Displaying items by tag: 996
The importance of routine annual servicing.
Everyone knows that a car needs to be serviced to keep it reliable and to avoid expensive repairs.
However there are two occasions where Porsche owners may believe that their car does not need servicing every year.
“But the service book says to service the car every two years.”
Many more modern Porsche models specify two yearly servicing in the service book for the car, which is fine for the first four years of the car's life, as the factory are focussed on the car lasting beyond the duration of the factory warranty. Beyond this, you are on your own.. However we will explain later in this article why this can be a big mistake.
“But I only cover a few miles per year.”
Because often servicing is specified in the service book as yearly or every other year, but also at a set mileage, many people believe that if they have only covered 200 miles in a year, that the car does not need a service.
However, chemistry within your engine will turn your oil from a protecting fluid, into a toxic chemical soup which can literally eat your engine components alive.
Engine oil over two years old is where chemistry becomes your enemy!
Once you start your engine with fresh engine oil a process begins where the oil will be contaminated with hydrocarbons from the combustion process, even if the engine was only started once, when the engine oil has been mixed with these chemical compounds for a year, the oil will have broken down and the chemicals will have become more toxic to your engine.
The engine oil will have begun life as a relatively neutral compound, neither overly acidic or caustic. However hydrocarbons from combustion, entering the oil past your piston rings will have begun to change all of that, some of these compounds only need moisture to become even more toxic.
You may not realise but when your engine is stopped and cooled, any moisture from humidity in the air will collect and condense within the engine and drain back into the oil, more humid air will enter the engine and this also will condense. This moisture will kick start other chemical reactions within the engine oil and especially reacting with the combustion by products within the no longer fresh engine oil.
When the engine is next started, fresh chemical reactions begin, additives within the oil can be destroyed and the chemical make up of the oil within the engine changes further.
This vicious circle is worse with infrequently used cars, as regular use will cause the moisture to evaporate away and have less time to damage the molecules and composition of the engine oil.
This problem is also made worse the longer the engine oil is within the engine, one year is fine, but two years can mean that the engine oil has become very toxic for your engine.
Another problem with the changing chemical composition of the engine oil is that these processes can produce sludge, varnishes and other unwelcome byproducts within your engine.
A good example of this are the late Porsche 996 and early 997 engines which share the same engine oil controlled hydraulic solenoids, in the 996 models with yearly servicing these rarely fail, however in the 997 models with two yearly servicing they fail on a reasonably regular basis, likewise with the cam followers. Repairing these consequences of the two yearly services, even when that is what the service book calls for, can costs thousands of pounds to repair!
Beyond the engine oil, many other items are lubricated during a service, and these lubricants are designed to be re-applied every year at most, which means without regular lubrication the components will fail. A good example are the gear selector cables on Boxster and 911 models, on the pre 2005 models (with yearly servicing) they rarely fail, however on the post 2005 models (with two yearly servicing) we now find we need to replace them relatively frequently.
Another example would be that every 996 or 997 which has suffered bore scoring issues that we have seen, has been one specified with two yearly servicing!
A conspiracy by the manufacturers?
Some would say this is a conspiracy by the manufacturers to make more money on selling parts and repairs out of warranty.
However we believe they are just trying to make the car's seem more attractive to new car buyers due to low servicing costs.
Whatever the reason, the person who suffers is usually the person who owns the car when it is over 5 years old, by which time the damage of infrequent servicing are already done and getting worse every time the pattern continues.
There are many other consequences of not having your Porsche serviced every year.
Another good example might be suspension bushes, if replaced as soon as they become aged or worn, the cost of repairs is just the bushes and labour. However if they are left until they have symptoms obvious to the driver the damage will also be to the tyres, which we all know on a Porsche are not cheap!
The solution to this is to always try to buy a car which has been serviced every year, even if the model is specified by the factory to be serviced every two years, and never buy a car which has had the servicing deferred because it had not covered many miles between services.
