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Need advice on potential 2003 996TT buy

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Old 03-21-2017, 12:52 AM   #1
Grey
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Default Need advice on potential 2003 996TT buy

There is a local 996 turbo that the seller is considering parting with. Got to see it and seems to be in good order, but having never owned a 911, I wanted to seek the forum's advice. The car is a 2-owner 2003 manual 996 turbo coupe with 14k miles, full leather interior, but no X50, asking 55k. The current owner has only driven it about 2000 miles in the last 10 years he's owned it. Ideally would've liked to have more options, for example the X50 and heated seats, but after having looked for a while (incl lots of time on RL!) this one might fit the bill. My questions are if this is a reasonable price and if the low mileage is potentially a problem. Also, if anyone knows a reputable place for having a PPI done in the Mpls/St Paul area, that would be a great help too!
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Old 03-21-2017, 01:13 AM   #2
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That is about the market and maybe even a little soft with the impressive low mileage. Buying any 911, especially a turbo, it's advisable to have the car properly PPI'd by a dealer or top shop you trust. Dealer might be your best bet in Mpls. Inquire about usage with such low miles. Hopefully it's not a track car. If so the price should be very negotiable. Good luck!
911 Turbos rule!
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Old 03-21-2017, 02:02 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grey View Post
There is a local 996 turbo that the seller is considering parting with. Got to see it and seems to be in good order, but having never owned a 911, I wanted to seek the forum's advice. The car is a 2-owner 2003 manual 996 turbo coupe with 14k miles, full leather interior, but no X50, asking 55k. The current owner has only driven it about 2000 miles in the last 10 years he's owned it. Ideally would've liked to have more options, for example the X50 and heated seats, but after having looked for a while (incl lots of time on RL!) this one might fit the bill. My questions are if this is a reasonable price and if the low mileage is potentially a problem. Also, if anyone knows a reputable place for having a PPI done in the Mpls/St Paul area, that would be a great help too!
Yes, and yes.
You could end up with some seals that didn't like sitting so much and after you drive it for a while have some leaks to fix. You're getting an essentially new engine in a 911turbo for ~$55k, with what should be a like new interior and exterior. Worst case you end up spending a bunch ~$10k by having someone else fix whatever it may or may not need. You still got a really cool car for now $65k, so make sure it's a car you would like to drive for a while!
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Old 03-21-2017, 02:38 AM   #4
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Having sold my 2003 Turbo (speed Yellow) end of last year, I would say its a very good deal given the extremely low miles. You can drive it a lot without worrying about millage for years and still have very low miles at the end. feel free to PM me if you want to know what sold mine for to give you an idea.
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Old 03-21-2017, 03:04 AM   #5
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Sounds like a great deal to me, assuming everything checks out.

I feel like the "smart money" has been playing up the X50 for a while now, so the days of getting an X50 for the same price as a non-X50 are over. Given the scarcity of the X50, I can still see trying to seek one out as a collector, even at higher prices, but if you're looking for a driver, I think it's overrated.
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Old 03-21-2017, 04:47 AM   #6
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Get the full record book, any maintenance on soft parts and oil changes along the way? If no, minor red flag. If yes, snap it up!
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grey View Post
There is a local 996 turbo that the seller is considering parting with. Got to see it and seems to be in good order, but having never owned a 911, I wanted to seek the forum's advice. The car is a 2-owner 2003 manual 996 turbo coupe with 14k miles, full leather interior, but no X50, asking 55k. The current owner has only driven it about 2000 miles in the last 10 years he's owned it. Ideally would've liked to have more options, for example the X50 and heated seats, but after having looked for a while (incl lots of time on RL!) this one might fit the bill. My questions are if this is a reasonable price and if the low mileage is potentially a problem. Also, if anyone knows a reputable place for having a PPI done in the Mpls/St Paul area, that would be a great help too!
Low miles is potentially a problem as the car is still a new car with only 14K miles. The new car warranty runs to 50K miles.

If the car develops/manifests a "new car" problem you of course will have to address this out of pocket.

These cars were expensive new and cost like the dickens to service/maintain. Depending upon your skill level, experience, etc. you can do some things yourself and save some money.

The other problem with low miles cars is they often don't receive proper servicing. This consists of at least annual oil changes and 2 year brake fluid flush/bleed.

The other problem is seals/o-ring and what have you sit for long periods and dry out and shrink. Then a new owner comes along and buys the car and things start to leak.

I have experience with this. I bought a low miles (10K) 2003 Turbo in 2009. My research found the car received reasonable servicing and the car came with a 2 year 100K mile CPO warranty.

So I bought the car. And of course drove the car. As I drove the CPO warranty came in handy. The CPO warranty covered a broken radiator fan motor shaft and a new radiator that was bent up when the fan hit the back of the radiator; bad idler/tensioner roller bearings; broken shift linkage, failed clutch accumulator and leaking clutch slave cylinder, a leaking transmission selector shaft which had the 6-speed transmission replaced with one shipped from Germany.

