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996 Engine Failure

I would like to try and start a log of all the failed 996 engines to see how many there really are.

By the power of the internet, we could see if this is a significant problem or not once and for all.

I don't want to go off half cocked so would welcome any views as to how best to go about this.

see here, something similar has been running a while - http://www.petrolheads.co.uk/gassing/topic...=0&t=400915

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Jim Pasha has written an outstanding article in the October 2005 issue of Excellence Magazine. He discusses the overall reliability of 996/986 engines and what makes these engines some of the best Por

Not sure why you bought the car if it showed such such deficiencies. If there was nothing other than the plug leaks reported then your PPI guy screwed you. You do NOT have the problems you did in a

I just posted a similar article on our site: http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Boxster_Tech/13-ENGINE-Common_Engine_Failures/13-ENGINE-Common_Engine_Failures.htm It contains some updated info

Posted Images

Jim Pasha has written an outstanding article in the October 2005 issue of Excellence Magazine. He discusses the overall reliability of 996/986 engines and what makes these engines some of the best Porsche has ever produced. We have added the 26 high resolution pictures showing the 996 engine internals.

Thank you to Jim and Excellence magazine for allowing us to reproduce this.

You can download the PDF version of the article here:

Reliability_of_996_Engines_Excellence_Magazine_October_2005.pdf

Members can view all 26 pictures - most not in the article.

(You will need a browser that has the Flash plugin to view these pics) here

(edit - added pictures link Sept. 27, 2005 - Loren)

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  • 4 months later...

I must say I have been very impressed with my 99 996 C2. It has been a commuter, not just a daily driver and is up in the 197K mile range and still on the same engine and tranny. I know Hondas that have crapped out before that. Of course now that I say that I am sure I will go out and it won't start, but I have been truly impressed by the reliability of this car.

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I must say I have been very impressed with my 99 996 C2. It has been a commuter, not just a daily driver and is up in the 197K mile range and still on the same engine and tranny. I know Hondas that have crapped out before that. Of course now that I say that I am sure I will go out and it won't start, but I have been truly impressed by the reliability of this car.

Its good to finally find someone approaching the 200k mark. I still have not found anyone with 95,000 on a 2002 C2, the mark that I have just passed!

Edited by rpf996
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I must say I have been very impressed with my 99 996 C2. It has been a commuter, not just a daily driver and is up in the 197K mile range and still on the same engine and tranny. I know Hondas that have crapped out before that. Of course now that I say that I am sure I will go out and it won't start, but I have been truly impressed by the reliability of this car.

That is awesome. I don't think I have heard of that mileage on a 99 996 (which I own.) Nice to hear good news on this car. Mine has been very reliable in the past 3 years.

Thanks for that post!

Phillipj

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  • 1 month later...

I currently own a '99 Boxster and am looking to upgrade soon. The possibilities are 996 w/ 35K, 996TT w/ 50K, new 987S, or 3.6l install plus a bucket of cash. My Boxster is on her second engine (int shaft failure @ 55K) It sounds like the way to go is with the 996TT. Loren, can you chime in on this; as I believe you have a Boxster, a 996, and a TT, correct?

Thanks,

Hung

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I believe you have a Boxster, a 996, and a TT, correct?
:lol: :lol: :lol:

At this time I only have a 996.

It all comes down to what you want to drive a Boxster (987), Carrera and TT are all Porsche's but very different.

I suggest you test drive them all...

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Thanks Loren. I have driven all three and each have their merits. BTW, I meant a Cayman S not a Boxster S. My original question wasn't very well formulated. I was really looking for recommendations from a reliability stand point. Care to chime in again?

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IMHO of course...

If I were to pick the "most reliable" Porsche to own right now it would be a GT3.

With a normally aspirated engine that is the same as the 996 turbo it is about as close to being bulletproof as can get.

Now a GT3 is a little less "comfortable" to drive than a Cayman, or Carrera, or TT but then that would depend on what you are looking for.

Of those three a Cayman would certainly have a lot merits - mid-engine and more HP.

I am not sure there is a bad choice there - so any would be okay.

