Advantages Fun to drive-decent gas mileage
Disadvantages expensive to maintain
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Porsche 944 Review
I have had two 944s over the past few years. This little review is to forewarn any prospective 944 buyers as to what they might be getting into. I loved these cars. They are fun to drive and somewhat entertaining to work on. If you don't know anything about auto repair or don't want to learn you better have a very good paying job or a sugar daddy. These cars are not cheap to maintain. If you plan on letting a Porsche Shop take care of your maintenance you better just buy a new car. Labor rates on these cars are extremely high and Porsche OEM parts are out of sight.
If you are thinking of buying a 944 you definitely want some documented maintenance history on the car. These models have rubber timing belts and have Zero valve clearance. This means if you break a timing belt the pistons crash into the valves virtually destroying your engine. You can plan on changing this timing belt every 30,000 miles. Plan on changing timing belt gears, tensioner rollers, crank seal, balance shaft belt, rollers, gears every 60,000 miles. You don't have to do this maintenance at these intervals but you are walking on thin ice if you don't. Porsche came out with a rubber centered clutch disc on these models. I have seen these fail with as low as 14,000 miles. Be sure your clutch has been upgraded to the metal type. Clutch job in a Porsche shop can run 2000.00 or more. Just the clutch is around 700.00. I did the clutch job on one of my 944's. It is no picnic. Not like the old american made rear wheel drive vehicles where you drop the drive shaft and pull the bell housing and go at it. The 944 transmission is in the ass end of the car. The clutch is in the front end. You have a torque tube attached to the clutch running back to the transmission. Attached to the trans is your differentials, etc. The torque tube is a PITA to get out of the way. Some of the things that usually have to be repaired/replaced within the first 100,000 miles and an age of 15 years are: motor mounts, shocks, struts, odometer, water pump, AC compressor, DME (brain), all hoses, window washer pump, oil pressure sender, oxygen sensors, fuel sender, fuel pump. etc. Muffler tends to rust out. Some of the things that will need to be repaired due to aging will be: cracked dash, console lid, pitted windshield, radio, rear shade, etc. The car I have now is an 87 model with 125,000 miles on it. I have repair tickets and maintenance records showing that the former two owners spent over 16,000 dollars maintaining this car. This does not include oil and filter changes.
I am a little anal about my cars. I want them to look perfect and run perfect. There will always be something that needs to be fixed on them. Drives me crazy. Presently my cars AC is not working and the odometer doesn't work. These I can fix.
I guess what I am saying is if you have patience, like to work on cars, and have the expendable income to toy around with these, by all means buy one--but spend a little more and get a good one. There are a lot of junk ones out there for sale. If your a student or young married wanting a sporty car to drive buy something else.
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