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How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: microchip13
Date: September 26, 2007 12:28PM
Just curious about the thoughts on 944s.



TiA!



_______________________________________________________________
Security is just a word. The act of being secure is entirely different.
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From A Book: Walking Through The Impossible

Just because it has two clutches, shifts faster, uses a torque converter or has near-infinite gear ratios, requires less driver intervention and is more efficient doesn't make it better in my opinion.
Save The Manual Transmission
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: BigGuynRusty
Date: September 26, 2007 12:31PM
Jeezo!
Stay away!
Get a Toyota, save your money, buy a nice car!

BGnR



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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: September 26, 2007 12:31PM
not to be flippant, but Porsche and reliable aren't often used together. My sister-in-law had a 944 in the early 90s, and a 928 before that. She now drives a Honda.
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: voodoopenguin
Date: September 26, 2007 12:36PM
Here are 15 personal reviews by owners. Reliability seems to be OK for them.

[www.reviewcentre.com]
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: billb
Date: September 26, 2007 12:52PM
Well you won't get 100,000 miles to a set of plugs sort of reliable.
:-)

10 years ago I might use one as a commuter car in nice weather.
Like a corvette, I wouldn't take one out of the garage when there is snow on the ground.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/26/2007 12:58PM by billb.
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: davester
Date: September 26, 2007 01:06PM
Yeesh! The newest one you can get is 16 years old. You would be out of your mind to buy a Porsche (or most any car) that old unless you had at least 50% of the car's value on hand to pay for repairs and maintenance.

Also, have you checked with your insurance company yet as to what their rates will be for that car? I'd guess that they will either be through the roof, or they might not even agree to insure you if you buy one.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: ADent
Date: September 26, 2007 01:18PM
If you do your own work a Porche shouldn't be THAT bad.

If you take it in to a mechanic, ask the local shop what a water pump or alternator, or fuel pump or exhaust replacement will cost.

Even a 20 year old Toyota will need significant work after awhile.
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: September 26, 2007 01:37PM
I will swear you have asked this before... [forums.macresource.com]

Well not exactly the same question but similar and you got some related input. They can be iffy. A lot of people bought them as cut price Porsches and skimped on periodic service and repairs. Looking at a couple of message boards, it looks like steering, motor mounts, and clutch problems are accepted as typical.

Porsche Club of Americal - [www.pca.org]
Automotive Helper - [www.automotivehelper.com]

A well cared for example can be a very nice car. In general, cars with low prices on the used market are priced that way because they either are very expensive to repair or are unreliable. Be prepared for a steep learning curve if you plan on doing your own repairs, assuming there is a decent pool of parts cars in the local junkyards. Reliable Porsche mechanics are used to pricing repairs for owners that make $200,000 a year and know nothing about cars.


I say buy a generic Civic in the low end of your price range if you want a car that is cheap and fun to drive, then put on springs, shocks, and high performance tires, or buy one with those modifications already installed. The 1989-1991 Civic Si is legendary in the SCCA Solo II STS class, but I would hesitate to recommend one that old in your area without a *LOT* of inspection and a very detailed service and repair history.



In tha 360. MRF User Map



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/26/2007 02:30PM by Filliam H. Muffman.
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: Harbourmaster
Date: September 26, 2007 01:44PM
Advice from a former VW & Porsche Factory Trained Master Mechanic (who was working on these things at the dealer when they were new) that's me of course, before I got this cushy gig spinning wrenches at FedEx... :-)


It depends on the car and it's owner(s).

There are basically 2 kinds of Porsche owners, the first group buys the car as a status symbol...beats the hell out of it and never does the scheduled maintenance, then @#$%& and complains when they finally have to bring it in to the shop to fix something that probably would not have broken had they done there maintenance, and only fixes something that is broken that renders the car inoperable. Generally they will not keep any records of repairs on the vehicle.

The second group are the enthusiasts, real Porsche lovers. This group treats the car like a member of the family, lovingly lavishing care and maintenance on the car at the appointed interval without fail and keeping spotless records of everything they do!