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  • 4 weeks later...

This may have been posted before but excellent article on cause of engine failures:

-- Link Removed --

Besides the excellent techncial info there, one thing that caught my eye is that they seem to subscribe to the "a redline a day keeps the mechanic away" theory. I know there is one guy with a modified boxster that is at 157k on original engine and he drives it to the redline most all the time.

What say ye on the "redline a day" theory?

Edited by Loren
Link removed - we need permission from the author
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This may have been posted before but excellent article on cause of engine failures:

-- Link Removed --

Besides the excellent techncial info there, one thing that caught my eye is that they seem to subscribe to the "a redline a day keeps the mechanic away" theory. I know there is one guy with a modified boxster that is at 157k on original engine and he drives it to the redline most all the time.

What say ye on the "redline a day" theory?

Please ask for and get the magazine's permission before posting one of their articles here.

Total 911 has granted that before - but as a courtesy (to them) I am removing the link until we have permission to distribute this article.

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This may have been posted before but excellent article on cause of engine failures:

-- Link Removed --

Besides the excellent techncial info there, one thing that caught my eye is that they seem to subscribe to the "a redline a day keeps the mechanic away" theory. I know there is one guy with a modified boxster that is at 157k on original engine and he drives it to the redline most all the time.

What say ye on the "redline a day" theory?

Please ask for and get the magazine's permission before posting one of their articles here.

Total 911 has granted that before - but as a courtesy (to them) I am removing the link until we have permission to distribute this article.

Gotcha, thanks.

Here is a link to autofarm's site, an engine rebuilder, that has several solutions to the engine failures.

On this page there are links to 2 excellent articles on engine failures.

http://www.autofarm.co.uk/engines/water_cooled/press

Edited by saaber
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  • 3 months later...

So after putting $14k into the replacement of my 99 996 engine (at 50k miles), I am now considering the wisdom of continuing with this car. Yes, two years on the Porsche engine...that's nice. Sounds like I'm not likely to face the RMS issue on this engine since Porsche has updated the seals 3-4 times to get it about right. (Funny thing is, my last engine had no RMS issues or sign of issues...just went straight to cylinder wall failure in two cylinders....)

My real question is whether Porsche has made any changes/updates/advances in their 3.4L 996 engines that will make me less likely to face the same cylinder wall problem again. Anyone know of updates to the 3.4L? Is my new PCNA engine less likely to fail in this way than the original engine?

I love this car and really enjoy it....but $14k every now and again is too much to endure financially......

Thanks for any insights, all.

Chris

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So after putting $14k into the replacement of my 99 996 engine (at 50k miles), I am now considering the wisdom of continuing with this car. Yes, two years on the Porsche engine...that's nice. Sounds like I'm not likely to face the RMS issue on this engine since Porsche has updated the seals 3-4 times to get it about right. (Funny thing is, my last engine had no RMS issues or sign of issues...just went straight to cylinder wall failure in two cylinders....)

My real question is whether Porsche has made any changes/updates/advances in their 3.4L 996 engines that will make me less likely to face the same cylinder wall problem again. Anyone know of updates to the 3.4L? Is my new PCNA engine less likely to fail in this way than the original engine?

I love this car and really enjoy it....but $14k every now and again is too much to endure financially......

Thanks for any insights, all.

Chris

Your new engine should have all the latest parts.
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Your new engine should have all the latest parts.

Yes, all the latest parts...but does that include any parts or refinements to address the cylinder wall failure?

I am tracking that the only changes have been to address the RMS failure. Is this correct?

Chris

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Your new engine should have all the latest parts.

Yes, all the latest parts...but does that include any parts or refinements to address the cylinder wall failure?

I am tracking that the only changes have been to address the RMS failure. Is this correct?

Chris

Chris, I'm a little discouraged by your experience, as I now use my 2003 as a daily driver. but, on the bright side, my '79 is going strong at 326K car miles, with about $11k in an engine rebuild at 160k miles. I know the sc's are probably the best Porsches ever, but I really hope to get some good mileage and reliability from the 2003. was your problem that required the new engine caused by the rms failure, or were there other related reasons? good luck to both of us...jl

ps: I'm selling the '79 if I can ever get it smogged.

