Porsche vehicles have a high reputation for being powerful, sleek, and comfortable to drive. However, they are not without their share of issues. One more common problem that Porsche owners may experience is IMS bearing failure.
Some models are more prone to this failure, and in this article, you’ll learn which Porsche models experience IMS failure more frequently, what to look for when the bearings fail, and where you can fix the issue before it becomes costly and time consuming.
Function of IMS Bearings in Porsche
The IMS (Intermediate Shaft) bearings in a Porsche supports the flywheel side shaft of the motor. Its purpose is to control the speed of the chains while using the camshaft and crankshaft so as to increase longevity of these chains.
Porsche Models Prone to IMS Bearing Failure
Certain Porsche models are prone to IMS bearing failure and drivers of these models should be aware of any issues that may await them. These include:
- 986 Boxster
- 996 models (excludes GT and Turbo models)
- 987 Cayman and Boxster
- 997 with M96/O5
Warning Signs of IMS Bearing Failure
Watching for the warning signs of IMS failure is vital if you want to save money and prevent the issue from causing any further damage to your Porsche. It can be tricky to catch this failure early, but it isn’t impossible.
Common symptoms include metallic debris in your oil or oil filter. IMS bearings, when worn down, leave metallic debris in their wake which often get trapped in the oil. You should check your oil frequently for any debris that does not belong.
Oil leaks at the rear of the engine is another sign of IMS bearing failure. While an oil leak is not always indicative of IMS bearing failure, it should not be counted out, especially in conjunction with metallic debris. If the IMS seal is broken, oil can leak out. This leak may be present as a puddle underneath your Porsche or a burning smell in the engine while you drive.
Loose or damaged bearings cause damage to your engine and in turn, it will rattle when you start your Porsche or accelerate.
Some signs may be too subtle for you to notice on your own, but trained technicians can potentially trace them back to the bearings before they completely fail.
Consequences of IMS Bearing Failure
Ignoring the signs of failure or failing to bring your Porsche to the professionals early will result in total bearing failure. The consequences of this are costly and disastrous to your luxury vehicle.
IMS bearing failure in advanced cases damages the engine and surrounding parts heavily. The only way to repair all of the damage is to completely disassemble the engine. If it’s a total loss, your engine will need to be replaced or rebuilt, which comes with a hefty price tag.
If you suspect that you are dealing with IMS bearing failure, it’s safer not to drive. Have your Porsche towed to a trustworthy repair shop instead, as driving poses a hazard with such an advanced problem.
Dealing With IMS Bearing Failure the Professional Way
IMS bearing failure, even in the early stages, is beyond the abilities of most drivers to repair. You need a team of Porsche experts that you can trust to perform all necessary repairs quickly and efficiently.
At Momentum Motorworks, you can expect nothing less than the best. Our team goes above and beyond to ensure that they are prepared to deal with all potential Porsche issues, staying up-to-date on the latest diagnostic and repair strategies.
The Momentum Motorworks team boasts:
- 5 certified Master Technicians
- 2 Premiere Porsche Master Technicians
- ASE Certification
- Decades of experience
For over 20 years, our repair shop has specialized in service for all models of Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and Porsche vehicles. A great repair job always hinges on experience and attention to detail, and Momentum Motorworks guarantees both. In addition to Birmingham, we are proud to provide service to drivers in Alabaster, Homewood, Helena, Hoover, Mountain Brook, and Vestavia.
You’ll find no better prepared auto specialist team in the Birmingham, AL area. Visit us in person or call (205) 403-4626 to ask questions or make an appointment.
* Porsche 986 Boxster image credit goes to: DarthArt.