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Old 04-26-2006, 09:35 AM   #1
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About to take the plunge...

So this will be my first post, but I've been lurking for a bit. I'm about to take the plunge into Boxster ownership! After months of searching, I've zeroed in on what looks to be my new ride:

Year: 2002 Boxster (Standard)
Transmission: 5-spd manual
Exterior: Gray
Interior: Light gray
Top: Black
Mileage: 35,000
Options: Bose system, dual-power seats, cruise control, alarm

I've already checked it out (and yes it has both keys :P), clean CarFax history, and looks fantastic. Just to be safe, I'm having it professionaly inspected and road tested on Monday (5/1) and if it comes back with no mechanical or hidden damage repairs I should be driving it home next week!

So, is there anything I haven't thought of yet? Any questions I need to ask? I just want to be really careful.
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Old 04-26-2006, 10:38 AM   #2
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Ask for the maintenance records if you don't already have them. Warranty book stamped?

Good luck!
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Old 04-26-2006, 10:58 AM   #3
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Ah, maintenance records. I will check those out after the inspection. I'll also check the warrenty book and see if it's stamped. Thanks for the tip.

So let's say the inspection comes back clean and the car is in great shape, but there are no maintenance records or warrenty stamps, or at least they are incomplete. For example I know that it was serviced at 15k miles as that shows up in CarFax, but I don't know about 30k.

If I can't get a complete maintenance history of the car, should I just walk away? Or if there is nothing really wrong with it now, should I use that as a bargining chip?
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Old 04-26-2006, 01:25 PM   #4
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Is this from a dealer or a private sale?

Have any and all TSBs been taken care of?

Has the engine ever been replaced?

Has it ever had an RMS problem?

Does it come with the wind-screen? To me this shouldn't even be an option - it's a requirement and it's around $400.00 to buy new.

Inspect the top carefully - any rips that have been "repaired", wear patterns (which are normal - but can be indicative of a top that's been lowered wet). Is the glass/plastic in good shape.

It should be test driven to operating temperature - ensure that the temp is at 180 and not too far past it. If it goes past 180 too far you could have a blower (removes heat from engine area) or coolant problem.

Does it have all the tools?

Is the dash peeling back at the defroster vent?

Do you have the radio code?

Operate the top yourself - is it smooth? Do the windows operate properly when you do this. Do they return to position when the top is closed.

How's the clutch feel? Does it seem like it's nearing replacement?

Do your key/keys actually work for all functions? (Lock/Unlock/Trunk). If not - they should replace the key batteries and you should try it again.

Can you get an aftermarket warranty and if so - what does it cover?

Will they give you a 30 day or 90 day warranty for free if all of the warranty/TSB work is undocumented? (my dealer did this - and I'm so glad he did).
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Old 04-26-2006, 02:38 PM   #5
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Is this from a dealer or a private sale?
-- Dealer (not Porsche)

Have any and all TSBs been taken care of?
-- How would I be able to tell that?

Has the engine ever been replaced?
-- Would this show up in CarFax? Is it only a Porsche-dealer thing, or can anyone order a Boxster engine and hook it up?

Has it ever had an RMS problem?
-- What does RMS stand for?

Does it come with the wind-screen? To me this shouldn't even be an option - it's a requirement and it's around $400.00 to buy new.
-- No, but I really can't argue that as it IS an option. I agree it would be nice to have, but it's not a Porsche dealer so...

Inspect the top carefully - any rips that have been "repaired", wear patterns (which are normal - but can be indicative of a top that's been lowered wet). Is the glass/plastic in good shape.
-- Top is in perfect condition (but I will look at it a second time after the inspection to be sure). Plastic window looks as good as vinyl windows can look really.

It should be test driven to operating temperature - ensure that the temp is at 180 and not too far past it. If it goes past 180 too far you could have a blower (removes heat from engine area) or coolant problem.
-- The road test as part of the inspection is about 8 miles, so would that be enough time? I will be driving it myself of course.

Does it have all the tools?
-- As far as I can tell, but what exactly am I looking for?

Is the dash peeling back at the defroster vent?
-- No.

Do you have the radio code?
-- Unknown, will ask. If it is missing, what can I do? Can I request it from Porsche?

Operate the top yourself - is it smooth? Do the windows operate properly when you do this. Do they return to position when the top is closed.
-- The windows should lower slightly when the top is retracted, and then when it is closed they will raise up to seal, yes? What triggers the lowering/raising of the windows: The switch for the top or the latch?

