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Need your advice quick for purchasing a 2002 996 Targa

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Hi all,

I have been looking for a 996 and also lurking here for a while. After many great suggestions from the forum members, I decided to get a 2002+ 996. Today I test drove a 2002 Targa with 95k miles. Link here on Rennlist: http://www.rennlist.com/ads/

The car is really clean and the owner seems to be a true Porsche enthusiast. Now the only thing I am worried about is the high mileage. At close to 100k miles, what do I look to repair/replace in the next few years? Is it worth it? The aftermarket exhaust/cats don't have California CARB certification but the car just passed smog test.

The IMS/RMS are still original since there is no sign of any leak, as is the water pump.

We talked about the price and $23k sounds agreeable to both parties. I need to make a decision by this weekend as the owner is going to take the car to a broker next week.

Thanks for your quick advice!

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Sorry, the Rennlist link doesn't work.

You can click the Porsche for sale icon and select 911/993/996 and sort by year. It is the silver car for 2002 listed at $29,800.


Year: 2002 Make: Porsche Model: 911

Miles: 94500 Engine: Fuel Inj. Stereo: AM-FM/CD

Body Style: Targa Transmission: Manual - 6 speed

Color: Artic Silver Drivetrain: 2 Wheel Drive

Options (denoted by check marks):

Power Steering Air Conditioning Rear Defroster

Power Brakes Sunroof Leather/heated Seats

Air Bags Cruise Control Foglamps

Antilock Brakes Power Windows Alarm System

Traction Control Power Locks Intermittent Wipers


-Immaculately maintained and cared for

-6 speed manual transmission

-94K miles (highway)

-GT3 style side skirts

-Carbon fiber interior trim kit (steering wheel, shift knob, center console, e-brake handle, ac surround)

-Full leather interior with 搒upple? leather seats

-AWE Sport Exhaust System

-B&M Short Shift

-Bilstein PSS9 coilover suspension

-Aluminum sport pedals

-Ipod adaptor

-New clutch at 85K

-New brakes (rotors, pads) at 78K

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Some suggestions:

1. Take a close look at the owner' service records. If he/she doesn't have them, take the VIN number to your local Porsche dealer and see if they'll run a service history on the car for you. Lack of current visible leaks etc. is not an indicator that RMS/IMS/water pump have never been replaced.

2. Have an independent Porsche mechanic do a complete pre-purchase inspection, including leak-down tests on each cylinder. This will cost you a few hundred $$ but is worth it IMHO.

You should get a much better understanding of what the car is once these items are done, especially of what bits and pieces may need replacing soon.

The above may take you a few days but if you pursue them with diligence and urgency, the owner should hold off on brokering the car until you're done. If he/she is hesitant to wait, offer to share the results from your investigations, for use if he/she does end up broker the car. (As an aside, the cynical side of me says the broker comment may just be a way to artifically create urgency on your part...a standard sales tactic.)

Good luck.

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Thanks for your suggestions. I plan to take the car for an PPI for sure.

The owner is nice enough to send me the Durametric report.

Only fault code is for Alarm I32:

49 - K Lead status: not present

54 - Radio receiver defective

60 - Central locking limit position lock not reached

And the engine rev history:

Range 1 - 11691/2407h

Range 2 - 2/404h

Operating hrs - 2451h

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  • Admin

Thanks for your suggestions. I plan to take the car for an PPI for sure.

The owner is nice enough to send me the Durametric report.

Only fault code is for Alarm I32:

49 - K Lead status: not present

54 - Radio receiver defective

60 - Central locking limit position lock not reached

And the engine rev history:

Range 1 - 11691/2407h

Range 2 - 2/404h

Operating hrs - 2451h

And the airbag operating hours?

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  • Admin

I thought Durametric reported airbag hours - but I could be wrong. You can certainly get the info with a PST2 or PIWIS tester.

Yes and no.

If the airbag hours are similar to the engine hours then I think you can safely assume that the airbag has never deployed.

If the airbag hours are a larger number than the engine hours then there are several possibilities - that the engine was replaced, or that one of the previous owners left the key in the ignition for long periods of time. The key in the ignition (even without starting the car i.e. off position) activated the airbag circuit.

If the airbag hours are much less than engine hours then the airbag has likely been replaced.

I just think that this is a good thing to check to see if recorded events match up with the story being told.

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  • Admin

Hi Loren,

why would an engine replacement show lower hours in the dme than in the airbag?

Possibly - it's an interesting observation that you also need to take into account the mileage. That is, do the hours on the engine and airbag roughly equate to the mileage.

It can be a bit complex but it can help you estimate whether the car's story match the computer(s) recorded facts.

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Thanks all for the valuable info/suggestions.

I plan to do an PPI next week along with a leakdown test since I am a little concerned with the high mileage. The 996 engine cylinders are a weak part prone to cracking per my research. The engine is expected to need a rebuild by 150k miles.

Good thing the owner has put in an LN 160F thermostat, which helps to keep the engine running cool. I read the Hartech articles about the 996 problems last night. Frankly, it scares me to buy a 996.

I can get a 997 (pay now) or a 996 ( pay later for the repairs/rebuild). The dilemma is the 997 has similar engine problems, albeit to a much lesser extent hopefully.

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