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GOB

Definite test to determine if engine is a ticking bomb?

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Perhaps due to all of the issues I have had with my car, I have lost a bit of faith in it and actually put it up for sale. Even though I have had some low ball offers, I am not taking them. All of this has made me re think about actually selling the car or not. Are there any definite tests that can be done to determine if my engine will let go sooner than later? If I can do this and see that I do in fact have a healthy engine, then I may decide to just keep the car, after all, I have replaced so many things on it that the only major thing that worries me to repair is the engine itself! The reason for my uncertainty about the engine is due to the "questionable reliability" stigma associated with early 996s (mine is a 98 RoW) and the fact that my car, while idles steady, makes the passenger seat shake a bit. So, is this leakdown and compression? Anything else specific to 996s that mechanics could use to determine the health of the engine (without having to take it apart that is...).

Thanks in advance for the replies!

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Perhaps due to all of the issues I have had with my car, I have lost a bit of faith in it and actually put it up for sale. Even though I have had some low ball offers, I am not taking them. All of this has made me re think about actually selling the car or not. Are there any definite tests that can be done to determine if my engine will let go sooner than later? If I can do this and see that I do in fact have a healthy engine, then I may decide to just keep the car, after all, I have replaced so many things on it that the only major thing that worries me to repair is the engine itself! The reason for my uncertainty about the engine is due to the "questionable reliability" stigma associated with early 996s (mine is a 98 RoW) and the fact that my car, while idles steady, makes the passenger seat shake a bit. So, is this leakdown and compression? Anything else specific to 996s that mechanics could use to determine the health of the engine (without having to take it apart that is...).

Thanks in advance for the replies!

I'm sorry but I really don't understand. Does it leak? Smoke? Give all kind of error codes?

I have a 99 996 with 67k on it. My passenger seat shakes a little as well. It doesn't bother me. It runs perfectly. My car is fast, fun and I love it everytime I drive it. The cam covers leak a little as well.

I have seen many posts here with 996 engines with 120k and over that are still running strong. I don't think you should be concerned. A good tech can inspect the motor for you but make sure you trust his feedback.

Can you be more specific about why you are so concerned?

Hopefull other members can give some advice on tests.

Take care

Phillipj

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If it helps to reassure you at all......

I bought my 02 C4S @72k miles, with NO PPI, just inspected the beauty myself after reading up on a 911 buyers guide.

Took the car to my indy for a full inspection and service, after the purchase,

He did a thorough look-around, and a compression test which returned very good results.

Told me the car was rock solid, and that I was "very lucky" having gotten away without a PPI.

It's been 10k miles and 17 months now, so far everything has been good,

except for a busted coolant hose, and an alternator.

Good Luck on yours!

Edited by CosmosC4S

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Perhaps due to all of the issues I have had with my car, I have lost a bit of faith in it and actually put it up for sale. Even though I have had some low ball offers, I am not taking them. All of this has made me re think about actually selling the car or not. Are there any definite tests that can be done to determine if my engine will let go sooner than later? If I can do this and see that I do in fact have a healthy engine, then I may decide to just keep the car, after all, I have replaced so many things on it that the only major thing that worries me to repair is the engine itself! The reason for my uncertainty about the engine is due to the "questionable reliability" stigma associated with early 996s (mine is a 98 RoW) and the fact that my car, while idles steady, makes the passenger seat shake a bit. So, is this leakdown and compression? Anything else specific to 996s that mechanics could use to determine the health of the engine (without having to take it apart that is...).

Thanks in advance for the replies!

My 2002 C2 (55K miles) has the same shaky passenger seat even though it idles--and runs--beautifully. I think this is something that is just the nature of the beast. You get used to it and it just becomes one of those "quirks" that you enjoy.

I'm a generally paranoid person when it comes to my cars, but I've learned to relax a little bit with this kind of stuff. Drive the car and the car will restore your faith in it.

All the best.

Chris

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GOB, one way to evaluate your situation is what cost more/less....a monthly car payment....or monthly repair & maintenance bills?

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The ONLY way is to drive the car. If it never blows up, it was not a ticking time bomb. If it does blow up, it was. Either way, you find your answer. Kinda like going to the doctor and getting a clean bill of health. It doesn't mean you won't have a massive stroke on your way out of the office.

