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Boxster Catastrophic Engine Failure

I have a 99 Porsche Boxster with 67K miles. Overall the car runs great and has become my daily driver. I recently had the water pump replaced and one of the technicians told me that a lot of the 2.5 engines from 97-99 experience catastrophic engine failure to to a faulty design in the IMS?the intermediate shaft. My plan was to hold on to the car as long as a can and hoped to get 200k mile out of it. Now I’m wording if the car is living on borrowed time. Have you heard of this issue with the early Boxsters, should I be concerned or are the Internet bloggers exaggerating (20% of Boxster don’t make it to 100k) the problem. If it is a concern I may decide to sell the car and get something else. Any thoughts on this?


I’ve heard of the problem affecting a minority of the engines. You’d do well to get in on several of the Porsche enthusiasts’ discussion boards, you’ll get lots more info that way.

The 911 engines also could suffer catastrophic engine faliure when their timimg chain tensioners collapsed but the cars were so popular that many cheap and effective fixes were developed. Perhaps some fixes have been developed for the Boxster

Hi Tom,

I have a 98 Boxster, and know all about the fears you have had come up recently.

The 97 to 99 engines are the least likely to actually have the IMS bearing fail.
That honor goes to the 2000 through 2008 engines. Mostly between 2000 and 2005, and more noticed in the 3.2 engines.

Your specific year was most likely to have a D-Chunk failure, where part of the cylinder bore breaks off, and destroys the engine that way.

The best thing you can do is first, get under the car, read the engine ID number, and see if your engine is still the original engine, or if its a rebuilt replacement engine. If its a replacement engine, then you are most likely our of the woods.

Next up, your overall best bet would be to contact Jake Raby at Flat 6 Innovations, and work with him if you ever have a failure. Or, if you just want to get a solid replacement motor and IMS bearing into the motor.

And finally, the very best thing you can do is change the oil every 5k miles, and just drive the car. That’s what I’m doing. You paid for it, you should still go about enjoying it, and stop worrying about the “What if’s…”