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lifter gets stuck

Engine

Model: C4 Cabriolet Tiptronic, Year:2002, Mileage:18,000, Type of use:Street use only
I have a 2002 C4 Cabriolet Tiptronic with 18,000 miles. I am the original owner. I drive the car in the spring through fall and then keep it in the garage during the winter with a car cover and battery charger. Every spring the dealer does all required services and changes the oil and filter.One month ago the check engine light started flashing and the car idled roughly. I brought the car to the dealer and they said it was a stuck lifter that caused the computer to shut down that cylinder. They reset the computer and the engine was fine, but they said it likely would happen again and that I would need to replace all three lifters on that side of the engine and the cost would be $4,400. They suggested I take the car home and drive it hard to see if that would free up the lifter. They also said that the problem might have been caused by me not driving the car enough! This had never been mentioned to me during my previous 7 annual trips to their service department.The problem occurred again last week and the car is now at the dealer where they told me again that I need to replace the lifters.I know the car is out of warranty but it seems odd and frustrating that a $100,000 car known for its engine would develop such a problem after less than 20,000 miles and having the car continuously serviced at the dealer.I have opened a case with Porsche USA and am waiting to hear from them.My questions are: 1) What would cause such a problem?2) How frequently does this occur?3) Do you have any suggestions regarding my conversation with Porsche USA?I appreciate your help.Robert Goldberg

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