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bfueled

Hopeful Owner, looking for advice

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Hello, looking to purchase my first 911. I plan on driving the car as somewhat of a daily driver (to work a couple times a week and then on the weekends naturally) and am wondering about reliability of the 993 (by far my favorite and preferred iteration of the 911). How much should I budget for yearly maintenance? If you could please give a hopeful and first time buyer some advice, I'd greatly appreciate it.

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Hello, looking to purchase my first 911. I plan on driving the car as somewhat of a daily driver (to work a couple times a week and then on the weekends naturally) and am wondering about reliability of the 993 (by far my favorite and preferred iteration of the 911). How much should I budget for yearly maintenance? If you could please give a hopeful and first time buyer some advice, I'd greatly appreciate it.

bfueled:

I recently read a post on PPBB by a poster named "Carlos in Vegas" which contained his observations over many years of ownership of a 993 and a Boxster and comparing them to each other.

It made an impression on me and I thought you might find it useful.

Here is the text of his post:

"Here are some top-of-mind, haven’t-had-my-coffee-yet, observations:

SAFETY

Newer cars will have more airbags and “survival” mechanisms such as advanced ABS, impact reinforcements, skid prevention, stability management, etc.

The 993 only has a fraction of that, such as ABS and ABD.

Objective advantage: NEW CAR

CREATURE COMFORTS

Newer cars have automatic climate controls for individual passengers, heated/cooled seats, audio, entertainment and navigation systems, adaptive seats, and roomy interiors designed with ergonomic considerations.

The 993 climate control is iffy at best and the dash is based on a design 20+ years old. Interior is cramped and driving position is off-center from the steering wheel. Driver and passenger in the front seat almost rub shoulders. It has back seats, but I keep them folded to serve as a parcel shelf.

Objective advantage: NEW CAR

MATERIALS

Newer cars have advanced plastics with UV protection and tactile characteristics appropriate to the function, such as “grippier” steering wheel and seats. Greater use of stronger and lighter materials, such as composites, that contribute to performance and longevity.

The 993 relies on steel, plastic, aluminum, and glass. No fancy composites except as decorative or style pieces.

Objective advantage: NEW CAR

Styling

Newer cars reflect the current “fashion” or style of the period, whatever they may be, such as slopes, creases, flares, arches, etc.

The 993 design is timeless, based on an evolution of an iconic shape.

Objective advantage: Individual preference

PERFORMANCE

Newer cars take advantage of microprocessors to increase performance, fuel economy, and reliability. Variable valve timing, variable turbo geometry, direct fuel injection, dual-clutch paddle shifters, traction control, active suspension, etc.

The 993 has VarioRam adjustable intake (1996-98).

Objective advantage: NEW CAR

RELIABILITY AND MAINTENANCE

Newer cars have a warranty and are more familiar to service personnel in dealerships. They can require advanced software/equipment for diagnostics, leaving them beyond the reach of some independent shops. Due to improved designs and materials, reliability is typically enhanced, although out-of-warranty repairs for otherwise “simple” items can be expensive due to the myriad of systems introduced. Specific issues related to the M96 engine can lead to catastrophic engine failure.

The 993 maintenance is expensive, primarily because there are fewer qualified service personnel and the cost of parts. The 993 has 2 plugs per cylinder, as well as two oil filters, making even preventive maintenance items more expensive than newer cars. Reliability is very good and although there is a lot of talk about valve guides and SAI systems, a failure will be aggravating when it comes time to do an OBD II-based emissions check, but it will not leave you stranded by the side of the road standing in a puddle of oil.

Objective advantage: NEW CAR

BUILD QUALITY

Newer cars are built in modern, automated assembly lines that ensure the same level of finish car after car. Feels light.

The 993 was built at the end of the jig era, and some components are fitted by hand (and mallet). Feels like a tank.

Objective advantage: NEW CAR

THE BOTTOM LINE

On pure objective evaluation, a newer car wins hands down.

So why do I have a 993 if it’s inferior in almost every way?

Because I don’t need or want all that passive safety. I firmly believe that the most important safety feature in ANY vehicle is the nut behind the wheel. The 993 is safe because it has amazing handling to avoid problems, and will stop so hard your dentures will fly into the windshield.

Because I don’t want or need all the bells and whistles. As long as I can plug in an iPod and actually hear it, I’m happy. I prefer to row through the gears and find the optimal sweet spot in the power band. I prefer to watch TV at home rather than while stuck in traffic and I will pull over to talk on the phone. If I need directions, I stick a Garmin on the dash or ask someone.

Because of the design legacy. When I look at the instrument cluster, I see the dash from the iconic 959. The shape is timeless and will never go out of “style”. The simplicity of design comes across as elegant to me. In an era of wings, nacelles, scoops, and flame-styling, the 993 doesn't have anything that doesn't contribute to its primary purpose of moving down the road very quickly.

Because of the overall performance. Yes, there are minivans and pickups that could dust it in a straight line, but less than 10% of vehicles can hang if there’s a curve in the road. And most roads have curves.

It is beautiful from any angle and I don’t tire of admiring it from every angle.

I could go on, but I really need to get some coffee.

At the end of the day, I firmly believe it boils down to one thing: What are you looking for in a car? If it's comfort, passive safety, current styling, performance, and keep-up-with-the-Joneses doodads, then a new car all the way. If it's the joy of turning the key and feeling like you are one with the car, then the 993.

My wife summed it up like this: "It feels like we're part of the car and the car is connected to the road.

YMMV "

Hope you find the above useful.

Regards, Maurice.

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