Which Porsche Boxster Years to Avoid and Why? (Explained)

Porsche is a popular choice among car enthusiasts. The business has a large global market and is well-known. If you want a low-cost Porsche, the Porsche Boxster is an excellent option. However, not all models will deliver exceptional performance; certain models should be avoided.

The 2002 Porsche Boxster IMS failure is the most commonly reported issue. Due to various characteristics, including repair costs and average miles when problems arise, the 2003 Porsche Boxster has the highest total complaints.

I’ll explain to your which years to avoid buying a Porsche Boxster and which years to buy. Before purchasing a Porsche Boxster, you will have a firm idea of what you want.

Porsche Boxster Years to Avoid (List of Years)

Problem with oil separator, IMS bearing problems, a puff of smoke on cold engine startup, deadly knocking noise, and diminishing lighting troubles are some of the main reasons to avoid the model years listed below.

Worst Years of Porsche Boxster:

  • 1999 Porsche Boxster
  • 2000 Porsche Boxster
  • 2001 Porsche Boxster
  • 2002 Porsche Boxster
  • 2003 Porsche Boxster
  • 2005 Porsche Boxster
  • 2016 Porsche Boxster

1999 Porsche Boxster Problems:

When it comes to the 1999 Porsche Boxster issues, we typically document the engine timing check. During engine rotation, valves open and close, causing a variety of issues.

Other concerns include pistons rising and falling in the cylinder, which necessitates the use of a spark. The engine occurs deadly noise too.

Oil spills were once seen as a nuisance and a potential fire hazard. Oil penetration has the potential to severely harm several electronic engine management systems in today’s vehicles.

2000 Porsche Boxster Problems:

One of the main concerns is IMS failure. When the IMS bearing fails, metal debris is left all over the engine. Either a total rebuild or a crate motor is required. An IMS bearing failure can cause $15k to $20k in damage in each situation.

The engine emits smoke, the engine was making strange noises. The failure of intermediate shaft bearings was determined to be the cause of the breakdown.

There is another problem with the oil separator. The oil separator has failed, causing white and blue smoke, according to several consumers.

2001 Porsche Boxster Problems:

If you notice an oil leak in your Porsche Boxster, it’s likely that the Rear Main Seal (RMS) has worn out and has to be replaced. An internal leak at the oil separator can be attributed to oil consumption and fuel trim difficulties with various trouble codes.

Seldom a few noises from the intermediate shaft region that aren’t usual. It’s a symptom that your engine is about to break and also sometimes the engine shut down.

A failed Cabriolet top or door handle micro switch might result in the power windows not lowering when the Cabriolet top latch and/or door handle is engaged, or lowering suddenly while driving.

2002 Porsche Boxster Problems:

Due to a small leak in the coolant reservoir on a 2002 Porsche Boxster, there has been a steady loss of coolant. Cam tensioner/timing problems might cause the Check Engine Light on a 2002 Porsche Boxster.

Water might seep into the carpeting if the drains in the Cabriolet top clog. Water can also build up in the doors, resulting in a variety of electrical issues.

2003 Porsche Boxster Problems:

The worst Porsche Boxster model to date is the 2003 model. because it has the greatest problems and has had some recalls.

This model has suspension problems, the engine is a major annoyance, since it frequently encounters rattling, and even shaft bearing problems.

Electrical issues are also a big concern including faults with the exterior lights and air conditioning. Sometimes ignition key does not run

2005 Porsche Boxster Problems:

The model’s cylinder scoring has a bad rep. Its faulty engine makes a disgusting noise. Oil leaking from the engine or the fuel line is a common problem in Porsche Boxster.

This model also has intermediate shaft bearing failing and electrical malfunctioning.

2016 Porsche Boxster Problems:

This model is suffering from an engine problem. The loud ticking sound comes from the brake sometimes, The brakes make an awful noise when you stop. This is out of the ordinary.

Customers also complained about a burning smell coming from outside the vehicle.

What Are The Worst Years of Porsche Boxster?

The 2003 Porsche Boxster, had the most complaints and three separate recalls of any model in the range

Most Common Problems of Porsche Boxster

IMS bearing problem:

The breakdown of the IMS led the engine to be destroyed, and there was no other option except to replace it. The intermediate shaft has a flaw in it.

Because the failure rate of the original bearings has increased with time, anyone who owns a 1997-2005 Boxster should have their intermediate shaft bearing replaced as part of routine maintenance to avoid catastrophic engine failures caused by IMS bearing failure.

RMS problem:

Porsche Boxster models are prone to RMS issues. In the majority of situations, they just result in a minor oil spill.

It can contaminate the clutch friction plate in some extreme circumstances. As a result of this condition, poor gear selection and performance suffer.

Mostly the models 2000 and 2001 have this problem more. Replacement of the RMS seal necessitates the use of a specialized instrument to guarantee that the seal is perfectly positioned which is expensive.

Decrease lightening:

After several years on the road, you may find that your indicators have discolored. This problem is most common in 2005 models.

Their efficacy tends to fade after a few usages. Cleaning the lenses and removing scuffs and scratches can sometimes restore complete functioning and restore full functionality.

Oil leaking:

According to one of the drivers, the 2005 Porsche Boxster spills around a tablespoon of oil after each drive.

When you remove the engine cover, you’ll see that the middle oil filler pipe is damp above the flexi portion. A failed AOS produced this problem by squeezing the hose flat and breaking it.

Excessive noise:

The Boxster 2003’s engines are known for its cylinder scores. Deep gauges in the cylinder lining, are frequently connected with knocking sounds and ultimately catastrophic engine failure.

The primary exhaust header pipe that leads to the cat converter will frequently break and fail altogether. Then you’ll hear a rattling coming from behind you.

Which Porsche Boxster Years are Safe to Buy Used?

• 2004 Porsche Boxster
• 2006 Porsche Boxster
• 2012 Porsche Boxster
• 2013 Porsche Boxster
• 2016 Porsche Boxster

The engine of the 2004 Boxster was updated last year (2003) for faster acceleration. A delightful, exhilarating whoosh of air surging into the intakes is rewarded by dipping into the throttle at higher rpm.

Only a few changes have been made for 2006. They work with the vehicle’s new two-stage front airbags. Because they use an organic-based propellant, they are lighter and easier to recycle.

After a few redesigns, Porsche found their sweet spot in 2012, the greatest year for the Porsche Boxster with extraordinary engine facilities and an available 6-speed manual transmission.

Compact proportions and a midengined configuration help the 2013 Porsche Boxster enhance its handling abilities.

Although the base engine is unimpressive, you may wish to skip it in favor of one of the higher-end versions with more powerful engines in 2016.


In most of the Porsche Boxster models, IMS is a common concern. The loss of the IMS bearing can result in severe engine damage, necessitating engine replacement, which can be as expensive as the automobile itself.   

If you decide to buy an older model, keep in mind that it will take extra maintenance to last a long time, and try to avoid the worst years.

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