2003 Porsche 911 Review from North America

2003 Porsche 911 Carrera

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.6 / 10
Distance when acquired60000 miles
Most recent distance65000 miles
Previous carBMW X5

Summary:

An amazing car with serious engine reliability issues

Faults:

All the below issues occurred with 6 months of owning the car:

1) Mysterious clanking noise accompanied by engine failure light - cost me 3K to diagnose and fix (including compression tests). Further research online pointed to an impending RMS issue.

2) Gearbox/synchro transmission problems. Popping out of 4th gear. Estimated to cost $8K-$12K to repair.

3) Alternator went bad.

4) Fan belt went bad.

5) As part of general maintenance, I replaced the oil and filter, front/rear brake pads, shocks and tires.

General Comments:

I bought the car off lease and it had all the records. Unfortunately I ended up paying approximately $7,000 in repairs in 7 months.

I thought I was done when the shifter started popping out of fourth gear. I had a 997 shifter installed, along with having the gear oil changed in hopes of solving the problem. Unfortunately it ended up being a gear box, and/or transmission issue. I later found out from numerous blogs and forums online that this issue is very common with the 996. I was quoted $8,000 to replace and install a new gearbox and $12,000 to fix worn synchros in the engine/transmission. That would have made my total repairs $16,000-$20,000 for less than 7 months of ownership. No thanks.

I unloaded the car. What a waste. Stay away from all 996. I heard that the 993 and all previous iterations of the car are great. Unfortunately this was my third Porsche (1984 944, 2000 Boxster, 2003 911) and once you drive a Porsche you are hooked. I am now looking at purchasing a 1985 911. The 3.2 911 Carrera series from 1983-89 are supposed to be the most reliable Porsche series ever. Wish me luck.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th November, 2008

23rd Jun 2009, 10:45

Do you think that your problems with your Porsche was the result of abuse from the previous owner?

17th Nov 2009, 02:23

If you've not purchased your 3.2L 911 yet, please be on the lookout for lower mileage models, for after 200,000 miles, the motor needs to be gone through, and rebuilds are quite expensive. Other than that, happy motoring.

Average review marks: 5.6 / 10, based on 1 review