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Well I actually logged on to Renntech because I'm having a problem with a window regulator on my 2000 996 C2 Cabriolet on which I am the second owner. I'm also the orginal owner of a 99 Boxster. But I happened on to this thread and just had to post.

I'm ALWAYs having some problems with my cars. Read on below if you want to know my personal favorites. That said, these two cars are without a doubt the very BEST cars I have ever owned in terms of driving AND MAINTENANCE. I have 146,000 miles on the Boxster. It sill has the ORIGINAL clutch! It still runs STRONG! And while I have done quite a bit of maintenance on it over the years... new water pump, new coolant reservoir, new serpentine rollers, new starter... these are what I consider normal wear and tear things. I have done NO major maintenance on the engine. And I have to say that the car has been pretty parsimonious on tires and brakes. I would go through three sets of tires and rotors on my wifes Audi A6 for every ONE set I put on the Boxster.

And my experience with my 911 is pretty similar. I now have 86,000 miles on it. It also has the original clutch. I did replace the RMS one time and I replaced the air mass meter recently. Other than that, ZERO engine maintenance. And I'm only on my second set of brakes!

Now, I imagine most of you are thinking... "well, he babies his cars." Not true. In fact, I drive them hard and even worse, post divorce, I'm now relegated to parking them outside most of the time!!! But they continue to be rock solid. I just have to wash them more often.

It's true that the IMS shaft failures tend to be catastrophic and therefore very dramatic and traumatic for their owners, but fearing to own a 986/996 and even worse slandering the car is simply not justified. The vast majority of 986/996s, probably 95% still on the road have their original engines intact and are still providing red line thrills for owners who appreciate them for the truly magnificent cars they are.

I've had a slew of other cars and motorcycles... everything from a 57 supercharged Studebaker Golden Hawk, Norton 750cc Combat Commando, 65 356SC, 68 Hemi Roadrunner, 68 Mustang 302 Toploader, etc. the list goes on and on. Many of them I worked on myself, when it was still possible to work on cars w/o being a computer geek. And I will never drive anything again but a Porsche. In my opinion, for the money, they are simply the best automobiles in the world. And I have found them to be very reasonable in terms of maintenance and upkeep,

Now do they have problems... Absolutely! Is the Porsche factory upfront about them. Not so much... For me, the most annoying and recalcitrant problems have been the ubiquitous airbag and check engine light problems in the Boxster which are both more or less Porsche factory design defects. I think most in this forum know both problems well. The wiring harness for the airbag/seatbelt safety system in early 986/996 cars was simply deficient. Porsche has come out with many TSBs and fixes but none of them is bulletproof as those with early 986s know. And the check engine light problem is really one of insufficient and innaccurate diagnostics. I along with many others have ended up replacing O2 sensors and air mass meters (because the PST reported them as the problem) when often as not the problem is really related to the oil separator system which Porsche dealers really don't like working on because the parts cost nothing but the effort involved in diagnosing and fixing the problem is nasty.

So, I for one would like to sing the praises of the 986/996. Great cars... I'm a proud owner of mine and plan on keeping them for as long they'll have me. Now back to getting that **** regulator and passenger window working right... It's part of the glory right?


2000 C2 Cabriolet

1999 Boxster

65 356SC (unfortunately deceased)

Touch wood...echoes my experience. My 13 year old 996 feels newer/tighter than any other car I've had. Sure it costs a bit more to maintain, but I, like Steve, seem to have been lucky so far. Or maybe not luck, just those Germans really do know how to make cars...

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  • 6 months later...
I'm glad I read this after I got my 996! It's a 1999, 63K miles, one owner since new. All scheduled services, including the belt, completed. Since I got it I've added 4K in 4 months (to and from work is a 90 mile round trip). Considering it's 11 years old, it feels like a new car (touch wood!): The oil is still so clear I have trouble seeing it on the dipstick...I never want to drive anything else!Of course...if I find myself on the side of the road with a $20K bill, I'll let you know!Added 20 Apr 2011.Mileage now 73K (so I've added 10K since Sep 2011, about 9miles/day). Tracked it once, changed the oil 3X. Of 5 experts (2 Porsche dealers, 3 independent shops) 3/4 unuequivocally said don't worry, one said change it now. It purrs smoothly, hisses and whirs for 5 mins on cold mornings.I add an update when I get up to 83K....but I have relaxed my guard a little lit....We shall seee....
Added 12 Feb 2013.Now at 103K. Still going strong....
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