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Old 08-01-2005, 04:09 PM   #1
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Question Please bear with me, I'm new. (I.E. : Should I buy a Boxster?)

Hello guys.

I have been lurking a bit, and decided to register and ask a question that I have been asking myself for a while now:

"Should I get a Boxster S?"


First off, let me tell you a bit about myself;

My name is Matthew (for those who care, lol), and I am 21 years old (No parents fitting the bills by the way, so I know the value of my money.) I live in a small town in Oklahoma. I have been driving my 1998 Z28 Camaro for quite a while, and before that, I drove a 1987 Z28, I have loved these cars for a long time, especially the 98. Lots of power, lots of speed, and thanks to Koni, decent agility for such a big car. Lately though, I have been wanting something different. Something smaller, and more refined, more agility, and more head turning.

My mother owned a new Miata MX5, which I loved to drive, and now she owns a MR-2 Spyder, which I also love to drive. I like driving them alot more than my Z28s, just having the wind in my hair and all that jazz. Also, I like the fact that with such little power (compared to my LS1 powered 98), that it still gives you the rush of speed, because of its small size.

I do all of my own work, I simply cannot afford to pay someone a ton of money to fix my cars, so I have ammassed tools, ramps, jacks, and lots of ruined t-shirts doing any and all repairs, maintinance, and upkeep myself. I havent ever had my 98 in a shop for repairs during its various problems and installs. (All new brakes, rotors, shocks, springs, anit-roll bars, lower control arms, in-tank fuel pump, rims, new spoiler, taillights, etc.)

I say that I dont have the money to pay someone to do these things, because I have to work very hard for what money I have, and I feel that I can do as good a job as someone else with the rights tools, and patience, and can keep my money for other things. I do know that cars are not maintenance free, and will indeed need work, and whatnot from time to time, and I can deal with things as they come.

Is owning a Porsche (2001 Boxster S) something that is too expensive to be my primary car? I see lots of posts about having this and that replace, this overhauled, that changed, at seemingly low mileage. My Z28 has 120k on the clock with little more than Mobile1 and a car wash. Is there just more to it that that with a Porsche? While I do understand that a Porsche is not a Chevrolet made heap of parts, I wonder if upkeep will keep me from loving my investment?

I come from a car sector of oily rags and the smell of gas on the ground, where if you cant do it yourself, you call your friend and grandpa over for backup. I have never had a dealer inspect my car, or paid for an oil change, and I really and truely dont intend to start, so, back to my origional question;

"Should I get a Boxster S?"


Thank you for your patience.

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Old 08-01-2005, 06:40 PM   #2
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Ummm....yes?
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Old 08-01-2005, 06:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam
Ummm....yes?

One side of my sees that as a gross overgeneralization.

The other side of me agrees.

The second side can beat the first side up.
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Old 08-01-2005, 07:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glitch77
Is owning a Porsche (2001 Boxster S) something that is too expensive to be my primary car? I see lots of posts about having this and that replace, this overhauled, that changed, at seemingly low mileage.
I believe a Porsche is best used as a daily driver.

This will be long, but hopefully it will help.

Porsche is a high performance, wonderfully engineered machine. They are made to be driven, and driven hard, not garaged for once-a-month drives on perfect days. There's nothing wrong with that if it's your preference, but that's not what they are made for. As they sit, rubber and plastic hardens and nasty chemical reactions occure inside the engine and that's what causes most low mileage repairs. As they sit the electrical connections corrode more easily too causing most of the electrical problems. If you go to forums with the older models you can see this. The lower mileage ones generally have more problems and require more catch-up. That won't be as much of a difference with the relatively young Boxster you are looking at.

Basically, for a DIY guy, the Boxster is a wonderful, fairly inexpensive car to work on. Very easy to access most things and several forums to get answers to any questions you may have. With Sunset Porsche having Porsche parts at great prices (about the same as your average american car part which is amazing), it's not that bad.

Here's everything that has been done to our 2000 model. We got it at 21K miles and these are approximate DIY prices (I'm quoting the high side of the cost if I'm not exactly sure). We're at 65K miles right now.

Maintenance:
1) Brakes (rotors all around, pads, sensors & fluid change) $450. I get 30K miles from the pads and 60K miles from the front rotors & still have the original rotors at 65K miles. YMMV.
2) Oil change (9.5 quarts Mobil 1 & filter filament) $60 every 15K miles.
3) 30K mile service (Oil w/ filter, air filter, cabin filter, spark plugs) $100
4) 60K mile service (Oil w/ filter, air filter, cabin filter, spark plugs, fuel filter, differential/gear box oil & serpentine belt) $175
5) Tires (Kumho Ecsta ASX on rear and Ecsta 712 front) $600 full set installed. I typically get ~30K miles front, 50K miles rear. YMMV

Repairs:
1) Ignition switch (got the part at Autozone). $32
2) Replace coolant reservoir (this is the first "repair" we've had and it was just a few weeks ago) $200 w/ cooling system hoses.
3) Replace serpentine belt idler rollers (3 of them should be replaced by 60K miles to beat the bearing/roller wear). $150

There are no plug wires to replace. Each plug has a separate coil on it with a single connection so you just replace a coil if it goes out. They're ~$55 each coil if one goes bad. I have not needed to replace one yet.

The oil filter is a filament change. You have to take off the plastic canister, replace the insides and put it back together. Uses a standard 74mm-14 flute socket you can get at most auto parts stores. The filters are all OEM Mahle brand you can get for good prices.

