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I bought an 02 boxster S last fall. I had always wanted one. The right deal came along and I jumped at the chance to own it. Took it to the dealer for a key, no big deal. They said the car looked nice made some suggestions, replace cv boots, mentioned some minor oil leaks. Few months went by and I was planning a road trip from Ohio to sunny Florida. Went in to dealer for full inspection, I had power steering fluid issues, they found some vacuum lines were disconected, from me likely trying to sop up pentosin. They replaced a few seals in power stearing, replaced the other ring going to oil fill tube, and other rings in oil cooler, they also had to remove passenger side plenum to drill and tap a new vacume line connection. Apparently this process required them to lower my antifreeze fluid level. So Jan 15 they had all these misc repairs done and I was going to head south the next day however... on the way home all the antifreeze shot out the cap in the trunk which was apparently not tightened! I did not even realize the car was overheating, why would it be? I was on. The way home from service. First clue, I have no heat.. second clue temp is pegged and red light flashing... I pull over. I am stranded, and just a few miles from home, I wait and hour and cool off, go get fluids and figure out how to burp the air out and I'm at the dealer first thing in the morning with a disgusted look on my face. They check it all out, apologize and say your good to go! I drove it to Florida. The car made it there and back and started knocking about 2200 miles after the overheating episode. I take it in to the dealer again, they say oh man that's bad you have a rod knocking. I got home in denile. Last week I go back and talk to the service manager and explain the situation. He looks up my records and wants to know why he was never notified that my car had this issue.. he is not happy, I am not happy. After a week he calls and let's me know they are clearly at fault, and that they will be letting me know tomorrow, how they intend to deal with it. He had assured me they have insurance to deal with this kind of issue. My big question is what should I expect? They have admitted fault, talked about refunding my money and making an ins claim. Will they try to "pro rate" the life of the engine that should have been left? Will they total the car? How can I defend myself from getting the short end of the stick? Any input super appreciated!!!
First thing I would do is have a beer, relax... Then I would wait and see what the dealer offers as a solution. They very well could offer a new engine or a rebuild of the current engine, both of which would solve your problem. They very well could total the car, in which case I would argue they pay you top resale value for the car so that you can replace it with a comparable vehicle. Seriously though, I wouldn't let yourself get too worked up until they offer a solution. The fact that they have admitted fault is a big deal, and I assume if the are a reputable P-car dealer, they will handle the ordeal in an equally classy manner. If the offer from the dealer does not meet your expectations, one option may be to get PCNA involved, but I would again, hold off until you hear their solution. I'm sure others will chime in, and I have a feeling their advise will mirror my own, don't vilify the dealer until all the cards are on the table. Hope the results are in your favor, I know just how attached you can get to these cars, and I dread every day that something ever happens to mine that would put it in the totaled category.


Steve Guards Red 1999 I'm not a race car driver, but I play one in 2nd and 3rd gear :D
... good advise, Steve.
Exactly what I would have said.
You need to give the dealer the benefit of the doubt.
Good luck with the predicament.
Happy Boxstering

Pedro Bonilla 1998 Boxster 986 - 293,000+ miles: http://www.PedrosGarage.com
PCA National Club Racing Scrutineer - PCA National HPDE Instructor - PCA Technical Committee (Boxster/Cayman)

Racecar spelled backwards is Racecar
"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting" ... Steve McQueen as Michael Delaney in "LeMans"
"If you wait, all that happens is that you get older"... Mario Andretti
"Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose" ... Ayrton Senna
.. an essentially new motor in a 14 year old car, with known motor issues.

Pedro can speak more, but these motors are complex to be rebuilt and pretty much demand new parts (pistons, rings, rods,...).

So i expect you will come out ahead.


Grant gee-lenahan-at-vee-eff-email-dot-net
I too agree with what Steve said.

I would add try to get something in writing that the dealer admits liability but I'm not sure how much effort I'd put into this.

Be sure you write down in a diary when you met with whom, and what was said.

Beyond that all I can offer is this: Years ago I had a Dodge D200 pickup. I bought it used. I can't recall the MY but it was after the big redesign pickups received sometime in the early '70's. At some point the transmssion -- a heavy duty automatic ( the D200 was a 3/4 ton pickup ) -- started acting up and I had this rebuilt at a local transmission shop.

