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Thinking About Buying A 1999 Boxster

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I am looking for a bit of advise from members. I am a manager at a non-Porsche dealership. We just took in a super clean 99 Boxster Base 5-speed w/ 66k miles. I have no knowledge about the reliability of the car. And either does any of the techs at work. I did have a master tech look over the car and he couldn't find any issues at all(except air bag lite) we think this is due to a seat belt issue. But I am willing to take the car to my local Porsche dealer to have inspection. I really just want to know what I am looking for. Any common problems I need to be aware of? I have been looking at buying a boxster, s2000 or a Z3. I have had the Boxster for 4 days now and I've really fallen in love. I was sold on the s2000 until I drove this car. I am just worried about maintenance and major issues with the car. We do have a Honda dealership in our automotive group so the Honda would cost me a lot less to maintain. But I think all around I like the Porsche better. I have found that forums are great place to find advice before investing in anything. I only have a day or 2 before the car hast to be bought or put on the lot. So please help me out.

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Absolutely! Read up on the Boxster on this forum. Lots of great information that'll help you understand the car better.

Also a great resource is Mike Focke's webpage.


As you've already found out, it's quite a fun car to drive. Ownership, just like with any other car, comes with a bit of quirks. But, overall a very nice car to have for a very little amount of money (relatively).

Good luck to you. Welcome to this forum, and hopefully, welcome to the Boxster world.

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The Boxster has a few things that pop up now an then and it is mostly related to how well it was taken care of.

There is a small percentage of cars that suffer from the "IMS" imtermediate shaft failure that grenades the engine, but there are preventative measures you can take if you find particles in your oil and filter and even a particle detector that alerts you when ferrous metal appears in the oil sump.

The 1999's I think also had a few instances of cylinder sleeve slipping, but they die early on so if its got more than 20k miles that should not be a problem.

But if you can avoid the Boxster and buy a poor substitute then maybe you can still be saved from a life of driving Porsches.

As they say: Porsche....there is no substitute!

I bought my 2001 Boxster S recently and now I can't imagine ever not driving one.

If you browse the Forums you will see that once bitten you are doomed for life.

Also, if you buy a 2.5l boxster then next you'll be looking for a 2.7l and then the "S" 3.2l and then hoping your engine will die so you can upgrade to a 3.4l. Strange considering its a fantastic drive even at 2.5l but as you get used to it your driving skills improve and then you want to push it more with more power and take it to the track.

And then theres the attention you get from all the other cars that seem to feel they need to prove themselves around you.....kinda annoying actually and when you just smile and don't engage, because you have nothing to prove, it seems to ***** them off.

You have to be prepared to park in the farthest corner of the parking lot and do a bit more walking if its your daily driver.

The driving experience is second to none so go find some twisties and have a blast.

The problem with the S2000, Miata's, and even BMW's is that they are just not as sexy, and although they have other strengths and weaknesses they are just too common. Its nice to stand apart from the crowd and have something a little more special.

Edited by jb92563
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I just bought a Boxster 1998 about a year ago with 87000kms, it's a blast to drive, even if it's a 2.5 ! No issues for now, just the air bag lite.and it was a seatbelt issue. When I was young ( many years ago!) I had the oportinuty to drive several european sports cars, but never a Porsche, abd many years after, (and after raising a family) when I drove the Boxster, I fell in love with it !

Good luck!

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Thank you all! The posts are great and the link provided in the 1st reply is amazing!!! I was up till 5am last night reading all info I could soak in. I am really liking this car. I kept it today. I can't do the paperwork to buy it until we get our power back on(you know what I mean if you live in Ohio). But I plan to stretch out my test drive till after the 4th. And then I think I'll have to buy this car. Being in the car business for most of my life I have driven almost everything. But I can attest to the fact nothing drives like a Porsche! Thanks again everyone. Ill keep checking back for more feedback.

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Mike Focke has proven himself, over and over again, to be a great source of Boxster information. And even though he no longer owns one, we're all very greatful that he's kept his 'collection of Boxster information' on his webpage. Outstanding reference material.

But, Mike isn't the only one that knows this car very well! There are several members on the multiple Porsche and/or Boxster forums out there that are great sources for info. As you've probably already learned by reading up on the threads on this forum, this site is full of experts. They're happy to share their experience/knowledge with you. However, I must caution, prior to asking a question, please at least try to do a search for the information. The search function on this forum in particular is very easy to use. Same for many other sites. Try to search for your answers first, as the question may be new to you, but chances are the topic has been covered hundreds of times before. And, especially the regulars, get tired of seeing (and answering) the same questions over and over again.

Hopefully all goes well with your purchase, and after the holiday, we can call you a Boxster owner! :) Welcome to the club.

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Mike had a '99 and loved it. As to comparisons to the other cars you mentioned, I'd suggest driving all of them and see which satisfies you. No reason my choice should be yours. When I bought my first Boxster (4th sportscar) I drove all the cars you mentioned. It was obvious to me but you may have different wants or needs so check em all out.

The '99 is a 13 year old car and you can anticipate certain things to wear out just from age...plastic parts mostly. I'll bet its front engine mount needs replacing. And each oil change in a Boxster costs more because there is just more oil in the engine being used to lube and cool the engine.

I like the mileage on the car...just enough. I like the idea of getting the Porsche-experienced mechanic to look at the car for leaks, and other issues that he might pick up that a general mechanic might not.

Good luck.

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I did have a master tech look over the car and he couldn't find any issues at all(except air bag lite) we think this is due to a seat belt issue.
If you mean the air bag light isn't lit when you're checking the lights, it's because the air bag is run by a different computer system. You need to remove the key, shut the door, and THEN open the door back up and put the key in start position- that should reset the system and it should light up now. (Unless it's actually out for real.)

If I had a nickle for every time a state inspector tried to fail me for the airbag light out... I'd have a quarter. Really annoying that Porsche did this.

Edited by grover
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I bought my '99 almost four years ago with 74K miles and I'm still waking up every morning thinking about where I'm going to drive it. I knew nothing about Porsches and Boxsters when I bought it without a PPI. Once it hit 6K rpm, on the test drive, and I heard that flat six howl I've been smiling ever since.

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