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Boxster Defects

tone40tone40 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.


  • 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 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 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?
  • 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 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 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.
  • 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 Posts: 603
    "frankrizzo", haven't seen you around in a while, welcome back!

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

  • gummzitgummzit 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!
  • After having my minor annoyances fixed at the dealer, the car has been perfect!

    Top down and loving it!
  • mgrmgr 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?
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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 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 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 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 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 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 Posts: 9
    Check out this link for a potential answer to your question:
  • frankrizzofrankrizzo Posts: 67
    tone40, there is no such site.. There IS
    <<A HREF="">>;
  • tone40tone40 Posts: 9
    Frank, you are right. My mistake.
  • philipsrphilipsr 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.
  • 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!!
  • 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 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!!
  • 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.
  • 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..
This discussion has been closed.