Then I had the truck serviced at the dealer for something. Not sure what now for I did most of my own servicing then. (I even rebuilt the truck's engine -- a 318ci V8 -- when I found the ticking was low oil pressure due the camshaft bearings being worn out.) Anyhow, the dealer service department recomended the u-joints be replaced. I said OK and that was that.

A while later -- not hours or days but weeks but I can't recall now how many weeks -- driving down the freeway when one of the u-joints let go, the front one. The driveshaft was whipping around like crazy. I got the truck stopped and long story short had it towed back to the dealer.

The dealer service department had one of the techs look at the truck and his findings were the new u-joint had failed and the whipping drive shaft had broken the tail end housing of the just rebuild transmission and the transmission was ruined.

As in your case I was flabbergasted and frankly at a loss to know what to do what to say.

The details are a bit fuzzy now but I might have asked in a non-confrontational way what happens next, where do we go from here? The SM said something to the effect that once in a while new parts fail and something to the effect the dealer would make things right.

I felt like tons of weight were lifted off my shoulders. The end result was in not too much time -- just a few days -- the dealer received a new transmssioni and driveshaft and repaired the truck at no charge to me.

As an aside, because of that dealer's handling of the incident, I still have Dodge on my list of suitable brands of cars to own -- all of the other USA brands -- Ford, GM -- have been eliminated due to my experience with their incompetent and downright crooked dealer service departments -- and in fact a new Dodge Challenger R/T w/Scat Pack is at the #1 spot on my very short list of candidate new cars.
From a technical perspective, so I understand better when it counts, what happened inside the engine to have caused the failure between connecting rod and piston? This is what is suspected to be wrong. I have read loosing a water pump is bad, but it's not always the case in pump failure to loose all coolant. Mine was pretty darn empty.
It overheated.
grant - 3 years ago
at those temperatures tow bad things happen:

1. lubrication fails
2. parts go out of dimension

the combination is deadly. Actually either alone is.


Grant gee-lenahan-at-vee-eff-email-dot-net
the connecting rod (rod bearing actually) failure is the result.

The underlying failure was that they either didnt burp the system of left something loose.

Grant gee-lenahan-at-vee-eff-email-dot-net
the dealer accepts any responsibility for something that happens 2200 miles later. Rooting for you.
… sold by Porsche has a full 2 year warranty whether it's installed by a dealer or an indy.
If the dealer can point to a faulty part that they installed, Porsche will pick up the tab.
Happy Porscheing,

Pedro Bonilla 1998 Boxster 986 - 293,000+ miles: http://www.PedrosGarage.com
PCA National Club Racing Scrutineer - PCA National HPDE Instructor - PCA Technical Committee (Boxster/Cayman)

Racecar spelled backwards is Racecar
"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting" ... Steve McQueen as Michael Delaney in "LeMans"
"If you wait, all that happens is that you get older"... Mario Andretti
"Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose" ... Ayrton Senna
Well the service manager who I met with, who was kind and helpful in the beginning is dragging his feet about helping me now. I called Porsche of North America to ask about talking to someone else in tech support. They said that was a department that dealers usually refer to. I explained what had happened and they opened a case number for me. I wanted to give the dealer a chance to become less busy and call me, that does not seem to be happening.
I talked to a local indy who said the service my car had could possibly have contaminated the oil with antifreeze, which would contribute to berings failure. I am sending the oil out for analysis today.
The dealer just doesn't think that I overheating could cause a failure 2200 miles later, that it would have been immediate. While they admitted fault of overheating the car they certainly are in no hurry to help me in any other way. I'm glad I saved the oil. Maybe it will show glycol in the oil. I will send current oil sample too to compare. They should have changed my oil after overheat the car. I did the know that it should have been done or I would have done this on my own.
The dealer said at some point they would want to see the car again and check it out. Probably in 3 years. I am not happy about it. They expect me to say this is what failed and this is why, and apparently charging me for a 1000 dollars in service and sending me out the door with a loose antifreeze fill cap is not good enough for them. Disgusted

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/07/2016 08:07AM by 02boxsterSfan. (view changes)
the proof of the pudding is what they do about it.

I'm not sure what the appropriate amount of time is for them to contact you with their plan forward for a fix, but not calling you back isn't good sign.
Consider stopping by the dealer unannounced to get in front of the SM to let him know you're not going away. You don't have to get nasty, but they need to know you hold them responsible.

If no solution--in writing-- is proposed by them in the next couple of weeks, they might be hoping you'll just go away.
or something similar to what CA has the Bureau of Automobile Repair (BAR) and find out what is avialable to you.

