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Porsche 911 cost of maintenance

I am considering purchasing my colleague?s 1999 Porsche 911 Carrera. It has low miles and seems to be well taken care of, except that it may need a new clutch.

1) I have never owned a sports car, and was hoping someone could shed some light on the cost of ownership of such a car (i.e. maintenance, replacement parts etc.) It has less than 30K miles on it.

2) I am wondering how 911s handle in snow compared to other rear wheel drive cars.

3) I go to a competent and trustworthy mechanic, but have been told that it would prudent to have the car serviced by a 911 specialists mechanic. Does this have merit?

Thank you in advance!

The car is over 10 years old, so you can expect some repairs. Parts and labor are both higher than “normal” cars, about 20 to 30% on average per repair.

Not too bad in snow, but you’ll need winter tires. The car is low to the ground and won’t do well in deep unplowed snow.

A Porsche specialist is a good idea for repairs. A good shop can handle oil changes and routine maintenance.

IF the car really needs a new clutch that is a red flag. Either the owner for 30K miles is a novice driver and very tough on the clutch. Or, the owner is an aggressive and hard driver and was tough on the clutch. A clutch should not be toast in 30K miles. Was the car raced? or taken to “track days” at the race track?

Get a mechanic’s inspection before buying the car.

  1. Maintenance is higher due to parts. You need to find a qualified mechanic to work on the car.

  2. A 911 is wonderful in the snow with a set of quality winter tires. Use to and buy wheels/tires mounted. The only issue is clearance but it is not prudent really to be on roads with 5"+ deep snow.

  3. A general mechanic can check most things. However EVERY car has known issues. Majority of general mechanics have never touched a 911 due to low sales #'s. So they don’t know the common problems and how to identify. Even if you use a general mechanic for repairs/maintenance after it is still very prudent to have a knowledgable Porsche mechanic for checkover.

I agree. Needed a new clutch after only 30k miles is a huge red flag. Either the car has seen heavy track us or your is terrible a driving a manual transmission. Get the car inspected first and get some estimates on the price of a new clutch + the install, you’ll likely be mortified when you find out how much it costs.

Otto, you might find a Porsche forum and post these questions, the 911 has a fanatical following and lots of folks will share their ideas. Needing a new clutch at 30k is a bad sign, these were pretty stout, I’ve not heard of this being a common need. You will want a Porsche-specific mechanic, the engine is very different that just about everything else. And yes, both the parts and the labor are quite expensive, with some maintenance items requiring lots of man-hours=$$$$. You might go to a Porsche dealer and quiz the service department.

So, it’s a GREAT sports car, but an expensive one to maintain.

p.s. - do not buy this if it needs a clutch, have the current owner fix it. If he won’t, there are plenty of other 911s out there.

There must be a car that costs more to own and operate, but off hand, I can’t think of which one that might be…A Ferrari maybe…

Just for chuckles, ask your friendly Porsche mechanic what the clutch replacement will cost…

Drive it in the SNOW??? Get serious…

Um, if you have to ask about the maintenance cost. . . can you really afford it? Would you be shocked at a $2000 tune up?

There’s nothing wrong with a 911 (my dream car) but they will be costly to maintain and the huge red flag as mentioned is this car needing a clutch after less than 30k miles.

This means the owner has been driving around with his foot on the clutch pedal all of the time (not so bad) or he’s been driving it clean into the pavement. (bad)
Price that clutch job and you may decide to walk away from this.

Check out the replacement cost of the engine – close to $31K. Everything that needs replacing on the 911 is going to be costly. In addition, because weight is of concern all parts are manufactured of light weight material; are sized to only handle the designed load; and will not tolerate ham handed mechanic technique. Thus, using a Porsche specialist is a wish choice.

On the other hand, I bet you would be paying a bundle to purchase this car, even though it is 11 years old. So you shouldn’t be bothered by the high cost of parts and labor to keep it up.

But, when you get out on Highway 1 between San Francisco and the Russian River, you will appreciate what a nice sports car the Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe is. Go for it – its only money which may well be worthless tomorrow.

Yeah, I would be shocked. Why don’t you break that down for us, you know, itemize?

We can start with 10 hours of labor stipulated, now how do you account for $1000 in parts? Just curious.

Reportedly, an admiring bystander asked Commodore Vanderbilt how much the huge new Vanderbilt yacht had cost.
The Commodore’s reply was…“If you have to ask, you can’t afford it”.

