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Old 09-05-2006, 08:11 PM   #1
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Are there really this many blown engines

I had finally decided that a Boxster was the car for me (vs. BMW Z4) until I read this post: Blown engines

If you read through all of the posts at the bottom of this page you will see a bunch of people talking about how their engines blew with very low mileage and basic driving and then how difficult a time they had getting Porsche to take care of them.

I haven't been lurking long, but as of yet I haven't seen any blown engine stories on this site. Is buying a used Boxster really this dangerous. If so, I'm thinking the BMW is a better buy.

What do you guys think?

Thanks,
Chuck

Last edited by Squelch; 02-07-2007 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 09-05-2006, 08:57 PM   #2
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If memory serves me right it was only an issue with late 98s and 99s.

NO BUYING A USED BOXSTER IS NOT DANGEROUS! But buying a SUPER low mileage Boxster could be,ie 97-02 with 30k or less. Just make sure you get a PPI(Pre-Purschase Inspection) at a Porsche dealership.

If you are concerned with parts/maintainence cost vs. a Z4 then the BMW may be better. Its just the price you pay to drive one of the best handling cars in the world.

What about the Boxster draws you to it over a Z4?
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Old 09-06-2006, 06:14 AM   #3
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The problem is that we have no official data to go on. Even the issues with the first Boxster engines was kept very quiet until the news got out on forums such as this.

It is also true that later models have engines crater on them. My neighbors 04 Box blew with 12K on the odometer and several have been reported here. To be fair, in the case of my neighbor, they had a new engine in there in 5 days.

Having said that, I have no BMW data to relate for you either.

Hope my BMW 328I holds up!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-06-2006, 06:30 AM   #4
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first of all the z4 is no race car. the m3 is a race car. the boxster is a race car.

the m3 has engine problems also. every month we had a new m3 come back needing a new engine. bmw hides all these stats very well, as well as porsche.

actually with the m3 they would send back the black box to germany to find out at what speeds you were driving. if they found that you were driving the car hard, at high speeds or tracking the car, they would not warranty the engine.

z4 who cares about a z4, this is a boxster forum. might as well buy a pontiac solice, which is a far more popular car these days then a z4.

sorry i hate bmw's with a passion, and will forever hate bmw's. my mom drives a bmw, my sister drives a bmw, my girlfriend drives a bmw. i live in a part of toronto that is i swear owned by bmw. i worked at bmw, i hate bmw.

buy a honda, then a benz and finish life off witha a porsche in that order.
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:22 AM   #5
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"the boxster is a race car"

You are kidding, right?
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:29 AM   #6
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lol...well it is built closer to a race car then a z4. okay its not a race car...well for me its a race car...i love it.
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:35 AM   #7
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i have a boxster and i got beat by a honda, i also got beat by a chevy, so truthfully, a boxster is a race car, but you will lose almost every race you have unless you have an S. Boxster also belongs to small company that won't claim their screwup on bad engines w/ pores that leak. BMW takes care of their consumers. if i had it to do all over again, i'd by a honda s2000. Germans make good handling cars that break too easy. I have a toyota corolla that i drive like a smaller scale boxster that never breaks. screw the handling, you can handle all day long but if you accelerate and can't keep up with hondas and chevys, why buy a sports car.
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:14 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by hdpt73
i have a boxster and i got beat by a honda, i also got beat by a chevy, so truthfully, a boxster is a race car, but you will lose almost every race you have unless you have an S. Boxster also belongs to small company that won't claim their screwup on bad engines w/ pores that leak. BMW takes care of their consumers. if i had it to do all over again, i'd by a honda s2000. Germans make good handling cars that break too easy. I have a toyota corolla that i drive like a smaller scale boxster that never breaks. screw the handling, you can handle all day long but if you accelerate and can't keep up with hondas and chevys, why buy a sports car.
Wow, you sound very unhappy - why do you still have your Porsche then?
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squelch
I had finally decided that a Boxster was the car for me (vs. BMW Z4) until I read this post: Blown engines

If you read through all of the posts at the bottom of this page you will see a bunch of people talking about how there engines blew with very low milage and basic driving and then how difficult a time they had getting Porsche to take care of them.

I haven't been lurking long, but as of yet I haven't seen any blown engine stories on this site. Is buying a used Boxster really this dangerous. If so, I'm thinking the BMW is a better buy.

What do you guys think?

