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PPI or not?


Active member
6 Oct 2012

Picking up a 911 4S next week and was wondering if you guys think it's a good idea to do a PPI.

I called Northway Porsche today (who did the last service - ended up costing the current owner £2k with receipts as proof) and the guy told me that the car is in tip top condition. All the stamps in the service book were done at the right mileage.

I guess it's the owner's choice and all but I am just worried about the IMS!

Need a little reassurance here lads.

A PPI won't find the health of an IMS.

If you do come across a way to tell it's future (without opening the engine), you'll be a rich man!

Still a good idea to have a PPI.

The indi guys in Nutsford do a ppi check with,I think a camera which looks inside the engine.
when I spoke to them they seemed very noligable,thourogh and expensive.Peice of mind though is irelivant to costs.
I think he said 4-5 hours to do the checks.
I may be wrong though,give them a call.
Sum sorte of forane lanngwich here!
PPI is always worth doing, if it finds something then it was worth a couple of hundred quid, it paid for itslef.

If it doesn't find anything, it was worth a couple of hundred quid for the peace of mind.

When your talking around 1% of the cars value for the check, no brainer to me.
The posting referring to NUtsford is Mike at Sports & Classic and he is in Knutsford, Cheshire. He looks after my car and did the PPI and he is very knowledgeable on all things Porsche. I'd say give him a call if he is near to you. If he is not, then I'd still say have a PPI and ask if it should include a bore scope.

An alternative option is a maindealer (OPC) 111-point check at around £200.
skywalker said:

Picking up a 911 4S next week and was wondering if you guys think it's a good idea to do a PPI.
It won't hurt; a PPI won't give you any peace of mind around an imminent IMS failure, but it may turn up other issues that could quickly add up to £thousands. Probably worth having the boroscope treatment if you do decide on a PPI, although not all inspectors offer it and it will cost a bit more (probably about another £100 on the price of an inspection).

skywalker said:
I called Northway Porsche today (who did the last service - ended up costing the current owner £2k with receipts as proof) and the guy told me that the car is in tip top condition. All the stamps in the service book were done at the right mileage.
Even though I've given you the advice above, when I bought mine I didn't get it inspected. I went through the service history, called previous places who'd serviced it (Porsche and indy) and tried to contact the previous owner. I got positive signs from everyone so just bought it, then within the first couple of months just took it in for a check-up at a local indy with the idea that if anything came up I could take it back to the suplying (non-Porsche) dealer and try and get it fixed under their standard 3-month warranty.

Maybe I got lucky, but it's been a great car for the last 3 + years (and counting!), and I'd looked at and driven a few so knew a good one when I saw it.

Guess it just depends on your appetite for risk; there's no right or wrong answer here.


Read up about the common wear and tear items (brakes, clutch, suspension, etc) on here.

Have a good look through previous history, receipts.

Gauge previous owner, if possible, and work out whether "skimper" or "no expense spared" type.

Assess based on those, negotiate accordingly.

Add the £200 you've saved on the PPI to the £3k pot of cash you've got set aside to address any issues.
I say chaps come on its Knutsford with a silent K :thumb:

Based on speaking to Northway and what they say I'd be tempted not to bother with a PPI.

I've always found a cut down broom handle (about 8") wrapped with some insulation tape for tapping the underside metal has never let me down. Commonly known as the 'Colini' stick, named after Colini a chap at my school who came armed with one when he was looking over my Suzuki GT185 for a spot of off-roading :thumb:
When was the work and service done? If in last few k then you would think it should pretty much be ok but as said an inspection can do no harm. I bought mine without much inspection because of its history and recent work plus it was about to be pxed, i had it major serviced and inspected a month later and got no shocks, you can spend a day looking over a car and its history and find a lot out yourself... :thumb:
Good luck

Allow me to share my experience of buying. One car had just been serviced 3 months earlier at an OPC and had done less than 500 miles since that service. The non-Porsche dealer had not got the receipt and it was easy for me to assume - full OPC maintenance, just been serviced, so should be a good buy? Right and wrong. The car was a good example as per the PPI report once some issues they identified were put right. Among these, the steering pipe joint was corroded and a serious safety risk, turbo boost pressure was low, air con a little noisy and needing re-gas, possiblle clutch worn but only confirmed once boost pressure was sorted. I would think that the OPC must have identified these as advisories but the owner at that time decided not to spend and move the car on. The bill for those was £2k to put right assuming new clutch.

