Porsche 997 Carrera buying guide - Porsche 997 Carrera buying checkpoints

Everything you need to look out for when buying a used Porsche 997.

Porsche 997 Engine

Early 997s have a reputation for lunching engines, but according to Jonas Zambakides, MD of Porsche specialists JZM, the picture is nowhere near as bad as sometimes painted on the forums. The two known issues with the gen-1 (2004-2008) flat-six are scored cylinder bores and the failure of a bearing at the end of the intermediate shaft that drives the camshafts. Both can result in engine failure and a rebuild could cost up to ten grand.

Bearing failures are impossible to detect until they happen, but the good news is they are increasingly rarely seen these days. Scored bores are slightly more common, particularly with the 3.8, but there are clues in blackened tailpipes and/or a ticking noise at idle – if you encounter either, walk away. Peter Morgan of porscheinspections.com uses an endoscope to check for damage.Both Jonas and Peter stress the importance of having the engine’s black box interrogated to check for over-revving and also to confirm the true mileage.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

Gen-2 cars tend not to be afflicted by the above; same goes for the Turbos and GT models, which use a different engine.

Porsche 997 Transmission

Both the six-speed manual and the five-speed Tiptronic are robust. Clutches also last well – up to 50,000 miles.

Suspension and brakes

Check for corrosion on the inner disc faces – caused by lack of use and not easily spotted. Ceramic brakes are brilliant but not really necessary unless you do a lot of track work, plus they’re formidably expensive. Squeaks from the front suspension point to bushes needing replacement – budget a couple of hundred pounds.

Bodywork and interior

It’s common to respray the nose section to cover stone-chips, but if any other area has been resprayed, approach with caution – rust is not an issue with these cars yet. Check the condition of the aircon condensers and coolant rads, which are behind the vents in the nose and can be prone to pinhole leaks (replacement can cost over £1500). The interior is generally durable, but do check that all the electrical systems are working, particularly the PCM functions and PASM dampers.

Specifications

EngineFlat-six, 3824cc
Max power350bhp @ 6600rpm
Max torque295lb ft @ 4600rpm
Weight (kerb)1420kg
Power-to-weight246bhp/ton
0-60mph4.6sec
Top speed182mph (claimed)
Price when new£65,000 (2005)

Parts Prices

Tyres (each)£224.63 front, £354.72 rear, Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Brake pads (front set)£237.50
Brake discs (front pair)£178.59
Front dampers (each)£341.18
Clutch£456
Exhaust (complete, Milltek Sport)£3356.40
Oil filter£20.44
Spark plugs£111.74

Supplied by Design 911. Tyre prices from blackcircles.com. All prices include VAT at 20 per cent.

Servicing

20,000 miles£294
40,000 miles£378
60,000 miles£510 (inc spark plugs)

Prices from JZM Ltd 

What to pay?

At the entry level to 997 ownership, a 3.6-litre Carrera is generally two or three grand cheaper than an S in similar condition. Privately owned C2s with average miles start at around £22-23K, while £25K should get you a good, clean, honest car from a dealer. An early Carrera S starts at around £25K, though a really nice example with a warranty from a specialist will be closer to £30K and upwards.

At the top end, a gen2 Carrera S will be over £40K, with the very best, late cars at around £50K. Buy from an Official Porsche Centre and you’ll also get the added peace of mind of an OPC warranty but you’ll obviously pay more.

Cheaper cars tend to be cheap for a reason – higher miles, incomplete service history, Marmite interior.

Useful contacts

jzmachtech.com (sales and service)design911.com (parts and service)911virgin.com (sales)porscheinspections.com (surveys)hartech.org (engine specialists)911uk.com (everything 911)

Search for your dream Porsche 911 Carrera here

Most Popular

Is this a new Porsche 911 Safari?
Porsche 911 coupe

Is this a new Porsche 911 Safari?

Tall ride height and wheelarch extensions suggest a surprise 911 derivative could be coming
22 Oct 2020
Hyundai i20 N revealed – 200bhp supermini ready for some Ford Fiesta ST baiting
Hyundai i20 hatchback

Hyundai i20 N revealed – 200bhp supermini ready for some Ford Fiesta ST baiting

Long-awaited second N division model set to shake up the junior hot hatch establishment
20 Oct 2020
Alpine to become high-performance Renault offshoot
Alpine

Alpine to become high-performance Renault offshoot

Heated-up Renaults but no A110 replacement for Alpine as it follows in Cupra and Abarth footsteps
21 Oct 2020
Used car deals of the week
Features

Used car deals of the week

We’ve perused the used car pages so you don’t have to. Here’s what caught evo’s fancy this week
21 Oct 2020