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Old 07-17-2012, 07:16 PM   #1
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How Common Are 987 Engine Failures

So I was just wondering if the "epidemic" of blown engines in 987's is a bit over exaggerated online? I dont doubt there are issues and people have been victims of failures, but when I asked the dealer doing my PPI today how many 987 engines they have replaced he said that they've maybe done 1 or 2. He did say they have seen a number of 986's with blown engines though. I guess Im just trying to get over that last bit of fear before dropping a good chunk of $$$ on an 07 S.

Off topic do any of the aftermarket warranties cover / replace engines in these cars if they let go due to the IMS bearing or rod bearing etc assuming it blows on the street?
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:23 PM   #2
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How about this.... Your dealer has seen 1 or 2. Now call other dealers and indies to see how many they have seen and get an average between them(hopefully alot of zero's). As of last month, some private research was done (and is ongoing) to see how many indies ( that service/repair Porsche's, though not 987/997 specific) and Porsche dealer/service there are. I can tell you the number exceeded well over 20,000 "Porsche" related repair facilities. I am not privy to the whole report yet, so I do not have the complete details, just a few numbers.
No.... this is not for any class action lawsuit.
So if just your dealer has seen 1 or 2 how many other dealers/indies have seen 1 or 2.... more or less etc. Then do the math.....
Also, there were just a little over 194,000 Porsches sold in the USA alone between 1997 and 2009, I wonder how many survived?
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:11 AM   #3
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Well the odds sound a lot worse based on your math. I guess I'll get the IMS Guardian and hope for the best.
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:46 AM   #4
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As much as you are posting about this it's obviously a big concern to you. I promise that it's not going to get better once you own the car. I suggest you not buy the 987.1 car.
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:16 PM   #5
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Many people (including myself) have tried to "back into" an estimate of the total number of failures but there are always some assumptions that have to be made which are subject to question and uncertainty. Therefore, no one really knows the answer except Porsche and they aren't talking.
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:52 PM   #6
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Like many here, I follow the IMSB failure reports across most Porsche forums pretty religiously. I'm a little worried about my 987.1 June 05 build Boxster, but from what I've gathered scouring the web, there are very few failure reports from June 'O5 (MY 06). I'm literally on that line. I chose to bolster my savings, invest and enjoy.

That said, the two indies I frequent (both almost exclusively Porsche and one preps race cars): one has seen a few blown 986s and no 987s, the other hasn't seen a single IMSB failure. Both claim to be very well aware of the Internet worries and both say don't worry about it.

Many will disagree but my two pennies are: if you have the option to upgrade, do so while you're in there for other work, if you don't have that option (06 on), just enjoy the ride (oh, and stuff money in a sock somewhere).

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Old 07-18-2012, 05:36 PM   #7
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Thanks for the good advice everyone.
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:14 PM   #8
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Porsche forums are the worst place to try to determine the answer to your question. Probably over 90 percent of P owners don't participate on forums. Of those who do only a very small percentage of them have had IMS issues. Many of us who have owned and driven these engines for years loosely agree that is seems as though less than 1 or 2 per cent ever had an issue of any kind.

Buy the car you like, buy an extended service policy if it makes you feel better but don't buy anything you are not completely able to pay for, maintain and repair if there is an issue. The biggest issue I see with people buying exotic cars used are those that buy them and think they have paid all they are going to. I have never had any repair issues with my cars but I suggest that you be able to pay 2-3,000 per year if necessary without it concerning you before you buy any used exotic car, especially one that requires removing the engine for much of its service, that has expensive repair costs when something goes array. So, in short, buy what you can pay for and drive it like you couldn't care less.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:23 AM   #9
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Porsche forums are the worst place to try to determine the answer to your question. Probably over 90 percent of P owners don't participate on forums. Of those who do only a very small percentage of them have had IMS issues. Many of us who have owned and driven these engines for years loosely agree that is seems as though less than 1 or 2 per cent ever had an issue of any kind.

Buy the car you like, buy an extended service policy if it makes you feel better but don't buy anything you are not completely able to pay for, maintain and repair if there is an issue. The biggest issue I see with people buying exotic cars used are those that buy them and think they have paid all they are going to. I have never had any repair issues with my cars but I suggest that you be able to pay 2-3,000 per year if necessary without it concerning you before you buy any used exotic car, especially one that requires removing the engine for much of its service, that has expensive repair costs when something goes array. So, in short, buy what you can pay for and drive it like you couldn't care less.
Couldn't agree more, on all counts. The idea floated above that there are "20,000 indies" and implying that if each one only saw one or two M97 replacements think how many that would be is misleading, to say the least. I venture that fewer than a hundred indies (maybe fewer than a score) have replaced M97s. Those are still fairly new, fairly expensive Porsches, and most people who have had a failure are still going to go the dealer route. And if they are going to use an indie, it's going to be one of a tiny number experienced at replacing M96/M97 motors. Of course, like everyone else I'm just speculating and extrapolating and WAGing, so take it for what you paid for it.

