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85percent 03-22-2005 06:21 AM

boxster engines bad? porsche, wake up!!
Hello everyone, I've been a member of for some time, as I have just discovered this forum recently.

Anyways, here's my story that I'm sure most of you can relate to.

So I was driving to work today and after accelerating from a light, my 99 boxster started pulling back really hard, then it surged forward and repeated in this pattern for the next 20 seconds.. after that, the engine shut off by itself as i cruise to the side of the road... i end up getting it towed to my local (friendly) porsche mechanic, and after a day of disecting what went wrong, he calls me up to say the motor was shot. "what??!! with 45k miles??!!".... soo, since i still owe $17,000 on it, the idea to salvage it is not an option.. then my mechanic mentions dropping a Carerra 3.4L 911 motor in it- (i'd have to get a rental car for the next two months).. so it sounds like a great idea so i ask him the cost of everything, and the swap will come out to no more than $14,000. Since I have no other options, and I need a few months to gather $14k in cash, I'll be paying for a rental car ($700 a month) as well...

After reading a few Rennlist threads and threads, it seems that Porsche really srewed up (or went cheap) with the Boxster engine. It's just not right that so many people with Boxsters are having engine failure. How many people are really prepared to spend $14,000 right off the bat on an engine that Porsche really should have looked over. Maybe we should do something about it. I'm thinking if someone can make a webpage petition regarding failed Boxster engines, and every Boxster owner that has come across this could leave his/her mark, maybe the top suits at Porsche would pull their heads out of their ass and realize there's a major problem here. I really do believe that Porsche should have done a recall on every Boxster that came off the manufacture line with the slight hint of potential engine trouble. I have decided to write Porsche of North America a letter concerning my distrust in their company for overseeing such an obvious (and common) problem. Now, I am forced to spend over $14,000 on a 3.4L Carrera engine because I don't trust putting another pile of Boxster sh*t in my engine bay. I'm new to the world of Porsche, as I used to drive a (reliable) honda S2000.. I stupidly assumed my Porsche would last atleast 100,000 miles. Well. I was way off.

We really should not let this slide so easy


Irishdriver 03-22-2005 07:14 AM

There is not that much difference between the Boxster motor and the 996 carrera should read the 996 discussions on RMS failure.

Maybe you should fit the Honda motor....?

Monique 03-22-2005 07:18 AM

All water cooler boxer flat sixes have the same premature death syndrome.... except for the 964 derivative engines like the 996 TT, 996 GT3 and the GT2

Porsche is indeed playing ostrich. Coz most their new cars are sold to lease nowadays and the warranty takes care of it.. a second owner gets the short end of the stick. :banghead:

Good luck with your website

DrJupeman 03-22-2005 08:19 AM

This is one of the reasons I ditched my Boxster S and returned to the land of the air cooled. If you own the new non-GT/TT Porsches under warranty, these things are annoyances. If you own them outside of warranty you might suddenly feel that they are lower quality then practically any other car made!

In its first 22k miles my Boxster S had its RMS repaired twice, then got a new engine, new transmission, and its power steering rack was replaced twice - luckily all under warranty.

Oh, and as mentioned previously, I'm not sure you are gaining much reliability by going to a 3.4 996 motor. It is basically the same thing as your Boxster motor.

dennis a from pa 03-22-2005 08:30 AM

First, where did you buy the car ?? Are you 2nd or 3rd owner?? Porsche has replaced engines, especially those '99s in the build time frame of 10/98 thru 3/99 (not precise, but these approx. dates)
Some of these motors were sleeved and some sleeves have slipped and failed......Go talk (respectfully) to a dealer, try to contact PCNA, this is a known defect.....they MAY work with you....IF you don't use language like POS and such....If you are 1st owner, I'm sure they will help..if not they still might..this could take work, but it is worth a shot....others have been helped.

Palting 03-22-2005 09:43 AM

You are not the first, and wont be the last, to show up here and rant about the engine as your first post. Occasional RMS leak = bad engine? This is not new, this is not original. I'm getting tired of it. I am not belittling whatever horror story you have, but, as a first time poster, I suggest you do a search first both here and in the 996 section of the board. That way you avoid mouthing off the same things that have been said over and over and over again.

I'm sorry, but this is getting tiresome.

My reply is that if you don't want it, don't buy it. If you didn't know about it before you bought, then you should have. I've been a long time poster in this board, and I've known about it. What do I think? I bought a 987S.

I'm sorry that this is my "welcome to the board message" to you" I'm being just as negative as your first and so far only post. Do a search, and if you can't say anything original, or positive, go away!

This will be my only post on this tired and dead horse topic of a thread.

Ferdinand 03-22-2005 01:47 PM

85 Percent, I feel for you. I think dennis a is on to something, I recently purchased my '99 Boxster, which was manufactured in late '98, from someone who just had a new engine put in at 60k miles. He was the first owner, and for some reason Porsche paid for the replacement 2.5L engine, and he paid for the labor. If this is a known defect, maybe you can work something out with Porsche.

As an aside though, you are completely right to complain about the reliability of Boxsters. Irrespective of Palting's spiteful, irrelevent rant, you are absolutely right to be outraged that these things are so unreliable. My '95 Toyota Celica with 150k miles still runs like a charm. Never had a thing done to it. But Porsches with less than 50k are blowing motors, trannies, etc. This should be made known to all.

FYI, right after I got my Boxster the transmission just blew. No warning lights, no oil slicks in the garage, just stopped working one day. Took it to the dealer, and they said the transmission fluid pump failed, so all the oil was expelled, so the trannie ran hot and probably burnt up inside. They wanted $7,500 to replace it! Thankfully I knew a guy near LA who took the trannie out and repaired the insides, for $3,500, and gave me a warranty.

