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Old 12-19-2017, 06:44 PM   #1
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Bad news from the mechanic - any insight greatly appreciated!

Hey guys,

I posted on here a while ago about some vibrations/judders I was feeling through my steering wheel that a few shops had been unable to diagnose. I took the car (2002 Boxster S with 85k miles) to a highly recommended Porsche specialist here in the Bay Area and he did a thorough - and I mean painstakingly thorough - inspection of everything the car needs. He scared me a bit with his list - I don't think he's suggesting I do all of it, but he said he could find $15k (!!!!) worth of stuff to do.

Here are the main things he mentioned needed doing - just hoping you guys could share some insight on fair-ish costs, just to make sure he doesn't try to screw me. His labor charge is $200 an hour, so I might not do everything at his place, but I'll probably have him do a couple of things. He said he'll call me tomorrow with some numbers.

1. He thinks vibration is caused by inner/outer tie rods and possibly strut mounts.
2. Rear passenger strut is leaking, suggests replacing all 4
3. Rear trailing arms need replacement according to him
4. Clutch and/or shift cables need to be replaced - this is the one that has me a little miffed. I did notice that the clutch was starting to get a little hard to push in, but it does not slip at all. Shifting into 2nd has been a little jerky recently, but I figured that it might be something to do with not having had the clutch fluid changed and I have no service records from the previous owner indicating that the fluid was changed. I probably won't have him do this one since he didn't say it's an immediate necessity, but I also don't want to risk damaging the transmission itself.

He mentioned other things like coil packs, spark plugs, and window regulators, brake pads and rotors, but I'm pretty confident that I can do those things myself.

Thank you guys for any insight you can shed on any of the above items.
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Old 12-20-2017, 11:14 AM   #2
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IF you have the space and inclination, you can really do a lot of this stuff yourself. Changing out suspension parts is not rocket science and at $200 an hour, you can save a chunk of change! You will need an alignment after.
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Old 12-20-2017, 11:43 AM   #3
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can't speak to the suspension work, but re the clutch:

- cables are a low failure rate item - potentially just an issue (often corrosion) where they join to the transmission - take some pics for us and we may be able to help further, as there is some aftermarket stuff out there to fix just what is broken and not replace the whole thing.
- clutch hard to push in may be as simple as a brake/clutch bleed (the clutch system is part of the brake system).
- clutch difficulty shifting into second is a transmission problem, not a clutch/cable/fluid problem. there is a simple fix for this ($100 part); search "porsche 2nd gear detent".
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Old 12-20-2017, 11:49 AM   #4
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The 2nd gear problem fixed by the detent is popping out of gear, not for being hard to engage.
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Old 12-20-2017, 12:05 PM   #5
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The 2nd gear problem fixed by the detent is popping out of gear, not for being hard to engage.
it pops out of gear because it is not engaged properly. same issue, same fix.
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Old 12-20-2017, 12:35 PM   #6
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it pops out of gear because it is not engaged properly. same issue, same fix.
Is this the correct item?: https://www.ebay.com/i/112562832848?chn=ps

There is also a "shift arrester" I found - are there any pro/cons to either one to consider? This also looks pretty straight forward to do - would it be easy on jack stands or should I pay to borrow a lift? There's a place near me that charges $35/hour.
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Old 12-20-2017, 12:36 PM   #7
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can't speak to the suspension work, but re the clutch:

- cables are a low failure rate item - potentially just an issue (often corrosion) where they join to the transmission - take some pics for us and we may be able to help further, as there is some aftermarket stuff out there to fix just what is broken and not replace the whole thing.
- clutch hard to push in may be as simple as a brake/clutch bleed (the clutch system is part of the brake system).
- clutch difficulty shifting into second is a transmission problem, not a clutch/cable/fluid problem. there is a simple fix for this ($100 part); search "porsche 2nd gear detent".
Ok, I'll ask him to do the brake/clutch flush/bleed first to see how that impacts the car. The previous owner claimed to have done the clutch recently - he didn't have paperwork, but he seemed like a trustworthy guy so I took him for his word. Maybe my bad, hopefully just the fluids that need to be changed and/or the 2nd gear detent.
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Old 12-20-2017, 12:38 PM   #8
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IF you have the space and inclination, you can really do a lot of this stuff yourself. Changing out suspension parts is not rocket science and at $200 an hour, you can save a chunk of change! You will need an alignment after.
How difficult are the rear struts in comparison to the front? The front seems relatively straight-forward, might just need to invest in an impact wrench for the top bolts.
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Old 12-20-2017, 02:54 PM   #9
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Yes, the rears are a bit more difficult, mostly because of those pesky axles which need to be undone at the transmission flange. A long extension bar is your friend here. The other difficult thing is torquing the control arm nut: use the butt dyno torque wrench here, like just about everyone else.
Itís a good job but not really that complicated. Good satisfaction feeling afterwards.
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Old 12-20-2017, 05:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedyspaghetti View Post
Hey guys,