Moral of the story?

a) Full OPC history has limited value - unless there is evidence that all advisories were acted upon by either the OPC or a good indy. Seeing service stamps alone without the supporting receipts has very limited value - I rang each OPC who confirmed the work and dates/mileages but refused to hand over receipts even with the owners name blanked out and refused to discuss what advisories or additional work was required/done (citing data protection).

b) All that glitters is not gold! The PPI can tell you much more and from someone who should be acting in your interest as you are paying the bill and not the interests of the seller.

You can guess I am sold on a PPI on such a marque of car - you just don't know what is lurking until its up on a ramp and someone whop knows the car goes through it with a fine tooth comb. By the way, I should also point out that as I'm no spring chicken, I am aware that a PPI might highlight work that is not required immediately - there are no such things as free Tyre and Battery Checks at Fast-Fit outlets - they generate work for the outlet even when your cars tyres, exhaust, battery, tracking etc. were fine before the free check. Just be aware and scrutinise the PPI report and discuss the areas for attention with the person who did the inspection.
Although I was pretty certain my car was a good'un when I found it- with all the history being right, and glowing reports from previous owners and a couple of well known independants- I still had a PPI done as a final check and as a way of walking into the ownership of my car with my eyes wide open to any maintenance issues I may face early in the cars life with me. Well worth a few hundred quid in my opinion.

Fortunately for me it turned out nothing of any real note was found, but the few small bits that were found were fixed by the dealer. If I'd not had the PPI I'd have had to fix them myself later on at roughly the same cost of the PPI so for me it balanced out.

Not sure if you've already agreed a price, but you could use anything found as a bargaining point in negotiations?
I didn't bother

I did a year of research on the forums so I knew what the common faults were
I've spent 20 years tinkering with cars so my ability to spot faults is pretty good
The car had extensive receipts for all of the common faults most of which had been attended to within the last 5 k
I established the previous owner was a "no expence spared" type of guy, I talked to him on the phone for over two hours, in fact I couldn't get him off the phone.
I talked to the mechanic at the OPC who had done most of the work and he said he would have no hesitation to buy it himself.
I took my mate who works in a body shop and he spent an hour looking at the bodywork while I went through the history. We then both looked it over for another hour

I bought it and its been a peach

I suppose it depends on what your knowledge level is, if you don't know where to look for the engine for example then it would definitly pay to have one done


PS one fault my car did have was low voltage output from the alternator after 1/2 hour of use. Say my car had had a ppi and assuming it had been spotted then they would probably have said the bill to repair would have been a grand, as that is the usual bill when this job is done under warranty.
Because I'd done so much research I knew it was most likely to be the common weak voltage regulator problem. It was I fixed it myself for £27

I think sometimes the ppi's can throw up things that aren't actually a problem and they often make false assumptions about previous use eg a car must have been totally abused because it has minor cracks in the brake discs or someting. It's a bit like when Time Team find a piece of pot and come to the conclusion there was a major Roman settlement there LOL

An eminently sensible observation about PPI inspections trawling up stuff that might not be as bad as they look.
I prefer to live out there on the edge hence I bought the first 993 and the second 964 I saw :what:

Not that you would follow my lead but my growing knowledge from this site a 6th sense and an 'assessment' of the seller usually makes my mind up.

Access to a balclava and two pool balls in a sock in case it goes pear shaped comes in handy :thumb:

(Note: Approaching life with such gay abandon can have its pitfalls. Dont ask about the dogs bionic leg, a very large vets bill and an Insurance policy that only paid one fifth of it :pc: . And yes Mrs Z blames me :wack:

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