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Old May 1st, 2006, 07:20 PM   #1
awesome
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Angry Blown Engine - 2000S - 90k miles - HELP!

I'm the 2nd owner of a 2000 Boxster S. I bought it in Aug 2001 w 16k miles. Always serviced at Sonnen in Mill Valley.

I've had several problems with the cooling system. Coolant came out of the tank in the trunk at 64,417 miles. Tank was replaced ($748 parts & labor) in 8/04.

At 89,131 miles in 3/06, a new (internal) cap was put on the cooling system as I was again losing coolant.

By 90,109 miles in 4/06, I had to add 2 qts of coolant. I took it in to Sonnen last week. They said "Sorry, new engine required. $10k. Coolant in leaking into the engine through cracks in the valve sleeves, mixing with oil, with some oil in the coolant system as well. We're unable to find the cracks - it's not worth it to search for them - it's better to replace the engine." He said if I keep driving it, the engine will completely fail on a hot day. I said "Fine, I expect you to fix it at no cost to me". The Service Mgr said he'd request Porsche AG to pick up the repair bill, because of "defective parts".

The Service Mgr called me today to say that Porsche AG has declined to pick up the bill, because it's out of warranty. He's going to make a 2nd request tomorrow, and advised me to call the 1800Porsche number, which I will.

I told him if it is not resolved, I will position myself outside the dealership in Mill Valley with a big sign and a big Lemon. He advised against it.

My point-of-view is that this represents an incredible loss of value in the vehicle, that this should not have happened, that I will not permit my wallet to be drained by Porsche AG in such a manner, with a substandard product. I paid $46k for the car in 2001, have spent over $12k in maintanance at Sonnen, the car is now worth maybe $25k, and it's hardly worth it for me putting in a new engine. The Service Rep suggested trading it to some unsuspecting buyer.

Any suggestions?

Tomas tommy@sonic.net
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Old May 1st, 2006, 11:25 PM   #2
Tom M
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Sorry to hear of your trouble. The best you can probably hope for is that Porsche will help out with some portion of the cost unless it can be shown to be defective from the outset. The bad part about the whole scenario is that the only way to find out that is to agree to the tear down which means you are committed to some big $$$.

I strongly disagree with the recommendation that you try to unload the car on an unsuspecting buyer as you're only asking for additional trouble if they find out you already knew about the problem.
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 04:39 PM   #3
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These are the posts that make me want to sell my Boxster [no real problems yet - except a coolant leak fixed under warranty]. Ideally, I'd like to keep the car for well over 100K miles, but I am more than a little scared.....
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 04:59 PM   #4
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All cars have engine failures. It's how the manufacturer deals with it that matters.

If it happens while the car is under warranty who gives a hoot 'cuz it's going to get fixed for free. If you want to keep the car after the initial factory warranty and are a real worrier then either buy another new car or purchase an after market warranty that covers engine replacements - if such a thing exists.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 09:48 AM   #5
Rolando
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It looks like Porsche believes their car owners have too much money to use their head or that they are stupid (or both)
If this was any other car it may not need an engine replacement for a cylinder head problem
Going to a Porsche dealer out of warrantee is like a cow going for a visit to a slaughter house.

Last edited by Rolando; May 3rd, 2006 at 02:33 PM.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 09:55 AM   #6
Tom M
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolando
Going to a Porsche dealer out of warrantee is like a cow going for a visit to a slaughter house.
Perhaps. But it's the right place to start if the car has been maintained by the dealer as it's the only way that you *might* get some financial relief from Porsche. If they won't help out then one can take it to an indy shop to see what can be done.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 09:56 AM   #7
awesome
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Sonnen's reply

Re the blown 2000 Boxster S. Sonnen says it could be a bad head gasket, $3.5k to replace, they'd have to tear the engine apart to see, if it looks bad, they'd replace it, with a money back guarantee if it still leaks. If the gasket is OK, they'd proceed with the engine replacement ($10-11K).

The car is obviously not worth it - it's be nuts to put 11k into a car when repaired is worth maybe $20k.

The again suggested trading it to a non Porsche dealer. They also suggested trading it on a used 03-05 Boxster than might run $25k used. The Service Mgr John claims the 03 + are much more reliable models. He said he's seen Boxsters with 200k miles, but he and the tech Nick previously told me the Boxster should be traded at the end of the warranty. My "porous engine problem" he attributes to microscopic air bubbles in the block.

It's clear the Japanese are miles ahead in their engine technology. My prior car was an 85 Nissan ZX with over 250k miles & no problems! It was a dream, compared to the maintenance required on a Boxster.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 01:35 PM   #8
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Another option...

Call McKenna Porsche in Norwalk, CA and schedule a 3.6L upgrade. Parts will be warranteed for 2 years at all Porsche dealers and they will cover all their work including labor. Sure, it's a long way to go for service but I bet you'd be halfway to LA already rather than spending $11k on a repair up here. The total cost of the conversion is about $25k but the end result is a very very nice car.

BTW, that 85 Nissan wasn't exactly on the bleeding edge technology wise. Low tech engines last a long time. Compare that to the number of blown S2000 engines and it's clear that technology is actually inversely related to reliability.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 02:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom M
Perhaps. But it's the right place to start if the car has been maintained by the dealer as it's the only way that you *might* get some financial relief from Porsche. If they won't help out then one can take it to an indy shop to see what can be done.

I agree, specially if Thomas already spend ~$12K in maintenance during the last few years.
My car is a 98 with 103K miles, I was planning to keep it and rebuild/replace the engine till I'm 100 y/o but wonder how much should I expect to pay each time in an semi-honest (non-dealer) place.
My only experience with dealers is Rusnak (Pasadena, CA) and $750 for a $35 part and 15 minutes labor
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Old May 5th, 2006, 07:05 AM   #10
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My 2000S has been s-o-o-o reliable with the only overheating problem was caused by me not taking care to put the coolant cap on carefully, no other problems after 25,000 miles. I love this car!
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