It should be readily apparent which group the car/owner falls into when you go to have a look.

Stay far far away from one in the first group but give the second group some consideration.

The latter models of 944 were actually quite nice and had very few problems (same goes for the 928) stay away from any Porsche with a sunroof!



Aloha, Ken


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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/26/2007 01:44PM by Harbourmaster.
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: September 26, 2007 01:47PM
Investigate not just the regular parts cost, but also the stuff that'll annoy you that right now you consider minor, such as weather stripping, trim pieces, that cracked dash etc.

On another note,
I think it's a classic design, and look. In the early 90s I finally had enough money to consider a 83-87. I test drove one and the bloom faded from the rose. All those years of reading how great they were paled when I got behind the wheel. My biggest memory of that test drive is actually that the radio antenna was a distraction (driver's-side fender, always more in the line of sight than where it belonged, on the passenger side.)

Edit: come to think of it, it was a '87 924S. Maybe the antenna is on the other side for a 944?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/26/2007 01:51PM by deckeda.
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: Big Daddy Cool
Date: September 26, 2007 01:55PM
Depends on the year 85.2 and newer are a better design.
Back in the early-to-mid '90s, I picked up an '86 from an insurance company and re-did the entire car, (fuel system, suspension, body and paint), and although it was fun, it was never a "new" car.

Listen to HarbourMaster–if you really want one, spen the money and buy one with low miles that has been treated like a member of the family. And I would still love a late 928 S4 or GTS…
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: September 26, 2007 01:57PM
If you're getting into cars as a hobby and want to go retro cheap Porsche, think about a 914, which is a VW in a Porsche skin. I badly lusted after one of those in the late 1970's.

But really, are you willing to , as noted above, do all the work yourself or pay Dieter und Franz at $150 an hour to replace insanely expensive parts ?
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: Dakota
Date: September 26, 2007 02:26PM
Wasn't 928 the absolute worst Porschah?
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: weapon
Date: September 26, 2007 03:37PM
no the worst was the 914, the second worst was the 944 and then the 928. And that goes for styling also.
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: Chupa Chupa
Date: September 26, 2007 03:59PM
I was a kid when the 944s came out. One of our neighbors bought one. Normally a Porsche brings awe and reverence to a 14 y.o. kid. The 944 only brought laughs. Even 14 y.o. kids knew the 944 was a P.O.S. To make matters worth the neighbors car was brown. Brrrrrrrrown. Who in their right mind buys brown Porsche. Dang that thing was ugly.
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: September 26, 2007 04:05PM
"Who in their right mind buys brown Porsche. Dang that thing was ugly."

or a brown .mp3 player....
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: rgG
Date: September 26, 2007 04:06PM
Get a Miata instead. smiling smiley





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: davester
Date: September 26, 2007 04:23PM
Quote
Chupa Chupa
I was a kid when the 944s came out. One of our neighbors bought one. Normally a Porsche brings awe and reverence to a 14 y.o. kid. The 944 only brought laughs.

I think you're thinking of the 924, which was originally to be badged as a Volkswagen, but was "upbadged" to be a Porsche. Although the 944 shared the basic body shell of the 924 it was a much better car.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: microchip13
Date: September 26, 2007 04:40PM
Thanks for all of the input.


The one I'm somewhat considering is a 1988, owned by a guy for the past 13 years, with all maintenance records.



_______________________________________________________________
Security is just a word. The act of being secure is entirely different.
"...but I think that to make your dream a reality, having a dream itself is a mandatory prerequisite"
From A Book: Walking Through The Impossible

Just because it has two clutches, shifts faster, uses a torque converter or has near-infinite gear ratios, requires less driver intervention and is more efficient doesn't make it better in my opinion.
Save The Manual Transmission
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: outcast
Date: September 26, 2007 04:58PM
Oh how I love the Internets!

So I confess I couldn't remember what the relevant differences in the two body styles were so I had to do a little Google image search, and what do I come across but this:



Don't chase the link back at work unless you want your friends to think you have a very curious fetish.




outcast
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Don't.
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: September 26, 2007 07:27PM
Seriously.

