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Hi All,

Following my thread listed below, I thought it might be an idea to put a post up where those with experience can contribute in helping encourage others to get this bearing checked out, replaced or decide the hype is internet only and leave it.

Potential Leak When Warm

As some of you might know I purchased my car during lock down on the 16th of April from a dealer with 80,000 miles, one owner from new and as close to FSH as I would like. New brakes all round, new clutch at 77,000 miles and four new tyres.

Like many I researched as much as possible before buying and the IMS bearing came up.

Here are a few things that I did and mistakes that I made when buying this car:

I asked the dealer via email to confirm if the IMS bearing had been changed and the response was "i believe it has been changed as the clutch has been replaced." Mistake number 1.

I noticed a small wet patch under the car whilst I was viewing it and I asked the dealer to check if there were any leaks. This should have been an alarm bell. The dealer put the car on the ramp the following day and emailed to say there are no leaks or wet patches under the car, and what I saw must have been from when they washed the car before I arrived. Mistake number 2 - taking his word for this.

Mistake number 3 was not checking this out myself after buying the car. I have a new drive so any oil drip would show up. The issue being i park the car in the same spot, get out and never look under. Those with very small drives will know what I mean, if you park you car in the same place and every time you leave home you drive it, or use another car, so essentially you never see your drive without the car on it, then after suspecting a problem, then you will never see if its leaving a present behind.

Mistake number 4 was not mentioning my suspicions when the car went to CPS for other works. (Thats another story but the car needed suspension replacements....)

 

So my advice, mainly for those with limited mechanical skill, tools or lack of time. I hope others will chip in.

 

1. If you see any type of fluid under the car when you view it. Walk away.

2. If you can't walk away, get under the car, park it half on a curb for example, and use your phone to film underneath. You can't see much but if it looks like this, walk away. Video of leak

3. Check the service history. If everything is from a Porsche specialist or OPC and the clutch change isn't, assume the IMS hasn't been changed and walk away.

4. When you drive your car on the test drive, drive it hard, get it extra hot, park it somewhere where there is no oil on the floor and wait fifteen minutes. The below photo took about two hours for this to appear, although I suspect it was in the first fifteen minutes. After that the car cooled and probably stopped leaking.

vOAmCO6.jpg

5. If you do end up buying a Boxster and you get any sign of a leak, get it checked out right away. My car leaked, but only left a present when it was pretty hot. A 10 mile drive did nothing, but a 25 mile drive left the above.

6. From what CPS said, the only way to tell is to open the oil filter and see for metal. So if you buy a box from a garage, you might want to consider if they have a workshop asking for them to change the oil and show you the inside of the filter. It will cost them about £30 - £40 for the oil and filter. Offer to pay if needs be, but make sure you get a good look underneath and inside the oil filter.

7. If you end up in the unfortunate situation of an IMS failure, depending on how severely it has failed, and when you have caught it, you could end up with a full rebuild, a bearing welded to the engine (thats a replacement engine) or hopefully what I'm hoping for, no lasting damage and one off one on job. I have bee pre-warned that even after replacement, the engine could go pop later on, so as per my above comments walk away is the best option for the layperson.

 

I am very aware that there is a lot of internet scaremongering regarding IMS failure. If it is not that common, then guess what, when you check under the car, inside the filter etc there will be no signs of failure ad thats great. But if you do see anything. Walk away

Of course, you could use this as a haggling tool.

 

To end my post - Low mileage and one owner from new does not mean a safe bet when it comes to these cars. Or maybe, any used car. I mistakenly didn't look at many other cars because they had more miles, more owners. I chose one of the most expensive I could find, in what I thought was the best condition mechanically (aesthetically a few dramas) and ignored any alarm bell if there indeed were any.

I'll update next week when I here back from CPS at what stage the car is at. I'm hoping for the best as you would, but I believe I've had this leak for 3 months, and it could have been longer so who knows.

 

 

Edited by Cheddar Bob
spelling - probably missed a few too
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So you're going to walk the strines tomorrow? 

Hi All, Following my thread listed below, I thought it might be an idea to put a post up where those with experience can contribute in helping encourage others to get this bearing checked out, re

Bob, if you bought it less than 6 months ago surely you have a claim on the supplying dealer? The info you have given suggests the fault was present when you bought the car which I think makes the sup

25 minutes ago, Cheddar Bob said:

Hi All,

Following my thread listed below, I thought it might be an idea to put a post up where those with experience can contribute in helping encourage others to get this bearing checked out, replaced or decide the hype is internet only and leave it.

Potential Leak When Warm

As some of you might know I purchased my car during lock down on the 16th of April from a dealer with 80,000 miles, one owner from new and as close to FSH as I would like. New brakes all round, new clutch at 77,000 miles and four new tyres.