Doug&Julie 03-22-2005 02:29 PM

Do what I did/am doing after my motor blew with 29k miles...have your dealer replace it with a Porsche remanufactured motor and sell it. The motor install shouldn't cost you more than $9k and you'll have a car for sale "with warranty", where if you put in a 3.4 you take just as much of a chance as you did when you bought your Boxster. I understand the remanufactured motors are stronger anyways, less likely to give problems (if you want to keep your car).

I'm stopping short of ranting, because I was well aware of premature motor failures in the early Boxsters before I bought mine (I bought mine certified from a dealer and thought I would put on enough miles before my warranty ran out to be "clear" of this problem...I was wrong) but I do have to agree a complete motor failure at 30k miles is PATHETIC. Since I wasn't the first owner nor less than an year outside of warranty, I got no help from Porsche. Dynamically, the car is terrific. But this event has left a very sour taste in my mouth for new Pcars. Needless to say, I'll never buy another one until I can buy it brand new with full warranty. I'm going back to 911s...

85percent 03-22-2005 04:30 PM

thanks for your input everyone. So Palting, do you think I should be really happy that my engine failed at 45,000 miles? I know this has happened before, I HAVE done searches in the forums and read countless stories about Boxster engine failure. Just because it has happened before, doesn't mean nobody needs to say anything about it ever again. The point of Porsche needing to wake up is based on the fact that it's happened so many times..

Anyways, based on your responses, my best bet is to take a trip to a local Porsche dealer and see if they can swap my failed engine out for another 2.5.. if they can do this, you bet, i'm selling my boxster.. I'll update what happens. thanks again.


Doug&Julie 03-22-2005 04:39 PM

Just for another can get a remanufactured Boxster S motor for about the same amount as the 2.5. There will have to be changes to the intake to use it (so a little extra cost), but if you still like your car you'll have a warrantied motor with extra hp (it SHOULD be significantly less than the 3.4 motor swap). Depends on what you want to do...keep your car or cut your losses and sell. Obviously, I'm doing the later...

Good luck. I hope this experience hasn't completely ruined you on Porsches!

dennis a from pa 03-22-2005 05:05 PM

...once more this is a known problem for some '99s....RMS failure is NOT a sign you engine will go..I also have known of a small number of Intermediate shaft bearing failures in other years....I'msure te largest %ofengine failures is in that builf time 10/98 thru 3/99...that being said 3 of my neighbors and my son (4cars) all in that same builld time have had zero problems with their cars, no RMS failures, NO issues. 2 of those cars are tracked and AXed OFTEN.....I'm afraid in this new era of instant communucation..failers seem prevelant, but I doubt that it is as all pervasive as some poeple think......I know mechanical things do break...when it is yours, it is devestating...Getting an old 911 won't immune you from problems, necessarilly.

Ferdinand 03-22-2005 06:14 PM

Dennis a, I think you're right, the Porsche I bought with the replacement engine installed was purchased in 10/98, a '99 model. The engine is under warranty now (so basically I bought this from someone like you who replaced the engine and sold with warranty). Hopefully the replacement engine will not suffer from the same defect, since it was installed in '04.

autobahnNY 03-22-2005 07:54 PM

I do feel for you 85 percent, and there is no excuse for Porsche not addressing those engines that have blown (which tend to be 98-99 models). But in defensive of all the people who have no problems, its just seems that no engine is entirely error free. I had no problems with my 99', maybe it was luck that I got rid of it before it did have problems. As for my 02 "S" it impresses me every day on how I drive it(7k RPM every day) and I have 43k on the clock. It seems like any other car, reliability tends to be better with the later models(00-04), except RMS, which is entirely different from a blown engine.

85percent 03-22-2005 08:04 PM

spoke with a Porsche dealer briefly today. doesn't look like they're going to cover the cost of a replacement or anything. so I drove to my porsche mechanic, whom I really depend on advice from (he's a driver and mechanic for Tribue to Le Mans Porsches and won the race in '99), and his lead mechanic said that he very rarely sees mechanical problems with 996 3.4 engines, and is definitely aware of the boxster engine failure through the years you guys mentioned. so I guess I'm going to gather the $15k for the conversion and go ahead with it. I'm crossing my fingers that I'll have better luck with this 3.4L...

I've heard the best place to purchase a 3.4 is through the dealer directly.. would it be smarter to do this or would I be saving a good amount by going with something slightly used? my mechanic (Carlos) is going to be calling around for the next few weeks pricing different 3.4's and so forth. what do you guys think? btw, your input thus far has been very helpful. thank you.

AlpharettaRK 03-22-2005 09:46 PM

As somebody that got 45,000 trouble-free hard (lots of track time)miles out of a '99 this topic is tiresome to me as well. Sure Porsche engines fail, but they also get driven like Porsches, not Corollas. I'm sorry that anybody ever has problems with their Porsche, but you don't know how the original owner treated it.
And while I'm ofending everybody- you air cooled guys seem to have forgotten about the 30 years it took Porsche to get your engine right. Have you forgotten about magnesium cases, bronze valve guides that lasted less than 30k miles, timing chain tensioners that must be updated, valve covers that leak, and engine case bolts that fail? That's just a few.
Porsche motors are light, compact high-strung, high-specific output engines that are an integral part of a design philosophy that results in fast, nimble cars. Yes they fail, and yes Porsche should do all it can to prevent that from happening.
There also is no doubt that the best solution to your problem is another 2.5, as it will be cheaper and there is no substantial difference (other than displacement/horsepower) between it and the 3.4.

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