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Old 10-27-2006, 01:51 PM   #1
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2005 987S 20,000 mile report

Hi all,

Been really busy lately and haven't been following the forum. Thought i'd report back on my car.

Replaced my rear tires at 18,800 miles. Also got my third tranny replaced at 18,800 miles under warranty. This is going to be a sticking point with me and Porsche...

At 20,098 I put the car in for service. Got the minor maintenance done and replaced the brakes, which were below 10%.

A brake job consists of pads, rotors and parts. $695. Minor maintenance is something in the $200+ range. This is all at Pioneer Centres, San Diego.

Luckily I had a 15% off coupon that they'd sent me for both jobs. Grand total was therefore $963.43.

At the same time I also reported a bit of funny handling and a clunky sound from the rear passenger side. We surmised that it might be a sway bar end link, which is apparently a common mode of failure for these cars.

When I came to pick up my car, I was informed that my right rear shock needed to be replaced. It's a PASM shock too.

Hmm... ditch the car or extended warranty? I love the way it looks and drives, but if major parts keep dying, well, that's no good...
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Old 10-27-2006, 01:57 PM   #2
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Rotors at 20k miles?? Seems really early to me...
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Old 10-27-2006, 02:12 PM   #3
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The service guys say that the rotors are always done at the same time as the pads. They say that they don't turn them as they'll be below minimum width.

Sounds fishy to me, but whatever. It's not a huge expenditure at least. If anyone wants to call shenanigans on them and send me somewhere else for future break jobs, I'm all ears!
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Old 10-27-2006, 02:13 PM   #4
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wow lots of miles for one year. But I guess if your going to spend 20K miles in any car a BoxsterS in SoCal must be nice!
I'm on about 30,000 for my 2000! 90% of my commute is on Public Transportation.
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Old 10-27-2006, 02:14 PM   #5
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yeah thats alot of miles in a year,i have about half the miles you have and my boxster which is a 1999!
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Old 10-27-2006, 02:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perfectlap
wow lots of miles for one year. But I guess if your going to spend 20K miles in any car a BoxsterS in SoCal must be nice!
I'm on about 30,000 for my 2000! 90% of my commute is on Public Transportation.
Lucky you! Yeah, it's a bit excessive, but nothing unusual for a daily driver in San Diego. I've had my car since May of 2005 so that's one year and five months.... 14,000 miles per year.

Yep, nothing shocking for San Diego. *sigh*
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Old 10-27-2006, 02:49 PM   #7
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Eslai, my mechanic said that disks should last through two (typical) or possibly three sets of pads max.

I'm also willing to bet they didn't give you the old pads and rotors so you could have them checked out, did they?

You need to find an honest mechanic or start checking the rotor thickness out yourself and force the dealer to be honest with you if you go back there.

That does sound like a great deal for rotors AND pads all the way around though... I'm looking at a parts bill alone that is around $500.
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Old 10-27-2006, 02:55 PM   #8
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I would think the only way you would need new rotors is if you towed a boat or kubota backhoe with it.
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Old 10-27-2006, 03:13 PM   #9
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Hi,

For that price, I can't imagine they actually changed the Rotors, at list price, the Pads and Rotors total $668 alone (and that's an old Price List). They're correct that you cannot machine the drilled Rotors, too difficult for the lathe and greatly increases the risk of cracking.

As stated, 2-3 Pad changes per Rotor change, a little more like 2 would be the norm. A Pad change at 18,800mi. indicates pretty severe use, even for just City driving. They should go closer to 30k-35k mi., but everybody's driving style differs.

Glad they only took the Arm and left the Leg...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
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Old 10-27-2006, 04:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eslai
Also got my third tranny replaced at 18,800 miles under warranty. [/b].
umm yikes on the rotors....but the tranny? what were the signs that your tranny was going??
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Old 10-27-2006, 07:58 PM   #11
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3rd freaking tranny at 18,800?! I don't understand how that's possible. Was your clutch pedal not working?! Can you give more details here? History thus far - I'd sell the bird and get a new one - no question.

