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Old 08-14-2017, 10:20 AM   #1
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987 Engine Failure Help

Hey Guys,

I have a 2005 987 S, 202,000 miles on it. Yesterday after some spirited driving I ran into engine trouble and I am at odds with what I've learned, versus what the shop is telling me. The car has never had an engine problem before, and it is driven spiritedly at least 1 a month for the last 9 years. It used to be my daily until a few years ago. Never tracked and on original clutch. Looking for any suggestions.

I was pushing it and everything was normal. The driving included me hitting redline a few times. After slowing down to cruise, at around 70mph I noticed a tacking/flapping sound. This sound pulsated every few seconds; volume was lower, then higher, in a rhythm. This tacking went faster and slower with engine rpm. So I slowed down a bit to listen, and, after a few miles, when trying to accelerate slightly, the car barely did. Felt like the backpressure u get when u run out of gas and try to accelerate. Then again, I was in 6th at around 55 mph... So I pulled over and got out to look under, and engine cut off a few seconds after I walked to the back. No check engine lights came on; oil levels and temperature were good. Did not try to restart.

I had it towed to a local indy I deal with whose prices recently increased to 140$ an hr. So naturally I want to pinpoint the problem as economically as possible. The 1 porsche mechanic there has done well but is very blatant with his diagnosis at times with little detail. I hardly get to talk directly to him but have not pushed issues. There are few economical dealers I have found in the Hampton Roads area.

So the shop calls me today and tells me they think its the IMS bearing that went out. I must note that I didn't see any metallic items last oil change, around 7000 mi ago. They quoted me 776.00 to diagnose. I am conflicted because based on what I've heard about the IMS going, its quite catastrophic, there is a big oil leak, and a much crazier clattering is heard when this happens and the engine immediately dies due to metals flying around.

I suspect this may be bent valves, a chain failure, lifter issue or the like but I'm no mechanic. I read forums. At the same time I don't know how to go about questioning someone with years of experience. I don't know if the oil filter was checked or compression test was done or anything. I will be quite upset if they tear down to the IMS and its not damaged.

I'd appreciate if anyone has any suggestions on how I should proceed. Thx.

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Last edited by darkstormvx; 08-14-2017 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 08-14-2017, 10:40 AM   #2
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Have the mechanic dump the oil and check the filter first.
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Old 08-14-2017, 10:45 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by darkstormvx View Post
Hey Guys,

I have a 2005 987 S, 202,000 miles on it. Yesterday after some spirited driving I ran into engine trouble and I am at odds with what I've learned, versus what the shop is telling me. The car has never had an engine problem before, and it is driven spiritedly at least 1 a month for the last 9 years. It used to be my daily until a few years ago. Never tracked and on original clutch. Looking for any suggestions.

I was pushing it and everything was normal. The driving included me hitting redline a few times. After slowing down to cruise, at around 70mph I noticed a tacking/flapping sound. This sound pulsated every few seconds; volume was lower, then higher, in a rhythm. This tacking went faster and slower with engine rpm. So I slowed down a bit to listen, and, after a few miles, when trying to accelerate slightly, the car barely did. Felt like the backpressure u get when u run out of gas and try to accelerate. Then again, I was in 6th at around 55 mph... So I pulled over and got out to look under, and engine cut off a few seconds after I walked to the back. No check engine lights came on; oil levels and temperature were good. Did not try to restart.

I had it towed to a local indy I deal with whose prices recently increased to 140$ an hr. So naturally I want to pinpoint the problem as economically as possible. The 1 porsche mechanic there has done well but is very blatant with his diagnosis at times with little detail. I hardly get to talk directly to him but have not pushed issues. There are few economical dealers I have found in the Hampton Roads area.

So the shop calls me today and tells me they think its the IMS bearing that went out. I must note that I didn't see any metallic items last oil change, around 7000 mi ago. They quoted me 776.00 to diagnose. I am conflicted because based on what I've heard about the IMS going, its quite catastrophic, there is a big oil leak, and a much crazier clattering is heard when this happens and the engine immediately dies due to metals flying around.

I suspect this may be bent valves, a chain failure, lifter issue or the like but I'm no mechanic. I read forums. At the same time I don't know how to go about questioning someone with years of experience. I don't know if the oil filter was checked or compression test was done or anything. I will be quite upset if they tear down to the IMS and its not damaged.

I'd appreciate if anyone has any suggestions on how I should proceed. Thx.

Pull the oil filter and cut it open; if it is full of metal, the engine is done regardless of exactly why, and needs to come out and apart. When one of these engines fail, the oil could be free of metal seconds before the event. What you saw in the last oil change may also not be relevant. And we have seen IMS failures that led to piston and cylinder liner destruction without out a drop of oil leaking.
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Last edited by JFP in PA; 08-14-2017 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 08-14-2017, 11:06 AM   #4
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Ask the Indy if they will discount or include the inspection cost of $767 if they do the engine work.
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Old 08-14-2017, 11:51 AM   #5
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See that's the thing. They have not dumped the oil and checked the filter yet. This is the first thing I would do. Checking the filter, compression, etc. I feel like these are things they should suggest they do first instead of just saying a transmission drop is needed. I'm not sure if I should have to ask them to do every little thing. Am I wrong to expect a response like "We checked that and that and that over there, so based on these results were going to have to do this next"?

