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Old 12-22-2010, 09:46 PM   #1
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For as Many Problems the Boxster has...

i.e., water pump, IMS, RMS, front engine mounts, engines not making it 100K miles, the ommissions of the Porsche product design team to make our Boxster better, etc, it amazes me that we conitinue to patronize such a poor product (my self included). We either have too much money, or lack the common sense to spend it wisely. I do understand that other cars may also have some problems, but not to the extent of the Boxster. The cost to repair a boxster can run hunderds of dollars more to repair as compared to a common car. I Am dissapointed. It is my daily driver and I worry about it every day whether it will last the day, or not. For those of you who only drive it once a week or keep it in the garage so that you can say that you have a Porsche, perfomance, or it running may not be an issue with you. If I had followed these forums more carefully in the begining, I definitily would not have bought the boxster. Currently, I am into it until the end, or until the repair cost exceeds the sanity of maintaining it.

Now that I am done ranting and raving----the Boxster does have some nice features. The stying is fine, the inerior is quality, the curves are sexy, and it drives very nible and accurate. If the engine and components were just worth a crap...................Either way, my next car will not be a Boxster. Does anyone have any knowledge of the 911? Does it have the same issues as the Boxster, i.e., IMS, RMS, etc? Is it a better car? A more dependable car?

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Old 12-22-2010, 09:58 PM   #2
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There is nothing left of the dead horse to beat....

Enjoy the car for what it is. It will grow on you until that line of ridiculous money to repair, maintain, and MOD does not seem so ridiculous anymore. Just ask around to some of the long time members here... some have poured twice the amount they bought their car for back into it. .... Randal ..... and a few others with engine swaps and major upgrades.


I can continue on the subject for a good hour or so, but all the information is here and in the end: Everything is your choice, and no one elses.... maybe except for a significant other, but even then... matters Porsche are left to the Porschefile with a permagrin.
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:32 AM   #3
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The 911 series that isn't a Turbo or GT series uses the same engine, just larger displacement, they share 90% of the same components and same modes of failure. I have more failed 996s here at the present than Boxsters.

The reason why people deal with the issues is the same reason why I opened my Flat 6 Division of my company; because the remainder of the car is so damn good. The cars could be like other eras of sports cars with horrible wiring issues, crappy brakes, bodies that rust in 3 years, trannys that grenade and injection systems that are junk.

With the Boxster thats just not the case and we saw that 8 years ago.. Provide a proper engine for the car, built with updated components and treat it to proper attention to detail, blueprint work, balance and assembly carried out by a single Human and you have a really damn good engine for an exceptional car.

Driving around worrying isn't safe. If you can't do the proactive upgrades then all you can do is drive the car with a smile on your face, worrying about it will do zero good.. If it fails you'll have to take it on the chin, but you could be one of the unlucky souls that knows nothing about these issues until the engine goes pop and you learn afterward.

Porsches have never been cheap, they cost more than a Cadillac in the 1950s. They have never been cheap to maintain, not even when they were as simple as a VW bug and shared common parts with them. IMHO Porsches have always made better 2nd, 3rd or 4th cars than primary vehicles and I got my first one at age 12 out of a junkyard. When the watercooled Porsche came along it attracted a group of new Porsche owners that could drive it like a Toyota or Honda due to creature comforts that Porsches never had before (and IMHO never should have had) like power brakes, power steering, real A/C and real heat.

Today half the cars we see here come in nasty with spilled drinks in the floor, grime build up on the steering wheel and general nastiness.. I have NEVER seen vintage Porsches treated like this, not even when they were new and daily drivers for some. Its clear that people expect the Porsche to be another commuter car, and thats what the factory wanted to do by putting a generic vehicle with a Porsche crest in every driveway all over the world via mass production. Thats what has bred these engine issues and put the cars in the hands of folks that like the curves of the car, but don't relate to it in the manner in which people like us do...

The cars aren't poor products, the engines have issues that must be addressed or the owner stands a fair chance at misfortune. Thats just a fact. If you are not enjoying the car and are worrying while driving, the car should be sold because when a failure does occur it will be too late.

Historically Porsche owners have spent more on engines than the cars are worth.. I supplied those to the 356 years ago, then the 914 (and still do today) and then the Boxster and 996 family.

I have 4 Boxsters here now awaiting full engine updates. Of these 4, 3 of them have engines planned that will cost more than the current value of the car, but they are all nice cars that are well loved by the owners. These owners won't be selling the car, so the cost isn't a concern, its considered a must if they intend to keep the car for the rest of their life, or a couple of decades.

To date the most expensive performance engine I've ever created was installed into a Vintage VW Beetle, not any Porsche.. Thats kind of an interesting bit of information that puts things into perspective about what really costs and why people really spend. That engine cost 3X more than my most expensive M96 engine and that was in 2001~
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Old 12-23-2010, 01:44 AM   #4
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Amen...
I believe that Porsche lowered the bar with the M96 series engine hoping for a re-emergence in the sports car profitability stakes (which they did) but what the Bean Counter accountants didn't account for was the fact that lowering the price (& the quality of previous models) the product attracted a whole new demographic of buyers - people who had no great idea of car savvy, mechanical sympathy or brand requirements.
I cannot believe how many Boxster & 996 owners worry about bloody cup holders, ipods connections and heated mirrors not working, or (shock) how do you disconnect a battery correctly......?
Did you read the Porsche handbook? - err, no, why - do I need to???
Enthusiastic owners of earlier 911 Carreras / 944 cars would not have found these problems(?) any more challenging than changing their own air filter.....

