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Old 06-12-2007, 08:28 PM   #1
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Is it time for a boxster?

I have always had an eye on the boxster looking forward to the day I would have one. Im pretty young but have a clean record and am very into cars. I had a date set to buy my first porsche (boxster) on my 23rd bday. Well I am about a year early but Im really considering picking one up.

My current "toy" is a 91 Nissan 300zx. The car is in near mint condition and very fun, love the looks I get. I live in southern minnesota so people dont get around much here lol. The 300zx is starting to age and have it reliability issues with 90k miles on it. I want to get a newer fun car, preferably 98+ and less than 40k miles.

2 issues that concern me about the boxsters which have been asked many a times. Reliability and cost to own. It wont be a 100% daily driver as the car will be stored half the year due to snow and bad weather. But can the car handle being driven throughout the whole summer. What are the major concerns to look for? I dont want a car that is going to need to have a repair every other week. And also the cost to own one, believe it or not a 97-99 boxsters insurance is actually cheaper than the 91 300zx I have now...explain that one.

But other than insurance what are the prices on the boxster "realistically" and are there any wierd problems boxsters have that cost a lot of money. Within the last year my 300zx had 2 injectors go out ($500 parts/labor each), driveshaft go out ($700 parts/labor), and alternator ($300 parts/labor), ecu go out ($225 performance ecu) typical oil change for me is 4 quarts royal purple, filter etc. ($35) every 3,000 miles, and I get about 16-18mpg.

Sorry for the long post, and I have been searching LOTS, but I wanted to get my foot in the door to say hi, and get a few specific answers.

Thanks!

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Old 06-12-2007, 09:08 PM   #2
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300zx, good choice! I hope you got the twin turbo. Insurance companies probably don't like it because it's roughly 100 more hp than an early Boxster (pre-00) and bought more as a sports car (rather than maybe more of a showy car as the Boxster is I think). It's an awesome car tho, one I seriously considered because it's quite a bit of bang for the buck.

Anyway, to address your question, biggest help to reliability besides checking history and doing PPI (search threats on this site for boxster purchase tips) is just to look for fewer miles and a car that feels like it's been treated well. Cost to own and reliability go hand in hand, but if you just do your homework and make sure you like what you are buying, then a boxster shouldn't be too much more than any german sports car. Oil change is 9 quarts, tires can be a bit pricier. I'd keep some money away for the occasional MAF or O2 sensor (again check this site for details), but otherwise enjoy.

Welcome to the site!

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Old 06-13-2007, 05:01 AM   #3
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In terms of reliability it all depends on the age of the car,how it was maintained, whether it was tracked or modded and the luck of the draw. Pre-987 the RMS is an issue. Porsche's are built to last for many years and many, many miles. They are reliable but when they break down they are very expensive to fix. They are also expensive to maintain.
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Old 06-13-2007, 05:31 AM   #4
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Try to get a model with a glass rear window, the plastic windows seem to cause alot of problems and usually need to be replaced. I can't remember what year the switch was made to glass.

Overall they are pretty reliable, but they aren't cheap to maintain. Oil changes can run $100 plus etc.. Keep in mind that the service intervals are very spread out though, so that helps.

If you buy one, join the local PCA, there are some great people and events.

Get a PPI too!
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Old 06-13-2007, 05:46 AM   #5
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Smile

I drive my Boxster to work everyday in the summer. Nothing has broken yet. It's weird how some people seem to have had all of the usual problems occur to their cars, and others of us have had none. Get a mechanic that you trust (preferably one who knows what can go wrong with a Boxster) to look it over carefully. If he can tell you that the car is clean and has been well maintained, that will go a long way toward your peace of mind. I was really gun shy at first, but when a Porsche mechanic marveled at the condition that my car was in, and couldn't believe that it was a '99, I felt a whole lot more confident. You think your 300 turns heads? You ain't seen nothing yet. I've had people asking me about the car when we were stopped at a red light, guys gather around it at the beer drive thru, a kid taking a cell phone picture of it, teen boys flag me down and ask for a ride, and I've been followed into a parking lot by a guy who wanted to know what kind of car it was. The Boxster guys have coined the term "permagrin", for that grin on your face that you'll have all the way home.
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:50 AM   #6
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Some thoughts at the link

Here

As to the insurance, consider the typical buyer of a Boxster versus the 300Z. I have had 2 300Zs totaled within 100 feet of my former house. The good news is they protected their occupants. The typical Boxster owner is (my impression) more mature and insurance rates do vary by the age of the driver.

