[911 Carrera]

my 1986 911 Carrera

Fuel costs and general maintenance
Average fuel economy to date: 19.75 mpg
Current mileage: 94,000

All shop work is done at Autobahn in Fairfax, VA and HBL Porsche in Tyson's Corner, VA. I use Mobil-1 15W-50 oil and Mobil 93 octane fuel.

December 21, 2000: Boy, talk about a while without updates. Snow has hit D.C., and driving is becoming less than pleasant, but hey, at least I get to drive a 911. Nothing new to report; car's running quite well. New clutch is still needed ;-).

December 5, 1999: Got a front bra cover for the car and installed it. Car's been doing just fine. Even after 1.5 years of ownership, it still finds new ways of impressing me every time I drive it.

July 13, 1999: The car's finally coming out of the dealer's shop tomorrow after a long ordeal. Turns out the DME control was shot, along with the temp sensor. Yipee. Tip of the day: buy a refurbished DME unit, not a new one. This all started when the car stalled on me, and wouldn't restart for a long enough period of time to drive. First time it's been towed (well, besides the accident - See 9.24.98 log entry). Total cost of DME job: $900.

July 1, 1999: The car's been running a bit rough, so I finally took it into the dealer for a little check-up. Otherwise, things have been just fine... Nice weather around here in the D.C. area for driving lately. Total cost: $270.

March 1, 1999: Sorry for the lack of updates. Work has kept me busy enough, and the weather has not cooperated enough for me to fully enjoy my car... More updates soon as the weather warms up!

January 14, 1998: Finally replaced the cyl head temp sensor. Started using 89 octane Mobil gas and the car runs much better.

November 25, 1998: The car is back, and in *great* shape. Looks amazing, handles well. I'm certainly very happy this week... Coming soon: pictures (eek!) and the story. Total cost of repair: around $8600. Ouch.

September 24, 1998: The saddest day in recent memory. After only 3.5 months of ownership, I was involved in an accident. Whole front end smashed in. I'll be over here in the corner crying.

So, this page will see no updates for the next month as it is being repaired.

September 22, 1998: Replaced the O2 sensor with a generic Bosch sensor ($150 less than the "official" Porsche factory sensor). Required only some splicing and soldering to attach the old plug to the new sensor, and a lot of brute force to get the old one out. Write up available here. Also did an oil change.

August 29, 1998: Replaced the rear brake pads with new Porsche stock pads. The old ones were down to 2mm! Write up and pictures coming soon.

August 18, 1998: Replaced the stock Blaupunkt cassette player with a new Blaupunkt CD player. Just a little soldering required.

August 8, 1998: Replaced the intake manifold gaskets in a furthur attempt to fix the rough idle problem. Didn't exactly fix it. Looks like the problem has been narrowed down to a bad O2 sensor. Doing the gasket job myself saved me $500. Parts were only $20. Not bad, eh? Pictures available here.

July 29, 1998: The rough idle is still a concern. Visited the mechanic (again!) and we tracked it down to a vacuum leak at the air manifold connection to cylinder #4. Fun.

July 15, 1998: Took the car to the mechanic. Time for valve adjustment, new crankshaft oil line, fuses, rotor cap... Let's just say that the bill renewed my desire to learn how to service my own car ;-/.

June 27, 1998: First oil change. I'm slowly learning all the little quirks that make the 911 so..., well, "911". Draining the oil from two places was a bit odd, but other than that it was quite easy. You really couldn't ask for a better-placed filter.

June 12, 1998: After over a week of ownership, I'm now adjusting to the car and am beginning to understand what people mean when they talk about Porsche automobiles. I honestly don't think I can now buy any other make of car. Ever.

June 3, 1998: I told my boss I'd be taking a somewhat longer lunch break than usual. I went over to the seller's house, we drove to his local credit union, and I handed over the check in return for the title to the 1986 911 Carrera. It was then officially mine... I came back to the office only four hours later ;).

Date Miles driven Repair, servicing ($)
Dec. 21 27,000 approx. 5500

List of things to be done on my car (cash flow permitting):
  • New clutch (!!!)
  • New heater blower motors
  • Valve job ($$$)

    For technical tips, see this page for a collection of posts from the PorscheList mailing list.