2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Long-Term Test

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Street Legal

March 11, 2014

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera

An out-of-state shopper contacted us about the 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera and asked if we would take it in for a pre-purchase inspection. No problem, we said. If you're considering spending $83K for a used car, it's a good idea to give it a thorough inspection by an expert. We told the shopper to set up an appointment and we would take the car to the dealership.

Unfortunately, it turned out to be a bit more involved. Three dealerships turned down our shopper's request. Finally, Circle Porsche in Long Beach, agreed to do the inspection. Here's what they found.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: How Are The Bolsters Holding Up?

December 23, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Getting comfortable in our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet takes no time at all. Last spring I drove the car from Los Angeles to New York, so I know exactly how I like the seat.

Many miles have gone by since then, but the Porsche's interior looks the same with one exception. The leather lateral bolsters on the seat-back cushion are showing some wear. And oddly the outboard bolster on the passenger-side seat is significantly more worn than the one on the driver seat. In fact, I think a little leather conditioner would eradicate most signs of wear on the driver-seat bolster.

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2013 Porsche 911: Tire Pressure Overboost

December 20, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

We recently took our 2013 Porsche 911 in for its 20,000-mile service. After the service, however, we noticed that the tires were aired up (at 39 psi front / 46 psi rear) to beyond max spec. We don't recall entering the 911 in a fuel economy contest or wanting to see how it handled the slalom with contact patches the size of silver dollars, so we checked into this.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: 20,000-Mile Service

December 11, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

We're coming up on a year in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, and we ticked over the 20,000-mile mark recently. That meant it was time for the 20,000-mile "Intermediate" maintenance visit. I took the car to the Newport Beach dealership from whence we bought it. Now, after Beverly Hills, Newport Beach is renowned for its pricey ways, but here's why I decided to go there.

There are three Porsche dealerships within a 20-mile radius of where I live. The closest is very small, and while the service team is great, you need to schedule your maintenance and repair visits well in advance. Loaner cars are nearly impossible to get there. Another store has a bigger service department, but in this case, the dealer couldn't supply a loaner car. So Newport Beach Auto Center it was. The service department is huge, and Rick, the excellent service advisor, said a loaner would be no problem.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: 15,000-Mile Milestone

August 15, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

We've had our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet for 8 months and just a smidge more than 15,000 miles. In that time it has been overall an impressive drive, and nearly trouble-free to boot. The only unscheduled stop attributable to the car has been for a check engine light related to the fuel tank diagnostics module.

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2013 Porsche 911: Checking the Oil

June 24, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

This morning I checked the Porsche's oil level. The entire process took about one second and I never left the driver's seat.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Check Engine Light Solved

June 7, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

If you remember, Beverly Hills Porsche told us the cause of the check engine light on our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet was a faulty tank leakage diagnostics module. Apparently this has been an all-too-common problem on the 991 generation.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Check Engine Diagnosis

May 17, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

I took our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet to our friends at Beverly Hills Porsche. And like some kind of automotive Dr. House, assistant service manager Erik rendered a probable diagnosis without even looking at the car.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Check Engine Light Message

May 17, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Takahashi noted it first, and although I always hope for spontaneous remission of car problems, there has been no self-healing here. The "check engine" light in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet continues, in its very correct German way, to covey both information and blame.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Check Engine Light

May 16, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

So here's a check engine warning that popped up in our long-term Porsche 911 when I started it up this morning. The 911 ran just fine on the drive into the office, so hopefully it's nothing major. Stay tuned.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: 10,000-Mile Service

May 6, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

At the tail end of the road trip, our 2013 Porsche 911 Cabriolet declared that it needed service.

This wasn't an unexpected warning as we knew full well that the 911 requires a service at 10,000 miles and another one at 20,000 miles. We're not going to argue with a 10,000-mile service interval.

So, I got back to L.A., washed the car a few times and then called Beverly Hills Porsche, our closest dealership, to set up an appointment.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Road Trip to L.A., Maintenance Required

April 25, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

This maintenance minder popped up somewhere in Colorado letting me know that our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet was due for its first service in 900 miles.

Sorry, buddy. We're just over 1,000 miles from home and I'm not stopping early for an oil change.

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2013 Porsche 911: Winter Tires Installed

March 28, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

By now you already know we picked up a set of winter tires to drive our 2013 Porsche 911 to New York.

The install was easy. We showed up when the doors of our local shop, Stokes Tire Pros, opened. And since we were first in line, the tire exchange was done in no time.