My 2 Boxsters have averaged less than $20 a month is unscheduled maintenance. I drive mine 9 plus months a year. It isn't my only car. I have an '01. I have driven it regularly to work. Just took it and my wife 55 miles and back yesterday through hard rainshowers.
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:52 AM   #7
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Like most small automobile manufacturers, some Porsches are driven for years and they're repair-free while others seem to have every problem one could dream about.

I've been asked if my old, high-mileage boxster is a repair and maintenance nightmare and I always report that it's not a big deal to me because I've committed to putting $2,000 a year into the car for repairs, oil changes, new tires, etc.

Last year, I only did an oil change and a control arm... which was under $500 in total. However, in other years, I've had to buy new tires (Michelins were $1200) plus the oil change and a coolant tank replacement, etc.
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Old 06-13-2007, 07:48 AM   #8
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Thumbs up

Mike~
I just joined this board a couple weeks ago. I am in the process of learning about Boxsters and researching what to look for when buying one. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to put together that page. It will be an invaluable resource in my hunt for the new car. Next time you're in Denver, let me know. I owe you a beer!
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:17 AM   #9
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As someone who took the plunge about a year ago (I switched from a Miata), I think you will enjoy the change. A Boxster seems like a great car when you first hop in it, but you discover even greater rewards the longer you own it.

There are many used Boxsters with under 30k miles on them for sale in the sub $25k price range. I set my sights on 2000 models and newer with 30k or less on them and found many nice examples. The cars may be 6 or 7 years old, but I think most Boxster owners take better care of their cars than typical drivers. There are exceptions, and that is why a complete check by a knowledgeable mechanic is essential.

While the entry price may be only slightly higher than a good economy sedan, the maintenance and repair costs will be higher. These are manageable unless you have a catastrophic failure, but it will help if you learn how to change the oil and filters. If you are not an expert mechanic, you should develop a relationship with a good independent Porsche specialist. I've had three Check Engine Light incidents in about 14 months. If you have that kind of problem you need to be able to read the codes to determine the fault. While a standard OBDII code reader will help, special software will often narrow down the exact cause and eliminate unnecessary or incorrect repairs. Also, the tempatation to modify the car hits many people and that can add greatly to the cost of ownership. So, consider how much will power you have before buying.

Take your time and learn as much as you can before you buy. RandalNeighbor and Mike Focke were great sources of information for me when I was buying, and you have already discovered them.
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:51 AM   #10
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I've been driving my car hard for three years now and have not had any issues with repairs (other than replacing coolant expansion tank). Its been very reliable. These are very well built cars that should last a long time if properly maintained. Prepare yourself though if something does break because you will pay more than most cars. Do you have someone near that specializes in working on Porsches? I'd think twice about relying on a typical shop to work on it. Also, if you are mechanically inclined you can save a lot of money by doing work yourself. Parts can be had for a substantial savings over the internet or at a few dealers that specialize in internet sales (Suncoast, Sunset Imports) as well as other vendors such as our sponsors. A lot of people are intimidated by even changing their own oil but there is so much good information and a willingness to help on this forum that there really is a lot you can do yourself. Good luck.
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:59 AM   #11
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No, it's time to get a Lotus. That's what I'm getting



Preferably an Elise or a pre-m100 Elan.



If it's a toy, anyway.
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Old 06-13-2007, 09:18 AM   #12
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Steve, sorry for the threadjack, but I have a question regarding your stress bars. How much of a difference have you felt in overall "tightness" of your car? Does the car just *feel* any more solid?
Also, how much difference has it made in threshold conering?
Thanks
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Old 06-13-2007, 11:05 AM   #13
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If not now.. when?


Go for it. Cars break. Some break a lot.. some not so much. They are machines. They wear out. Go get one. Have some fun and let chips fall where they may
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Old 06-13-2007, 11:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat
Steve, sorry for the threadjack, but I have a question regarding your stress bars. How much of a difference have you felt in overall "tightness" of your car? Does the car just *feel* any more solid?
Also, how much difference has it made in threshold conering?
Thanks
The strut braces are just part of the suspension package that do in fact add in overall "tightness". The car feels extremely well balanced and has no real bad habits in terms of cornering characteristics. I find that in when I reach the limit in cornering adhesion the tires are more the weak link than the suspension (I'm talking mainly autocross). And the car could use a better driver too. Understanding the effects of weight transfer and other cornering techniques are far more important than the additional bracing. The braces are a good modification for the money though. There aren't too many things that you can do for a couple hundred dollars.

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