- Sun Aug 28, 2022 3:18 pm
Indeed they are! My mechanic (whom I rarely see and periodically drop in on just to let him know I'm still alive) says that the reason mine is so reliable is because I drive it versus letting it sit for weeks at a time.
There have been a couple major issues over the last 22 years and ~117k miles.
As for repairs, right after buying the car, I had to replace the struts, control arms, and the clutch broke (the clutch disk itself was fine but Porsche, in their infinite wisdom, thought building a clutch around a rubber puck instead of the normal spring center was a good idea). I didn't have that much DIY experience so that was an expensive fix.
A few years later, the head gasket went at about 100k miles. Also painful, but I got it replaced with what was supposed to be a better one.
After that, I became much more adept at working on the car. The timing/balance shaft belts are still more temperamental than they should be (replace every 4-5 years with an initial retensioning at ~2k miles and every 15k miles after that) but I've done the job over a dozen times (on my car and others' cars) so it's about 4-5 hours for new belts and 60-90 minutes for a retension. Learning how to do the belts is, IMHO, the single biggest thing to make 944 ownership cheap. :)
In 2012, I had the AC redone because I didn't have the tools to tackle that job and the expansion valve (which is what was bad) was very hard to get to. I think that was about $1.2k and the AC has been great ever since.
In 2019, I refreshed the major suspension components. My shocks/struts were worn, as were the tie rods. The OEM Boge shocks/struts were out of production so it was significantly cheaper to buy adjustable Koni Yellows all around. I modified the old strut housings for the Konis, replaced the tie rods, replaced the castor blocks (I scored a NOS set years ago for $5!) and rebuilt the ball joints (turns out they didn't need it but I was already in there) and the whole thing, including alignment afterwards, was about $1,200 or so.
Everything else has been basic stuff with the afore-mentioned need for finicky timing/balance shaft belt maintenance which, thankfully, is now cheap and easy to do (less so if you have to pay someone).
Now that I'm able to do most of the needed work, the car costs me an average of about $200/year in parts but every 3-4 years I have a more expensive year.
'87 Porsche 944; '90 Mazda Miata (sold); '10 BMW 328i xDrive; '98 BMW 323is