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Old 02-17-2007, 05:31 AM   #1
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3000 garage bill on 20K miles 2003 Boxster!! Advice needed


I've just had to pay 3000 to have major engine repairs on my 22,000 mile 2003 Boxster!!! Is this normal ?

I bought a 2003 Boxster 2.7 in Jan 2006 from Mole Valley Garage in Chessington. It had 11,000 genuine miles with a full Porsche service history. I've serviced it at Porsche Guildford it's now done 22,000 miles.

A few weeks ago I was just driving into the work carpark and noticed that there was a loud tappety noise coming from the engine. I parked the car and got out. It really sounded quite loud. I rang the AA who came out and said that it should be taken to a garage and shouldn't be driven. I rang Porsche in Guildford and they said they could look at it in a couple of weeks as they were fully booked! I then rang around a few other places and managed to get Camtune in Godalming to have a look at at. An AA flat bed truck came soon afterwards and took it down to Camtune. They stripped it down and found that the o/s hydraulic tappet had worn through to the internal value and damaged the camshaft.

Here's the wording from Camtune:

"Investigate engine noise, car recovered in by the AA, strip and report, found o/s hydraulic tappet worn through to internal value causing damage to os inlet camshaft and valve. Remove engine, remove camshafts and cylinder head, renew 1 inlet valve on cylinder one, renew inlet camshaft and all the followers on o/s bank, refit engine, fill and bleed cooling system and a/c system recharge."

Labour 1480+vat, parts 1172+vat, total bill inc vat = 3032

I rang porsche customer service after Camtune has assessed the problem and they would get back to me within 24Hrs. They rang back the next day and said that this problem could be caused by any number of reasons (e.g. low oil) and that they would not pay the repair bill.

I've always checked the oil levels manually every other week and it's always been fine, hardly using any oil. I've never had any oil warning lights come on. The car has not been driver hard.

Can you give me any advice ? Has this happened to anyone else ?

Just before this happened the driver side window would not go up more than halfway using the window switch. I rang Porsche and they said they could book me in for 3 weeks time. Luckily I managed to pull it up by hand - although it had to stay down a fraction to close the door, and then there was always a slight gap.

Sadly it's spoilt the whole Porsche experience for me. I always dreamed of owning one as a boy.

I feel as though the engine could fail again and I could get another massive bill. What are your thoughts on this ? I am unlucky ? Should I sell it and get a new TT instead ?

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Old 02-17-2007, 07:05 AM   #2
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I've heard of tappets making noise before but never causing damage to the cylinder head or camshaft. Did they show you the worn parts? I would also get the oil pressure checked with a manual gauge to see if it's within specs. Do you know what oil is being used in your engine? Sorry to hear about your troubles.
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Old 02-17-2007, 07:15 AM   #3
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Sounds to me like you are getting hosed by Porsche here. I would go up the line of appeals to Porsche to see if you can get some money back.

It has happened before.
Rich Belloff

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Old 02-17-2007, 07:51 AM   #4
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I agree with Brucelee, don't give up on Porsche just yet. Call and call and call and don't let up. It's some serious BS if they don't pick up the bill with what I assume is a car under warranty. If they claim that you have mistreated your car than ask for a detailed explanation as to their proof and not some theory that they might have. Driving hard does not mean an engine will fail unless you are constantly redlining it which I believe they can retrieve information from the computers memory to prove. Sounds like low oil isn't likely so don't let them make that their case. I've had two incidents with Porsche that initially they denied a warranty bill but in the end they came up with a reasonable compromise to resolve the situation. The tough part was reminding them that despite me not being the first owner of the vehicle, the car is under a manufacturers warranty so if they think the previous owners mistreated it than tough s@#t, that doesn't mean I should be the victim.
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:10 AM   #5
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All good advise. I didn't ask to see the parts, which was perhaps a bit too trusting of me. I will get the oil pressure checked out though.

Sadly it was out of warranty, so I can't get them on that. It just doesn't seem 'fit for purpose' that a problem like that would occur on a low mileage car
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Old 02-17-2007, 01:38 PM   #6
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Do you guys across the pond not get the 4 year, 50,000mi warranty?
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Old 02-18-2007, 01:33 AM   #7
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No sadly not. We only get a 2 year warranty - probably because of the reliability problems. Most other car manufacturers give 3 years (i think!). I knew I should have moved to the US :-)

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