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Monday, 18 December 2017 14:30

Importance of yearly servicing

The importance of routine annual servicing.

 

Everyone knows that a car needs to be serviced to keep it reliable and to avoid expensive repairs.

However there are two occasions where Porsche owners may believe that their car does not need servicing every year.

 

But the service book says to service the car every two years.”

Many more modern Porsche models specify two yearly servicing in the service book for the car, which is fine for the first four years of the car's life, as the factory are focussed on the car lasting beyond the duration of the factory warranty. Beyond this, you are on your own.. However we will explain later in this article why this can be a big mistake.

 

But I only cover a few miles per year.”

Because often servicing is specified in the service book as yearly or every other year, but also at a set mileage, many people believe that if they have only covered 200 miles in a year, that the car does not need a service.

However, chemistry within your engine will turn your oil from a protecting fluid, into a toxic chemical soup which can literally eat your engine components alive.

 

Engine oil over two years old is where chemistry becomes your enemy!

Once you start your engine with fresh engine oil a process begins where the oil will be contaminated with hydrocarbons from the combustion process, even if the engine was only started once, when the engine oil has been mixed with these chemical compounds for a year, the oil will have broken down and the chemicals will have become more toxic to your engine.

The engine oil will have begun life as a relatively neutral compound, neither overly acidic or caustic. However hydrocarbons from combustion, entering the oil past your piston rings will have begun to change all of that, some of these compounds only need moisture to become even more toxic.

You may not realise but when your engine is stopped and cooled, any moisture from humidity in the air will collect and condense within the engine and drain back into the oil, more humid air will enter the engine and this also will condense. This moisture will kick start other chemical reactions within the engine oil and especially reacting with the combustion by products within the no longer fresh engine oil.

When the engine is next started, fresh chemical reactions begin, additives within the oil can be destroyed and the chemical make up of the oil within the engine changes further.

 

This vicious circle is worse with infrequently used cars, as regular use will cause the moisture to evaporate away and have less time to damage the molecules and composition of the engine oil.

This problem is also made worse the longer the engine oil is within the engine, one year is fine, but two years can mean that the engine oil has become very toxic for your engine.

Another problem with the changing chemical composition of the engine oil is that these processes can produce sludge, varnishes and other unwelcome byproducts within your engine.

 

The proof.

A good example of this are the late Porsche 996 and early 997 engines which share the same engine oil controlled hydraulic solenoids, in the 996 models with yearly servicing these rarely fail, however in the 997 models with two yearly servicing they fail on a reasonably regular basis, likewise with the cam followers. Repairing these consequences of the two yearly services, even when that is what the service book calls for, can costs thousands of pounds to repair!

Beyond the engine oil, many other items are lubricated during a service, and these lubricants are designed to be re-applied every year at most, which means without regular lubrication the components will fail. A good example are the gear selector cables on Boxster and 911 models, on the pre 2005 models (with yearly servicing) they rarely fail, however on the post 2005 models (with two yearly servicing) we now find we need to replace them relatively frequently.

Another example would be that every 996 or 997 which has suffered bore scoring issues that we have seen, has been one specified with two yearly servicing!

 

A conspiracy by the manufacturers?

Some would say this is a conspiracy by the manufacturers to make more money on selling parts and repairs out of warranty.

However we believe they are just trying to make the car's seem more attractive to new car buyers due to low servicing costs.

Whatever the reason, the person who suffers is usually the person who owns the car when it is over 5 years old, by which time the damage of infrequent servicing are already done and getting worse every time the pattern continues.

 

There are many other consequences of not having your Porsche serviced every year.

Another good example might be suspension bushes, if replaced as soon as they become aged or worn, the cost of repairs is just the bushes and labour. However if they are left until they have symptoms obvious to the driver the damage will also be to the tyres, which we all know on a Porsche are not cheap!

The solution to this is to always try to buy a car which has been serviced every year, even if the model is specified by the factory to be serviced every two years, and never buy a car which has had the servicing deferred because it had not covered many miles between services.

