Despite some opinions to the contrary, not all Porsche owners are wealthy. In fact, a lot of us are far from it.
However, wealthy or not, we still need to service our Porsches on a routine basis and also deal with the occasional major service that might pop up. One way to minimize your maintenance costs is to be sure that you NEVER "defer" any normal or routine services. While performing routine maintenance on your beloved Porsche might seem like "no brainer", you would be amazed at the number of emails we receive asking if its truly necessary to service a Porsche as recommended in the owners manual or, can such maintenance be "deferred".
What's Deferred Service on a Porsche
Deferred service is a term that arises from an owner's decision not to perform routine maintenance items (i.e. oil changes, tire rotations, brake bleeds, air filter, etc.) due to the perceived high cost of Porsche repair work, no time to get it done, sheer laziness, apathy, or a combination of all four. Sure, in the short term they might save a few $$$ by holding out on that service, but what's the long term cost of this type of decision? Unfortunately, as the case below show us, that cost can be quite high.
Buying a Porsche with no Maintenance or Service History
On a recent visit to Porsche of Hilton Head to pick up my new Cayenne we took a walk out back to the service bay to see if there was anything of interest being done. Our eyes were immediately drawn to a speed yellow 996 that had the motor dropped out and in pieces below it.
After talking with the tech for a few minutes we found out that this particular 996 was owned by a long time customer who purchased the Porsche online and without a service history. As the unlucky new owner found out the hard way, this particular 996 was completely neglected when it came to routine services, even things as basic as oil changes. The amount of crud and gunk built up on the motor quickly became more than it could handle resulting in a couple of scorched pistons and a blown motor. Total cost of the repair was close to $18,000 by the time everything was brought back to normal.
Don't Defer Maintenance
Yes, a $300 oil change is expensive but in most cases you'll only need to do this once per year. However, as seen above, the cost of "deferring" this simple routine maintenance has the potential to be much, much higher.
While the 996 mentioned above is an extreme example, it doesn't stand alone. We've heard way too many other stories of neglected Porsches being purchased and said purchase quickly coming back to haunt the new owner.
Porsche Pre Purchase Inspection and Buyers Guide
Remember, if you are buying a used Porsche, ask for service records and be sure to have a Pre-Purchase Inspection by a reputable shop. If the current owner doesn't know the service history of the Porsche you're thinking of buying (and doesn't have records to back things up) make sure your PPI includes a "leak-down" test and think about looking into the many different Porsche Buyer's Guides available for extra information. A little money up-front can save you a fortune in future repairs.