Oh the Porsche 996, where does one begin when discussing it’s faults. There’s the lovely IMS bearing issue, the heart warming RMS leaking, and of course the headlights that have become the Porsche community’s equivalent of the Mona Lisa. But you can go to any non Porsche 996 forum to bash how the car isn’t as raw as the 911s of old, or how it lacks the luxury and tech of the modern 911. But how does the car actually drive? Given that one can buy into one of the most iconic cars of the century for less than twenty grand, the question arises. What is it like living with a 911 that is sixteen? For the first time in ShiftedAutoBlog history, I actually can tell you firsthand.
Yes, this is a Porsche 996.2. But, this is a special 996, why? Because for 14,800 dollars, I purchased this 2002 Porsche 996.2 Carrera 4 Cabriolet with just a touch over 144,000 miles. And yes dear reader, I did just get a Porsche as my first car. Following in the footsteps of Tyler Hoover, also known as Hoovie’s Garage, I purchased this car sight unseen back in July. Today nearly 2000 miles later I am here to share with you how living with a sixteen year old 911 really is.
Upon receiving my 996, I was happy to report that everything worked, and the car seemed to be perfectly fine. In fact the engine compartment looked as if it just came out the factory. The same can be said for the headlights which are crystal clear thanks to one of the previous owner’s installation of a headlight protector. Looking over the car, the paint was in quite good condition, aside from small rock chips on the front bumper and the dirt from transporting this car all the way from Seattle Washington to Long Island, New York. Some more good news is that the car is completely dent free. The car drove beautifully and thanks to some aftermarket sound work, the stock stereo, that I read much complaints about has been hands down one of the best sound systems that I have used in a car.
This is where the story of my lovely 996 takes a slightly dark turn. You see, it all started when one morning the car refused to start. At the time I was worried about why it wouldn’t start, but I planned on checking on it later. Except that when I came home and tried to start it up, It did, almost as if it never happened. Maybe it was just a hiccup? Flash forwards a week later, to when I was driving my car around town, and suddenly the car stalled. This didn’t immediately scare me as I was new to stick at the time. Except that it wouldn’t start. Now I was worried. I was quite far from home and more importantly blocking the turning lane to a major shopping mall. Luckily I was on a hill and hatched a plan. I got out started to get the car rolling and finally got the engine to start. upon getting back home, I found that my battery was dead. Naturally, I bought a new battery for 200 dollars and this story would end there. But that wouldn’t be much of a tragedy now would it? Luckily for absolutely no one, this wouldn’t be the end. Knowing my luck, I happened to be driving my freshly detailed 996 On Main street in Huntington, on a Saturday, during rush hour, when I got the error “PSM FAILURE”, followed by “LOW BATTERY” and within a second, everything, including my engine shut down. Since this happened to take place at the front of the turning lane at one of the most busy intersections, the response from traffic was less than accepting. A sentiment they made clear by the barrage of horns which sounds like you told a fifth grade band to play as loud as physically possible. Following a ten minute adventure of trying to push a freshly waxed car uphill, I was finally able to call a tow truck and get to my local repair shop.
As it would turn out the culprit for all my electronic woes, was a bad alternator. Thankfully, I avoided going to the Porsche dealership as my local mechanic was able to put a new alternator, change all my fluids, replace my rear breaks and grease my chairs within the span of three days, all for a total of $1600 dollars. Since then, I can happily report that my 996 drives like a dream, minus the fact that is in dire need of alignment wheel balancing and has tires that are starting to remind me of Vin Diesel’s head. But alas, those are problems for another day. Or at least until I can no longer deal with them. So there you have it, living with a sixteen year old 911. All in all, it isn’t nearly as bad as most people make it out to be, and having dealt with the alternator debacle, I still think this car has been worth every penny. Why? Because at the end of the day, the joy of driving this car makes all your worries disappear. Also, I’m currently getting compliments about this car everywhere I go. But It’s mainly about the driving experience, something that I think deserves it’s own article.
The Photo Gallery
What, you thought I wouldn’t include a compilation of all and any photo I had of this car?