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Just sold (gave away) my '99 carrera in Germany for 18,000 euro.. 115,000km, PZ serviced, immaculate mechanically and visually.. When I bought this car here four years ago for 35,000 euro I had heard about some select engine issues and was told that 15 - 20% of the early 996's were effected.

More recently I have heard that 80 - 90% of 996's will suffer failures sooner or later.. Porsche dealerships in Germany immediately resell traded 996's to smaller dealers and most Germans wont buy a Porsche without dealer warranty. 996 prices are still dropping and the replacement engine price is now 50% of the cars value!

Thank god I didnt have an engine failure! 35,000 purchase price + 8,000 new engine = 43,000. market value 20,000?! DISASTEROUS!

I have always been a great supporter of the Porsche brand and have enjoyed my 911 driving experience beyond expectation BUT I feel screwed. I personally believe that Porsche has been remarkably evasive and dishonest.

I wonder if many other longer term 996's owners feel that porsche has responsibilities beyond standard warranty with this model ?!

I was considering getting a 997 now but do not have the confidence or respect to go there.

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So you sold it becasue you thought it was going to blow up?:unsure:

I don't know where you got your "80 to 90 percent will experience failures" but that is total rubbish.

It's true that there are some design weaknesses on the M96 engine. MOST owners never have an issue and driver their cars well into the 100,000 mile range. These are usually the people who drive their cars frequently and do more frequent oil changes.

For you not to consider another Porsche because of "what you've heard" is rather bizzare. Especially since Porsche has addressed those problems ( IMS) in the 2006 to 2008 models and eliminated the IMS design completely in the DFI engines in 2009 + years.

And Posrche has just won best build quality and relaibility awards.

I agree with getting a warranty on any high end German car. Just good insurance.

I don't think your going to find a lot of sympathy here with irrational data like that.

I hope you change your mind and get into a 997. Look at 2006 onwards.

:cheers:

Edited by phillipj

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Hi,

I sold it because I am departing Germany, would have happily kept it had I not been leaving, have (like other owners) worried if I would be hit with engine failure?

When you buy one they'll tell you 15-20% risk, when you are selling they say 80-90 % failure rate.. have had two dealers in germany say those figures!

How does anyone know how many cars have suffered issues? is porsche transparent with this information?

There is so much talk about the reliability of this model, If the problem is minor then Porsche PR should make a statement to back it up.

Aside from the resale value, my experience with this 996 was great.

rgds,

B

So you sold it becasue you thought it was going to blow up?:unsure:

I don't know where you got your "80 to 90 percent will experience failures" but that is total rubbish.

It's true that there are some design weaknesses on the M96 engine. MOST owners never have an issue and driver their cars well into the 100,000 mile range. These are usually the people who drive their cars frequently and do more frequent oil changes.

For you not to consider another Porsche because of "what you've heard" is rather bizzare. Especially since Porsche has addressed those problems ( IMS) in the 2006 to 2008 models and eliminated the IMS design completely in the DFI engines in 2009 + years.

And Posrche has just won best build quality and relaibility awards.

I agree with getting a warranty on any high end German car. Just good insurance.

I don't think your going to find a lot of sympathy here with irrational data like that.

I hope you change your mind and get into a 997. Look at 2006 onwards.

:cheers:

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Actually 100% of Porsche's will suffer failure sooner or later. As a matter of fact 100% of all cars will suffer failure sooner or later!!! :oops:

These sort of numbers are really meaningless. Yes many people now think that the failure rate of the M96/M97 engines is higher than it should be (I am one of them having suffered an intermix) but there are repairs that can be done and preventative measures that can be taken. IN the US the cost of a re-manufactured engine from Porsche is now way beyond 50% of an early model 996 value, but there are many alternatives and more are coming available as time goes on. 18,000 euros translates to $23,810 at today's exchange rate, and in the US this would be a premium price for a 99', although used car prices may be higher in Germany. And 8,000 euros for a new engine, $10,582 at today's rates, is less than the cost of just the engine, which are going for $15,000+ for a 3.4 in the US.