The service writer claims the tech troubleshot the issue and the tech didn't see a need to do so since it would cost me more...


By the way I just paid this shop 2053$ to replace all 4 shocks/struts and 2 front lower control arms a week ago, and I supplied all the parts.
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Old 08-14-2017, 12:09 PM   #6
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It seems like they want $767 to do all that. Ask them to just do the filter should be just a few dollars I would think. Have them cut the filter and then go see it....follow JFP advice. My 2 cents.
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Old 08-14-2017, 12:16 PM   #7
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It's easy for us outsiders to tell you how to handle your mechanic because we have no skin in the game
You may want to mildly strongly push back on how they have come to that conclusion without inspecting the filter and oil.
In 5+ hours they didn't check the oil - Boxster, IMS, oil - interesting
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Old 08-14-2017, 12:48 PM   #8
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Its very reasonable to ask what they did for 5 hours and how they came to that conclusion. I can't imagine that they wouldn't share this information. If they suspected a failed IMS they should have cut open the filter to confirm.
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Old 08-14-2017, 01:25 PM   #9
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In 5 hours of labor, I would have thought that they would have drained the oil, cut open the filter and dropped the pan. And that would account for the first hour of labor. I suggest you push for more detail. If they can't/won't give that to you, ask to speak to management and ask for a reduction.
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Old 08-14-2017, 02:17 PM   #10
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Well, 202,000 miles. That's awesome. Hope you get back on the road again soon.
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Old 08-14-2017, 02:17 PM   #11
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Well I'm just a bit confused. Is the shop telling you that they've already diagnosed that the issue is the IMSB and they want you to pay $776 now for doing something, even though they didn't pull the filter or drop the sump from the car? Or are they making an (somewhat?) informed assessment that the issue is the IMSB and it will cost you $776 for them to actually do some work(pull and cut the filter, drain the oil and drop the sump) to confirm their initial assessment? I think they could start with the oil filter, and also while the car is on the lift see if they can turn over the engine by hand, then pull the sump.
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Old 08-14-2017, 02:47 PM   #12
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You ought want to talk to this guy if the engine is truly toasted.

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Old 08-14-2017, 03:22 PM   #13
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They haven't charged me anything yet. The 776.00 figure is to (diagnose) the problem by pulling the transmission, which means I'll end up spending way more replacing the IMS, and clutch stuff if they do that; (I'd be stupid not to). And that might not even be the problem. They already came to the conclusion to do this after they claim they troubleshot the problem. This was after they told me they hadn't checked the filter and oil yet.

I'm initially hesitant to start questioning a porsche tech, but I wasn't given any details on how they came to this conclusion. I suspect they are going to charge to check the filter and drain the oil, and I suspect it will be over $100, when I can jack it up and check the filter myself in 5 mins.

The fact that they have not checked the oil filter, or asked me to do this is what concerns me. For me, that brings the integrity of the technician into question. To suspect IMS failure and not check that first?! It makes me want to do it myself and not let them do it, or take it somewhere else. Should I press the issue? Because I can respectfully do so. Still, that's not a position I like to be in; I shouldn't have to tell the experienced one what to do in order to save money. Its like they just want to sell me.

I wish had the thought to record the sound before I pulled over. I'm somewhat sure it was something timing related. I'm thinking I over-revved or something, I did get halfway into the red one shift. Even pushing over 200000 miles I'm not perfect. But I love my engine.
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Old 08-14-2017, 03:48 PM   #14
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Instead of continuing to fret about it, get under the damned car and pull the filter; then, and only then will you know where you stand.
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Old 08-14-2017, 03:50 PM   #15
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Instead of continuing to fret about it, get under the damned car and pull the filter; then, and only then will you know where you stand.
Yes Sir. Ill do it tomorrow.
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Old 08-14-2017, 03:53 PM   #16
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Why don't you do some of this work yourself? Anybody can unscrew an oil filter, cut it open and look at the contents. If the result are inconclusive, send the used oil in for analysis. There are lot of us here who can help you.
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Old 08-14-2017, 06:24 PM   #17
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You can't over-rev the engine if you drive it up to redline. You have a rev-limiter that will prevent you from going into the danger zone and bending valves. If you miss a down shift (5-2 instead of 5-4), you will over-rev your engine and cause problems. But my understanding of your description is you did the former not the latter, so no need to worry about over-revving.
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Old 08-14-2017, 06:56 PM   #18
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Pull the filter, cut it open and see where you are. Or let them do it while you are present. Re beer, these folks work for you. Specialist or not, you are the customer and don't accept whet they tell you as gospel. It's not personal,it business and as the customer you have rights. Be specific and if you BS meter is going off and. They are telling you something you don't like, then move the car to another shop. You car sounds like it has a catastrophic failure and there should be NO guessing about the root cause.

These are good to great shops, then there is the other types.
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Old 08-14-2017, 08:03 PM   #19
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1999 boxster. Brake pedal was sticking. Replaced vacuum booster but now brakes have no play at all. Just a slight touch and they lock?? But main problem now is that the brakes are sticking (not pedal) and preventing the car from moving at times?? Any suggestions.
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Old 08-14-2017, 09:12 PM   #20
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At this point, we have zero proof that it's catastrophic, just speculation. Let's gather and present some meaningful data before we get too far off the deep end.

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