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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I take all the complaints in stride. It's the internet and on this forum, it'll give the impression the 981 is unreliable.

The reputation is that Porsche is built to last. Although, there's constant talk about multi thousand dollar repair bills. No different than any other European car, but how much really breaks on these cars?

I've owned new and used cars and all my new cars have performed flawlessly. Clutch, engine, build and for the most part electronics have lasted the 150,000-240,000Km I've run them before I sold them and moved on. It's the used cars that I bought that all get prematurely sold for issues (average 2-3 years). It's why I am paying the premium for new cars now.

The upcoming GT4 is still a little scary. Besides the purchase price, I don't want to encounter $20-30K engine issues 5 years from now. Hearing about old IMS issues or premature suspension issues. Is the 981 reliable?

sounds a little open ended but cars in my mind are reliable. Maintain the car properly and on schedule and change oil religiously on time or sooner than scheduled. I'm prepared for these maintenance costs.

Where does all the horror stories stem from? neglected maintenance or inherent design flaws?
 

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What gives the impression that 981 is unreliable?
 

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Porsche sports cars are designed primarily to achieve a certain level of handling, performance, and driving experience.

One thing that is severely sacrificed on cars like the 981 and 991 is ease of servicing. These cars are difficult to work on. Many maintenance and repair tasks are much more complicated on these cars than on front engine cars.

In terms of reliability, read the Porsche forums, and draw your own conclusions about initial quality issues and longer-term reliability. My indy Porsche mechanic says that overall reliability for these cars is acceptable - not very good and not very bad.

Personally, I wouldn't keep such a car for too many years or put too much mileage on it.
 

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The GT4 has a detuned version of the 991S engine . That engine has been around for a while, and it is no less reliable than the 981S engine. Neither engine is really pushing the leading edge of performance, so there is no reason you would expect them to require special care. (Of course, the same could have been said of the IMS issue, but if the current engines had this type of problem, we would have seen it by now.)

I don’t expect Honda-level bulletproof performance from my Boxster, but I do expect it to be reasonable. My impression is that Porsche designs tend toward complexity vs. simplicity, so I would anticipate that I’ll see some problems. But I haven't seen any problems on my car yet.
:cheers:
 

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I take all the complaints in stride. It's the internet and on this forum, it'll give the impression the 981 is unreliable.

Where does all the horror stories stem from? neglected maintenance or inherent design flaws?
Where are you reading these horror stories? There's been one 981 engine failure on this forum and a few nagging problems, besides that, it's been nothing but positive post here. My impression of the 981 is completely opposite of yours, it's been very positive. That is why I added another Porsche to my garage.
 

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Sorry for not being clear. I lumped all the used 987 and 997 into my assessments.
You cannot lump 987 issues with 981 issues.

in regards to the 981, there is the one that just came up plus this engine failure.

How many 981 cars have been sold worldwide?
How many have had engine failures? Two? Actually, we have no idea. A tiny percentage people frequent forums. Most owners don't even no car forums exist. So we don't know.
 

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Sorry for not being clear. I lumped all the used 987 and 997 into my assessments.
As chows4us said, it doesn’t make sense to lump all the 981’s and 987’s together. The IMS issue, for example, was specific to a 987.1 engine. The newer 3.4L engine used in the 987.2 and in the current 981 doesn’t have this issue.

If there is a new engine family for the upcoming 981.2, I might be a little concerned. Between the IMS issue and the 991 GT3 engine fires, Porsche’s track record is below expectations.
 

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You might want to put your expectations into context a bit - what cars have you owned where you have not had any issues?

These cars are high rev-ing models that are made for a certain level of performance. Like many other makes, things will happen. You have to pay attn to maintenance.

i lemon-ed out my $65K 335 Msport - had less than 17K miles.

Will i buy another BMW?

depends, but doubtful.

will i buy another Audi - prob.
 

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I agree with your point about used cars typically being more problematic. Of my new cars, I had relatively low maintenance costs. Used cars I have bought have been terrible.
I am one that got hit by $20k in maintenace costs on a 996Turbo over 2.5 years of ownership - it was well modified (not so well!) by previous owner. Learned my lesson hard on that one. Now = new...higher cost of entry, but peace of mind. I want to be the one to use up all the goodness vs the sucker.
All in all, I'd say that Porsche is better than most in the category - you just never know when you might get stung. Labor costs are crazy - one job now and then is OK, but when they have to go in 3-4 times in a year - they charge you many hours each time. Parts are really just a bit more than any Audi.
 

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I'm another 981 owner who had a blown engine with the same "tapping" problem as mentioned earlier. I'm a track ho, so possibly that contributed to the problem, but sh1t happens. Porsche replaced the motor, no questions asked. That was my 4th Porsche. I'm on my 5th one (in a row) and other than that problem and sunroof problem with a 996 C4S, the cars have been flawless despite daily use and heavy track work. I doubt any other cars from any other manufacturers could be more reliable than that.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm pretty comfortable buying new. I know I'm good with maintenance. With the amount of mods or track time a used might have experienced, it's a lot of potential abuse unknown.

