The primary maintenance that ALL Porsche Boxster owners need to learn is changing the oil. Changing your oil the most common task that you will need to learn to perform.
In the event that you are not mechanically inclined, you merely need to adhere to the regularly scheduled maintenance of having your oil changed.
The regularly scheduled maintenance of changing your Oil in your Porsche Boxster is the single most important task that you can complete to ensure the longevity of your Boxster engine.
Why Should You Change Your Engine Oil?
Oil loses its critical properties over time, so the regular replacement of the oil and filter is essential to maintaining your vehicle’s engine.
How often should you be Changing the Oil on your Porsche Boxster?
It is important to realize that changing your Boxster’s oil is critical to the longevity of your engine life. When Winterizing your Boxster, we recommend storing your car with “fresh” oil.
Porsche Service advisers recommend changing your oil and filter before your store your vehicle for the Winter. This will ensure that your Porsche is stored with clean oil. The clean oil will reduce the risk of harmful contaminants working away at your engine during hibernation — and you’ll be ready to go in spring.How and why you should Winterize Your Porsche Boxster
Porsche Boxster Published Oil Change Intervals
You should change your oil at a minimum of once a year or every 5,000 miles (whichever comes first.)
5000 Miles (8,000 Kilometers)
For the most part, changing your oil every 5,000 miles is doubling (or more) the frequency of the Oil change time of the Porsche Boxster Manual. The Porsche Maintenance Schedule on the 987 recommends changing the oil every 10,000 miles.
|Year||Oil Change Frequency|
From Porsche Maintenance Schedule
|986||2001-2004||every 12,000 miles (20,000 km) or every 2 years|
|987||2005-2007||every 18,000 miles (30,000) or every 2 years|
|987||2008||every 12,000 miles (20,000 km) or every 2 years|
|987.2||2009||every 10,000 miles (15,000 km) or every 2 years|
|987.2||2010-2012||every 10,000 miles (15,000 km) or every 2 years|
|981||2012-2016||every 10,000 miles or every 2 years|
|718 (982)||2016 – Present||every 10,000 miles or every 2 years|
As a result, the simple maintenance of Changing the Oil on your Porsche Boxster is the single most paramount step to complete that will extend your Boxster’s engine life.
Oil is cheap. Engines are expensive.John Phelps on FaceBook
What Brand of Oil Do You Use In Your Boxster?
The recommended oil is Mobil 1 comes in several different grades. Mobil 1™ is Porsche’s recommended oil.
Partners in performance For 20 years, Porsche and the Mobil 1 team have collaborated in both the development of engines in vehicles driven on the road, as well as on the track for Porsche racing. Porsche shares the same commitment to research and advanced technology that goes into Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil.Mobil 1™ – Porsche’s recommended oil
- Meets or exceeds the latest OEM and industry approvals. Chosen for factory fill in many of the world's finest vehicles
- Provides exceptional cleaning power for dirty engines and excellent overall performance
- Excellent low temperature capabilities for rapid engine protection at start-up
- Enhanced frictional properties that aids fuel economy
- Delivers fast protection for reduced engine wear and deposits even in the most extreme driving conditions
UK Porsche Boxster Oil Mobil 1
The Mobil 1 0W40 European Car Edition is not readily available in the UK. Multiple UK Porsche sites recommend using the Mobil Super 3000 X1 5W-40 oil in its place.
In our experience, Mobil Super 3000 X1 5W-40 is the best performing oil for Porsches in the English climate, particularly for cars with engines that are ‘worn in’ and have reasonable mileage on the clock. Whether you put your Porsche through its paces at track days or just use it for short commutes from cold, we believe that this fully synthetic oil provides the best wear protection and so use it as standard for services at our Brighouse workshop.Revolution Porsche, an independent Porsche Specialist based in Yorkshire
What Oil Weight Do you run in your Boxster?
Firstly, always use the recommended oil weight from your owner’s manual. Secondly, depending on your driving location you can run 0W40 or 10W40.
You need to understand what 10W40 and 0W40 means. The 2 different oils at operating temperature are both 40 weight oils. The W means Winter. All the 0 and 10 indicate is the relative viscosity for cold starts. The 0W40 will be better for cold starts. If you only plan to drive in the summer, 10W40 is fine. If you are worried about oil passing seals or rings then a higher weight oil is in order like Mobil 5W50. When you consider many modern engines run W20 and W30 oils, W40 is already a high viscosity oil.
