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JoeA

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I am seriously considering a 1996 993. I am having a pre inspection of the car completed, however I wanted to ask the forum for any other things I should look out for, based on the 1996 993. What should I consider, It is a high milage car, however, seems to be in good shape, Clutch has been replaced. No service records though, car is off a lease.

Any information would be greatfully appreciated.

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JoeA,

I am a former 96 993 owner. In general the cars are very reliable.

Be aware of the potential problems with the CEL (check engine light) caused by blockage of the secondary air injection system (used for emission on cold start up. It is becoming a rather common headache for the 993. It does not effect performance but can cause you to fail emissions test in some states. I never had the problem with my car. The cost to fix varies on how you decide to go about it, from unbelievable to reasonable. Do a search on the 993 board at Rennlist for more information than you want to know about this.

Another potential issue to investigate in your PPI is valve guide wear. The 993 is showing some signs of having premature valve guide wear problems (sometimes this can be the cause of the CEL problem). A thorough PPI by an experienced p-car mechanic can diagnose this potential problem with leak down and compression tests.

The factory suspension does not last long. If the 993 you are looking at has the factory suspension (dampers/springs) and is high mileage then budget to have the dampers replaced. It may seem to drive fine but with new dampers you will see just how bad the old was. The factory stuff starts to show its age as early as 20k miles. Aftermarket coilover replacements are a better choice than replacing with factory stuff.

Other potential weaknesses include power steering rack leaks, door check strap malfunctioning (makes clicking sound from coming loose inside the frame, leaks around window frame (my car had none of these things).

With high mileage look closely at deferred maintenance items that can be somewhat costly to perform such as spark plug changes (royal PITA), distributor belt (there are two distributors) replacement. Other simple maintenance like fuel filter, distributor caps and rotors, air and pollen filters, and failure of the struts on the hood and deck lid.

They are absolutely great cars. But for my need for a car to drive year around and to take on long trips (wife did not like riding in the 993…to raw….which I loved) I would still have mine.

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JoeA,

I am a former 96 993 owner.  In general the cars are very reliable.

Be aware of the potential problems with the CEL (check engine light) caused by blockage of the secondary air injection system (used for emission on cold start up.  It is becoming a rather common headache for the 993.  It does not effect performance but can cause you to fail emissions test in some states.  I never had the problem with my car. The cost to fix varies on how you decide to go about it, from unbelievable to reasonable.  Do a search on the 993 board at Rennlist for more information than you want to know about this.

Another potential issue to investigate in your PPI is valve guide wear.  The 993 is showing some signs of having premature valve guide wear problems (sometimes this can be the cause of the CEL problem).  A thorough PPI by an experienced p-car mechanic can diagnose this potential problem with leak down and compression tests.

The factory suspension does not last long.  If the 993 you are looking at has the factory suspension (dampers/springs) and is high mileage then budget to have the dampers replaced.  It may seem to drive fine but with new dampers you will see just how bad the old was.  The factory stuff starts to show its age as early as 20k miles.  Aftermarket coilover replacements are a better choice than replacing with factory stuff.

Other potential weaknesses include power steering rack leaks, door check strap malfunctioning (makes clicking sound from coming loose inside the frame, leaks around window frame (my car had none of these things).

With high mileage look closely at deferred maintenance items that can be somewhat costly to perform such as spark plug changes (royal PITA), distributor belt (there are two distributors) replacement.  Other simple maintenance like fuel filter, distributor caps and rotors, air and pollen filters, and failure of the struts on the hood and deck lid.

They are absolutely great cars.  But for my need for a car to drive year around and to take on long trips (wife did not like riding in the 993…to raw….which I loved) I would still have mine.

Thanks for the excellent feedback, very grateful.

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  • 1 year later...

For what it's worth, I am a current 993 owner. Car has been quite reliable except for problems induced by being smooshed several times in freeway accidents (probably $35,000 to $40,000 of body work spread over several accidents). Mine is convertible - I bought it with 5K miles - here are significant repairs I've done

front brakes (change rotors and pads - both wear out together)

belts (Alternator and fan)

drive cable for convertible top (a DIY is on my web site, www.wbnoble.com)

drive cable for seat (some day I'll write that up - hint - braze the ends first before installing)

hood shocks (front/rear)

spark plug changes take about 6 hours, oil only takes closer to an hour to 1.5 hours.

currently trying to troubleshoot a P1123 code -

my car has almost 100K miles on it, so far so good.

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  • 5 months later...

I just bought a 96 C4 in May 06. I love the car. Now has 88K miles on it. I use it as a daily driver. I am working through the check engine light and secondary air injection system problems as we speak. Alabama does not require an emissions check and the car runs perfectly fine. Every once in a while it will have a rough idle, but that is about the extent of the secondary air injection problem. I had to replace hood and trunk struts and new speakers - factory ones were shot. I do have an oil leak from the lower valve covers. Not around the seal, but between the metal sleeve and the plastic housing for the valve cover. I've been told that it can be permanently solved by purchasing aluminum valve covers. I'm currently trying to research that project. Replace spark plugs, wires, and distributor caps myself. A lot of work, but well worth it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow - this has been quite insightful. I have a 97 993 Cab that I just bought with 62K miles. It has experienced many of the problems listed:

Before I purchased the car, it had a complete top end rebuild including valve guides and correction of the clogged secondary air injection system. The previous owner paid nearly $12 grand to have all this work done at Porsche!

In April 06 the previous owner had all the convertible top motors and transmissions replaced at the dealer.

My driver side door check is bad but at $700 to repair I will live with it. This is just a toy car, not a daily driver. I also have a 356SC which is fully restored and the apple of my eye!

I just had the alternator replaced today (October 16, 2006) because the bearings were going bad so it whined a bit at 3000 RPM. The dealer said it was find but the noise annoyed me.

I replaced the stone gaurd decals on the rear fenders because they were a bit beat up, made a huge difference. The car now looks showroom new.

I replaced the windshield because the original one was getting pitted.

The car really beats you up on semi rough roads probably due to the 18" wheels and the fact that it is not as rigid due to the cab top. My honda is much smoother, haha. I now wonder if the suspension is getting tattered as the original poster mentioned.

The idle can be a bit rough intermittently but the dealer can not find a problem. It could be as simple as a bad reaction to ethanol or as expensive as a mass air flow sensor going bad. No computer codes yet though so the dealer suggested doing nothing.

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