How's the clutch feel? Does it seem like it's nearing replacement?
-- Will find out when I drive it. I hope it doesn't need to be replaced at only 35k miles.

Do your key/keys actually work for all functions? (Lock/Unlock/Trunk). If not - they should replace the key batteries and you should try it again.
-- Did not check the other key, but the first one worked fine.

Can you get an aftermarket warranty and if so - what does it cover?
-- Haven't looked at this, but I know it's available with many different coverage options. For a price of course.

Will they give you a 30 day or 90 day warranty for free if all of the warranty/TSB work is undocumented? (my dealer did this - and I'm so glad he did).
-- Another thing I will ask on my ever-growing checklist.

This are some really great questions guys! Stuff I really didn't think about before. This will be my first used car purchase (hell, first car purchase period really) on my own, so anything I can get to make sure I don't get a piece of junk with a nice wax job is awsome! Keep 'em coming!
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Old 04-26-2006, 05:14 PM   #6
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TSBs - Get the list of TSBs (it's around here somewhere...) and check with your mechanic.

The Engine VIN should match the vehicle VIN.

RMS stands for "Rear Main Seal" and is the bane of Porsche...

Windscreen - not trying to find bargaining chips for you - just think ya need it.

Roadtest - let it idle for a bit. Let it idle after if need be. You need to know this - it's really hard to check out and you'll only really know it's a problem if the temp is above normal.

Tools (if 2002's even come with them) are in the front with the spare (again if they even come with them) - there should be a cover over the spare. Inside should be the tool kit in a foam thingee. If all this is not applicable, you should check to see if you have the tool to remove the tamper-proof lug nut. It should be with the tool kit - if not, you need it and shouldn't have to pay for it.

Radio code should probably be with your documention - it's a grey credit card looking thing.

The latch causes the windows to lower a few inches.

Just want to make sure your keys actually work - they're not cheap ya know!

Do you mind telling this forum what you're looking to pay?
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Old 04-26-2006, 09:39 PM   #7
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TSBs - Get the list of TSBs (it's around here somewhere...) and check with your mechanic.
-- I found them on MyCarStats.com actually. I will make sure they have been taken care of.

The Engine VIN should match the vehicle VIN.
-- Gotcha. Where on the engine is the VIN located?

RMS stands for "Rear Main Seal" and is the bane of Porsche...
-- Ah, I've heard horror stories about the rear main seal failure. Hopefully nothing turns up in the maintenance records or in the inspection.

Windscreen - not trying to find bargaining chips for you - just think ya need it.
-- Ok, I guess I kinda misunderstood what you were saying. But I do agree that it would be nice to have. Is there somewhere that sells them for less, or maybe I could pick up a used one on eBay or something?

Roadtest - let it idle for a bit. Let it idle after if need be. You need to know this - it's really hard to check out and you'll only really know it's a problem if the temp is above normal.
-- Good advice.

Tools (if 2002's even come with them) are in the front with the spare (again if they even come with them) - there should be a cover over the spare. Inside should be the tool kit in a foam thingee. If all this is not applicable, you should check to see if you have the tool to remove the tamper-proof lug nut. It should be with the tool kit - if not, you need it and shouldn't have to pay for it.
-- I actually foung a great site that lists just about everything you need to know about buying a used Boxster.

Just want to make sure your keys actually work - they're not cheap ya know!
-- Oh no doubt. I don't wanna pay $250 for a new key. I will definatly check this out. What about the valet key? I don't know if it has one, but I know that those aren't too bad.

Do you mind telling this forum what you're looking to pay?
-- The asking price for this one is right at my limit, $27k. I'm trading in my old car and getting really good value for it, so that helps quite a bit. But $25-28k is my upper range, and at least a 2001.
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Old 04-27-2006, 06:03 AM   #8
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Great list for you.

If you have the PPI done at a Porsche dealer (I recommend this) many of the issues Pete raises can be handled during the PPI.

Good luck'
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Old 04-27-2006, 08:58 AM   #9
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Yes, this is some great stuff I've been getting from Pete! And it's actually not a Porsche dealer that is doing the inspection, but rather CarFax's Inspection and Road Test service. This isn't exactly ideal, but I live 2 hours away from the car so getting over there to do an inspection myself is difficult. With the CarFax deal, they send someone to the car and give it a full cosmetic and mechanical inspection, and then do a road test to ensure there are no problems with the driveability.

