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2006 Porsche 911. (Porsche)
2006 Porsche 911. (Porsche)


Is it worth the trouble to import a used Porsche 911? Add to ...

I came across a 2006 Porsche 911 in Los Angeles with 177,000 kilometres on it. The high mileage concerns me. Is it worth pursuing? What are the typical issues with a 911’s reliability? – Jey

A cross-border purchase of a vehicle that you have concerns about, coupled with an unfavourable exchange rate, is not worth the risk, especially when decent examples can be sourced easily in most Canadian markets.

That being said, the most notable caution area for many 911s centres on the intermediate shaft bearing (IMS). The engine’s cam shafts are driven by several timing chains that meet at a common point known as the intermediate shaft. Failure of the intermediate shaft bearing makes for a catastrophic result, typically requiring replacement of the complete engine.

This flaw is most apparent with 911s referred to by Porsche as the 996, ending in early 2005. Upgrade kits are available and considered an essential service. Models designated as the 997 starting in 2005 are not completely clear of the IMS failure problems but featured a redesigned intermediate shaft that resulted in far fewer problems.

Generally, 911s are reliable given the abuse they typically undergo. If you have the funds, a 997 eases the buyer apprehension, yet great deals can be had on the 996 models owing to the IMS issue.

Lou Trottier is owner-operator of All About Imports in Mississauga. Have a question about maintenance and repair? E-mail globedrive@globeandmail.com, placing “Lou’s Garage” in the subject area.


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