Beyond this, even if the car has skipped services in the past, whatever model it is, have it serviced every year and follow the advice of your Porsche specialist of any additional items which need replacement, such as drive belts, water-pumps, coolant, brake fluid, brakes etc.. Not following this advice could cost you thousands of pounds if neglected.
A service is a service wherever it is performed, right?
A last note, it is important who you choose to service your Porsche. Any garage can change the oil in your Porsche, but a true specialist will check much more during the process and know what to look for.
Checking the old engine oil for consistency, smell and inspecting it under a powerful light will warn of many other potential issues with the car, such as early signs of bearing failure, fuel pressure, fuel injector condition and much more, all much cheaper to repair before their issues become more chronic and expensive.
Expert eyes will be looking for common problems with each model and year that an average garage will miss, which will cost you much more money later, if not spotted now.
“What else to do?”
Other than all this, enjoy your Porsche, we have found conclusively over the years that the cars which are not used on a regular basis and not driven hard, will suffer more acute problems than those driven hard on a regular basis.. Think of your Porsche as a race horse, it needs to stretch it's legs on a regular basis, otherwise it will stop being a race horse and turn into a stiff old nag!
The Porsche security system in the Porsche Boxster 986 models (up to 2004) and the 996 models upto 2005 can be problematic. When faulty they can cause all kinds of strange behaviour, including winding windows up and down, the car not locking or unlocking with the remote or in some cases with the key even, as well as the car failing to start or any combination of these problems.
To help the Porsche community get to the bottom of problems they may be experiencing, we have written this 996/986 Security system 101 article.
Q: Do all Boxster 986 and 996 models have a factory fitted alarm and immobiliser?
A: All 986 and 996 models do have an immobilser, nearly all of them have a combined alarm and immobiliser (I am yet to see one of the rare ones which has the immobiliser only)
For the purposes of this security system primer, we will assume that all the 986 and 996 models are the versions with the combined alarm and immobiliser.
Over the last 20 years since we first started repairing the Boxster and 996 models, we have had to replace hundreds of key remotes and alarm control units, the details of the inner workings of both are an undocumented mystery with Porsche releasing very few details for obvious reasons.
Without having the proper Porsche PST2 (Porsche system tester two) official diagnostic computer, or one of the later PIWIS or PIWIS2 computers, normally only available at Porsche main dealers, or super-duber independents like JMG Porsche, a new alarm control unit or key remote can not be programmed to work with your car.
Even with one of these super amazing factory tools, you also need special numbers, unique to each car, to program the new control units, previously only available from the Porsche main dealer network.
By the time that 2015 rolled around, Jon Mitchell at JMG Porsche was getting a little bit frustrated. Previously every single component within a Porsche car he had intimate knowledge of just how it worked, from the software within the control units, through to the the engines and transmissions, what he did not like was that it seemed that there was a lack of information about the Porsche security systems, even through the official main dealer information systems... So he set about reverse engineering them which has unlocked all of their inner secrets, but for security reasons, only some of them will be ever released to the wider public.. Hopefully though, these details with help other Porsche technicians and Porsche owners understand the security systems in these cars a little better.
So, in essence, without giving too much away.. How does the system work?
There are three main elements to the security system.
- The Key with its key head remote (the black bit on the end of the key with buttons)
- The Key with its transponder (This is buried in the black plastic remote at the end of the key)
- The Key alarm and immobiliser control unit, both housed in a black plastic box, under one of the front seats, waiting for a bath (more on this shortly!)
The key remote head buttons, and the circuit board under them, along with a battery, are there to lock the car (also setting the alarm in the process) and to unlock the car (and unsetting the alarm in the process), apart from on some versions opening the front or rear luggage area, or in others opening the roof. This is all they do (in simple terms)
The transponder chip, completely unattached to the alarm remote other than being housed in the same black plastic blob with buttons, does one thing.. When you put the key in the ignition, a form of magic (known as inductive loop technology) causes the transponder to have a quick chat with the immobiliser side of the alarm control unit, causing the immobiliser to in turn have a chat with the engine management system, and allow the car to start.