Thanks,
Chuck
Squelch,

I don't think you can go wrong in your choice of a BMW or a Porsche. The Z4 and the Boxster are very different though so I would suggest making your decision based on the test drive. Just keep in mind that neither car is going to be cheap.
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Old 09-06-2006, 12:42 PM   #10
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i still have my porsche b/c it's paid off (otherwise i'd trade it in for a toyota x-runner), i think most boxster owners will acknoledge that there are many gremlins such as rms, left window motor, weak oil separator, steering wheel horns that go on by themselves after seal is worn, etc. all these problems in addition to high maintenance costs would steer any practical person away from a porsche. I don't even want to get into 911s which have similar problems for a 80,000+ car. the only things porsche can say they did well on the box was the steering feel, quality wasn't even there until 2005. plus most of us are happy to say we own a porsche. but if you talk to anyone who knows cars or sells cars they will tell you a boxster is a nice car but it's an entry level porsche. with entry level power. the z4 m coupe is a bada55 car.
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Old 09-06-2006, 12:55 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by hdpt73
i still have my porsche b/c it's paid off (otherwise i'd trade it in for a toyota x-runner), i think most boxster owners will acknoledge that there are many gremlins such as rms, left window motor, weak oil separator, steering wheel horns that go on by themselves after seal is worn, etc. all these problems in addition to high maintenance costs would steer any practical person away from a porsche. I don't even want to get into 911s which have similar problems for a 80,000+ car. the only things porsche can say they did well on the box was the steering feel, quality wasn't even there until 2005. plus most of us are happy to say we own a porsche. but if you talk to anyone who knows cars or sells cars they will tell you a boxster is a nice car but it's an entry level porsche. with entry level power. the z4 m coupe is a bada55 car.
I hear what you are saying, but a couple of points:

If the Boxster is an entry level Porsche with entry level power, then the same thing could be said for the Z4’s relationship to the BMW line. I think the original post was a Box vs a regular Z4, not the Z4M.

I don’t agree with you that some problems with older cars plus high maintenance costs “would steer any practical person away from owning a Porsche.” I consider myself to be a very practical person who is living well below their means. I understand that my car will likely wind up costing quit a bit more than say, my wife’s Toyota, but to me, the driving experience is well worth the extra price. Your earlier post about being “beaten” by a Honda and a Chevy would lead me to believe that your definition of driving experience is more along the lines of drag racing. If that is the case then I agree, the Boxster is not for you. I have driven a lot of cars, and to me, nothing has been more pleasurable for a daily driver than my base 987. To each his own I guess.
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:54 PM   #12
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Bmw engines have their problems too. Just go on any BMW board and ask about the S54 BMW engine which is present in many of the M roadsters and M3's. BMW had many engine failures from what I have been hearing and I doubt every one was replaced under a good will agreement.
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:57 PM   #13
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. the z4 m coupe is a bada55 car.
Yes it is, but the Cayman S is more bad a$$ according to every major mag.
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Old 09-09-2006, 08:21 PM   #14
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The S54 had a couple of bad years with the bottom end and failed rod bearings. They have fixed that, and that engine has won "the best engine of the year" award a bunch of times. The S54 is a great engine. 333hp out of only 3.2 liters, normally aspirated?

Sure better than the boxster S. But we do know that Porsche has "restricted" what the 3.2 can do so it wont piss off any 911 owners who might get their hat handed to them.

I have an E36, had an E39, and have an X5 (wifey's car). BMW's are very good cars, they drive very well and are pretty easy to fix yourself. I love mine. They are expensive to maintain, but not as costly as a Porsche.

I got a boxster because I wanted a Porsche, and not a 911. I do not like the Z4's styling, but its still a very good roadster that you would not be sorry getting.
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Old 09-09-2006, 08:48 PM   #15
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Man, some of the silly talk here is funny

I've owned two Boxsters now and really, honestly, I don't see the huge maintenance costs. I just had my 20k service done on my 987 for 400 bucks. So, on the average of say 3k miles per oil change for a typical car, with an average cost of 50 bucks per oil change with Synthetic oil your'e at 300 bucks over the same period of time. In that period, just about any car will have to make a trip or two to the dealer for a checkup which usually isn't free. So far, my 987 has given me 20k miles with zero issues and all it cost me over that time is 400.00? Not a bad deal in my opinion, and really, it's not a gigantic difference from the average maintenance costs of a Honda Accord.. the thing I think people choke on is that it hits them all at once instead of spread out over time.

