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Phil3

996 Turbo Reliability

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I currently drive a '98 BMW M3 sedan, and am new here, with the intent of replacing the BMW with either a Cayman S or 996 TT. Different animals I know, but since I am moving from very fast sport motorcycles to cars, I would like my new motorsports interest to be pretty quick, as well as having a top notch chassis. The 996TT should satisfy that.

My question is how reliable is a 996TT that has around 50,000 miles? I expect maintenance to not be inexpensive, but RMS failures, and other potential breakdowns are of concern. Under my care, the car would see kid glove treatment and superior maintenance, but wonder about previous care. How difficult is it to find a sterling example of this car? Is it possible to find such a car for no more than $60,000?

And if I could ask, what is it about the 996TT that you like the most, and the least? I would better know then if the 996TT is a good fit for me.

Thank you.

- Phil

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I have a 996TT, bought at 30k mls and now 47k on the clock, so i maybe able to give you some insight.

Dont know what your cars are going for over there ($) but i'd expect you can get a mint example as most of these owners (and generally any Porsche owner) takes great pride in their vehicle. The RMS failure i believe is mainly present in the standard boxer engine (2.5, 2.7, 3.2, 3.4, 3.6 & 3.8) NOT the dry sump that is in the Turbo and GT3 amongst others. The Turbos' engine is pretty bomb proof, although they have had some issues with gearboxes in the early days i believe?

Some issues that i am aware of and/or have had are: inside face of brake discs corroded, clutch release baring, clutch accumulator leaking, inside edge tyre wear, cracked spark plug coils, centre radiator leaking (fault not damage), air con condenser leaking (fault not damage) , boost pressure low (leaking diverter valve), loss of coolant (leak not resolved), alternator not charging when rear gets wet (fault, not resolved), exhaust heat sheild come loose and maybe one or two other things. Most of the issues were covered on my Porsche warrantee and i would recommend you get one. I have gotten my money back 3 fold with the cost of repairs (mainly labour).

Dont get me wrong great car! But dont be under any illusion that you will get a 'Honda'. I have probably been slightly unlucky, but i too have come from a '98 BMW M3 EVO coupe via a Boxster S, and the feeling that you get driving ANY Porsche far surpasses that of a BMW. Sales reps have BMW's, NOT Porsches, if you get me? Its not just the performance, its the whole feeling it gives you. Highly recommended, do it!

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First, fastboy gave an excellent write-up...

You get a Porsche Turbo because it is a Porsche turbo, seriously one of the best sports cars ever...a legend. The power is quite impressive.

As far as reliability, I have had a bunch of things fixed under warranty (head unit, front dif, PS res, fuel lines & fuel pump (2x), O2 & MAF sensors, alarm unit). It is not a toyota, lexus, honda, et. al. I always carry a cell phone as I have been stranded 3 times. (My 3rd Porsche and they all have had issues).

And I would still buy it again.

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I came out of a supercharged 1995 M3 to a very low mile used 2003 TT coupe. I have had almost no problems with the turbo. I had a mystery leak at the end of one front coolant hose, but wiggling the hose made a good seal and it hasn't leaked since. The big stuff is pretty bullet proof on these cars. You may have a few niggling little problems, but no other car with this kind of power is as reliable! I say go for it.

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2002 996 TT 15 k miles ( purchased at 6k miles and done 9 k in a year). New becker cd/radio unit and new battery so far. Moved up from 996 coupe to the TT... whole another world with another 115bhp.. Totally impractical, poor spare tire, no luggage space , no rear seat space etc average looks from most angles, noisy but really did not buy the car for any of those features or lack of. Great gas mileage 17 to 18 mpg includes on ramp runs at up to 120mph ! Phenomenal daily driver near exotic with (I believe ) best in class reliability.Only critcism is it could be lighter....get a GT2! Pure driving pleasure and the highlight of my day everyday... next car will be a 997 TT in about 4 years .

Other exotics may have a little more style and possibly performance but at the price point you mentioned hard to find a more reliable daily driver ( unless you want to go the other way and drive a Z06.. but wrong forum to discuss that machine ).

State side you should find a vehicle with less than 40 k miles for you price of $60k...prices are soft with the current economy and lack of financing.

Good luck .

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You should definitely be able to get a great one for that price.

I have an 01 with 47k on it. its a wonderful car in every way possible. It has a ton of porsche exclusive shop options and i may be letting it go for the mid 50k range. so under 60k should be an easy target.

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2002 996 TT 15 k miles ( purchased at 6k miles and done 9 k in a year). New becker cd/radio unit and new battery so far. Moved up from 996 coupe to the TT... whole another world with another 115bhp.. Totally impractical, poor spare tire, no luggage space , no rear seat space etc average looks from most angles, noisy but really did not buy the car for any of those features or lack of. Great gas mileage 17 to 18 mpg includes on ramp runs at up to 120mph ! Phenomenal daily driver near exotic with (I believe ) best in class reliability.Only critcism is it could be lighter....get a GT2! Pure driving pleasure and the highlight of my day everyday... next car will be a 997 TT in about 4 years .

