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Old 06-11-2009, 05:49 AM   #1
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Informal overall reliability survey / preventative maint?

Since my 01 is getting a little old in the tooth now, I've been trying to stay on top of all the regular maintenance items to prevent any downtime (as I use my car as a daily driver to work now). I'm currently at 59K miles, and have done the polyrib belt, replaced a worn motor mount, plugs, oil/filter change, brake pads/rotors, fuel filter, and coolant flush. Battery's at the end of it's 4th year, so may change that also. Lately, however, I've been thinking about items that haven't failed on me yet, but could leave me stranded, and whether or not to pre-emptively replace them to possibly help save me from having to get a tow. (ie. water pump, AOS).

Which leads me to my question- how many of you have ever been stranded in your Boxster, and if so, what was the culprit? Also, how many have had to replace their water pump, AOS, or coolant tank, and at what mileage, and do you think it is worthwhile to change them out prior to a problem occuring?

I'll start:
01 Boxster / 59k miles, haven't been stranded in it yet
- Cracked coolant tank replaced at 38k miles
- Water pump, clutch, and AOS are original and still working fine

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Old 06-11-2009, 06:36 AM   #2
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AOS and coolant tank both went on my car. I can't remember exact miles, but if memory serves both went within a few Kmiles of each other in the low 60's or high 50's. I think these two parts are ticking time bombs on most 986s.

I think it is a really good idea to replace these on your own terms (that is, not after they've failed). Especially given how you use your car.

My car is at 101K now and running really well.

As long as you replace your coolant per the factory schedule, I wouldn't worry about the water pump until it leaks.
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:47 AM   #3
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A few months ago @ about 69000 miles my fuel pump went out, I replaced it and asked my mechanic when should I expect the water pump to go, he said they seem to last about 75000 miles, well on Monday at 73500 it went south. I have replaced due to failure , AOS, coolant reservoir, fuel pump and the water pump all between 68000 and 73500 miles. I consider these to be regular items that wear and thats ok... next to go will be the alternator, maybe the starter
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:57 AM   #4
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what were the symptoms of faulty fuel pump?
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:17 AM   #5
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I noticed a quarter sized spot of anti freeze on garage floor to the right of center in the rear, and a strange growling sound from the engine when running.. I turned her off, called AAA. The odd thing is every thing i've replaced cost me $800.
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:34 AM   #6
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Oh the fuel pump, engine turned over sputtered but wouldn't start. Again called AAA, I'm a premium member, my car has spent alot of flatbed time this last year, but I still love it.
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxtaboy
Since my 01 is getting a little old in the tooth now, I've been trying to stay on top of all the regular maintenance items to prevent any downtime (as I use my car as a daily driver to work now). I'm currently at 59K miles, and have done the polyrib belt, replaced a worn motor mount, plugs, oil/filter change, brake pads/rotors, fuel filter, and coolant flush. Battery's at the end of it's 4th year, so may change that also. Lately, however, I've been thinking about items that haven't failed on me yet, but could leave me stranded, and whether or not to pre-emptively replace them to possibly help save me from having to get a tow. (ie. water pump, AOS).

Which leads me to my question- how many of you have ever been stranded in your Boxster, and if so, what was the culprit? Also, how many have had to replace their water pump, AOS, or coolant tank, and at what mileage, and do you think it is worthwhile to change them out prior to a problem occuring?

I'll start:
01 Boxster / 59k miles, haven't been stranded in it yet
- Cracked coolant tank replaced at 38k miles
- Water pump, clutch, and AOS are original and still working fine

Boxtaboy,

I have actually only been stranded once. The car was on it's original battery when the alternator failed. I had to get it jumped & the tow truck driver said it definitely won't hold the charge (he tested the alternator.) Sure enough, I got it in the garage ( a 20 minute drive from my break down) and it wouldn't start. Got it towed & fixed under warranty.

I don't know if it makes sense to change your water pump before it starts to fail. I'm sure there are people with over 100K & still on their original pump. You don't necessarily want to "give" your money away. Surprisingly, with all the issues I've had, my water pump is fine. And none of those issues prevented me from getting the car home. I only needed to be jumped for the dying alternator.

*PPI from P Car Dealer & a 60 mos/80K warranty
- oil leak at cam housing
- which shorted out an O2 sensor
- driver side rear wheel bearing
- cv boots (twice in 2 years!)
- rear brake sensor
- driver side strut
- lower control arm (twice up front)
- upper control arm (front - driver side)
- gearbox rebuild (synchros, 1 & 2nd gear)
- oil leak at spark plug tube
- half shaft replacement
- cracked coolant reservoir
- coolant reservoir cap
- coolant hose leaking
- mass air flow sensor

Right now, I need to swap out my front & rear sway bar links & get that mystery coolant disappearance issue fixed. Fingers crossed that it not going to require a rebuild.

I still like Porsches, but if I had I to do it over again, I would get a car that was less than 4 years old, with some of the OEM warranty on it & then I would get the CPO. Everyone's experience is different, but I actually prefer warranties & feel the money is well spent (especially on high performance German vehicles.) Many of these repairs got nickeled & dimed by the warranty & I paid a share. Still, I would have been up the creek if I had to foot all of these repairs myself. Up the creek & pissed. Considering it's not really that old & only has 58,000 miles on it, I consider that unacceptable build quality, and if I can get the manufacturer to back up their product free of cost to me, then why the hell not??? Hopefully, your ownership will be an easy one. I don't know if I'll stay in the family when I'm done with this vehicle - like 911's a lot, like Cayman S' a lot. A 300 hp Boxster sounds like a treat! But we'll see... I like to "drive", not "repair." And I'm not so enamored with Porsche that I wouldn't consider a well built, powerful Japanese sports car in the future. Just not an S2000...