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Old 10-27-2006, 09:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MNBoxster
Hi,

For that price, I can't imagine they actually changed the Rotors, at list price, the Pads and Rotors total $668 alone (and that's an old Price List). They're correct that you cannot machine the drilled Rotors, too difficult for the lathe and greatly increases the risk of cracking.

As stated, 2-3 Pad changes per Rotor change, a little more like 2 would be the norm. A Pad change at 18,800mi. indicates pretty severe use, even for just City driving. They should go closer to 30k-35k mi., but everybody's driving style differs.

Glad they only took the Arm and left the Leg...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
Ah, I missed you, my condescending friend. Very difficult to type these days while missing an arm.

The pads were changed at 20,000 miles, by the way, not 18,800.

I have the service slip from the dealership and they did do the brakes and rotors for less than $700, no baloney! The rotors are definitely brand new--have the honing marks and all that on them, no lip, rust, dust, etc. My old ones were nicely grooved.

It did sound fishy to me--I'm the type of guy that uses rotors until they're really crappy, then smoothe them out with harsh race pads at the track. The funny thing is that my service advisor didn't even mention the fact that cross-drilled rotors are murder for the lathe (although it hasn't been *too* difficult to find shops that would turn cross-drilled/slotted rotors in Los Angeles), instead he just said that "machining the rotors takes them below minimum thickness".

I'm not sure if he just means that the rotors won't last through two sets of stock pads? Don't know. In any case I trust my guy and it wasn't enough money to worry about it too much. If I paid $300-$400 about eighteen months early, not a big deal.

I'm told stock pads last anywhere from 20,000 to 35,000 miles, which is better than I'm used to in general for performance brakes so the brake job didn't have me worried at all.

It's the busted shock and the transmission that bug me. I'm told that there's nothing I could've done to bust the shock in this fashion, that it was a premature failure. No one gave me any grief about that, thankfully, but it does have me worried about the durability of PASM.

Here's the story on the transmission. Both failures were the same--the car would pop out of second gear--meaning that the collar that selects 1st and 2nd was failing, I'm assuming. It would pop out in such a fashion that it wouldn't be completely in neutral--it'd be riding the gear teeth and making a NASTY noise.

It failed the first time at like 5000 miles I think. They replaced it under warranty but pulled my rev counts and told me that they were replacing the tranny under good faith--that my engine rev counts indicated that I had overrevved the engine. THey said further rev counts could void my running gear warranty.

I was miffed. There were a total of THREE engine cycles at level three, which is the beginning of overrev and the first indication that a customer is beating on a car. Didn't really argue the point although give me a break--I maybe misshift once when the car is new (and three engine cycles? Hell, I wouldn't even have had the clutch pedal all the way out before realizing the problem and stomping it back down! The tranny never would have had full engine load) Is this not a Sports Car? Did these parts come off a Golf?!

When I got the car back things seemed to be okay for a little while but things quickly went south. The transmission started popping out again, although a little more subtley--it would feel like you had shifted into second, but when you let out the clutch, surprise!! Grinding noise, etc. It happened very inconsistently though so I tried to wait for it to get worse before reporting it to the dealership.

They replicated the problem at 18,800 and replaced it on "good faith" again, again blaming me for beating on the transmission. However, my level three rev counts hadn't changed since 5000 miles! Still just three rev counts.

So, how can Porsche say I beat on the car and destroyed two transmissions? No one saw any evidence of crazy wheelspin, no one said anything about heat marks or other evidence of a misused clutch/flywheel. Did anyone actually check my shifter cables and the shift mechanism in general after the first failure? The shift throw on these cars is like rowing a boat--are the cable lengths within tolerance? Heim joints? What does the 1-2 shift fork look like? Did second gear get pressed properly into place on the input or output shaft? Has anyone back in Germany actually cracked open the transmissions to look for defects, or is it really Porsche's policy to shoot first and ask questions later?

