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Old 07-21-2008, 10:18 AM   #1
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How common is IMS failure REALLY?

hi everyone. I've been lurking and posting here for months.

My dad has a 2000 base that is preparing to sell. I have driven his car numerous times and every time i get behind the wheel - I love it. I love the way it handles, the way it sounds - it's the most fun I have EVER had in a car. His car has 73000 miles on it. It had the RMS leak when it was new, Porsche put a new motor into it back when it had around 10-15k on it, and it's been running like a champ ever since. He might sell it to me "cheap"..not give it away, but cut me a deal to unlod it fast as he wants a new car. i dunno what he would sel lit to me for - we haven't talked $$ yet.. but i'm guessing 13-15k give or take. not dirt cheap, but a good deal.

his car has M030 suspension, 18"s, heated seats, windstop, cruise, full leather. Ocean blue, black interior. It looks nice.

Anyway - I was kinda getting fired up to buy his car. It would be not that much money out of my pocket - for a car that would be SOOOOOOOOOOO much fun to drive. then I start reading all these threads about "my motor failed", "another boxster owner motor blows up" and "My warranty company screwed me over after my motor blew" and I see the COST TO FIX the motor is $10,000+++.

All of a sudden, I'm rethinking this whole plan to buy his car. I start thinking - maybe a used boxster is not such a great deal. i can get the car cheap, and it will be fun to drive, but what do I do when the motor blows up on me? i'll be screwed. i can afford to buy his car for $15000, but i don't have 10000 just lying around to spend on new motors...

my big question is this - how common REALLY is the IMS failure? and what kind of engine mileage are people seeing on the 986 motors assuming they don't blow up? are there motors out there with 200k on them? given that the boxster has been out since the late 90s...there must be SOME people out there who are original owners who have 150-200k miles on the cars??

i know online - you typically see all the people posting their problems, and people don't log on and post "my car has 75000 miles and it runs fine"... you don't see those threads..so you can get a warped sense of the real problem...

does anyone have any kind of informed opinion - as to what % of the 986 motors have an IMS? it sounds like it happens at any time - so the fact that this motor on my dads car made it to 72k (something like 50-60k on this engine) means nothign. it could go tomorrow.. or could it go to 150,000??

am I making a mountain out of a molehill? I'm sure to THE ONE guy who buys a boxster and then sees the motor blow will think it's no molehill...and there's no sure things... but what is the REAL rate of failure of these engines?

i really want to get a boxster. i love the car. i have test driven s2000s, rx8s, evos, all sorts of "fun" "sporty" cars trying to sort out what it is that I would "WANT" and the boxster is it. it's so much fun. not necessarily fast..but just so much fun. i was really kind of bummed when I found out about how $$ the motor was to fix repalce. i mean, if an engine was 3000 like it is on a lot of other cars..you can figure it's a calculated risk..but when the cost is SO HIGH - it becomes a worry.

I was excited to think i was going to get a good deal from a family member and have such a fun car to drive. then my bubble was burst..

am I overreacting? is IMS really just a "one in a thousand" or "one in ten thousand" problems or is it more like "one in a hundred" or "one in ten"...??

does having 50-60k on the motor make it any more or less prone to this problem? sounds like it doens't.

does the year or size motor make it more or less prone? it's a 2.7 from 2000. i thin it got the new motor sometime in 2001.
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Old 07-21-2008, 08:57 PM   #2
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Ya pays yer money.. ya takes yer chances...

No one really knows the % of incidents, except to say that it does happen more often than one would expect to still call the motor design reliable.

That's not to say they will all blow-up and the '00 (being of the old design) is less likely to do so than the newer ones.

Also, mileage seems to play a role. It seems from anecdotal reports that once the car goes 40k mi. or better, the odds improve dramatically in your favor.
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Old 07-21-2008, 09:49 PM   #3
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I'm not sure about this, it may be smart for you to look around, but I think MY 2000 still had the double bearing IMS (I think thats the difference). I don't think the 2001 did, and if porsche changed your motor, would they have used the old or new type....You should be able to go to a dealer and find out if your car is susceptible to the problem though...
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Old 07-22-2008, 04:36 AM   #4
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Get a warranty of some kind. Fact is, there is no reliable data except the likely cost of failure.

Good luck.
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:24 AM   #5
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Lets say

that 5% of the Boxster engines suffer IMS failure.

