The Current Epidemic

I’m not really sure what else to call it really. Unfortunately in the coming years, we are going to be seeing a lot of this stuff happening. This is one of the reasons I highly stress a PRE purchase inspection before buying a used Porsche, especially a water cooled one. With Boxster and 996 prices at an all time low, many uninformed people are buying these cars up without knowing the real cost of ownership and potential for major expense with the IMS issues. Just as there are uninformed buyers, there are just as many uninformed small car dealers who are swiping these things up at wholesale auction and pushing them to the consumer without really knowing how to buy a good example.

This Boxster came in from Texas for a Post Purchase Inspection. Unfortunately, it had one of the worst leaking RMS/IMS’s that I have seen in a long time. The entire bottom of the car was coated in oil….so badly that it was even washing off the cosmoline undercoating. I never like giving the bad news, especially in cases when it is totally unexpected.

“Well do you think the dealer knew?” Yes, of course they did, they couldn’t possibly miss the giant oil wash under the car, especially since they had just had it serviced. Oh and that check engine light that they said they fixed, yeah, they just reset the light, so that is back on as well……

Covered in oil…and I had completely cleaned this area the week before we left for RA.

Cleaned parts next to not so cleaned parts. I will spend about 2 hours just washing oil off parts I remove.

Once the tranny was out, it was obvious that the RMS and IMS were puking oil. I just hope that there isn’t a case half problem and that we can get this sealed up.

IMS flange. This will get the LN upgraded bearing.

While in there, the Oil Separator and oil fill tube were also leaking, so no easier time than now to replace.

And when I get done with this one, I have another one waiting in line……

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Jeff Whealen

October 29, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Is there no way to prevent these IMS from failing? Have you heard any reports of the upgraded IMS bearings of failing?

I guess it is true, there is no such thing as a cheap Porsche. The cheapest Porsche will be the most expensive to own.


    October 29, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    No, there really is no way to 100% prevent the IMS issue. There are some things you can do to try and prolong the health of the bearing such as changing oil more often, driving the car on a regular basis, and changing the IMS bearing at the now schedule interval. The upgraded bearing is an improvement over the stock design, but can still fail like the regular bearing, though it should be able to withstand more abuse due to the design. I have had two failed LN upgraded bearings come through the shop, though I don’t know who installed them. Porsche has released that the bearing is now a 30k mile maintenance item. Typically the IMS bearing issues are with low mileage cars.

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