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Old 06-28-2020, 09:42 AM   #1
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Buying a boxster - Walk me through the PPI process

Hi all, I am in the process of purchasing a 2003 Boxster out of state. I am new to this and want to ensure I follow the best procedure regarding the PPI. Is it common to ask a seller to bring a car for a PPI? obviously, I would pay for it ahead of time. The shop is about 8 miles from where he lives.
Also, should I have the seller state he is simply looking to sell the car locally so that the shop feels like they may get any business down the road? Any and all advice regarding this important step would be very much appreciated As would any input on purchasing a car out of state.
as would any input on purchasing a car out of state.

Thank you!

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Old 06-28-2020, 10:54 AM   #2
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As long as the seller has no issues with a PPI to be performed you should be the one calling the shop and making the request . You tell them you are thinking about purchasing the vehicle and you want a bill of health . You want to know the good and the bad if there is any . In a perfect world it's the same shop that has performed service work in the past so they can tell you about anything replaced/repaired in the past .

The quality of the PPI is obviously an extension of the quality of the shop . If the shop doesn't know all the ins and outs of the particular chassis/engine then they may not be much help . Any shop can tell you about brakes/suspension but can they detect bore scoring ? Many can't . Good luck and report back .
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:59 AM   #3
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Here's a good starting point:

https://www.callasrennsport.com/Files/Documents/Pre-purchase-Inspections-101.pdf
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Old 06-28-2020, 02:28 PM   #4
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Good luck with the purchase!
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Old 06-28-2020, 02:38 PM   #5
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I bought my 2008 RS60 Spyder from out of state last summer. I live near Detroit and the car was near Columbus, OH.

Before going to look at it, I emailed some of the Mid-Ohio Region Porsche Club of America officers (contact info on website) to ask about the reputation of the small used car lot selling the car as well as some recommendations for local indy Porsche shops. After test driving the car, I asked the dealer if they'd be willing to take it to any of the recommended shops for a PPI at my expense. There was one shop they didn't want to deal with (I assume some bad dealings between them in the past), but we agreed on another recommended shop. I contacted the shop to make arrangements and gave them my credit card number, the dealer drove the car there the following week and picked it up when complete.

It worked out surprisingly well; the car got a pretty clean bill of health, and I bought it. I paid extra to have the shop remove & replace the oil filter and cut open the take-off and inspect it for metal debris. I didn't go down the bore scoring inspection route. I think I paid about $300 for the inspection.
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Old 06-28-2020, 09:02 PM   #6
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I've bought several cars out of state and its really quite easy...

You and the owner agree on which shop to use.

You call the shop and make the arrangements with the shop. Tell that shop that you want a PPI and that the owner will bring the car in and that you're paying for it. They will quote you a price and let you know when it can be done.

BE SURE to get approval from the owner before you have the shop do anything intrusive like remove the oil filter, remove the wheels, or remove the spark plugs for compression check/leak down/borescope. Some owners do not want ANYONE touching their car except to perform a visual inspection. Its their car, they have that right. That doesn't mean that they are hiding anything but some owners don't want to take the chance that the shop creates a problem (like cracks a 20 yr old coil pack when removing the spark plugs - sure it was ready to crack but who pays for the repair now?). This may reduce the amount of information that you are able to get from the PPI. If this happens, you'll have to balance that with your desire for that particular car.

You call the owner and have them take the car to the shop at the day/time that you arranged with the shop. Of course, there may be some back-and-forth to find a time that works for both the shop and the owner. You manage the back-and-forth and get everyone to agree on a day/time.

The owner either waits until the inspection is complete or comes back when its complete and then drives the car home.

You pay the shop and the shop sends you the report.

You can share the report with the owner if you feel like it, but you don't have to (you paid for it).

That's it. Easy as cake.
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Last edited by thstone; 06-28-2020 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 06-28-2020, 11:35 PM   #7
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The problem with a PPI is that it takes away your ability to act quickly in order to lock in a great deal. Most underpriced vehicles on craigslist sell the same or following day they are listed. In order to be the first one to capitalize on this, you generally have to be the first on there in cash.

Usually the money saved is exceeds the worst-case-scenario-repair.

Of course, YMMV
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Old 06-29-2020, 05:00 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by beater986 View Post
The problem with a PPI is that it takes away your ability to act quickly in order to lock in a great deal. Most underpriced vehicles on craigslist sell the same or following day they are listed. In order to be the first one to capitalize on this, you generally have to be the first on there in cash.

Usually the money saved is exceeds the worst-case-scenario-repair.

Of course, YMMV
+1

I found my 98 on Craigslist 3 hours after it was posted. I drove it home 3 hours after that.
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Old 06-29-2020, 08:09 AM   #9
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Great stuff guys. Ty!
Im going to broach the subject with the owner if we strike a deal. Id prefer it to be done but understand he needs to be comfortable with it as well. The deal I have in place is a really good one and I dont want to lose it. Also considering flying down there but that adds $600. Already factoring in $$$ to have it transported back to CT.
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Old 06-29-2020, 02:12 PM   #10
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my opinion? (since you asked for opinions, haha)

I can't understand why anyone would pay for a PPI on a 20-yr-old car worth $6k. it makes no sense to me.

talk to the owner, see what he knows. See if you think you can trust him. Ask him to facetime with ya and show you everything marginal on the car, first making sure he knows you don't expect the car to be perfect.

Be trustworthy, and you'll find most people are the same. rarely has this proved to be untrue for me. (though yes, it has happened that someone took advantage of me. On this forum, no less!)

