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Porsche® Buyers Guide: What You Should Know

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Posted October 18, 2019 in Common Problems for Porsche® Models

3 Min Read 

People come to us all the time after purchasing a problematic Porsche® because they didn’t do their research.

But it’s hard to blame them—there are really no resources available that pinpoint common problems for specific Porsche® models and years.

We’ve spent a fair amount of time with just about every model of Porsche® there is. During that time, we’ve learned what the weaknesses are for each of those models.

So, we decided to make a list of buying advice for you in the hopes of helping you know what to look for and prevent unnecessary maintenance or repair costs the next time you buy a Porsche®.

911 and 911S — 1974 to 1977

There are a few downsides to owning a Porsche® 911, but that does not mean the cons outweigh the pros. The 911 or 911S is a classic model that encapsulates everything that people love about Porsche®.

The front end of a recent 1968 Porsche® 911 S rebuild. Click the image for more details.

The front end of a recent 1968 Porsche® 911 S rebuild. Click the image for more details.

Here are some parts either you or a mechanic should check before purchasing:

Engine

You should check…

  • For oil leaks. This is one of the most common problems with this model.
  • The cylinder head studs. It is common for them to break or have pulled out of the engine case.
  • The timing chain tensioners. The failure of this part is well-documented among 911 and 911S owners. All cars should be updated to the 1984 and up style.

Transmission

You should check…

  • The transmission synchronizers. It is common for them to wear out and cause poor shifting between gears.
  • The shifter bushings. These pieces also wear out fairly often and can create problems when moving between gears. This is not an expensive repair.
  • The fuel injection. Components of this system wear out fairly often and can cause poor running.

Body

You should check…

  • For rust damage. We have seen plenty of Porsche® cars plagued by corrosion or rust. Be thorough and inspect the entire vehicle. Finding body problems is not a deal-breaker—you will just need to find someone who can professionally repair the damage.

911 SC — 1978 to 1983

The 911 SC has many of the same problems as the 911 or 911S. Here are some of the areas you should keep an eye on.

Oil leaks are a common problem in Porsche® 911, 911 S, 911 SC, and Carrera models.

Oil leaks are a common problem in Porsche® 911, 911 S, 911 SC, and Carrera models.

Engine

You should check…

  1. The cylinder head studs. It is common for them to break in this particular make and model.
  2. The timing chain tensioner. Just like the 911S, failure of this piece is fairly common.
  3. For oil leaks. These are easy to spot under the hood or beneath the car.
  4. The fuel injection. These components tend to wear easily, causing poor ignition.

Body

You should check…

  1. For rust damage. In this model, the most common place for rust to develop is near the battery.
  2. The fuel injection air box. Failure of this part could let unmeasured air into your engine causing poor running.
  3. The suspension bushings. When these parts wear out, they can cause poor handling.

Internal

You should check…

  1. The air conditioning (A/C) system. No one wants to drive around in the hot summer months without air conditioning. Yet, we still see many people that forget to check this function before purchasing a vehicle.

Carrera — 1984 to 1989

The Porsche® Carrera doesn’t have too many problems to be concerned about, but you want to make sure you are aware of the few that it does have, because they could cause serious headaches for you down the line.

Engine

You should check…

  1. The DME relay. Failure of this engine control relay could create engine-start problems or cause the car to shut down when coming to a stop.
  2. The cylinder head temperature unit. This relay could create massive problems for your engine since it controls the regulation of your engine temperature. Ignoring this could mean a blown engine and the need for a complete engine rebuild.
  3. The external oil lines. It is common for these lines to leak, no matter what type of engine oil you use. The line that goes to the front mount cooler is also crushed fairly often.

Need More Information?

If you have questions about a Porsche® model that was not listed, feel free to give us a call at (909) 982-9111 or send us a message here.

911 Design is an automotive specialty shop that repairs and restores Porsche® automobiles. They are not affiliated with Porsche® Cars North America.