I know once just mentioning I was going to contact the CA BAR had a shop owner shaking in its boots.

Get familiar with location of the division of consumer fraud, BAR or whatever. Know the addresses, phone numbers, name and time of who you talked to.

This can be fraud in the sense the dealer owes you a reasonable level of skill, experience, and caution/care in servicing your vehicle. Among other things this means doing things right and not screwing up.

Don't go back in making threats. Stay calm. Polite. Just go back to the dealer and speak with the SM and probably at this stage the GM and mention that because the dealer is taking its sweet time you have contacted the division of consumder fraud/BAR/whatever. Generally the consumer fraud division rep will advise you to try to work out an acceptable solution with the in this case the dealer. Indicate this is what you are trying to do.

If the SM says it has to contact the factory try to pin it down to when. IOWs, try to get times/dates as to when the dealer will have made progress, accomplished something, If the dealer misses any of these call it out on this.

Don't make a threat just write a letter to the dealer addressed to the SM, cc the GM, cc PCNA, and both the division of consumer fraud and the BAR or whatever.

Briefly list the circumstances that resulted in your car engine being in the condition it is now and that you want this taken care of promptly at the dealer's expense or you will be forced to take further action. Note the dealer has failed to meet the deadlines you both agreed upon.

You have to show the dealer the stick, which in this case is the division of consumer fraud/BAR (or whatever). No dealer wants to go through this and because you are now going to keep PCNA informed with letters this provides additional incentive for the dealer to make you whole again.

You don't have to follow the above exactly. You want to follow a course that feels comfortable to you but it probably wants to include at least parts of the above. What you learn from talking to someone at the consumer fraud department and BAR/whatever will also help you know what to do.

Generally if the dealer starts to drag its feet it is hoping to wear you down so you get tired of the fight and you go away. So you need a stick to show the dealer. Phone calls after a point need to be followed with letters.
Just a min ago the guy called and basically said they don't think they did anything that could have caused this problem. They don't think that overheating the car could damage it in this way. They said they would be willing to look into it, at a reduced rate, (with no solid details or actual cost) to try and figure out what went wrong inside the engine and "help" me with the costs of repair. I told him I was going to send the oil out for analysis and I would let them know what the results were. I asked if antifreeze was found in the oil did he think that would be the problem, he said he didn't know, and there would still be a lot of variables. I consider this to be pure hogwash. I just wondered what he would say. I am guessing if they had run it into a brick wall going 80mph they would say it was not their fault and there were lots of "variables" in figuring out liability.
I appreciate the comments that have been left on this topic.
I have some new information on this situation and none of it is good. Since my last post I sent the oil in for analysis. Comments were high levels copper, lead, and tin. Iron is also on the high side. Also found is sodium, marker for antifreeze. Blackstone labs states antifreeze in oil and overheat could be related to poor bering wear.
I took the results to the dealer, they basically started pointing the finger in any direction they could. After picking up my car from being serviced I drove it 5 or 6 miles to have front tires installed. Dealer says tire place probably topped off fluids and left the cap off... however the tire place I used does not provide that service or any fluid changes of any kind. Clearly says so on their website. I have come to the porsche dealer to have a full inspection done. Dealer does not provide me with a porsche authorized tech. I agree to have them fix what they said was most important. A vacume line on passenger side intake, o rings on oil cooler, and some o rings on power steering fluid housing. In process I understand the coolant level must have been lowered to avoid getting antifreeze in oil. Apparently the tech didn't fasten antifreeze cap in trunk, car overheats, head warps or cracks allowing coolant into oil.... and 2200 miles later, bering failure.
I don't mind saying goes the first time I came in. They were nice to me. They said good luck, and they meant it. The last 2 months they have drug their feet, missed meetings, twisted my words, won't tell me who their public liability insurance company is. I filed a complaint with the state attorney general. I called the competing Porsche dealer and they thought the oil analysis was pretty telling. They said I would be better off hiring an attorney than spending money to pull the engine trying to prove if I had a cracked or warped head. What would you do?
An engine tear-down will be on your nickle and will be expensive; given the time involved here, the dealer has decided they aren't going to help you at all.

Time for registered letter--probably from a lawyer-- to get their attention.
An engine tear-down will be on your nickle and will be expensive; given the time involved here, the dealer has decided they aren't going to help you at all.

Time for registered letter--probably from a lawyer-- to get their attention.

Not 'probably'... it needs to be from a lawyer.
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