With any car, from the humble Japanese Toyota to the most temperamental Italian Ferrari, there are always those problems. Kind of like the explosive Ford Pinto getting famous for going bang, cars of all types develop a history of faults that usually occur to that specific model. Looking into common repairs for a specific car, such as Toyota Supra repairs, or even brand, such as Porsche repairs could give you an idea of what the most common issues for that specific car or brand are.
For some (like the current Ford Mustang) this list can be very short, while others achieve almost cult status purely for the sheer number of things that go wrong (remember the DMC Delorean or Mazda Cosmo).
Today we are going to take a slightly broader look at five common problems that happen to Porsches and how to fix them:
1. Smoky Exhaust
Before you think that the engine needs rebuilding; there are a couple of things that you can check first.
If your last service wasn’t done by a reputable Porsche technician, it may well be that the oil was overfilled. In this case, the engine will smoke excessively which can lead to catalytic converter damage. Fortunately, it is quickly fixed by draining the oil, replacing the filter, and refilling to the correct level. At Foreign Affairs Motorwerks we use Mobil 1 oils.
Another classic reason for a smoky exhaust is the failure of the oil separator. More commonly known as the Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) system this handy device separates the engine oil from the blow-by gases and feeds the latter back into the engine intake. A failing separator will cause engine oil to enter the intake and get burnt, causing a smoky exhaust.
2. Coolant Leaks
Older Porsches often suffer from coolant leaks; coolant systems run under high temperatures and pressures, which can cause plastic components to break down over the years. Consequently, expansion reservoirs, caps and distribution tees often fail.
Look for tell-tale leaks, musty smells, or a wet interior carpet (often the passenger foot well). Newer models like the Panamera and Cayenne have a coolant seal issue on the distribution piece; this is something that Foreign Affairs Motorwerks will inspect during a service.
Some leaks are difficult to trace, all you may notice is a decrease in level. In this case, we can do a pressure test of the system to detect the smallest drop.
3. Intermediate Main Shaft (IMS) Bearing Failure
If you own a Cayman, Boxter, or 996 from 2001-6 chances are good you already know about this issue. Porsche used an intermediate shaft to gear down the drive to their camshafts. Design changes implemented to the M96 engine resulted in this shaft having a sealed rear bearing, since Porsche was worried about the bearing being starved of oil during certain operating conditions.
Unfortunately, this turned out to be an unreliable design, and the bearings often fail. Minor failures necessitate engine disassembly to remove the pieces of failed bearing and install another, while major failures can interrupt engine timing and destroy the motor completely. Solutions are to remove the bearing grease seal or fit ceramic hybrid bearings which will still result in a bearing service interval.
4. ABS and CV Joints
ABS modules are a common failure point on Porsches, and if you have an ABS warning light on, it’s most likely the module that needs replacing.
At Foreign Affairs Motorwerks our advanced diagnostic equipment and skilled team can quickly pinpoint the fault; keeping you safe on the road. Since Porsches are first and foremost performance vehicles, they tend to put more stress on CV joints, so a regular inspection to ensure their boots are intact and well packed with grease will save headaches later.
5. Coil Pack Failure
The 2006-2012 models of 996 can experience issues with rough running. While this can be a fuel system fault such as injection computer errors, incorrect oxygen and engine temperature sensing, intake air leaks or fuel pumps, it is most commonly related to failed coil pack. The continual heating/cooling cycles take their toll on electrical components and eventually they stop working.
Whether you are a first time or a seasoned Porsche owner, one excellent piece of advice is to stick to regular service intervals. You will be amazed at how much money keeping up with regular maintenance can save. It allows our experienced team at Foreign Affairs Motorwerks to continually inspect your Porsche and nip any costly issues in the bud before they leave you stranded by the roadside.