Which Porsche 996 Years to Avoid and Why?

If you’re considering buying a Porsche 996, it’s important to do your research. Some year models of the Porsche 996 have known issues that can be costly to repair.

Quick Answer: Avoid Porsche 996’s 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2005 Years

In this blog post, we’ll discuss which Porsche 996 years you should avoid and why.

Which Model Years of Used Porsche 996 Are Safe to Buy?

  • 1999 Porsche 911
  • 2000 Porsche 911
  • 2003 Porsche 911

The 996 generation Porsches are appealing. It looks newer and fresher than previous years, has unusual shapely headlamps, and has classic Porsche performance that you can feel behind the wheel while everyone around you hears the snarling flat-6 engine.

Carcomplaints.com has no complaints for 1999, 2000, or 2003 models.

So, whether these turn-of-the-century models remind you of the car you wanted in high school, or you want to use your GameStop stock earnings to buy Sally the blue car from Pixar’s Cars, or you just want to look cool and drive a fast car for under thirty thousand dollars, the Porsche 996 is a great car, and the 1999, 2000, and 2003 models are a great place to start looking.

Which Model Years of Porsche 996 to Avoid:

  • 2001 Porsche 911
  • 2002 Porsche 911
  • 2004 Porsche 911
  • 2005 Porsche 911

These model years have few complaints, so you shouldn’t worry about getting a deathtrap or junk. These 996s are more suspect than previous years, so why not hunt for the more trustworthy versions from prior years?

In these years, difficulties were rare but substantial. 2001 models have blown head gaskets. The engine block head gasket seals fluids.

Coolant or oil can leak from a damaged gasket and damage engine parts. Porsche’s boxer 6-cylinder engine is expensive to replace if the gasket blows. A broken seat belt is 2002’s only complaint.

Driving without a seatbelt is dangerous and unlawful. The 2002 Porsche 911 is the only 996 model year with this issue, therefore avoid it. A ball-bearing dropping into the engine causes the 2004 model’s engine to stall and never restart.

Full engine replacement was the only answer. Scored bores in 2005 models required engine replacement. Lack of engine oil causes pistons to grind against the metal.

This quickly wears out the engine and wastes oil, reducing car performance. Thus, 996 generating issues were rare but dangerous and costly to fix.

European luxury cars have expensive replacement parts and labor, but after spending tens of thousands on your dream car, you don’t want to spend another fifteen thousand to fix it.

If you’re buying used, it’s hard to tell how well the previous owner treated their Porsche, so avoid the 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2005 911s.


When it comes to buying a used Porsche 996, it’s important to know which years should be avoided and why.

To recap our discussion above, it is best to stay away from 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2005 Years model.

With this knowledge in hand, you can feel confident about researching and purchasing your perfect used Porsche!