What To Buy From The Dealer


Once you have agreed to the sales price from a dealer, the real selling begins. Dealerships make lots of money on after-market add-ons and services. Which ones are worth considering and which are a waste of money? Here are one person’s opinions (I’ve only bought about 30 cars in my lifetime, but my opinions aren’t always right for you.) So read this but make your own decisions. 


Obvious Choices

Paint Protection, Glazing, etc.

No. You can take your car to a detailing professional and they will apply the polish of your choice for maybe $150. A Boxster takes comparatively little time to polish yourself because it is so small and low. Easy to get at. The dealer wants how much?


No. All it does is clog drain holes. Modern cars are built at the factory with the equivalent of the old time Ziebart rust-coating. You hear no stories of 10 year old Boxsters rusting. You just don’t need it.

Fabric Protection

No. For what? Your seats are leather. And you can (and should) apply leather cleaner and conditioner of your choice in about 15 minutes about twice a year. Cost around $20 the first time you buy the bottles you need, zero after that. The dealer wants what?

Glass Hardening or Glass Treatment

No. Rain-X costs $8. You can get something similar at Jiffy-Lube for maybe $20. What does the dealer want for his?

Floor Mats

No. You can buy after-market mats and use them in place of the OEM mats and keep the OEM mats for the next owner for when you sell. But why? It will be a used car. Porsche mats last reasonably well. If the new owner wants new mats (even Porsche ones), they can buy them then.


Almost never. The dealer doesn't buy in the same volumes as tire retail chains so will pay more for the tires he has.  Plus the dealer's markup is liable to be more. The dealer carries tires for convenience, both his and yours. But do shop on the Internet and see what prices are and at least negotiate prices close to online (once mounting, balancing and any warranties are included). Dealers sometimes insist on an alignment too. Ask them why they want to align your car. If it is on the basis of the wear they see on your old tires, then it may make sense to have an alignment done so that the new tires start off their life wearing correctly. But too often the alignment is recommended for "sell more services" reasons that only benefit the dealer.


Maybe. If there is a well recommended shop around that has lots of Porsche experience, then you may get a better deal there. If the dealer is the only game in town, then you are stuck. 

And yes, you can align the wheels on the old worn-wrong tires before you get your new ones (provided the wheels aren't bent). So you can get your alignment and tires separate places. Be sure and ask for a printout of the old versus new alignment settings so you know what was wrong and what they did.

Alignment knowledge of Boxsters matters a great deal. A good mechanic will ask you how you drive (DE + AX + etc versus "I want mileage out of my rears") and know how to align to benefit you while still staying within factory specs. I look for someone experienced in setting up Boxsters for racing.

Questionable Choices


Maybe. I've never seen a situation where I couldn't get better financing from a bank but there are times when the financing is part of a subsidy provided to the dealer to help sell cars by the manufacturer. So please do shop around. You could afford another option or some new tires on the $ you could save.  

Extended Warranty


My thoughts on this issue are at this link.

Repair Parts

For do it yourself parts, get access to the repair parts catalog and look on the web or buy from dealers who price their parts at “cost + 15%”. Some dealers change more than Porsche list price for parts. Try not to patronize those kinds of dealers.

Get a parts list (called the "PET") by going to https://techinfo.porsche.com/  and select "Country-USA", select "Workshop Information", Select "Genuine Parts Catalog", select "Catalog 20" "986 Boxster" and download. This will give you a 400 page .pdf file from which pages can be printed as needed.

You generally can’t bring in self-bought parts into a dealer for service. Some independents will allow it, some won’t. Find out in advance. Part of the argument for doing your own service as much as possible is that you not only save on the labor costs but also save on the parts costs as well. But some services don't require Porsche specific knowledge.

Example: I had an Oxygen Sensor in my exhaust/emission system giving a "lazy sensor" code that said it was slow in responding. No Check Engine Light but the mileage dropped and the idle was rough on starting. I asked the dealer and they said $440. The part cost $240 at the dealer. The same generic part (by the same manufacturer, just not with the Porsche part number stenciled on)  was $140 delivered 2-day.  My local muffler shop charged $49 to install it and it cured all symptoms. So by going generic on a part that was exactly the same and using a low-hourly-rate shop  for work that didn't require any specialized Porsche knowledge, I saved  57%. 

I'm 65+ and don't do my own oil changes any more. But I can get them done for $28 in labor by the local quick-oil-change-place if I bring in the oil and filter and crush ring. They do about 6 Porsches on a regular basis. I buy the oil where I find it on sale at a discount store. It keeps. Just don't let them do any other of the fluids (let them check) as they may not have Porsche compatible fluids that will mix with what you are using.

So don't assume you have to pay dealer prices. Especially if you are out of warranty.

But if you do need/want to buy parts from the dealer (in an emergency or for convenience), remember that many dealers will give discounts (up to 10% is what I've heard) to Porsche Club of America (PCA) members and it may be worth your while to become a member as the discount could more than pay for the membership.