PORSCHE 911 (1997 - 2005) Fault Guide

Evolutions

Year Change or development
1997 911 Carrera Coupe (300 bhp) launched with close-ratio 6 speed gearbox or 5-speed Tiptronic transmission, ABS, 17-inch alloy wheels, twin airbags, leather upholstery.
1998 911 Carrera Cabriolet launched. Carrera 4 (300 bhp) four wheel drive Coupe and Cabriolet launched with 6 speed gearbox or Tiptronic S transmission.
2000 Carrera 4 Turbo Coupe (420 bhp) launched with 6 speed gearbox or Tiptronic sequential automatic transmission.

Bodywork and External Checks

Area What to look for What it means What to do
Door locks Check that both the remote control and key operate all the door locks properly. If the door locks won't open or lock, they will need replacing and the keys will need re-programming. Negotiate a £200 discount or have the repair completed.

Engine Checks

Area What to look for What it means What to do
Timing chain Start the engine from cold. Listen to the engine for a noisy chain rattle. This should quieten down after a few minutes. If the chain doesn't quieten down quickly it is likely to fail and cause significant valve and engine damage. This has happened on mileages between 20,000 and 80,000. Have the car inspected by a specialist. If caught before it breaks it can be repaired for £1,500.
Cooling system Pull out the oil dipstick and check to see if there are any white creamy substances on it (where water has mixed with the oil). Check the water reservoir for deposits of oil (grey sludge) floating on the top of the water. Also check the level of coolant. If the coolant level is low, or the oil and water are mixing, the engine has a serious issue. Either a head gasket failure or a crack cylinder liner. Porsche have honoured warranties after they have expired in some cases for this problem. Have a specilaised look at the car and discuss it with Porsche. The cost of repair will be around £5,000.

Interior Checks

Area What to look for What it means What to do
Tiptronic gears Give the Tiptronic gearbox a thorough test, changing up and down at different times and speeds. The gear change should be smooth; there shouldn't be any thumps. If the gearbox is thumping when changing gear, it needs to be replaced. Negotiate a £6,000 discount or have the repair completed.

Wheels, Brakes and Suspension Checks

Area What to look for What it means What to do
Suspension There are no reported common faults on (996) 911 suspension. Complete standard checks for basic issues. - -

Recalls

Date Model Recall
21 May 1998 Drive belt for engine accessories may break due to failure of the deflection and tensioning rollers. This could result in the immediate loss of power assistance to the steering and eventually the brakes.
02 Feb 1999 Built: 01/01/1995 to 31/12/1996 The driver's airbag could malfunction, due to fluctuating voltage peaks created from ancillary electrical equipment, for example in extreme cases the use of the vehicle's horn could unintentionally trigger the airbag.
06 Feb 2001 911 Turbo built: 01/01/2001 There may be a poor electrical connection at the fuel pump. If the connection should fail, the fuel pump would become inoperative and immobilise the vehicle.
06 Feb 2001 911 Turbo built: 01/01/2001 The fuel supply line in the engine compartment may come into contact with and be chafed by the air intake pipe. Fuel could subsequently leak and may come into contact with the exhaust system.
06 Feb 2001 911 Turbo built: 01/01/2001 It is possible that the fuel return line in the engine compartment may contact and be chafed by a spring band clamp securing a coolant line. Prolonged chafing may wear through the fuel line and could result in fuel coming into contact with the exhaust system.
06 Feb 2001 911 Turbo built: 01/01/2001 The engine wiring harness may come into contact with and be chafed by the oil filter console. This may lead to faults in the engine management system and the vehicle may break down.
06 Feb 2001 911 Turbo built: 01/01/2001 The clutch pressure line may leak at its connection to the slave cylinder due to vibration. This could lead to failure of the clutch and the power steering. Spilt oil may also come into contact with the exhaust system.
17 Nov 2003 911 TURBO, GT2 & GT3 A connector bolt may be loose which could cause a steering fluid leak and loss of power assistance to the steering and on the 911 Turbo to the power assistance to the clutch. Leaking fluid may ignite if it comes into contact with the exhaust system.
18 May 2004 911 Carerra, 911 Turbo, 911 GT2 and 911 GT3 - 2003 model year Recall affected vehicles, and replace the front seats with those which meet all the appropriate requirements.
06 Feb 2001 911 Turbo built: 01/01/2001 A coolant hose in the area of the front radiator has been produced with the inner lining made of incorrect material. This may lead to a loss of coolant and overheating.

Recommended Garages

Name Phone Address Website
MOT ANGEL (Nationwide) 0800 131 0030 3 The Minster, Portman Road, Reading, RG30 1EA. http://www.motangel.co.uk