Porsche IMS Bearing: Small Piece with a Big Issue

porsche ims bearing issues and how you can avoid it
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You must be very much familiar with the term “IMS bearing failure “if you own a Porsche. This is one of the common problems faced by Porsche owners.

IMS stands for the intermediate shaft. Porsche IMS is a shaft that operates from the front and the rear of the engine. It is used to drive the camshaft indirectly on both sides of the engine by rotating the engine’s crankshaft.

The IMS bearing issue that occurred before 2009 was in the cartridge type ball bearings which are supported in the IMS in the older models of Porsches which have now become obsolete and are replaced by new and advanced bearings.

Failure of IMS bearings can damage the entire engine which is the backbone of any car and the replacement of the engine is a very costly process, especially in luxury cars like Porsche.

What causes IMS bearing failure?

IMS bearing failure usually occurs in Porsche due to the corrosion of bearings caused mainly due to inadequate lubrication of engine parts. As the result of insufficient lubrication the friction increases which results in wear and tear of the bearings.

This leads to the corrosion of the bearings. So, it is very much important to change the oil frequently to ensure adequate lubrication of the bearings.

There are various models which are not prone to IMS bearing failures such as the new water-cooled Turbo and GT2 models. They also have the same engine and another internal setup as the previous air-cooled engines but their bearings rarely fall.

However, if you have any of these models you need to go for auto maintenance of your Porsche as they are prone to IMS bearing failures. Find the nearest Porsche repair service center and check whether the IMS bearings are working properly or not.

These are some models that are prone to IMS bearing failures:
Any versions of 986 Boxster models
Any 996 models except GT and Turbo
997.36 ltr with M96/05

What are the IMS-bearing failure symptoms?

These are the symptoms that indicate IMS bearing failure:

  • During an oil change, metallic debris in the oil filter is seen.
  • Oil is leaking from the rear part of the engine
  • Strange metallic sounds coming from the motor.
  • Regular Porsche maintenance is needed to avoid IMS bearing failure.

How can you avoid IMS Bearing Failure in a Porsche?

Early detection is the only way to reduce the chances of IMS-bearing failure in your Porsche. It is advised to replace your IMS bearing if a minute disturbance is seen in your engine because once the situation becomes more critical you have to change your entire engine which is very much expensive.

A skilled technician or an automobile engineer can help you in replacing your IMS bearings before it is too late.

The failure of IMS bearing is a common issue. However, if you own the model 2006-2008 engine, you can remove the grease seals to improve the lubrication and cooling of the bearings. The other way is to open the engine and install the new upgraded IMS bearings as these bearings have minimum chances of failing.

The main step to lessen the scope of IMS bearing failure is performing the regular maintenance of the engine parts because once the engine fails, replacing your IMS bearings will be of no use. You have to either rebuild or replace your engine. If you do not then the new IMS bearing will get contaminated.

And the result will be decreased efficiency of the engine. A routine checkup of the engine is necessary too to ensure long-lasting service.
IMS Retrofit ceramic Hybrid ball bearing is another type of bearings that can serve as a permanent solution for IMS bearing failure in previous versions of Porsche engines.

It is the best Porsche IMS bearing replacement available in the market. It is also recommended by various mechanics as it is made up of supreme quality which prevents corrosion. However, the cost of installing Retrofit ball bearings in case of IMS bearing failure is around $4000.Though, the cost seems huge but is very minimal in comparison to the replacement of the entire engine.

Installation of this ball bearing can surely avoid future damage to the engine parts and help to maintain the mileage as well as the performance of the engine.

What is the main drawback of Porsche’s IMS bearing?

In most cases, the Porsche IMS bearing issue occurs due to the wear and tear of the ball bearings as a result of huge friction. If you see that Porsche’s IMS Bearing Is Failing it might be also due to the lack of lubrication and regular maintenance of Porsche parts.

Lack of lubrication causes overheating which not only damages the IMS bearings but also hampers the normal working of the entire engine of your vehicle.

The worst-case scenario: In the worst of cases, the failure of the IMS bearing can cause contact between the piston and the valve and result in further damage to other engine parts. In this situation, you have to buy another core which is a bit costly.

Don’t take the failure of your Porsche’s IMS bearing too casually. If you suspect or hear any strange noise from your engine, it’s better to consult a professional technician and ensure an early diagnosis of the problem to reduce the risk of serious damage caused to your car and maintain its long-lasting service.

In which year did Porsche fix its IMS bearing issue?

Porsche started to fix its IMS issue in 2000. The first replacements were done in 2000-2001 Porsche Boxter and 911 engines.

The Boxster and the 911 engines were fitted with dual row and single row intermediate shaft bearings to enhance their performance.


In this article, you will get to know about all the details of the IMS bearings in your Porsche models. The causes, symptoms, as well as preventive measures to avoid IMS bearing failures, are covered in this article.

It is advised to all the Porsche owners, not to take this matter lightly and follow all the car maintenance tips provided here to ensure the smooth working of your car.

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