The natural progression of this is that routine maintenance and driving habits that were common during the pre 986 / 996 era have been left behind - basically because the majority of post 1996 owners have little aptitude or desire of how to maintain their vehicle correctly.
Things have changed in the P car world over the last few years, not always for the best.
I must be getting old and cranky but basically the Boxster is an brilliant car which, if looked after correctly, more than justifies its existance in the Porsche lineup.....
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Old 12-23-2010, 05:02 AM   #5
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I'm new to Porsches, having bought a 100k Boxster S last week. The car was not expensive and I have no doubt it will be more expensive than a Miata as far as ownership costs go. I'm willing to take the risk because the car is fun to drive.

To the OP - you could seriously consider a Corvette as a daily driver with the expectation of low maintenance costs and good reliability. I have a C6 and have only spent about $400 in repairs over the course of 5 years (not counting tires). They are good solid cars and they are a lot of fun because they are powerful. They have no exclusivity but they're built well and parts are very reasonably priced.
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Old 12-23-2010, 06:00 AM   #6
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Ironic that this thread has been started as I was just about to start a similar thread. What great cars but it comes with some very serious and expensive potential flaws. I can't help but to think how much fun I had in my first two Boxster cars, a 99 base followed by an 01 S. I had no idea of the issues, water pump, IMS or RMS or anything else that could have popped up. I drove both of the cars as fair weather DD and put over 40K on the 99 (did have to replace an alternator) and 35K on the 01S with zero issues. Now I am thinking of getting another S, 986 or 987 to be determined, and all I can think about is the dreaded IMS issue.

Wish I could go back to being naive and just drive the car with no worries!
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Old 12-23-2010, 06:04 AM   #7
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Another interesting fact...
Dean and I always ask those that our failure hotline if they are log time Porsche owners or if the watercooled Porsche is their first..

All year I have had ONE person that I have consulted with that answered that question by saying he's had Porsche other than the 996 that lost an IMS bearing on him.. Thats just one out of a whole year!

That could be due to the fact that these owners come from the aircooled world and know how to properly drive a Porsche, or because not many previous aircooled Porsche owners are impressed by what the watercooled cars offer to own one.

Personally I'd much drive my 76 912E than any of the watercooled Porsches that I own, except on days that its over 95F or below freezing. I drove that car 160,000 miles in 8 years and did not carry out a single repair.
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Old 12-23-2010, 06:20 AM   #8
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Good responses. I figured I would get flamed in the first go-around for being somewhat disloyal to Mr. Porsche. But, we all seem to agree that the Boxster is a fine car with issues that will require a second mortgage to keep going.

FYI. I do love my Porsche. All maintenances are performed ahead of schedule. It is spotlessly clean at ALL times. Very, very gently treated - to obsession.

To 'PlayersExpress'. Yes, the car has grown on me, that, although disappointed, I do not want to use it as trade in for my next car. It is a 'keeper', although sometimes that mystifies me.

To 'Jake'. I agree with you. Exclusive of the engine, the remainder of the car is so damn good. You mentioned that the 911 uses the same engine as a Boxster. Well, I guess upgrading to the next level would not work (unless Porsche puts in a Chevy, Toyota, or Honda engine in their chassis).

To 'Steve Tinker'. Good observations.

To 'Dale_K'. I am seriously thinking about a Corvette and currently have requests for quotes through several dealerships. I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't join my other cars within the next 6 months.
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Old 12-23-2010, 06:27 AM   #9
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Another thing while we are on the usual IMS discussion as it relates to the car and ownership. Although it is near impossible to figure out the actual failure rate, I am surprised how few Boxsters advertised for sale have new or replaced engines. Maybe I am not reading the ads close enough, but I am pretty sure in the past month or so of looking at cars online, looking country wide, I can only recall one Boxster for sale with a swapped engine due to failure. I think the car had/has 130K miles but new engine 30K miles ago. I would expect to find a lot more cars for sale with different engines.

FWIT, these same discussions go on and on over on the Fchat site. For those that have the courage to step up and say a Ferrari actually has a flaw, they do bring up good points. It applies to the Pcars as well. On one hand you spend all this money on a car and expect it to be flawless, yet it is a performance car that demands a little more care and service, etc. The discussion goes round and round....
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Old 12-23-2010, 08:13 AM   #10
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I know on these boards we hear more dreaded stories than what the actual percentage of failures are, but it was a big factor for me getting an 09 or later boxster. Now lets see what failures we will get with these engines.....

At least porsche finally put some money in and redesigned the engine instead of trying to patch the problem with larger and multiple row IMS bearings. I think they just took way too long.
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Old 12-23-2010, 08:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stab1991
I know on these boards we hear more dreaded stories than what the actual percentage of failures are, but it was a big factor for me getting an 09 or later boxster. Now lets see what failures we will get with these engines.....

