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Old 12-27-2019, 01:53 PM   #1
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Boxster Suggestions

Hello all, I am an 18 year old who loves cars (specifically porsches) looking to purchase a new car. I am currently driving a pontiac g6 with 74k on the clock that is broken down every other week. While I can afford the repairs, I hate spending my money on such a boring car that I don't really enjoy driving. I am looking at these two boxsters.
https://www.carsforsale.com/vehicle/details/59200009 https://www.carsforsale.com/vehicle/details/57681556

The plan is to trade in my pontiac and pay the some $2k difference in cash.
The problem is that both my parents (complete non-car people) think that this is a terrible idea because the car is extremely expensive to maintain, breaks down often won't be a reliable car. I've done my research and for the most part found that none of this is true and in most cases the complete opposite. I do all of the work myself on my cars.

I guess my question is, to all of the boxster owners, if i were to own this car for maybe 1-2 years and then turn around and sell it... What should I expect to pay in repairs? Assuming the IMS bearing doesn't do it's party trick. If I put 20-30k miles on the car can I expect almost a full return on what I originally paid for the car? Although practicality isn't huge for me, what are some issues regarding practicality that I might run into (besides the obvious 2 seats)

Also, about the two cars I have linked. The yellow boxster with 120k miles is very close to me and I have talked to the dealer, and the price is negotiable, looking to get it to maybe 5500, also I like the color much more than the silver one. The silver boxster with 61k miles is almost 200 miles away from me and the price is FIRM, according to the dealer. I have heard that sometimes higher mileage boxsters are more reliable regarding the IMS issue. But maybe i'm just trying to sell the yellow boxster to myself because it looks better, is closer, and much cheaper :-) Both cars have somewhat spotty service records.

Sorry for the essay that I dropped into the forums but I need to talk to some people that know what they're talking about when it comes to this. Should I go for one of those boxsters? Should I wait for some more, lower mile ones to come along? Should I even go for a Boxster at all? Thanks!

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Old 12-30-2019, 11:55 AM   #2
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Should I go for one of those boxsters? Personal choice;
Should I wait for some more, lower mile ones to come along? Personal choice;
Should I even go for a Boxster at all? Personal choice
What should I expect to pay in repairs? Assuming car has been maintained, has decent tire wear, decent brakes, etc. a few hundred dollars, excluding gas expense.
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:09 PM   #3
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This seems to be a common ask for the 986 community from young drivers. Here's my experience, my box was very dependable. It only had a break down once in 6 years and 55k miles and I was able to limp it home.

BUT it was a $10 dollar part that I had to order online and it took a couple days to diagnose the problem.

I did a lot of the preventive replacement parts before they caused issues and that maybe why I had so few break downs.

Older cars means more chances little parts like a fuel pump relay have seen their last days.
My feeling on the 986 is it's a great second fun car but to depend on it as your sole car might be asking a lot of an almost 20 year old German Sports car.
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:17 PM   #4
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My feeling on the 986 is it's a great second fun car but to depend on it as you sole car might be asking a lot of almost 20 year old German Sports car.
That.
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Old 12-30-2019, 02:26 PM   #5
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RA1 - high mileage, older boxsters are going to cost you a wad of money to keep running, especially if you need it to be your daily driver.

The difference between an old boxster and your current G6 is that parts for the G6 are easy to find and cheap.

I have a 1997 with 60k on the second motor and just had $1000 of routine maintenance done on it: replacing the spark plugs and 6 coil packs. OUCH!

They're cheap cars right now for a reason. They need a lot of stuff replaced on them.

Plus, unlike a Cayman, if the convertible top transmission slips up and you aren't very watchful, it can twist up everything and cost you more than replacing the motor on your G6 with a rebuilt unit.
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Old 12-30-2019, 02:36 PM   #6
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Old 12-30-2019, 02:48 PM   #7
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RA1 - high mileage, older boxsters are going to cost you a wad of money to keep running, especially if you need it to be your daily driver.

The difference between an old boxster and your current G6 is that parts for the G6 are easy to find and cheap.

I have a 1997 with 60k on the second motor and just had $1000 of routine maintenance done on it: replacing the spark plugs and 6 coil packs. OUCH!

They're cheap cars right now for a reason. They need a lot of stuff replaced on them.

Plus, unlike a Cayman, if the convertible top transmission slips up and you aren't very watchful, it can twist up everything and cost you more than replacing the motor on your G6 with a rebuilt unit.
Welcome back! Question...

How do 6 spark plugs and 6 coil packs run ~$1K. I'm thinking parts ~$300, no?
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Old 12-30-2019, 04:42 PM   #8
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The Boxster is not a car, its a toy. A roadster, a fun drive with your second-half roof down, or track, or twisties, or wrench-in mods candidate. "A toy!" Can't see any other use for this toy car other than that. Can't even fit a decent size luggage or half groceries in that thing so...

