Buying A Used Boxster
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The Boxster is easy to upgrade from both a performance or cosmetic stand point. It shares much of the 911 series parts, so availability of replacement components is easy. Most are still available directly from Porsche and a healthy used parts market exists to fill the gaps. There are plenty of third-party parts vendors online that can offer parts at lower cost than Porsche directly. There is also a good deal of experience and expertise in independent Porsche repair shops to help make the maintenance of your used Boxster cost effective.
Early versions have plastic interior parts that easily become discolored due to wear and tear. However, there is a healthy used parts market that can solve some of those problems easily. Generally, the interior is well laid out and practical. The later versions have better styled interiors than the original.
The Boxster is a wonderful choice for practical top down motoring. Right now, the late 987 version is the likely candidate for best value for money although early 718s are declining in value nicely. The balance with the Boxster used price, is always, what kind of 911 can you buy for the same money?
The earlier Boxster experienced issues with stretching timing chains and significant wear on the timing guide rails. This caused a nasty rattle at startup and generally set faults during acceleration. Most of these issues were corrected in later cars, but during the life of an engine you should expect that these vital timing components will wear.
You need a clear picture of where the used vehicle you propose to buy is in this wear process. A competent Porsche repair shop can tell you what the deviation angle between the cam and crank is during a used car inspection. This is a simple read from a diagnostic device and a clear indicator as to the health of the engine timing.
There are some common areas where oil leaks occur on the Boxster engine. Most are easily fixed and are part of the normal wear and tear process. One of the most common areas for an oil leak is the engine rear main seal. See our common problems page for more information. Leaking oil used to just be seen as a annoying stain on the driveway and a potential fire hazard. However, modern cars feature many electronic engine management systems that can potentially be severely damaged by oil ingress.
An integral part of the emissions system, the Air Oil Separator (AOS) is designed to extract oil from gases in the crankcase, recycle the oil to the sump and send the gas through the combustion path to be burnt and cleaned by the catalytic converters. The AOS has caused numerous issues on Porsche engines.
When the clutch slips it very quickly does damage to the flywheel. Replacing the flywheel on the Boxster is simple during the clutch work, but typically adds $700 to the overall cost in parts alone! Check the used Boxster you plan to buy for clutch replacement history and plan to have to do the work at some point in the future.
Bodywork. The build quality and paint on the Boxster are excellent, so any imperfection should be regarded as a warning sign. It may well be (poorly repaired) accident damage or the result of the car being used for track days. Make sure you ask for an explanation and for any supporting documentation if it has been repaired.
RMS. Both 986 and 987 Boxsters are vulnerable to rear main oil seal failure, which is expensive to repair as the gearbox needs to be removed in order to fit the replacement seal. Fortunately, the consequences of RMS failure are generally nothing more serious than a small oil leak and a repair can usually be delayed until the car needs a bigger job doing, such as a clutch replacement. But, it is well worth getting a Porsche specialist to assess the severity of any oil leaks before you actually buy the used Boxster.
IMS failure. One issue you are certain to have read about when researching whether to buy a Porsche is the notorious IMS bearing failure, which caused catastrophic engine failure in some cars. Fortunately, it is unusual on Boxster 987s, as the standard factory fitted bearing was upgraded and relocated to inside the crank case in 2006, and almost every 987 available on the second-hand market has the new stronger bearing.
It is worth checking how much life is left in the discs and pads before deciding how much to offer for the car. If discs have a rough surface, circular grooves or a pronounced outer lip, they will need replacing in the near future. Similarly, if the brakes squeak or the car pulls one way during braking, it is almost certainly a sign that repairs are needed. One other thing to check is whether the pads and/or discs have ever been replaced and, if so, were high-quality parts used and were they fitted by a Porsche specialist.
Exhaust manifolds. An issue we are starting to see more of is cracked exhaust manifolds, which can be caused by heat stress or corroded bolts / fasteners. Excessive engine noise, exhaust fumes escaping from around the manifold and loss of performance are all possible signs of a crack, which can be difficult to spot by sight unless you have the facilities to inspect the underneath of the car. A cracked exhaust manifold will usually need to be replaced.
Here at Revolution Porsche, we can help to take some of the risk out of buying a used Boxster 987. We offer a Pre-Purchase Inspection, complete with full diagnostic check including Rev Ranges and a comprehensive report, carried out by trained Porsche technicians at our Birstall workshop for £150 +VAT. You can also add a borescope inspection to the package for a further £99 +VAT.
While rust is not usually an issue, it can occur where repairs have been left untreated, so inspect thoroughly. The interior is durable, with bolster wear first to show up: a good trimmer can tidy up or re-upholster a worn seat. Feel for wet carpets behind the seats, usually caused by blocked hood drains.
The first-generation Boxster had another rare problem of an IMS failure where the IMS (Intermediate Shaft) bearings failed suddenly and bombarded the engine with pellets. This issue was publicized enough for aftermarket companies to develop replacements of the bearings, to prevent the problem before it happened. However, the parts or the replacement of this is not cheap. So if you are going for the cheapest and oldest Boxster on the used car lot, make sure to check for this problem and any solution that is in place.
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So, if you're looking for a fun, stylish second car, or your need for practicality is scant enough to justify one as your only car, the Porsche Boxster 987 is a very desirable proposition. And, while this classy sports car holds onto its value well and bargains are few, the closest rival to a used Porsche Boxster is arguably a new one.
A 2.0-liter turbo flat engine with direct fuel injection (DFI), VarioCam Plus and integrated dry-sump lubrication is used in the 718 and 718 T Style Edition. It produces 220 kW (300 brake horsepower) at 6,500 rpm, max. torque: 280 lb-ft With Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK), the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman accelerate from 0 to 60 mp/h in just 4.7 seconds, with a top speed of 171 mph.
The 986 was succeeded in 2005 by the 987, which seven years later, made way for the 981, the subject of this week's buying guide. A 2.7 engine had been part of the Boxster offering since 2000, but the 981's 261hp/206lb ft entry-level 2.7 engine was new. A six-speed manual gearbox was the Boxster default with a seven-speed twin-clutch PDK as a popular (by a factor of two to one) option. Both transmissions were top notch. With the PDK fitted the standard Boxster had a 0-62 time of 5.4sec and a top speed of 162mph.
All models had Porsche Stability Management (PSM), the combined traction and differential braking control system. This was not to be confused with the PASM electronic active damping system that continually adjusted damping rates to suit the state of the road and the driver's style. Cars with PASM ran 10mm lower than those without. The GTS, which had PASM as standard, rode 20mm lower than non-PASM'd Boxsters. If a car you're looking at has PASM, switch it from Normal to Sport (or Sport+ if it has that too) on your test drive. You should be able to tell the difference between the settings.
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Now on to the big one, the Porsche 911. For those not in the know, the used-911 market is extremely volatile. If I were writing this just a few years ago, I would tell you that you can buy a 997-generation 911 for $30,000 and it would be one of the best cars you have ever owned. While the latter is still true, unfortunately, the price is not.
In conclusion, Porsche is a legendary automotive brand for a reason. Every model that the iconic automaker produces is built to a higher standard, and once you catch the Porsche bug, most people never look back. With all that being said, here are five things you need to remember when buying a used Porsche. 781b155fdc