What I Use To Maintain

The Look Of My 986 Boxster

Some personal preferences, by no means the only ones you could choose. 

Wash the Car

I don't use commercial car washes as I have a hose (even with heated water) on the wall next to my driveway. I use whatever brand of car wash detergent Costco is selling by the gallon. I wash about every month the car is in use. It takes me perhaps 15 minutes it is so small and low. I dry it with clean rags, usually old all-cotton bath towels (which I then double wash separately in the washing machine and then dry them in the dryer. I use them for nothing else.).

Polish It

I have an Arctic Silver car and the polish is not as important to that color as it is on some of the brighter solid colors like red, black, or yellow. I use Zymol (the o has an umlaut but I can't figure out how to indicate that using this page creation application from google) polish. I polish twice a year. My car doesn't sit out in the sun or weather. It does go on 2-300 mile trips.

Rubber Seals

I use Gummi Pflege  twice a year, once in the winter to prevent the doors, trunk lids, etc from sticking and once in the spring when I bring the car out of hibernation. This comes in a 3.4oz applicator that will remind you of liquid shoe polish. I have a rag handy to wash off excess. Don't get it on your leather seats, it will discolor them.

From an ad: "Long-lasting protection against freezing for rubber seals on car doors, windows and trunks. Protects and keeps the rubber elastic. Restores color to dried out rubber. Prevents doors from sticking in cold weather. Protects against extreme temperature and UV rays. Solvent-free, water-based formula. Easy-to-use shoe polish type applicator makes application simple without the mess."

Rear Window

We have all seen discolored rear windows on convertibles. They don't have to age like that. Mine is 5 years old and looks like new but it wasn't like that 2 years ago when I bought the car. It was discolored and cloudy. And the surface was rough

Novus makes a series of products designed to deal with the problem (if you already have it) and to prevent it in the future. The Novus 1, 2 and 3 products consist of bottles of plastic cleaners in decreasing levels of abrasiveness. The three products are sold in a kit with several microfibre polishing cloths for about $25.

If the top is new, only use #1. But if the top is already discolored, you start with the most abrasive cleaner, Novus #3, and a clean rag (I use a cotton washcloth) and you rub it on the surface as if you are polishing the window. Do the outside of the window first, then do the inside. Keep it off the top (but if it gets on, just wipe it off quickly). Let it sit for a while. And then take another clean rag and polish it off. Then do the same using the mildly abrasive #2. And finish up with the non-abrasive #1 which is more of a polish than a cleaner. You should only have to do this once.

In addition to cleaning and polishing the surface of the window, these products seem to put some sort of oil into the plastic that allows them to increase their flexibility and thus resistance to cracking.

For maintenance, I use Novus #1 about once or twice a year, though in truth my car doesn't sit out in the elements much with the top up. I drive mine pretty much only when the weather is nice enough for top down driving. And a have a garage.

If your rear window tears, find a shop that does convertible shops and marine upholstery and have them sew in a new window. No need to replace the entire top (but if you do, consider one of the glass window replacement tops now on the market, a brand name is GAHH).

Plexiglass Windscreen

I use Windex probably about every forth washing.

The Canvas Top

I use RaggTopp Fabric Protectant once a year. While I bought their cleaner, I find that I use just water most of the time and car wash detergent the other few times it needs it. I've seen it in spray cans and in spray bottles like these.It comes in a canvas top or vinyl top version, get the right one for your car.

Oil Change

If you are going to change your oil, you need several inexpensive tools and several parts.

First the tools: The oil filter cover is reused so you need a specialized tool to remove it. A 74MM 14 flute wrench that attaches to the top (or bottom if you are looking from the bottom) of the filter looks like this. I've seen them as low as $16 and as high as $40. Sounds expensive but consider that most dealers change $200 and up for an oil change.  You are going to be saving $$ on your first use.

The drain plug is removed using an 8mm Allen wrench. 

Both these tools are available on eBay. 





Now the supplies: You will need an oil filter, a rubber O-ring gasket and an aluminum crush ring. They are often sold as a kit.

The Porsche oil filter and rubber gasket part number is 996 107 225 52 and it sells for around $19 each. The crush ring part number is 900 123 106 30 . But you can buy the Mahle part in its generic packaging for as little as $34 for 4 of them with crush rings. I find them on eBay.

If you need it (not needed unless the old one is stripped) the drain plug itself is part 900 219 009 30. A good source for these Porsche parts is http://www.pap-parts.com.

I use the recommended Mobile 1 0W40.

And (gasp) I've even gotten my oil changed at a quick-oil-change place when I didn't have the time to do it myself. I bring all the supplies including oil. They knock off about $5 because I do...but it takes longer to fill the car because you need about 9 quarts and aren't squirting it in from a hose attached to a pump and a 55 gallon drum of their oil.

Other filters

Air Filter - 996 110 131 03

Pollen Filter - 996 571 219  

Instructions for replacement are in the owner's manual. No need to pay the dealer for the parts or the labor.

Check Engine Light Resetting & Code Reading

See my Article on Check Engine Lights

Light Bulbs for non-Litronic Headlights

I prefer SilverStar both for their color and their increased intensity. I use them in both my high and low beams. The size is H7 and they are sold in pairs in a package like this.





Winter Storage 

I use a Noah fabric all weather car cover from California Car Covers and park the car outside in the winter so I can use the garage during the snow and ice season. I brush the snow off the cover with a push broom. The cover stows in a canvas sack and fits in about 50% of the front trunk space. It has survived 3 winters and looks new.

I also use a battery maintainer while the car is in storage. See my web page on batteries.