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Old 11-20-2017, 01:19 PM   #1
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Thoughts & first impressions

I'm a new member here with a recent purchase of a 2002 986S. I've only had it a couple thousand miles and so far it's been a blast and cooperative. I have worked as a mechanic in a previous life and have a engineering and fabrication background which I'm sure will come in handy with this purchase. I guess I was rather shocked that most of these cars are what I consider to be low miles and can be had pretty cheap even in excellent condition. I would have thought a car that sold in the 50K area would hold it's value better. These cars also seem to have a high cost to maintain and the IMS reputation doesn't help out either. I looked at the BMW Z3 and Mazda Miata but the mid engine won out. My last Jeep had 365K and I have motorcycles that are high mile too.
I hope I can expect the same out of this new toy without breaking the bank.
I'd appreciate your thoughts.
Cheers. Ernie


Last edited by Twin headlight Ernie; 11-21-2017 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 11-20-2017, 02:10 PM   #2
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The part cost is absurd. Example, 35 for a rubber band that goes on top of strut mount and 75 for a backup switch. I could go on for hours. I still struggle with the cost mentally. As far as durability, they are pretty tough from what I've read here. It won't be cheap to get to 300k but it is doable. One of the guys did it here recently. It will still likely be a lot cheaper than buying a new one. Good luck, great cars.
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Old 11-20-2017, 02:37 PM   #3
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Rule #1: There are no cheap Porsche's.

Boxster's are cheap to buy because they are expensive to maintain and the engines have questionable long term reliability. Very few Boxster's make it over 200K miles before the engine fails. Used engines are available and can be purchased and installed for $5K so its not a catastrophic event if you plan accordingly.

You should expect to spend $2K in maintenance/repairs per year on average. Some years will be less and some years will be more. And if it ends up being less, consider yourself lucky. And that amount applies to well-maintained cars. Ignore things and the costs will go up.

Just don't freak out the first time that a shop hands you a $1,200 bill. Or the second time. Or the third time. Think long term and you'll see that these cars can be a very good value.

With that being said, there isn't a better car to buy for less than $10K and even if you have to put $2K a year into it for 10 years, you've still only spent $20K for 10 years of total driving enjoyment.
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Old 11-21-2017, 07:26 AM   #4
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I try and separate general car/sports car maintenance out, brakes, tires, tune up, etc. All cars have these.
It's the Porsche, European costs that you have to track to really gauge Porsche vs Miata, or what ever.
As DWBOX2000 said, parts $$ can be higher especially if you stick with Porsche only parts. Find the manufacture of the Porsche part can save $$ while retaining the same part.
As thstone said, It will be waves as you go for awhile with basic stuff and then it seem like everything wears out at once.
I just had my first 'have to go to a mechanic' experience in 5+ years/45k miles of ownership. It was emissions, difficult and time consuming to diagnose. $1050 later I passed state inspection. The shop's services were reasonable. Parts were inline with what I would have paid. I paid for their ability to track the issue down. I'm OK with that once in awhile
Do NOT try and justify cost to value, the only way you can justify the cost is to look in the rear view mirror after a sharp corner, a howling high RPM on-ramp, at your S@#$ eating grin on your face
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Old 11-22-2017, 11:38 AM   #5
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I have had both a Miata and a Z3. I can tell you that the Boxster is by far more fun than both of those. The Miata was a great car, but is a lot smaller and the interior sounds very tinny plus the performance is just OK. The Z3 was rock solid and very stable to drive, but again the performance wasn't quite there. I have had my 02S for over 4 years now and have been very happy with all aspects of it. The performance and handling are there, plus I love the sound of the intake. Its a very stable, quiet ride for a convertible and having the 2 trunks make it reasonably practical.......One thing never to do with the Boxster is lug the motor. Drive it over 3 grand rpm to keep the oil circulating well. Keep an eye on your water pump, RMS and the AOS. Examine your oil and filter and look for metal chips. When you need a clutch put in an aftermarket IMS at the same time. I consider the Boxster "the thinkin' man's Porsche" because it does everything well.

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