 06:18 PM   #7
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I can tell you that #6 is common. Try turning the nozzle upside down; I do that on my 2002 and it fills properly.

All the other issues will probably cost you money!
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Old 11-12-2017, 07:28 PM   #8
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Yes, #6 is common. Here's the actual fix:
Replacing Your 996 Fuel Line Vent Valve / Bleeder Valve - Porsche 911 Carrera & 986 Boxster - Porsche 996 Carrera (1998-2005) - Pelican Parts Technical Article

A free car with lapsed maintenance could be a great opportunity to learn to DIY, or it could be a terrible money pit if you take it to a shop for everything. All of the issues you listed are things that many of us 'hobby mechanics' have dealt with. Post some pics and let us follow along.
Your starting point reminds me of this thread:
1st Boxster 7th Porsche, we now have 4 in the family

Good luck.
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:23 AM   #9
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Good chance #1 is low power steering fluid. Pain in the a$$ to get to (have to put the top in service mode) so most people don't check it and let it run low. Time consuming, but easy and inexpensive fix.

NOTE: any fluid in a Porsche is probably special. Don't fill a Porsche with any fluid you have sitting in your garage, including antifreeze. Check first what it requires. Porsches use Pentosin CHF 11s power steering fluid, which can be purchased at most auto parts stores.

Also a good chance the brake fluid needs flushing.

And here's a suspicion on those additional 30K mi.

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Last edited by husker boxster; 11-13-2017 at 05:53 AM.
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Old 11-13-2017, 06:34 AM   #10
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So I suppose you are not able to inherit any of the service records for the car?

If the rear fenders are shot, they are part of the unitized body shell. One thing you may want to consider is what the cost of everything that needs to be done adds up to and what the value of the car will be when everything is fixed. Of course if it is an inheritance and has sentimental value, and you will be able to do some of the work yourself that is a consideration too.

This forum is an excellent source of information and help. Post some pictures and good luck!
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Old 11-14-2017, 10:26 AM   #11
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Thank you all very much for the replies!
The fuel line vent valve issue sounds exactly right -- I may attempt that first. I will post some "before" pictures when I get the chance later this week, so that everyone can follow along.

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