As for history, I bought a new 92 camry when I was 21 (it was awesome as a 5MT). rock solid for 170,000Km as can be expected with this well regarded generation of Camry. I got enticed away by the 97 Jetta GLX. It was used and had lots of leaking oil by the time I sold it 2.5 years later. The Camry would have been cheaper to keep running but not as fun. Next was a new mk4 Jetta 1.8T. rock solid for over 200,000Km. Got enticed by a used E60 545i 6MT and that experiment lasted 1.5 yrs and 30000km before oil, water pump, starter and gasket issues made me dump it for a new F30 328i. So far so good with the F30. Adding a new GT4 to go along with the BMW.

This post is just to see if the 981 really is a modern reliable machine if driven fairly and taken care of religiously. One or two DE days at most a year.
 

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It can be a mixed bag with used cars. In my earlier years, first marriage and all, I actually owned two Porsches. My wife loved it and so we bought a second one. Both were used and with the exception of paint color and differing by about 12 months in manufacturing date -- the cars were identical.

Mine was amazingly reliable. With the exception of replacing muffler and heat exchangers due to rust (the 70's cars), never a problem for the 120,000 + miles I kept it. Her Porsche, identical car for all practical purposes, was in the shop every month for something. Hyperbole; it may not have been that bad, but it was bad enough that we kept her car for only a year and traded it in for something new. With the exception of that one Porsche, I've been pretty happy with reliability.
 

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981 BS and 991 C2s both very reliable except for some vibration and rattle issues that drive me nuts on a car of this class/cost. Will buy Porsche again.
 
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I agree with your point about used cars typically being more problematic. Of my new cars, I had relatively low maintenance costs. Used cars I have bought have been terrible.
I am one that got hit by $20k in maintenace costs on a 996Turbo over 2.5 years of ownership - it was well modified (not so well!) by previous owner. Learned my lesson hard on that one. Now = new...higher cost of entry, but peace of mind. I want to be the one to use up all the goodness vs the sucker.
All in all, I'd say that Porsche is better than most in the category - you just never know when you might get stung. Labor costs are crazy - one job now and then is OK, but when they have to go in 3-4 times in a year - they charge you many hours each time. Parts are really just a bit more than any Audi.
Not with my experience, my last 3 cars are all used, and besides wear and tear items, nothing broke on them. I've brought my Nissan Murano new and it nearly fell apart before I traded it in. I brought several Nissans from my salesman and he asked me what I did with it b/c they needed to replaced a lot of things before selling it. I did nothing, just drive it to work and skiing. My Jeep grand cherokee was new had all kinds of electrical issues. My GMC Envoy brought new, was crap too. Besides my last three cars, I have own 7 new cars, it's hit and miss, has nothing to do with used cars. When you buy used, you have to do your homework, get all service records, PPI, and DME for overrevs.
 

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From my experience watching this board for 3 years - 981 is EXTREMELY reliable, hence my surprise at the topic. Yeah, there are some rattles in a few cars. Some more serious problems in a few. But if you put it into % of cars sold - it's in low single digits. And then most of those problems are kind that happens in a new car only and fixed with warranty anyway.

In my personal experience 981 is more reliable in 3 years I have it than most Japanese cars I owned. Because it has 0 problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks again for the feedback. I started the thread to get some feedback on the 981 car. My concerns coming to Porsche for the first time.

I am consuming a lot of Porsche forum info and reviews. That will mean the current/past caymans along with 911.

The gt4 may be a different monster with more gt3 parts and special parts. But I am glad the 981 has been reliable to date
 

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Porsche sports cars are designed primarily to achieve a certain level of handling, performance, and driving experience.

One thing that is severely sacrificed on cars like the 981 and 991 is ease of servicing. These cars are difficult to work on. Many maintenance and repair tasks are much more complicated on these cars than on front engine cars.

In terms of reliability, read the Porsche forums, and draw your own conclusions about initial quality issues and longer-term reliability. My indy Porsche mechanic says that overall reliability for these cars is acceptable - not very good and not very bad.

Personally, I wouldn't keep such a car for too many years or put too much mileage on it.
Worried about long term reliability ? The simple solution is to buy the Porsche extended warranty.
 

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While Consumer Reports and Truedelta data have been criticized here on P-9 (and indeed those data are imperfect) they sure beat individual tales of "what happened [good or bad] to my car." Both groups report post-987.1 Caymans and Boxsters to be very reliable and in general, more reliable than 911s. In fact, IMS problems in 986 and 987.1 cars are so infrequent as to have left reliability looking pretty good even for those vehicles.

Elsewhere here on P-9, Chows has suggested legitimate concerns about sampling problems that are likely to skew CR and Truedelta outcomes ("selection bias" if you're into statistics or medical issues). Beyond those issues, my biggest concern over the validity of CR and Truedelta data is this: if P cars are driven only 5,500 miles a year on average (as has been reported), might that factoid be making our reliability data look better than they would if we were putting on the standard "1000 miles a month" that others are driving on average. Despite many claims to the contrary, garage queens in general have fewer problems than cars that are used far more. Batteries and rubber parts aside, moving parts wear out.
 
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