Common IMS Bearing Issues for Porsches in Thousand Oaks
By Bavarian Performance Specialists May 4, 2019
Porsche is known for being a leading luxury vehicle brand, and rightfully so. It outclasses many others in terms of speed, horsepower, and comfort while driving. When you buy one, you expect it to perform better than anything else you could have gotten for the money.
Unfortunately, there is one very common flaw you should be wary about when it comes to these vehicles: the IMS bearing. This small auto part can wreck your entire Porsche if you are not careful. Let’s avoid the problem by being proactive.
In this article, we will talk about what an IMS bearing is and does, what happens when it malfunctions, why it malfunctions, how common the issue is, which models are most affected, and what you can do about it.
What is an IMS bearing and what does it do?
The IMS bearing is part of the IMS. IMS is an acronym for “Intermediate Shaft.” As some of you may already know, the IMS drives the camshafts in a Porsche. The bearings are small balls that support the IMS.
What happens when IMS bearings malfunction?
When your IMS bearings fail, you are going to have an extremely bad time. The end result of the damage they cause is called “premature catastrophic engine failure”. This means that your Porsche’s engine will need to have extensive and expensive work done to repair what a tiny little car part destroyed.
Why IMS Bearings Malfunction
There are two main reasons why IMS bearings fail so easily. First, the bearings are not properly lubricated. This means that they can’t freely roll and glide, so they will scrape against the IMS and wear down. Second, the metal that the bearings are made of is not strong enough or durable enough to support the IMS or the heat of the engine.
How common is the issue?
Really, it depends on the Porsche model you bought, when it was manufactured, and what kind of engine it has. These are the most “at risk” models are the 996 or 997 generation Porsche 911 (sans Turbo models) and the 986 or 987 generation Porsche Boxster.
They are most exposed to IMS bearing malfunctions because the engines used are either a M96 or M97, the ones with the old IMS bearings that have since been replaced in favor of the 9A1 engine. The 9A1 does not use an intermediate shaft system at all, so there are no pesky ball bearings to potentially destroy your engine.
If you do have one of the older engine models, you need to be especially wary. Many Porsche owners have reported the bearings failing after driving a little over 3,000 miles!
What You Can Do
If you are panicking because your Porsche does indeed have one of these potentially faulty systems, you have options before you have to deal with something as drastic as total engine failure.
An option is to get an upgrade for the system that will keep your engine fairly safe. You should do it as soon as possible, but you can wait until you need other repairs if you want to save more time and money.
Get your Porsche inspected to determine whether there is already any damage. The sooner you know, the sooner you can do something about it in a safe and easy way.
In order to do either of these things, you need to find a team who is experienced and qualified to do the work on such a delicate vehicle. Your standard auto mechanic may not have the know how to fix it the first time. You may save money on the visit, but you’ll be paying thousands later on return visits to an untrained mechanic.
Bavarian Performance Specialists
The technicians at Bavarian Performance Specialists can ease your worries and save you from total engine failure due to IMS bearing issues. We service vehicles like yours as well as brands like BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and Volkswagen. If you are a luxury car aficionado, you can trust us for all of your vehicle repair maintenance needs.
We are located in these areas of CA: Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills, Westlake, Malibu, and Newbury Park. Give us a chance to become your trusted mechanics. Stop by to consult with us today!
* Porsche 911 GT3 image credit goes to: Sjo.