I posted on here a while ago about some vibrations/judders I was feeling through my steering wheel that a few shops had been unable to diagnose. I took the car (2002 Boxster S with 85k miles) to a highly recommended Porsche specialist here in the Bay Area and he did a thorough - and I mean painstakingly thorough - inspection of everything the car needs. He scared me a bit with his list - I don't think he's suggesting I do all of it, but he said he could find $15k (!!!!) worth of stuff to do.

Here are the main things he mentioned needed doing - just hoping you guys could share some insight on fair-ish costs, just to make sure he doesn't try to screw me. His labor charge is $200 an hour, so I might not do everything at his place, but I'll probably have him do a couple of things. He said he'll call me tomorrow with some numbers.

1. He thinks vibration is caused by inner/outer tie rods and possibly strut mounts.
2. Rear passenger strut is leaking, suggests replacing all 4
3. Rear trailing arms need replacement according to him
4. Clutch and/or shift cables need to be replaced - this is the one that has me a little miffed. I did notice that the clutch was starting to get a little hard to push in, but it does not slip at all. Shifting into 2nd has been a little jerky recently, but I figured that it might be something to do with not having had the clutch fluid changed and I have no service records from the previous owner indicating that the fluid was changed. I probably won't have him do this one since he didn't say it's an immediate necessity, but I also don't want to risk damaging the transmission itself.

He mentioned other things like coil packs, spark plugs, and window regulators, brake pads and rotors, but I'm pretty confident that I can do those things myself.

Thank you guys for any insight you can shed on any of the above items.
If you feel it thru the steering wheel 1st stop is a good wheel balancer that can remove wheels & test balance on a spin balancer.
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Old 12-20-2017, 05:50 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by speedyspaghetti View Post
Hey guys,

I posted on here a while ago about some vibrations/judders I was feeling through my steering wheel that a few shops had been unable to diagnose. I took the car (2002 Boxster S with 85k miles) to a highly recommended Porsche specialist here in the Bay Area and he did a thorough - and I mean painstakingly thorough - inspection of everything the car needs. He scared me a bit with his list - I don't think he's suggesting I do all of it, but he said he could find $15k (!!!!) worth of stuff to do.



1. He thinks vibration is caused by inner/outer tie rods and possibly strut mounts.

Replace the shocks, rebuild the struts (all one operation.)
2. Rear passenger strut is leaking, suggests replacing all 4

What has this got to do with feeling vibration thru the steering wheel?
3. Rear trailing arms need replacement according to him see #2

4. Clutch and/or shift cables need to be replaced - this is the one that has me a little miffed. I did notice that the clutch was starting to get a little hard to push in, but it does not slip at all. Shifting into 2nd has been a little jerky recently, but I figured that it might be something to do with not having had the clutch fluid changed and I have no service records from the previous owner indicating that the fluid was changed. I probably won't have him do this one since he didn't say it's an immediate necessity, but I also don't want to risk damaging the transmission itself.see #2

He mentioned other things like coil packs, spark plugs, and window regulators, brake pads and rotors, but I'm pretty confident that I can do those things myself.See #2

Thank you guys for any insight you can shed on any of the above items.
Ain't it nice spending other peoples money?
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Old 12-20-2017, 05:59 PM   #12
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Ain't it nice spending other peoples money?
nice font size. so every post in response to the op has been an effort to reduce initial cost, so your point is ... ?
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Old 12-20-2017, 06:04 PM   #13
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It's just as likely your front end judder is a bent or out of balance wheel. Let's put this in perspective: replace the tie rods after 85k miles? Would you do that on a Toyota, or even a Chrysler product? Shucks, the car should be basically barely broke in.

Contrary to Porsche mechanics dreams, a leaky shock is not grounds for immediate replacement of said shock, much less all four. If the car isn't bouncing around, it's not an immediate problem. If you want to replace the leaky shock, do the pair on the same axle set. Then do the others at a later date.