The combined alarm and immobiliser control unit, sitting under one of the seats, apart from unlocking and locking doors, immobilising the engine, stopping the windows from working, allowing the windows to wind up and down, and in some models controlling what the roof is allowed to do, also has one other mission in life, detect water, and once detected, panic, act confused or even keel over and die.
Now to learn a bit more about what makes the alarm control unit to fail, before we move onto the remote controls and their problems.
Under the left hand seat (in a right hand drive UK spec car) sits the alarm control unit, which also houses the nerve centre of the immobiliser.. It sits in a slight depression of the metal floor of the car, which is a bit of a problem, because any water that makes it's way into the car will find that depression and fill it up, damaging the alarm control unit in the process.
Traditionally, the alarm system at this point, will be kaput.. It may still work a bit, it may be doing some strange things such as partially working, intermittently working or the car might just be acting possessed. The alarm might start going off for no apparent reason, the windows might start rolling up or down without you ever pressing the buttons, you might even come back to your car and find it locked, even though you were sure you had locked it, or the remote controls might stop working.
In the past, a kaput alarm would have had one cure... Drying out the water (if it had not done it anyway), solving the leak (often on Boxsters the roof drains) and replacing the alarm control unit and the key remotes, sometimes this could cost anything from £1500 upwards in parts and labour!
Following reverse engineering the security systems, we can in many cases repair the alarm control units (and the leak) and have you one your way again, without having to buy a new alarm control unit, key remotes and paying for programming, we can even do this remotely by post or courier.
Another solution, but one which is very much not recommended, would be to buy a used alarm control unit, keys and engine management control unit from a breaker.. However, this is a very big false economy, as you will no longer be able to unlock the immobiliser or engine management control unit to program a future alarm remote, which is inevitable, without then needing to buy a new alarm control unit, key remote and engine management system, or buying another set from a breaker and throwing the previous ones away. Not only this, but a Porsche specialist or main dealer will no longer be able to perform some specialist tasks to your systems, such as programming them with new software which is released on a regular basis (Such as for running the new fuels with higher ethanol content, as is happening right now!)
What kills the alarm control units?
Water usually. In particular with Boxster models you can almost garauntee that whenever it rains, we start to get calls from Boxster and 996 owners with either misfires, cars that will not start or car's which are behaving unusually.
Typically with Boxsters, 996 models with sun roofs or targa roofs, blocked drains or poor seals cause water to run often un-noticed under or behind the carpet and end up filling the small wells or depressions in the floor where the alarm control unit lives. Either killing it completely, or even just making it do unusual things such as the alarm going off intermittently, the windows doing odd things, the car not starting (either failing to run, or the starter motor not working) among many other failure modes.
In the rain when we get calls about a 996 or Boxster (or other models) misfiring, it is usually down to cracked coil packs.
Next, the remote controls can play up in a number of ways...
If you find your Boxster or 996 alarm has stopped remotely unlocking and locking the car via the buttons on the remote control, there could be a number of problems causing this apart from a bad alarm control unit.
The Remote Battery.
In the alarm key remote is a small battery, often, replacing the battery will solve problems with the buttons not locking or unlocking the car, try this first. If you have not replaced your batteries in a year or two, they probably need doing anyway!
The Remote control's computer chip has frozen or crashed.
A few years ago Porsche were so swamped with warranty replacements of the key remotes that they issues a technicial service bulletin (TSB) explaining how to reset a remote control which had crashed or frozen, the process is simple..
- Remove the battery from the key remote
- Insert the battery the wrong way round, flip it, so the writing is facing the other way. Do not worry, this will not damage the remote.
- Press the unlock button continuously while jumping on one foot for sixty seconds (Jumping on one foot is optional but helps pass the time and helps with fitness)
- Flip the battery back around the right way.
