14 Feb 2018

Porsche 997 service: Simple but perfect Carrera

Wonderful Porsche 997 Carrera S in for service at Tuthills. Are 997s worth buying, given the engine issues?

This early Porsche 997 Carrera S manual recently came to Tuthill Porsche for a routine service. The eye-catching 911 with its comprehensive driver spec was a welcome visitor to the workshop, proving that not all Gen 1 997s were ordered in Atlas, Meteor or Slate Grey.

Finished in special order Orange with extended black leather trim, the spec included heated Sports Seats, Sports Exhaust, Porsche Active Suspension Management and Sports Chrono Plus. Draped in a cloak of winter road dirt, this 2007 example had clearly been used and enjoyed en route to the workshop.

Fears over the reliability of 3.6-litre and 3.8-litre engines fitted to the 997 and 997 Carrera S respectively are not without foundation. Early models can suffer from intermediate shaft bearing problems, as well as cylinder bore scoring and some concerns over other issues, all of which would require a full strip and rebuild to address properly. While intermediate shaft issues were cured by the addition of a bigger bearing from the 2007 model year, bore scoring continued to be evident in later cars and many 911s of this age have had their engines replaced at some stage.

Some experts believe that up to 10% of Carrera-engined cars were affected by the engine issues and advise buyers to look only at the Gen 2 cars with DFI engines. However, we believe that a well maintained 997 Carrera with an engine replacement somewhere in its history is always worth a look as a potential used purchase. It is really a case of cost vs risk and what you can buy for your money.