Like many I researched as much as possible before buying and the IMS bearing came up.

Here are a few things that I did and mistakes that I made when buying this car:

I asked the dealer via email to confirm if the IMS bearing had been changed and the response was "i believe it has been changed as the clutch has been replaced." Mistake number 1.

I noticed a small wet patch under the car whilst I was viewing it and I asked the dealer to check if there were any leaks. This should have been an alarm bell. The dealer put the car on the ramp the following day and emailed to say there are no leaks or wet patches under the car, and what I saw must have been from when they washed the car before I arrived. Mistake number 2 - taking his word for this.

Mistake number 3 was not checking this out myself after buying the car. I have a new drive so any oil drip would show up. The issue being i park the car in the same spot, get out and never look under. Those with very small drives will know what I mean, if you park you car in the same place and every time you leave home you drive it, or use another car, so essentially you never see your drive without the car on it, then after suspecting a problem, then you will never see if its leaving a present behind.

Mistake number 4 was not mentioning my suspicions when the car went to CPS for other works. (Thats another story but the car needed suspension replacements....)

 

So my advice, mainly for those with limited mechanical skill, tools or lack of time. I hope others will chip in.

 

1. If you see any type of fluid under the car when you view it. Walk away.

2. If you can't walk away, get under the car, park it half on a curb for example, and use your phone to film underneath. You can't see much but if it looks like this, walk away. Video of leak

3. Check the service history. If everything is from a Porsche specialist or OPC and the clutch change isn't, assume the IMS hasn't been changed and walk away.

4. When you drive your car on the test drive, drive it hard, get it extra hot, park it somewhere where there is no oil on the floor and wait fifteen minutes. The below photo took about two hours for this to appear, although I suspect it was in the first fifteen minutes. After that the car cooled and probably stopped leaking.

vOAmCO6.jpg

5. If you do end up buying a Boxster and you get any sign of a leak, get it checked out right away. My car leaked, but only left a present when it was pretty hot. A 10 mile drive did nothing, but a 25 mile drive left the above.

6. From what CPS said, the only way to tell is to open the oil filter and see for metal. So if you buy a box from a garage, you might want to consider if they have a workshop asking for them to change the oil and show you the inside of the filter. It will cost them about £30 - £40 for the oil and filter. Offer to pay if needs be, but make sure you get a good look underneath and inside the oil filter.

7. If you end up in the unfortunate situation of an IMS failure, depending on how severely it has failed, and when you have caught it, you could end up with a full rebuild, a bearing welded to the engine (thats a replacement engine) or hopefully what I'm hoping for, no lasting damage and one off one on job. I have bee pre-warned that even after replacement, the engine could go pop later on, so as per my above comments walk away is the best option for the layperson.

 

I am very aware that there is a lot of internet scaremongering regarding IMS failure. If it is not that common, then guess what, when you check under the car, inside the filter etc there will be no signs of failure ad thats great. But if you do see anything. Walk away

Of course, you could use this as a haggling tool.

 

To end my post - Low mileage and one owner from new does not mean a safe bet when it comes to these cars. Or maybe, any used car. I mistakenly didn't look at many other cars because they had more miles, more owners. I chose one of the most expensive I could find, in what I thought was the best condition mechanically (aesthetically a few dramas) and ignored any alarm bell if there indeed were any.

I'll update next week when I here back from CPS at what stage the car is at. I'm hoping for the best as you would, but I believe I've had this leak for 3 months, and it could have been longer so who knows.

 

 

Bob, if you bought it less than 6 months ago surely you have a claim on the supplying dealer? The info you have given suggests the fault was present when you bought the car which I think makes the supplier liable. 

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Whilst buyer beware is always good advice - and that leak looks like it needs attention, I am not sure I see the connection between "it's got an oil leak" and "the IMS is about to die" - it is my understanding that the typical/usual oil leak is RMS (rear main seal) and conventional wisdom says "if the RMS is bad enough to get it fixed, while you are in there, have a clutch and get the IMS bearing checked (to see if its the newer, stronger, but not replaceable without engine strip type) or changed (if it's the type that can be changed).

That oil leak might be RMS or it might be a number of other things, including perhaps "someone didn't replace the crash washer on the drain plug when they did the last oil change" - absolutely get it checked and fixed but I hope nothing major is found.

 

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I think ( but will stand corrected ) a dealer on a second hand car only has to give a minimum of 30 days

Some will give 90 days( there months). ..........

Ouch comes to mind.

If it's just a weep from the RMS , don't panic, buy a drip tray for your garage and carry on.

 

 

 

Edited by stevemag
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Most of the Porkers I've owned have had weeping/leaking RMS's - usually nothing more than a spot or two on the floor. None of them have ever gone pop.