The one thing I agree with you on is that Porsche has been remarkably evasive and dishonest on the issues regarding these engines. They should belly up to the bar and provide real figures on failure rates. If they really sart to lose customers due to there lack of candor maybe they will change, but I don't expect them to do this. I believe the majority of Porsche buyers, particularly buyers of new cars, don't really have a clue as to the problems.

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I too had a 996 fail from intermix. I was very angry and dissapointed. But that certainly didn't stop me from getting another Porsche. I had a 2006 Carrera S and recently traded it in for a 2007 Turbo. The Turbo is the most amazing car I have ever had. I agree that Porsche has never come clean with what they knew was a design flaw. They probably never will.

That being said I have had older BMW's and Mercedes that almost bankrupted me. Not engine failures but almost everything else..

To BM996.. I will never have any German sports car without a warranty. It's too painful...

The Turbo and the GT3 share the same bottom end and are a totally different engine than the M96 (and relatively bullet proof.) Maybe that's (the Turbo or a GT3) somthing to consider for your next Porsche :clapping:

Edited by phillipj
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I've heard about an IMS retrofit fix solution. Is this something that comes from Porsche or is it aftermarket third party? I would like to take this preventative measure since I just bought an 02 996 C2. Anyone have any suggestions on where to get it done in the Dallas area and how much I'd be looking at to install?

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The IMS retrofit was developed by LN Engineering out of Chicago, in conjunction with Flat Six Innovations in GA. For info, contact Charles Navarro at LN LN Engineering

Edited by JFP in PA
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I would have to agree with BM996's logic. Needing to pony up another 12-15K for a refurbished engine would be very painful to most people. Of course there are some people who may be able to take this in stride but my guess is that most would shudder if the situation presented itself. So the idea of getting rid of the car is a valid option. We can argue at what the precise failure rates are, but in reallity, anything over 1-2% is pitiful for any major auto manufacturer these days, and especially a German one. The few 996 owners I know really don't have much confidence in their cars. Its almost like they feel that their engine will let go one of these days and they all just hope that they're close to home when it does finally come to an end.

Obviously, as an owner I completely get the reason to own one of these cars, but if I could afford it, I'd trade up to a 997 and forget about this issue altogether.

As an aside, I don't have a warranty/insurance on my car. How does one go about purchasing insurance against these types of failures. How much would it be. Ballpark of course.

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Couple of points: The 997, which first showed up in 2005, is not immune to the IMS issue. Second, from late 2005 - early 2006, the M96 switched to a larger diameter IMS, which is still subject to the problem, but is so large in diameter that it cannot be retrofitted without a total engine tear down.

As for aftermarket warranty/insurance, most are not worth the paper they are written on, so be very careful before you sign on to anything...............

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Interesting that people think Porsche is the only one with engine problems. I remember working for GM in the late 80's and having brand new vehicles with only a few km's on them get driven off the delivery truck and straight into a service bay to have the engine replaced due to connecting rod failures or massive cracks in the block leaking coolant. This was the 2.8L V6 that also suffered from intake manifold gasket fault that GM had a problem with on every V6 engine model. Did they ever admit or fix the problem? No they didn't. Did they redesign the engine to correct the faults. Nope. Every maker has problems to some degree.... I work on all makes and models and Porsche is one of the better.

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PhillipJ - A Turbo now! You dog you. I heard that if you ship it to Roock he can retrofit it with a 3.4 :clapping:

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The M96 has had its problems, more than we have come to expect from Porsche. An acquaintance showed me a scheduled service that was done to his Ferrari for over $15k. Nothing to repair, just a service.

I am quite happy to treat the RMS/ IMS/ AOS/water pump (if you believe the latest from Raby about the plastic impellor)....as preventive maintenance items. It's not as if the engine core is badly designed and it's throwing rods. The intermix problem is more disappointing, but thankfully, seemed to affect relatively few years and (I would hope) has pretty well worked itself out of the system now (guessing that if your engine was going to have problems with it, it probably would have by now).

Having owned some older English cars where you seemed to get precious little driving while your lights still worked and you weren't servicing or replacing parts.....the M96 is just fine.

Granted, Porsche has more service items than we've come to expect from Japanese cars....but if I wanted a sewing machine, I would have purchased one.

In short....get a grip....or get a sewing machine.

