There are certain Porsche cars that are commonly afflicted with intermediate shaft bearing issues on their engine's camshafts. This is common with the Porsche 911, 996 generation. Failure in the IMS ball bearings can lead to engine failure to a certain extent. Here are facts to know more about the most common Porsche IMS bearing issue.
Porsche Models with IMS Issues
Apart from the Porsche 911, 996 version, there are other Porches that are facing problems with IMS bearing failure. Included in the list are the 2000 to 2005 Boxster 986, and MY1997 and MY2008 versions of Caymans, 911s and Boxsters. The failure can affect mileage but there is no particular pattern that indicates the type of issue that needs to be addressed.
Causes of the Problem
The IMS front bearing normally operates as it is submerged in engine oil. It remains submerged even when the engine is shut off or when it is idle. In the case of rear ball bearing, the component has its own grease lubricant, and it is separated by an oil seal. Once the car speeds up, the shaft operates while submerged with oil lubrication.
There are some engine failures that are caused by the failure of the rear bearing seal to perform its job. When this happens, dirty engine oil gets inside the bearing, thus washing off the grease that lubricates the component. The contamination will then lead to wear and tear of the bearing, thus making IMS bearing fail.
Symptoms of IMS Bearing Failure
The loud rattling noise that you hear each time you accelerate or start your engine is one of the most common symptoms associated with IMS bearing failure. You can also easily spot the problem when you change your automobile's oil and filter. Any metallic debris that settles on used oil and the oil filter is a sign that something went bad within the ball bearing. Black plastic fragments, on the other hand, comes from the IMS bearing seal.
How to Prevent this Issue
There are different ways by which the problem with the IMS bearing can be prevented. One of which is the replacement of the IMS bearing as a service item by employing other technologies like cylindrical roller bearings, and ceramic hybrid ball bearings. These bearings require frequent replacement, and have varying technologies. Providing the IMS with adequate lubrication is also essential, especially in the absence of a grease seal. There are also certain car models, particularly those of the 2006 to 2008 models, that are required to remove the bearing seal in order to allow proper lubrication of the bearing.
It is also important to consult your mechanic when you notice that there is something wrong with your IMS bearing. You can never take this problem for granted, or else you need to suffer the consequences of a totally failing engine later. It is best to address the issue as you notice it, or even when you know that your Porsche car model may be susceptible to this problem.