How to Make Your Porsche Boxster Reliable

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Zn35O80EwHI

Interested in an earlier Porsche Boxster but are worried about expensive repairs? Our sister publication, Classic Motorsports, has one in the fleet: a 2001 Porsche Boxster.

Check out this video to learn about preventative maintenance measures that can make ownership a lot less scary.

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS Dork
3/24/20 11:47 a.m.

Nice video, but I would add water pump to that list in a big way.  It's easy to change in the car too, but while you have the engine out do the water pump.  I'd also add spark plug tubes and rear main seal to the list. 

 

 

mainlandboy
mainlandboy Reader
3/24/20 2:50 p.m.

Given the thread title, I was half expecting to see a picture of an S2000 or a Miata with the caption "Buy this instead".  cheeky

Tyler H
Tyler H UberDork
3/25/20 12:43 p.m.

Don't buy one of the aftermarket waterpumps with a metal impeller.  The composite impeller is sacrificial-- if the bearing goes out it won't damage the bore in the block.  

There are a bunch of things you can do to make these engines more reliable.  I would suggest starting with a really nice example, then dropping the engine and doing a comprehensive refit of wear items, like the AOS, so you only have to do it once.

PS -- There's no way to bulletproof these engines.  They're still subject to expensive failure, even if well maintained.  The cars have gotten cheap enough that the risk is acceptable, IMHO. 

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
3/25/20 1:42 p.m.

In reply to Tyler H :

Composite impellers also generally work better.  They have much better flow characteristics and they cavitate less.  That's why they are used in the first place.

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise Dork
3/25/20 3:15 p.m.
mainlandboy said:

Given the thread title, I was half expecting to see a picture of an S2000 or a Miata with the caption "Buy this instead".  cheeky

LOL that is exactly what I thought too. 

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS Dork
3/25/20 3:40 p.m.

The composite impellers harden and get brittle at high mileage and due to age.  That's why I recommended a water pump.  I bought a genuine Porsche one.  Sure it's a bit more, but it's the right part, and will not destroy my block either. 

 

 

spandak
spandak HalfDork
3/25/20 8:46 p.m.

There needs to be some comment about driving them too. They should be driven like Porsche intended 

Jordan Rimpela
Jordan Rimpela Dork
3/25/20 9:22 p.m.

I drove this Boxster pretty hard last year while on the Smoky Mountain Tour and I absolutely fell in love with the car. Are other cars more reliable? Sure. Of course. But being behind the wheel of a Boxster S while chasing a madman in a Ford E250 on the Tail of the Dragon? Life doesn't get much better. (Unless that van had about 300 more horsepower, of course.) 

 

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
3/26/20 7:17 a.m.

Not sure why it didn't make the video, but we did replace the water pump with one with a metal impeller at our expert's recommendation. 

More to come in print, on web and in video on this incredible car. Did a photo shoot on the finished car last night. Here's a taste. I have owned close to 100 cars, driven thousands more and this might be my absolute, all time favorite. 

Every time I drive this car I just grin and wonder why nobody seems to get these cars.

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler PowerDork
3/26/20 8:37 a.m.
Tim Suddard said:

Every time I drive this car I just grin and wonder why nobody seems to get these cars.

Agreed. My cousin bought one about 10 years ago, and I'll never forget the first time I drove it. That flat six wailing behind me, the perfect balance, the steering feel, the way it wants to rotate. If I didn't dislike convertibles, I surely would have owned one by now, and I still may.

dps214
dps214 Reader
3/26/20 10:03 a.m.

Since porsche understands how chassis stiffness works, it definitely has less of the typical convertible issues than most other vehicles, and hardtops are fairly cheap and available. Mine was never meant to be a long term vehicle and was going to live a rough life, so I didn't mind that I got a relatively crappy example. If I had spent the few extra dollars to get a nicer one with functional AC and a better condition interior and didn't immediately beat the crap out of it I might have accidentally kept it forever. What it did do was sell me on staying in the porsche family when it was time to upgrade. I now have a 981 Cayman S which is basically the 986 with everything turned up to 11, and then some. And while I love the car and have no regrets about selling the boxster or buying the cayman if you look at it on paper I'm not sure you could ever justify buying anything other than the boxster.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
3/26/20 10:14 a.m.
Tim Suddard said:

Not sure why it didn't make the video, but we did replace the water pump with one with a metal impeller at our expert's recommendation. 

