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I'm looking to buy a Boxster S (02-03) and have found one fairly cheap 2002. The car has previously been in an accident of some kind, but has been repaired properly. A got a car inspection performed and the following issues were outlined:

1. Oil leak coming from both rocker covers (fairly minor leak)

2. Oil leak coming from centre of engine block area (fairly minor leak)

3. Outter drive shaft boot split (I've read this is fairly common, and needs replacing)

4. Some knocking noise in front and rear suspension during test drive

The inspector said he thought the car was actually in pretty condition. And I've driven the car and it drives well and looks to be in fairly good condition.

(1) The car has been garaged and not driven for two years prior to the inspection, which I thought may have led to the drying out of the rocker engine gaskets, and hence oil leaks.

(2) I'm fairly worried about centre of engine block leak, as nothing is cheap to rectify on a Boxsters engine from what I've read in these forums. And I haven't found any mention of this issue in the forums.

(4) I think the inspector was being overly fussy with this, as it looks like the car has the original suspension etc. Thoughts?

As the car is selling for a responbly good price, I wanted to get some feedback as to whether I should be alarmed at the issues above and run a mile, or consider purchasing. And on purchasing whether these need immediate attention.

Thanks in advance,


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Do you do the work on your own cars? The CV boot is about $$85 to replace the pair here in the US. A new shaft is about $550. Rebuilt shafts are cheaper. "S" cars with a manual are hard on boots, if you have one split it's time to replace all four. I replaced both axels, then rebuilt my originals so I have spares.

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Nah, I used to do my own work on cars, but I'd probably get a shop to replace the boots based upon what you've said. Thanks that's good advice regarding replacing all four.

I'm much more worried about the oil leaks though. I'm not sure if this is a definite sign to not buy this car. I have no idea if any of these leaks are common or sympoms of very expensive problems. I'm hoping someone on these posts will know.

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I am not a mechanic, but I wil give you my two cents. Leak from in between transmission and engine could be an RMS leak or an IMS leak or both. I purchase a car that had the same kind of leak. Leak was found when performing PPI. RMS was fixed by the seller before I took possession of the car.

You have a great opportunity to have the RMS fixed, have the IMS bearing replaced and put a new clutch in at the same time.

My IMS seal was not leaking so the shop told me not to replace the bearing, I wish I had, just for the peace of mind. They were right there already, transmission off, flywheel off. Would have taken them another 1/2 hour to replace the IMS bearing.

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It sounds like the car is in pretty good shape if that's all they are reporting.

(1) The car has been garaged and not driven for two years prior to the inspection, which I thought may have led to the drying out of the rocker engine gaskets, and hence oil leaks.

The camshaft/valve covers are actually sealed using silicone (Loctite 5900), not a normal cork, paper, or metal gasket. While it is possible for this silicone to leak, it is not as common as other reasons. Each of the 23 cam cover bolts have the opportunity to leak as well, if the application of silicone was not proper. Removing the camshaft covers must be done with great care and a special camshaft locking tool and bolts removed in a certain sequence. Then correct torque sequence applied. It is not very easy to do with the engine in car. Of course, once you open the cam cover on a 2002, you might as well replace the 4th and 5th timing chains and variocam ramps.

A more common reason for oil present on the camshaft cover is spark plug tube orings, which certainly do dry out and lose their seal over time.

(2) I'm fairly worried about centre of engine block leak, as nothing is cheap to rectify on a Boxsters engine from what I've read in these forums. And I haven't found any mention of this issue in the forums.

As was stated earlier this could be a leak from the rear main seal or intermediate shaft seal. Repairing both are common practice, not actually as bad as they may sound, but do require removing the transmission which is probably the most labor intensive part of the job.

I would use those two items to leverage the purchase of the car by about $1500-$2500 USD in order to make those repairs.

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