It may not be as good as a Porsche dealer/mechanic, but it should turn up anything serious that might need to be looked into further or tell me to simply walk away. Plus it saves me making a 2 hour drive to find out that something is wrong.

Anyway, now I have a really great list of things to check off and look at when/if I return to give the car a final look. The upside is there is another car I found that is second on my list (due to the color mostly) if this deal falls through. I am hellbent on getting a Boxster if you couldn't tell

Last edited by Wintermute; 04-27-2006 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 04-27-2006, 09:18 AM   #10
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I have to tell you - Carfax isn't going to give you the information you really need. There's a reason you only take P-cars to P-car mechanics and you don't get the oil changed at Jiffy-Lube. The "other guys" might be fine with "other" cars - but not these.

There's a reason why people on this forum always recommend a PPI from a Porsche dealer - because it's the only way to truly get peace of mind. Granted, it's not fool proof and it's not necessarily cheap either. A Porsche dealer is going to know what to look for. I actually doubt that the Carfax guys will even know how to get in to look at the engine (hint: if they go to open the front or rear trunk - you're in trouble).

I'm not trying to scare you - but as constantly mentioned - these are not cheap cars to maintain. Why start off in the hole (See Also: RandallNeighbor).

Oh yeah, check out Randall's website. It's got some great info!

Don't be afraid to ask questions and get answers. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
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Old 04-27-2006, 09:53 AM   #11
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Car fax will not do the trick.

The car needs to go up in the air and a Porsche mechanic needs to go UNDER neath the car, where all the trouble lies.

Moreover, the PPI needs to include a paint inspection with a paint meter.


Repaired damage is a BIG DEAL!

Good luck!
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Old 04-27-2006, 10:09 AM   #12
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Well should I cancel the CarFax inspection and just take it to a Porsche dealer? Am I wasting my time and $$ with a CarFax inspection?

Here's another problem: The only time I can get up there to take it to the dealer is on Sundays, and they are closed. (I live in Tucson and the car is in Phoenix) Any suggestions?
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Old 04-27-2006, 11:16 AM   #13
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Ok, here's an alternative situation. I just stumbled on a 2002 Boxster S that looks really good (in pics anyway :P) that I'm going to take a look at today (33k miles, dark blue w/ tan interior, $30k asking price ). Now this car still has 4 months of the original warranty remaining. Since the car is still under warranty, how stringint of a PPI should I have done? The beauty of this one is: It's local, so I can take it to get inspected much easier than the other one. So should I still take it to the Porsche dealer?

This one is more expensive but with the remaining factory warranty I think it might be worth it since this will essentially be my primary car. I've already asked about most of the questions that were mentioned here, but haven't got a reply yet (sent an e-mail).
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Old 04-27-2006, 11:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wintermute
Ok, here's an alternative situation. I just stumbled on a 2002 Boxster S that looks really good (in pics anyway :P) that I'm going to take a look at today (33k miles, dark blue w/ tan interior, $30k asking price ). Now this car still has 4 months of the original warranty remaining. Since the car is still under warranty, how stringint of a PPI should I have done? The beauty of this one is: It's local, so I can take it to get inspected much easier than the other one. So should I still take it to the Porsche dealer?

This one is more expensive but with the remaining factory warranty I think it might be worth it since this will essentially be my primary car. I've already asked about most of the questions that were mentioned here, but haven't got a reply yet (sent an e-mail).

Yes, I would still recommend a PPI at a Porsche dealer.
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Old 04-30-2006, 04:29 PM   #15
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Well everything checked out on the Boxster S I looked at and since they gave me top $$ on my trade-in, had service records, and a inspection report from Porsche with no problems (done 2 weeks ago for a previous potential buyer, but decided he couldn't afford it)....I bought it! I'm now the proud new owner of a 2002 Boxster S! Here's a couple of shots of the car from the AutoTrader ad (it's a bit dusty from driving all weekend right now ):






I'm still in a bit of shock. I can't believe that I drive a Porsche now! w00t!! Thank you so much everyone for helping me out with knowing what questions to ask and what to look for.

Last edited by Wintermute; 04-30-2006 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 04-30-2006, 05:01 PM   #16
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It's absolutely beautiful - congratulations - and welcome to the club!
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Old 04-30-2006, 06:44 PM   #17
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Sweet color scheme.

Congrats!!!!!!!!
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