Porsche 996 Buyer’s Guide: Here’s What You Need To Know

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6speedonline.com 911 996 carrera buyers guide

The Porsche experts at Cavendish Porsche put together this 996 buyer’s guide video showing exactly what you should look for.

With the 996 at its lowest swing of depreciation, it poses as a very appealing entry point into Porsche ownership. This 996 buyer’s guide will help you check for any trouble spots and ensure you have a long-lasting and reliable ride.

Common-sense items are on the check list for any pre-owned car purchase, such as looking for normal wear and tear. If a car has higher mileage, and has some creasing on the leather seats, that’s normal, and if you can live with it, even better. You’ll still want to visually inspect as much of the car as possible for anything that may seem out-of-place. Test drive the car after you’ve looked at it to make sure everything feels as it should.

Specific 996 trouble spots.

Things that are particular to the 996 include a potential for worn-out synchros in the manual gear box, especially into 2nd gear. Tiptronics don’t have any synchros to worry about, however, they may have developed leaks over the years and is worthy of a close inspection.

During the visual inspection at the front of the car, check inside the grille. Condensers for the A/C system are located on the far outside portions of the grille and could potentially have damage from stone chips. Move around to the back of the car and then inspect the exhaust system. Seams on the mufflers are sometimes a trouble spot and are worth a check.

IMS. You knew those letters were coming sooner or later and it’s worth mentioning again. Some 996 models may never have this issue, and some may have been proactive about getting it fixed. Service records (part of the common sense portion of buying a car) will tell you if  an IMS service has been completed already.

Cavendish looks to give you some re-assurance through, saying that they only see one to two cases per year. That’s low considering how many 996’s are out there. The same goes for bore scoring. Although it sounds like your engine could turn into a paperweight, the probability is low.

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Patrick Morgan is an instructor at Chicago's Autobahn Country Club and contributes to a number of Auto sites, including MB World and 6SpeedOnline.

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