I've bought a lot of cars & Motorcycles in my day (I think the latest acquisition is # 78?) and I still have yet to ever ask for a PPI, or to see a service-history on a car.

If I were selling a $6k car and someone asked me to send it for a PPI, I'd probably have a laugh at their expense. Sure, I'd do it if they paid for it, I guess. But they're going to learn a hell of a lot more from talking to me about the car than they will from some poor schmuck who you're paying $300 to nit-pick at a 20-yr-old car worth $6k. (see the theme here?)

But that's just my $0.02. And it's probably only worth half that. haha.
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Old 06-29-2020, 06:58 PM   #11
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Heed what joliver3 and thstone advise. I would at least insist on an oil filter removal to check for debris. And a camshaft deviation analysis. These are two simple procedures that any accomplished shop can perform.
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Usually the money saved is exceeds the worst-case-scenario-repair.
This is utter nonsense. How would you like to skip the PPI and find metal filings in your oil filter at the first oil change? You may as well write the car off after that.

Or discover that you need new timing chain tensioners because the camshaft deviations are out of spec? Hope your credit card limit is high.

Not trying to be an alarmist, but knowledge is power. Know what you're getting into BEFORE you buy.

Just sayin'........

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Old 06-30-2020, 03:57 PM   #12
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Heed what joliver3 and thstone advise. I would at least insist on an oil filter removal to check for debris. And a camshaft deviation analysis. These are two simple procedures that any accomplished shop can perform.

This is utter nonsense. How would you like to skip the PPI and find metal filings in your oil filter at the first oil change? You may as well write the car off after that.

Or discover that you need new timing chain tensioners because the camshaft deviations are out of spec? Hope your credit card limit is high.

Not trying to be an alarmist, but knowledge is power. Know what you're getting into BEFORE you buy.

Just sayin'........

TO

Completely agreed. I have no issue maying $200 to have a car completely checked by a reputable shop if I have a deal in place and really want the car.
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Old 06-30-2020, 04:43 PM   #13
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my opinion? (since you asked for opinions, haha)

I can't understand why anyone would pay for a PPI on a 20-yr-old car worth $6k. it makes no sense to me.

talk to the owner, see what he knows. See if you think you can trust him. Ask him to facetime with ya and show you everything marginal on the car, first making sure he knows you don't expect the car to be perfect.

Be trustworthy, and you'll find most people are the same. rarely has this proved to be untrue for me. (though yes, it has happened that someone took advantage of me. On this forum, no less!)

I've bought a lot of cars & Motorcycles in my day (I think the latest acquisition is # 78?) and I still have yet to ever ask for a PPI, or to see a service-history on a car.

If I were selling a $6k car and someone asked me to send it for a PPI, I'd probably have a laugh at their expense. Sure, I'd do it if they paid for it, I guess. But they're going to learn a hell of a lot more from talking to me about the car than they will from some poor schmuck who you're paying $300 to nit-pick at a 20-yr-old car worth $6k. (see the theme here?)

But that's just my $0.02. And it's probably only worth half that. haha.


I agree, I guess I'd draw the line at a $40 000 used car. Can't imagine what car I'd get into used at 40k.


Most (I mean all) shops are for profit businesses. Other than keeping a good reputation as a reliable shop, what profit will they see in diagnosing a bunch of stuff with a car that has 0 possibility of buying ANYTHING? No motivation their. So from a business perspective they are going to do a subpar job. Not because the shop is crooked or evil, but rather the business world is motivated by incentive and there is none here.
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:59 PM   #14
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I like the concept of trusting others.

I bought my second Boxster with a blown engine. The owner repeatedly promised that the the engine was the only problem with the car. Nothing else was wrong. No check engine lights before the engine stopped running. He seemed like a good person. He belonged to the PCA. He sounded like a real enthusiast. My kind of owner.

So I trusted him, bought the car, and swapped the engine.

Then I spent another $2,000 repairing all of the problems that were hidden by the non-running engine that the owner promised didn't exist. Problems that had to exist before the engine failed because they weren't part of the engine. He literally lied straight to my face.

Is every seller like this? I don't think so. Sellers like this might be 1 in 100 or even 1 in 1,000. But it can happen.
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Last edited by thstone; 06-30-2020 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:01 PM   #15
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I agree, I guess I'd draw the line at a $40 000 used car. Can't imagine what car I'd get into used at 40k.
I've purchased (3) used cars over that mark (including the.... ahem.... F-car ;-) ) and still did not ask for a ppi.

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Old 07-01-2020, 08:29 AM   #16
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Getting a PPI really depends on who you are and your expectations of the car. Maytag and I like to buy things hoping that we can find some work to do to make them better. ...then Maytag will break it again anyway just to have more fun. Many people don't have the desire to find these special gifts. They buy a car and want it to work as it was designed, or at least know what needs to be fixed before the buy the car.
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Old 07-01-2020, 09:16 AM   #17
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Completely agreed. I have no issue maying $200 to have a car completely checked by a reputable shop if I have a deal in place and really want the car.
$200? Completely checked? You couldn't get a Honda "completely" checked for $200.

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Old 07-01-2020, 09:39 AM   #18
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Completely agreed. I have no issue maying $200 to have a car completely checked by a reputable shop if I have a deal in place and really want the car.
You had better be thinking in the $400-600 range.
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Old 07-01-2020, 11:38 AM   #19
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Maytag and I like to buy things hoping that we can find some work to do to make them better. ...then Maytag will break it again anyway just to have more fun.
Somebody gets me! haha
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Old 07-01-2020, 01:01 PM   #20
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...then Maytag will break it again anyway just to have more fun.
Best thing that I've read in a month!

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