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How difficult is DIY maintenance?

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Hi there, 

I'm thinking about getting a Boxster (986) and I like to do maintenance and work on a car myself as I see it as part of the fun (well to some extent anyway!). However looking at how jammed in the engine is and work required to access various parts I'm wondering if I'll get a bit fed up in the long run. 

I've owned a couple of small sports cars in the past so it's not like I'm not used to having to get to difficult to reach parts and be creative. But I want to know if it is realistic to maintain a Boxster myself. 

Any advice / info much appreciated. Thanks. 

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Plenty of DIYers here to varying degrees. 

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It’s not a bad car to work on, access to engine bay can be a challenge at times

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But the only real thing you need to change from the top is the air filter and that is conveniently placed by the side. 

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Servicing is one thing, repairs are another, and can be quite challenging!!!!

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How realistic to maintain is a subjective question.  I've never removed an engine or transmission from any car and I would be hesitant to try rebuilding an engine. 

But, I have replaced the oil, fuel and air filters on my Boxster.  I've also changed the engine belt, spark plugs and coils, replaced the transmission filter (Tiptronic) and transmission fluid, replaced CV Boots, installed new shocks and done a complete brake replacement.  I'm just a regular guy, not a mechanic.  All these projects were done using the 101 book, Internet videos and helpful instructions from members of the Boxster forums and Pelican Parts.

There is really very little basic maintenance that you cannot do yourself on a Boxster.  Oh, almost forgot, replaced a window regulator, changed the steering wheel and fixed the HVAC blowing foam issue.

Get a Boxster and enjoy it!

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Several here have commented on how surprisingly easy they found it.

 

 

Except drilling out corroded exhaust studs.

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ses- short answer - yes, you can DIY. You might need a few extra tools (e.g. reciprocating saw for removing 'reluctant' lower suspension arm bolts front and rear) but most parts available (at varying prices).  You'll need good solid axle stands as underside needs to be accessible for suspension and lower engine work. Rusty exhaust manifold studs and nuts are a frequent DIY nightmare going by the forum so worth factoring in the condition of them on any car you look at. Easy to see them if you can get car elevated. The fact you can see them so easily is a clue as to why they get so corroded 😊

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Doing the services and normal brakes, suspension stuff I feel is all doable by competent person.  Its when the bolts are seized or shear off that can be challenging, but none of that related to just Porsche's.

I have done fair amount of work on my Boxster and other family cars and I am no mechanic.  I just to do it for the challenge and enjoyment, but some things I would leave to the experts.  Like a clutch, gearbox or engine removal.

 

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Engine access is a nightmare compared to my last convertible, but that was a Spitfire😀. Actually, access is probably as good or better than any modern FWD car that has everything jammed in under the bonnet. You have access top, bottom and the access panel behind the seats. This is my first Porsche and I've been pleasantly suprised how straightforward most stuff is. The main issue is corrosion on the fasteners, particularly if the car has been used as a daily through winter, although this probably applies to most old cars. 

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54 minutes ago, Nobbie said:

Engine access is a nightmare compared to my last convertible, but that was a Spitfire😀.

LOL!  That was a rubber band holder with SU carbs on the side!

Reminds me of when my father was dismantling his Mk IV Cortina with the 1.6 Pinto in it, where you could drop a tennis ball from above and likely it would land on the floor. Then I turned up in my 99 Impreza Turbo and opened the bonnet; if you dropped a marble it would get stuck!

  • Haha 1

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1 hour ago, Nobbie said:

Engine access is a nightmare compared to my last convertible, but that was a Spitfire😀.  

A couple of friends at Uni had Spitfires. You could sit on the front wheel with legs either side of the suspension whilst working on the engine.

I have been pleasantly surprised how easy the Boxster is to work on. Lower engine access is easy as well as upper not being too bad for air filter,  May and throttle body and the only bit in the middle you need to get at is all at the front through the access panel in the cabin.

As others say, seized bit is the problem but show me a 20 year old car where that isn't a problem.