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I bought a used 1999 996 C2 a few months back with 79K after 3 air cooled (one I rebuilt with low miles on the od.). Ran the car fax, talked to the dealer mechanics and service writer where it had been maintained and they said it was strong and had been maintained by the book. The owner, a woman doctor, had driven it regularly but lightly. After reading about the 996 engine failures and talking to the local shop foreman (he better know his stuff) in generalities about 996 reliability before he knew the specific car he told me the following. Low miles does not equate to good. These engines are designed to be driven not sit and wait for good weather. Boxer engines (the engine layout not the car) will dry out if they sit and then leak and have issues related to dry seals. If it's got between 60k and 80k for my year and there are no leaks or other obvious engine problems, you've got a good one.

Bottom line, drive it, enjoy it, eat less fat and carbs don't smoke and both you and the car should last a long time. But you never know, there's always the proverbial bus put there tomorrow!

G

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I bought a used 1999 996 C2 a few months back with 79K after 3 air cooled (one I rebuilt with low miles on the od.). Ran the car fax, talked to the dealer mechanics and service writer where it had been maintained and they said it was strong and had been maintained by the book. The owner, a woman doctor, had driven it regularly but lightly. After reading about the 996 engine failures and talking to the local shop foreman (he better know his stuff) in generalities about 996 reliability before he knew the specific car he told me the following. Low miles does not equate to good. These engines are designed to be driven not sit and wait for good weather. Boxer engines (the engine layout not the car) will dry out if they sit and then leak and have issues related to dry seals. If it's got between 60k and 80k for my year and there are no leaks or other obvious engine problems, you've got a good one.

Bottom line, drive it, enjoy it, eat less fat and carbs don't smoke and both you and the car should last a long time. But you never know, there's always the proverbial bus put there tomorrow!

G

Gary 996 is correct with regards to the boxer engine layout.... you must drive the beast regularly ( not necessary hard) in ordfer to keep ther engine and it's seals oiled and in good shape. The engine is similar to a 4 or 6 cylinder aircraft engine such as Continental and Lycoming. They will run 2000 hours to TBO ( overhaul) but ONLY if you run that regularly. If you have them as a garage or hangar queen , you are asking for trouble.

I have a 996 99 C2 with 61K miles on the clock, drive it every day ( almost) . I do have a small leak at the covers but who cares. Had a waterpump that went bad at 32K miles at 1500 dollars but so far so good.

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I have driven my car 6K miles in the last 19 months. Its not a lot as far as USA standards is concerned, but its just a tad below the "average" 8K miles per year that people do down here. My car barely has 31K miles on it and just now when I went for an errand, the erratic idle issue I have posted about elsewhere came up (I guess its another $300 repair, this time for a MAF) :angry: . To give you an idea why I have become a tad "nervous" about the reliability of my car, check what I have done to it since purchased (the large number before the $ is my mileage in kilometers):

4/29/06 Air, oil, particle filters Alemautos $105.81

5/2/06 Oil change (Mobil 1 15-50), fuel filter changed Taller 930 39,096 $130.00

5/4/06 Bosch starter motor refurbished Vertex $289.97

5/4/06 Bosch spark plugs (6) Vertex $57.78

5/8/06 Sachs clutch kit Vertex $401.25

5/8/06 Poly Rib belt Vertex $31.03

5/9/06 Porsche caliper decals Xenonmods.com $12.00

5/14/06 1 qt. Mobil 1 15-50 Delta Calle 50 39,200 $6.75

5/17/06 Wiper blades MW 22" Auto Centro 39,263 $11.03

5/19/06 Center console hinge kit Alemautos $25.00

5/22/06 Falken Azenis RT-615 225/40/18 & 265/35/18 Discount Tire Direct $943.33

5/22/06 Front corner headlight washer cover (right) Alemautos $34.08

5/26/06 Johnson Films Executive 35 Pit Stop C. de Este 39,387 $110.00

5/27/06 Labor clutch & starter 39,397 $400.00

5/28/06 Stem valves and caps Respuestos Mundiales $8.40

5/31/06 Hood crest kit Assesales (Ebay) 39,505 $35.95

6/1/06 Tire balance & install, 4 wheel alignment Servicentro Densa 39,511 $144.90