More to come in print, on web and in video on this incredible car. Did a photo shoot on the finished car last night. Here's a taste. I have owned close to 100 cars, driven thousands more and this might be my absolute, all time favorite. 

Every time I drive this car I just grin and wonder why nobody seems to get these cars.

This is exactly how I feel about my S2000. I also don't have to drop the motor for most of the maintenance. 

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS Dork
3/26/20 11:42 a.m.

Rumor has it dropping the motor is pretty easy compare to lots of other cars.  I don't know, yet.

Everytime I drive my 996 or 986, I get why people love them.  Sure there are faster cars, but I'm not sure I'd like them more.  I've always felt the same about Miatas too.

morello159
morello159 Reader
3/26/20 2:15 p.m.

If/when I grow out of or destroy my Miata, it will be replaced with a Boxster, hopefully of the 981 variety. Such wonderful cars. 

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise Dork
3/26/20 2:18 p.m.
Tom_Spangler said:
Tim Suddard said:

Every time I drive this car I just grin and wonder why nobody seems to get these cars.

Agreed. My cousin bought one about 10 years ago, and I'll never forget the first time I drove it. That flat six wailing behind me, the perfect balance, the steering feel, the way it wants to rotate. If I didn't dislike convertibles, I surely would have owned one by now, and I still may.

Cayman?

 

I have a few topless cars. I hate convertibles. I run with HT on always. 

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler PowerDork
3/26/20 2:33 p.m.
mr2s2000elise said:
Tom_Spangler said:
Tim Suddard said:

Every time I drive this car I just grin and wonder why nobody seems to get these cars.

Agreed. My cousin bought one about 10 years ago, and I'll never forget the first time I drove it. That flat six wailing behind me, the perfect balance, the steering feel, the way it wants to rotate. If I didn't dislike convertibles, I surely would have owned one by now, and I still may.

Cayman?

 

I have a few topless cars. I hate convertibles. I run with HT on always. 

I'd LOVE a Cayman. But they haven't reached that sub-$10k for a decent one price point yet.

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise Dork
3/26/20 2:36 p.m.
Tom_Spangler said:
 

I'd LOVE a Cayman. But they haven't reached that sub-$10k for a decent one price point yet.

Yeah haven't seen the sub 10K yet, but seeing lots of 12-14k$ examples locally. 

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
3/26/20 4:13 p.m.

Caymans are twice the price, and the Boxster is very quiet with the top up. And so v ery nice with the top down. If you are doing a. lot of track days, sure get a Cayman, if you go twice a year, save your money and get a Boxster. And here's a picture with our engine out. Not really any harder than any other car, as long as you have access to a lift.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
3/26/20 4:34 p.m.

In reply to Tim Suddard :

I've repaired too many broken Boxster top mechanisms to ever want one, unless I could have a hardtop.

 

It's a beautiful design until one of the cables breaks.  Then all sorts of things get bent and broken, in one instance I experienced it did some pretty hefty damage to the inner fender too.

 

I used to joke that the Cayman was Porsche's way of bulletproofing the Boxster's top.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
3/26/20 4:39 p.m.

<~ owner of a Boxster with a broken top

It's a little heartbreaking that Step 1 of "How to Make Your Porsche Boxster Reliable" is "remove engine from vehicle"

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS Dork
3/26/20 7:34 p.m.
Knurled. said:

In reply to Tim Suddard :

I've repaired too many broken Boxster top mechanisms to ever want one, unless I could have a hardtop.

 

It's a beautiful design until one of the cables breaks.  Then all sorts of things get bent and broken, in one instance I experienced it did some pretty hefty damage to the inner fender too.

 

I used to joke that the Cayman was Porsche's way of bulletproofing the Boxster's top.

My Boxster top is converted to manual operation.  It's not much harder than a Miata top to go up or down.

 

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