Prolonging The Life 

Of Your Boxster


 

This page is intended for the new Boxster owner.  We often see postings in the online forums from new owners asking what they should do now that they have this 'special' car.  So I asked a bunch of people who own them and the consensus was..... 

OIL

The one thing everyone seems to agree on is change your oil about 3 times as often as Porsche recommends.   That means ever year or 5k miles whichever comes first.  

Slightly more controversial is the recommendation from several mechanics who have analyzed used oil that you not use Mobile 1 but do use a full synthetic oil meeting ACEA A3 standards.  While Porsche recommends Mobil 1 0W40 and factory fills its cars with it, many other brands are listed as approved by Porsche in the Technical Service Bulletin on approved oils that they update every year. A copy is available elsewhere on this web site. (And you can use 10W40 or 10W50 if you live in an exclusively hot geographic area or your car is stored over the winter and never goes out at under 40 degrees.)

If the car is new, the engine is new or the engine is rebuilt, change the oil and filter within the first 500-1000 miles.   Porsche doesn't use any break in oil so the idea is to get any metal particles out of the oil stream and out of the filter and let a fresh change of oil take you to the 5k/1-year next oil change point.

Air Filters

Inspect the engine air filter every 2 oil changes or every year and replace when dirty.  Getting into the engine compartment will lead you to do more things yourself.

Vacuum out the area where the filter installs while the filter is out.  

Don't use a K&N filter or any other oiled-media filter.  They filter less well (meaning they let more and bigger dirt into your engine) and the oil can foul your Mass Air Flow Sensor.

The cabin air filter is the easiest filter to replace you'll ever see.  Do it yourself.  And, if it is the Boxster you have and you run it with the top down, don't bother with the expensive version, the plain paper air filter changed more often works fine and saves money.

Radiators

The radiators are mounted lower than on most cars and so collect lots of debris that block air flow and create gunk in which moisture can collect and rot the radiator.   Plus there are 2 layers of radiators when you count the a/c and the engine radiators.   You need to get the front bumper off (easy but a 2 person job and prepare a soft spot for it to rest on) and clean in front of and between the radiators every year or so.

 Tires

Keep the air pressure correct in your tires and inspect them for uneven wear.  

If you detect uneven wear, get the car aligned by someone who really knows Porsches and how best to align them.  A good alignment is different from one that just brings the numbers into spec.  Porsche gives you a range to align to and knowing the effect of being on one end of that range versus the other end is what makes a good alignment.  I look for someone who sets up Porsches for racing.

Drive only on tires appropriate for the temperature of the road you'll be traveling.   Don't use summer tires in the winter as they lose an amazing amount of their traction when the road surface is below 40 degrees F (4C).   All-season tires are OK for lower temperatures if you can only have one set of tires but snow/ice tires are really what you want if you will encounter those elements frequently.

Water Pump

The water pump uses a plastic impeller blade and is known to be a high failure rate part as plastic ages and becomes brittle. It isn't a bad idea on an older Boxster just to replace the water pump every 4-5 years.

Rear Plastic Window (for '97-'02 models years)

Keep it clean.  Polish it with a plastic polish like Novus #1.  

If it gets yellowed or pitted, use Novus #3, then #2 and finally #1 (Sold as a kit).  

If you keep it down all the time, use a flannel cloth between the folds of the plastic window to give a soft surface for the folds to rub against.

Windshield

Fix any crack or pit immediately, don't give it time to spread.

Weatherstripping

Keep it flexible and restore the oils in the rubber by using Gummi Pflege every 6 months. Doors, hoods, clamshell, top, windows...everywhere there is rubber weatherstripping. Don't get it on the leather.

Hinges and Latches

Lube the door, hood and clam-shell hinges with CorrosionX, Wurth HHS-2000, DuPont "Teflon" White Lithium Grease or just simple white lithium grease once a year.   

Spray the door locks and hood locks with silicone lubricant spray. Spray in the inner area of the lock, in which the catch bar engages.   Lock-Ease Graphite Lock Fluid was also recommended.

Use lock de-icer with a penetrating oil in it in the slots where you insert the key.

Body Finish

Keep it clean. And polished.  Polishing makes it easier to clean and prevents tree droppings and bird droppings from sticking too badly.  If any of those occur, get them off the car immediately. You don't want them baking into the finish.

Warm Up

Let the engine warm up by driving it gently until the temperature gauge reads over the 8 in the 180 mark.  

Don't, as a general practice, warm it up at idle unless you need to for safety reasons (ice, defrost, etc).

The Check Engine Light

Blinking stop immediately and have the car flatbedded to an engine expert. Solid on and you can continue driving for a bit but there is risk of additional damage if the problem is ignored. Consider buying a "code reader" to interpret the code that defines the condition causing the CEL the first time you have a problem as many are ones you can confidently fix yourself.  And the ones you can't at least you'll be in a position to be knowledgeable about the problem when you go to the repair mechanic.

General

Read the Owners Manual (available online if you don't have one).

Find a mechanic you can trust and form a relationship.  

Follow the recommended maintenance schedule.  Don't ignore warning lights or symptoms.

Explore the online resources of this site and others so you begin to see that others work on their cars and have documented many procedures for you.  The Porsche is not a mystery car and there are many services you can perform on it without being a factory trained mechanic.  There are also sources of parts that don't involve paying the Porsche/Dealer premium.

Upgrades to a Boxster are expensive.  Many advertised as adding horse power are actually a very bad investment as they don't add much, or change the driveability of the car, or just create a drone in the exhaust at cruising RPM. Make sure you really need/want the "upgrade" before you go down that slippery slope and explore improving your driving skills first. Ask a local Porsche Club member about the next DE. Go watch even if you don't want to drive on the track.

The more you drive it, the better it is for the car.  And for your psyche.

Your family and your health are more important than any car.

Driving a Porsche doesn't make you superior, just lucky.

Drive safely and responsively.

Of course these comments are my own and don't represent the opinions of Porsche.