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Old 04-28-2004, 02:36 PM   #1
Porsche Maniac
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Default 993 Maintenance and running costs

Hi all

A friend of mine is thinking of buying a used 993.
He is however very concerned about it's maintenance and running costs, so if any of you 993 owners' could provide some info, it would be extremely usefull.

Provide stuff like gas mileage (ou km/100 l if you can ), service interval and respective costs, oil changes intervals and how much oil, parts cost (prefereable wear parts like clutch, brakes... etc), reliability, and eventual overheating problems of running the car in the city and stuff like that, or other issues you might think off. Oh, and commom problems that the 993 might have.

Thanks a lot
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Old 04-28-2004, 02:38 PM   #2
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Goto p-car.com. Robin lists his expenses over there in detail. Other than that, look at the FAQ above and start spending hours on the search feature. Sorry can't be more specific but your question is a very open ended blanket question.
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Old 04-28-2004, 03:42 PM   #3
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Yeah, but thats for someone who bought his car new and maintained it through the years. Used cars have unknown maint histories and need more love than lets say someone who bought it new and always kept up with it.

Its expensive to maintain these cars, especially if you rely on Porsche mechanics. Parts are killer expensive, and if you are like me, you will probably rebuild many older parts to new again.

I do all my own work, buts it feels too much at times.

Goodluck
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Old 04-28-2004, 04:18 PM   #4
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This stuff depends on how clean a car you get. I change my oil (Mobil 1) every 5k-7k miles, so I've done it twice now. About $80 each time for the filters and oil if you DIY. I've flushed by brakes and clutch slave about 4 times in the last year - DIY costs only $10 each time for the brake fluid. Gas mileage is ok, but it depends a lot on your driving style. Since my 993 is a weekend toy, I make it point to NOT care at all about fuel economy unless it points to a rich-running condition or leak. There cars eat rear tires pretty fast. You'll need two-three sets of rears for each set of fronts you go through. Brakes are as easy as it gets on these cars. I think I spent about $240 total on front pads and rotors and installed them in under an hour.

Other stuff is beyond maint. - like repairs and mods. This can get expensive. I tend to do a lot of preventative maint. I'd rather bleed my clutch slave every 3 mos. than replace it once for $60. When clutch time comes, I will upgrade to the RS and LWF package and DIY it all for about $1300. Just bought spark plugs for $35 for the set. Install will suck, but it will be free - DIY.

Do any of this stuff at the dealer and your costs will quadruple at minimum - totally unaffordable for me.
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Old 04-28-2004, 04:20 PM   #5
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So my 95 is a daily driver that sees about - let's say - 15k per year. This translates into the following on a maintenance schedule for me. 3 oil & filter (air/oil filters) changes and 1 major maintenance which includes the 4th oil/filter change. Add on top of that one set of tires per year. I do all my own maintenance except mounting and balancing tires, which makes the whole thing financially possible for me. I think I've covered just about every thing including some excess or best practice maintenance so please tell me anyone if I'm missing anything. Also note: I don't have my owners manual in front of me to verify items for regular maintenance and I'm sure some of these are owner's manual "overkill." Also, I get about 18-22 mpg doing some good highway commuting cruising. (Although I haven't calculated in in ages.) Anyway here's a best guess breakout:

Minor maint: $100 x 3 per year = $300 per year
$60 : Oil - 12 quarts of Mobil 1. (10 for the change and 2 for "refills" until the next change.)
$40 : Porsche parts (filters)
$0 : Labor - I do it myself: cost = ~4 hours.

Major maint: $390 per year
$60 : Oil (listed above)
$40 : air/oil filters (listed above)
$25 : fuel filter
$25 : belts
$20 : wiper blades
$55 : Spark plugs
$125 : Dist. caps and rotors
$25 : Tranny Fluid
$15 : Brake Fluid
$0 : Labor - I still do it myself: cost = about a weekend.

Tires: ~ $1000 per year
This usually costs about $1000 total for tires, mounting and balancing. You can get away with reusing fronts like Rick said 2 to 3 times the mileage as the rears, but I usually just do them all at the same time to keep matched.