6/1/06 Porsche pedal set 5th-Gear (Ebay) $94.01

6/20/06 Mintex Red Box & ATE rubber brake hoses Rennsport Systems $225.85

6/30/06 Hood crest installed GOB 39,871 $0.00

7/3/06 Halogen bulbs (2) Left side replaced Alemautos $26.59

7/4/06 High temp red paint Discovery Center $9.29

7/4/06 ATE Super Blue brake fluid (2L) Servicios Carlos $34.00

7/21/06 Porsche coolant top off and bleed by me Alemautos 40,115 $13.21

10/5/06 Diagnose and recharge AC (evaporator dead) Auto Cooler Service 42,100 $35.00

11/7/06 Bosch fuel pump Vertex $244.40

11/21/06 Muffler bypass pipes Servicentro Mon 42,662 $18.90

11/25/06 Fuel pump replacement labor 42,681 $90.00

12/2/06 Re set fuel gauge and check OBD Alemautos 42,931 $26.25

12/2/06 Coolant expansion tank and coolant Alemautos $220.29

12/2/06 Coolant expansion tank labor 42,936 $100.00

12/20/06 Coolant cap Alemautos 43,400 $14.55

12/30/06 Evaporator, console hinge install, labor for all 43,575 $650.00

4/11/07 Droplinks (fronts only) Alemautos $85.39

4/11/07 Droplinks labor Servicentro Densa 45,250 $31.50

4/11/07 Rear window seal trim Alemautos $38.85

4/26/07 Rear window seal labor $40.00

6/7/07 Wheel bolts (2 afer breaking safety ones) Alemautos 46,090 $14.07

6/7/07 Removed mufflers GOB $0.00

6/19/07 Re install of muffler bypass pipes Rapid Muffler 46,453 $31.50

9/10/07 Replace water pump & coolant Alemautos 48,200 $408.28

12/7/07 Replace horn (1) Taller 930 49,500 $40.00

I guess I will spend the $300 for the MAF, and another $300 or so for a compression/leakdown test to see what the numbers say. Like 1999 alluded to, one thing does not necessarily mean the other.

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I think this whole engine reliability question is way overblown. There were a small (small!) number of early engines that had problems due to a casting issue at one of the two block casting suppliers, or so I've heard. So the occurrence of factory-related engine problems is trivial.

Maybe I should knock on wood here, but my daily-driver 99 C4 has been fine except for a rare cam tensioner issue on bank 1. I also had an oil leak on bank 1. It's been nothing but gas, oil, and spark plugs ever since, with 63k on the clock.

My car does not have an RMS problem, and this is with the original RMS from 99. The likely reason? It's driven every day...

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By the way, my passenger seat shakes like a Mexican space shuttle when nobody is sitting in it. Engine idles perfectly, you hardly know it's even on. So the shake has nothing to do with the engine, but has everything to do with the seat design!

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You might also want to be sure that you have cleaned the TB of gunk in the inlet area. If the butterfly stays a little to open a eratic idel can happen. I cleaned mine and it smoothed right out. PS: my seat rattle so much I want to carry a dummy there to quiet it down. Good Luck.

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Thank you all for the replies. For the record, I did not mean for this post to be one of those flaming ones regarding engine reliability. I was seriously interested in how to determine the engine's health. Since that post, I have had to replace the front shocks in my car (had one leak), and that was the drop that caused me to go nuts. The car is definitely for sale and I will not keep it for much longer. Too bad I am never around home to actually sell it! (too much business travel). It may be a while before it sells, but its definitely going to a new home eventually.

I have cleaned the TB with gunk cleaner (as well as the ICV and MAF). My car just turned 50K (kilometers, ±31,000 miles) and its running fine for the time being. Recently, I only drive it about once a week for 30 minutes or so. In the last two years, I averaged 4K miles per year driving, but this year, I have been away on business quite a lot.

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I have no idea why your car is requiring constant repair. I cannot state your experience is not typical, but I can state that it is certainly not universal.