Other exotics may have a little more style and possibly performance but at the price point you mentioned hard to find a more reliable daily driver ( unless you want to go the other way and drive a Z06.. but wrong forum to discuss that machine ).

State side you should find a vehicle with less than 40 k miles for you price of $60k...prices are soft with the current economy and lack of financing.

Good luck .

just received an email from guy who sold his 2002 TT, 39k miles, for $53,000. Florida. Clean title, the works. That is one heck of bargain if the car is all it was described to be!

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2003 996TT X50 - bone stock, 176,350 miles on the ticker - originally turbo's, tranny and clutch.....T2 knocks on wood!!

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2003 996TT X50 - bone stock, 176,350 miles on the ticker - originally turbo's, tranny and clutch.....T2 knocks on wood!!

Holy Cow!!! that kicks ***. Original clutch!?! thats amazing, mine was a 1 owner and he had burnt out the clutch in under 25k miles...and honestly i could see that as being the easiest thing to go. Coming from an e46 M3 that just revved like crazy, i definitely bounced the rev limiter the first few times romping on the car.

...no valve job or nothin at almost 200k miles?

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Hello,TURBO 996-yes this car-one of the best performance car that has been built(production),they made the stronger chassis,PORSCHE brakes (no comment),really feel the road(but, not like the older versions)

issues(that we know):radiators can't hold that water[:)] nothing seriusly little leaking issue when they are old or removed from the car and not stored well,water pump could have a longer lifetime,

If you treat your porsche well,like you must,you won't have a lot of problems,the best service and storage (the way how you drive is really important too)

but, the most important is WHEN YOU BUY A PORSCHE, YOU WILL ALWAYS DRIVE A PORSCHE

for a little more money:996 GT2 BAD CAR if you like yourself[:)] this is really a car for racing,really mean machine,like to go fast-but don't push tooo hard!

Edited by porha

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I just came back from Florida today.

Drove thre on Thursday with my M3 and came back with my 996TTs Cab.

SO far the only challenge was to get in the garage, but even after a 19hour trip I like the new car.

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Yes.... a beautiful feeling, isn't it? I went by plane to Hamburg and came back (Lisbon) driving my TT coupe. 3000km, about 18 hours of driving.

Upon arriving also a garage challenge! Had to initiate my DIY jobs in the car with a front spoiler removal. Then I hired a contractor to alter the garage ramp incline for about 1000 euro. Voilá!

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2002 996 TT 15 k miles ( purchased at 6k miles and done 9 k in a year). New becker cd/radio unit and new battery so far. Moved up from 996 coupe to the TT... whole another world with another 115bhp.. Totally impractical, poor spare tire, no luggage space , no rear seat space etc average looks from most angles, noisy but really did not buy the car for any of those features or lack of. Great gas mileage 17 to 18 mpg includes on ramp runs at up to 120mph ! Phenomenal daily driver near exotic with (I believe ) best in class reliability.Only critcism is it could be lighter....get a GT2! Pure driving pleasure and the highlight of my day everyday... next car will be a 997 TT in about 4 years .

Other exotics may have a little more style and possibly performance but at the price point you mentioned hard to find a more reliable daily driver ( unless you want to go the other way and drive a Z06.. but wrong forum to discuss that machine ).

State side you should find a vehicle with less than 40 k miles for you price of $60k...prices are soft with the current economy and lack of financing.

Good luck .

just received an email from guy who sold his 2002 TT, 39k miles, for $53,000. Florida. Clean title, the works. That is one heck of bargain if the car is all it was described to be!

I am the one who purshase the car in Melbourne Florida from a very patient and fantastic sellers. I had a lot of problem to get it ship to the Canadian border but this is another story now it is in my driveway... I love the car. So far I had to replace the battery, the clutch accumulator the slave cylinder and soon the oil pressure sensor.....The car is simply amazing and a joy to ride. I probably drove so far only 1000 miles and wash it about 26 times but my pleasure is to drive it as much as learning about this fantastic piece of engineering. Got the Durametric software and found somewhere the repair manual etc...I know it wont be japaneese reliability but this is my toy and I am proud of it....

Edited by jpflip
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Hello all....

Nice summary by fastboydave, i'd also add that at 50k miles you may be looking at regular wear and tear on suspension components, I had to replace my front strut bump stops at 30k miles on my x50, although it is running x73 suspension and driving around potholed british roads so not sure if that had anything to do with it.... !

Have known wheel bearings to go also, but you cant miss the distinctive whining sound.

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Fastboy covered just about all the OOPS sorts of things. I bought the car over a year ago...an 02 TT with 18K miles on it, and since then I've replaced a leaking rear strut, a blown right rear radiator hose, a MAF (under CPO), and that's about it. Prior to that I had a 99 996...loved the car but found myself chasing the performance stats of the turbo by dumping money into mods....and was told a number of times to just go ahead an get the TT rather than trying to make a 3.4L engine into something it's not.