The Preferred Oil Filer is Mahle (Make Sure to Get the Right Size)
Oil Drain Plug
Always replace your Oil drain plug with a new aluminum crush washer when changing your oil. You can source these washers online or at your local Porsche Dealer.
Also, be aware that the Porsche Boxster oil drain plug is aluminum and very susceptible to striping the hex bolt socket. Always make sure that you fully seat your hex bolt (or allen key) when removing or replacing the drain plug. It is a good idea to have a spare oil drain plug around just in case of accidental stripping of the bolt pattern.
Should You Use a Magnetic Oil Plug?
Magnetic oil plugs have been around for some time. This technology came from the race track and made its way to the street. The magnetic oil plug acts as a cost-effective early warning system for your engine.
Firstly, having a magnetic oil drain plug is essential in alerting you if there is an issue with your engine, and secondly, it can also help your engine last longer. As a result, we strongly recommend this solution.
When changing your oil, make sure you inspect the magnetic oil plug closely and examine it for any metal flecks. Be thankful that any metal on the magnet is less metal that is circulating in your engine.
Please take the time to research the correct size of Magnetic Drain Plug for your model of Porsche Boxster.
Upgraded Magnetic Oil Plugs
Boxstertips is preparing to test the LN Engineering Oil Drain Plug BILLET Aluminum and the Mishimoto, Magnetic Oil Drain Plug M18 x 1.5 Black next season. Please do your own research in making these purchases.
How Much Does a Dealer Charge for Changing the Oil on your Porsche Boxster?
A common complaint that Porsche Boxster Owners make is that the cost of an Oil change at a dealership is very high.
Some US dealers charge over $700 USD for an oil change. Please note this includes a loaner vehicle and all the espresso you can drink. An independent service and repair facility dedicated to comprehensive Porsche service will charge similarly under $200 USD less the loaner and the espresso.
How To Change Engine Oil and Filter on a Porsche Boxster?
If you wish to change your oil more often and want to avoid some of the expense associated doing so, you can change it yourself. Changing oil in the Boxster is very simple, but care must be taken to avoid future problems.
What you need for Changing the Oil on your Porsche Boxster
Below is a partial outline of the steps required and the tools recommended to complete this process. In the long run, this maintenance will be extremely easy to complete and second nature.
The process is actually quite simple :
- Heat the engine
- Drain the oil
- Replace the filter
- Fill with new oil
Here are the tools and parts you’ll need
- Mechanics Tool Set
- Oil drain pan container (at least 10 quarts capacity)
- Rubber gloves
- Oil filter housing removal tool
- Eye protection
- Torque wrench
- 10 quarts (9 liters) of Engine oil
- Oil filter and new aluminum crush ring (900.123.106.30)
- It is always a good idea to keep a new oil plug as a spare (900.219.009.30)
- 8 mm hex wrench with ratchet or 8 mm Allen Wrench
- Oil filter element wrench (74/76 mm) 14-Flute End Cap (depending on engine)
Steps to Changing the Oil on your Porsche Boxster (Stage 1)
- Make sure your engine is warmed up, it is not advisable to change the oil when your engine is cold. Notwithstanding you need to be aware that all contact with Oil should be avoided as it will be hot and according to the state of California causes cancer.
- Please review How to Jack Up your Boxster. While jacking the car up is an option, it is not the safest method. The preferred approach would be to put the car on a lift or to use a set of ramps.
- On the bottom of the engine, centered, is a recessed 8 mm Allen bolt. This is the drain plug. Drain the old oil. Remove it and allow all of the old oil to drain from the engine. The Boxster engine as well as the drain plug is made of aluminum. Be very aware of this and only turn the drain plug only if the hex bolt is fully seated into the drain plug, otherwise you risk stripping the plug. As you remove the plug, the oil will begin to drain, the oil will be hot and as a result, you need to avoid contact with it.
- While the oil is draining, remove the Oil Filter housing. Use an oil filter wrench (74/76mm 14 flutes depending on your engine.) The filter housing is made of plastic. Unscrew the oil filter housing and place the oil filter aside. Careful with the oil filter housing as it will be full of oil. Clean out the plastic oil filter housing to ensure no dirt, metal or contaminants are in the housing.
- Take the time to compare the new oil filter against the old filter to ensure that you have the correct size. One side of the oil filter will be beveled and this end of the filter is meant to fit on the oil pipe extending from the bottom of the engine. Slide the filter onto the oil pipe and it will stay in position.