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  • 1 month later...

For anyone who is interested, I found an extremely good papaer "BOXSTER AND 911, 996 ENGINE REBUILD". This document is generallt about Hartech engine rebuild services but it does go into some good detail on the engine issues, rebuild considerations and procedures.

Highly recommended reading.

http://www.hartech.org/docs/buyers%20guide...%20part%204.pdf

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For anyone who is interested, I found an extremely good papaer "BOXSTER AND 911, 996 ENGINE REBUILD". This document is generallt about Hartech engine rebuild services but it does go into some good detail on the engine issues, rebuild considerations and procedures.

Highly recommended reading.

http://www.hartech.org/docs/buyers%20guide...%20part%204.pdf

Scouser - I do hope this is public or you have permission to re-distribute this?

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For anyone who is interested, I found an extremely good papaer "BOXSTER AND 911, 996 ENGINE REBUILD". This document is generallt about Hartech engine rebuild services but it does go into some good detail on the engine issues, rebuild considerations and procedures.

Highly recommended reading.

http://www.hartech.org/docs/buyers%20guide...%20part%204.pdf

Scouser - I do hope this is public or you have permission to re-distribute this?

Yup the link is a URL to the site who both authored it and is hosting it. Cant get anymore public than that. Don't need permission as I just posted a link to their site.

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For anyone who is interested, I found an extremely good papaer "BOXSTER AND 911, 996 ENGINE REBUILD". This document is generallt about Hartech engine rebuild services but it does go into some good detail on the engine issues, rebuild considerations and procedures.

Highly recommended reading.

http://www.hartech.org/docs/buyers%20guide...%20part%204.pdf

Scouser - I do hope this is public or you have permission to re-distribute this?

Yup the link is a URL to the site who both authored it and is hosting it. Cant get anymore public than that. Don't need permission as I just posted a link to their site.

Ok, thanks - I just wanted to be sure.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Quite interesting that the article started off with a link to how reliable the M96 engine wer and ended with this one, basically saying that all the engines will all end up with oval cylinders :o ?

It seems like the author knows his stuff but it seems a bit subjective to me -biased towards fixing on their methods.

Edited by ouroboros
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  • 1 month later...

Hello All,

This is my first post. I just picked up a 2001, 911 3.4L. Low miles.

23k miles on it only.

The previous owner purchased it from a dealer and only put 2,000 miles on it ( I know the previous owner).

From all the posts I've just gone through, what I can't pick out is if this "relability" issue is limited to.....

1) 3.4 or 3.6?

2) air cooled or water cooled?

3) or some other version?

4) or all 911 (966) motors?

Any help from the experts to figure this one out for me would be appreciated.

In the meantime, enjoying every minute of it..

Thanks all.

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Hi there P- people...

I am also a new owner of 996 C2 ('99). Had always wanted a Porsche.

Now that I have one, I am worried also about this "reliability" issue.

Like many other people here, I was under the impression that as long as you take good care of these machines, they should get you 250000-300000 mark (like any good engine).

After all good egine should be one which works well if you dont abuse it. And most of cars in our times (Japanese specially) make it look an average, easily achievable target.

Most of the horror stories i am reading about and found online, interestingly involve lower millage cars. (under or around 100000 mark, more so under 75000 mile ).

Is that a sense you guys have also?

Now that I am an owner of 99 996 But my heart worries about the "Sudden Engine Failure" syndrome.

I have few queries for the more experts:

- Do you share the opinion of these failures occurring in lower millage?

- Is being "too gentle" on these machines a cause? ie Occasional driving, stocking over winter,

- Any substance to what someone mentioned here earlier -and I read it at other forums- "One redline a day, keeps the mechanic away"?

I don't drive crazy, no race tracking, no sudden clutch release..etc; but I do like to accelerate from red light and accelerate from a steady speed to take over. (Mild fun).

Is that how you guys with no problems drive also? or you pamper them extremely well?

Input of senior members would be appreciated.

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