So, after a reset, faults may not return for a significant number of miles. A lack of mileage still causes wear and tear in items such as fluids, tires, brakes, clutch surfaces and oil seals. It brought new styling, larger overall dimensions than the outgoing model, more chassis stiffness and more use of weight-saving aluminum.

Again, this is where a competent shop should be able to accurately asses and relay the cost of an oil leak repair for you. The Boxster’s top trim, the Spyder, made do with 13.4-inchers up front and 13-inch rotors out back.

The 981 version currently attracts a lot of money and we’d buy an older 911 instead of a similar price later 981 Cayman. There are plenty of third-party parts vendors online that can offer parts at lower cost than Porsche directly. The rhythmic knock is the piston changing position at the bottom of the stroke and hitting the liner. Clearing the engine faults also resets the emissions system to a state of “not ready.” Emission readiness tests often occur over multiple drive cycles. There is also a good deal of experience and expertise in independent Porsche repair shops to help make the maintenance of your used Cayman cost effective. The original version is somewhat under powered and the auto transmission is sluggish. The good news is the Cayman is generally reliable and has aged gracefully. Oil leaks should not be a barrier to purchase, but they should be considered in terms of the purchase price and the cost of the repair. The mid-engine setup and closer to 50/50 balance, makes it quite forgiving when you get ahead of yourself with the loud pedal!

You need a clear picture of where the used vehicle you propose to buy is in this wear process. The Cayman has been around since 2006, but it was redesigned for the 2013 model year and re-christened the 981 in Porsche parlance.

It shares much of the 911 series parts, so availability of replacement components is easy. The brake fluid should be changed every few years regardless of mileage. Check the used Cayman you plan to buy for clutch replacement history and plan to have to do the work at some point in the future. The GT4 comes with big 15-inch brakes up front with six-piston calipers, a 30 mm lower ride height, revised aerodynamics, unique sport seats, optional carbon ceramic brakes and many more performance goodies. The older Cayman is a tremendous way to enter the Porsche coupe ownership world. The $84,600 Cayman GT4 gets enormous 15-inch pizzas front and rear, grabbed by six and four-piston brake calipers, respectively. How hard has the car been driven? Its’ always great to find a low mileage car, however, the lack of driving can present a different set of challenges to those of cars that average 10K miles per year.

This is known as top dead center or TDC. There are six levels of over-revs recorded, ranging from the engine being red-lined through to what would be a potentially catastrophically high RPM event. There’s more room in the Cayman for “stuff,” with two luggage spaces – one in front and one in the rear of the cabin. Later used 987 S versions are selling in the high twenties for vehicles with lower mileage. Don’t worry, we’ll tell you everything right here in the Ultimate Buyer’s Guide.

A good mechanical understanding of these cars can help identify issues early and save you money in the long term. All well and good, but how do you tell a good mechanical Cayman from a bad one?

We concentrate on the technical things that might cost you money later if you weren’t aware of them prior to buying the car. Introduced in 2016 for the 2017 model year, the Porsche Boxster and Cayman were renamed the Porsche 718 Boxster and Porsche 718 Cayman (internally called the 982), reviving the historic 718 moniker while switching engines from naturally-aspirated flat sixes to small-displacement flat-four turbocharged units. If you had told someone 20 years ago about the price of a used air-cooled Porsche 911 today, the person wouldn't have believed you. Buying a 7 year old Cayman and not realizing a major maintenance spend is due in the 8th year, is not the smartest thing you can do!

Pre-purchase Inspection The first step, once you’ve identified a candidate, is to get a thorough inspection by a local Porsche expert . Listen out for squeaks or clunks over bumps and check for fluid leaks from the suspension struts. That’s what it’s like to drive a Cayman. The rear tires will wear quicker than the fronts on the Cayman due to suspension setup. Look for previous indications this has been done or understand where the car is in terms of time related fluid changes. Right now, the early 987 version is the likely candidate for best value for money.

