How much does a Porsche Boxster oil change cost? With the 986 generation prices falling as low as $5,000 for a higher mileage, but overall good car (even good early 987s can be found for around $15,000) many are interested in purchasing the roadster.
A ’99 Porsche Boxster oil change had been quoted to us for as much as $500. However, that is on the very high end with an average oil change cost of between $125 and $250 being more common. The reason we’ve been told that it is so expensive is that it is a mid-engine vehicle (claiming it is much more difficult), but is it really so difficult? Is it possible to save some cash by doing the work yourself? The answer to the first question is that it isn’t very difficult and to the second is yes, you can save quite a bit doing to work yourself (all the steps of which we will detail below). These should work for a 986 generation Boxster or a 987 generation Boxster / Cayman.
Before you start changing your oil you’ll need a few things. You may need to purchase a few of these, but even if you do the first oil change will likely cost you less than taking it to a shop and your next change will be significantly lower.
Oil and Filter
The oil type is very important when changing oil in your Boxster. From new Porsche uses Mobil 1 full synthetic on these mid-engined roadsters. The important thing to look for in a motor oil is that it is Porsche A40 approved. To help keep costs lower you can get Mobil 1 European Car Formula at Walmart for about $25 per 5 quart container. Most stores will have 0w-40 available (you may be able to find 5w-50 which is better in warmer climates), but if your local store doesn’t have it you can purchase it at the Walmart website. There are multiple manufactures that produce A40 approved oils, so shop around to find the best most affordable option (which is normally Mobil 1 at Walmart in our experience).
The Porsche Boxster oil capacity is between 7 and 9 quarts depending on the model
year (our 1999 takes 8.2 quarts). Because of this you’ll likely need to purchase at least 9 quarts or two 5 quart jugs.
You will also need a good oil filter. Many company’s make them and most will come with the needed rubber seal. If you want to be able to purchase the filter at a local parts store we recommend the Wix oil filter. In our experience stay away from Fram filters. We used a filter from them and on our next oil change found it coming apart.
You’ll also want to change the crush washer each oil change to help keep a better seal. Each one costs less than $1 and are available at multiple specialist websites and at your local Porsche dealership.
Originally Porsche recommended 15,000 miles for the oil change interval for the Boxster. This was later lowered to 10,000 miles, but we recommend 5,000 miles to be cautious.
There are a number of tools you’ll need. Most of these you’ll likely already own, but for your first oil change you may need to purchase a few items.
- Oil Filter Wrench Socket – 74.4 mm, 14-Point – 3/8″ or 27 mm Drive
- Torque Wrench
- Breaker Bar Wrench
- 8 mm Hex Socket
- Flathead Screwdriver
- Oil Drain Pan (at least 10 quarts in capacity)
- Jack and Jack Stands (or ramps)
- Rags and/or Paper Towels
Steps to Change Oil
- Allow the car to run for a few minutes to help bring the oil up to operating temperatures (this will make sure more old oil and debris drains out of the drain pan).
- Raise the rear end of the car using a jack and jack stands or the correct automotive ramps. Make sure to chock the front wheels and put the parking brake on (if using ramps also put the transmission in reverse).
- Using the breaker bar wrench with the 8 mm hex socket attached loosen the drain plug, making sure not to unscrew it completely (you just want it to where you can begin to hand loosen it).
- Place the oil drain pan under the car beneath the oil drain plug. You may want to put the drain pan into a cardboard box cut to have the top to be the same height as the drain pan. The box will make sure that if you accidentally have the drain pan in the wrong location that the box will catch any overflow instead of your garage floor.
- Hand loosen the drain plug the rest of the way making sure to keep upward pressure on the plug as you unscrew it.
- Fully remove the drain plug and put it aside as the oil begins to drain (be careful as the oil will be warm). It is a good idea to wear some good gloves at this point as it will help keep you from getting burned.
- While you wait for the oil to drain out of the car use the oil filter wrench socket connected to the breaker bar and work on removing the filter housing .Before fully taking off the housing make sure to move the oil drain pan to catch any oil that will come out from the oil filter housing. Use your hand to unscrew it the rest of the way and remove it fully.
- With the oil filter housing removed dump any extra oil in the housing into the oil drain pan. You’ll need to remove the old filter from the housing by pulling up. Now is a good time to check the filter for a large amount of metal particulars which could be a sign that your intermediate shaft bearing is about to fail (if this is the case don’t drive the car until you get it replaced, preferably with a newer less fail prone unit). You will also need to remove the oil o-ring seal using a flat head screw driver placed into the indent in the groove that holds the seal in place.
- Using a rag or paper towel clean the housing.
- Open one of the oil containers and dip a finger into the oil. Now coat the new rubber o-ring oil filter housing seal with new oil to help make sure there is a tight seal.
- Put the new rubber o-ring seal onto the filter housing in the groove made for holding the seal. You will need to stretch the rubber to allow it to fit into the groove.
- Put the new filter into the housing and then poor a small amount of oil into the filter housing (filling between a fourth and half of the container with fresh oil) to help prevent the chance of a dry start.
- Screw the oil filter housing back in place by hand tightening it. Place the oil filter wrench socket on the housing and connect it to the torque wrench. Torque it to the spec of 25 Nm (19 ft-lb).
- Take the oil drain plug and remove the old crush washer. Use a lint-fee rag or paper towel to clean the drain plug.
- Dip your finger in the oil container you opened earlier and coat the new crush washer in fresh oil. Place the new crush washer on the drain plug and coat the threads in fresh oil.
- Hand tighten the oil drain plug back in place and move the oil drain pan out from under the car. Attach the 8 mm hex socket to the torque wrench. Torque the plug to the spec of 50 Nm (37 ft-lb) and then clean the area of any excess oil using s rag.
- If you used jack stands raise the car with the jack and remove both jack stands and then lower the Porsche so that the car is on the ground and sits level. If you used ramps you’ll need to wait until you put oil in the car to move it.
- Open the rear trunk and remove the oil filler cap. Place the funnel in the filler pipe and slowly poor in the first 5 quarts. After doing this pour in about half a quart at a time and check the oil level. Use the dip stick if you are working on a 1997-2004 Boxster or use the in dash level indicator if your Boxster is after 2005. As you go allow a few minutes between pours for the oil to seep all the way down. If using ramps fill the level to about half of the dip stick or level indicator. If you are not using ramps and are on level ground fill the oil about three quarters of the way.
- If you are using ramps close the oil filler cap and drive the car off the ramps and then let it sit for a few minutes to give the oil time to settle. Check the oil level and make sure it is about three quarters of the way full.
- If possible we recommend letting the car sit over night to get the most accurate level reading possible. At this time carefully fill the oil to the top level of the dip stick or oil indicator (the top level is one bar lower than the very top on the dash indicator).
- Close the oil filler cap and the rear trunk.
- Cleanup the work area and recycle the used motor oil and oil filter.
- Enjoy driving the car and after a day or so re-check the oil level and make sure it is at the top level of the dip stick or oil indicator. You may also want to get under the car to make sure that there are no leaks.
Watch An Oil Change In Action
If you are more of a visual learner we have put together the below video that shows all the steps invoked in the oil change. There was one mistake in showing the oil options as neither option shown is A40 approved. If you go for Mobil 1, just remember to purchase the European Car Formula instead of the High Mileage motor oil shown in the video.
Trouble watching the video? Go to the original YouTube video.