Go Back   986 Forum - for Porsche Boxster & Cayman Owners > Porsche Boxster & Cayman Forums > Boxster General Discussions

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-05-2013, 05:47 AM   #1
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: england
Posts: 4
Advice - Searching for a 986S - Buying Guide

Hi guys,

I'm going to go and see a 986 S tomorrow and was just wondering what things i should be checking aside from the norm (brakes, tyres, rust, electrics etc).

i understand the engine is concealed in back? is there a quick and easy wway to lift the felt without it looking like I'm ripping the car apart to the salesman?

is there anything i can check under the car? suspension? if so where?

is there a way of checking for IMS/RMS failure?

any advice would be greatly appreciated!

regards

SarlechS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2013, 05:50 AM   #2
Registered User
 
thom4782's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Foster City CA
Posts: 1,086
Check Mike Focke's guides - parts 1 and 2. Also see his page problem area page. You can find these at https://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/mikesporscheboxsterwebpages.

The best thing you can do after a close eye inspection and test drive is to get a PPI (pre-purchase inspection) done by a dealer or independent shop. If a dealer is selling the car, get the PPI done somewhere else.

It takes 20 to 30 minutes to take off and put back on the covers for the engine. There are two: under the convertible top and behind the seats. There isn't a way to directly check the IMS or RMS. To see them, you have to remove the transmission and flywheel. Occasionally, you can see the result of a leak in the IMS or RMS by noticing small drips, but it's almost impossible to tell which is the cause. Paperwork evidence of an IMS replacement probably means that it was done as a preventative measure. When the IMS fails, the engine destroys itself in the process. To replace the IMS and RMS, your probably looking at $1500 - $2000. If you decide to do that, then replace the clutch as well for another $500.

The best indicator of a quality car besides having a PPI and complete service records is finding one that is very clean all over

Last edited by thom4782; 03-05-2013 at 06:07 AM.
thom4782 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2013, 06:42 AM   #3
Track rat
 
Topless's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Cucamonga CA
Posts: 3,682
Garage
Haha, looking at the top of the motor won't tell you much. Tires and brake visual inspection. Visual inspection of all fluids. Are they clean or contaminated? Does it idle smooth, shift smooth, drive smooth? Any ticking/tapping noises? These things will tell you if the car has been reasonably well maintained. A PPI will give more in-depth info. Service history and maintenance records are golden.
__________________
2009 Cayman 2.9L PDK (with a few tweaks)
PCA-GPX Chief Driving Instructor
Topless is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2013, 06:59 AM   #4
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Sanford NC
Posts: 2,370
The RMS is just an oil seal and seldom causes any problems beyond the PITA of an oil leak onto the floor where you park. Change the seal when you change the clutch.

There are ways to see how the IMS bearing is doing but not by just looking from even the bottom. Needs diagnostic tools (Durametric) or disassembly of trans from engine.

The owners manual covers accessing the engine compartment. Not much the rookie can tell except perhaps pulling the air filter and thus judging the maintenance the car had received.
mikefocke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2013, 07:25 AM   #5
Registered User
 
Perfectlap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 8,708
I purchased my car with barely 9K miles after four years. It was literally in showroom condition because it actually was sitting in the dealer's showroom. When I "inspected" it I had no absolutely no idea what to look for but didn' really give it too much thought becaue it was practically new...

Fast forward 60K miles later and I've had to do a very long list of repairs. So if I were in your shoes I'd be asking for service records. The longer the list of things that have been addressed or preventive maintenance that has been performed the fewer things you might have to do.
This car has some notorious weak spots like the coolant tank, the AOS, the RMS is prone to leaking (more of hassle than a mortal disease), of course the IMS needs to be addressed if its a single row bearing 2001-2004 and some early 2000's. Dual row bearings have had far better luck and some have not bothered to upgrade even after well over 100K miles. But those are mostly the 2.5 engines and not the S power engine. The IMS is typically replaced with the clutch and flywheel which can run you $3K in parts alone if you go with the new LN Solution bearing. Also, shocks and control arms on a sports car are not high mileage parts if you live where the roads are harsh and beaten up by winter. That's at least $2K in parts before labor.
In addition my catalytic converters didn't make it past 70K miles on the stock exhaust, another expensive item. Then there are the unexpected repairs like a starter or throttle body that might go, both of which I had to replace before the 60K mile mark.

Meanwhile there are folks in sunny climates like Southern California who have barely needed to fix a thing and are well into 100K miles of driving. I live in the northeast and my car is driven year round. And although its only driven on weekends it has still required significant upkeep well before the 100K mile mark. So again, if the mileage for the car you are looking at is over 50-60K miles, make a determination on how the car has been driven (year round), what repairs have been done, how often has the oil been changed and what sort of oil was used, and what major maintenance items have been taken care of (shocks, clutch/ims). Make sure inspect every panel of the bodywork for dents and chipping. Around here bodywork will run at least $600 per panel, with front and rear bumper work coming in a bit cheaper to repaint. And check that the HVAC is blowing cold air without issue and inspect the windscreen for any tiny cracks or chips.
The condition of the rear tires are also important to check as tires are not cheap for these cars, particularly in the larger 18" and 19" sizes.