- Try the remote control again, if this works you can be sure that the remote had crashed/frozen and you successfully reset it.
The Remote control has become out of sync with the alarm control unit.
Through reverse engineering the software inside the alarm control unit, we were able to de-cypher how the alarm control unit and the key remote talked and how the rolling codes worked.
Rolling codes are not top secret information, they are used in just about every alarm system remote control in the world, both in systems designed by car manufacturers as well as with after-market car alarm system manufacturers. In essence, every time you use the remote control to lock or unlock the car, the alarm system and remote control have a little chat and do not disclose all the details of a very special long number that they both have stored, they just ask one-another mathematical questions about part or parts of the number, and if both of them feel happy about the conversation, they then agree to lock or unlock the car.. Once they have done this, they both take their number and encrypt it slightly to change it for next time, but without ever again disclosing to the other what the new number is.. It should always match as they will have mashed up the number is a very specific way. However, sometimes problems occur.
Potential causes of the alarm system and remote control going out of sync are numerous, they can include the weather, radio interference (such as even a taxi driving past with the driver using a two way radio) or even you being just on the cusp of being close enough or too far away from the car when you used the remote.
In rare cases like this, the key remote or the alarm system may have mashed up it's code to a new version, without the other also doing the same. This is in effect what causes the remote and alarm going out of sync.
Anyway, as we mentioned, at JMG Porsche we reverse engineered the alarm system hardware and software, so discovered a little known and undocumented process to re-sync the alarm control unit and the key remote.. There is a proviso, if the two have gone out of sync by too many steps, the damage has been done and the two will never be able to be sync'ed up again, even with our amazing abilities at JMG Porsche.
The process to re-sync the remote key head is as follows.
- Put the key manually into the door lock (it does not matter if it is already locked or unlocked.
- Press the lock/unlock button and hold it in.
- Turn the key to the lock position and back to the middle position five times and return to the middle position one last time.
- Let go of the lock/unlock button.
- Press and hold in the lock/unlock button again.
- Turn the key to the unlock position and back the middle position five times and return the the middle position again.
- Let go of the lock/unlock button.
- Press the lock/unlock button in again and hold it in.
- Turn the key to the lock position and back to the middle position five times and return to the middle position again.
- Take the key out of the door lock and try the buttons.
If the buttons now work, you have successfully re-synced your alarm system control unit and keys! Well done, go and pat yourself on the back and drink a well deserved beer/coffee/tea/vodka (delete as appropriate) while you reflect on how the key remote might have gone out of sync... Are you a persistent key in pocket fiddler? or did you let your young son or daughter play with your keys? If so, stop it! Or at least now you know how to fix it if it happens again.
However, this will only work if the key remote and the alarm control unit have only stepped a couple of steps out of sync with the alarm control unit, if you are a supper "key in pocket fiddler" or your child has played with the buttons to such an extent that the codes have rolled more than a couple of times, then the key may now be so far out of sync, nothing will bring it back.
Faulty Remote Controls
They are pretty robust units really, but even a Porsche key head remote controls can eventually fail, here are some failure modes.
- Main circuit board failure - This could be as simple as a "dry joint" needing re-soldering, or a crack in the board which may or may not be repairable.
- Button failure - Usually the buttons fall apart because the plastic outer casings button area cracks, causing the button inside to move slightly sideways, rather than just in and out. These can be repaired with a new or used button soldered into the old ones location, and new upper outer shells are available to fix the actual cause.
- Water damage - The remote control key heads have a rubber seal, if when you change the battery this is not re-fitted or if it breaks with age, damp gets in and can destroy the remote. Usually you will see water damage on the circuit board.
- Designed in planned obsolescence - This I feel is a little bit naughty of the designers, or a very simple honest mistake in design. Once the code in the remote has rolled a pre set number of times, after literally hundreds of button presses, it will not be able to roll any more due to how the software was programmed. The alarm system however will continue to roll the code into infinity, so eventually they will go one step out of sync and the love affair between your remote key head and the alarm control system will be over forever.