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Here's the legal position https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/the-car-i-bought-has-a-problem-what-are-my-rights

First six months If you take the vehicle back within six months of purchase, the dealer should accept there was a problem when the vehicle was sold and offer a partial refund or to repair or replace it. 

If the dealer doesn't accept there was a problem when the vehicle was sold, they'll have to prove this.

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My first (a 986) had a leaking RMS when I bought it and it was leaking no worse when I sold it (30,000 miles later).  It never leaked enough to require oil top up between oil changed.  It's a PITA but live with it or accept you have a £600 bill to replace a £20 oil seal.

As for getting it repaired under the warranty, you'll be told that as a 'consumable' the oil seal will not be covered and as for consumer law, the car is still fit for purpose.  If it went to court I can't see you winning.  You cannot expect a car which is over 15 years old to be oil tight.

 

Bob,

I put a carpet tile on my drive, the same colour as the drive.  The oil dripped onto that and saved the drive from oil stains.  Treat it as just a minor leak and enjoy the car. 🙂

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26 minutes ago, Paul P said:

Whilst buyer beware is always good advice - and that leak looks like it needs attention, I am not sure I see the connection between "it's got an oil leak" and "the IMS is about to die" - it is my understanding that the typical/usual oil leak is RMS (rear main seal) and conventional wisdom says "if the RMS is bad enough to get it fixed, while you are in there, have a clutch and get the IMS bearing checked (to see if its the newer, stronger, but not replaceable without engine strip type) or changed (if it's the type that can be changed).

That oil leak might be RMS or it might be a number of other things, including perhaps "someone didn't replace the crash washer on the drain plug when they did the last oil change" - absolutely get it checked and fixed but I hope nothing major is found.

 

you didn't read my other post. It is the IMS that has failed.

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20 minutes ago, red rocket said:

Here's the legal position https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/the-car-i-bought-has-a-problem-what-are-my-rights

First six months If you take the vehicle back within six months of purchase, the dealer should accept there was a problem when the vehicle was sold and offer a partial refund or to repair or replace it. 

If the dealer doesn't accept there was a problem when the vehicle was sold, they'll have to prove this.

I've already pursued this line of enquiry. Thanks for the link also

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8 minutes ago, Araf said:

My first (a 986) had a leaking RMS when I bought it and it was leaking no worse when I sold it (30,000 miles later).  It never leaked enough to require oil top up between oil changed.  It's a PITA but live with it or accept you have a £600 bill to replace a £20 oil seal.

As for getting it repaired under the warranty, you'll be told that as a 'consumable' the oil seal will not be covered and as for consumer law, the car is still fit for purpose.  If it went to court I can't see you winning.  You cannot expect a car which is over 15 years old to be oil tight.

 

Bob,

I put a carpet tile on my drive, the same colour as the drive.  The oil dripped onto that and saved the drive from oil stains.  Treat it as just a minor leak and enjoy the car. 🙂

Thanks Araf. Maybe I should have been clearer in post number 1, my IMS has failed and the car is undergoing surgery now at CPS.

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Just to be clear all, the idea of this thread wasn't to discuss whether I have or haven't had an IMS failure, it was for others to read so that they know what an IMS failure looks like.

 

 

My IMS bearing has recently failed. This has been confirmed by a Porsche specialist who sponsors this forum. If anyone thinks it hasn't, I'd welcome you to pay my bill for the repair.

 

Hopefully this thread will provide some help to those looking to buy a 986 boxster and a bit more information into the IMS.

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TLDR, but it almost reads as if a car weeps oil, or the IMSB has not been replaced, then the car will blow up.

 

The IMSB is certainly a weak point on M96/97 engines and has clearly failed on the OP's car. However, the issue does seem to be blow out of proportion - believe this is the first time I've seen an evidenced faillure on this forum. I've actually seen more examples of replacement bearings going kablamo, and grenading the engine - either due to some replacement bearings not actually being any better (or in some cases worse) than the 'weak' bearings Porsche specified and used, or due to incompetence, or shortcuts taken when certain specialists replace them. Due to this, am actually ruling out cars with a replacement IMSB in a friend's hunt for a 996.

Some of the LN bearings are only warranted for four years - not exactly confidence inspiring. Yet there are a number of cars, used as intended (IE, not washed using the two bucket method, put back in the garage, rinse and repeat, but never actually driven), well into six figure mileage on the original IMSB.

The dual row bearings are pretty reliable, but can and do go. An extremely rare occurrence. The single row bearings used between 2001 and 2006 are weaker, and more failure prone, but is still an uncommon occurence - the OP may just be the exception that proves the rule.

The larger single row bearing used between 2006 and 2008/9 seem to have elimiated the problem entirely, and have not actually seen a single failure (but again, nothing is 100% relaiable, right?).

