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kevinkw

Buying a 2002 C4S

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Hi All,

I'm new to RennTech, and I'm looking into a used 2002 996 C4S. I have a few questions that I hope seasoned owners can answer.

1. Is the RMS problem in 996s as bad as the 986 Boxster RMS issues? Engine reliability issues? Reading this forum does scare me a little.

2. Is it better to buy one with 40k miles or one just over 45k miles but has the 45k mile service done. When should the clutch be replaced on 996s?

3. Any must have option / option codes?

4. Anything else to watch for?

5. Price, they are all over the place. Most independent dealers on the west coast are listing them for 42k to 44k, I have seen high 50k for ones with super low miles too. Any idea what's a fair price?

Thanks,

Kevin

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I had an '02 C4S for 2 years and drove the hell out of it without any big issues and no leaks. Ensure you get a PPI (pre-purchase inspection) done by a Porsche shop independent of where you're buying, it is good insurance. See if you can get a service history on the car.

I think the whole 996 series of cars are a great value right now. Take your time and don't rush, look at several examples before you buy.

1) RMS could be an issue on any 996 (non-TT), although I think many cars have been sorted by now some have recurrent issues. There have been a series of RMS mods/upgrades over the years. Much less common issue now, a history & PPI will help avoid a "recurrent".

2) Besides regular oil & brake fluid changes not sure you'll get much more for a "45k" service. There is a scheduled maintenance section on Renntech to help you with this. Brake fluid gets corrosive as it ages attacking brake seals, it is time more than mileage (max 2-3 yrs).

Clutch life 99% depends on the driver; could be as low as 20k or over 60k depends on how hard the cars been driven and how much the clutch has been ridden. The pedal gets harder as the linings wear, you'll probably notice a difference from car to car.

The C4S came with the turbo's brakes, at 40 -45k there should be plenty of wear left. At 40k mine looked like new.

3) The C4S comes from the factory pretty well optioned, the rest is down to personal preference (I think there is an available options document here on Renntech too). Although the short-shifter makes the car a pleasure (cost $2-300 after market if it doesn't have one).

4) Try to avoid someone else's "science project" for modifications; wheels/tires & exhaust ok, hacking and slashing of the electrical systems for after market stereos ect may lead to issues.

5) It is a buyer's market at the moment, I'd be looking on E-bay to get an idea where the bidding is going on similar cars (whether they meet there reserve or not). For us that aren't in the business this gives the closest indicator of a "fair" price; what the market is willing to bear.

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Danyol's given you some good background and ideas.

It's definitely a buyer's market. Be willing to walk away or kind of play a dealer off another.

Where are you located? (you might add your location to your profile.)

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Hi All,

I'm new to RennTech, and I'm looking into a used 2002 996 C4S. I have a few questions that I hope seasoned owners can answer.

1. Is the RMS problem in 996s as bad as the 986 Boxster RMS issues? Engine reliability issues? Reading this forum does scare me a little.

2. Is it better to buy one with 40k miles or one just over 45k miles but has the 45k mile service done. When should the clutch be replaced on 996s?

3. Any must have option / option codes?

4. Anything else to watch for?

5. Price, they are all over the place. Most independent dealers on the west coast are listing them for 42k to 44k, I have seen high 50k for ones with super low miles too. Any idea what's a fair price?

Thanks,

Kevin

Kevin,

I agree with pretty much all that Danyol mentions in his response. I bought my 02 C4S 18 months ago and I took 3 months to find the "right" car for me, i.e. low miles, Bi-xenon headlights etc. As others have mentioned, there are lots for sale out there these days and insist upon a PPI with leakdown test. Will cost you around $300, but well worth the cost in determining if there are any obvious issues needing attention.

As far as your specific questions, I would suggest that any car with 40-45K miles would have already had an RMS replacement if the motor required it. As far as clutch life, it is largely determined by driving habits of previous owner(s). I'm sure you have read there are folks who have gotten over 100K miles out of first clutch and others who have had to replace in far less because of auto X or aggresive DE events or just plain old abuse.

If this is your first Pcar, the 02C4S will be a great car for you as it comes with the upgraded suspension and appointed interior, however I wanted the BiXenon package and dimming mirros which are elements of the Technics package. Even sound system upgrade is marginal ( Bose and CD stacker) so be prepared for some disappointment here.

Given my own paranoia in reading many posts in this forum dealing with the issues of RMS and intermediate shaft failures. I searched for a car with an extended warranty. This is a personal preference, but gives you a "piece of mind" for some time while you introduce yourself to the car.

Lastly, and most important, my car has been a real blast!! Bought with low miles and took it easy for first three months and now use the car as nearly my DD and smile everytime I get into the car for a run. They are great cars and the widebody is as asthetically appealing to me as any model Porsche has ever produced IMHO!!

Good luck with your search and take your time!! Lots of great cars out there ( including those in this forum selling their cars looking to upgrade to newer models). :cheers: demosan

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My '02 C4S was without any issues, sold 8 months ago with service history and 40k miles; I wanted a turbo.

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Kevin,

I bought a 2002 C4S with 32000 miles for 50k in November of 2006. It was purchased as a certified pre-owned from a Porsche dealer. I have put on about 8000 miles in the past 14 months. Just last month I had RMS replaced under warranty and new clutch and flywheel. Has been a joy to drive. I suspect that I overpaid by a few thousand but having the Porsche warranty was very, very important to me. It really is a great car. Do your homework but don't be put off by all the scare stories.

