Boxster Defects

tone40tone40 Member Posts: 9
edited April 2014 in Porsche
I recently read a Car & Driver article on the
40,000 mile review of the Boxster. I was surprised
to find so many problems. For example problems with
a)air bag switch/seatbelt, b) air pump motor
noise, c) retractable top, d) clutch/flywheel

Has anyone had these kind of problems with their
Boxster? I have a February production for a Boxster
S. This kind of review worries me. I have a 3000GT
that has had virtually no problems. I do not want
to buy a possible lemon.


  • willseyewillseye Member Posts: 1
    I took delivery of a new 99 Boxster in October of 98. After 3 months (2,400 miles), the engine blew! The car was towed to the dealer. The dealer / porsche said they would replace the engine. I was not about to accept a replacement engine with non matching serial numbers on a new car. To Porsche's credit, they replaced the car. My current Boxster has had problems... but relatively minor: Air Bag light, condensation over the oil/antifreeze area of rear hood, some sqweeks and rattles, etc. The car is solid but it is not perfected. The dealer has been good about making repairs/corrections. I still have minor sqweeks and rattling over left driver side of car... I think it just needs a cable adjustment to the conv. top. Haven't had a chance to take it back to the dealer. I did drive a Boxster S. It drives great and I suspect that Porsche makes the car better each year. With the 4 year warranty that comes with this car and based on my experience with Porsche, I would go for it!
  • glee1glee1 Member Posts: 2
    I've owned 2 Boxsters, and hesitate to endorse them. I had a first year (97) model with a few "quality" problems, so I traded it for a 99. It's a blast to drive, and does great things for the ego, but is isn't fun to own. Support from Porsche has been disappointing. At 4220 miles, the engine seized. Porsche replaced it with a "remanufactured", but wouldn't even consider replacing the car. Afterwards, I learned that they delivered some 99's with a known defective engine casting. The reman engine hasn't run right -- it intermittently quits, lifters clatter, runs rough. It won't do it when in the shop, so Porsche nicely tells me I'm making it up. Their answer? "Drive it till it breaks down, we gave you a great warranty." The car also leaks, with the carpet staying wet and water occasionally dripping on my left foot; and windows roll down on their own. A Porsche representative agreed to replace the car in early November, its now mid January, and I'm still waiting. Do you want a great drive and to look cool? Buy the Porsche. Do you want solid reliability? Think twice.
  • tone40tone40 Member Posts: 9
    When you took the Boxster in for repairs, did you notice if there were others with the same problems? I am going to go to a local Porsche dealer early or late in the day to talk with other Boxster owners. I am in Southern California. By comparison, what area do you live in? Do you think that you got a lemon or do you think that the problems are typical?
  • johnbrowningjohnbrowning Member Posts: 1
    I was #10 on the dealer list when the Boxster first came out, got my car in June 1997, have over 40,000 miles on it, and have loved every minute. Sure, my airbag light came on (it was something in the seatbelt that the dealer knew about and fixed), and i have one rattle behind and to the left when i hit bumps (it's something to do with the door, becuase it won't rattle if the door isn't closed), but other than that, no problems at all. The worst problem I have is people stopping me to look at my car (several times a day when I first got it). I love it and hope I always own one.
  • glee1glee1 Member Posts: 2
    I want to believe that the problems I have had with my Boxster and with Porsche U.S. management are NOT typical. I had a 95 Carrera, put a whole bunch of miles on it, and had zero problems. I really like the Boxster, but we have to accept reality. The Boxster wears the Porsche name, but it's really a mass production car, built by a contractor on their assembly line. There ARE "quality" problems. But how are they doing on big problems? Among all my Porsche buddies, I don't know anyone else who has had anything big go wrong. My experience with a seized motor and various other ills appears to be rare. Would I own another one? I can't imagine not having one. But, I'm disappointed with how Porsche U.S. management responds to the rare big problem. They act like they are dealing with a low end Hyundai, not something in the large dollars league. My future with Porsches depends on how they resolve this one.
  • ksinlaksinla Member Posts: 1
    What's the big deal about Porsches. I have two and they both require constant upkeep. Matter of fact I had to replace my back porsche because termites ate it. I no have a treated wood porsche on the back of my house ( A Woody). My front porsche just needed painting. Porsche paint ought to last longer.
  • frankrizzofrankrizzo Member Posts: 67
    Those guys are idiots in the first place. Anyone who runs a convertible car through a car wash (COMPLETE WITH BRUSHES), and then complains about having convertible top problems should be slapped. Now, the airbag light was due to bad seat-belt buckles, that was an easy fix, and as far as the clutch goes, who's to say that they didn't hot-rod the hell out of the car. After all, it ain't there's!

    Tone40, my experiences. I have a 2000 Boxster, delivered right before Halloween. I have had minor annoyances, (Coolant condensation on the rear deck-lid, and the alarm connector on the back of my radio wasn't making, so I couldn't arm the alarm). Those were both fixed quickly by my dealer. The rest of the time, I spend driving with a smile. It is a great car, and for the most part, relatively trouble-free. I participate in an online community of nothing but Boxster owners. There ARE problems. There was a run of engine blocks that were bad due to a casting machine being dropped by the shipping company that delivered it. That causes the '99 model engine failures that you hear about. There also was once a problem with the casting that caused the engines to seep oil, or coolant. I think that was also related to the same casting machine. For 2000, they have changed the displacement of the engine to 2.7L from 2.5L.

