The yearly maintenance of your Porsche Boxster is critical to the successful operation of your Boxster for many years to come. Regular maintenance and upkeep mean fewer costs and headaches down the road.
No harm has come from the over maintenance of your Porsche, however a lack of maintenance can be significantly more expensive and have catastrophic results. A new set of spark plugs or a new air filter will always make your engine run better, regardless of what the recommended duration between those service items is.
1.0 Document All of Your Maintenance Service
It is very important to maintain excellent records on all aspects of your Porsche Boxster’s maintenance. One of the easiest ways to make sure you keep good records is to create a vehicle maintenance binder (or folder). I like to hole punch all maintenance receipts and maintain it in a binder. If you move the binder, you do not have to worry about paper receipts falling out as you would with a file folder. As soon as you receive a receipt for maintenance or parts, hole punch them and place them inside the binder.
Whenever you buy a replacement part for your car, make sure to write down the odometer reading at the time of replacement. This is especially important when you perform regular tasks like oil changes, brake replacements, and have no specific invoices from mechanics.
If you purchased a pre-owned car, retain all maintenance paperwork you are given by the previous owner. Hopefully the previous owner kept good records as you will do.
2.0 Change Your Wipers
Porsche recommends replacing your wipers yearly. Boxstertips recommends upgrading to Silicone Wipers and changing your wipers as required.
Thoroughly check and examine your wipers and replace them at any sign of wear.
3.0 Clean Your Radiators
Unfortunately cleaning Porsche Boxster radiators is the most often missed aspect of your Porsche Boxster’s maintenance schedule. If you do not perform this maintenance on a yearly basis you risk the premature failure of your AC condensers and radiators at the front of your Boxster.
The aerodynamic design of the front of the Boxster bumper will collect a lot of debris into the inner corners of each radiator. Road debris collects and fuses with your radiators and AC condensers causing early corrosion. The Bumper air intakes provide air for radiators and AC condensers.
The large air ducts easily allow small furry animals, assorted fowl, vegetation, and road debris to collect in the bumpers. There is no exit path except through the radiators, so it all accumulates. All of this debris accelerates the corrosion of the radiators and AC condensers which are fully vulnerable to being punctured by stones.
Unfortunately only the GT models come stock with Radiator grilles.
Consider the removal of the front bumper annually. This allows you to give everything a thorough clean, inspection, and attend to any issues.
Always check your radiators at the first time of your Boxster running hotter than normal.
If you skip this maintenance for a couple of years and do the cleaning, it is recommended that you loosen the AC condensers and also clean between the radiators and AC condensers.
When you do this maintenance or help friends with this maintenance, you will give strong consideration to installing radiator grilles on your Boxster (or Cayman.) I spent a day doing this on my 2009 Boxster S and opted to install the Zunsport Grilles.
4.0 Check You Tires
Driving on good tires is critical to all aspects of performance driving. Your tires need your attention. Check the air pressure on all your tires and make sure they are set as per your tire manufacturer recommendation.
It is advised that tires that are five years old must be properly examined annually. If the tire is greater than ten years old, it must be replaced despite the condition. After five years of use, tires can start to crack and you need to do a thorough inspection for any cracks and your tread wear. I have never had any tires last five years on my Boxster.
Unfortunately, your rear tires will wear at a 3:1 ratio versus your front tires. In most cases Boxster tires are segmented and thus many tire manufacturer warranties will be limited.
NOTE: You need a good level of tread on your rear tires or risk your Boxster kicking the rear to the right when hydro planning. Even a nominal amount of rain can cause this when running on what looks to be a driveable level of tire tread.
4.1 How to know the age of your Tires?
It is necessary to know how to decode the DOT date of manufacture on tires.
We have encountered many times, that Boxster drivers purchase brand new 3+-year-old tires.
This causes a lot of frustration. You need to learn this skill and use it every time you purchase your new tires. Many times tire dealers end up with a stale stock of ultra-performance tires with no purchasers.
All tires have a DOT number on the sidewall. The last 4 digits of the DOT number have the Tire fabrication date encoded. The DOT manufacture date is broken down by the first 2 numbers is the week of manufacture and the last 2 numbers of the year of manufacture.
So in the example above, this tire was manufactured in January of 2015.
4.2 What to look for on your Tire inspection:
- Check tire tread depth, compare depth to tread wear markers on each tire.
- Check and adjust tire air pressure.
- Thoroughly examine for any cracks between tire treads.
- Thoroughly examine for any damage to the tires (especially if you track your car)
5.0 Check your Oil Cap
There are 2 maintenance inspections to check involving your Oil cap.
5.1 Check for the Dreaded MAYO
Remove your Oil cap and examine under the oil cap of any discolored foam underneath your oil cap. In most cases, this is caused by short runs in cold weather, however, it can indicate just a plethora of more serious issues.
5.2 Check your AOS (Air Oil Separator)
Check the vacuum on the oil filler cap. Remove the oil cap with the engine idling (running.) If the vacuum is really strong and it takes a bit of force to pull the cap up then you might have a bad AOS. If the oil filler cap is easy to lift then you’re fine.
For more info on your AOS, please refer to the article below:
6.0 Check Fluid Levels
This goes without saying. It is important to check all fluid levels on your Boxster. This includes your oil, radiator, and windshield wiper Fluid. Please make sure that you never overfill your engine oil as it can cause a multitude of issues for your engine.
6.1 Engine Oil Over Filling
If you overfill your Porsche Boxster engine oil you risk:
- 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
For more info on Changing the Oil on your Porsche Boxster please check the following Article:
7.0 Do Yearly Battery Maintenance
The life of your battery can be greatly diminished by the collection of lead sulfate crystals. Lead Sulfate crystals can form (sulfation) on the lead plates inside your Boxster’s battery. If you have not upgraded to an AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) battery yet, then your conventional lead-acid battery is very susceptible to this issue.