I bought my 2000 Cab in 2004 with 30,000 miles. Now, with 80,000 miles of daily driving, I have had two experiences of unplanned maintenance: adjusting the hood latch and cleaning out the cab drain hoses, both of which were easily accomplished in my garage. In my 40+ years of owning cars, only my wife's Toyota has been more trouble free.

By the way, my passenger seat shakes like a Mexican space shuttle when nobody is sitting in it .... shake has nothing to do with the engine, but has everything to do with the seat design!

Must not be a design issue .... as my pax seat does not shake at all.

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I have driven my car 6K miles in the last 19 months. Its not a lot as far as USA standards is concerned, but its just a tad below the "average" 8K miles per year that people do down here. My car barely has 31K miles on it and just now when I went for an errand, the erratic idle issue I have posted about elsewhere came up (I guess its another $300 repair, this time for a MAF) :angry: . To give you an idea why I have become a tad "nervous" about the reliability of my car, check what I have done to it since purchased (the large number before the $ is my mileage in kilometers):

4/29/06 Air, oil, particle filters Alemautos $105.81

5/2/06 Oil change (Mobil 1 15-50), fuel filter changed Taller 930 39,096 $130.00

5/4/06 Bosch starter motor refurbished Vertex $289.97

5/4/06 Bosch spark plugs (6) Vertex $57.78

5/8/06 Sachs clutch kit Vertex $401.25

5/8/06 Poly Rib belt Vertex $31.03

5/9/06 Porsche caliper decals Xenonmods.com $12.00

5/14/06 1 qt. Mobil 1 15-50 Delta Calle 50 39,200 $6.75

5/17/06 Wiper blades MW 22" Auto Centro 39,263 $11.03

5/19/06 Center console hinge kit Alemautos $25.00

5/22/06 Falken Azenis RT-615 225/40/18 & 265/35/18 Discount Tire Direct $943.33

5/22/06 Front corner headlight washer cover (right) Alemautos $34.08

5/26/06 Johnson Films Executive 35 Pit Stop C. de Este 39,387 $110.00

5/27/06 Labor clutch & starter 39,397 $400.00

5/28/06 Stem valves and caps Respuestos Mundiales $8.40

5/31/06 Hood crest kit Assesales (Ebay) 39,505 $35.95

6/1/06 Tire balance & install, 4 wheel alignment Servicentro Densa 39,511 $144.90

6/1/06 Porsche pedal set 5th-Gear (Ebay) $94.01

6/20/06 Mintex Red Box & ATE rubber brake hoses Rennsport Systems $225.85

6/30/06 Hood crest installed GOB 39,871 $0.00

7/3/06 Halogen bulbs (2) Left side replaced Alemautos $26.59

7/4/06 High temp red paint Discovery Center $9.29

7/4/06 ATE Super Blue brake fluid (2L) Servicios Carlos $34.00

7/21/06 Porsche coolant top off and bleed by me Alemautos 40,115 $13.21

10/5/06 Diagnose and recharge AC (evaporator dead) Auto Cooler Service 42,100 $35.00

11/7/06 Bosch fuel pump Vertex $244.40

11/21/06 Muffler bypass pipes Servicentro Mon 42,662 $18.90

11/25/06 Fuel pump replacement labor 42,681 $90.00

12/2/06 Re set fuel gauge and check OBD Alemautos 42,931 $26.25

12/2/06 Coolant expansion tank and coolant Alemautos $220.29

12/2/06 Coolant expansion tank labor 42,936 $100.00

12/20/06 Coolant cap Alemautos 43,400 $14.55

12/30/06 Evaporator, console hinge install, labor for all 43,575 $650.00

4/11/07 Droplinks (fronts only) Alemautos $85.39

4/11/07 Droplinks labor Servicentro Densa 45,250 $31.50

4/11/07 Rear window seal trim Alemautos $38.85

4/26/07 Rear window seal labor $40.00

6/7/07 Wheel bolts (2 afer breaking safety ones) Alemautos 46,090 $14.07

6/7/07 Removed mufflers GOB $0.00

6/19/07 Re install of muffler bypass pipes Rapid Muffler 46,453 $31.50

9/10/07 Replace water pump & coolant Alemautos 48,200 $408.28

12/7/07 Replace horn (1) Taller 930 49,500 $40.00

I guess I will spend the $300 for the MAF, and another $300 or so for a compression/leakdown test to see what the numbers say. Like 1999 alluded to, one thing does not necessarily mean the other.

