It’s no secret that Porsche makes quality automobiles at a premium price. The old saying goes that you get what you pay for, and that is certainly the case with the Porsche. This can make things all that more frustrating when something goes wrong with it. It can hurt even more when you pay for the repairs on a luxury imported vehicle, like Porsche.
One of the most recurring problems in Porsche automobiles is the IMS bearing. This little-known part has ended up causing havoc for thousands of Porsche drivers who expect the absolute best from their automobile’s performance. One only needs to conduct an online search and peruse the automobile enthusiast’s message boards to find the various complaints and grievances concerning the failure of the IMS bearing.
For those Porsche owners who aren’t already familiar with the IMS bearing, it is necessary to learn more about it, as it may become a problem you need to deal with during your car’s lifespan. These bearings can be found in the M96 and M97 engines in the Porsche 996, Porsche Boxster, and Porsche Cayman.
What is an IMS bearing and why does it fail?
The IMS bearing is only a small part of the overall IMS system. IMS stands for InterMediate Shaft. The IMS is a geared shaft running throughout the whole engine. Its function is to capture the rotation of the engine’s crankshaft and use that momentum to drive the camshafts. The flat-six engines that Porsche is known for uses this type of system. The shaft is supported by ball bearings that are known as IMS bearings.
There are 2 reasons why IMS bearings fail so frequently. First, the bearings themselves are made with weak material that does not seem to withstand even reasonable wear and tear or the internal heat being produced inside the engine. The fact that Porsches are designed to occasionally be pushed to the limit leads to even more pressure being put on these already weak bearings.
The second most cited reason for IMS bearing failure is a lack of lubrication. This can also lead to the premature weathering of the bearings. In any case, the breaking down of the bearings will lead to contamination of the engine oil, which further facilitates its decay.
How These Small Bearing Failures Can Lead To Catastrophe
Despite the IMS bearings being such a tiny part of a larger system, an IMS bearing failure can cause 0 to other parts of the engine, often requiring expensive and time-consuming repairs. The intermediate shaft needs to maintain proper timing with the crankshaft, and a broken bearing can throw that timing off. This could possibly result in smashed pistons and broken valves, causing drastic damage to the engine.
At its worst, an IMS bearing failure can lead to a complete engine rebuild. As a Porsche owner, you don’t need to be reminded that a complete engine rebuild on your car will require you to drain your bank account and hand it over to the repair shop. Fortunately, you can take preventative measures in ensuring that this catastrophic situation does not happen to your beloved Porsche.
How to Reduce the Chances of an IMS Bearing Failure in Your Porsche
When you care for your automobile, you will do anything to keep it in working order, as long as it is affordable. Therefore, when you are concerned about suffering an IMS bearing failure, you should take your Porsche in and ask your mechanic about installing new bearings that can withstand all the stress that a high powered automobile can dish out on its components.
For example, there are now ceramic hybrid ball bearings that can take the place of the poorly made stock bearings. All you need is a trustworthy mechanic that can walk you through all of your options and help you find the best solution for your vehicle. This is where Master Mechanics Auto Repair comes in.
Master Mechanics Auto Repair has been of service to the surrounding area since 30 years, and our track record is unparalleled in the state of Michigan. If you live in or near the areas of Battle Creek, Portage, or Kalamazoo, MI, bring your Porsche in and have it examined by one of our friendly experts. We will get you back on the road safely and free of the worry of an IMS bearing failure.
* Porsche 718 Cayman image credit goes to: DarthArt.