All I know is that they say that if it breaks a third time, they say that they need my authorization to crack open the transmission (again, what the heck did they do with the last two?!) and if they find that the damage was my fault, they will not cover it under warranty. Which is interesting--you'd think they'd need to also crack open my friggin' car to see if anything external to the transmission caused the failure! It isn't always the nut behind the wheel, y'know.

As an aside, the Southern California Regional Service Manager is UNBELIEVABLE. He started off our relationship by refusing to give me his phone number. He stated that it was for business calls only and that if he gave it out, it would impede his ability to make outgoing calls. How ridiculous is that? How do you start a business dialogue of any sort without providing your phone number to the other party?! Porsche has great people in Customer Commitment, seriously, but the people that actually make the decisions seem to be the classic representation of what you Jim, and Bruce Lee always say about Porsche. Arrogance Defined.
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Old 10-28-2006, 12:34 AM   #13
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stupid question, what's over reving technically? I mean this is my first stick shift car and I will go from 2nd to 4th and slide out the cluth, revs shoot up calmly and the car starts slowing down.....is there a rpm you aren't supposed to shoot past or is it simply don't break into the red line and you are okay?

Sorry to hear about the problems.....I asy if you burn a third don't authorize them cracking it open, have them fix it again and ditch it and try a fresh car....
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Old 10-28-2006, 06:26 AM   #14
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Bummer for you but I think driving style is the likely culprit. I had a 1988 Audi 90 Quattro last me over 120, 000 miles on a original clutch with lots of miles in congested highways, Long Island distressway & Manhattan. The car was far from perfect since it ate 3 generators, no clue why? While I don't baby the car I not one to drop the clutch at 4000 or 5000 rpms either. I started driving sticks in 68 and I always been careful with brakes & clutch. I never race corner to corner. When I see traffic slowdown I downshift rather than stump on the brakes. Driving with prudence does not mean I don't like driving the car sometimes at high speeds and with spirited cornering which I do when road conditions & traffic allow. I drive my car everyday and I have already put 30,000 miles on my 2003S, brakes are fine and the clutch at times is notchy going into second( it must be a German thing since that would happen in my last car 2001 S-4) but that is a few times and far between. I love the car and it seems to be durable. Just examine your driving characteristics and maybe that will change your maintance issues. Just and opinion not an attack to a fellow Group member. Good luck.
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Old 10-28-2006, 06:33 AM   #15
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This is fascinating and points out how these things are taken in the Porsche world.

So, I go out an buy a $55K plus SPORTS CAR that is aimed at the performance driver. This company stress thees RACING HERITAGE of the marque and trades on that to charge much for the car and its service/repair. After all, it is a PORSCHE!

When a driver comes in with a NEW car that has a BAD trans, I blame him for hitting the rev limiter a few times. Then when the trans goes again and he has NOT hit the limited since, I blame HIM again!

OK, what is wrong with this picture?

OK, now all you guys who apologize for the spotty reputation of the Box on reliability, come and dump and on me.

C'mon guys, Porshce needs to hear from us/you.

Oh sorry, I just saw the last post, it is the DRIVING STYLE that does it.

BTW-If this guy is dumping the clutch at 5K RPM, why is his clutch still intact?
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Old 10-28-2006, 06:58 AM   #16
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Welcome back Eslai, sorry to hear about your transmission woes.

As far as the brakes go, when I did 20k on the 987 base they told me that a front brake job wouldn't be that far off in my future.

Not to state the obvious, but I don't think we should be surprised by a decrease in the service life of new pads and rotors from what has historically been that of the 986. The S brakes are exactly the same between the 986 and 987 and only the rears are different in the base but the 987s are, of course, more powerful and have an 18% increase in brake assist.

That's a great price you got. For those in the San Diego area I can email the 15% brake service coupon and 10% scheduled maintenance coupons. I've had no complaints with Pioneer's service department and their pricing seems better than most that I've compared to in SoCal, certainly better than Hoehn, which is the only other local alternative.
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Old 10-28-2006, 07:07 AM   #17
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Oh sorry, I just saw the last post, it is the DRIVING STYLE that does it.