Beyond this, even if the car has skipped services in the past, whatever model it is, have it serviced every year and follow the advice of your Porsche specialist of any additional items which need replacement, such as drive belts, water-pumps, coolant, brake fluid, brakes etc.. Not following this advice could cost you thousands of pounds if neglected.

A service is a service wherever it is performed, right?

A last note, it is important who you choose to service your Porsche. Any garage can change the oil in your Porsche, but a true specialist will check much more during the process and know what to look for.

Checking the old engine oil for consistency, smell and inspecting it under a powerful light will warn of many other potential issues with the car, such as early signs of bearing failure, fuel pressure, fuel injector condition and much more, all much cheaper to repair before their issues become more chronic and expensive.

Expert eyes will be looking for common problems with each model and year that an average garage will miss, which will cost you much more money later, if not spotted now.

 

What else to do?”

Other than all this, enjoy your Porsche, we have found conclusively over the years that the cars which are not used on a regular basis and not driven hard, will suffer more acute problems than those driven hard on a regular basis.. Think of your Porsche as a race horse, it needs to stretch it's legs on a regular basis, otherwise it will stop being a race horse and turn into a stiff old nag!

Wednesday, 27 September 2017 19:59

Porsche alarms..

At this time of year, JMG Porsche get many more phone calls and emails regarding faults caused by the Porsche factory alarm system, which are often connected to damp weather

Unfortunately the traditional repair is often a new alarm control unit and new key remotes, which can become an extremely expensive repair of between £1000 and £1500. But do not panic, there is an alternative!

At JMG Porsche we spent much of 2015 and 2016 reverse engineering the Porsche alarm system and keys, and we believe that we are potentially the only people in the world, outside of the companies who developed the original systems for Porsche, who understand fully how these systems work. The result is we can not only repair these units, but beyond that we can also save you money by recycling your old keys to be used with your repaired or even new alarm control unit!

If your old control unit can be repaired, we can repair it with new components.

If your old control unit is beyond repair, we can even re-program your old keys into the new control unit (A worldwide first!)

Not only this, for the DIY mechanics out there, but we can even perform these repairs by mail-order, so wherever your car is, we can provide a repair service, or reprogramming of your car, without even needing to see the car!

If you are suffering from any of the following issues, please make sure you get in touch with us first!

* Door windows raising or lowering by themselves

* Alarm system going off for no reason

* The roof trying to move by itself, possibly even breaking pushrods in the process!

* Brake or reverse lights being illuminated when they should not be

* Doors not unlocking by use of the key

* The car failing to even try to start (No starter motor noise)

* The car failing to start and run (Starter motor noise but the car does not start)

Any of these faults can be caused by the alarm control unit!

If you are suffering from any of these problems, please call 01202 488800 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange for diagnosis and repairs! 

Published in JMG News
Monday, 30 April 2012 13:24

Watercooled 911 Servicing and repairs

Your Porsche 996, 997 or 991 is in the best of hands at JMG Porsche, where even with servicing we go beyond the factory schedule.

The factory schedule for many models called for a service every two years, which was fine when the car was new and to make the car last beyond the factory warranty without issue. However we strongly recommend that all models are serviced annually, alternating between a minor and a major service each year. Click here and read our article for more information.

 

 

Here is a breakdown of our servicing (Phone for Turbo, GT2 and GT3 Prices).

 

Minor servicing £149.20 (£249 Turbo, GT3, GT2)

  • Pre service test drive (JMG Additional included item)

  • Fault code analysis

  • Replacement of the pollen filter

  • Replacement of the oil filter and engine oil (Porsche approved oil)

  • Factory specified inspection of - the vehicle under side, engine compartment, coolant hoses, coolant (level and condition), radiator or radiators, air intake, brake system, brake hoses, brake lines, drive shafts, tyres, locks and latches, electrical equipment, horn, windscreen wiper washing system, power steering and fluid level, lighting system check (including headlights and indicators)

  • JMG Inspection of additional items which are common issues as this model ages (JMG Additional included item)

  • Final test drive to check all major safety, comfort and mechanical systems for correct operation.