Sulfation occurs anytime when a lead-acid battery is deprived of a full charge.
Prolonged storage of a battery (winterization) can lead to the collection of lead sulfate crystals in your battery. The lead sulfate crystals will impact the performance of your battery.
We strongly recommend that you take the steps to correctly Winterize your Porsche Boxster, including using a CTEK or Porsche battery charger each year. The CTEK battery charger completes 8 charging cycles including a FULL de-sulfation of your battery.
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NOTE: The OEM Supplier of the Porsche Battery Charger is CTEK.
Using a CTEK battery charger each year will extend the life of your battery and keep it well maintained. Anytime you do not use your Boxster for over 10 days it is recommended that you attach a CTEK battery charger on your Boxster.
For more info on Charging your Battery on your Porsche Boxster please check the following Article:
8.0 Maintain Your Porsche Leather Seats
Your Porsche Leather Seats are susceptible to premature aging due to UV radiation. To keep the interior leather in your Porsche Boxster in excellent condition, you’ll need to clean it roughly every three to four months using professional quality products. Using a higher-quality cleaner and conditioner (versus soap and water or automotive cleaning wipes), you will ensure that the leather is well-preserved. This will result in long-lasting leather. Many products contain an SPF substance to ensure added protection for your vehicle’s leather under the sun and UV radiation.
The Porsche Leather seats are especially prone to failure around the side bolsters and are easily damaged when entering or exiting the Boxster. Sometimes referred to as the “Porsche Hop”, drivers learn to enter the cockpit without hitting the side bolsters. The “Porsche Hop” becomes second nature and most season Porsche drivers do this without noticing.
It is paramount to keep your Porsche Leather seats soft and supple. Otherwise, the leather is prone to drying out, cracking, and damage. Your Porsche Leather seats will prematurely parish without yearly maintenance (at the least). Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner and Leather Conditioner Kit is great for this maintenance.
9.0 Wash and Treat Your Canvas Convertible
You should thoroughly wash and condition your premium Haartz German Sonnenland A5 canvas convertible top each year. All premium convertible tops are made by Haartz. Haartz make convertible tops for Porsche, Bentley, Rolls Royce, and 40+ other brands of vehicles.
The Porsche Boxster canvas convertible top is NOT waterproof. it is only water-resistant. The convertible top needs to be treated yearly. Never treat the canvas convertible top without first doing a thorough cleaning. The number one cause of premature wearing of your canvas is the collection of dust. Dust makes its way into the weave of the canvas fabric and acts like sandpaper. The Canvas top is a dust magnet and you need to wash the dust off your convertible top before you treat your convertible top.
Never treat the canvas convertible top without first doing a comprehensive washing.
9.1 Just an Excellent Article: Porsche Convertible Top Cleaning & Conditioning
10.0 Clean Your MAF
Cleaning your Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor is an easy job, and we recommend cleaning the MAF every season (when you have access to your engine bay). It is an easy 5-minute job and only requires a Torx T20 screwdriver and MAF cleaner. The MAF is responsible for many CEL (Check Engine Light) errors.
Never touch the MAF filament or drop the sensor. Only use specific MAF cleaner.
11.0 Lubricate your CabRIO Guide Rails
At the beginning of each season, make sure that your Boxster convertible CabRIO guide rails are Fully Lubricated. Use white lithium grease applied with a cotton swab.
Do not over spray the lithium grease under the clam-shell.
We cover in detail the many issues that you can experience with your Porsche Boxster Convertible Top in this article:
12.0 Clean Your Drains
This is another maintenance step that the majority of Boxster drivers are unaware of. That is until it is too late. Failing to regularly clean your Boxster’s drains can result in plugged drains. When your Boxster’s drains get plugged up, the overflow of all water under the clam-shell is directed into the cabin of the Boxster.
At the first sign of wet cabin floors you must act ASAP!
You must clean your drains on a yearly basis or risk monumental damage to your CLU (Central Locking Unit). It is unfortunate that this crucial part is located under the passenger seat in your Boxster’s cabin. Any water in the cabin is diverted to this part and causes total failure.
The Yearly maintenance of your Boxster’s drains is easy and only a 10 minute job.
Thoroughly clean all debris from under the clam-shell. In the photo below is a typical example of the debris that can collect under the clam-shell. If you have a 986 without the drain screens installed, we recommend that you purchase drain screens as shown below.
Cleaning your drains ranges from simply pouring hot water down each drain hole to ensure excellent water flow to clearing any debris from the drains in the event of encountering limited to no water flow. Below is an excellent article on this maintenance and coverage on the critical nature of preserving your CLU:
13.0 Change Your Filters
We recommend changing your cabin filter and engine air filter at the beginning of each season. We recommend paying the extra few dollars to purchase the charcoal-activated cabin filter over the non-charcoal filter.
14.0 Treat Your Rubber
Treat all of your Porsche Boxster weather stripping on your every season. Make sure to use a conditioning compound on all exposed rubber and plastic items on the exterior of your Porsche.
This includes the weather stripping on your convertible top and clam-shell.
All Porsche enthusiasts swear by the German made Gummi Pflege Stift !
15.0 Treat Your WindShield and Headlights
We recommend that you treat your Windshield as part of your regularly scheduled yearly maintenance on your Porsche Boxster.
We hope that you take the time to do these maintenance steps on your Porsche Boxster on a regular schedule. We hope you have found this information helpful and easy to apply to your Porsche Boxster. All the Best from Boxstertips!
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Last update on 2021-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API