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JotaEmE

RMS: What to expect when it happens

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Just wondering.

I've found some sort of tiny spot of something that resembles like oil. Too soon. 12.000 kms on the clock of my 04 C4S.

But just in case I receive the " RMS award", thus being member of the distinguished RMS Owner's Club.... I'd like to know what to expect when it finally shows.

Any kind of drama when it finally appears, like blowing engines, huge amounts of smoke coming out from the exhaust, strange noises.....?

I'm a bit scared. :(

JM

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Just wondering.

I've found some sort of tiny spot of something that resembles like oil. Too soon. 12.000 kms on the clock of my 04 C4S.

But just in case I receive the " RMS award", thus being member of the distinguished RMS Owner's Club.... I'd like to know what to expect when it finally shows.

Any kind of drama when it finally appears, like blowing engines, huge amounts of smoke coming out from the exhaust, strange noises.....?

I'm a bit scared. :(

JM

I had a RMS leak on my '04 Carrera after 7K miles. Not a big deal (if under warranty!)--they remove the trans and replace the RMS and intermediate shaft seal. Takes around half a day.

This thread has info & pix:

http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=2166

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Other than oil spots under the engine, you won't notice any performance issues and there is no danger of blowing the engine. Just keep an eye on the oil level but it usually doesn't leak fast enough to even need to add a liter between changes.

Karl

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I think with all of the porsche tech savy folks on this board we should come up with a nice DIY for all those that want to attempt an RMS fix themselves. For an RMS failure is bound to happen on most early 996's Yes/No?

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I think with all of the porsche tech savy folks on this board we should come up with a nice DIY for all those that want to attempt an RMS fix themselves. For an RMS failure is bound to happen on most early 996's Yes/No? 

 

Theoretically a good idea... but most folks will not have access to the tools they need. You need an engine support tool when you drop the transmission as the RMS is changed with the engine in the car (the transmission is removed to provide access). You also need to test the seal bore for to see that it is concentric and has the proper diameter (all the way around). Porsche dealers have go-no-go tool for this and if your engine fails - you get a new (rebuilt) engine. They are also instructed to check the intermediate shaft seal and replace the four crankcase (halves) bolts. In the end all of these things are supposed to minimize your risk of have a 2nd or 3rd occurrence.

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its a joke isn't it. The fact that this RMS problem is still around in even in brand new cars. At least you will get it fixed under warranty. I hear that the 997 has it too!

If it was me I would take it in and "demand" in writing exactly what has caused this thing to go wrong and why it's so prelevent. Since your car's so new, explain in your letter that while it's fine under warranty now, what will happen if you get continued RMS problems out of warranty. Also, will the RMS problem show up in a CARFAX list (I think this is the US version of our HPPI) and thus it may affect residuals. Unless owners (especially new owners) start to voice their concerns in writing they will just let this problem go on and we end up with the problem when the warranty runs out.

My car's on its 6th RMS and out of warranty even though the 1st was reported at 27,000 miles and just out of warranty. Guess who has to pay to get it fixed?

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6 RMS fixes is highly unusual.

Here (in California) it could mean one of the following:

1. Dealer mechanic not following the right procedure correctly

2. Engine out of spec

3. Dealer/Porsche not courteous

4. Driving style and frequency, temperature, other conditions?

To 1. We have been told by several sources, that the "new" seal and "new" replacement method has a very high success rate of stopping the RMS from re-occuring. I know of several people (including myself) who have been 'dry' after this "new" method.

To 2. Dealer should show you the alignment measures (they are required to measure upon each RMS fix). If the engine is out of spec, it will work the seal loose again (so it starts leaking again). Eventually the engine will fail. Since you have had 6 fixes, you should have had 6 measurements. Ask for the data.

To 3. At least in California it is now a 'myth' that by the 4th RMS replacement the dealer will always put in a new engine. It has happened to quite a few people here, but it is unclear whether this was related to 2) and/or the car still being under (factory - 4 year) warranty. Also earlier on - when the cars were new - owners were treated more courteous as to not damage the car's image.

To 4. No data available. There is speculation that usage type may relate to the seal's ability to function. This can be prolonged storage (at cold temperatures), as this is a 'dry sump' system (seal becomes exposed when the car is parked and the oil returns to the pan). It may be related to how fast the car is driven (especially when cold). It may be related to how often the car is used for short runs (under 20 minutes), versus longer runs. It may be related to how aggressive the car is driven (an in-spec engine may not be 'good' enough with an aggessive driver), and so on. This is all speculation - there is no good way to collect evidence, as these items often interfere with other items.