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I would consider a Porsche Certified Pre-Owned car if you can. I have bought 2 of them, my first was a 2000C4 with a warranty. It developed an RMS problem, (which I did not notice) and the dealer fixed it under the 2 year warranty that comes with a CPO car. I recently purchased a 2004 C4S convertible which is a great car, (purchased it from a dealer as well).

You'll get various responses about RMS, but my view of it is, the problem lessend as model years marched on and as the seals were redesigned or replaced. In general, I found both cars to be relatively low maintenance and a lot of fun to drive. Rear tires don't last too long though.

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Thanks everyone for all the info, I guess it's now time to find the actual car.

I know about the PPI, but what's the leak down test? If the RMS leaks, what's the cost of getting it repaired on the 996? Oh yeah, what's the technics package that someone mentioned? I have a Boxster S now and I only use the stereo if I'm stuck in traffic. I have no idea why some people option the car the way they did, I've seen one C4S with wood interior. Is there a difference between the 2002 and the 2003 models?

I have seen some cars with white instrument panels but others have black, is this another option? Finally, I have seen two kinds of exhausts for the C4S. There's the single piece pipe, and the other one is made of a large and small oval, is that the sport exhaust?

Edited by kevinkw

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Thanks everyone for all the info, I guess it's now time to find the actual car.

I know about the PPI, but what's the leak down test? If the RMS leaks, what's the cost of getting it repaired on the 996? Oh yeah, what's the technics package that someone mentioned? I have a Boxster S now and I only use the stereo if I'm stuck in traffic. I have no idea why some people option the car the way they did, I've seen one C4S with wood interior. Is there a difference between the 2002 and the 2003 models?

I have seen some cars with white instrument panels but others have black, is this another option? Finally, I have seen two kinds of exhausts for the C4S. There's the single piece pipe, and the other one is made of a large and small oval, is that the sport exhaust?

All of the things you mentioned like white instrument dials, different exhaust pipes are options. The large and small is sport exhaust, but I doubt it makes any significant performance difference. Depending on the country, the Technics package, bundled some options together. On my 2004 C4S, its not explicitly shown that way, but I believe that my carbon fibre shifter, brake handle, steering wheel form part of that package. I think when the dealers received their allotment of cars, the C4S cars were generally well optioned with things like, full leather interiors, self dimming mirrors, etc.

On the RMS issue, generally the car seeps oil a little from what I've heard. Many people don't notice it. I think most dealers will be accommodating if you have an issue and maybe subsidize the price. Since the clutch has to be removed, it's not cheap. $1.5k tp $2k maybe?

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HI,

I just bought my car last week. I looked at about 5 cars that were in bad shape but advertised as "showroom condition"

I finally found my car, 2002 C2 cab, colors I wanted ( gray int) dark gray. with a lot of options. 18 inch wheels, aero kit ,heated seats, hard top, xenons. The car has been kept inside and only has 15k. I paid 42,500. I do need to get the 15k service done and probably get tire in the spring.

good luck

Mike

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Hey Mike,

Did yours come with a warranty? The C4S seem to be around $42k - $45k, some of the higher milage ones have warranty.

-Kevin

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Kevin - agree with all the good advice here. The other thing to consider is that beginning in 2003, Porsche switched to the MOST fiber optic electrical bus system. In doing my research, I got a chance to talk with the techs at Barrier as well as Chris's German in Bellevue and they explained that while the MOST system may aggrivating for those who are looking to mod their cars (aftermarket stereo / nav), it's a much more sound and reliable electrical system overall (e.g. faults can be immediately traced to bad sensors on the loop, etc.).

Also, I sent you a PM as I've just listed my CPO (unitl 9/09) '04 Arctic Silver C4S (located in Sammamish / Redmond)...my growing family demands that I get a bigger car (I don't let the little ones in my C4S).

Chris

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I found a good 2002 C4S with the advanced technics package and the design package. Any idea what those packages included?

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I found a good 2002 C4S with the advanced technics package and the design package. Any idea what those packages included?

Kevin,

I have a 02 C4S with the techncs package. It includes the up-graded Bose stereo as well as the 6 CD changer, Bi-Xenon package and headlight washers. Not sure about design package. HEre is the My 02 ordering guide with pricing that you may find helpful. 2002porsche_ordering_guide.pdf

Good luck with your search!! demosan :cheers:

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I'm selling (maybe trade) my 02 Supercharged 470hp 996 C4S. Are you interested? Details below:

Some details:

- Brand new supercharger just installed. (includes, ecu program, additional front radiator, larger injectors, etc.) 470+hp.

- Evo Stage II clutch and flywheel just installed.

- Complete service just completed (2/1/08) including ALL fluides changed and flushed etc (diffs, tranny, brake fluid, etcc) belts replaced, spark plugs, etc, etc. etc. Car is tip top.

- Grand Toursimo Brembo 380MM disks all around. 6 piston monoblock front calipers, 4 pot rears

- Custom built headers, high flow cats, fabspeed mufflers

- larger throttle body

- Two sets of black Fikse 12x18, 9x18 wheels. One set with new R888s (315/30s rear and 245/40s front) and one set with Micheline Pilot Sports

- Bilstein PSS9s all around, GT3 front and rear sway bars, GT3 suspension links

- GT3 Black leather seats racing seats

- GT3 Rear end w/ Carbon Wing

- GT2 Front end w/ Carbon splitter

- Top OEM Option package: Full leather interior, nav system, sunroof, Bose stereo system, etc.

- GT3 Stainless roll bar

- 6 point harnesses driver and passenger

- stainless breakelines, strut brace, more...

Interested? - please call me (Lu) at 415-652-0001 or post here.

Edited by llacourte

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