Porsche 911 (996) 1997-2005

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You don’t have to steal this Porsche, because today, it’s an affordable sportscar.

The Porsche 911 (996) is the first modern 911 from the 21st century. If we compare it to the previous 911 (the 993 model), then we clearly see some of the upgrades, or for some of the older Porsche fans some downgrades, because this 996 model was the first 911 with a water cooled engine. Also the design of this Porsche was more modern, more dynamic with completely different headlights-which are actually unique to this 996 model since all the other 911s do have those regular round headlights.

Despite of these things, this is still a proper 911 and it’s also the most affordable 911 at this time.

The interior build quality is good, however some of the plastic materials are simply cheaper-mainly on the center console. On the other side, the ergonomics is great and the design of the interior is very simple which makes you concentrate more to the car itself. Which is at the end a good thing in sportscar, right?

This is originally a 4 seater sportscar (or it should be) but those rear seats are not really seats. Those are just two places to sit, or more to struggle if you are not a small children of course. So basically this is a 2 seater sportscar.

The quality of the paintjob is great, and overall also the corrosion protection which means, that this Porsche is not famous for bigger rust problems. However it’s still good to check the bodywork properly, since there can be some rust mainly on the early production cars.

-The electronics of this car is usually reliable, but check all the features before buying anyway.

“Also don’t forget to check the air conditioning if it’s working properly.”

-This Porsche is equipped with frameless door windows, which is definitely a nice feature. But I would recommend to check if these door windows are working properly-they have to automatically lower a little bit when you open the door and they also need to go up a little bit when you close the door.

-If you want to buy the convertible version of this car, then I would recommend to check if the electronically operated roof is working properly and also if it’s waterproof, so check for water leaks in the interior as well.

The standard equipment included leather seats or the air conditioning, but then, there was the optional equipment list which included for example: navigation system, Bose sound system, alcantara headliner, built in telephone and some other useful or not very useful things.

Keep in mind that the maintance of this sportscar is not the cheapest. However if you can find an independent Porsche mechanic or if you can fix the car yourself, then you can save a lot of money on the maintenance. Also the important thing is to choose a car which is in possibly the best condition and which has the best/regular maintenance history. At the end these cars are not the youngest anymore so you should expect to spend the extra money to replace certain parts.

Engines

This 911 was obviously available with only the legendary 6 cylinder petrol engines, which are definitely not unreliable but they can have some problems.

-The well known issue with these engines is the worn intermediate shaft bearing-the IMS (the GT and Turbo models are not affected). The bad thing is, that this bearing can break suddenly which can be a very bad surprise because it can basically destroy the engine. The good thing is, that this bearing won’t break on every 911, so it’s not a very common problem. The first symptoms of this issue are tiny metal particles in the oil filter, an oil leak at the rear of the engine, and lastly if you hear a knocking-metallic sound from the rear of the engine then you know that the bearing will sooner or later fail. But you can get the aftermarket bearing kit for around $1 000, which is still not cheap but it can save your engine.

-If the previous owner abused the car, then there can be also a problem with the cracked cylinder heads-so the coolant will mix with oil. Just check the oil and coolant before buying-if they are not contaminated.

“The engine should not make ticking noise, which can be the sign of bore scoring.”

-Another problem can be with the RMS seal, so there is often oil leak where the gearbox meets the engine.

-Also when the car is warmed up, then the oil pressure have to be between 1 – 2 bars on idle. There is an oil pressure gauge on the instrument cluster so you can check this easily.

“You should change the oil in the engine after 8 000 km.”

The engines are equipped with timing chain, which is usually all right, but it can be sometimes more worn mainly in high mileage cars, so pay attention to rattling noise from the engine.

This car was available with the manual 6 speed gearbox which is usually reliable. Just check if it’s working smoothly and if it’s not making some strange noises + also pay attention to clutch which can be obviously more worn.

Then there is the 5 speed automatic gearbox, which is also usually all right. But if the previous owner never changed the oil in it, then it can have electronic or mechanic problems, so check it properly before buying – it should change gears smoothly without some kind of a strange noises and hesitation.

Before buying check the suspension parts, electronic parts. The car should ride quietly whitout rattling, squeaking or humming noises from the suspension.

“Check also the brakes for wobbling/shaking when braking from higher speeds.”

“Check the exterior of the car for various paint defects or rust, which can be the sign of the resprayed body.”

Also check the gaps between the body panels – they should be even on the left and on the right side too. I hope that these information are helpful enough, and if you have personal experience with this car, then you can write it into comments!

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