The tools are all metric. A good array of regular allen wrenches, allen sockets & 6 point metric sockets can do most things. The differential drain requires a special 16mm 12 point inverted (triple-square) with a hole in it. The manuals call torque out in Nm most of the time so it's handy to have a clicking torque wrench that can measure Nm or a converter for Ft Lbs.

Good diagnostics tools are a multi-meter, OBD II scanner (preferably one that can do more than just read the code) & mechanic's stethoscope.

Hope it helps!
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Old 08-01-2005, 07:05 PM   #5
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Here is my opinion. I am a short time Boxster owner ( couple weeks ). Have done maintenance on my other cars ( MB and BMW ) but not sure about this one.

Looks to be a little challenge just to get to the engine much less really do any work. Reading through the EVO intake instructions kinda confirms that something that is normally pretty easy will be a lot more difficult on the Porsche. Not sure how much maintenance I will attempt on this.

Also shop labor is $150/hr ( more than both MB and BMW around here ).
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Old 08-01-2005, 07:43 PM   #6
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Mongo like Boxster, but not repair costs. Too high says Mongo. Mongo like chocolate milkshake too. Mongo go make doo doo now.
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Last edited by Rail26; 08-01-2005 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 08-01-2005, 07:48 PM   #7
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It's not that bad. Getting to the top of the engine is a 10 min job. Yes, the evo is a pain to install but that is not part of the maintence regimen.
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Old 08-01-2005, 09:18 PM   #8
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The brake work and oil changes on the Boxster are some of the easiest I've ever done. At ~15K so far that's all that's been needed - and the brake work was only a bleeding/flush (with a removal of the pads just for fun 'cause I was there already).

Getting to the engine is not bad, the biggest issue is removing the rear storage box if the car has one. Been in there several times for fun and to make sure the mice didn't do anything bad over the winter, less than 10 mins to access and replace it all once you've been through it to figure it out.
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Old 08-02-2005, 12:10 AM   #9
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"Is owning a Porsche (2001 Boxster S) something that is too expensive to be my primary car?"

Are you considering buying one from a dealer with warranty or a private party? If you buy one from a private party, make sure you get a Pre Purchase Inspection (PPI) by a Porsche mechanic. As you saw from postings on different forums, catastrophic engine failure is a possibility. What percentage? It seems no one really knows or is telling. My advice is try not to spend all your extra money at once on aftermarket upgrades and try to bank some money in case of a really bad day.

You are your own best judge on what your mechanical abilities are and how long you can tolerate your primary car being out of commission. I suggest that you read through the many pages of postings here, pelicanparts.com, ppbb.com and at www.renntech.org to get an idea of the types of diy work performed and common failures. Try getting a copy of a workshop manual through somewhere like www.workshopmanuals.co.uk or a subscription to www.alldatadiy.com. A repair manual for the Boxster is just being released:

http://www.foreignintrigue.com/specials_html/986/index.htm

Caveat - nobody knows how good the repair manual is.

No doubt Porsche parts are expensive but you can use the internet to your advantage to search for good prices. If you get a Boxster, consider joining the PCA in your region to help establish contacts to help find where the good independent mechanics are in your area, for those jobs that are beyond your scope. Of course, the PCA can help teach you how to drive your Boxster better.

If you are lucky to be in some area of the country such as San Jose, CA, some forums organize DIY days to get together and team on upgrades and repairs.

Make sure you talk to your insurance agent prior to purchasing a car so that you don't get any unnecessary surprises in that area.

You're doing the right thing; go into Boxster ownership with open eyes and your homework done. It'll make driving your Boxster that much more fun.

Last edited by 98Boxster98; 08-02-2005 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 08-02-2005, 05:13 AM   #10
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Thank you guys for your input, it is a appretiated.

I am happy to see that the people of this community are very nice guys, and are willing to help. Hopefully this forum will be my permanant home in the future.

Any more info/stories/anything would be a great help!

Thanks!



P.S. I plan on getting a "CPO" 2001 Boxster S from a dealer. What will that mean as far as warranty?

Last edited by glitch77; 08-02-2005 at 05:16 AM.
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Old 08-02-2005, 05:40 AM   #11
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A couple of words of warning.

First, even though you've never done it before, get a PPI at a dealer. It costs ~$200. You may be really good with cars, but they can read the computer and know everything that's been going on. That, and having somebody who is very familiar with the Boxster knows exactly what to look for. That's the one thing I would use a dealer for since the Boxsters are newer and mostly serviced at dealers so they are very familiar with them.

Second, it's an addiction. Once you own a Porsche, you will never want to be without one. That's what my PO said and he's right. After getting the Boxster for my wife, I couldn't take it on the days we drove separately to work so I got a 928.
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Old 08-02-2005, 05:45 AM   #12
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Talking

My short answer is that you will be disappointed in the Boxster vs, say a c5 corvette.

Here is my logic:

Parts costs-no contest, the Porsche parts will cost you more and you will use more of them.

Service requirements-Not huge on the Boxster but they are there. For the c5, well they are minimal at best.

Access- the Boxster is doable but compared to working on a C5, a pain to some degree.

Driving the car is another experience. Both are great but you need to decide.

I am a huge fan of the Boxster but it is not a DIY dream by any means. And you uncle wil not know how to work on them, nor will he appreciate trying to get at the engine etc.

IHMO

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