(I think that is probably high and that no one knows but PNA and they aren't talking...but I gotta use some figure)

Lets say a new from Porsche engine costs $13k delivered and installed with a core exchange.

Lets also say a warranty from a fairly reputable (but not perfect) company costs $3000 per year (about what I was quoted) for an older 986. Keep in mind the warranty could pay for other things besides an IMS failure.

I have a $650 (5% of $13k) "risk" of IMS cost. Of course if I lose, I lose big to the tune of $13k but then I have a 2 year engine warranty.

Should I buy the warranty? Or bet I'll be in the 95%

That is the question.

And to a certain extent, that is the question with any used car, though not to the extent of a P-car because Porsche charges so much for "new" engines and there is no real source for rebuilt ones that lowers the cost of replacement to the $2-3K range (or did when my Chrysler/Mitsubishi engine blew).
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Old 07-22-2008, 02:34 PM   #6
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it all depends on the way the driver drives and
the maintantence done to it... if it's taken care right
i think all cars are wonderful.//.
I seen some boxster that had 170k+ miles
and still are running fine!!


the reason people don't post "I have 150k miles and my car is still okay"
is because they are busy enjoying their time and don't have the time to post on here...
if your car messed up and you're not enjoying it then you would start posting for help./.

hope it helps.... and if it's your dad's car then he or you would know the condition of the car more then anyone... I don't think your dad would sell you a car that is messed up and have problem unless he really don't love you!!
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Old 07-22-2008, 02:42 PM   #7
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Hold up, before we go down the IMS failure road, let's back up to the price of this car. It seems your dad's possible deal is more along the lines of average rather than "cheap." A 2000 with that many miles goes for just under 15k (private party). I'd say a good deal tops off at 13k for this given car.

Now then, as for the IMS, I don't have solid stats. But I do think you've been spooked by the online horror stories. But if it makes you feel better, go for the warranty.

And if that doesn't make you feel better, just get the S2000.
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Old 07-22-2008, 04:07 PM   #8
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A 2000 shouldn't have an IMS failure.
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:27 PM   #9
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my dad is selling the boxster to get a newer car. he was quoted about 13k for a trade at one dealership.. causing him to reasses what his car is worth.

maybe he'd sell it to me for 10-12k?

it has 72k miles
it has 18" wheel.
full leather
M030 suspension
it had the steering wheel upgraded to the S 3 spoke, the one on 2001+ base cars
brand new Porsche top installed by the dealer under warranty a couple years ago
other than that he's had no problems with the car. he bought it used with about 20k on it. the original owner had RMS problems, got a new engine, bought a newer S model boxster and sold the base. my dad has had it since 20k miles up to now.

he is not a fanatic who takes it to the dealer all the time - but he doesn't abuse it either. he took it in for the routine services, oil changes, and that was it. dealer maintained by the same place that sold it to the original owner.

if i coudl get it for say... 10k. that would be akiller deal.
then just gamble that it doesn't blow up. drive it and enjoy it.
if it does blow up - then ig uess i could pay for a newer 3.4 motor and make it into a beast.. but the odds of that are low..
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:49 PM   #10
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If you can get it for 10k, go fer it!
Its nice that it has the m030 suspension and the 3 spoke wheel (I really don't like the 4...). Get what makes you happy, you only live once, and for 10k it sounds like a good deal
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Old 07-24-2008, 04:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blinkwatt
A 2000 shouldn't have an IMS failure.

Why do you say this?
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Old 07-24-2008, 05:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucelee
Why do you say this?
Probably refering to the redesign of the Intermediate Shaft for the 2001 MY.

In 2001, Porsche switched to a shaft with a single toothed sprocket and eliminated one of the bearings in the process, ostensibly to address issues with noise and vibration. It is thought that the elimination of this bearing introduced some flex to the shaft not previously observed. This allows the cam chain to sometimes slip and interupts the mechanical timing (not desireable - especially on an 'interference' engine).

The smaller rear seal on the original shaft allowed oil to leak more easily, so a larger seal was incorporated with the redesign. Also, the way the shaft is produced, oil is allowed to reach the threads of the seal cover bolts allowing oil to seep past them. This was corrected by the introduction of bolts pre-coated with thread sealant which seals the threads on installation.

As a result, IMS failures are almost exclusively reserved to the 2001 model and newer. It is very rare on an earlier car.

Autofarm UK makes a fix which replaces the single toothed sprocket with the original double sprocket while retaining the improved shaft, bearing and seal.
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