I don't think you can afford to fastidiously maintain a Porsche of any flavor, and the 944s aren't particularly attractive to begin with. (Judgement call.)

Unless you've knocked off a local crack house that we don't know about, do as BG suggests-- get a Corolla.

Drive it, change the oil, go places, come back, and save money. Lots of it. Then buy something with a little more HP and flair, but reliable nonetheless.






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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: microchip13
Date: September 26, 2007 07:40PM
I get that.


I will not buy a Corolla, driving one now, I hate it. It's boring, slow, ugly, fuel-inefficent, and pretty far from fun.



_______________________________________________________________
Security is just a word. The act of being secure is entirely different.
"...but I think that to make your dream a reality, having a dream itself is a mandatory prerequisite"
From A Book: Walking Through The Impossible

Just because it has two clutches, shifts faster, uses a torque converter or has near-infinite gear ratios, requires less driver intervention and is more efficient doesn't make it better in my opinion.
Save The Manual Transmission
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: September 26, 2007 07:48PM
Quote
rgG
Get a Miata instead. smiling smiley

Yeah, I forgot to add the Miata after my Civic comments. They seem to be priced a little higher for ten year old cars. Fun to drive and generally cheap to maintain. I am not sure how comfortable they are in the winter or how they last in areas that drop a lot of salt.



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: Dakota
Date: September 26, 2007 08:28PM
I meant 924. 928 was pretty decent from what I remember. Also, brown was a popular color in late 70's, and I understand it is making a comeback of sorts.
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: davester
Date: September 26, 2007 08:30PM
I second the Miata recommendation. Fantastically fun (probably moreso than the Porsche) and sporty, reliable, easy to work on, cheap to maintain. If you're worried about that silly "girl car" stereotype, just buy yourself a rollbar and stripes (or alternatively, be a man and ignore stupid stereotypes). For cold weather, make sure you get one that comes with the factory hardtop.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: September 26, 2007 08:45PM
Quote
microchip13
I will not buy a Corolla, driving one now, I hate it. It's boring, slow, ugly, fuel-inefficent, and pretty far from fun.

What year is it? It might not be a Civic, but it should get decent mileage unless there is something really wrong with the engine. A friend has a 1984 Corolla automatic. It is a little boring but even with 200,000 miles it still gets 34 mpg on the freeway.

A set of low profile 15" or 16" tires alone would make a stunning difference over the crappy stock ones. Many years ago I replaced the stock 155/80-13 tires on a Mazda wagon with 205/60-13 and was able to take freeway cloverleaf exits almost 10 mph faster. With some Koni shocks, lowered springs, a monster sway bar, and a performance alignment, I was able to embarrass some pretty expensive sports cars at an autocross (dude, your 911 got beat by a 10 year old subcompact station wagon). Be careful though, it can turn into a hamster (apologies to Peter). I know someone that recently spent about $8000 on a Civic and failed to get it really competitive for the national runoffs.



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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: Yoyodyne ArtWorks
Date: September 26, 2007 10:12PM
Honda Prelude from between around 1989 to mid Nineties was a nice car, reasonably sporty and stylish. The last generation Honda produced was very boring looking, but it would probably be out of the running based on price anyway.
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: microchip13
Date: September 26, 2007 10:22PM
I am looking at '92 and up Preludes, but they're hard to find.


I am also taking a look at a 318is tomorrow though.



_______________________________________________________________
Security is just a word. The act of being secure is entirely different.
"...but I think that to make your dream a reality, having a dream itself is a mandatory prerequisite"
From A Book: Walking Through The Impossible

Just because it has two clutches, shifts faster, uses a torque converter or has near-infinite gear ratios, requires less driver intervention and is more efficient doesn't make it better in my opinion.
Save The Manual Transmission
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: davemchine
Date: September 26, 2007 10:59PM
I have a friend with an older porshe. He saves his money month after month so he can fix it, drive for a week, and then park it because it broke again. He is insane.

I agree with the above posts, if you MUST buy an inexpensive sporty car go for the miata.