The car went out from under CPO coverage in June of 2011 with over 50K miles. I added 40K miles to the car in two years.

After the warranty ended unfortunately the problems didn't end. The power steering tank had to be replaced to quiet a noisy valve. Another set of idlers/tension rollers were needed. (Turbos appear to be hard on these. The ones in 310K mile Boxster are factory original.) The front diff axle flange seals leaked and were replaced. The RMS developed a leak and had to be replaced. (The replacement RMS in my Boxster has been oil tight for 285K miles.) The spoiler hydraulic system leaked and had to be replaced. The water pump developed a leak (at around 120K miles). (The Boxster water pump wore out at 172K miles.) Even the auto dimming rear view mirror developed a leak.

What else? Oh at 130K miles the radiators developed leaks and had to be replaced.

A low miles car may be a dream car or it might be something less than a dream...

I know you have already checked the car out but I wanted to add this:

Be sure you visit the car cold and start and let idle the cold engine while you check out the exterior of the car. But let the engine idle and keep an ear tuned for any engine noises.

As you turn the key to on be sure the CEL comes on and goes off when the engine runs.

Have the seller take you on a 15 mile test drive. The route is selected to give the driver a chance to demo the car as you intend to drive it.

Back at the starting place then you switch seats and drive the car over the same route the same way.

You must spend time with the car in its natural state engine running and on the road.

Afterwards give the Turbo a thorough used car check out for that is really all the Turbo is at this point: a used car.

Then get a PPI. You want to do this *after* the test ride/drive as this will have the engine running for about an hour and if there are any active leaks from the engine, cooling system, drivetrain, they should be spotted by the PPI inspection.

This way at least you know there are no current issues with the car.
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Old 03-21-2017, 01:02 PM   #8
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Sounds like a great deal to me, assuming everything checks out.

I feel like the "smart money" has been playing up the X50 for a while now, so the days of getting an X50 for the same price as a non-X50 are over. Given the scarcity of the X50, I can still see trying to seek one out as a collector, even at higher prices, but if you're looking for a driver, I think it's overrated.
completely agree, the car if it "checks out" ( and I'm sure it will ) is a steal and going up in "value" even if you did end up ever driving it! ( it unlike the PO's! )

the only *potential* downside is that anything that WILL break/fail/require replacing, has not "yet". the list is legion and others have already mentioned this.

all that taken into consideration, you'll have virtually an "almost new" TT w x 50 ( dubious value but as manimal notes will be "valued" for the added $17,800 it added to the msrp, if NOT for the the added kick of the k24's..)

bottom line? if you like it? grab it fast, as someone else will at 55k! GL w it.
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Old 03-21-2017, 11:06 PM   #9
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I've read all your posts. Thank you all for your thorough and helpful advice and reassurances! Macster thanks for sharing the hardships you've had to endure on your 996tt..it was quite helpful for me to know what can happen when looking to buy one under similar circumstances especially since I'm not very mechanically inclined.

I'll ask about the previous records and see if we can get a PPI done (after a bit of a test drive per Macster's advice). I called Auto Edge, an indie shop near St Paul, and they said they could do it for $120. The Porsche dealership also can do a PPI for $300. In the scheme of things, this price difference isn't too much..the dealership is a bit more convenient to get to so I might go with them, as long as they do a thorough job. Anyway, hopefully I'll be able to share pics of a nice 996tt with you all soon!
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Old 03-21-2017, 11:20 PM   #10
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my advice: do NOT go to a porsche dealership for a ppi.

it is a woefully inadequate assessment of the cars condition beyond a corporate "checklist" to ensure all "wear" items are within "spec".

they'll "thoroughly" miss stuff provided it's there to be "missed".

find an indie tech to inspect it, and drive the car.
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Old 03-21-2017, 11:28 PM   #11
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I'd also be skeptical of how thorough the $120 inspection is from the indy, though -- what is that, one hour of their time? Not sure how many options you have out there.
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Old 03-21-2017, 11:44 PM   #12
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He is not ready to get rid of yet, thus the high price point.
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:29 AM   #13
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my advice: do NOT go to a porsche dealership for a ppi.

it is a woefully inadequate assessment of the cars condition beyond a corporate "checklist" to ensure all "wear" items are within "spec".

they'll "thoroughly" miss stuff provided it's there to be "missed".

find an indie tech to inspect it, and drive the car.
^^^^This.

My experience with a dealer PPI was less than stellar...
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:52 AM   #14
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I'd also be skeptical of how thorough the $120 inspection is from the indy, though -- what is that, one hour of their time? Not sure how many options you have out there.
haha, I asked him how long it would take and he said it would be about an hour. He mentioned that he would take it for a drive and check for leaks, check for over revs etc.
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:56 AM   #15
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I'd also be skeptical of how thorough the $120 inspection is from the indy, though -- what is that, one hour of their time? Not sure how many options you have out there.
Although, the dealer told me the $300 PPI would take about 3 hrs..nonetheless consensus seems to be to avoid dealerships for PPI. I was considering the Porsche St Paul dealership if it makes any difference.
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