Planet-9 Porsche Forum banner
  • Hello Everyone! Let us know what you would spend a $50 Amazon gift card on, HERE For a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!
1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just purchased a used, 2006 Cayman S with 45,000 miles in seemingly cherry condition, from a high end used car dealership. It seems to run fine and I drove it the 3 hours home no problem. I will admit I am no mechanic and due to the distance I didn't have the resources to take it to a mechanic to have it professionally checked out.

Now once home my buddy, says, "jeez you should trade it in for a 2009 or later ASAP as these 2006-8 engines are "well" known to have severe engine problems.". I will admit the other day when I started it, alot of exhaust smoke filled my carport for a minute and then cleared. I have only had it a week and that was the first time I had started it cold, since in my enthusiasm, I am more involved in getting the sticky buttons, HVAC knobs, rusted lug nuts all replaced, and I have this superstition about driving a new vehicle the first week having been rear ended twice in new cars the first week. At the purchasing carlot they said they had just had it running expecting my appointment so maybe that was to hide a cold start up issue symptom. When it happened I thought, "huh, that's weird"... My buddy though has sort of tarnished my enthusiasm now for my car...

I have an appointment with the local Porsche dealership to change the oil, fluids, and do an all points inspection and extra mechanical inspections needed to create a good baseline for future care and service. The carfax lists no issues, but I don't have maintenance records.

I have done my due diligence on this site to try to uncover known issues and found some references to cylinder scorching in cylinders 4 and 5? that have come up with some cars but was wondering from enthusiasts if this is common, or if there is some other issue that I should be aware of in cayman history of this year that a newbie would want to be aware of/on the look out for or, at least ask the mechanics to see if there is evidence of. I expect they will know as well of known problems and hopefully will be willing to share. Any no, I didn't read some guide book on buying a used porsche, that I learned exists just this evening.

I am sure I am naive. My first and only other Porsche was a 924 that I bought used the same way and loved that car for years without problems and am hoping this will be the same but it can't hurt to educate myself on any known issues. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
943 Posts
There are 2 possible disaster problems. IMS bearing and bore scoring. They can happen but generally dont happen. (my opinion) Ive been reading the Pcar forums for 3 years and the problems seem to be rare. For reference, look at the problems posted here. Fact is, there is very little traffic on this forum relating to problems. When I bought my 08 S it had 61k miles on it. Now 2 years later at around 78K Ive replaced the battery, tires and done maintenance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
The smoke on cold start is a feature of these flat 6 engines - the oil pools a little in the cylinders when the car sits and then burns off when it starts. If it clears quickly there is nothing to worry about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
I've had an '06 Cayman S for almost 6 years. It now has a little over 38K miles on it and has had no engine problems. My reading indicates that the cars that have engine problems are often ones that have seen significant track time. Certain engine mods can prolong the engine life on the track, but seem to only postpone blowing the engine. Our Caymans are fast, fine handling touring cars, not race cars. I've done one novice track day and one autocross just for the experience and won't do many more because I don't want to buy the engine mods and replacement parts. My car has only needed the replacement of wear items and consumables. So far, so good.

The '09 and later cars do not have IMS bearings, so those can't go bad. Our Caymans are not particularly prone to IMS failures because it was an earlier type of IMS bearing that had a design problem. Caymans have the newer design. Someone who claimed to know these engines recommended keeping the oil level topped up to improve IMS bearing lubrication. Couldn't hurt to do that as a precaution.

Enjoy your car!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
I heard that same thing about 2006-2008 and IMS, etc. and I'm sure there's some truth to that, etc. blah, blah, blah. But I have a 2008 base and have looked for rumors on the Internets, etc. and saw not one incidence of that happening to the base 2008. I know there are informal surveys, etc. but I'm not sure anyone knows for sure about how likely it is to happen. For my peace of mind, I bought a 3 year/18K warranty to cover such an incident. There's also the water pump and Air Oil Separator to worry about at some point for these cars but these days, we already know it's likely to happen.

If you want, just get a mechanic to check your car out for any other defects so you're aware. It might cost some money but then you can feel a little more informed (perhaps less stress or more if he finds problems, etc.).

Congrats on the car and do as you're doing and clean it up to make it look/feel new. You may need to cleanup a few internal defects but that's ok on a used car.

You might as well read madly to get to know your car before taking it to a mechanic so you know what he's talking about. Or just jack up the car and spend 30 minutes or so with a flashlight and just look around for anything obvious, etc. Hopefully, everything will be ok and your "friend" will not get the satisfaction of saying "I told you so".

I hope all goes well and you enjoy your car -- and if something is wrong, that you fix it, and enjoy your car more.

