What maintenance and upkeep costs should I expect?
I am contemplating a purchase of a Cayman S (trading in my 08 Corvette) and I am a bit weary about any maintenance costs or upkeep associated with owning a Porsche as you hear different stories. What should I be aware of before I purchase with regards to oil change prices, labor rates, and what types of issues have people been having since ownership. I thank you all in advance for any help you can provide me.
Dealers prices vary so make sure you check your local dealers rates. The cars are not high maintenance unless used by the driver for track and AX fun. Then you will need more tires, rotors and brakes but that is just the cost of the sport.
You might want to search for some owner experiences as well.
You might also check out the FAQ, as this has been discussed before. As Santa Fe has pointed out, each dealership charges their own price so it can vary. I took my wife's Cayenne S in for its first service at 15,000 miles and it cost me just over $500. I would recommend joining PCA as you get a discount on parts and labor for service and repairs.
I have a 2007 Cayman 2.7 that's just seeing 30K miles. I changed the oil at 3K (not required), 10K, 20K and will again at 30K. I had these done at a Porsche-oriented independent for $100 each. Had front rotors and brake pads replaced at 26K for $850 at the same independent, rears were fine. Cross-drilled rotors cannot be turned, so they must be replaced. This might be considered excessive wear, but I had an absolute blast on a Roc'nCrok fun run to the Tail of The Dragon that worked the front brakes fairly hard. You would probably see similar wear if you autocrossed or tracked the car---I don't. Tires are good for another 20K at least. No warranty issues, not a rattle or a sqeak in the car.
The Bad News: Routine Porsche maintenance (oil changes, etc.) at the dealerships is relatively expensive (I think I paid about $185 for just an oil/filter change). Porsche-approved N-spec tires are expensive (approx. $1000 per set) to replace (my original Michelins lasted 20K miles, including a couple of track days and AXs).
The Good News: Routine Service intervals are infrequent - used to be 2 yr/20K miles, but I guess they have reduced that in newer models.
Oil change wise, if you can do it yourself, it's much cheaper. Oil / Filter / drain plug and washer can be had for about $85. The process is no more difficult then on any GM car I've owned. See link below for instructions:
Just to add another data point my expense to date for a 2/06 CS have been $450 following Porsche guidelines. For some reason I tend to be good at saving my tires/brakes even with some aggressive driving. But the real issue to me is that paying up front for maintenance from qualified service professionals who know what to look for and what to do is very good security for a long lasting car (for you or for re-sell).