Dave



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/26/2007 11:02PM by davemchine.
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: AAA
Date: September 27, 2007 06:53AM
Quote
microchip13
I get that.


I will not buy a Corolla, driving one now, I hate it. It's boring, slow, ugly, fuel-inefficent, and pretty far from fun.

But, it's saved you speeding ticket costs right? So, you go that going for you.

here's a list:
[cars.ign.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/27/2007 07:17AM by AAA.
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: billb
Date: September 27, 2007 07:50AM
Quote
microchip13
I get that.


I will not buy a Corolla, driving one now, I hate it. It's boring, slow, ugly, fuel-inefficent, and pretty far from fun.


A Corolla is supposed to get you from point A to point B.

You should be getting decent mileage, though.
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: September 27, 2007 10:56AM
A 92 BMW 318i has similar specs as the 92 Prelude except for the Honda being FWD.

If you can find a 92 Prelude Si, it would have a bump in power at high RPMs over the 318i but the performance ends up being very similar to a Civic Si because the Civic weighs 500 pounds less.

Quote
AAA
here's a list:
[cars.ign.com]

A nice list but I think the years listed are way over the price range being considered. A couple have already been mentioned. The Mister Two (MR2) is a nice platform but I would hesitate to recommend a turbo to a driver lusting for power if they have not had some sort of advanced training. A 92 VW GTI 16V is a decent car but I do not know if one that old would be reliable enough.



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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: Don Kiyoti
Date: September 27, 2007 01:21PM
Chip,

Look for a Honda del Sol. If you're into sporty driving, be sure to get one with the 1.6 litre B16A DOHC VTEC engine. This is a wonderful engine (8k rpm redline) that will go 200,000 miles with reasonable care. There were three trim levels: S, Si, and VTEC. A lot of sellers advertise the Si cars as VTECs but you don't want one of those.

The fellow I bought it from fitted it with a rear strut tower brace, a front strut tie bar, & Eibach springs which lowers it a bit (I have about three inches of ground clearance) so it corners like a slot car. It also has a cold air intake, a header and a low restriction exhaust. These bolt-ons aren't all that expensive and really make this car fun (really fun) to drive.

Besides that, it's a convertible.





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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: September 28, 2007 08:45AM
Quote
Don Kiyoti
There were three trim levels: S, Si, and VTEC. A lot of sellers advertise the Si cars as VTECs but you don't want one of those.

I have tried to learn a lot about Hondas in the last three years. I am not even close to being an expert, but I think you have that sideways. The Si is usually the highest performance model in any line and would be the one that has the 8000 RPM redline. This is a good short history of the Civic line. I am not sure it is entirely accurate.
[www.hondacivicforum.com]



In tha 360. MRF User Map



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/28/2007 08:46AM by Filliam H. Muffman.
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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: Don Kiyoti
Date: September 28, 2007 03:20PM
Quote
Filliam H. Muffman
Quote
Don Kiyoti
There were three trim levels: S, Si, and VTEC. A lot of sellers advertise the Si cars as VTECs but you don't want one of those.

I have tried to learn a lot about Hondas in the last three years. I am not even close to being an expert, but I think you have that sideways. The Si is usually the highest performance model in any line and would be the one that has the 8000 RPM redline. This is a good short history of the Civic line. I am not sure it is entirely accurate.
[www.hondacivicforum.com]

That is usually true, but not in the del Sol's case. The Si has the SOHC 1.6 engine, which also uses the VTEC system but only for the intake valves.





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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: September 28, 2007 08:37PM
Quote
Don Kiyoti
That is usually true, but not in the del Sol's case. The Si has the SOHC 1.6 engine, which also uses the VTEC system but only for the intake valves.

Very interesting. That motor sounds identical to the earlier rare Si-R Civic. I found some links to it but not all I would like. Do you know the motor ID number (b16a, b16b, b16z)? I would guess it is very hard to find good used examples.



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Re: How (Un?)Reliable is a Porsche 944?
Posted by: Don Kiyoti
Date: September 29, 2007 09:38AM
In a del Sol VTEC it's the B16A.
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