  • Final fluid and levels check

  • Dashboard electronic service light reset

  • Courtesy interior vacuum and wash (JMG Additional included item)

Major servicing £275 (£375 Turbo, GT3, GT2)

All items from minor servicing, plus...

  • Replacement of the air cleaner element

  • Check condition, lubricate and adjust if required - fuel system, parking brake, clutch, steering gear, tie rod ends, axle joints, running gear, exhaust system, suspension, seat belts, throttle actuation and auxillary drive belt.

  • Numerous additional JMG Specific inspection and adjustments which are model specific, added as the car's get older.

All services are performed with Porsche approved Quantum/Fuchs oil and genuine OEM filters.

Upgrade your service to premium Mobil-1 engine oil for only £49.95 extra

 

The importance of routine annual servicing.

Routine annual servicing will benefit your car from being inspected by an expert every year, which will certainly mean that many problems are spotted long before they turn into an expensive problem, a simple seal for example, costing only a few pennies, could be all that needs to be spotted and rectified to avoid a complete engine failure.

Beyond this, on more modern models where the servicing is specified by the factory for every two years, there is evidence that that has decreased the long term reliability of components. A good example of this are the engine oil hydraulic components on a Porsche 997 being the same parts as used in a Porsche 996, yet the 996 rarely suffers from variocam solenoid failures, but those of the 997 are frequent and can cost thousands of pounds to repair, just for the sake of regular yearly servicing and oil changes.

Some people only cover a few miles per year and therefore believe their car will not need regular annaul servicing, however this also can cause problems.

 

Repairs.

We have many menu prices for Porsche repairs of each model which are usually likely to cost more if performed with our hourly rate, call us for a price.

For anything else our repairs hourly rate is £79.95 per hour.

 

Menu price diagnostic appointment - £149.20 (Two hours)

Porsche cars are especially sophisticated and complicated cars, therefore diagnosis needs to be performed by expert Porsche specialist diagnostic technicians, the cream of the crop, even for what might seem like very simple faults.

With all faults, there will be a problem, such as a bad relay for example, as well as this there will be a cause, perhaps this cause would be what caused the relay to become faulty, which in itself could be abstract or unusual, or could be as simple as age, but it is still important to be reasonably sure of the cause, before new parts are installed, otherwise the new parts will also swiftly expire!

Even with the most expert technicians it is impossible to predict what the fault may be, until we have spent some time both diagnosing what is faulty and what has caused that item to be faulty, so to be professional at what we do, in some cases we may need to spend a longer duration of time with our investigations.

Unfortunately, this can mean that diagnosis can be very time consuming and therefore expensive, as well as difficult to schedule in our busy workshop.

With this in mind we have developed a clinic system for diagnostic visits, where we charge £149.20 for a two hour appointment. During which the following will happen.

  • The customer will be able to talk to the diagnostic technician in person to explain the fault.

  • The diagnostic technician will endeavour to recreate the fault to experience it in person, perhaps including a test drive with the customer.

  • The diagnostic technician will then begin tests to narrow down the fault, which may include using the Porsche diagnostic computers, or even our special diagnostic equipment not available elsewhere, studying the engineering documentation, technical service bulletins as well as running manual tests on or off of a vehicle lift.

  • In the case of the problem being simple, it may even be possible that within this phase the problem may be found, the cause clear and perhaps even a repair made.

  • Once complete, before the two hour appointment is exhausted, the technician will spend time with the customer explaining what he has found, as well as what additional diagnosis may need to be performed, how long that may take, and what potentially could be the causes of the problem, concluding with an appointment made for when the further diagnosis or repairs can be made.

Between the end of this visit and the appointment for continuation of the repairs or diagnosis, the car can be taken away, or left with us by mutual agreement.

 ALL PRICES ARE PLUS VAT

 

Interesting service and repair information for the water-cooled models.

Service interval - Some models specify a yearly service in the owners handbook, some specify two yearly, now that several years have passed since the first models with two yearly servicing were introduced we have observed that those models are more prone to needing expensive repairs, such as bore failure, valve actuator faults which we are only able to assume is caused by less frequent servicing. We would strongly recommend that all Porsche models are serviced yearly or every 10,000 miles to avoid expensive repairs and to potentially catch issues early, where they may be less expensive to repair.

