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Old 02-27-2007, 12:40 AM
PorscheDoc PorscheDoc is offline
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Default 996 Buyers Guide

There have been a lot of members lately asking the same basic questions pertaining to buying a 911. I have decided to create a buyers guideline for the 911 models to help answer a lot of the questions that are being asked. I will edit it as needed, and also add sections for 993, 964, 930s, etc as I have time. Hopefully this will alleviate the same questions from being asked on the board. Note, I will not include any financial information as far as purchasing prices, etc. It is quite easy to track how cars are selling on your own, and each region of the country/countries will vary anyway.

Pre Purchase Inspection: I can not recommend a PPI enough, unless you are a professional Porsche mechanic. Typically they run from $150-300, and is money well spent. A good PPI will include a printed document that covers inspection of all aspects of the vehicle. They will look for a lot of issues that I will talk about later. Typically the potential buyer will pay for the PPI. This information is solely for the buyer, and the seller should not have access to this information, since he did not pay for the inspection. Make sure you discuss this with the person inspecting the car, so that there are no misunderstandings.

Porsche 996:
The 996 version of the Porsche 911 ran from 1999-2005. It was produced in a C2, C4, C4S, as well as the Twin Turbo package.

Upkeep:
Every one will experience different labor rates depending on which dealer or independent mechanic you have your car serviced at. Some dealers are quite affordable, while others will charge $250 for an oil change. This will all depend on your area. A good independent Porsche mechanic can save you a lot of money. Make sure you budget maintenance into your overall purchase price of the vehicle. Also, keep in mind that a major failure with a Porsche can cost you a LOT of money, so you may want to look into aftermarket warranties, or Porsche certified vehicles which still have a warranty remaining.

Some of the more common failure/maintenance points:


Rear Main Seal: The C2 and C4 engine is prone to rear main seal leaks. While the internet makes it seem like a huge deal, it is not as common as one might think. It is definitely something to look for when purchasing a 996 though. Cost of replacement can typically run upwards of $1500 since you replace the clutch while you are in there. The updated seal used is a 997 part number. Typically, if the engine does not show a leak at the RMS by 15k miles, then it will not likely occur. The RMS issue does not exist in the turbos, as the engine is the traditional flat six, split case design. I am sure they still occur on occasion, but not nearly as often. When should you replace the seal? When the oil drips on the driveway start to annoy your wife. Will it hurt anything? No, but a severe leak will obviously lead to decreased oil in the engine over time, and could lead to engine failure if you do not add the oil it is losing.

Clutch: Typically clutch life will be around 50-60k miles. This will all depend on the driver of the vehicle though. I have seen clutches go out around 30k miles, and some cars with 70k miles on the original clutch. Cost to replace is roughly $1500 for C2/4. For the turbo, expect around $2500-3000 due to twice the labor rate (18 hours), and a more expensive clutch.

Stiff Clutch Pedal: Typically a very stiff clutch pedal in the C2/4 is indicative of a bad throw out bearing guide arm. There is an updated arm and release bearing which will alleviate this problem. Again, you are looking in that $1500-1600 range to have it replaced.

Tires: Porsche put quite a bit of negative camber and resultant toe into the rear suspension, and along with the weight of the engine being over the rear tires, tire life is much shorter than a standard car. Typically 15k-20k miles out of a set of rear tires is doing very well. Due to the negative camber/toe, the insides will wear out first, while the outside tread will still look good. Front tires will last longer, and typically you will get twice the life of the fronts versus the rears. You can realign the car to a more neutral toe setting in the rear and extend the life a bit.

Brakes: At roughly 30-40k miles you will probably need at least brake pads in the front. They wear almost twice as fast as the rear pads, so typically you can get a set of rears to last per 2 sets of front pads. At 60k miles, expect to replace the rotors at all corners. To replace everything front and back, expect around a $1200 bill.

Oil Changes: Typically the engines will use a Mobil 1 0w-40, 5w-40, or castrol 5w-40 full synthetic oil. Usually it will take roughly 8.5 quarts of oil, and a paper cartridge oil filter (Mahle #OC128). Some dealers will charge $60, some will charge $250 or more!.

Tune-ups: Tune ups are done every 15k miles, with major services done at 30k, 60k, and 90k miles. Minor services can range from $500 for an oil change, pollen filter change, air filter change, and inspection of the vehicle. A major service will include the aforementioned, along with spark plugs, and a much more thorough inspection of every aspect of the car. A major service can easily run over $1200.

