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Advice on maintaining well running 2000 986, 40K?

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I'm looking for advice in maintaining my well kept 2000 Boxster.

In 2003, I bought a 2000 base Boxster with 14,000 miles (manufactured 11/99, 2.7L, MT) from a Porsche dealer in Massachusetts, where I primarily reside.  The car now has just under 40,000 miles.  So I've only driven it 26,000 miles in 13 years, and I have had no major problems.  I had maintenance done by the dealer initially for about 5 years, but then switched to a more local independent mechanic with a good reputation, as the dealer was over an hour's drive each way.  


Last year I bought a condo in Naples, FL, and decided to drive the car down and leave it there.  My mechanic replaced the engine drive belt as a preventive measure before the drive south, and the car was excellent for the long ride.   Other than that, over the years, I've mostly only had routine and timely oil changes, plugs, and filters.  I replaced the top and the tires a couple of years ago.  The CEL did come on at times about a year ago, but it could not be reliably diagnosed.  The mechanic suspected an O2 sensor.  But the light since went off and all seems well since.  Sometimes I can get a puff of smoke when I start it, especially after it was sitting for an extended period, but this resolves when the car is driven more regularly.  I believe I have a good storage protocol for the times the car is idle.


In recent years, the AC has been declining.  The mechanic added refrigerant periodically, which worked for perhaps a year at a time.  I am due for that at least, if not more at this point, as there is no cold at all now.  In Massachusetts, this was less of an issue, but now I want to get that more correctly resolved.  The AC seems more noisy than it was previously (up front?), so I imagine there's a leak or other issue.  


Outside of the AC problem, the car is operating perfectly as far as I can tell.  I drive it about 5 weeks a year while in Florida.  It is in excellent cosmetic condition, barely a scratch, and always garaged.  I'd like to continue to operate the car in this manner indefinitely for the next several years, and hope to spend increasingly more time (winter) in Florida as time passes.  Does anyone have any advice for me as to how I should proceed with this car?  It looks and drives like new.  I'm not a mechanic.  I hear and read about the IMS bearing, the AOS, and other issues.  I've not had the brakes or clutch done, but they seem fine.  Even the battery is from 2003 and the car starts right up.  


So I appreciate any advice moving forward.  Should I have some of these things dealt with preemptively, instead of waiting for a more expensive failure?  I'd like to bring the car in for maintenance and hope I can find a conscientious and competent mechanic to assist me.  Does anyone have any recommendations for a local mechanic and/or the dealer in Naples?  Would anyone recommend going to an "AC specialist" type place for that one particular issue over a mechanic or the dealer?


Thanks, Paul.

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Clean out the debris from the front air intakes.  Leaves build up in the corners and the rot and moisture promotes the failure of the engine coolant rads and air con heat exchangers. 


I would change the coolant and make sure the car has regular brake fluid changes (2 years) as it can retain moisture which will rot the internal metal surfaces of the system and decrease braking efficiency through fluid boiling.


I would put on new brake pads as over time even if the pads have plenty of friction material remaining they can have problems with friction material splitting away from the backing material.  I have had this problem on other cars.

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Definitely +1 on replacing the brake fluid.


It's unfortunate that the car is standing for eleven months of the year. You are presumably inflating the tires to avoid flat spots.


If you're not planning on an IMS solution and you have a Durametric, checking your camshaft deviations occasionally for any fluctuations after the engine is well and truly warmed up may be a good idea. Of course, it's by no means a failsafe indicator.

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Water pump and low temperature thermostat upgrade. Water pumps should be replaced every 30k as preventative maintenance. Update coolant reservoir cap to latest version. AOS may be an issue with your puff of smoke but doesn't sound serious by any means. I would just do it as needed. Highly agree on the debris removal from the front radiators and brakes fluid every two years. Some might also suggest an oil change once a year but if you only drive one month a year not sure that is necessary. 

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54 minutes ago, crwarren11 said:

 Some might also suggest an oil change once a year but if you only drive one month a year not sure that is necessary. 


I would not leave used oil, regardless of the amount of use, in an engine for more than one year as acids and other contaminants will be quietly breaking it down while sitting.  I would also make the oil change just before it is put into hibernation.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes, your best resource is that great indie who sees hundreds of Boxsters a year and knows what works and what doesn't. Find him. Use local PCA members as a means of finding if you don't already have that relationship.


I wouldn't be going by the factory recommendations of every 30k miles for when to do a major service.


There are issues that accumulate with age (like your A/C is liable to be. Seals sitting unused for 11 months a year. I recall a warning to run the A/C even in the winter on occasion to keep the seals lubricated.) that you indie can pick up.


Pay particular attention to fluids as they are often in plastic containers that heat and age can turn brittle.


Oil change just before hibernation as there are bearings that sit in that oil and you want that oil to have as little acid as possible,


I wouldn't hesitate to replace the AOS and water pump at your car's age and miles if they were original.


And a 13 year old battery?  Tell us your secret.


Good Boxstering.





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Thanks to all for the excellent advice.  I believe I have found a good local mechanic and had a good conversation with him.  He suggested doing the various things that were mentioned here.


As far as the 13+ year old battery, I always brought it into the house in the winter, stored it on my bench in the cellar in Massachusetts, and kept it on a battery tender.  The battery itself is a Sears Die Hard that I had to buy while far from home in an emergency in 2003.  Still seems to be going strong.



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