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Old 03-18-2013, 02:07 PM   #1
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Considering Boxster daily driver.. crazy?

I was going to take my tax returns and catch up on some deferred maintenance to my 6 spd BMW 540i (water pump and all the gaskets leak, window regulator, etc, etc), but realize I'll still have car with near 200k and rust bubbles. Seems like throwing good money after bad.

For the past year I've had the early 97-99 Boxster itch due to their very attractive prices. I know the 2.7 models are preferred, but I always like early stuff, purity of design I guess. Much like I'd prefer an 1983 944 over the 1986 944 I've owned for ten years. I wouldn't rule out a 2.7, however..

I drive 5-6k per year, work 5 miles from home, and don't do any other significant driving other than errands to the store or out with friends.

My biggest concern is living in Minnesota; our winters aren't the hell they used to be, and roads are usually cleared within hours of a snowfall, but I'd still need a set of blizzaks on narrower 16" rims and would invest in a hardtop. I used my 86 944 as a DD for two years from 03-05 and it was doable. I'm sure the Boxster isn't ideal in snow, but the pleasure it would bring the rest of the year would undoubtedly make up for it.

I've done my research and understand Boxsters take some money to run, probably on par to what I put into my 944 and 540i, but are fairly solid cars. A 2.5 would get nice fuel economy.

My questions are: (1) Are they comfortable or will the car wear on my as a [/U]daily driver? (2) Are all 2.5 motors with some miles on them time bombs, or at this point have most been repaired/replaced? (3)With their prices on the rise, I am also considered stretching my budget to a 964 C4 as a DD or a 911SC as my fun car and wonder if that would be a wiser purchase with their values on the uptick?

I know this is long, so thanks for your help!

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Old 03-18-2013, 02:36 PM   #2
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Disclaimer: My comments are biased based on the fact that I own two 987Ss, but my first Porsche was an 01S.

Your premise is good - a Boxster with Blizzaks will work fine as a DD as long as the snow is less than 4". I've used the same set of 18" Blizzaks on all 4 of my Porsches, as ea was at one time or another my DD. My 987s are superior winter cars because they have traction control. And I've found my 987s have been far superior in quality compared to my lone 986S. I bought my 01S as a 4 yr old CPO w/ 15K mi. There was always something wrong - from rear wheel bearings, window regulators, RMS, a bushing in the left front suspension, etc, etc. All three of my 987Ss have been rock solid. Buying a 15 yr old car and expecting Toyota reliability might leave you upset.

Just something to think about.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:46 PM   #3
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I have a 98 (2.5) with 95,000 kms and haven't had any problems other than replacing the MAF.
I •hope• I'm not driving a time bomb and to be honest..the thought never crosses my mind. It's been a fun reliable little car. It's not my daily driver but I've been on some decent road trips and find it quite comfortable, never seem to suffer from cramped legs or a sore ass although I usually try to plan my trips around twisty roads to keep me engaged!
Our winters are much like yours (Toronto area) I don't drive mine in the snow but know a few guys who do and they have nothing but good things to say about winter handling.
I say go for it! 97-98-99 Boxsters can be found pretty cheap with reasonable mileage.
Hard to put that big of a smile on your face for that kind of money...well...legally that is.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:56 PM   #4
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I have a 2001 Boxster base bought 1.5 years ago with 30k miles. Now has 40k miles.
I drive it year round on 16 inch Blizzak tires and rims. I am retired and pick and choose the days I use it. Max 3 inches of loose snow is my limit. Bumper clearance is about 5 inches for snow. You should read the guide on this forum - considering buying a Boxster.

Have not been stuck in the 2 years of winter driving. My previous car a Miata I used to get stuck once a year. Starts well in cold weather. Back end breaks away easily on acceleration when slippery. I take it easy on corners when icy/snow covered.

Study up IMS fail. I have had installed the IMS Guardian. This a fun car year round. Can't run it for the running costs of a Miata though.

Heated seats are nice
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:02 PM   #5
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I have a '99 base 2.5L with 126,000 miles.

1. Its my daily driver and weekend track machine. I find it very comfortable as a daily driver.
2. Original IMS bearing with no worries whatsoever - if it was going to fail it would have done so by now. There are a lot of owners in the 100K+ mile club on the original bearing. Maintanence and repairs can be expensive - similar to your 944 and BMW experience.
3. 964 or 911SC or Boxster - your choice.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:25 PM   #6
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I think you are crazy

In my opinion, before you get any 2-seater, you should have a nice comfortable sedan or SUV for hauling people and cargo. I have a 2012 Audi Q5 which I consider my "main" car, even though the Porsche gets driven more.

That's just me though.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:25 PM   #7
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My big concern for you would be your winter weather factor.Even though you advise that the city does a better job now with snow removal,there are going to be a lot of times when the vehicles around you are snow/frost/ice covered in their window areas.

Our small Box's could be easily overlooked by larger SUV'S and trucks with compromised vision.It's bad enough in clear weather that I'm constantly trying to stay out of someones blind spot!
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:54 PM   #8
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Considering Boxster daily driver.. crazy?

I use my car for my 35-45 min work commute, it's a 98 Base with just 83k miles and still running strong.
Depends on your location , length of commute etc. They are reasonably priced and if you don't like it, you could probably sell it for close to what you paid for it in a year or so if you made a smart buy. If you have a 2 hour one-way commute daily you may want something that cheaper on oil changes , tires, etc.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:14 AM   #9
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+1 on what others have said about the Boxster as a DD. The 964 C4 is an interesting alternate. I was thinking along the same lines. It has a very capable AWD system, but I understand that the wheel sensors (there are 4) are $1000 each, and the cars have most of the other common air-cooled issues, such as lousy AC. It is, however, an air
cooled 911 and as long as its not upside down in a ditch, will be worth at least $10,000
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:38 AM   #10
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Ive been running my 2002 2.7 as a daily driver coming up to 7 years. In that time driven about 120,000km (about 75,000miles) and its been great.