Dennis
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
514 Posts
Sounds like you bought a nice car - don't worry about all the "expert" talk on reliability issues. I, too, ended up forgoing the PPI, so was a bit nervous until after my mechanic inspected the car. I don't think anybody would be talking about IMS issues on this car if it were not for the big problem the predecessor (986 / 996) had. I'm sure someone somewhere has had an IMS failure, but I have not seen any talk of an actual failure in the 3 years I've been reading the Cayman forums. Every so often an early 987 Boxster owner has a failure, but those are the ones built with the 986 engine. Bore scoring is rare - would not worry about it, but don't push the engine until warmed up and you'll be fine (true of any engine). AOS failures seem aggravated by track time, but not a huge expense to replace. Water pumps are probably the one issue of concern - many people advocate replacing every 40k miles. I have 50k and do not intend to replace mine until it starts making noise or starts leaking.

Smoke on startup can be caused by a couple things - the main one I face is when I wash my car and pull it out then back in the garage without driving it much. The next start will produce burn-off of the excess fuel used in starting, producing a cloud of acrid smoke. I panicked the first time that happened and brought it in to my mechanic who said not to worry - they do that. Enjoy your new car!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Agree with the others - oil smoke on startup is pretty common and normal on these cars, although mine doesn't do it. As long as it clears right up after starting, not a problem.
It's also highly unlikely you have an IMS issue, as it is rare for the 987 to have that particular failure due to the significantly stronger IMS bearing used from 2006 onward.

So, don't let your friend's doomsaying get you down. Lots of people ascribe horrible faults to the 987 based on things they heard about the 986 and 996. It's way off-base.

I predict the inspection by your Porsche dealership will show the car to be in fine shape. Make sure they give you a copy of the over-rev report, as that will indicate if the car saw significant track time (not necessarily a bad thing) or had any missed-shifts that could cause engine damage.

Good luck and enjoy your Cayman!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
A few additional piece of mind thoughts in addition to all the wisdom already expressed above. Have the dealer strain the waste oil and cut open the old filter for your review. You should see some "glitter" in the oil if you are having bearing wear. The other thought is to send a sample of the waste oil to Blackstone Labs for an analysis. The third gen IMS bearings which is what you have are pretty reliable from what I know. It was the second gen that had all the trouble.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I bought a 2006 S 2 years ago with only 9,000 miles on it. I had done my research and new the possibilities. The car was perfect but you never know. The more I read the more I was convinced that there is the potential for the gen 1 987 to have the bore scoring or IMS issues but when it gets down to it they are few and far between. It's been over-hyped on the internet but of course there is always that lingering doubt. In the end I bought it and it's been trouble free and I love it and don't plan on ever letting it go. I did buy a good 5 year warranty just in case. I figured it didn't hurt to cover my ***. Not just for the IMS or bore scoring issue. I just figured a car that "new" mileage wise could have anything go wrong (like many new cars) and it doesn't take much to run up a big bill on a issue with a Porsche or like car. To date I haven't had to do anything except general maintenance. The smoking thing is a typical flat -6 thing. Mine blew a bunch of smoke one time and I was worried then learned that it was a common thing especially if you get some oil in the AOS (which can happen after tracking it or driving hard or overfilling a tad). Anyway, my advice? Drive it and enjoy it. I love the car and figure if the motor lets go someday down the road I'll just spend the coin and make it a 3.6 or 3.8 and keep rolling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
279 Posts
Marriage failure rate is 50% but we still get married, don't we? Enjoy the car, maintain meticulously, don't abuse it and it will give you many miles of smiles and cheerful days! And post some pictures, will you.
Good luck!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,509 Posts
The smoke on cold start is a feature of these flat 6 engines - the oil pools a little in the cylinders when the car sits and then burns off when it starts. If it clears quickly there is nothing to worry about.
I have 111K on my '06 CS. No issues at all. I also get this oil plume now and then. Paul is completely correct. It's a horizontal cylinder thing. I have a BMW flat twin motorcycle that does the same thing...with 89K on it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,509 Posts
There are 2 possible disaster problems. IMS bearing and bore scoring. They can happen but generally dont happen. (my opinion) Ive been reading the Pcar forums for 3 years and the problems seem to be rare. For reference, look at the problems posted here. Fact is, there is very little traffic on this forum relating to problems. When I bought my 08 S it had 61k miles on it. Now 2 years later at around 78K Ive replaced the battery, tires and done maintenance.
Piper:

As I see it, there are more than 2 possible issues. Here they are:

1. Intermediate Shaft (IMS) Bearing - The IMS is a shaft that connects the valves, which are way out on the side, to the crank via a chain to each. This makes the chains a bit shorter. Nothing wrong with this design, but the bearing that it spins on is a sealed affair that was supposed to last the life of the car...and didn't. Becasue it's sealed, it doesn't get oiled by the normal oiling system. When the grease in it wears out or melts, the bearing runs dry and bad things happen. The first Boxsters were really bad. Porsche re-designed the bearing to a 2-row design...That didn't help and possibly made it worse. '03 to '05 Boxsters with the original bearings are literally ticking time bombs. The good news is that these bearings can be changed by removing the transmission while the engine stays in the car. It's not such a big deal to update these to a ceramic aftermarket design that literally does last the life of the car.