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I owned an Alfa Romeo Spider in the 70s... Now THAT was unreliable and expensive!

My 996 has been a great car. It has over 95,000 miles on it and it's still going strong.

I think that if you consider any car an "investment", then you will lose. All cars will lose value, and all cars will breakdown. You have to consider what you want out of a car when you purchase it. Do you want a fuel efficient econo-box? Do you want a truck? Do you want a sports car? Each has tradeoffs. With any high performance sports car, including Porsches, one tradeoff is that it is expensive to fix. It may very well not last for 200K miles, but think of all the rewards you get during the time you have it. For me, it's worth the risk. Even if I suffer engine failure, I will consider this ownership experience to be positive, and to be "worth it".

FWIW - my son's $4,000 Volvo recently needed $1,800 worth of engine, suspension and brake work. This amounted to 45% of the car's value. Does that mean I should just scrap the car and move on? Of course not. I got it fixed, and he's back on the road. I didn't base the decision on the value of the car in the marketplace, but rather on the value of the car to me and to my son.

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I'm sitting at 116K miles. At 105K I replaced the water pump, AOS, clutch, IMS bearing, RMS, chain tensioners and cam chain pads for about $2500. This has been a very reliable car, never lest me stranded (knocking on wood now), even my daughters 944S (87 with 180K) has only needed a starter, A/C compressor and timing belts (X2) replaced in about the last 7 years.

Edited by rb101

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I bought my '99 3.5 years ago with 71K on the clock. Over that period I put on 8K miles.

Mechanically during that time I replaced one pre and one post cat O2 sensor, a power window assembly and the infamous vario-cam sensor o-ring.

All in all the car was very dependable and I loved it.

It recently suffered a failed rear hub assembly (not from abuse or curbs, etc..) and ruined the hub, axle shaft/cv, speed sensor, rotor and some other tertiary items. They also found the front cv boots cracking so those needed to be replaced.

I've owned a LOT of vehicles in my life and I wish most of them would have been as bulletproof as the Carrera proved to be. I regretfully parted ways with the Carrera today (building a new house and some toys needed to go) but the Carrera is on the books as my favorite car of all. Second favorite was my M3. That is some pretty good company IMO.

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The Turbo and the GT3 share the same bottom end and are a totally different engine than the M96 (and relatively bullet proof.) Maybe that's (the Turbo or a GT3) somthing to consider for your next Porsche :clapping:

The case of the Turbo and the GT3 are directly derived from the 993 engine, which was pretty much bullet proof. They are a masterpiece of engineering, but are incredibly expensive. That is why, unfortunately, that Porsche chose to put them only in the Uber cars... As a former 993 owner, which I love my 996 C4, but can't wait until I can afford the piece of mind, and the wonderful performance, that a GT3 or Turbo brings to the table!

Edited by Beninki

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My Carrera C2 1999 is a daily driver. It works fine. The only major repair has been a waterpump failure at 42K miles. The kit and installation was 1500 bucks. I now have 76K miles on the tach. It's a 6speed, still with the first clutch. Sofar it has been a great car. But... I do believe that nowadays, a car with that purchase price should not have some of the problems we see, problems that are not taken care of by the manufacturer in their continuing engineering design and improvement p[rogram. I have been pondering the idea to move to a later model but... guess what ... they have the same problems. So, just giving Porsche some more money is not going to cut it for me. That does not make sense. Even the Cayennes - a design from scratch, with a very common engine design has some problems that make you wonder who signs off on those things. Perhaps the financial guys have a " how to make more money" calculator in order to get cars back to the Dealers and shops for repair.... ehhh.. . I mean replacing parts as no repairs are taking place anymore.

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My Carrera C2 1999 is a daily driver. It works fine. The only major repair has been a waterpump failure at 42K miles. The kit and installation was 1500 bucks. I now have 76K miles on the tach. It's a 6speed, still with the first clutch. Sofar it has been a great car. But... I do believe that nowadays, a car with that purchase price should not have some of the problems we see, problems that are not taken care of by the manufacturer in their continuing engineering design and improvement p[rogram. I have been pondering the idea to move to a later model but... guess what ... they have the same problems. So, just giving Porsche some more money is not going to cut it for me. That does not make sense. Even the Cayennes - a design from scratch, with a very common engine design has some problems that make you wonder who signs off on those things. Perhaps the financial guys have a " how to make more money" calculator in order to get cars back to the Dealers and shops for repair.... ehhh.. . I mean replacing parts as no repairs are taking place anymore.