Handles snow no problems (Dunlop SP winter sport) as long as its not too deep but just as good as my wifes 2008 MB C200K if not better in the snow.

All regular maintenance as per schedules plus some expensive fixes along the way. I estimate maybe 2000 per year averaging in keeping it Tip TOP and running well.

It does eat fuel and tires IMO. But thats a small sacrafice compared to the year round fun it has brought me.

Fix everything as it needs and dont let things build up and it will be a rewarding and comfortable daily driver.

Still looks a million bucks for its aged compared to other late 90's early 2000's cars out there.

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Old 03-19-2013, 03:30 AM   #11
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Mine has been a daily driver since I bought it 6 years and 100,000 miles ago. It has not lived up to the reputation of frequent, expensive repairs but A, I have a resonsonably priced, trusted mechanic nearby, and B, I can do almost all non-emergency repairs myself. It has only left me stranded twice, both times for water pump failures.

But Maryland is not Minnesota. About half a dozen times over the past few years I've had to bum a ride in my wifes SUV. I've been to Minnesota many times in the winter. I'd keep the Boxster if I were to live there but I would have a backup plan.
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:52 AM   #12
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I have a 2000 S and its wonderfull in snow. I live in Québec where we have lots of snow in the winter (should received an other 6 inch today) and its no problem at all. First year was with soft top with glass window. Was good but I always worried about the amount of snow on top when it was snowing. So this year I have a hardtop and no more worry. Good snow tire is all you need and it will work good even in deep snow. I also put a bra on to be able to snowplow a little

later all
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:48 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by desert_porsche View Post
I think you are crazy

In my opinion, before you get any 2-seater, you should have a nice comfortable sedan or SUV for hauling people and cargo. I have a 2012 Audi Q5 which I consider my "main" car, even though the Porsche gets driven more.

That's just me though.
There is some truth in this. We get lots of snow as Minnesota does. I have my wife's car as a backup so if the snow is really deep I take her car first. If you need a regular car/suv to get to work then you need this because it has more clearance than a Boxster. If you sold your BMW then I am sure there are days when you could not get to work or where you want to go..... I really hate driving my Box over deep snow. I am afraid it might scrape the bottom of the car and tear something apart(for instance the Ims Guardian drain plug/pigtail wires)......
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:11 AM   #14
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I guess it depends on how lucky you are.

But I have daily driven my Boxster for 2 years through winters and summers. I also track it, autox it, and drive it in snow with summer tires.

It has been a very reliable car for me so far. I spend an average of $75/month on maintenance/repairs, or about $900 per year. This does not include gas or insurance. My insurance is another $75/month and my gas is another $100 per month.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:33 AM   #15
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another DD here. i live near Chicago and probably have similar winters however snowfall has been light the past few years. I usually throw on snow tires on 17" OEMs but this year I got lazy and kept on my 18" wheels with summer tires. I did slide around one day after a heavy snow fall but the traction control really keeps you on track. it was also probably more to do with my small town cuz when i reached the neighboring suburbs with more people (and snow plows), the roads were all clear. i recently got a hard top so this it he first winter with rear glass window and defroster. i park on the driveway so my car gets hit with frost on the windows so the rear defroster comes in real handy. i also installed a remote start that helps with the chicago winter chill in the morning but not necessary. more of a convenience. the boxster is the most fun car I have owned and being able to drive it every day makes it even better.

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Old 03-19-2013, 08:27 AM   #16
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I live in Minnesota, and I don't drive it in the winter, but mainly due to all the salt.
Last year I took it out on thanksgiving because it was like 50 degrees, then suddenly snowed that evening, it was the 1 and only time it has ever seen snow, and it did a pretty damn good job.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:01 AM   #17
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I'm in Florida, so take the weather into account, but......

I drive my 03S EVERY SINGLE DAY!!! I commute to work 4 days a week (40 miles each way). The only time I am not driving it is when I have to take more than one other person with me. Then I take "the wife's" car.

There is a reason they say driving this car will give you a perma grin. And I have not had to do a thing to it, other than regular maintenance ie. wheel rotation, oil change, washing her.....
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:34 AM   #18
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it's not the destination, it's the journey. Make it as enjoyable as possible. for mr that means drive a porsche every day
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:29 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Coffinhunter View Post
I'm in Florida, so take the weather into account,
ABSOLUTELY 1000% correct. I would also add the flatness of your terrain/road quality.

If you live where there is cold weather, this is not a daily driver.
If you live where the roads are crap, this is not a daily driver.

My car has been almost entirely garage kept and driven only on weekends.
I avoid using it for short trips and instead make it a point to burn out all the nasty stuff that builds up in the engine with 50-100 mile round trip drives. So I average about 10K miles a year. I change the oil twice a year at least.

And despite that winter and the rough roads have still left me with well over $10K in maintenance/unexpected repairs over the first 80K miles. And I've got probably another $2K in needed repairs before you get to the cosmetics repairs (new top, respraying bumpers, etc.). Meanwhile there are folks in Southern California who probably haven't had to address 1/4 of things I have had to up here in he the land of 4 robust seasons.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:17 PM   #20
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I have driven my 2003 2.7 as a daily driver for the past 2 years, installed H&R springs and Gemballa muffler and just love taking it out of my garage every day to drive to work.

I don't cruise much, just drive it the way it should be driven. I just won't discuss the cost of fuel - ouch!

We also have pretty nice weather here - Gold Coast Australia.

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