After 12 years of owning my Porsche and adding about 42k miles I'd have to say this car has been more reliable than all my other vehicles. If you want to own a Porsche, the 996 is quite a bargain. I never get tired of driving my 19 year old Porsche 911. I am the third owner. Many repairs and routine maintenance is easily accomplished by myself.
If you want to pay $15-$20k more for a 993 or a 997, you can. But for $18-$20k you can own an amazing world class sports car by getting a 996. Other than the controversial headlights and the need to replace the IMS bearing, there is nothing above this car to debate. These cars will hold their value, and as the rest of the collector car world continues to go up and up in price, chances are good that a welll cared for 996 will go up in the coming years too.
The Achilles Heel of this great car (1999 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 cabriolet . 6 speed manual and black on black) is the IMS problem coupled with leakage of the rear main seal .. I f the IMS has been retro-fitted with an aftermarket kit (barrel rollers and an oil conduit instead of the original poorly wearing and poorly lubricated ball bearings which can cause a timing problem and catastrophic engine failure). the timing chains and timing chain adjusters are in good working order and rear main seal is not leaking or has been recently changed ,you should have a virtually trouble free car and probably at a greatly discounted price..I recommend this car but with those reservations . This car performs , steers and handles like a dream since I addressed those problems ( it wasn't cheap to do but worth it ). Happy shopping! ...George Update July 2018...No new problems ..The car performs 100%. Love It !! George
This is a totally unloved car (except by the folks who own one that is). Hated mostly by the Porsche aficionados who are stuck with their air cooled bangers. Don't get me wrong, those pre 1998 cars are terrific and my respect for them is immense but cut us some slack here people. Porsche would have continued to build AC's if they could but the little issue of heat transfer and subsequence limitation of performance, lead Porsche down the only possible avenue, a water cooled flat six. I live in hope though, that one day the AC's will realize their folly and love the WC's as much as we love them. The 996 and onwards is a Porsche, is a Porsche is a Porsche. Ask yourself one question. Would Ferdinand have objected? I don't think so.