Porsche Engine Overheating

Common Reasons for Porsche Engine Failure

By Bavarian Performance Specialists February 8, 2019

Porsches are luxury vehicles desired by many, so it makes sense that you want to avoid any and all problems once you have one. While regular maintenance can go a long way toward preventing problems, it also pays to know about common engine issues in Porsches so you can take steps to preventing them. Below, we discuss some of the most common reasons for engine failure in Porsches and what you can do to help keep your beloved vehicle safe from these problems.


The cooling system is essential for any car to run properly, and the Porsche is no exception. Engines produce a lot of heat when they’re running, and the cooling system works to help prevent that heat from building up to a point that it damages parts of the engine. However, when the system has no coolant to work with, things start to get a little too heated.

Unfortunately, several models of Porsches, particularly the Panamera, Cayenne, and Boxster 986, have a reputation for coolant leaks. If left undetected, your engine can overheat quickly. Because of where these leaks often occur, drivers may go weeks without noticing their coolant slowly escaping, as it will pool in the engine and then get burned off instead of leaking onto whatever surface you’re parked on.

One of the most disastrous effects of extended overheating is a damaged head gasket. This part is essential to keep your car running, and so expensive to service that in some older cars it is more cost-efficient to completely replace the engine than it is to fix the head gasket. Needless to say, overheating can be an easy fix, but if left undetected it can cause engine failure alarmingly easily.

The best way to avoid this problem is to check your coolant levels regularly, and get in the habit of glancing at the temperature gauge on your instrument panel while you’re driving. Having enough coolant in the system helps ensure the car has what it needs to stay at the proper temperature, and keeping an eye on the temperature means you don’t have to worry about other malfunctions, like the thermostat getting stuck, causing you any issues.

IMS Bearing

The IMS, or intermediate shaft, is an essential part of your Porsche’s engine. It helps carry power from the crankshaft to the camshafts, which is essential for your engine to provide the power needed to move the car. Obviously, this part’s failure spells out bad things for your car.

On the bright side, the IMS itself rarely experiences issues. The IMS bearing, however, has been a pain point for many Porsche owners. This bearing consists of a contained piece that holds ball bearings and lubrication. Most experts point to the ball bearings being unable to handle the stress load on them and not enough lubrication being the culprits for the part’s failure. If your Porsche model was made between 1999 and 2006, you may be at increased risk for IMS bearing failure.

This part is an incredibly expensive part to have fail, not because of the cost of the part itself but because of all of the labor that has to go into removing and replacing it. Unfortunately, because it is not a standard maintenance part, general maintenance isn’t going to do much to help prevent it from failing, either. So what can you do to protect your vehicle?

Porsche Engine Repair

Because this is such a widespread problem, a solution has been developed — a IMS bearing upgrade can be done to protect it from failure. It can also be pricey if done on its own, but if completed at the same time as other work that requires the engine to be delved into, you can help reduce your costs by quite a bit. Speak to your preferred Porsche mechanic about if this retrofit may be a good choice for you.

When you decide to go to work preventing premature engine failure in your Porsche, Bavarian Performance Specialists is here to help. Servicing Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills, Westlake, Malibu, and Newbury Park, CA, we specialize in German vehicles, including the Porsche, and put that expertise to work making sure your vehicle is protected and prepared for whatever it may face. Call or stop by today to discuss how preventative maintenance and being prepared can help your Porsche’s engine stay in good shape for a long time to come.