This car has to get up on an alignment rack and see what's going on, check both the front and rear alignment.

The "very best" Porsche often seems like the one who can pad the bill the most.
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Old 12-20-2017, 06:09 PM   #14
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nice font size. so every post in response to the op has been an effort to reduce initial cost, so your point is ... ?
He went into this "wonderful" mechanic for an answer to his front end judder and got a laundry list of everything but what was actually causing the problem.

Seems like checking the wheels for runout and checking the alignment would be the first things on the mechanics to do list.
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Old 12-20-2017, 06:54 PM   #15
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FIRST STOP!!!!!!

Thank him for the diagnosis and get your work done elsewhere!!!!!!!!!!

Did nobody else read $200/hr labour? Ummmm no. Walk out. Dealer charges less
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Old 12-20-2017, 07:46 PM   #16
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Lots of good stuff here!
My 2000 Box is in pretty good shape mechanically but I'll bet that I could still identify thousands of dollars worth of work. I've never replaced struts or chain tensioners or pads. Lots of stuff like that. Car runs great! I'll do the items as needed.

First off, Need to concentrate on resolving your initial complaint.
Next, change brake and clutch fluid and see how your clutch feels.
If you're not experiencing a brake problem (vibration when braking or wear sensor illuminated) wait on brakes. This is an easy DYI and even easier to plan for as opposed to something that has to be done right now.
Trailing arms. Amazing has the TRW trailing arms (track arms) for about $115 each. Easy driveway DYI (especially if you have an impact wrench). Maybe an hour on each side including raising the car and removing your wheel.
Coil packs/plugs...Any misfires reported? Check engine light on? If not, pass on this for now.
If you want, you can visually check coils for cracks when you have the wheel off doing the track arms. In fact, why not buy new new plugs and do them while the wheel is off? $40 for new plugs.
Window mechanism...pass for now unless YOU note a problem.
Frunk and trunk struts....$15 each and 5 minutes each to replace using a flat head screw driver. You don't have to replace all 4 at once. Replace whats needed (in pairs) so the trunk or frunk doesn't fall on your head!
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Old 12-20-2017, 07:48 PM   #17
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FIRST STOP!!!!!!

Thank him for the diagnosis and get your work done elsewhere!!!!!!!!!!

Did nobody else read $200/hr labour? Ummmm no. Walk out. Dealer charges less
What he said, 100%.

While all of those things are maintenance items, they usually aren't an issue at your mileage. Struts might be tired, but probably serviceable.

Two other things, not even close to being mentioned, and VERY likely an issue with your shifting problem are the shifter itself and the motor mount. At your car's age I can almost 100% promise your motor mount is shot. I have an 02s with 58k, mine was toast. Very common. The shifter is an easy, relatively cheap fix that can literally transform your car. If your shifter feels sloppy, then it could use a swap as well.
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Old 12-20-2017, 08:28 PM   #18
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I don't bring my cars to a shop often, so maybe I'm just a bit ignorant here, but I don't see a problem. As a new customer bringing a car in for the first time, the shops I have used did a comprehensive check of the car, much like a PPI. I was given a list of recommended items to bring the car back to a factory-fresh baseline. The shops took time to go over the list and discuss each item: significance, urgency, and options.

I don't see how this shop has done anything but help speedyspaghetti get a better understanding of the condition of the car. I think they would be remiss if they did not give him a full list of their findings and recommendations. The next step should be discussing what needs to be done by the shop, what can be deferred, and what the owner can DIY.

That $15K is probably going to put it at a zero baseline for all maintenance with the Porsche recommended parts at $200/hr. Some new owners want that and will gladly pay. Should the shop only present that option to 'certain' customers?

Labor cost varies by shop and region. Here in Oklahoma, $200/hr would be high, but I see that number frequently on the Audi forums for East and West coast. Here I've paid around $125.
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Old 12-20-2017, 10:50 PM   #19
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Take it to Custom Alignment in Mountain View. I think they are well equipped to diagnose your issue. I went to a Tech session once that he hosted for LPR PCA. I was impressed with the things they do. Race shops takes their customer cars to them for custom alignments and other specialized suspension work.
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Old 12-21-2017, 03:52 AM   #20
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Porsche of Orlando charges $90 an hour on older models to try and keep customers who own cars as old as ours are.


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