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Looking to purchase a Boxster S w/100K..Issues?

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Hi guys, I am going to look at two Boxsters tomorrow with plans to purchase one of them. One is a 2000 Boxster S with 103K and one is a 1999 Boxster with 52K and a hardtop.

I know the feel of the two cars would be a lot different given the 2.5 vs the 3.2, but I am more concerned with what I should be looking for on the Boxster S with 100K other than the normal pre purchase items. Common trouble areas I would be able to check? Obviously it would be nice to pick up the "S" if the car was nice, but want to make sure I'm aware of issues the car regularly faces.

Thanks in advance for any of your thoughts!


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With both cars, it would be nice to have maintenance records to see what has been fixed or replaced over the life of the car.

Not being Porsche specific, as I've only owned mine for a year, I've had motors last 200,000 miles without any major problems. However, I've never had an automatic transmission last more than about 110,000 - most of them dying right around 90k. My Porsche is my first manual tranny car, and it seems solid at 95k, so who knows.

At 100k I'd start expecting things like the alternator, the air-oil seperator, water pump, mass airflow sensor, EGR valves, oxygen sensors, etc. but these type things may have already been replaced, and there's no guarantees they won't go bad on the older car just due to age even though it has half the miles.

The funny thing about car parts is that you never really know how long they'll last. You might have an alternator that last 200k miles with no problems or you might have one that doesn't even work out of the box. You start asking yourself if you should replace a water pump to be on the safe side at 100k, but really it's kind of a crapshoot as to whether that replacement pump will last another 100k or if it will just give out in 10k, in which case you would have been better off waiting for the first one to die.

When I was racing Mustangs, I once went through three alternator exchanges just to get one that worked. When I restored a 66 Mustang I also went through four power steering pumps in less than a year to finally get one that didn't leak like a sieve. I'd like to believe Porsche replacement parts are higher quality than what you pick up at Autozone, but who knows?

I'd drive both and have a mechanic check both, but if they both come back healthy, I'd go with the S.

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Thanks for the response. You are right about unpredictability. I just want to get a feel for if there is anything other than the usual things with any used car I should be looking out for when I am going over the car and driving it. How similar is the 3.2 motor to the 2.7? I am excited at the prospect of owning an "S"....

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Owned both cars you are looking at.

There are no great differences once you get to the 50k mark IMHO. Yes early build 99s had problems, but by 50k they should have shown up and been replaced. Lots of near 200k miles Boxsters. Probability of achieving that depends on maintenance and luck.

2.5, 2.7 and 3.2 engines very similar. My '99 was as much fun and my '01S is.

Presume you've read http://mike.focke.googlepages.com/mikespor...boxsterwebpages

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My '01 S just turned 100,000 miles last weekend. I have had it a year and bought it with 95,000 on it. The only issue I have had are the valve covers weep a bit of oil,, so I know that sooner or later I will need to replace the gaskets, and, just after I hit 100,000 the check engine light came on, for the oxygen sensors. I reset them, and 1,000 miles later, car runs perfectly and no more check engine light.

Enjoy! Let us know which you get.

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I have a 2001 2.7L Boxster 5sp with over 125,000 miles. I bought it with about 110,000 miles on it.

I've had to replace the ball joints in the diagonal control arms on the front and rear. There was some looseness that caused an annoying rattle at low speeds over rough pavement. It's a relatively straight forward DIY job, but the ball joints are fixed in the control arms and are sold as a unit, which costs about 800-900 I'd guess for all 4 (I don't remember exactly). There is a DIY article on this site about replacing the rear ones (track arms) with non-OEM less expensive ones. The front is easier than the rear.

The convertible top plastic cracked and the fabric looked pretty worn, so I replaced it with a GAHH glass window convertible top. That again was a DIY install and cost about 800 dollars for the top. I might recommend letting a shop do that work though unless you feel comfortable with your craftsmanship. I'm pretty happy with how mine turned out, but it took lots of tweaking to get it there. Replacing it with the regular plastic window is probably easier and a little less expensive.

The rear main seal drips oil very slightly on my driveway. I never have to add any oil though, so it must be very minor. I will probably have that replaced with the updated Porsche RMS whenever I replace the clutch (which is fine for now, but I know they don't last forever on any car).

The door window glass rattles when the windows are rolled down and I slam the door. I've read that replacing the regulator will fix that. I haven't gotten around to it yet; it's fine when I close it with the windows up and doesn't make noise while driving up or down. I'm sure I will eventually do something about it though.

I had to replace the water pump, which went out on a road trip. I let the dealer do that work since I was on the road and that was the closest service. It cost about $1000 (I'm sure I could have done it myself for a lot less).

I also had some minor stuff, like my horn not working with the engine on (broken ground wire at the switch, 5 minute fix when I found it), and a clicking noise from the front brakes (pads not sitting tightly in the caliper, fixed in 30 minutes by putting solder on the pad to fill the gap).

I did all the recommended 120k service/maintenance in addition to the above. That cost about $100 to do it myself.

Lots of other people on this forum report issues with the convertible top, the RMS, and the ball joints, so I'd guess they are something reasonably likely to happen to any high mileage Boxster. These aren't side of the road break down issues, just little things that slowly wear out like anything does.

That said, I'm really happy with my car. It's my daily driver and I've loved having it for the two years that I have. It feels good and solid and I get lots of compliments. No one guesses it has that mileage. I plan on keeping it up for a long time.

Edited by secretagent214
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