I wouldn't do major work like a clutch major engine or 'box workand certainly wouldn't risk manifolds given the bolt issues myself. However I might even try full suspension rebuild as it is a third car whereas all others I have worked on need to get me or the Mrs to work the next Monday.

I have done much of the work @S8ked mentioned with few issues and all off my flat driveway using a trolley jack and axle stands for access.

GO FOR IT!

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Nothing to be scared of servicing a Boxster , just do your homework before hand and you should have no problems , also shop around for the service items , the likes of E.C.P and car parts 4 less ( same company basically  ) are good value .

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The boxster is no worse than most cars do your homework and get stuck in the more you can do yourself the more you save on porsche tax

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14 hours ago, S8ked said:

How realistic to maintain is a subjective question.  I've never removed an engine or transmission from any car and I would be hesitant to try rebuilding an engine. 

But, I have replaced the oil, fuel and air filters on my Boxster.  I've also changed the engine belt, spark plugs and coils, replaced the transmission filter (Tiptronic) and transmission fluid, replaced CV Boots, installed new shocks and done a complete brake replacement.  I'm just a regular guy, not a mechanic.  All these projects were done using the 101 book, Internet videos and helpful instructions from members of the Boxster forums and Pelican Parts.

There is really very little basic maintenance that you cannot do yourself on a Boxster.  Oh, almost forgot, replaced a window regulator, changed the steering wheel and fixed the HVAC blowing foam issue.

Get a Boxster and enjoy it!

^^^^^^^^^^^

Wot'e said, great post 😂

9 hours ago, Menoporsche said:

Several here have commented on how surprisingly easy they found it.

 

 

Except drilling out corroded exhaust studs.

I went the other route and removed them all without snapping them, found that much easier 🙂

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Thanks I wasnt expecting quite such a comprehensive response! All sounds fairly manageable and no worse than a lot of other cars. I'm used to rusted and stuck bolts etc. and not afraid to take an drill or angle grinder to something if necessary. 

I'll do a bit more research on the boxster, I only just realised it was an option recently (budget wise etc.) I'm more of an older car kind of guy but these are almost at that modern classic stage now where you don't see them that often and starting to have some retro appeal in my opinion. 

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4 hours ago, EXY said:

I went the other route and removed them all without snapping them, found that much easier 🙂

Smugness can be so unattractive!

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7 hours ago, ½cwt said:

Smugness can be so unattractive!

Can I be smug too, all 12 came out easy😏

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3 hours ago, Terryg said:

Can I be smug too, all 12 came out easy😏

Only so long as you understand it may have a detrimental effect on your attractiveness :laugh:

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13 hours ago, ses said:

Thanks I wasnt expecting quite such a comprehensive response! All sounds fairly manageable and no worse than a lot of other cars. I'm used to rusted and stuck bolts etc. and not afraid to take an drill or angle grinder to something if necessary. 

I'll do a bit more research on the boxster, I only just realised it was an option recently (budget wise etc.) I'm more of an older car kind of guy but these are almost at that modern classic stage now where you don't see them that often and starting to have some retro appeal in my opinion. 

similar to my 'man-maths' justifying my recent purchase (2003 2.7 at £3.5k).  Sat in the garage alongside the '61 mini and the '68 elan and replaced a '77 308GT4. Even if it only lasts a year, at least I've experienced the fabled rear/mid-engined flat 6. Get it done before we can't buy petrol sports cars any more 😢

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4 hours ago, Terryg said:

Can I be smug too, all 12 came out easy😏

One better than I can achieve as one bolt head was already missing on mine when I bought it...   Well Done!

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51 minutes ago, EXY said:

.......it may have a detrimental effect on your attractiveness :laugh:

I think that ship sailed a good while ago:whistle:

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55 minutes ago, EXY said:

Only so long as you understand it may have a detrimental effect on your attractiveness :laugh:

I must have been very smug over the years.....

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1 hour ago, Greenman said:

I think that ship sailed a good while ago:whistle:

 

1 hour ago, ½cwt said:

I must have been very smug over the years.....

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder 🙂

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9 minutes ago, EXY said:

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder 🙂

As in the saying  'A face only a mother could love.'.....

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