BTW-If this guy is dumping the clutch at 5K RPM, why is his clutch still intact?[/QUOTE]

I think you are having a bad day. How can anyone know what caused these failures as alluded by the writer? You have to be kidding me. All types of machines have failures but along that line you have to assess driver input. Porsche should be accountable and remedy the flaws if any exists in the Group member's car. The clutch item which you quote was just an example of someone abusing the car not meant to infer that the fellow group member was a culprit but we all seen plenty of people that do indeed subject the clutch like that and then ask Gee what happened? Suggestion take two aspirins and calm down it was not meant to be personal.
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Old 10-28-2006, 07:16 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilot2519j
Oh sorry, I just saw the last post, it is the DRIVING STYLE that does it.

BTW-If this guy is dumping the clutch at 5K RPM, why is his clutch still intact?
I think you are having a bad day. How can anyone know what caused these failures as alluded by the writer? You have to be kidding me. All types of machines have failures but along that line you have to assess driver input. Porsche should be accountable and remedy the flaws if any exists in the Group member's car. The clutch item which you quote was just an example of someone abusing the car not meant to infer that the fellow group member was a culprit but we all seen plenty of people that do indeed subject the clutch like that and then ask Gee what happened? Suggestion take two aspirins and calm down it was not meant to be personal. [/QUOTE]

I didn't take it PERSONALLY but apparently the So CAL Porsche Customer Service guy did!

BTW- that guy has a rep within the dealer service depts. To say he is not loved is an understatement.
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Old 10-28-2006, 07:17 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by dbth
Sell your car.
Yes, I agree. However, if they check the warranty claims log at Porsche, who will buy it?
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Old 10-28-2006, 09:15 AM   #20
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Hi,

I agree that Driver Input can contribute to or mitigate a weak or poor design. In the case of the former, often trouble can be avoided altogether, in the latter, one may be able to forestall or delay, but usually not eliminate the possibility that the machinery will eventually fail.

Some people Drive em like they Stole em, as a group, these people are more likely to have more failures and higher repair and maintenance costs. Some drive them like the proverbial Little Old Lady, these people may also experience relatively higher failure rates and maintenance costs, but usually to different components than the 1st group, because they aren't working the machine hard enough. Then there is the group which drives the car as it was meant to be driven, but respects the machinery (usually with some greater understanding of how it all works). These people usually have the fewest problems and lowest maintenance costs. One is not better than the other, but the consequences of their driving practices often differ tremendously.

We see this in racing too. There are drivers out there who suffer more DNFs due to mechanical failures than others. And those who have a reputation of respecting the machine and usually have a higher % of Finishes.

I'm on the fence on this one, and in fact wouldn't be surprised if there's a little of both at play here. It would seem that the Dealer does as well. The odds of getting 2 bad transmissions, in the same car, are probably astronomical. One thing which favors this is the low mileage at which both units failed (mechanical devices usually die in either early life or old age. In the former, bad assembly or design can be the culprit. In the latter, the device simply wears out - reaches it's designed lifespan) But, driver input can also lead to early failure, so this too cannot be eliminated. In fact, should the 3rd Tranny begin experiencing issues, this factor probably jumps to the forefront.

Redlining a car, or exceeding it, isn't the only way to shorten it's lifespan or that of the transmission. Merely the practice of keeping one's hand on the stick while driving and inadvertently applying pressure can lead to early wear to the balk rings or synchros. Shifting early or late can also have detrimental effects. And there are many others too.

I am making no judgement so far as Eslai's style of driving one way or the other. I don't think there's sufficient evidence to do so. But, neither do I think there's sufficient evidence to rule it out as a contributing factor either, especially when we're seeing a need for Brake Service a little early too.

As I said earlier, I suspect that there's probably a little of both going on, but this is sheer speculation. In other words, if someone were to give me this as a hypothetical, with an unknown driver, based on what we know, this would be my first, but not necessarily my last, hunch. So I'm not slamming Eslai here in any way. We already know this car ain't the most reliable on the Planet...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

Last edited by MNBoxster; 10-28-2006 at 09:19 AM.
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