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Intermediate Shaft Bearing Failure in Porsches

If you are a Porsche owner, you may or may not have heard of IMS failure. This failure is common in certain Porsche models. IMS stands for Intermediate Shaft Bearing. It is the supporting bearing of the intermediate shaft on the motor. The purpose of the IMS is to reduce the speed of the chains on the crankshaft, allowing for a longer lifespan. If the intermediate shaft bearing wears out you may begin to hear a knocking sound, and in the case of a complete failure, you will have to replace or rebuild your engine.

The following is a list of Porsche models that are prone to IMS failure.

  • 986 Boxster Models
  • 987 Cayman and Boxster Models (up to engine #61504715)
  • 996 models (does not include GT or Turbo models)
  • 997 3.6 ltr (up to engine #6950745)

What Causes the Failure?

There isn’t just one single cause of IMS failure. Each failure is usually caused by many different issues, but the most common cause of IMS failure is due to a lack of lubrication and high load, which will lead to overheating. The overheating will, in turn, fracture the steel leaving a pit. Once this happens the bearing wears out much quicker, leading to premature failure.

It is important to keep an eye out for warning signs. If your bearing is failing, you may find metal debris in the oil filter, have an oil leak near the rear of the engine, or you may hear a knocking sound coming from the motor.

Engine Replacement

If you experience IMS bearing failure, you will likely have to have your engine replaced or rebuilt. In rare cases, the failure can cause the cam timing to be thrown off, which can cause valve to piston contact. If this happens, you will not be able to use your engine as a core. This can be quite expensive because along with replacing the engine you will be required to buy another core.

Can Preventative Maintenance Minimize the Risk of Failure?

Taking a proactive approach and replacing the IMS bearing is the best way to prevent failure, but not always the most economical. In the 1997 to 2005 engines, the IMS bearing is accessible and can be replaced without tearing the engine down. In the 2006 to 2008 models, the IMS bearing is not accessible and the engine must be torn down to replace it. Another way of helping to extend the life of the bearing is to make sure that it is lubricated and cooling properly.

We Can Answer Your Questions

There is so much conflicting and confusing information on the internet about the Porsche IMS bearing. If you are still unsure of what you need to do, give us a call. Our mechanics are highly knowledgeable about the issue and can help you understand what needs to be done and what problems you may be facing.

We are dedicated to providing you with the best service for German and European vehicles. We take what we do seriously and will fix your issue as quickly and effectively as possible. We enjoy the relationships that we have with our clients and we treat everyone’s vehicles as if they were our own. This is why we are a proud winner of the “Best Mechanics in Town Award”.

Give us a Call Today

When you need a specialized mechanic who knows German vehicles inside and out, Bavarian Auto is Porsche Mechanic here to help. You can rest assured that we will provide you with exceptional and reliable service, and will take care of all of your Porsche’s maintenance needs no matter what the size.

If you are looking for a company you can trust with your Porsche, you have come to the right place. Here at Bavarian Auto, our specialized mechanics are here to help you. If you are worried about your IMS bearing experiencing failure or if you are in need of another service for your Porsche, call Bavarian Auto today to book your appointment. We’re convenient to the Hixson, Ootelwah, and Chattanooga, TN areas and will be happy to help you get your Porsche back on the road as soon as possible!

* Porsche 718 Cayman image credit goes to: DarthArt.