Due to depreciation, buying a used Porsche can be an expensive temptation. That is, until the bill for the repair comes, because, used or not, a Porsche is still a luxury car. But whether it’s the 911 or the Cayenne: The German brand’s modern cars are more reliable than some people think. Especially when it comes to their transmissions.
The Porsche engines described below are limited to engines installed in vehicles of the last 25 years. Because after that, the cars are not used anymore and they become classics. And while classic cars are robust, they are not necessarily as reliable as modern cars.
If you’re looking for a used Porsche Cayenne, look for a 4.8-liter V8 or VR6 engine.
Silver 2008 Porsche Cayenne rolls down the street
While a poorly maintained used Porsche Cayenne can be a money pit, an SUV/crossover is more addictive than you think. And if some of its engines had their weaknesses, all of the Cayenne’s transmissions did not.
The first-generation Porsche Cayenne had two different engines: a 4.5-liter V8 and a 3.2-liter VR6, Automobile reports. This V8, the M48 V8, is atmospheric in the S and turbocharged in the Cayenne Turbo. And unfortunately, pre-2007 Cayenne S models have a reputation for clogging cylinder walls due to the failure of their Lokasil coating, Revolution Porsche and Evo explain.
The 4.8-liter V8 engine of the 2008 Porsche Cayenne | Porsche
However, Porsche corrected this in 2008 with the M4801 4.8-liter V8 engine. This engine has a different liner and cylinder block that do not suffer from the problem of scratches, reports FCP Euro. And overall, it’s a reliable Porsche engine whose only problem is the old plastic cooling pipes, reports CarThrottle. Fortunately, there are more durable metal substitutes, reports PCar Wise.
The Porsche Cayenne was also offered in 2008 with the 3.2-liter VR6 engine. And while the VR6 has its flaws, with modern parts, it’s a reliable and durable powertrain. On the other hand, Motor Reviewer reports that the 3.6-liter VR6 doesn’t seem to have the same coil problems, or at least not as often, reports CarThrottle. The only problem is the PCV valve defect, reports PCar Wise, which is an age-related problem.
If you can’t find a used first-generation Porsche Cayenne, another second-generation model is available from 2011 to 2018. It has the same powertrains, with a twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6 added later. And overall, it’s like they’re no more reliable than PistonHeads and FCP Euro Report. However, Cars.com admits that some 2011 models were recalled due to faulty camshaft bolts. And the second-generation V8 engines are the subject of an ongoing class-action lawsuit over epoxy failures in the coolant lines, although this appears to be a supplier problem, reports CarComplaints.
Used by Porsche Boxster, Cayman and 911: Avoid IMS and other problems
Porsche 911 996 engine with IMS bearing shown | Hamilton Auto House
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You’re talking about reliability: At Porsche, one acronym keeps growing: IMS. The IMS camp is one of the reasons why many Porsche fans prefer the 911s of the 996 generation. And problems with this part also occur in the current Boxster and Cayman, as well as the first versions of the 911 of the 997 generation.
It should be noted that while the failure of an IMS bearing can mean the death of an engine, complete failure is not necessarily common. According to PCar Wise, less than 5% of Boxsters have actually experienced an IMS failure or an IMS-related engine failure. Especially the 2005-2008 Boxster and Cayman ‘987’, which have stronger IMS bearings, Revolution Porsche and Motorious.
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However, it should be noted that the first 911s of the 997 generation and the Boxster and Cayman of the 987 generation have other defects. As with the first-generation Porsche Cayenne S, the cylinders in the engines of these cars can become scratched and damaged, Revolution Porsche and RPM Specialist Cars report.
Fortunately, there are several ways to get around this problem. First, the 996 Turbo and 996 GT3 engines are not equipped with IMS bearings. Second, the 997.1 and 987.1gen cars have issues with IMS bearings and cylinders, but the 997.2 and 987.2gen do not, reports Grassroots Motorsports. In a model year, this means: The Porsche 911, Cayman and Boxster have more reliable engines. And the only real problem remaining is a possible oil leak at the rear main seal, reports RPM Specialist Cars.
For 993’s means reliability turbocharger operation orValve guide upgrade.
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The last air-cooled Porsche 911, the 993 generation, is just under 25 years old. And given their covetousness, it’s understandable that many want to own one. But while the 911 of the 993 generation is generally reliable, as Car and Driver reports, it is both outdated and not necessarily problem-free.
If a particular oil consumption is not a problem, an oil leak is, report Revolution Porsche and Elferspot. In addition, the 911 of the 993 generation was equipped with secondary air injection from 1996 onwards in order to meet emission standards. That in itself is not a problem, but once the valve guides are worn out, the carbon clogs the injection ports, PCA says. In addition, the original armor used soy-based coatings that sometimes attracted rats.
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Fortunately, the Porsche 911 of the 993 generation still has a reliable engine. Modern valve guides, for example, use a more durable material. And if you’re really worried, PCA reports that the 993 Turbo has different, stronger valve guides.
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The classic lines of the Porsche 911 have remained virtually unchanged after 56 years of production. The legendary reliability of the 911 remains unchanged. The Porsche 911 is considered one of the most reliable cars ever built, and Consumer Reports named Porsche the best brand of 2020.
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