As to the second paragraph, amen to that. I would imagine nothing spoils the fancy sportscar experience like knowing a $1500 repair would put some serious pain on your wallet, or simply be undoable at present. But I think now that these cars are sub-$18,000 propositions (sometimes hovering around $10k), many are being bought by people in that position. I remember when my cousin bought a $7500 944 in the nineties. Talk about the tip of the iceberg!
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:50 AM   #10
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As much as you are posting about this it's obviously a big concern to you. I promise that it's not going to get better once you own the car. I suggest you not buy the 987.1 car.
I agree with this
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:20 PM   #11
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Its not the $1500 or 3000 dollar repairs that concern me, but possibly having to drop close to $20000 for an engine, while "doable", would certainly put a hit on the wallet short term. And the fact that it would do nothing to increase the value of a $30000 dollar makes it a tough one to swallow.
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:51 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by LightngSVT View Post
Its not the $1500 or 3000 dollar repairs that concern me, but possibly having to drop close to $20000 for an engine, while "doable", would certainly put a hit on the wallet short term. And the fact that it would do nothing to increase the value of a $30000 dollar makes it a tough one to swallow.
That will always be in the back of your mind. Move up to the IMS-less engines. You'll feel better. Or get an early 986 that you can afford to loose if the engine goes. It won't happen, but you'll feel better and the ownership experience will be better for you.

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Old 07-20-2012, 02:34 AM   #13
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You've all made a lot of sense and Ive decided not to buy the 07 S. Ill start shopping 09's (maybe something with a warranty) and see whats out there, the extra cost might be worth the piece of mind. Are the 987.2's pretty "bullet proof" with proper care / maintenance?
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:39 AM   #14
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Good move SVT. If I were shopping for any newer Porsche it would have to be 2009 and newer.
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Old 07-20-2012, 04:19 PM   #15
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Given how many cars I see on the road and for sale secondhand with completely functional engines I think your fears are utterly overblown, but it's your money. Might as well buy a brand new car with warranty if it's that much of a concern to you?

I was a bit nervous about my '03 before I bought it, then I changed the oil, drove it like I stole it and haven't thought about it since. I recommend that anybody considering an older Boxster/996/997 do the same. There are no guarantees in life.

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Old 07-20-2012, 07:15 PM   #16
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Nah, no new ones here. They're to expensive and I dont want to be the one to take the big hit on depreciation.
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:51 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by LightngSVT View Post
Its not the $1500 or 3000 dollar repairs that concern me, but possibly having to drop close to $20000 for an engine, while "doable", would certainly put a hit on the wallet short term. And the fact that it would do nothing to increase the value of a $30000 dollar makes it a tough one to swallow.
My best friend replaced his 986 engine (not IMSB failure) for $5200 ($3200 used engine, $1200 installation, $800 oil, plugs, coils, hoses, etc). Engine runs perfect and the car is tracked regularly with no problems whatsoever. Of course, a 987 would be a bit more money but it can be done for much, much less than $20K.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:40 PM   #18
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How Common Are 987 Engine Failures

In general, the cylinder heads are pretty well designed on the M96 engine. However, on some 3.2, 3.4 and 3.6 engines, small cracks can sometimes develop around the seats of exhaust valves and extend to the spark plug hole.....
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Old 09-13-2015, 02:41 PM   #19
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Another option to solve the peace of mind about the 987.1's would be just keep your current car. Buy an extended warranty from your Porsche dealer for xxxxxx miles to x years. I made my dealer give me in writing that if a IMS failure occurred regardless of why, it was a covered item. And a 4 year Porsche extended warranty on my 987 with only 40k miles on the original engine was only $3500.00. For me, the peace of mind is worth it when I compare the cost of a $3500.00 investment to protect a $20,000.00 engine replacement wonder IF the IMS issue will pop up. Plus with the warranty, items like the water pump, oil issues due to the RMS, and any other potential issue is covered. And I have a zero deductible if my car is roll-backed to my dealer from anywhere in the nation. So I drive it whenever, where-ever, and as easy or hard as I like. By the time the warranty comes close to ending, I will most likely upgrade to another car....................so I am good.
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Old 09-13-2015, 03:42 PM   #20
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Ah the assumptions we make

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Another option to solve the peace of mind about the 987.1's would be just keep your current car. Buy an extended warranty from your Porsche dealer for xxxxxx miles to x years.
Such warranties are common in the UK, not available from Porsche in the US.
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