This list includes a lot of normal maintenance. What does that have to do with reliability? Can you re-do the list with only true mechanical issues? Oil changes and wiper blades are requires costs for any car you drive, 'ya know what I mean?

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Dude more than half of the stuff listed is regular maintenance, wear and tear items, Do you think oil and wiper blades are related to reliability of a car, then you should buy a horse or something like that all you have to do is feed it.

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^ well, except the Vet bills... :lol:

To add to the list, my passenger seat rattles too... its called character... i find it hillarious B)

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4/29/06 Air, oil, particle filters Alemautos $105.81

5/2/06 Oil change (Mobil 1 15-50), fuel filter changed Taller 930 39,096 $130.00

5/4/06 Bosch starter motor refurbished Vertex $289.97

5/4/06 Bosch spark plugs (6) Vertex $57.78

5/8/06 Sachs clutch kit Vertex $401.25

5/8/06 Poly Rib belt Vertex $31.03

5/9/06 Porsche caliper decals Xenonmods.com $12.00

5/14/06 1 qt. Mobil 1 15-50 Delta Calle 50 39,200 $6.75

5/17/06 Wiper blades MW 22" Auto Centro 39,263 $11.03

5/19/06 Center console hinge kit Alemautos $25.00

5/22/06 Falken Azenis RT-615 225/40/18 & 265/35/18 Discount Tire Direct $943.33

5/22/06 Front corner headlight washer cover (right) Alemautos $34.08

5/26/06 Johnson Films Executive 35 Pit Stop C. de Este 39,387 $110.00

5/27/06 Labor clutch & starter 39,397 $400.00

5/28/06 Stem valves and caps Respuestos Mundiales $8.40

5/31/06 Hood crest kit Assesales (Ebay) 39,505 $35.95

6/1/06 Tire balance & install, 4 wheel alignment Servicentro Densa 39,511 $144.90

6/1/06 Porsche pedal set 5th-Gear (Ebay) $94.01

6/20/06 Mintex Red Box & ATE rubber brake hoses Rennsport Systems $225.85

6/30/06 Hood crest installed GOB 39,871 $0.00

7/3/06 Halogen bulbs (2) Left side replaced Alemautos $26.59

7/4/06 High temp red paint Discovery Center $9.29

7/4/06 ATE Super Blue brake fluid (2L) Servicios Carlos $34.00

7/21/06 Porsche coolant top off and bleed by me Alemautos 40,115 $13.21

10/5/06 Diagnose and recharge AC (evaporator dead) Auto Cooler Service 42,100 $35.00

11/7/06 Bosch fuel pump Vertex $244.40

11/21/06 Muffler bypass pipes Servicentro Mon 42,662 $18.90

11/25/06 Fuel pump replacement labor 42,681 $90.00

12/2/06 Re set fuel gauge and check OBD Alemautos 42,931 $26.25

12/2/06 Coolant expansion tank and coolant Alemautos $220.29

12/2/06 Coolant expansion tank labor 42,936 $100.00

12/20/06 Coolant cap Alemautos 43,400 $14.55

12/30/06 Evaporator, console hinge install, labor for all 43,575 $650.00

4/11/07 Droplinks (fronts only) Alemautos $85.39

4/11/07 Droplinks labor Servicentro Densa 45,250 $31.50

4/11/07 Rear window seal trim Alemautos $38.85

4/26/07 Rear window seal labor $40.00

6/7/07 Wheel bolts (2 afer breaking safety ones) Alemautos 46,090 $14.07

6/7/07 Removed mufflers GOB $0.00

6/19/07 Re install of muffler bypass pipes Rapid Muffler 46,453 $31.50

9/10/07 Replace water pump & coolant Alemautos 48,200 $408.28

12/7/07 Replace horn (1) Taller 930 49,500 $40.00

I guess I will spend the $300 for the MAF, and another $300 or so for a compression/leakdown test to see what the numbers say. Like 1999 alluded to, one thing does not necessarily mean the other. :huh:

Sorry, but your list is slightly maniacal. :D

Edited by 996_Yorkshire

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