What can JMG Porsche do to help?
Apart from writing this article so that owners, enthusiasts and even Porsche technicians can understand the system a little better, we have a few things that we can do in house to solve your alarm system problems.
What we and the Porsche main dealers can do, as well as probably a few specialists.
- Programming a new alarm key head remote to your existing alarm control unit.
- Programming a new alarm control unit along with new key head remote controls.
- Diagnosing a problem with the alarm control unit or key remotes.
What we can do that the main dealers can not do and potentially no one else in the world can do in some cases!
- Repairing and refurbishing your current key head remote
- Repairing and refurbishing your current alarm control unit
- Programming a new alarm control unit with your old key remote keys that worked with the old one
- Re-programming a used second hand alarm control unit to work with your car and your key remotes
- Re-programming an incorrectly programmed control unit to be a new virgin unit again, or with the correct data (Useful for other Porsche technicians who have hit the wrong button or experienced power failure during programming)
- Extracting and decoding the unique to your car's Porsche security data needed to program a new control unit, from an old dead control unit
- Extracting and decoding the unique to your car's Porsche security data when Porsche do not have it available (such as with the RUF manufactured Porsche models where Porsche do not have the right data)
- Programming a new alarm control unit on the bench, without ever seeing your car in person, we just need your old alarm control unit, keys and ideally your DME (Engine management computer) Which is useful for those who want to save the labour costs of a Porsche technician to remove the old control unit and fit a new one.
What we can not do..
- Program any random key head remote to your car, it needs to have been previously working with the old control unit at time of failure
What we will not do, even if we can!
- Send you out a new alarm control unit and key remote for a car with just the chassis number unless you provide adequate proof of ownership (A legal authority document such as a log book/V5 (UK) title deed (USA) and a the address of this document has to match the postal address we will send it to.
- Educate or pass on what we have learned from reverse engineering the security systems to any third party other than the information on this page. A software engineer knows the decryption routines but does not know what they are for, an electronics engineer knows the methods to extract the required scrambled data but again does not know what the circuit boards do, and only Jon at JMG knows the full process and processes the repairs. Anyone trying to approach Jon asking or probing for more information will result in the Police being informed. No documents, printed or in data form exist to help anyone else crack the system, so unfortunately the exact process will die with Jon.
What can be done to protect a 986 or 996 from the alarm control unit getting water damaged in the first place?
- Good idea - Getting JMG Porsche to install their 9x6 alarm system drainage port modification to your floor, they let the water out, but do not let it in!
- Good idea - Getting JMG Porsche to install their 986 improved roof drainage system to your Boxster
- Good idea - Routinely check your roof drains for leaves and general debris which accumulate there and remove and clean them, or ask your specialist to do this a couple of times a year for you. It only takes half an hour to an hour in labour and can save you a fortune!
- Bad idea - Fitting a sealed box or bag around the alarm control unit, these rarely are 100% water tight and will often allow water in, but not let it out, so you end up with small amounts of water accumulating over time in the sealed enclosure, but with not enough ventilation for it to evaporate away, until eventually there is enough water to damage the control unit, which can happen in cases where the amount of moisture would not have been enough to cause damage on its own.
And what to never do?
Never, every buy a "set" or "kit" containing an alarm system control unit, DME (engine management computer) and key remotes from a Porsche salvage business and fit them to your car.
- The software in the DME may not be right for your engine, causing all kinds of unseen problems.
- The identity of your Porsche will not match the Porsche database IPAS Codes, meaning that you will NOT be able to program new keys without having to buy a new alarm control unit, DME and key remotes, at a massive cost. Which with a used key remote, is very likely to happen at some point, potentially very soon!
- You will not be able to have your DME reprogrammed over time, such as the roll out of high ethanol fuels which is happening now..