Engine: Intermediate shaft failure. I like to call this catastrophic engine failure, because it typically will require a new engine. Some of the C2/4's have had serious failure due to the intermediate shaft failure. Is it all that common? Not really, but it still does occur on occasion. This is where a warranty will save you, as it will typically run well over $10k for a rebuilt engine to be put in the car. Porsche dealers do not even try and fix the engine, they are boxed up and sent back to Germany where they are inspected. Porsche will install a remanufactured engine which should not suffer the same fate. Having talked to some dealer techs recently (as an independent, I have only seen 1 or 2 failures in the last 5 years), the techs have told me that Porsche has replaced a lot of engines that could have been easily repaired at the dealer. There is a fix to the intermediate shaft issue if it is caught early enough. If you hear the engine making an odd ticking at start up (something you don't normally hear), and you shut it down, chances are the IMS can be repaired. Porsche wanted to be known as having great customer service, so they decided replacing the engine was far better for that. Unfortunately for a dealer tech, you get paid more to repair items, than to replace items under a warranty/good faith type claim. UPDATE: LN engineering has come out with a bearing replacement/upgrade kit for these motors. Recent evidence is suggesting that the failure is happening to LOW mileage cars that are not driven enough. Condensation builds up in the oil, seeps past the IMS bearing seal, and erodes the bearing internally. The higher mileage cars are not seeming to be affected by this at all. I recently pulled a bearing out of a 100k mile 996, and it was like new. LN has a ceramic bearing which does not use an outer seal which allows oil to flow freely through the bearing to keep it lubricated and prevent erosion.

Wheel Bearings: I have replaced quite a few wheel bearings now in the 996/boxsters. The sealed bearing will start to growl, like excessive road noise or cupped tires when they go. Since they are a 2 piece sealed system, they will not exhibit typical bearing play in the wheel. Not a huge deal, but it does happen.


996TT: Since a lot of people have started asking about 996TT issues, I will add them to the list:

Maintenance/Common Failures:
Oil Changes: Similar to the 996 in quantity and oil viscosity. 4 drain plugs, one on the engine case, one on the reservoir, and one on each turbo.

Wheel Bearings: (see above)

Clutch Hydraulic Accumulator: When this little gem fails, the clutch pedal becomes very stiff when the car is turned off (ie, you will notice it when starting the car), or the pedal starts to become notchy. The accumulator sits on the clutch slave cylinder and is about $150, and maybe 1.5 hours to replace.

Tune ups: Same service intervals of every 15k miles, though every 30k miles the spark plugs need to be changed. This is about a 5-6 billable hour job as it requires removal of the rear bumper and intercoolers.

Diverter Valves: If you haven't changed them yet, you will. Symptoms are lower boost than normal. The rubber diaphragm in the valves will fail. My advice is to upgrade the 2 units to billet aftermarket units that will not fail. They run about $150 each, and about 1.5 hours to install.
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Last edited by PorscheDoc; 07-27-2010 at 10:35 AM.
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  #2  
Old 03-08-2007, 03:06 PM
PorscheDoc PorscheDoc is offline
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Default RE: 996 Buyers Guide

Saved for space....
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Last edited by PorscheDoc; 07-27-2010 at 10:56 AM.
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  #3  
Old 03-19-2007, 11:16 PM
Ant Mo Ant Mo is offline
 
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Default Ca Emissions Question

Help Doc! I live in Ca and found an 02 911 in Tx I want to buy. We can't find any proof on the engine cover mentioning it's clear for Ca! Are all 911's good to go in Ca or how would I know this one is?
Thx,
Ant Mo
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  #4  
Old 03-20-2007, 03:07 PM
jjb996cab jjb996cab is offline
 
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Default RE: 996 Buyers Guide

PorscheDoc - Do the intermediate shaft failures typically occur at the same time (ie. first 25,000 miles, over 100,00 miles, etc)??

Thanks.
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  #5  
Old 04-10-2007, 04:08 AM
freewill07 freewill07 is offline
 
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Default RE: 996 Buyers Guide

Thanx for the helpful info
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  #6  
Old 05-23-2007, 03:02 PM
Miracle Miracle is offline
 
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Default Dealer Rate in Your Area? Please help thanks!

My dealer wants to charge a large sum to drive 10 minutes to my home to program the key.
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  #7  
Old 06-08-2007, 04:41 AM
4G64T 4G64T is offline
 
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Default RE: Dealer Rate in Your Area? Please help thanks!

How prone is the 996 TT to RMS failure?
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  #8  
Old 06-10-2007, 10:02 AM
2001911tt 2001911tt is offline
 
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Default RE: Dealer Rate in Your Area? Please help thanks!

thanks porsche doc - I just bought a 2001 996 tt with 3400 original miles. All I've done is change the oil and have the car inspected. They hooked it up the computer and found the car had experienced 6500 stage I driving incidents and 10 stage II (where the car is pushed to limits). So far, I think I've increased the cars stage II experiences, but the mechanics told me the car is still in a break in stage, essentially. It's a beautiful car and very well maintained, or should I say, unused! thanks for your guide.
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Old 06-10-2007, 03:48 PM
PorscheDoc PorscheDoc is offline
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Default RE: Dealer Rate in Your Area? Please help thanks!

Quote:
ORIGINAL: 4G64T

How prone is the 996 TT to RMS failure?
It is not prone to the RMS issue as it uses the standard traditional split case like the older 911's. The 996 C2/4/boxster engines are completely different.
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Doc Wilen
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  #10  
Old 06-11-2007, 11:42 AM
Mitch W Mitch W is offline
 
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Default RE: 996 Buyers Guide

Thanks for the great info, as I am currently in the market for a 2003 or 2004 911 TT. Any suggestions on how to find a qualified inspector for a car that I might be looking at in another state (I'm in the US). What about if I am looking at purchasing a car from a Porsche dealer? Any specific issues to be concerned about with the 996 TT?

Thanks!
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Old 06-11-2007, 11:42 AM
 
 
 
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