Just drop in at your friendly Porsche dealer with an itemized list for spark plugs, wires, filter, special oil, specials fluids, necessary gaskets, etc, etc.

Has your colleague replaced the tires? How much did these cost? How long do tires last on 911’s? Are they run-flats or do you have a spare? Stay away from run-flats.


Yes, thank you for your helpful reply. I love you as one man loves another. What I was asking for was precisely that itemized list. Special oil? Special fluids? Gaskets are now part of a tuneup? Typically wires aren’t part of a tuneup, are they? Call it $100 for sparkplugs. Where does the rest of the $2000 come from (leaving aside the issue of not doing your own tuneups)?

Itemize now, or forever hold your piece[spelled that way on purpose].

The Porsche dealer will find a way to replace ignition wires if there are any. The word Tuneup is a generic term for work needed as a car ages. On my cars the transmission has a gasket, the valve covers have gaskets, the water pump has a gasket, etc.

I really meant if you are that curious, you should just pick up the phone and call the Porsche dealer. That’s what I do before my car needs work in order to get at an estimate what it will cost.

We are trying to help the OP here and warning him about the pitfalls of owning such a car. If OP asked for these things I might call the Porsche dealer, who is just down the road.

This is not an entertainment website, but I see career possibilities for you on Saturday Night Live!

Wow, I can TOTALLY relate! I’ve almost bought a Porsche twice: first time, a “bargain” from a co-worker (turned out, it needed a valve job: $8,000 at the Porsche dealer) and second time from a kid who trashed it (new gearbox - big bucks - can’t remember the price). Porsche clutches typically last 100,000 miles or so - and he’s already burned it out? Wow. Oh, another Porsche story: my son (back before the market went to heck) bought a “nice” Porsche - only problem: the “check engine” light was on - he took it to the dealer - the motor was WRECKED - kid who owned it before (doctor’s son & 16 years old!) didn’t change the oil & didn’t do the maintenance, so the motor was trashed! Conclusion: beware of used Porsches! The are complex, expensive (put aside at least $2,000 a year for maintenance) and, if not maintained by the book, will go bad quickly. A good, honest, book to read, if you’re serious about buying one is: “Porsche 911 Buyer’s Guide” by Randy Leffingwell - it will tell you ALL the pitfalls of ownership, not glossed over - if you STILL want to buy a Porsche after reading this book, well, at least you’ll know what you’re getting into!

“The only way to be certain you’re buying a solid car is to take it to an authorized dealer or qualified independent service facility for a prepurchase inspection. Make an appointment and expect to pay between $300 and $750 for this examination. A Porsche dealer service technician will provide you a printed list of problems and estimated repair charges for anything they find. You can take the list back to the seller and use it to adjust the selling price accordingly… Everyone consulted for this book also suggests you set aside a monthly ‘allowance’ to cover routine and not-so-routine expenses. If you save $250 a month, then when the annual minor and major service bills arrive for $2,500 to $3,000, you won’t feel it.” --from Porsche 911 Buyer’s Guide


You backed up Bing on his/her casual assertion of a $2000 cost for a tuneup, then you twice suggested that I do the research to support the claim that I’m questioning. Why don’t YOU pick up the phone and call a Porsche dealer and get an estimate for a tuneup? Why do you get an estimate over the phone, and would you go to a mechanic who would give you phone? Maybe you would, if “tuneup” had a commonly accepted meaning, but according to you it means “anything”.

Or you could just make up an itemized list. I wouldn’t know the difference.

Where does “$2000 for a tuneup” come from?

Based on what I saw the single Porsche mechanic that worked next to me at my last BMW dealer do and charge I would not have any argument with someone that said this car will cost 2000.00 every 2 years (considering a low 20k in those 2 years)too maintain. Porsche mechanics don’t come at 100.00 any more (more like 175.00), not even KIA mechanics come at 100.00 a hour any more (at least not where I have worked.

1000.00 a year to maintain this car, I bet plenty of 911 owners would say “sign me up NOW” for that deal.

Edmunds says the mileage adjustment is $1340. If it doesn’t have a huge number of options, you shouldn’t pay more than $17K for it. This could be a perfectly wonderful car for occasional driving if the owner took great care of it and he is realistic about the value. Don’t use it as a daily driver.