- Your Porsche identity in your control units will not match your car's actual chassis number, you may encounter insurance problems or even end up in hot water with the Police and have to prove the identity of your Porsche is that of the chassis number, such as via a VIC check, which your Porsche will fail due to chassis number mismatches in the various control units versus the number plates worn and the chassis number stamped into the shell. (There have been a number of Porsche that have ended up on Q plates and a dodgy HPI history due to this kind of problem!
A last amusing fact.
Someone at Porsche decided after the 996 and 986 models that perhaps putting the alarm control unit in a depression in the floor, likely to fill up with water was an especially bad idea, so in the 987 Boxster and Cayman models, as well as the 997 models, they moved it away from the floor level and renamed the system as the Porsche Access System (PAS)..
This was a great idea..
Until someone else at Porsche, potentially looking for a good place to put the new "Rear Body Control Unit" (that was a new feature of these cars), had a eureka moment and decided to put this control unit in this really useful empty place under the seat... So if you own a Porsche 987 Boxster, Cayman or 997 and are wondering why your rear lights are doing odd things (brake lights on all the time, reverse lamps on even when not in reverse) or the roof has an interest in suddenly moving up or down, even if locked in position, snapping control rods in the process, then your rear body control unit has probably flooded in exactly the same way that the old alarm control units used to on the earlier model... That is progress for you!
At this time of year, JMG Porsche get many more phone calls and emails regarding faults caused by the Porsche factory alarm system, which are often connected to damp weather
Unfortunately the traditional repair is often a new alarm control unit and new key remotes, which can become an extremely expensive repair of between £1000 and £1500. But do not panic, there is an alternative!
At JMG Porsche we spent much of 2015 and 2016 reverse engineering the Porsche alarm system and keys, and we believe that we are potentially the only people in the world, outside of the companies who developed the original systems for Porsche, who understand fully how these systems work. The result is we can not only repair these units, but beyond that we can also save you money by recycling your old keys to be used with your repaired or even new alarm control unit!
If your old control unit can be repaired, we can repair it with new components.
If your old control unit is beyond repair, we can even re-program your old keys into the new control unit (A worldwide first!)
Not only this, for the DIY mechanics out there, but we can even perform these repairs by mail-order, so wherever your car is, we can provide a repair service, or reprogramming of your car, without even needing to see the car!
If you are suffering from any of the following issues, please make sure you get in touch with us first!
* Door windows raising or lowering by themselves
* Alarm system going off for no reason
* The roof trying to move by itself, possibly even breaking pushrods in the process!
* Brake or reverse lights being illuminated when they should not be
* Doors not unlocking by use of the key
* The car failing to even try to start (No starter motor noise)
* The car failing to start and run (Starter motor noise but the car does not start)
Any of these faults can be caused by the alarm control unit!
Your Porsche 996, 997 or 991 is in the best of hands at JMG Porsche, where even with servicing we go beyond the factory schedule.
The factory schedule for many models called for a service every two years, which was fine when the car was new and to make the car last beyond the factory warranty without issue. However we strongly recommend that all models are serviced annually, alternating between a minor and a major service each year. Click here and read our article for more information.
Here is a breakdown of our servicing (Phone for Turbo, GT2 and GT3 Prices).
Water cooled 911 Minor Servicing includes
Pre service test drive (JMG Additional included item)
Fault code analysis
Replacement of the pollen filter
Replacement of the oil filter and engine oil (Porsche approved oil)
Factory specified inspection of - the vehicle under side, engine compartment, coolant hoses, coolant (level and condition), radiator or radiators, air intake, brake system, brake hoses, brake lines, drive shafts, tyres, locks and latches, electrical equipment, horn, windscreen wiper washing system, power steering and fluid level, lighting system check (including headlights and indicators)
JMG Inspection of additional items which are common issues as this model ages (JMG Additional included item)
Final test drive to check all major safety, comfort and mechanical systems for correct operation.
Final fluid and levels check
Dashboard electronic service light reset
Courtesy interior vacuum and wash (JMG Additional included item)
Water cooled 911 Major Servicing includes
All items from minor servicing, plus...