Beginning with '06, the year of the first Caymans, All Boxsters and Caymans got a 3rd version of the IMS bearing. This one is much improved over both of the first versions. I still have mine at 111K. Works great. The down-side of it is, if you want to update it, the engine has to be removed and split open. This is a bigger job, so it's probably wise to wait on that until you need, or want, other engine mods or updates, like new connecting rod bearings and bolts. If you're a racer or looking for a bigger kick in the pants out of your car, you may want to try it. There are some guys like Vision Motorsports in CA and Flat-6 in Georgia who can upgrade these engines considerably. Not cheap.

If you don't want to pull your engine, just make sure the oil is changed regularly. For normal driving, I change between 5K and 10K. Use 5W40 all synthetic oil...not 0W40 Mobil 1 as the sticker on your car suggests...unless you live in a really cold climate. Don't use anything heavier than 5W40 on a stock engine. There are systems in there that don't like thick oil. If someone advised that thicker is better...well...they're wrong in this case.

Changing the oil on these cars is fairly straight-forward. Any decent shop should be able handle it with minimal fuss...and without hideous expense. You don't need a Porsche dealer for oil changes. I would use a good independent shop...not jiffy lube type places, but someone who has experience with German cars. Most of them will allow you to buy your own oil. I buy Motul or Total or Joe Gibbs 5W40 by the case on Amazon. I'd suggest you buy the oil yourself so you know what you're getting unless you really know the shop.

2. Bore Scoring is a pretty rare occurrence. Always use brand name premium gas. Avoid a lot of start-ups and stops, like starting the car to move it into the driveway to wash it, then starting again to put it back in. If you start it, DRIVE IT. This is just better for any car but especially for boxer motors. Combine that sort of use with lousy fuel and you might get a problem like Bore Scoring on a coated aluminum cylinder. There are theories about how this might have happened. I don't know but I don't invite trouble by leaving an excess of unburned fuel sitting in the cylinders for long periods.

For the same reason, it's good to DRIVE your car regularly and not just store it. Driving them lubricates seals, keeps chemicals moving around rather than sitting on one spot and working on it etc. I've always driven my weekend car all year. They've always lasted 100K or more and were working FINE when I traded them.

3. Oiling - If you run your car at race track weekends, (doesn't sound like you do), there are other issues with early Caymans and Boxsters....They corner so well that they can run the oil system temporarily dry. The system will pump air instead of oil...and bearings go dry. This has happened to several people on this site. "Mr. Brown" has a classic post about his experience at Road America. Maybe you can search for that. Fixes for this are LM Engineering Oil pump system, TTP Oiling system (I have it), Deep Sump (I have a Ventus).

4. Another thing that can fail is the Air-Oil Separator. This is a gizmo that acts as a glorified ERG valve on a "normal" car. There is a rubber thing in there that can give out. I replaced mine with the GT3 version, which is twice the size. This is good if you are going to track your car. Otherwise the stock one is OK. If it does wear out, you'll see a LOT of smoke and it won't clear. Shut off the car and suspect this AOS has broken. No real prevention but do shut it down if you see this smoke. It is easily repaired so long as you don't pump too much oil out of where it should be and into the cylinders. Rare cases of engine damage from this have occurred.

5. Water pumps should be replaced every 50K or so...or when you get a light showing low coolant. If coolant is leaking, it's the water pump. No need to look further usually. I also replaced the thermostat while the water pump was out. I put in one with a lower temperature to keep the engine cooler. This gives longer life to everything.

6. Another item that has potential for failure if you are tracking in hot weather, is the power steering pump. It's on the engine in the front just behind the driver's seat. It doesn't get a lot of air circulation and is exposed to engine heat, which is much greater after a track session. There is a plastic reservoir for fluid that can get hot, warp and leak. Then you need a new power steering pump. So...a cooler will really help keep that from happening (I have one)...Also many people put on an under-drive pulley (I have that too)...again, if you don't go to the track, you don't need this. If you do, avoid really hot days (July) and drive the car around the parking lots of the track for a few minutes after each session. This helps cool them down. Even if your even provided cool-down laps, if it's hot out, do more.