Engine failures - Not nearly as common as horror stories on the internet would have you believe, but there are still worthwhile ways of avoiding unexpected large engine rebuild costs. One of which is proper servicing by a real Porsche specialist, which may not need cost as much as you think. There are also some ways to avoid unexpected bills by following some of our other advice bellow.

Brake fluid - Did you realise this should be changed every two years? Not doing this can cause problems with expensive parts within your car, such as the ABS pump or any part of the brake hydraulics due to water contamination as the brake fluid actually sucks moisture out of the air (hydroscopic), so even if the car is not used, the brake fluid must be changed every two years!

Water Pump - Often thought of as a part which fails with age, mileage and quite suddenly, leaving you stranded, our expert technicians are used to inspecting these during services, and so may spot tell tale signs of failure long before they become an issue, so saving you from the indignity of being broken down at the side of the road.

IMS Bearing - The famous intermediate shaft bearing (IMS Bearing) is an important bearing within the engine. These can fail on some models and cause catestrophic damage to the engine, sometimes costing thousands to repair. However there is a better design of bearing available, which our engine specialists at JMG Porsche have developed some cost effective ways to install and remove the risk of this kind of engine failure. Typically, the most cost effective time to replace this bearing with the better design is at the same time as a clutch replacement. However if you do not need a clutch now, or own a tiptronic model, then we can perform this job at any time.

RMS - Rear main seal - Something else you might see horror stories on the internet about, these used to be a real problem and Porsche re designed the part several times to arrive at the current design which is the only one we at JMG Porsche use. Like an IMS Bearing replacement, this is best performed during a clutch change, however on tiptronic models or on cars not needing a clutch, they can be changed at any time.

Transmission services - Not clearly noted by Porsche for when the transmission should be serviced and this vital expensive part of your car should not be overlooked. Just like your engine, the transmission is filled with oil/transmission fluid, which over time degrades. Not only this, but not many realise that many Porsche transmissions also contain a filter, which becomes clogged over time and can starve your transmission of lubrication, causing expensive repairs. We recommend all Porsche transmissions are serviced every 4 years or 40,000 miles, whichever comes soonest.

Diagnosis - Long has gone where cars had limited electrical equipment and a wiring diagram could be found in a manual from Halfords. Now the Porsche models have multiple separate computer systems, which all talk via networks, and many sensors to feed those computers with information about the world around it all tied together with many hidden wiring looms of thousands of wires and connectors. This can mean that in the event of your Porsche suffering an electrical issue, it is important that a Porsche specialist auto electrician is available, as we have at JMG Porsche. It is also important to understand that sometimes, finding the fault will not be as simple as plugging in a computer.

Air Oil Separator - If your Porsche is producing some smoke, especially when it starts up in the morning, it could be that the air oil separator has failed rather than your whole engine being damaged. This simple device is designed to allow your engine to pass polution regulations and should not cost the earth to replace, at least much less expensive than rebuilding an engine!

Drive Belt - Many of you may have had cars where a drive belt, timing belt or cam belt needs to be changed at a regular interval. Your Porsche model has a belt which should be changed every 4 years. Failure to do so can cause instant overheating, loss of power steering and damage to the engine very suddenly. We recommend you have this changed at least every 4 years.

Heavy clutch? - A heavy feeling clutch which is stiff to use is not normal on a Porsche and often a sign that the clutch has almost worn out. Ignoring this can cause further damage, such as to the dual mass flywheel and clutch fork.

Alarm system - At JMG Porsche we are experts of all Porsche security systems and have reverse engineered all the various control units. This not only means we can program new alarm control units and keys to your car, just as the main dealer can, but in some cases we can repair your old alarm control unit and keys, or in some cases recover your old keys to be used on the new alarm control unit, which is a service unique to JMG.

Alarm system causes - In most cases the cause of alarm control unit failure is water damage, we can perform modifications to your Porsche model to help mitigate the chances of this happening to your Porsche.