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2013 Porsche 911: New 19-Inch Shoes and Winter Tires

March 22, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

When we were shopping for our brand new, long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Cabriolet, we were railroaded into getting the 20-inch wheels. No, we weren't bullied by salesmen or anything like that. We just didn't want to special-order a car and everything we found here in SoCal was equipped with the optional 20s.

Once we had the tire pressures set correctly the ride was vastly improved, but we still would have preferred the 19s.

Then Porsche read our comments, stepped up and offered us a set of 19-inch wheels to try on our 911. We agreed, but only if they'd throw in a set of winter tires.

Initially, we wanted all-season tires. Turns out that all-season tires don't exist for the 235/40 (f) / 285/35 (r) Porsche 19s. Winter tires, like the Pirelli Sottozero Serie II, do.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Flat Tire, Part 2

March 12, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

After we had our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet towed to Allen Tire in Lake Forest to fix its flat left rear tire, the next question was: What caused it?

As mentioned in the last update, I had spun the tire around, felt all the tread and couldn't find a nail or anything obvious. After some air was added, it turned out to be a cut sidewall. How exactly it got cut is not clear, but the fact the rim is also slightly bent points to hitting a pothole.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Flat Tire, Part 1

March 11, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

It's never a good thing to see your 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet on a flatbed.

And few things are more miserable than realizing you have a flat tire. Especially when you're trying to get the long-term 911 to California Speedway to re-test it with lower tire pressures.

Since there is no spare tire onboard our 911 Cabrio, I called Porsche Roadside Assistance for a tow to a dealer or tire shop. The person I spoke with was very courteous and generally helpful. She said a flatbed tow truck could be there within an hour and 40 minutes, which seemed exorbitantly long to me. She also said they would tow it to the Porsche dealer in Newport Beach, which is quite a ways from my place in south Orange County.

And she made no promises as to how quickly the car could be ready once it got to the dealer.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Tailpipe Recall

March 5, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

A recall has been issued for the Porsche 991. Seems the company discovered that the tailpipes of cars with the standard exhaust (but not the sport exhaust) can detach. This was observed in test cars in Porsche's fleet. So far, no reports of incidents in the field.

The recall applies to cars manufactured from March 7, 2012 through November 12, 2012.

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2013 Porsche 911: These Gauges Never Go Out of Style

February 25, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

Much like the exterior design of the Porsche 911, the design of the gauges hasn't changed much over the years. Porsche's designers still put the tachometer in the middle and everything else wherever its fits. It works, so why mess it up?

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Octane Requirement

February 21, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Apparently, nobody at Porsche realizes that a good chunk of the USA technically does not meet their minimum requirement of 93 octane.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Hokey Key Fob

February 14, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

I don't know. I guess this was cute for a couple of hours when it was introduced (I think) on the Panamera, but today the car-shaped key fob for our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 strikes me as...a bit cheesy.

The romantic notion of yesteryear was that the Porsche owner would plop his keys on the top of the bar with pride. With this thing, no way. It feels weird when operating its buttons, and sticking a miniature car into the key slot in the dashboard? Let's just say that this key fob would be the coolest thing in the world to the fifteen year-old version of me.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Sport Chrono And Visibility

February 12, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Dashboards are heavily textured not simply to look good, but so that they don't reflect light. It's an easy way to avoid casting reflections on the inside of the windshield. They're also almost universally colored black for the same reason. Dashboards of race cars are 'flocked' to take this visibility-maximizing approach to the next level.

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2013 Porsche 911: Still Not Sure About PDK

February 8, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

An automatic in a Porsche 911? Yeah, it sounds bad, but only if you've never used Porsche's PDK automatic. It makes a very good case for the demise of the manual transmission.

Shifts from the PDK are ridiculously quick, well timed, and every bit as firm as you can muster with a manual. And that's before you even put it in "Sport" mode. You can try to confuse it and nothing happens, it does the right thing anyway.

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2013 Porsche 911: Adding Oil and Water in the 991

February 6, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Hanging the engine off the back end of the 911 creates its own unique set of challenges, like basic maintenance for one. The engine in a 911 is buried so deep within its bodywork that you're lucky to see so much as a single hose let alone any of the actual mechanical parts that make this thing run.

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013 Porsche 911: Unique Light Design

February 5, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

You might have noticed that all Porsche 911's look somewhat alike. Sticking to a design formula for over 50 years will do that to most people's sense of recognition.

The new 991-series 911 is way different. It's bigger, faster and has an all-new interior. Of course, none of that really helps when you spot one on the road and start thinking to yourself, "Is that a new 911? Or just one of the fourteen models that came out in 2012?"

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The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Porsche 911 in VA is:

$210 per month*
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