Replacement of the air cleaner element
Check condition, lubricate and adjust if required - fuel system, parking brake, clutch, steering gear, tie rod ends, axle joints, running gear, exhaust system, suspension, seat belts, throttle actuation and auxillary drive belt.
- Numerous additional JMG Specific inspection and adjustments which are model specific, added as the car's get older.
All services are performed with Porsche approved Quantum/Fuchs oil and genuine OEM filters.
The importance of routine annual servicing.
Routine annual servicing will benefit your car from being inspected by an expert every year, which will certainly mean that many problems are spotted long before they turn into an expensive problem, a simple seal for example, costing only a few pennies, could be all that needs to be spotted and rectified to avoid a complete engine failure.
Beyond this, on more modern models where the servicing is specified by the factory for every two years, there is evidence that that has decreased the long term reliability of components. A good example of this are the engine oil hydraulic components on a Porsche 997 being the same parts as used in a Porsche 996, yet the 996 rarely suffers from variocam solenoid failures, but those of the 997 are frequent and can cost thousands of pounds to repair, just for the sake of regular yearly servicing and oil changes.
Some people only cover a few miles per year and therefore believe their car will not need regular annaul servicing, however this also can cause problems.
We have many menu prices for Porsche repairs of each model which are usually likely to cost more if performed with our hourly rate, call us for a price.
For anything else our repairs hourly rate is £79.95 per hour.
Menu price diagnostic appointment - £149.20 (Two hours)
Porsche cars are especially sophisticated and complicated cars, therefore diagnosis needs to be performed by expert Porsche specialist diagnostic technicians, the cream of the crop, even for what might seem like very simple faults.
With all faults, there will be a problem, such as a bad relay for example, as well as this there will be a cause, perhaps this cause would be what caused the relay to become faulty, which in itself could be abstract or unusual, or could be as simple as age, but it is still important to be reasonably sure of the cause, before new parts are installed, otherwise the new parts will also swiftly expire!
Even with the most expert technicians it is impossible to predict what the fault may be, until we have spent some time both diagnosing what is faulty and what has caused that item to be faulty, so to be professional at what we do, in some cases we may need to spend a longer duration of time with our investigations.
Unfortunately, this can mean that diagnosis can be very time consuming and therefore expensive, as well as difficult to schedule in our busy workshop.
With this in mind we have developed a clinic system for diagnostic visits, where we charge £149.20 for a two hour appointment. During which the following will happen.
The customer will be able to talk to the diagnostic technician in person to explain the fault.
The diagnostic technician will endeavour to recreate the fault to experience it in person, perhaps including a test drive with the customer.
The diagnostic technician will then begin tests to narrow down the fault, which may include using the Porsche diagnostic computers, or even our special diagnostic equipment not available elsewhere, studying the engineering documentation, technical service bulletins as well as running manual tests on or off of a vehicle lift.
In the case of the problem being simple, it may even be possible that within this phase the problem may be found, the cause clear and perhaps even a repair made.
Once complete, before the two hour appointment is exhausted, the technician will spend time with the customer explaining what he has found, as well as what additional diagnosis may need to be performed, how long that may take, and what potentially could be the causes of the problem, concluding with an appointment made for when the further diagnosis or repairs can be made.
Between the end of this visit and the appointment for continuation of the repairs or diagnosis, the car can be taken away, or left with us by mutual agreement.
ALL PRICES ARE PLUS VAT
Interesting service and repair information for the water-cooled models.
Service interval - Some models specify a yearly service in the owners handbook, some specify two yearly, now that several years have passed since the first models with two yearly servicing were introduced we have observed that those models are more prone to needing expensive repairs, such as bore failure, valve actuator faults which we are only able to assume is caused by less frequent servicing. We would strongly recommend that all Porsche models are serviced yearly or every 10,000 miles to avoid expensive repairs and to potentially catch issues early, where they may be less expensive to repair.