    Service at my local dealer is cheaper than on my wife's Ford. $65 an hour.

    Check my website for the complete history of my car, pictures, options, etc. You can also e-mail me any questions you might have. <<A HREF="">;
  • pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    "frankrizzo", haven't seen you around in a while, welcome back!

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • frankrizzofrankrizzo Member Posts: 67
    It's been nice outside, so I've been driving top-down most of my free time! :-)
  • bnormannbnormann Member Posts: 335
    ...your new host; fresh from Smart Shopper.

  • gummzitgummzit Member Posts: 1
    I've been hearing nothing but great things about the 2000 boxster.....are there any real problems with this car? All cars have 'minor' defects and things, but is this car as good as everyone says? Let me know, i'm ready to buy!
  • frankrizzofrankrizzo Member Posts: 67
    After having my minor annoyances fixed at the dealer, the car has been perfect!

    Top down and loving it!
  • mgrmgr Member Posts: 40
    May have an opportunity to purchase a 1997. Are the problems mentioned above common to all Boxsters or are they more prevelant in one year over the other?
  • frankrizzofrankrizzo Member Posts: 67
    It was the first year of production, and those cars only had a 2 year warranty to begin with. I would have to have perfect service records.

    There was a 97 for sale at my local high-line pre-owned dealer, and they were asking $38K for it, with 28K miles on it, and NO options. Needless to say, for $4K more, you could get that car NEW, with a bigger engine, better interior, etc.
  • stingers2001stingers2001 Member Posts: 1
    I have the opportunity to lease a '97 Boxster for a great deal. $2K down and $500 per month for 24 months. The car has only 4300 miles!!!! Its white with black on top and gray inside. It has a Tip, Trac, 17" Wheels and CD..... Seems like a sweet deal. I just got it for the night and have had 2 car guys look at it. Its never been painted. What else should I be concerned about?



    p.s. Frank your site has been very helpful, in that I am also looking at a new one...but it costs TWICE ad much, is it worth it?
  • frankrizzofrankrizzo Member Posts: 67
    There are LOTS of differences. Smaller engine, different interior, no warranty, etc.

    I would have it checked, and if everything was OK, I'd have it RECHECKED.

