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simkin911
Newbie


Joined: 02 Oct 2013
Posts: 48
Location: Midlothian


PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:22 pm    Post subject: Is there a low mileage curse? Reply with quote

Hi All

After 15 years with a variety of front engined Porsches, I find myself looking for a 996 or 997. I have spotted a few cars of interest including 1 or 2 on this site (and a friend has a nice 996 which is likely to be up for sale in a few months) but there’s also a local car.

I popped to see it a couple of months ago. However, was put off by; a) low miles at 40k, b) lack of servicing in last 5 years, c) lack of miles in last 12 years (~10k). Essentially it looks like a ‘re-commissioning’ job but it’s priced to reflect the low miles rather than the lack of servicing or recent expenditure.

They’ve now dropped the price a bit now but it’s certainly not cheap - just cheaper. I’ve never been that motivated with low low miles instead favouring more miles on cars with excellent recent years expenditure.

Question - am I wrong to think I could start putting on a few miles and find gremlin after gremlin starting to surface? ( Potentially thus impacting my initial 911 enjoyment).
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deMort
Dijon


Joined: 21 Mar 2015
Posts: 7495
Location: Brighton


PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't tell anyone but yes .. there is ..

40 K . 996 .. it's about the milage an IMS if it's going to let go will do so .

997 .. 05 .. so the smaller IMS is the same .

Lack of use .. not so good .. similar to short journeys ..


I cant say it will .. there is a small percentage that do but imho that's the sort of mileage it will happen at .
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Frenchmeister
Barcelona


Joined: 24 Feb 2014
Posts: 1334
Location: Beautiful Cumbria.

2004 Porsche 997 Carrera 2S

PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simkin, mine went a few weeks ago, a proper well cared for car Hand
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Griffter
Spa-Francorchamps


Joined: 22 May 2016
Posts: 361



PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like low mileage cars. There’s nothing wrong with them if they’ve been used properly and looked after. The issue, as you’ve alluded to, is whether servicing has been done on time and how frequently the moving parts have been operated, how competently and under what conditions.
You have to judge each car on its merits but in my experience low mileage means less wear and tear (eg on the interior) and fewer bodges in the past.
Thousands would, and will, disagree!
 
  
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wasz
Sepang


Joined: 28 Dec 2012
Posts: 2992


1999 Porsche 996 Carrera 2

PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On a low mileage car, you still have to replace all the bits that have expired due to age.
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Windy101
Spa-Francorchamps


Joined: 05 Jun 2015
Posts: 280



PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wasz wrote:
On a low mileage car, you still have to replace all the bits that have expired due to age.


I bought a low mileage almost 10 year old 911 recently and it did have a few niggles due to lack of use.

Once they were sorted I have a fresh car in unworn nice condition.
 
  
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simkin911
Newbie


Joined: 02 Oct 2013
Posts: 48
Location: Midlothian


PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks all.

Reviewed this car in more detail yesterday and had a test drive.

It’s covered about the 6k in the last 10 years with about 400 miles in last 2 years.

Looked really quite special from 2-3 metres away. Paintwork wasn’t bad but it looked like it had previously lived outside and been rather unloved (or at least unwashed). Gaps between panels were a bit green as were the rubbers. May have been a bit damp inside at one stage as the door cards had some residue on them.

Very little service history overall and pretty much nothing for 4 years or so.

Looked like a considerable drip from RMS - No clutch history either as yet probably due to low miles.

Quite a few corrosion spots around kick plate and near door lock on pillar. (Stainless plates still fitted).

Despite the above, car seemed ok on test drive. Suspension felt ok - no major creaks. Brakes were totally wooden but I’m blaming the ‘performance’ pads at this point.

I’m not totally ruling out the car but it does scream out ‘possible money pit’ - at least in the early years! Didn’t have the car on a ramp but what I could see could only be best described as ‘very original’ !

Hope to see another couple of cars and I’m keeping an open mind.
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Counter Of Beans
Spa-Francorchamps


Joined: 10 May 2018
Posts: 359
Location: Hampshire


PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would I buy a low mileage car that has sat outside in all weather, and hasn't been serviced for four years due to the lack of miles? Probably not.
Would I buy a low mileage car that lives in a dry garage, has been serviced properly - at least every two years - and is only low miles because the owner keeps it for sunny days rather than as a daily? Probably would.