There are a number of specialist who actually advise against swapping out the bearing, if it's fine, and will talk you out of doing it as a precaution - it was never designed to be replaced without splitting the crankcase - although it is possible on pre 2006 cars. Believe Lee at CPS actually talked @villaman out of replacing the one on his 997.

 

Do your research, pay your money, take your chances. There isn't a one size fits all solution.

Engine problems exist among a number of marques. Go and read about BMW S65 / S85 engines.

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As above lots of Pork have a weep/leak from the RMS, but this has nothing to do with IMS failure.

Good luck getting it all sorted. 

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@Cheddar Bob - feel your pain, what a rubbish introduction to Boxster ownership. 

Had similar dealer mealy mouthed assurances and the pain was around £600 for me.  

On a number of subsequent occasions my 986 - the Scabster - has needed some fairly major surgery and every time I find myself wondering why I didn’t just chop it in for something newer.

Well I didn’t do that instead I’ve been tweaking my 986 relentlessly for over 10 years and now it’s very much “My 986” and I wouldn’t change it for another car. 

My message is, essentially, maybe that out the other side of this nonsense you’ll get the opportunity to really enjoy the car and put this episode behind you.

Fingers crossed that’s what happens. 

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1 hour ago, Cheddar Bob said:

Thanks Araf. Maybe I should have been clearer in post number 1, my IMS has failed and the car is undergoing surgery now at CPS.

Fair enough.  In that case, how was a dealer to know the IMS was weeping and not the RMS - which is a common 986 trait?  Don't beat yourself up, there's no way that you could have known the IMS was failing either.  I also wouldn't discount a perfectly good car in other respects.  Investigate if necessary but don't discount it. 🙂 

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There is the IMS sticky thread. 

Terminology is easily mixed up. There is an IMS shaft, bearing and seal. It is not as common as you think to change any of these. Don't take any dealer word for it if they say it's been changed. 

To inspect the IMS or RMS you have to remove the gearbox so any dealer who crawls under or puts it on a lift and tells you within a couple of hours that the IMS is ok hasn't checked. 

It isn't common to check the filter. Especially if you use an all marques garage. This is a relatively recent phenomenon. 

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IMS cover seal could leak, but general prognosis is IMS bearing noise then bang, either or it’s all getting replaced regardless 

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@Cheddar Bob I'm confused.  You have an oil leak and that has been diagnosed as an IMS (intermediate shaft bearing failure)?

Normally when the IMS lets go it grenades the engine or at the very least starts making a noise and you might catch it before it causes total engine failure.

An oil leak is often caused by a RMS (rear main seal) failure.

Do you have both?

Edit to say, an oil leak on a potential purchase wouldn't necessarily cause me to walk away

Edited by topradio
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My car in in at the moment and the specialist has pointed out a leak at the rms /IMS point. He's keen to open it up and replace the IMS but its been leaking as long as I've had the car (10 years) and not gone pop yet.  The problem I have is the cost of the bearing with a new clutch (because why wouldn't you?) is pretty close to the possible loss on the car if it fails totally and has to be broken. Tricky decision. 

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There are various IMS bearing options. You could do a Pelican OE style replacement bearing. This is circa £150 the other aftermarket solutions eg the LN ceramic are from around 3 times as much. £150 as a proportion of a clutch change is nothing. 

Several years ago Revolution were one of the first to advertise a package deal and it was not much more than £1k for an LN and clutch change. That's what I had. 

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@Cheddar Bob I am really to sorry to read about your story, I hope the fault isn't catastrophic.  Good luck with the repair and please keep us posted.  

 

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7 minutes ago, edc said:

There are various IMS bearing options. You could do a Pelican OE style replacement bearing. This is circa £150 the other aftermarket solutions eg the LN ceramic are from around 3 times as much. £150 as a proportion of a clutch change is nothing. 

Several years ago Revolution were one of the first to advertise a package deal and it was not much more than £1k for an LN and clutch change. That's what I had. 

He's recommended the eps bearing 

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6 minutes ago, mike597 said:

He's recommended the eps bearing 

I've never really read of anybody using it. £565+VAT on Design911. I guess not much change out of £1500 or more of doing a clutch too. 

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Hi

I bought my car on the 20th April. I took a different tack and bought a cheap one (2003 2.7 Tip facelift cat D 130k miles), then spent a couple of months taking it apart and putting it back together again. A COVID project to keep me busy. And it certainly has. The first thing I did was take the box out and change the IMS. The one in there was fine IMHO, but I changed it anyways.

A new bearing is less than 10 quid and will do the job just fine. Just buy one without the seals, or take the outer one off a sealed unit. Much has been written on this. All in my opinion of course.

Best of luck getting it sorted!

Berni

Edited by Berni29
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