As we said earlier this year: The Porsche Cayman GT4 is an absolute masterstroke, a delight to toss headlong over blind crests and into fast bends, and a fitting halo for the Cayman ethos. Sales in these years were very flat after the housing bubble burst, so a short supply of good used cars exists from this period. Take a flash light and look closely to see whether the front air intakes are full of rotting leaves and debris when you inspect the Cayman. Though that is quick, where this car really shines is in the corners.

In our buyer guide below we’ve extensively highlighted those potential issues to be on the look out for. Note, this isn’t a definitive test because you could be loosing coolant through an external system leak. The front bumper has to be removed to reach the radiators and most owners never do it. Worn rotors crack or disintegrate, which can be particularly unpleasant when driving! There should be a wear lip on the rotor and the size of that lip will determine how much mileage remains. A gear change at red line will actually cause the revs to increase slightly momentarily – nothing bad here. Don’t buy an early automatic Cayman! A clear pattern of servicing on higher mileage cars is essential.

On the track, gear changes will occur right around the rpm maximum red line. Oil leaks should not be a barrier to purchase, but they should be considered in terms of the purchase price and the cost of the repair. The Cayman was all-new for 2014, following its twin brother’s (the Boxster) launch in 2013.

This can cause time related degradation of the service items to be overlooked. After the success of the 986 Boxster, Porsche introduced the 987 platform in 2005 with a coupe version known as the Cayman. Early versions have plastic interior parts that can easily become discolored due to wear and tear.

There is no wrong Cayman, but the GT4 ticks all the boxes for us with an engine and parts borrowed from its big brother the 911 at a price that starts near that car’s base model. This year, 2016 brings us the manual-only GT4 trim, which shares lots of components with the 911 GT3 and also got the 3.8-liter engine plucked straight out of the 911 Carrera S (but detuned). If you think the Cayman is just a Porsche Boxster with a roof you’re not entirely wrong. See our article Different Perspectives for more information.

There’s also the availability of a GT4 trim you can’t get on the Boxster (which, instead, gets a Spyder special trim). Small car.

In the used car market, you’ll find Cayman 987 (2005-2012), 981 (2012-2016) and current 718 versions available. Replacing the chains, guides and tensioners to correct this problem is not an inexpensive proposition – it is however, relatively straightforward if your budget allows. If you’re between Cayman or Boxster, the most obvious cosmetic upside with the Cayman, is the lack of maintenance required to a convertible top. This is usually associated with a nasty burning smell.

These engines are famed for cylinder scoring – deep gouges in the cylinder liner, usually associated with a knocking noise and eventually catastrophic engine failure. The 2012 Porsche Cayman was more of a closed version of the Porsche Boxster. M97 flat 6 engines fitted in the 987 Cayman are subject to cracks in the liners of the cylinders. Clearly, low mileage cars attract more money for the purchase, but make sure you plan supplemental budget to bring the service work up to date after you own the car. The Cayman platform exists right up to the current production 718. If you’re a track rat there may be no better Porsche you can buy. After driving the car, let it sit and idle for a while. The Cayman, like the Boxster, is all about Smiles Per Gallon. Those powertrains will get you to 60 in anywhere from 4.2 to 5.4 seconds, or about a tick faster than the Boxster.

Many Porsche owners like to go to track days. You’re buying a Porsche, so don’t compare running costs to a small domestic hatchback! It’s inspiring. The major moving parts are connected by chains and these ensure the relationship between those moving parts is maintained regardless of the rotational speed. Finding the right car is never simple, but with some luck and armed with the right information, you can pickup a bargain. It’s also almost as enjoyable off the track where you can casually explore its precise steering and sweet manual transmission. There’s a turn at Lime Rock Park that’s called the “Uphill,” which, as you’d imagine, is an uphill turn after a right-hander. If you’re in the market for a used Porsche Cayman, our guide will help you find the bargain and avoid the bad investment. The ride quality and handling has improved through the versions, but even the original Cayman is nimble and bags of fun to drive. From a practical standpoint, there’s not much you can do other than enjoy driving it every day.

However, modern cars feature many electronic engine management systems that can potentially be severely damaged by oil ingress.

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