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1999 Carrera Cabriolet - soft top/hydraulic fluid issue?


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first time poster - don't know too much about the mechanics of cars so my apologies in advance if i'm using improper nomenclature.

Realized my dream of owning a Porsche and a convertible last week with the purchase of a 1999 Carrera Cab with 44k miles on it. Had it inspected beforehand by an independent mechanic experienced with Porsches, who said everything looked perfect / no leaks.

A few days ago I noticed the convertible top didn't fully retract. I could hear motors moving but it wasn't going all the way down. At first it wouldn't close but then finally it closed. I took it to a Porsche dealer today to have it looked at.

The dealer said i have a hydraulic leak and the hydraulic system needed to be replaced. All in estimate with labor was about $2,200.

I've spent a few hours online especially on this site which has been quite helpful. I checked the hydraulic fluid level myself and see it's virtually empty.

I'm now left trying to figure out: 1) how did the mechanic miss this upon inspection?; 2) is $2,200 reasonable for this work or am i being screwed by the dealership?; 3) why can't i smell any hydraulic fluid leaking either in the car, or near the engine or opening to where the top goes during retraction?

To be clear, i purchased the car for $23k and plan to have tons of fun driving it with no concern for resale value. I am looking for cost effective fixes. I want to take excellent care of the car and am happy to spend when warranted, but based on everything i've read so far, this doesn't seem like a $2,200 problem.

I am meeting with an independent mechanic tomorrow morning that i saw recommended on this site. Any thoughts / perspectives?

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loren - how (if at all) is the hydraulic fluid in the convertible mechanism related to the hydraulic fluid that is measured/added inside the engine compartment?

i'm trying to understand whether the fact that i'm low on hydraulic fluid as measured in the engine compartment is relevant here.

also, why have some threads i've found online talked about adding hydraulic fluid to the engine compartment vs. adding per the steps in the link you sent?

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It´s not the engine compartment where you add the fluid, it´s separate compartment where the top folds down. So some threads online are not specific enough....

And yes, the engine hydr.fluid is not connected to the top´s fluid, so it´s not relevant

Regards,

Kare

loren - how (if at all) is the hydraulic fluid in the convertible mechanism related to the hydraulic fluid that is measured/added inside the engine compartment?

i'm trying to understand whether the fact that i'm low on hydraulic fluid as measured in the engine compartment is relevant here.

also, why have some threads i've found online talked about adding hydraulic fluid to the engine compartment vs. adding per the steps in the link you sent?

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loren - how (if at all) is the hydraulic fluid in the convertible mechanism related to the hydraulic fluid that is measured/added inside the engine compartment?

i'm trying to understand whether the fact that i'm low on hydraulic fluid as measured in the engine compartment is relevant here.

also, why have some threads i've found online talked about adding hydraulic fluid to the engine compartment vs. adding per the steps in the link you sent?

If you do not feel comfortable doing this then find a reputable Porsche shop.

Ask here (please tell us where you are located) and your local Porsche club for good Porsche shop recommendations.

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Loren - i'm in fort lauderdale, FL and work in pompano beach, FL. I found Gulf Performance Center (Vincent Colosino) through reviews on this site, and intend to have the work done there. He's got a couple good reviews here....if anyone has any add'l reviews on him i'd of course appreciate it.

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  • 1 year later...

Dear all,

hello from Belgium.

recent owner of a 1998 carrera 996, also encountering the cab top problem.

having read this super helpful DIY and all your comments, I'm also attempting to do the same.

But I don't succeed to take the carpet off, mainly due to the 2 hard plastic bits on left and right on the vertical (please refer to the attached pictures)

the carpet goes around them and I don't see how I can take the carpet out without damaging the carpet in order to get it through them.

Please if you can share with me how to solve this problem it is much appreciated.

Thank you all in advance.

Stephen

post-68165-0-51408400-1302549965_thumb.j

post-68165-0-75839700-1302550316_thumb.j

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I had the same problem and after getting some help from the forum and reading the DIY, I have successfully added hydraulic fluid to the system and it works perfectly. I am by no means mechanically inclined. If I can do this work, anyone can. I purchased the porsche hydraulic fluid from suncoast. The most challenging part of this fix is the small space available and the small opening to add more hydraulic fluid. I recommend using a small syringe and go to any auto parts store and purchase a small amount of flexible rubber tubing. The diameter must be small since the opening where you put the fluid is very tiny. Good luck!

Eric

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