So, in my view, it's not the mileage per se, it's the attention it's had, and the reason why the miles are low. That's why private sales can be the best, sometimes, because you get to find out the history from the guy that owns it.
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diverzeusy
Suzuka


Joined: 10 Nov 2012
Posts: 1048
Location: Doncaster UK


PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:22 pm    Post subject: low miles Reply with quote

with the low miles you say then i would expect service history to be thin as its not been used !, you would have to have deep pockets to throw £3/4/500 at servicing if you are only doing 400 miles Dont know
also my experience with two low mileage cars, an HeHem Ford XR4i, and a Subaru STi both were around 10 years old and both sub 10k miles and both worst reliable cars ever because of been stood, silly things like handbrake not releasing, rear electric window seized, rubbers perished etc, etc. nothing heavey mechanical but thing after thing after thing, all small and niggly.
so now if it aint got at least 60k+ miles and regurlar oil changes I wouldn't buy Thumb
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wasz
Sepang


Joined: 28 Dec 2012
Posts: 2992


1999 Porsche 996 Carrera 2

PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's all down to the car and price tag.

From the way it sounds I wouldn't be paying top money.

But if the seller had cleaned it properly, attended to the minor rust (striker and kick plate very common) had it polished and stood on the brakes a few times then I might be biting his hand off.

Those are minor things to attend to and you could well get a good deal.

Like I say it's down to the car condition and price tag.
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UncleP
Silverstone


Joined: 27 Feb 2019
Posts: 135



PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

simkin911 wrote:
Thanks all.

Reviewed this car in more detail yesterday and had a test drive.

It’s covered about the 6k in the last 10 years with about 400 miles in last 2 years.

Looked really quite special from 2-3 metres away. Paintwork wasn’t bad but it looked like it had previously lived outside and been rather unloved (or at least unwashed). Gaps between panels were a bit green as were the rubbers. May have been a bit damp inside at one stage as the door cards had some residue on them.

Very little service history overall and pretty much nothing for 4 years or so.

Looked like a considerable drip from RMS - No clutch history either as yet probably due to low miles.

Quite a few corrosion spots around kick plate and near door lock on pillar. (Stainless plates still fitted).

Despite the above, car seemed ok on test drive. Suspension felt ok - no major creaks. Brakes were totally wooden but I’m blaming the ‘performance’ pads at this point.

I’m not totally ruling out the car but it does scream out ‘possible money pit’ - at least in the early years! Didn’t have the car on a ramp but what I could see could only be best described as ‘very original’ !

Hope to see another couple of cars and I’m keeping an open mind.


Its the car at a dealers or a private sale? Sounds like you did a pretty thorough review of the car but it's a good idea to get a professional PPI if you're seriously considering it.

I recently sort of purchased (it's an ongoing saga) a car that seems to have a similar history to the one you viewed. Higher miles at 79k, most of which were done in the first 8 years with an average of 1000 miles per year for the last 10 years. Allegedly it was a weekend car that was kept in a garage but I have my doubts about that now and it appears the previous owner has taken the approach that you service a car based on mileage.

I had the car PPI'd and as a result there has been something like £4k worth of work done on it as a condition of the sale. This included clutch, RMS seal, discs and pads, new exhausts, AC condensers, new expansion tank, hard brake lines and a few other bits. When I first looked over the car myself I was less critical and could have easily let myself in for that bill. I know it's still going to need more money thrown at it but that's just par for the course with a 20 year old car.
 
  
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Marky911
Magny-Cours


Joined: 04 Jun 2009
Posts: 2639



PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Windy101 wrote:
wasz wrote:
On a low mileage car, you still have to replace all the bits that have expired due to age.


I bought a low mileage almost 10 year old 911 recently and it did have a few niggles due to lack of use.

Once they were sorted I have a fresh car in unworn nice condition.


This^^

They cost you either way so I'd rather pump money into a lower mileage one that will be easier to sell.

Mind you I only cover a few thousand miles a year. If I was going to add 10/12k miles per year I'd just buy the most mechanically sorted car available, because any premium for low mileage would be wiped out anyway.
 