Hate those...
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:45 AM   #8
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Hey, thanks for the feedback and advice, mylamb! I guess with the age of the car, I'm starting to get more an more paranoid about things failing. Sometimes I think I should just lease a Porsche every 4 yrs instead, and then not have to worry about repairs ever. LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by mylamb
Boxtaboy,

I have actually only been stranded once. The car was on it's original battery when the alternator failed. I had to get it jumped & the tow truck driver said it definitely won't hold the charge (he tested the alternator.) Sure enough, I got it in the garage ( a 20 minute drive from my break down) and it wouldn't start. Got it towed & fixed under warranty.

I don't know if it makes sense to change your water pump before it starts to fail. I'm sure there are people with over 100K & still on their original pump. You don't necessarily want to "give" your money away. Surprisingly, with all the issues I've had, my water pump is fine. And none of those issues prevented me from getting the car home. I only needed to be jumped for the dying alternator.

*PPI from P Car Dealer & a 60 mos/80K warranty
- oil leak at cam housing
- which shorted out an O2 sensor
- driver side rear wheel bearing
- cv boots (twice in 2 years!)
- rear brake sensor
- driver side strut
- lower control arm (twice up front)
- upper control arm (front - driver side)
- gearbox rebuild (synchros, 1 & 2nd gear)
- oil leak at spark plug tube
- half shaft replacement
- cracked coolant reservoir
- coolant reservoir cap
- coolant hose leaking
- mass air flow sensor

Right now, I need to swap out my front & rear sway bar links & get that mystery coolant disappearance issue fixed. Fingers crossed that it not going to require a rebuild.

I still like Porsches, but if I had I to do it over again, I would get a car that was less than 4 years old, with some of the OEM warranty on it & then I would get the CPO. Everyone's experience is different, but I actually prefer warranties & feel the money is well spent (especially on high performance German vehicles.) Many of these repairs got nickeled & dimed by the warranty & I paid a share. Still, I would have been up the creek if I had to foot all of these repairs myself. Up the creek & pissed. Considering it's not really that old & only has 58,000 miles on it, I consider that unacceptable build quality, and if I can get the manufacturer to back up their product free of cost to me, then why the hell not??? Hopefully, your ownership will be an easy one. I don't know if I'll stay in the family when I'm done with this vehicle - like 911's a lot, like Cayman S' a lot. A 300 hp Boxster sounds like a treat! But we'll see... I like to "drive", not "repair." And I'm not so enamored with Porsche that I wouldn't consider a well built, powerful Japanese sports car in the future. Just not an S2000...

Hate those...
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Old 06-11-2009, 05:58 PM   #9
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01 5 speed. Purchased it in 2006 @ 57K miles with porsche CPO coverage.

plastic window cracked 2 weeks after purchase.
rear left axle bearing at about 80K miles
AOS at 87K miles
use it as daily drive. has 89K miles now.
feels like little more over steer happening - checking this now.
I'm expecting many more years/miles out of this 2001 vehicle.
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:14 PM   #10
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Water pump

From my recent experience, I would replace at 75K miles. Mine just failed at 92K - but the troubling part was no warning..no noise, no leaking, no warning lights, nothing. Just a thump when the shaft broke and the s- belt flew off.

I should post a photo - the shaft broke and the plastic impellers were completely shreaded.

Good news is less than $200 to replace (ebay $106) and a DIY project. The hardest part was getting the plastic shield off the bottom of the car.
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Old 06-12-2009, 05:28 AM   #11
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I was only stranded once when turning the key yielded nothing - turned out that the safety switch under the clutch pedal was faulty.

Had to replace two coolant reservoirs as well (about 12K miles apart). They didn't strand me, just caused pesky leaks and I limped to my mechanic watching the temp gauge (by the way, the authorized dealer wants $1,200 to fix this but my independent Porsche mechanic does it for $540 using OEM parts).
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:54 PM   #12
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I haven't been stranded yet, but I chalk that up to luck. I bought my '02S 2.5yrs ago and I'm 10K into in repairs. Started with the clutch and flywheel, which was some what expected when I bought it. Then upper strut bearings. Then a clogged drain destroying my brake booster. Then while waiting for those parts to come in my water pumped twisted off. Now I'm having a remanfuctured steering rack put in. I love the Boxster, but if I could do it again I probably would go S2k or something else. I'm in too deep now as I almost have a new car. I keep thinking I should sell it before I have an IMS failure. Oops, knock on wood.
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leeedwards
A few months ago @ about 69000 miles my fuel pump went out, I replaced it and asked my mechanic when should I expect the water pump to go, he said they seem to last about 75000 miles, well on Monday at 73500 it went south. I have replaced due to failure , AOS, coolant reservoir, fuel pump and the water pump all between 68000 and 73500 miles. I consider these to be regular items that wear and thats ok... next to go will be the alternator, maybe the starter
do they put little "time bomb" timers in the water pumps to automatically fail at 75k??? my water pump started leaking and then failed right about 75k..... it's in the shop as I type this having it replaced.....

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