That's all I can think of. In spite of all this scary stuff, theses cars are pretty bullet proof. Don't over-rev them. mind the things above and you should be fine.

:cheers:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,509 Posts
Tenacious:

I surmise that your car also puffs a bit of smoke now and then. I didn't think mine did either until one day I noticed. Now I watch for it. ...every 15 or 20 starts I get a poof with a smell. Not the end of the world for sure.

These cars are built so well and mine is the most rust-proof thing I've ever seen. I've driven it in 8 Chicago winters and it doesn't have a spec of rust anywhere except on the brake rotors...which can't be helped. If it gets a rattle, its something like a pen rolling around in the glove box. Compared to the 6 BMWs I've owned, it's just so much better. The Cayman chassis is so rigid. Hit even a hard bump and there is no flex. The windows seal perfectly too. Closing the window stops so much outside sound. I have a SpeedART exhaust. It's not loud, but it's louder than stock. Even with that, I have a really nice low base noise level for the stereo. It's just a very fun and pleasant car to drive. I love mine on the highways. I have GT2 seats and Damptronic coil-overs and TPC sway bars. The ride is just at the firm end of pleasant and it handles like it's on rails. Feels strong and solid. It's 11 years old! I'm going for 200K. I'll decide then what to do with it.

Original clutch, IMS bearing & shift cables.

:burnout:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,283 Posts
Someone who claimed to know these engines recommended keeping the oil level topped up to improve IMS bearing lubrication. Couldn't hurt to do that as a precaution.



And some others have claimed to keep the oil level low so that the sealed bearing doesn't have its grease leached out. Fact is, failures of the IMS bearing in Caymans are extremely rare. Don't worry about ti.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Tenacious:

I surmise that your car also puffs a bit of smoke now and then. I didn't think mine did either until one day I noticed. Now I watch for it. ...every 15 or 20 starts I get a poof with a smell. Not the end of the world for sure.


:burnout:
Yeah, it's possible. I start the car inside the garage, though, and have never seen or smelled anything. I had an '02 Boxster S that smoked a puff on every start, but it was never a problem. Just the character of the engine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
I agree with the others as the IMS is almost a non issue with the Cayman. I searched and read countless forums and articles about the ims before buying my 08 Cayman S. If I recall, out of hrs and hrs of reading, I think I came across 1 case of IMS failure...and the owner wasn't even positive if that was the true engine problem.
But I do know first hand about score boring as my car had it and received a engine rebuild with new short block.
If your car is producing a hollow sounding knock or ticking noise at idle (cold or hot) and goes away as you raise the rpm, that may be an indication of piston slap/scored bore. My car also had very sooty tail pipes. Not sure if it was using oil as I had just taken delivery of it when I noticed the tick/knock sound and had a dealer diagnosis it a few days later.
I hear the puff at start up is quite normal, but I have never had it since my engine rebuild, which was about 11k miles ago.
If your car checks out good at dealer visit, stop worrying and drive, drive, drive!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,853 Posts
What a refreshing thread about IMS & bore scoring. Usually they contain all kinds of fear-mongering and doomsday prophesies.

OP - welcome, relax, and enjoy your nice Cayman S.

I own two 987.1Ss. I bought my LE new and she is a semi-garage queen in that I only drive her in warm weather. She has 56K mi. My CSS is my bad weather car (I put snow tires on her) and DE car. Yes, DE car. 52K mi. I've owned her for 4.5 yrs and do 4-5 DEs / yr. I drive her to the events, not trailer her. I've added a larger sump baffle to alleviate oiling issues, run street tires to avoid oiling issues, shift at 6K rpm to avoid rod issues, check the pwr steering level before every DE w/e. My theory is people run their ps low b/c it's a dog to check, so they don't and then have issues. Had her up to 135mph at Kansas Speedway and 130mph at COTA & Indy. As you can see from my sig, I've also driven at Laguna Seca.

Look at all the fun I'd have missed if I didn't track her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well thank you all for your input and putting my mind at ease. I also booked it with a mechanic to change the oils, fluids and do a mechanical "PPI" . They understood exactly what I wanted knowing I now own the car. Turns out he owns one too and then started going off on all types of technical stuff about the engines and such and within 30 seconds, I knew I had found the right man and right shop so cancelled the dealership appointment and switched. He basically kept me on the phone for 30 minutes even though I just called to find out their hours! Both he and You (all) have made me feel much better. I used to be VERY active on a Volusia Motorcycle forum. Every night giving advice etc to newbies, so I am glad to now be the recipient of my Karma. I will try to remember to come back to this post and close the circle with what I learn this Friday from the Cayman Dr's appointment. Thanks again.

PS Sixisenoff... that was way over the top! Thanks for your effort. I won't forget it!
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top