- The new filter will come with a new O-ring for the oil filter housing. You need to ensure a fresh proper seal and no leaks when the housing is re-installed. Make sure to dip your gloved finger into some new oil and to trace your finger around the new O-ring seal to lubricate it with fresh clean oil. Also, make sure to fill the oil filter housing with a reasonable level of oil to aid in the initial oil circulation when you start your Boxster after the oil change. You need to ensure the proper alignment of the O-ring when you replace the filter housing. Make sure not to over-tighten the oil filter housing.
Let the Oil Drain
Now is a good time for a coffee or tea. Let the oil drain from your Boxster. Some Porsche purists let their oil drain overnight. 20 minutes should be the minimum.
Steps to Changing the Oil on your Porsche Boxster (Stage 2)
- . Hand turn the drain plug back into position with a new crush washer. It is critical to use a NEW crush ring to ensure a proper seal and no leaks. The Boxster engine as well as the drain plug are made of aluminum. Only tighten the drain plug when the hex bolt is fully seated. Torque the drain plug to the set specifications of your engine. Make sure never to over tighten the drain plug or you risk stripping the threads. Unfortunately, stripping the drain plug threads is very easy to do.
- Once the filter and drain plug is in place and secure, refill the engine with oil from the normal oil cap in the rear trunk. It should take approximately 10 quarts. Afterward, check to ensure that the oil level is correct. Make sure the car is level before checking the oil level.
- Very importantly, let your car warm up doing a 10-mile run and then re-check your oil level. DO NOT OVERFILL your engine oil (see FAQ below.)
- Properly dispose of the old oil and filter.
- Take your old oil filter (that you put aside from step 4) and cut it open to allow the filter to unravel and lay flat. Carefully examine all the nooks and crannies of the used filter for any metal flecks. Ultimately, your oil filter similarly to your magnetic drain plug act as an early warning sign for any internal engine issues.
Reset Your Oil Service Light
To reset your oil service indicator, you will need to make use of a Porsche specific OBD II Scanner reset tool. Unfortunately, you cannot reset this service indicator without one. Feel free to check an overview on of OBD Tools for your Porsche Boxster here.
Do Not Overfill Your Oil Level
It is critical to measure and use the correct amount of engine oil. Putting too much oil into your engine can result in minor to major issues to your Porsche Boxster engine (not to mention the environment).
Issues from Overfilling Oil
If you overfill your engine with oil, you risk the following:
- blue grey smoke from the exhaust (burning oil)
- high running oil temperature
- foaming of the oil within the crankcase which reduces the level of lubrication inside your engine
- Damage to your AOS
- Damage to your catalytic converters
Check Your Oil Level
Early 987 Boxsters and 996 models have a dipstick provided to measure the oil level, but that was abandoned for an electronic oil level sensor. The oil level is measured from inside the cabin on the instrument panel.
Measure Oil Level in Porsche Boxsters 986
On the Porsche Boxster 986, you can measure the oil level using the oil dipstick located in the trunk or via the driver’s instrument panel.
To use the instrument panel on a 986:
- Park your Boxster on a level surface
- Make sure your engine is “off”.
- Turn your ignition on (without starting the engine) and your instrument panel will initiate the oil measurement.
- The display of the oil level on the segment display can be read once the measurement is completed.
Measure Oil Level in Porsche Boxsters 987/987.2/981/718/982
Measuring the oil on the newer Boxster models is done with the engine running and with the engine at full operating temperature on a level surface. NOTE: There is no oil dipstick.
To use the instrument panel on a 987/987.2/981/982:
- Park your Boxster on a level surface
- Make sure your engine is “on” and that the engine is fully warmed up. The engine must be at an operating temperature of at least 140 °F/60 °C.
- The engine must be idling.
- Select the Oil measurement using the Measure Oil option in your menu.
- The display of the oil level on the segment display can be read once the measurement is completed.
The permitted oil level must be between the minimum and maximum markings.
The oil level must be corrected ASAP if it is not the minimum and maximum levels.
Otherwise, you risk engine damage.
What to do If you Overfill your Engine Oil
With the engine cold, remove the oil filter housing and remove an oil filters worth of oil.
Oil Filter Inspection
Above all, the oil filter inspection is a very important step in every oil change. If you did not do the oil change yourself ask the garage to save the oil filter for you.
Conversely, inspecting your oil filter is the single most overlooked task of every oil change. It is a critical aspect of the routine maintenance of your Boxster.
Porsche 986 and 996 owners need to be aware of the critical nature of a future IMS failure. You have to inspect the oil filter and at the first sign any metal debris and as a result, be ready to act.
