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996 viscous coupling

Transmission and Clutch

Vehicle Information: Model: 996 C4; Year: 2002; Body Type: Cabriolet; Total Mileage: 50000;

To update the conversations about the viscous coupling on a 996 C4, we have two such cars, and one was getting up the hill in snow this winter and one was not. The difference was profound. I noted that NEITHER front wheel was turning when the rears were spinning on ice and snow.I put both cars on the lift, locked the rear wheels with the parking brake, and turned BOTH FRONT WHEELS IN THE SAME DIRECTION by hand, and found very little resistance on the "bad" car, compared to the "good" car, which required much more effort to turn the front wheels in the same direction by hand. The dealer subsequently confirmed that the viscous coupling was shot and replaced it under the Pre-Owned warranty (although it had to be ordered from Germany and took a month to get).I did some internet research and learned that the viscous couplings on VW 4-Motion cars (which are probably very similar) have a life expectancy of as little as 40,000 miles, which is consistent with the experience on this C4. (I wonder when the other one will wear out, as it has the same mileage.) At any rate, having even a little pull from the front wheels makes a HUGE difference on a slippery hill. That's the only reason why we have C4s and not Boxsters.

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