  
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simkin911
Newbie


Joined: 02 Oct 2013
Posts: 48
Location: Midlothian


PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Car is with a dealer on SOR and isn’t cheap. There is a low mileage premium being stuck on it despite the warts.

I’d probably do no more than 3k per annum. Summer months only.

It was interesting to see a c4s advertised on this very site too with very low miles (approx 27k) which has had a rebuild due to IMS bearing failure.

Low miles, high miles. Loved or unloved, it seems it’s a bit of a lottery re bore score and IMS bearing failure.

Question Question
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edh
Newbie


Joined: 25 Apr 2009
Posts: 37



PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Steve Smile

My experience - I bought a 60k mile 3.4 C2 about 3 years ago. I bought it from a friend of a friend, very little history as it had been mainly self-serviced, but I knew that the owner was very particular about his cars.

Anyway, the car is still very fresh, and feels tight, a lot different to some of the high mileage unloved 996's that are about these days. I don't so many miles in it, maybe 2-3k a year. So far it's cost me very little apart from consumables (I bet the brakes will be corroded inner disc faces)

(I do feel like I ought to buy some parts for the car and either sell them on or leave them on the shelf, just so I can have a bit more "history" to show people if I ever sell it Very Happy )

So - take your time and buy a good one. One that's been looked after. It'll be much cheaper in the long run. A friend of mine has just bought a cheap 996 - with all the work he's done in the first few months it's probably cost him as much as mine did and it's still nowhere near as nice a car. (btw are you selling your 968?)
 
  
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tom_nieto
Monza


Joined: 08 Jan 2017
Posts: 247



PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2019 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless you really know what you're doing, the £200-300 that you spend on a proper inspection before purchase is really worth it. Perhaps I got lucky with my 997 which had done on average 2,500 miles per annum by the time I bought it at 11 years old and will probably continue to have similar usage throughout my ownership. PPI was extremely reassuring, as was the service history. A couple of low range over-revs indicated that the car had probably been used properly rather than in stop start traffic. A full check over by Center Gravity and the resultant glowing report properly validated my choice to go for a low mileage and apparently cherished car. I will continue to keep the service history up, and will most likely increase the interval to 12 monthly (and keep it garaged!).

There's no reason that a high mileage car won't be cherished and really fresh, and similarly a low mileage car which has been left unloved might be a money pit. If you have a healthy budget, you'll get a good car. If you're limited on outlay, you'll either get lucky or have to make compromises.

Good luck with your search!
 
  
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simkin911
Newbie


Joined: 02 Oct 2013
Posts: 48
Location: Midlothian


PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2019 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the additional comments.

2 things I am definitely doing;
*taking my time - for example, this low miler I’m talking about has been for sale for months!!!
*getting a PPI (unless the history is such that this is deemed not necessary - for example, recent Hartech gold service & car report! - unlikely but not impossible)

edh - nice to hear from you. I’d pretty much drifted away from all forums in recent years (pcgb, tipec and lately 968uk). Hadn’t intended to sell the 968 (was still buying more stuff for it earlier this year) and the woke up and decided ‘fancy a change’ - advertised at a very sensible price and it was sold within 10 days or so. That was February. Quite enjoyable having the extra space in the garage. I miss the 968 but don’t regret selling it.

Ideally a 996 c4s with aero kit and a full Hartech rebuild would be choice - based on looks anyway - at this moment!
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sim996
Monza


Joined: 05 Aug 2017
Posts: 192



PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2019 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are low mileage heaps as well as high mileage ones, but a low mileage car is always better to have come resale.

I bought another sports car with what i thought was lowish miles at 48k, turned out it wasn't really and i could have bought a lot lower. However, loads of people have been having their engines and gearboxes let go at low mileage and the same kind of issues that are common, so all in all i've been pretty happy with mine, plus it has a 10k exhaust! Who buys a 10k exhaust!?

In future i would be looking at the lowest mileage car i can afford, but it must have a good service history and the correct money spent on it. I'm not bothered about the odd missed service like some are, so long as it has been serviced inline with it's usage.

I wouldn't rule out a higher mileage car so long as it is priced accordingly and again has the right servicing, especially if i was planning to use it more often and rack the miles up.
 
  
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