Every other year or incidental expenses

$100-$200 : Brake pads. Varies greatly but pay higher to get oem Textar's which seem the popular no-squeal variety as opposed to a track purposed pad - a.k.a. stuck pig

$40 : Hood shocks - although may be more like 3 or 4 years

~$200 or so : Distributor Belt replacement by Steve Weiner - check with him for prices as I'm sure I don't remember.

~$200 : miscellaneous minor stuff like replacement emblem, relays, fuses, lights, etc.

~$100 - O2 sensor if needed.


Additional possible major expenses:

Shocks if you get an older (>75k mile) car with original springs. Many different routes ranging from oem replacement to upgrade/lowering. Expect $1k to $3k depending on your selection plus possible labor.

Clutch again on higher mileage (>100k miles?) Again, many options from oem replacement to lightweight flywheel/clutch upgrades.

Of course, you should always factor the cost for slippery slope traction juice: that stuff that helps you hold on - you know - like new wheels, splitters, clear turn signals, new shift *****, maybe that pretty new three spoke steering wheel... need I go on?

Oh yeah - forgot the most important thing...

$32 every other year for rennlist.com membership.
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Old 04-28-2004, 04:25 PM   #6
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You may experience high repair costs initially if the car was not well maintained by the previous owner. I know that sounds obvious, but my point is this -- be sure you get a really thorough pre-purchase inspection before you go any further.

Be sure they check the fault codes for the pesky carbon build-up problem (check Rennlist archives for more info), check the supposedly bullet-proof G50 tranny for smooth shifting, check for oil leaks and seepage, and get a leak-down test. If they find anything that seems odd, walk away. My repair bill after a year was at about $10-12k, even though I got a pre-purchase that passed with flying colors. Be wary, very wary. There are plenty of 993's out there, so choose well.

Now that I have fixed the repairs due to previous owner, the car is reliable and costs are much lower. Front tires have lasted twice as long as rears, at an interval of 6-12k miles for rears in my experience, but that varies greatly with individual driving style.

MPG - 16-20 depending on the weight of my lead foot for that tank. Highway mileage is almost always 19 or 20.

I live in Tx and my car will get pretty warm in stop and go traffic during the summer, but I've never had a problem. I've also taken my car to the track in 110 degree heat in July, and had no problems.

The P-car dealer here recommends oil changes at 7500 miles because of the high ambient temp, but I go every 10k with no problems. I drive about 15k a year.

Feel free to email me if you have any questions.
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Old 04-28-2004, 04:38 PM   #7
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You know, I'd suggest another item for a pre-buy checklist.

Turn the key on and make sure all lights come on and then go off after start. Specifically, brake warning indicator, airbag, check engine, retract. spoiler, master caution. Also make sure that once all lights go off after start, so does the master caution, and the redundant master caution light in the console button that turns it out.

My PO had removed a couple light bulbs to hide problems that were < $5 fixes. Took me a while to know something was wrong until I saw that button red light came on in the console switch. I'm just glad the important ones checked out clean.
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Old 04-28-2004, 04:46 PM   #8
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Ok, here's a longer answer. A PPI and a well cared car makes all the difference:

Bought my '95 993 in May of '03 with 51K miles in immaculate condition from a Rennlister (and Rennlist sponsor).

Regular maintenance:
2 x oil changes ($40 for oil at Walmart, $25 or so for oil filters) = $130
Rear tires: Kumho MXs around $450-$500, inc. mounting
Front tires: Kumho MXs around $400-$450, inc. mounting
Brake fluid: 5 flushes in one year due to Big Red upgrade and track events: $50
Subtotal: $1150

Major maintenance:
60K maintenance kit: $210

One offs (or infrequent items)
Hood shocks: $26
Rear link: $200
Fanduct: $40?

Total: $1600-$1700
All labor was DIY except for tires. If you exlude the one-offs and tires (perhaps you can make them last for two years if you don't track the car), definitely less than $500.

Total expense as percent of purchase price: <5%

Now contrast that with the beater Audi Coupe I bought off eBay:
O2 sensor: $180
Exhaust system: $600
Total so far, excl labor: $800.

Total expense as percent of purchase price: 25%

The car still needs another $1000-$1500 in fixes (control arms, parking brake, AC compressor), even if I ignore the rust spots. Which means that by the time I'm done with this piece of (@#&$(&, I've spent more than 50% of its purchase price and for significantly less grins while driving. I guess I learned my eBay lesson (and trying to save $100 for the PPI on this car!)
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Old 04-28-2004, 04:49 PM   #9
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Thank you all guys!!

