What does it really cost to run a Porsche 911?

Maybe it’s the new year. Maybe it’s the rising prices.

Whatever the reason, we’ve had a few people ask us lately: What does it really cost to run an air-cooled Porsche 911?

You can dive deeper into the ownership experience of our 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera right here, but call this a summary of sorts.

We bought the car in 2009 with about 130,000 miles on the odometer. The car currently has 148,000 miles on the odometer.

The biggest expense came in 2012 when we redid the heads. We found a broken head stud, and the valves were getting a bit noisy.

The headwork cost about $1800, while a friend did the swap on the side. He used to own a Porsche shop and still had all the tools.

It took us about nine months of working occasional weekends, but it was educational. Total bill for everything, including the head work from JB Racing, a new clutch, the APR studs and all parts, was about $5000–but note those are 2012 dollars.

Other than that, it’s really just been oil changes. Each year, we ask our mechanic about a valve adjustment. It seems like we do that service every five years or so.

For the routine oil change and look-over, the total bill comes in at a couple of hundred dollars–so two or three hours of labor and then whatever supplies are needed.

Other maintenance has been the usual: air filters, wiper blades. It’s really been minimal.

In 2020, due to age, we replaced our tires, moving to the Yokohama ADVAN A008P. Even though the old tires still sported plenty of tread, our testing showed that it was time to replace them.

We do have some work coming up, though, as it’s time to replace some suspension bushings as they’re getting noisy. While the car is on the lift, we’ll replace the shock absorbers and go through the brakes. We also need to replace the struts for both the trunk and engine lid–again, very minor stuff.

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Noddaz PowerDork
1/24/23 11:27 a.m.

$5000 plus routine service to drive 18,000 miles.  Granted, the car does have 130k+ miles and any car will need work at that mileage.

But since all I own is junk, I don't know if that is good or not.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/24/23 12:21 p.m.

Well, the car went 130,000+ before it needed those heads redone. Figure it's now good for another hundred thousand or so. I'm very okay with that. 

billbrewer59 New Reader
1/24/23 1:01 p.m.

After having Mercedes and Porsches and their eye-watering repair bills I am back to British cars (Morgans and Triumphs). Awhile back after driving the last rebuild for 60,000 miles I broke a crankshaft in my TR3. I went all the way through the engine and installed a new clutch. The carbs & cooling system were okay. Put in all back together in about 6 weeks of partial weekends for about $2500. Compare that to a $5000 "routine service" on a 911. I would like to have a newer 911. I just don't want to pay for the maintenance and repairs. 

Noddaz PowerDork
1/24/23 4:34 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Understood!  Beautiful car BTW!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/14/23 3:04 p.m.

In reply to billbrewer59 :

I wouldn't call $5000 routine service. Yes, we spent that much to go through the engine, but if we have to do that once every few decades, I'm okay with that. 

Since going through the engine, it’s really just been oil changes, the occasional valve adjustment and the usual–tires, a battery, wax, etc. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/14/23 3:05 p.m.
Noddaz said:

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Understood!  Beautiful car BTW!

Thank you!

Some recent pictures (with models) here: How to (inadvertently) make your own car event.

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