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1999 996 Miami pre-purchase inspection

Car Purchase

Vehicle Information: Model: All; Year: 1999; Body Type: Coupe;

You can forward my experience. Several years ago, I found what I thought was a very nice 97 993C2S from an independent specialty car seller about 900 miles away. I paid the local Porsche dealer $300 to check the car out, and they gave it a clean bill of health. I flew out, looked thar car over and drove it home. When I got home, it flunked local inspection for CEL. The car had the Check Engine light disabled, the valve guides were worn beyond limit and the secondary air circuit was clogged. The tab on the bulb holder had been bent so it would not make contact with the bulb. I missed it because I did not know what to look for and I was relying on the PPI. The Porsche dealer said that the light was working but not illuminated when they checked the car (almost physically impossible). The dealer did not check the ECU for fault codes either. When I spoke to the service manager (before the dealer's lawyer got to him) he admitted that he missed it. The dealer's official position was that the light must have been disabled in the 48 hours from the time they say they inspected the car to the time I purchased it. The independent that I bought the car from did nothing. All he said was that he was not at fault. I pieced together the history of the car and determined that an independent mechanic in the Dallas area had most likely disabled the light about 8 weeks before because the owner was tired of the light coming on. So instead of addressing the problem, he traded the car to the independent in Missouri for a newer turbo. I spoke to my attorney lawyers in my area. He agreed that I had been a victim of fraud. If it had been a local transaction, I would have had a case and probably won. Since my transaction was across state lines, he doubted I could win. I could not find anyone in the PCA local region that would help or recommend a local lawyer. They had too much to lose in their relationship with the dealer and the independent and they said so when I spoke with them. The lawyers I contacted near to the point of sale indicated they would have a professional conflict with the dealer and the independent. I contacted PCNA and they would not even register my complaint and instead referred me back to the dealer, who by this time would only talk to me through their attorney. So, I paid my local mechanic about $5K for new guides and a thorough cleaning. I ended up being a poster child on CEL and worn valve guides for OBDII. My letters and experience were published in Pano and Excellence. I also met Joel through this unfortunate circumstance, which shows that even the darkest event can have a benefit. If you ever have an opportunity to deal with an independent specialty car dealer or a Porsche Dealer in central Missouri, please feel free to remind them that they are not on my Christmas card list. I hope that the flies of a thousand camels one day infest their armpits, but that is just my personal wish. I do not think they lose a lot of sleep over it. They better hope that I never find a genie in a bottle that gives me 3 wishes. On a more practical note, once the money changes hands in an out of state transaction, your practical rights are slim unless you litigate for a living and have a personal jet at your disposal. I do not fall into this category, but I can guess that this profile and used Porsche buyers are mutually exclusive groups. If you have a serious problem post sale, do not expect a lot of help from anyone in the Porsche network. If you live in California and you expect a fair deal for a car in Florida, you may be lucky and everything will work out. Ten years ago I bought an 80 SC from an independent in Atlanta and it was a great car. On this one, I looked for my car carefully for 5 months and still got screwed. Overall, I do not think the downside of your situation is worth the risk. The only car I will buy out of state now is one still under factory warranty and only after I go over the car thoroughly with an electronic paint gauge meter after an independent PPI and a good look underneath on a lift. I took 3 hours to go over my last purchase and the warranty still has another 11 months to go. Three of the salesman's customers asked him why the shop mechanic was taking the car apart in his show room. I wore out the salesman's patience but in the end, got a geat car. Good Luck. If you ever find a genie in a bottle, I would be interested in buying 1 wish. Paul B.

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