future owner


Asked by Aug 23, 2009 at 01:18 PM about the Porsche 944

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

I'm currently lusting after a 944, and hope to purchase one within the next few years. I was just wondering f anyone had any advice? I'm aware they can be a money pit if you buy a poorly maintained car.
Also, are these cars fairly easy to work on yourself? I would assume so considering their age, but I just wanted some perspective on that.
What are some common problems? I've seen timing belts and something with the AC that causes the seals in the engine to be faulty, and other things that come with buying an older car.

And of course I'd love to hear all the awesome parts of owning one of these gorgeous cars!

10 Answers


Okay, let's start with the awesomeness ... this car is a head turner. It is NOT a fast Porsche, nor even a particularly desirable one, but it has a distinctive flare that grabs attention. I just had mine painted, and people can't stop staring. It's almost a distraction in traffic. Now the downside. I have not found it realistic to work on the car myself. That could be because I don't really have the time. Others will probably answer differently. Any older Porsche is a money pit, well maintained or otherwise. I've had mine for 13 years, and searched for almost 2 years before I bought this particular car. Plan to budget about $2500 a year for maintenance and repairs. A low year for me is $500. A high year (2004, when I had a series of major maintenance and repairs done at once) was $8000. Mine is no longer on the road every day, however. Timing belts are not a problem, per se. The issue is that you need to be vigilant about changing it. One thrown belt can destroy an engine. I change mine every 30,000 miles or so. When you change the t-belt, have the water pump done (and vice versa) because the tear down is the same for both. Cost is in the $1300-$1500 range for both done together by a certified mechanic. The only problem I've had with my AC is keeping it working. There's a "door" in the heating system that regulates heat/air flow. It's prone to malfunctioning. The "door" itself is like $10, but the repair is about $250 because the whole dash has to come off. Right now, I have no a/c, which makes driving in Florida miserable in August. Mine has also been a constant battle with the lights. I've been chasing ghosts in the electrical system for years. Seems to be an issue with German cars. Other than that, I would say shop carefully. Finding a well maintained 944 is tough these days. Look out for bad body work and leaks due to neglect or faulty repairs.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Buy the latest model you can and get involved with the Porsche clubs in your area. Labor is the killer with Porsche repairs so if you can get work done for a case of bud light by asking for help from club members, do so. Parts surprisingly aren't that bad in many cases if you stay away from the dealer. pelicanparts.com will become your friend :-D

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Wow, the paint job is gorgeous! Thanx a lot. I'm definitely prepared to sink money into this car, and I'm hoping I'll have the initiative and time to fix things myself, which would be very helpful with saving some dough. I always have my eye open for them. Another Q. Where would you recommend looking for one? I've just been surfing craigslist.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Yeah, I've noticed the '86's seem to be in a lot better shape than the 83's and 84's around. More expensive though!lol. But yes, I looked at some basic parts online and found that they're not too much more expensive than the car I have now, aside from certain things of course. When I buy one I'm really hoping to do the work myself, as long as I'm confident I wont mess anything up.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Thank you on the paint job. I located mine through a local dealer. Craigslist or eBay might be good places to look, too.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

www.clarks-garage.com and www.rennlist.com are good sites with a ton of information. Clarks garage givse more or less a step by step shop manual and a FAQ about maintaining these cars. Rennlist is a forum of basically Porsche obsessed people who have had almost every problem there is to have and know how to fix it. I have a 1990 S2 and no it is not easy to work on. Actually the most pain in the neck car i have ever worked on lol. You need a lot of special and oddball tools. The engine bays are rather cramped and having a lot of various sized extensions, universals and wobbles makes things a whole lot easier. Somethings on these cars that should be simple to do isnt without a manual due to trying to find all of the bolts. Having a mirror on a stick is very helpful in that aspect.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Hey Flo, if you tell me exactly which lights you are refering to that you are having issues with i might be able to give you the answer. Also what year and model do you have? Having a shop diagnose electrical issues is really really expensive. First thing i would recommend when talking electrical on these cars is clean your grounds...all of them. There are a few ground points in the trunk, there are more under the dash and i believe others in the passenger foot well. There are also grounds in the engine bay near the headlights on both sides(at least in my s2 there are). A common problem with early 944 and 924 is the fuse box. The fuse contacts and the connectors to the back of the fuse block tend to corrode and give intermittent problems. If it is the head lights acting up and blowing out then it is probably the grounds. If it is the head lamp motor acting funny some white lithium grease on the rotating joints helps, the other problem is usually the relay on the headlight motor itself. Adding a heavier ground from the battery to the frame seemed to help out my s2 electrical system too.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

I'm selling my sister in laws Porsche for 2500

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Why do they hate rain? Drove home in a minor storm and she would not start the next day

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Down the street from the Porsche factory is a Ale Hall by the name of "The Corner Office" and the engineers of the Porsche 944 spent a lot of time in the Corner Office. It seems like they got their most inspiration at the end of the day.

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