At least porsche finally put some money in and redesigned the engine instead of trying to patch the problem with larger and multiple row IMS bearings. I think they just took way too long.
in another 5 years VW will have fixed the smoke on startup
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Old 12-23-2010, 08:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
At least porsche finally put some money in and redesigned the engine instead of trying to patch the problem with larger and multiple row IMS bearings. I think they just took way too long.
They did that on 2005, called it the M97.

The only failure call we've received this week (odd!) just came in.. 2005 Carrera with a failed M97 bearing... Pictures from this one are on the way!
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Old 12-23-2010, 08:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Raby
They did that on 2005, called it the M97.

The only failure call we've received this week (odd!) just came in.. 2005 Carrera with a failed M97 bearing... Pictures from this one are on the way!


I wasnt talking about the m97, I was talking about finally making the N9A, I think thats the code for it.

Im sure you will be seeing more m97 failures as time goes. This was the patch upgrade I think.
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:56 AM   #14
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Why do we keep patronizing the marque

Because it is so much fun to drive. I still look for an excuse to drive it after 5+ years of ownership.

Because if you aren't one of the unlucky ones, the maintenance is relatively easy and cheap with many online resources better than other makes. My Boxster has cost me less than my Honda or Acura over the same period in spite of me using generic parts in the Honda/Acura and upgraded parts in the Porsche.

Because we don't know of a better car with better reliability.

Because we don't obsess over what could happen.

Because they are relatively cheap, practical, etc
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:32 AM   #15
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I am in the group of I love my Boxster but I need a dependable daily driver. So far things haven't worked out but I am far from giving. Recently spending 3 weeks in a rental car hurt worse than the large repair bill.

I am a total novice about sports cars so I have this question: Are there any other cars out there that feel as good to drive as a Boxster in terms of nimbleness, handling, balanced weight, etc.? I havn't test driven many other cars so i really have no clue. But, the day I bought my 10 yr old Boxster I test drove a brand new BMW Z4 and the old Porsche felt far better to drive to me. I think the mid-engine design is the big difference.
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:42 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfncpa
I am in the group of I love my Boxster but I need a dependable daily driver. So far things haven't worked out but I am far from giving. Recently spending 3 weeks in a rental car hurt worse than the large repair bill.

I am a total novice about sports cars so I have this question: Are there any other cars out there that feel as good to drive as a Boxster in terms of nimbleness, handling, balanced weight, etc.? I havn't test driven many other cars so i really have no clue. But, the day I bought my 10 yr old Boxster I test drove a brand new BMW Z4 and the old Porsche felt far better to drive to me. I think the mid-engine design is the big difference.
Great questions. That is why I find myself looking for Boxster #4. I loved my 99 base and 01 S and never should have sold the 05 S I bought a year ago. I constantly debate with myself what car to get as a fair weather daily driver. 350z convert is very reliable, less than $20K for an 06+ but I just can't pull the trigger. Vette, just can't do it, that would be worse than a 350z to me. Don't like the looks of the z4 so I keep coming back to the Boxster. Depending on your budget, an 01/02 S for under $19000 is a lot of car. Sure the 987 is more modern but for a good bang for the buck car a well cared for 986 S is hard to beat.
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:29 PM   #17
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Are there any cars

like/better-than a Boxster?

For an answer to that question, the fun is trying to answer it for yourself. I can't answer it for you because I'm not you.

When I bought my first Boxster, I didn't go looking for a 986...I actually went looking for a 928. Once I had driven one, I kept looking. H2000, XKE, Vette, BMW..the list went on. Many I drove less than a mile before I turned around. Often the salesman looked at me returning in wonder .... "anything wrong" he'd ask. "No, nothing wrong...I'm looking for a car that just grabs me and this isn't it."

I bought the first Boxster I drove and turned around after perhaps 2 miles. I knew even before I got out of the seller's residential neighborhood this was the car. (She was selling to make room in her 4 car garage for a Hummer because she didn't drive it to the club any more!)

Now it might not be the car for you. That is why I suggest devoting a month to driving cars and sampling. Once you hit that car that you feel is right for you, you'll know.

(I had owned 2 Alfa roadsters and a 914 30+ years before. Family stuff since then. My 914 experience wasn't a good one, I wasn't prejudiced towards buying a Porsche, far from it.)
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Old 12-23-2010, 01:26 PM   #18
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Nothings guaranteed in life, so don't sweat it. I think my Porsche is cheaper than a lot of other sports. Take fishing...cheaper to buy it the market.
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Old 12-23-2010, 02:11 PM   #19
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Old 12-24-2010, 04:08 AM   #20
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I don't care, I love driving my Boxster. I took care of IMS issue and she's at 102k now and going strong. She gets plenty of care and sure has a few 'issues' that I need to fix but nothing major (although I need to put a new flywheel in next year). One interesting thing is that despite it being a 2.5L w/ 102k it still feels damn close to my 2010 Mazdaspeed3 that has 56 more horsepower but weighs more. Both pull like crazy so I'm still pretty impressed with my lil 2.5L.

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