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Porsche 944 (1981 - 1993)

Last updated 22 January 2016


Buying Guide


  • Inspect the sills and lower front wings for rust.
  • Also check where the rear beam axle mounts to the body for corrosion.
  • Front wing bottoms can get clogged up by mud, causing the wings to corrode.
  • Sometimes you see rust blisters where the front wings meet the bumper.
  • Blisters can sometimes be seen around the bumper and back panel.
  • Check for uneven panel gaps – often a sign of accident damage.
  • Cars with sunroofs can leak thanks to perished rubber or failed mechanism so check for wet carpets.
  • Also check the sunroof opens and closes.
  • The sunroof on S2 cars is removable and there should be a soft bag to store it in.
  • Some 944s blister around the windscreen.
  • The low nose means that the front end is very susceptible to stone chips.

Engine & Gearbox

  • Regularly serviced engines are very reliable.
  • The schedule is every 12,000 miles or every year.
  • Timing belts must be replaced every 28,000 miles – if they snap the pistons will smash the valves.
  • It’s good practice to change the water pump at the same time.
  • Excessive vibration at idle could be down to worn hydraulic engine mounts.
  • Power steering reservoirs can leak, often down to worn hose clamps.
  • Steering pumps can leak, as can the steering racks (internally).
  • Check for oil leaks around the camshaft, balance shafts, oil cooler and oil pressure sender.
  • Inspect the header tank for leaks and signs of a white sludge, which hints and a failed cylinder head gasket.
  • Automatic gearboxes are generally tough, but whine from the rear could be a worn differential bearing or pinion bearing.
  • If the transmission is leaking, it might be from the two output-shaft seals.
  • Make sure the clutch doesn’t slip under load or judder – replacing it is expensive.

Suspension & Brakes

  • Rear anti-roll bar bushes can wear, leading to sloppy handling.
  • Check for worn ball joints.
  • On the test drive, keep an ear out for any knocks, rattles and clonks.
  • Cars that don’t get much use can experience sticky callipers – a strip down and rebuild should sort it.

Interior & Electrics

  • Make sure all the electrics work – these cars are now getting to an age where electrical gremlins are not uncommon.
  • Electric windows are often slow and door mirrors fail to adjust.
  • Like the 924, dashboards are prone to cracking.
  • Interior fabric doesn’t seem to be that hard wearing and is expensive to retrim.
  • Leather interior is much more hard-wearing but seat bolsters can wear.
  • Check the condition of the boot seals – they can perish letting water and exhaust fumes in to the cabin.
  • Boot and bonnet struts can fail.
  • Make sure the headlamps raise and lower smoothly and that full and dipped beam is working as electrical cables can crack.
  • Does the wash/wipe work? If not, check behind the nose for broken pipes or failed connectors.
  • Check that the fan works on all speeds.
  • Make sure both hot and cold air is evenly distributed as channels sometimes become blocked.
  • Some cars got air-con so make sure it works if you plan to use it.
  • Lift the carpet in the boot and make sure the spare and the jack are present.
  • If you a complete original toolkit, that always says a lot about how well the car’s been looked after.
  • Check the luggage compartment blind is intact, not sagging and pulls cleanly.


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