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Old 03-28-2019, 06:40 AM   #1
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Need advice on a 2003 S with a couple of issues

Hi everyone! Iím new here and looking at getting my first Boxster. I found one near me, an 03 S with ~97,000 miles, with a couple of problems. The first and possibly the biggest is that it needs the coolant expansion tank replaced. Apparently it will start leaking once the car has been running for ~30 minutes, so it needs to be done immediately. Also it has thrown a P1328 engine code. The owner said it has come up in the past, but went away. The Porsche shop he uses said it might need a variocam solenoid replaced at some point. The independent Porsche shop quoted me $750 to replace the expansion tank, but I havenít found out how much the variocam solenoid could potentially cost. With all that in mind, what do you guys think a fair price would be? Other than the above issue itís in above average to excellent condition, garage kept, with complete service records. Thanks in advance!

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Old 03-28-2019, 06:49 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Txwhitaker View Post
Hi everyone! Iím new here and looking at getting my first Boxster. I found one near me, an 03 S with ~97,000 miles, with a couple of problems. The first and possibly the biggest is that it needs the coolant expansion tank replaced. Apparently it will start leaking once the car has been running for ~30 minutes, so it needs to be done immediately. Also it has thrown a P1328 engine code. The owner said it has come up in the past, but went away. The Porsche shop he uses said it might need a variocam solenoid replaced at some point. The independent Porsche shop quoted me $750 to replace the expansion tank, but I havenít found out how much the variocam solenoid could potentially cost. With all that in mind, what do you guys think a fair price would be? Other than the above issue itís in above average to excellent condition, garage kept, with complete service records. Thanks in advance!
From a private party and w/no major mechanical issues: $6300 - $9400
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Old 03-28-2019, 09:33 AM   #3
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If I were in the market I'd take care of both issues myself. The biggest bang for the buck with DIY is with fiddly issues like expansion tank, and AOS replacements.
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Old 03-28-2019, 09:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Txwhitaker View Post
Hi everyone! I’m new here and looking at getting my first Boxster. I found one near me, an 03 S with ~97,000 miles, with a couple of problems. The first and possibly the biggest is that it needs the coolant expansion tank replaced. Apparently it will start leaking once the car has been running for ~30 minutes, so it needs to be done immediately. Also it has thrown a P1328 engine code. The owner said it has come up in the past, but went away. The Porsche shop he uses said it might need a variocam solenoid replaced at some point. The independent Porsche shop quoted me $750 to replace the expansion tank, but I haven’t found out how much the variocam solenoid could potentially cost. With all that in mind, what do you guys think a fair price would be? Other than the above issue it’s in above average to excellent condition, garage kept, with complete service records. Thanks in advance!
You should get a PPI done before you completely comit to the purchase this will give you a better idea of all issues.
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Old 03-28-2019, 11:33 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Txwhitaker View Post
Hi everyone! Iím new here and looking at getting my first Boxster. I found one near me, an 03 S with ~97,000 miles, with a couple of problems. The first and possibly the biggest is that it needs the coolant expansion tank replaced. Apparently it will start leaking once the car has been running for ~30 minutes, so it needs to be done immediately. Also it has thrown a P1328 engine code. The owner said it has come up in the past, but went away. The Porsche shop he uses said it might need a variocam solenoid replaced at some point. The independent Porsche shop quoted me $750 to replace the expansion tank, but I havenít found out how much the variocam solenoid could potentially cost. With all that in mind, what do you guys think a fair price would be? Other than the above issue itís in above average to excellent condition, garage kept, with complete service records. Thanks in advance!
$750 for a coolant tank replacement isn't outrageous. A OEM tank itself is around $350ish as you don't want the cheap versions. It takes time to gain access in the trunk, disconnect all the clamps blindly within the engine compartment and then reinstall. Then you need to think about a coolant drain and fill. If it has been leaking who knows how much water and what kind of coolant if any has been added. If the $750 includes the coolant drain and fill I would let the shop do it.

I'll let someone more experienced chime in on P1328 as I have no experience with it.
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Old 03-28-2019, 11:45 AM   #6
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When I first bought my Boxster, I saw the line, "The cheapest Porsche you buy will be the most expensive Porsche you buy" Just thought I would repeat that in case you haven't seen it. +1 on the PPI
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Old 03-28-2019, 09:17 PM   #7
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The solenoids are @ $200 each and you will need one for each head. For the 03', the solenoid is inserted into the cam cover. No need to take the cam covers off like 02' and earlier which is an expensive job.
The 03-04 job is maybe 15 minutes each side if you have never done it before. I just did mine.

Ditto on PPI. Expansion tank could be a symptom of a much bigger issue.....
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Old 03-29-2019, 07:24 AM   #8
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I want to say thanks for all the great advice. After reading what everyone wrote I think this one probably isnít a good first boxster. Thanks again and hereís hoping something else comes along.
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Old 03-29-2019, 10:25 AM   #9
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I want to say thanks for all the great advice. After reading what everyone wrote I think this one probably isnít a good first boxster. Thanks again and hereís hoping something else comes along.
The right one will come along, you just have to have patience. A PPI is a must. If you have the ability to travel, widen your search. Welcome to the forum

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