The comments about 'racing' a Boxster and losing are good for a chuckle too If you buy a Porsche and don't realize you are not buying a dragster then you didn't do your homework. My car may be beaten by a chevy in a straight line, but straight roads are boring roads. Put that same chevy on some nice back lane twisties where a car shows what it's really made of and then you see what makes a Porsche what it is. I don't know how many times i've had idiots that feel the need to tailgate me to show how 'fast' they are and when that happens I just can't wait to take a hard curve in the road at 70+ and watch them fall apart at the seams

And truly, I don't care what make of car it is, you'll find a board on the internet and you'll find people talking as if it's the worst thing on the planet. I've never owned a car in the last 10 years that this wasn't the case. Reality is, most cars are perfectly sound and don't have major issues. Those that do are of course the people you hear from. You should also not have unrealistic expectations with cars.. true high performance vehicles will never have the reliability ratings of a Honda and you shouldn't expect it.

Just ramblin

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Old 09-10-2006, 07:38 AM   #16
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"I've owned two Boxsters now and really, honestly, I don't see the huge maintenance costs. I just had my 20k service done on my 987 for 400 bucks. So, on the average of say 3k miles per oil change for a typical car, with an average cost of 50 bucks per oil change with Synthetic oil your'e at 300 bucks over the same period of time. In that period, just about any car will have to make a trip or two to the dealer for a checkup which usually isn't free. So far, my 987 has given me 20k miles with zero issues and all it cost me over that time is 400.00? Not a bad deal in my opinion, and really, it's not a gigantic difference from the average maintenance costs of a Honda Accord.. the thing I think people choke on is that it hits them all at once instead of spread out over time."

Two quick points.

The service costs rise as the miles do. Your next one will likely be $800 plus and so on.

I think the really issue on Boxster mait. costs is what happens post warranty. When you start getting bills for RMS, wheel bearings, brakes etc., it can certainly add up fast.
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Old 09-10-2006, 07:54 AM   #17
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I agree on that, but any car will have costs that go up, not down as the car gets older. 98/99 boxsters are 8/9 years old now!! Most people wouldn't buy a honda accord that is 8 years old knowing that they will probably need a boatload of work on normal stuff at that age. I'd still argue the difference isn't that great.

The real key is understanding just what kind of car you're buying. If you want a bulletproof mass production car with the long term reliability then you should buy your car with that in mind. Performance cars, regardless of brand, are not such vehicles and you should be prepared to maintain them. Just about any make/model has it's version of the RMS and if you go to an enthusiast site for any brand you'll see the same stuff you do here. I think too many folks make the mistake of 'forgiving' age due to the brand name and have overstated expectations as to reliability. Seems a lot of people might also buy a bit beyond their means too in the sense of buying the 90's era Boxsters due to the somewhat cheap price tag as porsches go, but not being able to afford to maintain them. Sometimes I wonder if people look past age and potential issues simply due to the brand?
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Old 09-10-2006, 11:26 AM   #18
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Based on anecdote and data (JD Power data for cars three yrs old) Porsche DOES NOT have the reliability reputation of other expensive cars. In addtion, the RMS issue has been around for 10 yrs, time to really fix it in my opinion.

Moreover, when broken, there are very few cheap fixes for a Boxster.

Some of us take issue with these tendencies, others do not.

Caveat Emptor.
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Old 09-10-2006, 05:00 PM   #19
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Bought a new 07 Toyota Avalon for the wife. Picked it up Friday. Today at 30 miles on the odometer, a CEL and VSC light came on. It's already back at the dealer. Bought the 06 Boxster in March. 6500 miles. Problems? none!!

So far the Box is more reliable than the Toyota!!

Go Colts.
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Old 09-11-2006, 06:54 AM   #20
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brucelee took the words out of my mouth when he said

"Two quick points.

The service costs rise as the miles do. Your next one will likely be $800 plus and so on.

I think the really issue on Boxster mait. costs is what happens post warranty. When you start getting bills for RMS, wheel bearings, brakes etc., it can certainly add up fast."

EXAMPLE:
wheel bearings 750.00 (for 2)
oil separator 2000.00
windows 500.00
Horn gasket 200.00
(i will stay away from RMS)

Wait til the new Boxster 2005+ owners have their cars for 4-5 years and then give us a review. To summarize my boxster, some days when it works it's fun, when it's broken, porsche is a 4 letter word to me.
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