That's extremelly usefull!

Just one thing though: what is your estimate on you car spending per year?
(including all maintenance and insurance fees, on a estimate of 10k miles per year)

Thanks again
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Old 04-28-2004, 04:57 PM   #10
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I think what kills us here is not the maintenance but all the upgrades. Do a search on "slippery slope" and if you're a true friend, you'll tell him/her to stay away from this board (and also those meet and drives).

The dark side of the force is strong over here -> "Hey, check out those Supercups!" "You really should upgrade to a three spoke steering wheel" "Wanna buy my 18" wheels?" and of course, the favorite newbie greeting "What's up with the SUV height?"
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Old 04-28-2004, 05:06 PM   #11
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Insurance:
full coverage with double the minimum required in Tx (100/50/100) runs $1400 a year, no tickets or claims on my record. 15k a year. Insurance rates vary greatly, and I understand that Tx is quite high due to lots of drivers not having insurance.

I have not had my car long enough to give a yearly estimate (owned 1.5 yrs). So far it's been high in repair, but low in maintenance costs. I think my car is the exception regarding repairs.

Long story short, it's a beauty and well worth it. Get a well-maintained car, and you will not regret the purchase.

ps - don't forget cost for vanity plates. $40 a year for TRGASM, money well spent!
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Old 04-28-2004, 06:17 PM   #12
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Rick, I live in Alexandria as well. Where do you recommend getting a 993 serviced? Also, do you know a good shop in the area for a PPI? Thank you.
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Old 04-28-2004, 10:32 PM   #13
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Richard1,
Don't mean to horn in, and I'm sure Rick will provide an excellent reply, but I have to say I had a PPI done at Pitstop and feel they missed a major issue with the rear suspension. I've been there a few times since and they have been unable to tell me what codes are causing my CEL light issue. I'm done with the "benefit of the doubt" and all that stuff when it comes to them. In short, as I embark on the DIY phase of my ownership, I don't feel I'm losing much by not going to Pitstop. For a dealer, I think Porsche of Arlington (ex. Heishmanns (sp?)) is really fair and does exhibit enthusiasm for the marque. Can't say much else about them as I haven't had anything done there with my 993 other than wiring harness check. They were good with my old 930. I'm planning to head out to ASG for an upcoming alignment/corner balance, post PSS-9/RS sway bar install. I've never been out there before but Skip says they do good work. Kind of out of the way but they might be worth a shot.
See 'ya on the parkway.
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Old 04-28-2004, 11:42 PM   #14
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I think it's important for a prospective 993 owner to understand that although the purchase price has depreciated to what may be for many a more affordable range, the price of parts, labor & consumables has remained higher than most (non-European) makes.

Many buyers lack the skill, time or interest to DIY. Even repairs/services that might be easy DIY jobs are complicated by the need for special tools, imprecise shop manuals, & minimal access or work space. Pro labor costs tend to be higher for some of the same reasons. Routine service such as oil changes are far more costly than a $30 trip to Jiffy Lube.

Parts prices also tend to be high & have been further elevated by the weak dollar (vs the Euro). For most expensive parts there are no aftermarket alternatives to oem Porsche.

Even "bargain" tires in the proper sizes & speed ratings are expensive & don't go very far. Buying cheaper, lower performing tires defeats the reason most people bought the car in the first place.

IMO if an unexpected $2,000 bill will cause financial hardship or excessively drydock the car, one should defer purchase until that wouldn't be the case. It's my belief that more & more 993s are purchased w/o consideration of the real operating costs, including proper maintenance & repair. They will then be back on the market w/needed work either done "on the cheap" or not at all. We're already reading some of the stories about those abused cars.
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Old 04-28-2004, 11:58 PM   #15
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Richard1, drop me a PM on your car specs. and issues. Solsrch mentions ASG - those guys are top notch, but very busy. I would trust my car to them, but I only take it to a shop for alignments and RPM in Newington is closer to my house. RPM is great. They try to talk you out of spending money with them - I love that. I'll be glad to help you out with DIY work. Lots of great local knowledge and resources around here. If you must go to a dealer, avoid HBL and consider Arlington - they are well-meaning.
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Old 04-28-2004, 11:58 PM
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