What You Need to Do?
Firstly, take your used oil filter and remove both plastic ends of the filter. Secondly, use a sharp cutting instrument, and a good set of tongue and groove pliers and firmly hold one end as you cut the filter free of the housing. Now, do the same for both sides of the oil filter.
Once you have cut the oil filter free of the plastic housing it, will allow you to take the oil filter mesh material and stretch it out flat.
What to Look For?
You need to inspect for any metallic (IMS bearing, timing chain, etc.) material and any plastic timing chain ramp material that is easily visible throughout the filter media.
You need to check the color, condition, and smell of your oil. Ultimately, you are looking for all metallic debris in the paper element of the filter. This will enable you to catch any engine issues before they become very apparent while out on maneuvers.
Full Engine Oil Analysis
Many Porsche Purists opt to get a full 3rd party engine oil analysis. The Engine Oil breakdown give you optimal insight into the state of your Boxster engine. Test Kits are free from BlackStone Labratories, and analysis is approximately $30 USD.
Blackstone Laboratories strives to provide an easy-to-use, understandable, and accurate oil analysis program with the fastest turnaround in the industry.
Oil analysis is a quick, nondestructive way to gauge the health of your Boxster’s engine by looking at what’s in the oil. In the report above the results show high magnesium, copper, and iron.
- High Iron (ferrous metals) in the engine oil comes from the crank/rod bearing journals, IMS bearing coming apart, piston walls. Note that the piston walls are covered or treated with an iron coating to prevent the aluminum piston walls from galling from contact with the aluminum of the cylinder walls.
- Copper is a bearing metal; and comes from main, rod bearing inserts, or valve guides.
- Magnesium is an additive component. Some oils have a very heavy additive package and maybe this oil is one of those cases.
One point though, if the IMS bearing were going bad the amount of chromium or manganese would be up as well. The IMS bearing composition is (probably) SAE 52100 bearing steel which contains carbon, chrome, iron, manganese, phosphorus, silicon, and sulfur, though the amounts of the last 4 items are tiny compared to the 1st 3 items.
The main point of this report is that the oil analysis comments did not indicate any reason for alarm. It also recommend that you may want to consider adhering to a 4K mile oil change next time and see what an analysis turns up. You want to see if the amounts of the various minerals in the oil fall closer to the universal averages.
Otherwise if you do the oil analysis again at the 4,000 miles interval and see similar results, then this indicates that your oil may not be up to a 5k/7k mileage interval for oil changes. This is also reflective of your driving style, climate, and other factors that can impact your oil service life.
There is a lot of information on these Engine Oil Analysis reports. PCA members compare notes on Engine Oil Analysis reports, Engine Oil used and even filters used. It is a benifital tool and highly recommended to give you a report on your Engine status.
986 Boxster owners should consider this option of Engine Oil anaylisis as an early warning system for IMS bearing issues.
Other Articles of Interest
1. Work with a Friend
2. Use Level Ground
3. Use Stable Ground
4. Read Your Owner’s Manual
5. Stabilize your car using Chocks
6. Lifting the Vehicle
7. Supporting your Vehicle
8. Check Each Jack Stand
9. Test Shake Your Car
Magnetic oil plugs have been around for some time. This technology came from track cars and they have made their way to the street. The magnetic oil plug acts as a cost-effective early warning system for your engine.
Firstly, having a magnetic oil drain plug is essential in alerting you if there is an issue with your engine, and secondly, it can also help your engine last longer. As a result, we strongly recommend this as a low-cost solution.
US Porsche dealers charge up to $700 for an oil change. Please note this includes a loaner vehicle. An independent service and repair facility dedicated to comprehensive Porsche service will charge similarly under $200, but not include a loaner vehicle.
If you overfill too much oil into your Boxster engine it is damaging for the environment and for your engine.
A too high an oil level can cause the engine oil to foam, which means that it can only partially perform its lubricating function. The foaming is caused due to the oil level being high enough for the crankshaft to whip the oil into a foam. At the same time, a greater quantity of oil mist is transported into the combustion chambers, only some of which will be combusted. This leads to deposits in the combustion chamber, reduced engine performance, smoke, and increased oil consumption, as well as uncombusted oil constituents in the exhaust flow reaching the catalytic converter, adversely affecting its long-term performance. This foaming of the oil causes a loss of oil pressure and inadequate lubrication. Regular oil checks show when and how much oil needs to be topped up.
Last update on 2021-10-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API