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Published on November 25th, 2012 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Porsche 911 used car review_dreams are for free!

For many years the Porsche 911 has been a car that enthusiasts around the world have aspired to own at one time or another and its classic lines has either made drivers fall in love with it or just plain loath it. It’s also one of few cars that offer performance and style in an evergreen package. Why I say evergreen is because the Porsche 911 basic design has not changed much and it is by far the most successful model from the prestigious German carmaker and has been so for a long time. It has been around for more than 48 years to be exact. On its 1964 introduction it was the first Porsche to really break away from the original VW Beetle profile while still maintaining many hints of the Beetle layout, particularly the air-cooled engine mounted behind the back wheels. Early models were known for dodgy interior quality and panel fit. They were also air-cooled and this was frowned upon by the purists, which did not change the minds of all its happy owners. Here we are looking at the model that changed Porsche fortunes with much better build quality, sleeker looks, better driver environment and position. The 1998 model that was know as the 996. Why Porsche changed it naming numericals still beats me but the 911 saga continued with the 997 right after the 996 we are suggesting here. Finding a used 996 is not impossible as many were sold and over the years and Porsche owners have moved with newer models simply because there was little to complain about. It is very important that a 911 is well cared for by its owner. That doesn’t necessarily mean servicing by an authorized dealer as there are a few specialty workshops that can easily do the job. You can find these workshops in Glenmarie, Saujana and in Sunway. In quite a few cases the latter are operated by guys who have spent time in official factory workshops before setting up their own businesses. In the 996 Porsche, the engineering is not rocket science when looking at basic maintenance and change of wearable parts like clutches, brakes and cables. However engine management issues and electronics need proper care where the older air-cooled versions were happy to live without.
We found our used 996 sitting under shade with the dealer happy to let us have a detailed look. The body is well engineered and solidly built in the usual German fashion. Unless it has been poorly repaired after a crash there’s generally nothing to worry about. If you do suspect after-crash repairs have the body and ‘chassis’ professionally inspected. First area to cover in your first round of inspection would be to look for oil leaks at the centre of the crankcase where O-rings at the through bolts may have aged. You may also find oil seepage at the power-steering drive. Look carefully at the floor under the car. Do not start the car, if can, roll out of its parking lot and inspect the floor for oil residue. Start up the engine and it should fire smoothly with a mild engine throb, which is the Porsche signature. If you hear a noisy chain rattle, which does not quieten down after a few minutes then this, could be a problem. Heavy operation of the clutch is likely to mean its due for an overhaul, which is not a complex job but would need a few thousand ringgit. Remember there are no cheap repairs on a Porsche. Check to see all electrics are working. Older cars will have some worn rubbers around the windows and doors. Resprayed cars where the owners reused the rubbers will have them warped or cracked by now. Slow wipers are common and might need rewired or new motors.
You must test drive the car to make sure you can detect worn mountings, tired engines and abused gearboxes. If the semiautomatic gearbox shifts slowly then you should avoid. Jerky gear changes then just go home. If the used car dealer refuses a proper 20-30 kilometer test-drive then better to look elsewhere as with such a specialist car you really need to have it on the road to evaluate a proper purchase. Remember, parts and maintenance is expensive but its lasts. Our Porsche 996 carried a price tag of just RM210,000 and after some haggling down to RM185K the dealer was still willing to ‘talk’.

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