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I agree with what you said about aggressive driving when engine is cold. Although there may be a design problem or improper fit of the Crankshaft Main Bearing Seal, I do believe that aggressive driving before the engine has warmed up to operating temperature may contribute to failure. Both the engine and seal will sit more tightly when it is warm than when cold. Increased pressure on the seal when cold may push some oil past the seal and eventually cause a permanent leak.

I am, however, just guessing here since I have not had any problems in 45,000 miles. I NEVER drive the car aggressively until the engine reaches 180 degrees +.

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Local Boxster owner Jean aka Frenchy had 5 seal replacements. (I had incorrectly reported on rennlist it was just 4.) http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?s...089entry11089 So he is tied with Berny. Seal #5 was put in just after the warranty expired, and it leaked as well.

Frency's July message is old - he had a few more engines since then.

After the 5th replacement seal leaked Porsche oked a rebuilt engine, which had a vibration problem and metal in the oil filter. 2 more rebuilt engines were put in and they also had a vibration problem. Then Porsche oked a new engine but all they had in stock was for a tiptronic and Jean has a manual transmission. Peter at our dealership rewired the engine for a manual transmission. So far so all is good with replacement engine #4. All the engine replacements were goodwill.

As for how you drive the car. I live a few blocks from the freeway. I start the car in the morning and 3 minutes later I am at redline trying to enter the freeway at a decent speed to keep up with the traffic in my little 2.5 Boxster as I merge. Been doing it this way for almost 6 years. I have a 1997 that has never has had a real seal leak. Maybe the secrete is to drive the car hard when it is cold. :P

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Local Boxster owner Jean aka Frenchy had 5 seal replacements.  (I had incorrectly reported on rennlist it was just 4.)  http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?s...089entry11089  So he is tied with Berny.  Seal #5 was put in just after the warranty expired, and it leaked as well.

Frency's July message is old - he had a few more engines since then.

After the 5th replacement seal leaked Porsche oked a rebuilt engine, which had a vibration problem and metal in the oil filter.  2 more rebuilt engines were put in and they also had a vibration problem.  Then Porsche oked a new engine but all they had in stock was for a tiptronic and Jean has a manual transmission.  Peter at our dealership rewired the engine for a manual transmission.  So far so all is good with replacement engine #4.  All the engine replacements were goodwill.

As for how you drive the car.  I live a few blocks from the freeway.  I start the car in the morning and 3 minutes later I am at redline trying to enter the freeway at a decent speed to keep up with the traffic in my little 2.5 Boxster as I merge.  Been doing it this way for almost 6 years.  I have a 1997 that has never has had a real seal leak.  Maybe the secrete is to drive the car hard when it is cold. :P

I agree its best to drive these cars aggressively, one of the main complaints I here is the American's don't drive their porsche's hard enough.

The 996 is not the first Porsche to ever have a design flaw, I remember earlier 911's had terrible oil leaks around the valve covers, there were other serious problems such a broken engine studs that caused quit a stir.

In engineering we seldom get the design right the first time, but things do get improved over time.

just my opinion.

D Man

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Other than oil spots under the engine, you won't notice any performance issues and there is no danger of blowing the engine. Just keep an eye on the oil level but it usually doesn't leak fast enough to even need to add a liter between changes.

Karl

Two questions then...

1) So what is the 'danger' in not correcting the RMS if it fails? As, long as the engine has correct levels of oil, what can/and does go wrong?

2) Does the RMS failing cause the Check Engine Light to come on?

Thanks!

-TS

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Other than oil spots under the engine, you won't notice any performance issues and there is no danger of blowing the engine. Just keep an eye on the oil level but it usually doesn't leak fast enough to even need to add a liter between changes.

Karl

Two questions then...

1) So what is the 'danger' in not correcting the RMS if it fails? As, long as the engine has correct levels of oil, what can/and does go wrong?

2) Does the RMS failing cause the Check Engine Light to come on?

Thanks!

-TS

Right!. So the incredibly awful and infamous techno-horror named " RMS affaire" which affects supposedly thousands of 996 owners means "lots of oil consumption"?.

Were it the case, it'd be only a matter of buying more oil.

Clearly, I don't understand a thing about this issue.

JM

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Well, if the seal were to actually "blow out" (instead of just leaking a little) you will know it as your oil light will come on and all of your oil will be on the ground. I've only seen two of those - one owner shut it down and saved the engine and the other didn't. Both were covered under warranty.

Time to stop worrying and start driving ;)

:drive:

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Well, if the seal were to actually "blow out" (instead of just leaking a little) you will know it as your oil light will come on and all of your oil will be on the ground. I've only seen two of those - one owner shut it down and saved the engine and the other didn't. Both were covered under warranty.

