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Old 02-19-2011, 01:32 PM   #1
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Question about brakes

Hi everybody, I am planning to buy a 2004 boxster 986 (2.7L). When I test drove it the brakes seemed quite 'wooden' to me, that is they required a lot of pedal pressure compared to other cars I have had, and did not seem to have much 'feel'. Is this normal? The sales guy says that it is but I would like more information. Thanks.

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Old 02-19-2011, 02:00 PM   #2
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I don't think so. Drive another one.
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:12 PM   #3
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Two rules of used car buying:

(1) You should drive at least 3-5 cars before buying one

(2) Never believe a used car salesman
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by thstone
Never believe a used car salesman
I completely agree. When I bought my 2001 base boxster last year I was asking the salesman over the phone about the engine and he said "Let me take a look.... where's the engine" Some of these guys will say anything, take what they say with a grain of salt and do your homework. This forum is a great tool for that.

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Old 02-20-2011, 08:04 AM   #5
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I had the same experience. I had an Audi for ten years before buying the Boxster. There was significant pedal travel in the Audi when braking, like most cars. It was a bit over-boosted as well. The Boxster, on the other hand, requires significantly more pressure to achieve the same amount of braking. Additionally, there is much less pedal travel in the Boxster. It is almost as if there is a brick under the brake pedal that senses pressure. Once you get used to it you'll appreciate the ability to modulate braking more precisely.
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Old 02-20-2011, 10:13 AM   #6
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Porsche breaks are the best on the market. They should be "hard", they should require more force. Drive an aircooled 911 or an old Beetle w/o brake booster and the picture clears for you feelingwise. As mentioned above, my Audi and Cayenne have these "soft" brakes, does not make them bad or anything but I def prefer my Boxster brakes, so much better to drive!
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:22 AM   #7
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Funny you should mention the brakes. I also noticed a lack of feel and lack of initial bite in the high mileage 2000 S I bought a few months ago. No leaks, and if I press the pedal hard enough I can activate the ABS. I thought possibly the vacuum booster might be bad but I tested it by pressing the pedal multiple times with the engine off and then starting the motor with my foot on the brake. I could feel the pedal react to the vacuum and I could hear some hissing when I originally pressed the pedal so I assumed that's just the way the car is built. The brakes on my pickup truck have a better subjective "feel". Just another data point for you. I'ved owned several cars with Brembos and they all felt better than the Boxster. Eventually I'm going to replace the pads. Maybe they've been contaminated at some point in their life.
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Old 02-21-2011, 02:00 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for your advice. I think Pat describes my impressions of the 986 brakes very closely. And also they reminded me of my old 911 which did not have power-assisted brakes but worked very well anyway.

I had driven a few Boxsters in the past but not for a while, so I could not clearly remember noticing anything about the brakes.

The car is for sale from a local Porsche specialist service company, and the sales guy said that the brake 'feel' is normal due to the design of the 986 master cylinder. He said the the cylinder was redesigned for the 987 and has more feel.

I guess I am just used to my wife's Subaru, which has a fairly soft brake pedal.

Thanks again.

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