General Maintenance and Events Log
Average fuel economy: 18 mpg
Current mileage: 154,000

All shop work is done at ASG in Fairfax and HBL Porsche in Tyson's Corner, VA. I use Penzoil 20W-50 oil and Sunoco 93 octane fuel.

August 25, 2009: Been a while without updates! Just got new tires yesterday: Michelin Pilot Sport A/S. Last month my car turned 23 years old - only two more to antique status here in Virginia.

May 25, 2006: Car has been running great; lots of honest-to-goodness Spring weather for nice driving. Got my windshield replaced thanks to my insurance company, and I can actually see while driving at night now; there were thousands of tiny pits in the old one. Also upgraded my headlights to H4s, and got my A/C recharged. This coming July marks the 20th year of my car!

November 3, 2004: Got the car back! Now it's time to drive. A lot.

October 11, 2004: The car was taken to ASG for some major work. Top- and bottom-end engine rebuild (down to the cranshaft), transmission rebuild, and a new clutch. The valve guides were indeed shot, so that is what's been causing my somewhat rough running. I'll miss many weeks of great fall driving, but it'll be such a thrill to have my car back with basically a new engine. I highly recommend ASG in Fairfax. They are beyond professional, and Raymond (the owner) knows way too much about Porsches. You can tell everyone there just loves the cars. I feel like I'm walking into a Porsche museum when I go there.

July 20, 2004: State safety and emissions inspections passed with flying colors. Went over to the dealer to have that done. While I was there I fell in love with the new 2005 911. It'll be out in September. Looks like Porsche listened to those of us who simply hate the 99-04 version of the 911. The new one is definitely a return to a more classic 911. Go check it out at

April 27, 2004: So this past winter allowed me to do a few small things on the car like replace the ignition wires, replace a front fog light, and do an oil change or two. Here in Northern VA we're actually having Spring (usually it just jumps from Winter to Summer), so the driving weather has been superb.

July 7, 2003: Four new tires finally! Michelin Pilot A/S Sports. 205/55ZR16 front, 225/50ZR16 rear. It's finally stopped raining here in the D.C. area to allow for some nice driving.

December 27, 2002: Not much to report in the way of my 911 this fall. With the start of winter I'm still driving it, of course. After all, it was made to be driven. I'll be replacing all four tires soon; about five years and 40,000 miles on these amazing Michelins.

August 3, 2002: Well, after the second wheel bearing was replaced I guess too much brake fluid had leaked out, so I had a LOT of air in the hydraulic brake system. That meant my brakes were inoperative. D'oh! So, I had to bleed the brakes. I had never done this before, but found it quite easy after some quick research.

August 1, 2002: Had the dealer replace the idle stabilizer to solve the hesitation problem I've been having. Also got motivated to replace the front wheel bearings when I got it home. Can't believe I've had the car for over 4 years now!

January 4, 2002: Had to get a new alternator today. The alternator has apparently been overcharging (17+ volts) for a while now, leading to some strange behavior in the electrical system (lights dimming and brightening randomly) and roughness in running. Car is much improved now!

October 8, 2001: What great fall weather in D.C. for driving! I haven't had a lot of time outside of work, but I have been trying to take care of a lot of the little fixes I've been putting off, such as: paint repair (touch-up), complete exterior polish and wax, replacement of various internal lights, extreme detail cleaning inside, sunroof adjustment, et al.

December 21, 2000: Boy, talk about a while without updates. Snow has hit D.C., and driving is becoming less than pleasant, but hey, at least I get to drive a 911. Nothing new to report; car's running quite well. New clutch is still needed ;-).

December 5, 1999: Got a front bra cover for the car and installed it. Car's been doing just fine. Even after 1.5 years of ownership, it still finds new ways of impressing me every time I drive it.

July 13, 1999: The car's finally coming out of the dealer's shop tomorrow after a long ordeal. Turns out the DME control was shot, along with the temp sensor. Yipee. Tip of the day: buy a refurbished DME unit, not a new one. This all started when the car stalled on me, and wouldn't restart for a long enough period of time to drive. First time it's been towed (well, besides the accident - See 9.24.98 log entry). Total cost of DME job: $900.

July 1, 1999: The car's been running a bit rough, so I finally took it into the dealer for a little check-up. Otherwise, things have been just fine... Nice weather around here in the D.C. area for driving lately. Total cost: $270.

March 1, 1999: Sorry for the lack of updates. Work has kept me busy enough, and the weather has not cooperated enough for me to fully enjoy my car... More updates soon as the weather warms up!

January 14, 1998: Finally replaced the cyl head temp sensor. Started using 89 octane Mobil gas and the car runs much better.

November 25, 1998: The car is back, and in *great* shape. Looks amazing, handles well. I'm certainly very happy this week... Coming soon: pictures (eek!) and the story. Total cost of repair: around $8600. Ouch.

September 24, 1998: The saddest day in recent memory. After only 3.5 months of ownership, I was involved in an accident. Whole front end smashed in. I'll be over here in the corner crying.

So, this page will see no updates for the next month as it is being repaired.

September 22, 1998: Replaced the O2 sensor with a generic Bosch sensor ($150 less than the "official" Porsche factory sensor). Required only some splicing and soldering to attach the old plug to the new sensor, and a lot of brute force to get the old one out. Write up available here. Also did an oil change.

August 29, 1998: Replaced the rear brake pads with new Porsche stock pads. The old ones were down to 2mm! Write up and pictures coming soon.

August 18, 1998: Replaced the stock Blaupunkt cassette player with a new Blaupunkt CD player. Just a little soldering required.

August 8, 1998: Replaced the intake manifold gaskets in a furthur attempt to fix the rough idle problem. Didn't exactly fix it. Looks like the problem has been narrowed down to a bad O2 sensor. Doing the gasket job myself saved me $500. Parts were only $20. Not bad, eh? Pictures available here.

July 29, 1998: The rough idle is still a concern. Visited the mechanic (again!) and we tracked it down to a vacuum leak at the air manifold connection to cylinder #4. Fun.

July 15, 1998: Took the car to the mechanic. Time for valve adjustment, new crankshaft oil line, fuses, rotor cap... Let's just say that the bill renewed my desire to learn how to service my own car ;-/.

June 27, 1998: First oil change. I'm slowly learning all the little quirks that make the 911 so..., well, "911". Draining the oil from two places was a bit odd, but other than that it was quite easy. You really couldn't ask for a better-placed filter.

June 12, 1998: After over a week of ownership, I'm now adjusting to the car and am beginning to understand what people mean when they talk about Porsche automobiles. I honestly don't think I can now buy any other make of car. Ever.

June 3, 1998: I told my boss I'd be taking a somewhat longer lunch break than usual. I went over to the seller's house, we drove to his local credit union, and I handed over the check in return for the title to the 1986 911 Carrera. It was then officially mine... I came back to the office only four hours later ;).

Miles driven Repair, servicing ($)
60,000 Approx. 7400 (not counting engine rebuild - don't ask)

List of upcoming service items:
  • Sunroof repair