What do you mean by "later model"? A 2000? 2003? 2006? 2009? All different cars... You can't say "they have the same problems" as the 99 Carrera because they don't.

Edited by phillipj

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Interesting that people think Porsche is the only one with engine problems. I remember working for GM in the late 80's and having brand new vehicles with only a few km's on them get driven off the delivery truck and straight into a service bay to have the engine replaced due to connecting rod failures or massive cracks in the block leaking coolant.

The M96 has had its problems, more than we have come to expect from Porsche. An acquaintance showed me a scheduled service that was done to his Ferrari for over $15k. Nothing to repair, just a service.

...Having owned some older English cars where you seemed to get precious little driving while your lights still worked and you weren't servicing or replacing parts.....the M96 is just fine.

Granted, Porsche has more service items than we've come to expect from Japanese cars....but if I wanted a sewing machine, I would have purchased one.

I owned an Alfa Romeo Spider in the 70s... Now THAT was unreliable and expensive!

A friend with a relatively new Mazda RX8 just had her engine replaced under warranty. Apparently if the car is cold and you try to start it, but it doesn't start right away, continuing to try starting it while cold will do nothing except eventually kill the battery (she's done it twice already). Most recently, she valet parked (her first mistake), and the valet boys couldn't start the car. She ended up having it it towed to the dealer (not the first time) and they called her the next day to tell her she's getting a new motor under warranty. I'm not sure how any car manufacturer, let alone a Japanese one, could design a car that a parking lot attendant could break the motor just by trying to start the car! :eek: The only valet parking destroying a Porsche motor stories I've heard always involved actually driving the car

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I just talked to my after-market warranty company claims supervisor.

He said that they insure over 10,000 M96 engine derived cars.

He has had 2 engine failure claims this year.

Yes. That's right. 2.

So for them selling warranties for Porsches is a pretty good business.

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I just talked to my after-market warranty company claims supervisor.

He said that they insure over 10,000 M96 engine derived cars.

He has had 2 engine failure claims this year.

Yes. That's right. 2.

So for them selling warranties for Porsches is a pretty good business.

Wow, that is an incredibly low number. If he is being honest, then his numbers support the idea that those who have had failures are a really vocal bunch and spread their message far and wide on the internet. The impression out there is that there have been thousands and thousands of failures- some have thrown around the numbers up to 80%. I for one cannot believe that Porsche would allow such a trend to continue for very long, so I have been very skeptical about the large number of failures rumored. I suspect that it is less than 5%, maybe more like 2%, with many of these due to owner neglect. I do not personally know of anyone in my area that has suffered a M96 engine failure. However, I am a long-time air-cooled owner, so I my circle of Porsche compatriots has generally been oriented that direction.

Has anyone created a registry/ database of M96 engine failures?

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Low, and dubious........... "Had" two failures, or "only honored the warranty" for two failures? Not to cast aspersions, but I have absolutely no respect for aftermarket warranty firms, as most are renown for not paying out...............

Edited by JFP in PA
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I was at my dealer's shop the other day and spotted an engine being readied for shipment to PNA. When I asked about it, I was told that it was a MY03 Boxster engine that had been removed from a car following an IMS failure. I am happy to say that it wasn't my MY03! But it did get my attention.

The technicians have told me, in the past, that they have seen "a few" failures but apparently haven't been inundated with failures.

Bill

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I don't know what the percentages really are, but I can speak from my own experience. I recently had a IMS bearing failure on my 2003 911 with 59k miles on the clock. The vehicle has been well cared for and not tracked or abused. The bearing damaged the snap ring and welded it to the intermediate shaft, so the engine will probably need a complete rebuild, even though I shut the car down and soon as I heard the noise. As a more cost effective solution, I am considering Motormeister (no affiliation) in California to do the rebuild. Are there any other companies in the states that rebuild these engines?

thanks,

j

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