If all this sounds good then have a Porsche specialist or the nearest dealer inspect the car BEFORE making an offer. They'll report what things need to be addressed. You can use that to come up with a counter offer price. I would hessistate to make an offer before the inspection.
__________________
GT3 Recaro Seats - Boxster Red
GT3 Aero / Carrera 18" 5 spoke / Potenza RE-11
Fabspeed Headers & Noise Maker
BORN: March 2000 - FINLAND
IMS#1 REPLACED: April 2010 - NEW JERSEY -- LNE DUAL ROW

Last edited by Perfectlap; 03-05-2013 at 07:29 AM.
Perfectlap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2013, 11:34 AM   #6
Certified Boxster Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 7,612
PPI. PPI. PPI.

I can't stress it enough. Let the pro's do the inspection and then you'll know exactly what you're getting yourself into and the potential costs. If you decide to move forward, use it to help with the negotiations. A PPI will be the best $300 you ever spend.
__________________
1999 996 C2 - sold - bought back - sold for more
1997 Spec Boxster BSR #254
1979 911 SC
POC Licensed DE/TT Instructor
thstone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2013, 12:32 PM   #7
Registered User
 
Porsche Pete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Essex, England
Posts: 159
Full Service history is a must...not just a few scraps of paper

Really take your time and take a list of notes with you to remind you what to check..
Let your head rule and not yr heart...which will be all of a flutter..!!

where in the UK are you? are u far from Essex?

also look to see if its had a battery recently, fluid changes etc.,
The general appearance should tell you if it has been looked after.. Look at the last owner details, and dont be affraid to contact them BEFORE you buy..
Remember all these things are costly if u decide then to renew your self..The bills mount up very quickly..
Make a low offer at least 10% off and see what they say...you can always work up but never down ...get them to throw in a service too if u r going to buy it

Just bought brake pads and rear discs for mine 200 invested.. Tyres arent cheap too...
Porsche Pete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2013, 12:36 PM   #8
Registered User
 
oc-boxster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: anaheim california
Posts: 480
I'm still new to my boxster but can offer some advice from my 1 year of ownership-have the cash ready to buy one private party.. You will get much better history and service records that way-I bought mine off a used car lot because I was not patient enough to wait so I financed one for a year-my 2002 S cleared a Porsche dealership PPI with no major issues, but I have since spent 6,000 dollars making it right again, if I had to do it again I would have waited and bought one that was in better condition..I love my boxster now though its all up to par and ready to go for a long time now
oc-boxster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2013, 01:42 PM   #9
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: england
Posts: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porsche Pete View Post
Full Service history is a must...not just a few scraps of paper

Really take your time and take a list of notes with you to remind you what to check..
Let your head rule and not yr heart...which will be all of a flutter..!!

where in the UK are you? are u far from Essex?

also look to see if its had a battery recently, fluid changes etc.,
The general appearance should tell you if it has been looked after.. Look at the last owner details, and dont be affraid to contact them BEFORE you buy..
Remember all these things are costly if u decide then to renew your self..The bills mount up very quickly..
Make a low offer at least 10% off and see what they say...you can always work up but never down ...get them to throw in a service too if u r going to buy it

Just bought brake pads and rear discs for mine 200 invested.. Tyres arent cheap too...
I'm from Birmingham but I'm going to see a 986 near london over the weekend hopefully, he's going to get back to me later on tomorrow. the other one that i'm seeing tomorrow is based just down the road about 15-20 miles, i think near redditch.

the one in redditch is a trader, the other one is a private seller, i'd hate to annoy a private seller coming in with a cheeky offer? would knocking 1k off a car be acceptable?

thanks for your advice buddy, very much appreciated.
SarlechS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2013, 02:04 PM   #10
recycledsixtie
 
recycledsixtie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Edmonton Canada
Posts: 824
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by SarlechS View Post
I'm from Birmingham but I'm going to see a 986 near london over the weekend hopefully, he's going to get back to me later on tomorrow. the other one that i'm seeing tomorrow is based just down the road about 15-20 miles, i think near redditch.

the one in redditch is a trader, the other one is a private seller, i'd hate to annoy a private seller coming in with a cheeky offer? would knocking 1k off a car be acceptable?

thanks for your advice buddy, very much appreciated.
First off there is nothing cheeky about a low offer. You will likely get a better deal from a private person. I offered below asking price on mine and then had a PPI done. Some work was needed according to PPI and asked for another $1k off. My offer was accepted. I don't think anybody else was looking at it. It is easier dealing with a private person because he/she does not do that every day. The dealer does. Get receipts for work done. Dealer is not so good about supplying that info. All the $$$/pounds u save then goes into the Porsche piggy bank. You likely will need that for repairs. Pay now or pay later!PPI is a must. If too much work required walk away or be prepared to pay to get it fixed or fix it yourself.Bargain hard!|Enjoy the ride.....
recycledsixtie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2013, 11:49 PM   #11
jmd
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 10
PPI isn't such a big thing in the UK, it's pretty rare in my experience. If you either know what you're looking for in general or you take someone with you who does, I think that's enough. The Boxster is pretty simple compared to most cars. Although engine access is just about non-existent from the top, lots can be accessed easily if you are willing to get under it.

As said, normally it's easy to get a general feel for the car.

jmd is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On




All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:43 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2018 Pelican Parts, LLC - Posts may be archived for display on the Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page