Every so often we have someone ask about the intermediate Shaft (IMS) Bearing in the 996 and Boxsters, and what they should do, and how worried should they be.
In short, the Intermediate Shaft (IMS) Bearing in the M96/M97 engines are nothing to loose sleep or fret over. In all of our combined years working on Boxsters and 996 era cars that share the same engine, in total, we have personally heard of two cars in the area that had IMS failures. With a percentage of failures this low we acknowledge they happen, and we don’t disregard them. There are hours of in-depth reports, reviews, DIY how-to’s, and a number of other sources and forums discussing this issue. We have read at length, and know this issue very well, but can only clearly rely on our own years of experience as to ‘what you can expect’.
When changing the oil, we perform a full inspection of the oil filter to look for ‘glitter’ or metal flecks. This is a good indication that the IMS is starting to fatigue.
You can, but we don’t recommend performing an elective or preventative IMS Bearing fix as a single service due to the high cost of labor associated with this replacement. However, if you are having your clutch serviced or replaced or having other engine/transmission removal type services performed we highly recommend having your IMS bearing replaced with an upgraded unit.
The talk around the IMS bearing is no reason not buy a 996 or Boxster. They are fantastic cars, and are a blast to drive. Overall, we recommend oil changes at closer intervals, complete filter inspection, focus on enjoying your Porsche, and leave the extra internet noise behind.
Best Regards, P3 Autokräfte