Time to stop worrying and start driving  ;)

:drive:

Great info once again!! Thanks Loren!!

It really puzzled me (and worried me since mine is out of warranty).

-TS

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Hi,

For the first time I notice oil on the floor. I took the car for a spin yesterday, some hard acceleration here and there, nothing serious. I got home and let the car rest for like 3 hours and an inch diameter oil drop on the floor. I almost fainted. Mine is 2000 C4 with 10K miles. The leak came from the left side of the engine. Any one knows if I'm facing the RMS nightmare? :unsure:

Thanks!

Ricardo.

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Hi,

For the first time I notice oil on the floor. I took the car for a spin yesterday, some hard acceleration here and there, nothing serious. I got home and let the car rest for like 3 hours and an inch diameter oil drop on the floor. I almost fainted. Mine is 2000 C4 with 10K miles. The leak came from the left side of the engine. Any one knows if I'm facing the RMS nightmare?  :unsure:

Thanks!

Ricardo.

The RMS is located between the engine and the transmission (around the drive shaft) So it is basically right in the middle of the car. it is easy to see, just jack your car and see (touch) if the oil come from the "crack" between the engine and transmission).

If it is really on the side, it might be the variocam seal or valve cover seal (there is a thread in this board about someone that did the valve cover "resealing" himself

Frenchy

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Hi,

For the first time I notice oil on the floor. I took the car for a spin yesterday, some hard acceleration here and there, nothing serious. I got home and let the car rest for like 3 hours and an inch diameter oil drop on the floor. I almost fainted. Mine is 2000 C4 with 10K miles. The leak came from the left side of the engine. Any one knows if I'm facing the RMS nightmare?   :unsure:

Thanks!

Ricardo.

The RMS is located between the engine and the transmission (around the drive shaft) So it is basically right in the middle of the car. it is easy to see, just jack your car and see (touch) if the oil come from the "crack" between the engine and transmission).

If it is really on the side, it might be the variocam seal or valve cover seal (there is a thread in this board about someone that did the valve cover "resealing" himself

Frenchy

Frenchy,

Thanks for your reply. I'll go check it today.

Ricardo.

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I'm taking mine in Tuesday for the RMS thing, never smoked, no spots, just used oil. Saw the leak while on a lift for tires. No big deal, fix under warranty. Out of warranty it's 800$, unless you need an engine.

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I just noticed several oil spots under the rear of my 99' 996 C2, toward the right side of the motor. Is this where the rms leak normally reveals itself?

Dean

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I just noticed several oil spots under the rear of my 99' 996 C2, toward the right side of the motor.  Is this where the rms leak normally reveals itself?

Dean

Not usually. Look for a spot right in the center where the engine and transmission meet.

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Loren,

What if instead of getting the RMS fixed everytime, one was to just top off the oil as needed to keep it at optimum levels. Would the engine get worst?

With the freqeuency that some of these engines encounter RMS problems, if there is no catastrophic consequence to just topping off the oil, why bother getting it fixed? I mean, unless the leak gets really bad of course.

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Well... at some point the oil starts to fling onto the clutch disk and pressure plate - this will start to cause slippage and the clutch disk will be ruined. If the slip is too much then the pressure plate starts to overheat and that can be damaged it too.

Then there is always the chance that the seal blows out completely (I heard of a couple of instances of this) and all of your oil is dumped on the ground in about 30 seconds - usually meaning a new engine.

Sounds like a pretty big risk to me.

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Can anyone provide info as to the frequency of RMS problem occurring in 996's over 1999-20004. Are there more in 99-00 than 03-04?

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Can anyone provide info as to the frequency of RMS problem occurring in 996's over 1999-20004.  Are there more in 99-00 than 03-04?

An informal poll done over at rennlist is the only data I've see:

RMS Poll

Edited by Rob in WA

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Hello Ricardo,

I noticed you message regarding a small oil leak on the left side of the engine.

I went on vacation for two weeks and upon my return, I noticed a few drops of oil on the left side of the engine. From reading the other messages, I don't think it is an RMS problem. Did you ever find out what your leak was caused from?

Avery

Hi,

For the first time I notice oil on the floor. I took the car for a spin yesterday, some hard acceleration here and there, nothing serious. I got home and let the car rest for like 3 hours and an inch diameter oil drop on the floor. I almost fainted. Mine is 2000 C4 with 10K miles. The leak came from the left side of the engine. Any one knows if I'm facing the RMS nightmare?  :unsure:

Thanks!

Ricardo.

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