That to say, if you can't keep the Pontiac and add-up the toy on top (and afford both), give up the idea. (ps. my opinion may differ greatly from others who've used this car as daily driver, 'when it was much younger' mind you).
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Old 12-30-2019, 05:18 PM   #9
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If you are mechanically inclined, Boxsters are relatively easy to work on. Parts, however, can be expensive.

While you like the yellow car, it is a tough sell as most people don't care for the color. That's in your favor when you want to buy but will be an issue when you go to sell in 2 yrs. I buy & sell Boxsters & Caymans as a hobby and won't buy a yellow car b/c it's tough to resell. Yellow cars are always priced lower than the safe colored cars (silver, black, white). With the high miles and color, the dealer with the yellow will certainly deal. But you will have the same hurdles when it's time for you to sell and color is an important part of selling a car. If they buyer doesn't like the color, it's very hard to convince them to buy it, regardless of price or condition. Also, wives really dislike yellow and they can influence a purchase even if they don't plan to drive a car. Reds and blues have as much wow appeal as yellow but are easier to sell. You need to keep the 2nd part of the equation (reselling) in mind since you plan to sell not too far down the road.

And don't get me wrong, I'm not against bright colors - I own an orange Boxster and green Cayman. I'm just passing along some of my knowledge for you to take or leave. I think yellow is a striking color and there are people who love it, but they're not in the majority. Porsche owners tend to want to 'blend in', so they like the safe colors.

Good luck with your decision. You are wise to ask for advice.
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Old 12-30-2019, 08:26 PM   #10
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Last year I bought two 2000 boxsters and got the deferred maintenance up to date, some of the story is in these threads.
Into Boxsters with both feet... a green one and a blue one.
My Blue Boxster refurb.
I spent about $1300+ CDN on each car for maintenance (oil, filters, coolant, and all sorts of missing bolts and doodads including things that got broken during disassembly), getting a second key (close to $200), tires for the green one and a clutch and drive shaft boots/rebuild on the blue one. I do all my own work so there is no labour in that figure. I try to use used parts where possible and only do what has to be done.
Both cars are running well and can be enjoyed right now, but both have other things to do like changing the transmission oil, probably engine mounts and eventually cam chain tensioners (especially on the blue one).

So count on $1000 US and some work over the short and medium term just to get it up to snuff. But you will be rewarded with a great little ride!
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Old 12-30-2019, 09:06 PM   #11
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I think the answer to your question depends on what other demands you face on your time, energy and financial resources.

When I was 18, I wanted to buy a 1959 Porsche 356 Convertible D. If I recall correctly, I think it would have cost about $1400. My Dad told me I could buy it, but I couldn't keep it at our house. His reasoning was that maintenance and restoration on the car would be time consuming and I would either forego college to work on the car or the car would rust away in our drive way because I lost interest. Although I would tease my Dad in later years that Convertible D's in great condition were selling for 6 figures, I think my Dad had great insight.

If owning the car is not going to interfere with your achievement of an important long-term goal, I think you will be able to make it work. As you can tell from the responses you received already, there are a lot of resources on this board that will make owning a Boxster fairly practical given that it has some inherent problems and it is a 20-year old German sports car.

If the car is going to be a distraction or a catastrophic engine failure will be a significant financial blow, I think it may be better to wait a few years. There should be plenty of cool cars to buy and your tastes may change.
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Old 12-31-2019, 05:46 AM   #12
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"A toy!" Can't see any other use for this toy car other than that. Can't even fit a decent size luggage or half groceries in that thing so...
Oh boy, you must be a sloppy packer big guy (Welcome Back! BTW). Have you not read The Groceries in your Trunk thread?? SIX PAGES of innovative packing!

The rest of what people are saying seems pretty on the mark. I've had my Boxster for going on 13 years now, having amassed ~80k miles (on top of the ~20k that was already there). She's been pretty darned reliable, never (knock on wood) stranded me anywhere but home (water pump). That said, at 18 years, she's getting up there...I'm glad I have a back-up/winter DD.
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Old 12-31-2019, 10:48 PM   #13
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Expect to spend $500 - $1,000 after purchase to fix things that you feel have to be fixed.

Expect to pay around $2,000 per year for maintenance. Some years will be less and some years will be more. It will all average out over time. If it ends up being substantially less than $2K per year, consider yourself lucky.

Most of the value in a 986 is in how much life is left in the engine. The fewer miles, the higher the value. At 175,000 miles most people will consider the engine to be mostly worthless and in need of replacement at any time thereafter. Some engines last well over 200,000 but those are the exception. A car in need of a replacement engine will be worth ~$4K. Thus, your depreciation curve looks like a straight line from purchase mileage and price now to 175,000 miles and $4,000 in the future. How fast it depreciates simply depends on how many miles the car has when you buy it and how many miles you plan to drive during each year of ownership. This assumes that you generally keep up the appearance and maintenance.