    Before you do this, check out the ad in DuPont Registry. There is a company in there that leases EVERYTHING. And, if my memory serves me right, they wanted $2500 down, and $577 a month for a 2000!
  • harryg1harryg1 Member Posts: 2
    I leased a 99 Boxster ( Box car!) about 19 months
    ago. Until last month it performed flawlessly.
    Ok, I go to start it after driving for an hour,
    ( I had stopped at a drug store), and it does not
    do a thing except click repeatedly. So I Think it's the starter, battery or other electrical
    problem. It gets towed away (what a sorrowful site I might add!) and the dealer tells me that
    the engine seized. He also tells me that he has
    never seen this happen before (SURE!!!).
    This car has 11,800 miles and was never beaten!!!
    Anyway, they put a new engine in last week
    and now the gas gauge doesn't work right!
    I truly love to drive this car but can't imagine
    owning it for the long haul.
    I would seriously consider another vehicle.
    Hopefully the next 17 months will be uneventful!
  • boxboy1boxboy1 Member Posts: 1
    I purchased a Boxster S on April 27th and drove it for 1 day. The next day I had an oil leak. The dealer still has the carand today is May 12th. They have ordered parts from Germany 3 times and they now have no idea what is wrong with the car. It is still leaking oil from the transmission. I have contacted Porsche of NA about it and told them I wanted another car. Anyone else with a similar problem?
    No Substitute huh?
  • wksearswksears Member Posts: 1
    I order my 2000 Boxster S in November, and took deliver in late February. I've put a little over 3,000 miles on it so far. The only problems I've had whatsoever are the front turn signal light bulbs both burned out within the first two weeks (separately). The dealer cheerfully fixed it in both cases in five minutes, without an appointment. The second time I took it in, I also had some software adjustments performed: I had it set so the doors lock automatically at 5 MPH, and the right side mirror angles down when the car is in reverse so you can see the curb. The adjustments were also made at no charge and in minutes.
    I've got no complaints. VERY happy with my Boxster S!
  • swalker7swalker7 Member Posts: 1
    I have had two Boxsters. 99 Boxster + 00 Boxster S. Great cars. The Boxster S feels just the same at 140mph as it does at 125mph. Stuff just goes by a bit faster. I didn't hear anything rattle or squeak at 140, I'm happy.
  • dnlramdnlram Member Posts: 1
    Is there a place to find the VIN's for the series of 1999 Boxsters that were affected by the dropped casting machine?
  • tone40tone40 Member Posts: 9
    Check out this link for a potential answer to your question:
  • frankrizzofrankrizzo Member Posts: 67
    tone40, there is no such site.. There IS
    <<A HREF="">;
  • tone40tone40 Member Posts: 9
    Frank, you are right. My mistake.
  • philipsrphilipsr Member Posts: 1
    I took delivery of a new 2000 Boxster S in May 2000. Last week the tie rod on the left side along with the torsen bar had to be tightened. I thought the left wheel was going to fall off.The Dealer said the PDI done at the POE should have caught this. The Dealership does no further checks. This doesn't compute as a good answer.
  • dgifforddgifford Member Posts: 2
    I am looking for advice from anyone whose 1999 Boxster engine has seized as to how they dealt with Porsche or their dealership on getting a replacement engine. My car just turned 5600 miles. They want to replace my engine with a remanufactured...I think I am owed a new engine. I would love to hear from anyone who has dealt with this experience!!
  • dgifforddgifford Member Posts: 2
    I said earlier that I would like to hear from anyone who received a new engine from Porsche after having problems..I still would but I would LOVE to hear from those whose CAR was replaced!
    Thank you
  • absameabsame Member Posts: 12
    This topic has been discussed at length at Porsche Pete's Boxster Board ( There have been a number of engine failures noted -- it appears to be from a specific production time frame. By all accounts, Porsche has quickly replaced the engine -- I haven't read of anyone getting a new car. You may want to post your question there. MY MY2000 engine is working just fine!!
  • naturistnaturist Member Posts: 1
    I had purchased a 2000 Boxster on Friday. On Sunday in the middle of the freeway the "check engine" light came on. Ten seconds later I lost all power. I was able to pull off to the side of the road where I noticed smoke coming from the air intake on the drivers side. Within 30 seconds the car was engulfed in flames. The car is a total loss. To date I have not heard from Porsche, however the dealer has been great. He has replaced the car and because it was not the same as the one that was destroyed has said he will give me a 2001 for the same price as my 2000. We shall see. My question is, what the Hell happend? Has anyone had a similar experience. I instantly fell in love with the car, but this incident has made me concerned to try again with the 2001.
  • frankrizzofrankrizzo Member Posts: 67
    that I have heard of, to EVER have a Boxster fire. PCNA should take care of you if the dealer doesn't. Keep us informed..
  • cooperdpcooperdp Member Posts: 4
    Holy S***!!! My 2001 boxter arrives in October, and this is a pretty scary story. I agree with rizzo, please keep us posted as to what they determine was the problem.
    I fell in love with the car too - I feel for you in your loss!
  • lhasiuklhasiuk Member Posts: 1
    There have been several instances of engine fires noted on Porsche Pete's Boxster Board. In all the cases I can remember, the cause was the same - careless disposal of cigarettes. It turns out that a smoker discarding their cigarette out the window is likely to have the smoldering butt sucked into the air intake on the left side of the car. It ends up in the air cleaner (a combination of paper and foam) where it causes a fire.

    Yet another reason that smokers should not use the Earth as their ashtray!
  • dmcclellan1dmcclellan1 Member Posts: 1
    2000 miles on my new Boxster S and I have experienced low level noises emanating from underneath the car. This occurs only under certain driving/road conditions. Certain bumps or road conditions that stress the chassis seem to cause this. It seems that one of the car magazines made mention of this. Perhaps the tie rods or torsion bars need to be tightened??
  • tone40tone40 Member Posts: 9
    My '00 S has the same noise (occurs when warm on low speed turns). I believe that the problem is front strut bearings. My dealer has this on order for me as part of a technical bulletin. Have a dealer check it out.
  • prismalecprismalec Member Posts: 1
    Hi my name is Anthony and last night was one of the sadest nights in Porsche Land. I have always wanted my dad to buy a Porsche since I was little and after 10 years and me being a Adult I won the War. He Leased a 2000 Boxster S. Well needless to say it took 8 months to Arrive and the Same amount of time to Burst into Flames in my dads Garage. He was driving home last night when he lost Power Stearing and then power brakes. He was close to home so he pulled it into the garage and noticed smoke. It then burst into Flames and now is a total loss as well is his Garage. All I can say is some Heads are going to roll. AW
  • bulldog10bulldog10 Member Posts: 1
    I love my 00 Boxster, however the controller for the convertable top was replaced today and I have previously had the radio replaced. The dealer says that these are common problems. But, honestly, who cares? I carefully compared the M3 convertable and M roadster from BMW. These are faster cars that don't have that mid-engine feel. I do wish I had stiffer springs and better seats. I have also noticed that the rear end jumps when speeding around curves and down-shifting. Still, what's better for the $$$'s?
  • norburymnorburym Member Posts: 1
    This just happened to me TODAY:
    I picked up my 2001 Boxster S Jan.20, 2001.
    Today (just over a month later), I was driving in light traffic and the check engine light came on.
    I pulled over right away and killed the engine. I immediately saw smoke coming out of the right side of the car. I got out and flames started shooting out of passenger side of the engine.
    Called the Fire Dept. They put out the fire but not before the engine was pretty much melted.
    I noticed that a few people have mentioned this same thing....anyone else????
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