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Looking at '14 981 - Is CR nuts?

 
Old 03-11-2019, 11:26 PM
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professsorz
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Default Looking at '14 981 - Is CR nuts?

Hi all. FIrst post from someone who has come thiiiis close to Porsche ownership but never quite made the plunge.

Test drove a '14 Boxster (manual) and my wife and I were kind of smitten. Nowhere as fast as my M235i but it just flowed over a very tight and lumpy bumpy road near me in a way that really impressed. A road that my 235 (with LSD) isn't so happy to traverse. We both liked the sound and feel.

So I went home and amidst all the other fact checking/pricing/etc I noted that Consumer Reports shows just that particular year as being as bad as it gets reliability wise. 1/5. And the issue was under "major engine" issues. 2015 was 5/5. 2013 5/5. But 2014 ...

I know about the much older IMS issue with prior generation but I find it weird/unlikely that the 2014 would somehow have huge issues yet before and after it's all good.

So my question for those vastly more in tune than me - what's your take?
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:02 AM
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Slim987
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The mechanical design is the same 2013-2014-2015. What's the "n" in the CR reports for that year? Seems like a data significance related issue vs a real problem with 2014s. Others may know more as I've got a '15 but I don't trust CR as gospel.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:07 AM
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professsorz
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Originally Posted by Slim987 View Post
The mechanical design is the same 2013-2014-2015. What's the "n" in the CR reports for that year? Seems like a data significance related issue vs a real problem with 2014s. Others may know more as I've got a '15 but I don't trust CR as gospel.
That was my understanding as well - same car. CR doesn't report the particular data details but they don't publish unless they have what they internally deem "enough for significance". I don't take CR as gospel either, but felt I shouldn't ignore something that was at the bottom of the scale and with regard to the most expensive type of problem (major engine woes).

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Old 03-12-2019, 12:08 AM
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Welcome to the forum! I think you and your wife are barking up the right tree on a 981 Boxster. My take on the Consumer Report rating of 1/5 is they're crazy. I'm not that familiar with how they compile their numbers and I've never given much weight to what they say about cars (stick to blenders and washer/dryers IMO), but FWIW I don't know of any reason why a '14 would be any less reliable than the preceding or following model year. That's a mystery to me. I wouldn't let their rating deter you from this car if that's the primary concern that's standing in your way.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:10 AM
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professsorz
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Originally Posted by Slim987 View Post
The mechanical design is the same 2013-2014-2015. What's the "n" in the CR reports for that year? Seems like a data significance related issue vs a real problem with 2014s. Others may know more as I've got a '15 but I don't trust CR as gospel.
Just a further point - the expense of Porsche maintenance is a terribly common complaint. I'm familiar with BMW costs and I understand Porsche is higher. High quality costs money - no argument - but I'd like some vague sense of what I'm looking at going in (as opposed to a nasty shock later).
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:24 AM
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Slim987
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This is a good article to read on maintenance expectations

https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews...m-test-review/
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:50 AM
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CR is not a reliable source. Bose proved that decades ago by filing suit against them. (Bose NC headphones rock, their speakers are suspect to me.)
My '13 BS w 22k has been solid as granite.
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:21 AM
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CR is indeed nuts. The engine in a 2013 Boxster/S and 2014 Boxster/S is literally identical. To claim one is 5/5 and the other 1/5 shows how little base knowledge they have about what they're "reviewing."
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:10 AM
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professsorz
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Originally Posted by PorscheAddict View Post
CR is indeed nuts. The engine in a 2013 Boxster/S and 2014 Boxster/S is literally identical. To claim one is 5/5 and the other 1/5 shows how little base knowledge they have about what they're "reviewing."
Well, to be fair, they're not claiming it - they're simply compiling reader data. Now whether the READERS are nuts ... ;-)

Love speed yellow. You chose wisely!
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by professsorz View Post
Well, to be fair, they're not claiming it - they're simply compiling reader data. Now whether the READERS are nuts ... ;-)

Love speed yellow. You chose wisely!
Eh, if they are presenting a poor sample size or otherwise fatally flawed data set that's kind of on them

Thanks! I love it. It's actually Racing Yellow (Renngelb) on the 981's, which is brighter than Speed Yellow that was featured on earlier models.
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:06 AM
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Professsorz, my 13 Boxster S has been trouble free and a joy to own so far, with about 30,000 miles on it. As far as maintenance costs go, if you can do basic stuff yourself you will save a lot of cash. I have done oil changes, brake fluid flushes, air filters, cabin air filters myself. I have not done brake pads yet but will be doing at least the fronts soon. With you tube videos it looks pretty straight forward. I did have the dealer do my spark plugs last fall at 29,000 miles, which are due at 40,000 miles or 4 years. I also had them do all the air filters at the same time because the engine air filters are a pain with removing the trunk liner and disconnecting a bunch of other stuff. I had done that in the past at about 17,000 miles. Amazingly enough the dealer allowed me to bring in my own OEM parts which saved me a lot of $$$. As an example they wanted something like $190 dollars for 6 Bosch spark plugs. I got the same ones for $40. Air filters were also a large savings. So the 40,000 mile service which was quoted at around $1200 cost me about $500 this way. ( I hope they really did the work, I never investigated but the parts were gone from the trunk
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:00 PM
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Consumer Reports will completely dog a car for having a crappy infotainment system.
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:27 AM
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Find a good Indy shop for maintenance or do it yourself. Using a dealer cost much more and no added value.
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Old 03-13-2019, 11:58 AM
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Interesting!
I got a '13 Boxster that JOINED my M235 (now gone, and turned into a Macan).
Just my data point, my '13 Boxster is at 50k mileage, and other than normal maintenance, runs to me perfectly well through any season.
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Old 03-13-2019, 04:00 PM
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I think if their 1/5 rating for that year was based on data, it was probably due to coil pack failures. That's about the only weakness I'm aware of the 981 cars have had. The part number for the coil pack changed at least once during the 981 production run, and I think it changed more than once. When one fails it causes several bizarre messages in the right-hand instrument display such as a problem with the PDK, driving permitted at reduced power, other random messages. If you do some internet searches for coil pack failures on 981 cars you find plenty to read. The coil packs are still somewhat prone to failure on cars that are tracked, especially those on cylinders 3 and 6 at the end of the banks nearest to the cats (or exhaust collector if race headers). You can install OEM heat shields used on the 991 cars to block radiant heat from the coil packs. I had one intermittently flaking out last summer during track days. I didn't know what it was at the time. Car would run like crap, display scary messages in the instrument cluster, and go into limp mode. I could always reset back to normal by shutting the car off and waiting a few minutes before starting it back up. Not everyone is so lucky to be able to restart back to normal operation. Sometimes they fail dead as a doornail and you will need to trailer the car to your house or a shop. I replaced all of my coil packs at 33,500 miles after I diagnosed the problem I encountered at track days at about 32,000 miles. I had done about 10 track days when the first failure occurred.

The good news is that the replacement coil packs are about $50 each and easier to install than spark plugs. The heat shields I mentioned are about $110 for the full set, IIRC.

After discussions with others who have had the problem, and a few techs at various shops, my conclusion is that the bizarre messages caused by the coil pack failure are due to corruption on the CAN bus.

Change the coil packs, install the heat shields, track your car (or drive on the street), don't worry, be happy.
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