Porsche Boxster Engine Failures Mount

Stephan Wilkinson
by Stephan Wilkinson
porsche boxster engine failures mount

Are you aware of the appalling rate of Boxster engine failures, which I’m only now becoming aware of through participation in some Boxster forums? Some estimates (Bruce Anderson, for one) are that 20 percent of Boxster engines don’t make it past 100,000 miles witout a catastrophic failure. The standard failure is what the cognoscenti universally refer to as the IMS–the intermediate shaft. It’s apparently bolted together, and the bolts fail, then everything internal claps hands and you’re looking at a replacement crate engine. I’m hoping the fact that Susan never revs past maybe 4,000 will spare us, but I’d be careful if I were you. There was a recent Porsche Club event that 11 Boxsters participated in. One had an IMS failure during the event and two of the other Boxsters participating had previously had their engines replaced due to IMS failures. Three out of 11 equals 27 percent. It’s a quiet secret within the Porsche community, and there are reasonably knowledgeable people who claim these engines were built as cheapies to get through the warranty period unscathed–which the apparently often don’t–and that PAG hasn’t the faintest interest in second, third and fourth owners. And they used to say the entry-level Porsche was a used Porsche.

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  • Car car Car car on May 24, 2011

    hi anyone know the name of this outsourced casting company that porsche used to do the cylinder liners on the 997

  • Longislander1 Longislander1 on Aug 01, 2011

    Over on Planet 9, they're building a list of people so they can file complaints with NHTSA. They have 18 complainants thus far. Here's the link: http://www.planet-9.com/cayman-boxster-problems-complaints/59790-oiling-problems-blown-motors-nhtsa.html.

  • Kvolkan Kvolkan on Aug 07, 2011

    Interesting thread. I have owned 2 porsches, a 67 911, which was mechanically quite sound but had terminal rust problems, and a 98 Boxster. The Boxster suffered from the cylinder insert breaking which destroyed the engine at 34k miles. I had an aftermarket warranty and I called the west coast service rep at Porsche everyday for 2 months and left him a message about my situation. The warranty co lanyard wanted to put a used engine in the car but after I complained Porsche coughed up the additional 6k to put in a new engine. I was out of pocket for 1.5 K which I thought ok as I got a new engine. Then I read about the rms, IMS, and other problems and decided to get rid of the car. Got an Infiniti g35 - faster car than the Boxster, now has 100k on it, no problems whatsoever. Gave this car to my wife and got a specia edition mazdaspeed turbo miata. About the same power as the Boxster and as reliable as a doormat. Mine is stock but with a few bolt ons it starts to make super car power. Not as solid a car as the Boxster but pretty fun the drive. Then I got a 2006 mustang gt. Replaced the stock suspension and the car jpcpmpletely changed I to a real sports car - what an amazing difference and the handling even with the live axle is phenomenal. This car is just incredibly fun to drive. After a year of owning it I still get a huge sh*t eating grin every time I drive it. Now I am thinking of dropping 7k into it for a supercharger. It is reliable too. I am debating getting a cheap 996 or cayman and doing the IMS on it, but threads like these sober me up quick...maybe a vette, lotus Elise, or nix....

  • Niacal4nia Niacal4nia on May 29, 2015

    You have a better chance of getting cancer than ims failure. My 2002 Porsche 996 manual 93000 miles original clutch and ims my friends 996 has over 230000 miles on the original ims. My cousin's 2003 Mercedes SL500 so far with over $35000 in repair and services, he paid $90000 new and asking $17000. Myths and fear mongering sells.

    • Kvolkan Kvolkan on May 29, 2015

      Your chance of getting cancer has been estimated at 1 out of 3 and more recently 4 out of 10. So it's not saying much that IMS failure rates are better. Still likely in the same ballpark. Mine blew out as did my friends. Given the people I know with the failure I'd say 1 out of 5-10 seems accurate enough. I sold my Boxster and drove other cars for 10 years (see above post). But in the end I came back to Porsche. Just got another Boxster with the redesigned engine and a whole sh*tload of extended warranty. So far it's a great car. Way way better than my old Boxster. Lots of refinements, more power, etc. It's light years ahead of the turbo Miata and different than the mustang, both of which were fine cars.