Thread: 30k Service
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Old 09-30-2004, 01:51 PM   #5
Ronzi
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Denver CO
Posts: 748
Why the dealer vs independant shop - I wanted some information about the car that I felt was only going to be available to me through an authorized dealer. Specifically, the previous service history on the car. There were no service documents whatsoever with the car when I bought it, with the exception of one oil change receipt from a year ago. Carfax revealed that it was originally an "executive lease" car, consistent mileage history, no known damage etc., and where and when in the country it had been titled, but not specifically where (dealer name) it had been originally purchased.
The Porsche "Certificate of Authenticity" obtained from Porsche Cars North America told me the original production date, the VIN, engine number, transmission number, original total MSRP, exterior and interior colors, plus all of the installed optional equipment. Interestingly, the Certificate does not specifically say where the car was assembled, so if you don't know that the "U" in the VIN means Uusikaupunki, Finland, versus an "S" meaning Stuttgart (fairly rare for a US car), you still wouldn't know where it was made. Virtually all of this information is available other places, including the sticker on the under side of the front luggage compartment lid. On the Certificate, however, the options list is in plain English vs the meaningless, but decodable, option numbers on the sticker.
In any event, the Carfax and the Certificate put me no closer to reconstructing the service history of the car. My thought was that I might be able to get this information from the dealer that did the 30k service, since they can get into Porsche's computer records via the VIN. This turned out to be partially true. Porsche keeps records of all warranty work done on any specific car. A dealer can enter the VIN and up will come a "VIN Claim Summary Listing" which has a bunch of really good stuff, including a list of everything that was done to the car under warranty, the date it was done, the mileage on the car when it was done, and what dealer did it. My dealer was good enough to print this out for me. In return I gave him a $900 check for the 30k service. Would he have done this if I had just walked in off the street and asked for service data on VIN such-and-such? Maybe. But maybe not.
I am still not quite where I want to be however, as all I have is a list of warranty work, not a complete list of all service. An oil change is not warranty work, for example, and the Porsche computer system does not hold non-warranty work, even though it was performed at an authorized dealer. But at least I now know where I have to go to hopefully get the records.
The question arises, of course, why would I go to all this trouble to build 4 or 5 years worth of service records. There are two reasons. 1.) I'm kind of a nut about knowing as much as I can about any Porsche I own, and 2.) my previous experience with buying and selling Porsches has indicated that complete service records can be valuable at sell time. Maybe not if you are selling it to Daddy's Little Princess as a high-school graduation present, but if the prospective purchaser is a dyed-in-the-wool Porsche nut it is the first thing they will want to look at.

Last edited by Ronzi; 09-30-2004 at 02:00 PM.
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