Be sure to get a Pre-Purchase Inspection (PPI) from a reputable Porsche service shop before you buy any Porsche. This inspection will give you some idea of what repairs the car needs so you know what you're getting into. It will be the best $300 that you ever spend.
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Old 01-01-2020, 05:34 AM   #14
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The Boxster is not a car, its a toy. A roadster, a fun drive with your second-half roof down, or track, or twisties, or wrench-in mods candidate. "A toy!" Can't see any other use for this toy car other than that. Can't even fit a decent size luggage or half groceries in that thing so...

That to say, if you can't keep the Pontiac and add-up the toy on top (and afford both), give up the idea. (ps. my opinion may differ greatly from others who've used this car as daily driver, 'when it was much younger' mind you).
I'd agree completely. But I wouldn't have when I was 18. Hehe
The things I'd put up with in my D.D. now, don't even resemble the things I'd have put up with when I was 18. Somehow I convinced myself as a kid that a motorcycle was a good D.D..... in Utah..... in winter. Yeah.

So appealing to my 18yr old self, I'd day go for it. But that same 18yr old kid would also tell you that you'll probably spend as much time working on it as you do driving it.
That wouldn't have changed my mind then.

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Old 01-01-2020, 06:19 AM   #15
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My daughter, in her mid 20s, has been using one of my '99s as her daily for a few years. It's a Tiptronic nearing 150k miles. It's been a good reliable car for her and if I wasn't maintaining it, it would probably average about $1,000 a year for maintenance - tires, starter, and a few misc minor repairs.

There have been some others, but when I think of 16 - 18 year old 986 owners, the experience of these two comes to mind. Read some of their threads.

986 Forum - for Porsche Boxster & Cayman Owners - View Profile: BIGJake111

986 Forum - for Porsche Boxster & Cayman Owners - View Profile: cornontherob
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Old 01-01-2020, 08:27 AM   #16
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I love the yellow one, but I'd probably go with the silver one. For the same price you get the lower mileage, and 50k is quite a lot. You're less likely to get cops following you around in the silver one, too.

I guess chronologically, I'm probably your grandpa's age (68). I am not crazy about silver or gold cars, I had mine repainted guards red. I say, you're only young once, so go for it. Pay for an independent opinion, a pre purchase inspection. And good maintenance records if possible. Nice to have a fun car, even in the wintry north. If you need to do repairs, you'll learn valuable lessons. My car when I was 19 was a 67 Mustang with body damage (I had fixed) and a 289 4bbl V8. A real POS, don't even wish I had it today. (they were really crummy cars!)

If you were my kid, I'd put my money where my mouth is. Either match funds with you on a newer Porsche. Or buy, outright, the car of my choice. Which would be a Prius. The freedom of a really fuel efficient car is wonderful, I've owned an older Prius and it was a surprisingly fun car.
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Old 01-05-2020, 05:52 PM   #17
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Thank you all so much for the replies. I really appreciate the time. At 18, I don't really have any responsibilities, so the practicality thing isn't really huge for me. The thing i'm most worried about is spending 6-7k on a the boxster and immediately having something catastrophic go wrong. I'm pretty mechanically inclined, I've never gone to a dealership or shop to have anything done besides tire mounting and inspections. So i'm 99% confident I can handle anything the boxster throws at me in terms of fixing it, I would just be really bummed out if less than a month or two something awful happened that would cost more that 1k. At this point my plan would be to buy the boxster within the next month or two and probably drive the hell out of it yet take super good care of it mechanically for the summer and then when it comes time to go to college in the fall, make a decision based on the money I've spent whether or not it's a good financial decision to continue with the car or to sell it for something more "normal" (although that idea makes me want to throw up) If I put about 5k miles on it over the summer, would I be able to turn around and sell it fairly easily for about what I paid for it, provided everything is in as good of mechanical condition as it was when I bought it?
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:06 PM   #18
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...would I be able to turn around and sell it fairly easily for about what I paid for it, ...?
If I had a nickel...
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Old 01-05-2020, 10:52 PM   #19
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...The thing i'm most worried about is spending 6-7k on a the boxster and immediately having something catastrophic go wrong.
Some good FUD!

Common sense makes most worried to be clipped, going off-road or simply being rear-ended by another vehicle more than some fantasy catastrophic anything. The odds of that are significantly higher(lol) compared to let's say a 'mechanical failure', as you already know. If the case staying indoor in an empty and padded room is recommended.

Good luck with your upcoming Boxster, lots of good fun waiting for you!
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Old 01-06-2020, 02:05 AM   #20
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...

If you were my kid, I'd put my money where my mouth is. Either match funds with you on a newer Porsche. Or buy, outright, the car of my choice. Which would be a Prius. The freedom of a really fuel efficient car is wonderful, I've owned an older Prius and it was a surprisingly fun car.

Troll?


But I get it, and I agree. Japanese hatches are perfect starter cars. I'd just chose something a little more inspired than a Prius, as the O.P. has a car already.

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