Most of my expense has been a self inflicted gunshot wound...custom wheels, upgraded tires, UMW tune and the other goodies that go with modding the car. In all truth, it drives extremely well without the mods, and you should drive it that way for at least six months..... but becasue it's such a well built basic platform, it lends itself well to upgrades that really dont' cost as much as you'd expect...and the rewards are spectacular.

For your budget of $60K you should be able to get something really nice in an 02-04 depending upon how it's optioned and the mileage. There are a lot of folks selling them off due to the economy....when I was looking, the poor guys in real estate and some of the speculation markets were hit hard and were bailing out....and this is still going on. The base price of a previously owned TT has dropped dramatically and it's an excellent time to enter the market if you have the cash. Thereare a lot of really nice TT's out there....just take your time to look around. Too many folks jump at the first "absolutely pristine, low mileage, wonderfully optioned" cars that they run into as they just start their hunt......trust me, if you miss one, there's always another right behind it. Watch the cars that hit the market...and sit for a bit....then the price starts coming down. It's really disappointing for those of us who own them to see them drop in price, but it will stabilize out. They're one of the best values for the money. Best of luck in your quest.

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I wouldn't be overly afraid of maintenance issues either. Last month I traded in a 2001 C4 Cab (No issues for 5 years on a CPO car) for a 2004 Turbo Cab with X50. They look similar but might as well be made by different manufacturers, considering the unbelievable difference in performance. I purchased mine with 20,300 miles for $59,800. There was some rash on the undersides of the rocker panel covers and a cracked wheelwell liner, which were easily replaced. The dealer offers an extended warranty plan where max years/miles (retails for $6500) can be bought for $4200-ish. This is exactly like the platinum service contract offered on Audis (which I have on my 05 Allroad and my 04 A8L) where there is a 100$ deductible. I am going to schedule the "induction" inspection this week. I hear that the Turbo and X50 motors don't have the IMS issues but there appear to be differing opinions as to whether the RMS is an issue on these. (If it is, the 4K will be well spent, HA) Bottom line: there is nothing you can buy in this price range that even comes close, or will be this reliable. AFter I got the TT, I saw a CPO C2S cab that was 3 years newer, had more miles and they wanted 20K more than what I paid. NO CONTEST! Enjoy whatever you buy!

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Well I bought my 2001 used with 9100 miles on it. Since owning it the only things I've had "go out" from use are a MAFS, which I suspect was due to an overly oiled K&N filter...

I bought my 996TT in Feb 2007 and have tracked it a LOT since then, and also used it as a daily driver when I want to commute into the Washington DC metro hell traffic that is the region I live just outside of. My 996TT has gone thru a clutch replacement that was brought about by power upgrades (UMW software to match the existing upgraded turbos) and the transmission has been upgraded to get rid of the damaged #1 & #2 syncros and #1 gear wear. I also got rid of the horrible Clutch hydraulics system that is LINKED to the powersteering system and uses a rather chostic fluid known as PENTOSIN CHF 11. This stuff is flamable at a very high flash point a few 996TTs have been destroyed due to leaks...

The only complaints I've had with this car are as follows:

Shift - The shifter sucks on these cars and the only real solution in my mind is the 997 SHORT SHIFT KIT upgrade, which can be had for about $430 thru Suncoast.

Clutch Hydraulics - Vague pedal pressure means you aren't always sure that the car is in gear and you can't modulate the clutch. A quick scan of the boards will tell you that the accumilator and slave replacements are common... Every year there seems to be a rush of these threads in the fall and the spring. If you ever pull the transmission for anything, replace the system with the GT2 upgrade.

Brakes - My Corvette had better brakes from "Stock" bits... The 996TT is a HEAVY car and without proper cooling and proper brake fluid (Don't mention ATE to me as it is NOT sufficient) will make an outting at a trackday more enjoyable... better pads (DON'T use PAGID ORANGES) will make the car perform even better.

Suspension Adjustment - This car is limited in its adjustment. For such a great supercar value, you can't adjust the caster at all from the factory, and you can't adjust the camber as much as true track junkies need. If the car is lowered, you can get up to about -1.5 in the front and about -2.0 in the rear. At stock ride height, which is to tall for such a sexy car, you're going to be much more limited... maybe -1.0 in the front and -175 in the rear... Unfortunatelty the solution is GT3 Split Control arms with ajdustable thrust bushings up front and adjustable dogbones in the rear. The Toe adjusters also are known to slip in track conditions, so plan on better rear toe links as well... $2K in parts NOT including coil overs or swaybars...

Mine has been a wonderful car that has provided much fun and excitement at the track, and much enjoyment on the street. The car gets attention everywhere, and on long road trips or stints on the highway Im' knocking down about 25-26mpg. I owe that to Kevin and his wonderful tuning at UMW.

At the end of the day, it's a Porsche, and there truly is no substitute.

Mike

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Bought my '02 used from a dealer and I've put 40K on it and about 40 track days. It is also my daily driver. Other than track wear items the only problem I've had is with a front wheel bearing, which any shop could (and did) replace. I'd echo Chuck Jones and say you're most likely to have problems with the mods you make. For me, it has been a very reliable car.

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