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Looking at a 2000 C4, don't have a particular need for AWD but this is a pretty cool car. Is the AWD considered a value added or deterrent at 20 years?  How is the reliability, failure rate, repair cost, etc? thanks

Edited by Don Smethers
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It’s a Porsche, so it’s a given that it would costs money.  Often lots.  I loved my C4$. 
If not already done, do the IMS right away. Figure that into the price of the car, +2k-3k. 
Regular service will be higher than most cars.  Especially the rear tires. 
Re the 4 wheel drive:  I loved my air-cooled RWD 911SC.  Fun to drive. Had to really pay attention though.  First time I drove the C4$ and then every time to the last time it was just awesome.  Top end is a bit lower than the rwd,  but who cares.  It’s a very short leaning learn re the 4wd.  Very smooth through turns at speed, once you learn to trust the front 40% ratio of pull.  You can go smoothly and very fast through turns.  I never had issues with the 6-speed or drive-train.  Rear tires will get replaced about 2-3 times more than the front.  Michelin ps2’s were the best for me.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Ive had my 996 for just about a year now. So far ive already spent about 5k in repairs, and it still needs more. A few months after purchase both cats and O2 sensors needed to be replaced. Then a few months after that it needed a new AOS. Now just a few weeks ago I needed another bew AOS, RMS, IMS as a preventative measure, engine mounts, coolant lines, ignition coils and spark plugs, and a couple other minor things. Now these past few days Ive had this strange noise coming from the rear. From expierience with other cars it seemed to me like a minor exhaust leak. It turns out its either lifter tick or a piston slapping. Not looking forward to that repair cost at all. But if I had to do it again knowing how sensitive these cars actually are, I dont think I would have purchased a 996. I also own a 997, and I have never had so many issues with it.

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I think a lot depends on the mileage on the car when purchased, and how many previous owners there were, how much attention was given to regular, routine maintaining.  And, certainly, how hard the car had been driven, or tracked, or auto crossed.  History of how many over-revs also important. I sold mine at about 70k miles. It was my daily driver.  It was fun to drive every single time.  
That said, it’s a Porsche and does cost to maintain.  The 996 does not have the greatest repair history, but folks on forum have noted lots of miles put on them without major issues. I sold my 911sc at about 325k miles. Took good care of it. Oil change at every 5k. Used Red-Line 10-40. Did have a main bearing go out around 160k which lead to engine tear down. But the air-cooled basically just came right apart. Engine body on the 3.0 was essentially glued together with 6 individual jacketed piston cylinders bolted onto it.  I’m confident I might likely have put another 100k on it.  I know the fellow who has it now and seems it’s still doing ok. 
But, Porsche’s just ain’t cheap to maintain. 

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1 hour ago, Eștii said:

I bought mine with 40k miles, single owner. It now has about 45k miles and is just falling apart.


From your above description of issues it sounds like the car was not properly maintained prior to your purchase.  Didn't your pre purchase inspection point out these pending repairs?

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So going back to the question from the OP, and based on my 996 expierience, I can’t in good conscience confirm its reliability. The 997 is a different case. Ive owned my 997 for roughly 8 years, it also had 1 previous owner and passed its PPI with flying colors. I drive it alot more and in just about the same way. And it has had zero issues besides regular maintanence that all cars require. But the 996 I honestly dont want to even drive anymore just because every time I do Im paranoid that something else will break. It has become a money pit and in my single year of ownership I have had it on the back of a tow truck twice.

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‘99 C4 Cab - Bought 14 years ago from original owner all dealer serviced. Garaged night and day all 20 years. Only problem in 14 years was the water pump (one “blade” inside snapped), the mass air flow sensor had to be cleaned, and I had to add hydraulic fluid to the convertible top. That’s it! Absolutely no other problems. Awesome car. Granted i have just 50600 Total miles on the car.  

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Good report.  
I think I also did a prophylactic water pump replacement at some point.  Had an outstanding Porsche mechanic at Inde shop and we kept records and immediately addressed any remotely needed possible repairs or advance parts replacements.  I always did that and never waited to see what might happen.  I do recall a water pump replacement done on that basis. Also little stuff like fuel filler cap update, etc. 

Porsche expensive to maintain, but major issues can be avoided by regular attention to service details.  I sold the C4$ at around 65k to avoid future unknowns, just because.  Loved the car. 

Edited by judgejon
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