Engine failures - Not nearly as common as horror stories on the internet would have you believe, but there are still worthwhile ways of avoiding unexpected large engine rebuild costs. One of which is proper servicing by a real Porsche specialist, which may not need cost as much as you think. There are also some ways to avoid unexpected bills by following some of our other advice bellow.
Brake fluid - Did you realise this should be changed every two years? Not doing this can cause problems with expensive parts within your car, such as the ABS pump or any part of the brake hydraulics due to water contamination as the brake fluid actually sucks moisture out of the air (hydroscopic), so even if the car is not used, the brake fluid must be changed every two years!
Water Pump - Often thought of as a part which fails with age, mileage and quite suddenly, leaving you stranded, our expert technicians are used to inspecting these during services, and so may spot tell tale signs of failure long before they become an issue, so saving you from the indignity of being broken down at the side of the road.
IMS Bearing - The famous intermediate shaft bearing (IMS Bearing) is an important bearing within the engine. These can fail on some models and cause catestrophic damage to the engine, sometimes costing thousands to repair. However there is a better design of bearing available, which our engine specialists at JMG Porsche have developed some cost effective ways to install and remove the risk of this kind of engine failure. Typically, the most cost effective time to replace this bearing with the better design is at the same time as a clutch replacement. However if you do not need a clutch now, or own a tiptronic model, then we can perform this job at any time.
RMS - Rear main seal - Something else you might see horror stories on the internet about, these used to be a real problem and Porsche re designed the part several times to arrive at the current design which is the only one we at JMG Porsche use. Like an IMS Bearing replacement, this is best performed during a clutch change, however on tiptronic models or on cars not needing a clutch, they can be changed at any time.
Transmission services - Not clearly noted by Porsche for when the transmission should be serviced and this vital expensive part of your car should not be overlooked. Just like your engine, the transmission is filled with oil/transmission fluid, which over time degrades. Not only this, but not many realise that many Porsche transmissions also contain a filter, which becomes clogged over time and can starve your transmission of lubrication, causing expensive repairs. We recommend all Porsche transmissions are serviced every 4 years or 40,000 miles, whichever comes soonest.
Diagnosis - Long has gone where cars had limited electrical equipment and a wiring diagram could be found in a manual from Halfords. Now the Porsche models have multiple separate computer systems, which all talk via networks, and many sensors to feed those computers with information about the world around it all tied together with many hidden wiring looms of thousands of wires and connectors. This can mean that in the event of your Porsche suffering an electrical issue, it is important that a Porsche specialist auto electrician is available, as we have at JMG Porsche. It is also important to understand that sometimes, finding the fault will not be as simple as plugging in a computer.
Air Oil Separator - If your Porsche is producing some smoke, especially when it starts up in the morning, it could be that the air oil separator has failed rather than your whole engine being damaged. This simple device is designed to allow your engine to pass polution regulations and should not cost the earth to replace, at least much less expensive than rebuilding an engine!
Drive Belt - Many of you may have had cars where a drive belt, timing belt or cam belt needs to be changed at a regular interval. Your Porsche model has a belt which should be changed every 4 years. Failure to do so can cause instant overheating, loss of power steering and damage to the engine very suddenly. We recommend you have this changed at least every 4 years.
Heavy clutch? - A heavy feeling clutch which is stiff to use is not normal on a Porsche and often a sign that the clutch has almost worn out. Ignoring this can cause further damage, such as to the dual mass flywheel and clutch fork.
Alarm system - At JMG Porsche we are experts of all Porsche security systems and have reverse engineered all the various control units. This not only means we can program new alarm control units and keys to your car, just as the main dealer can, but in some cases we can repair your old alarm control unit and keys, or in some cases recover your old keys to be used on the new alarm control unit, which is a service unique to JMG.
Alarm system causes - In most cases the cause of alarm control unit failure is water damage, we can perform modifications to your Porsche model to help mitigate the chances of this happening to your Porsche.