How to Detect an IMS Bearing Failure in Your Porsche
Porsche is one of the most notable vehicles when it comes to high performance and stylish finishes. But for most Porsche drivers, their cars are not without their problems. One such problem is the IMS bearing failure. This affects most horizontally-opposed flat-six engines that are a common feature in most Porsches.
IMS bearing failure can have damaging effects on your engine and impact your engine negatively. This is why you should be keen on this small component before it triggers premature catastrophic engine failure. Let’s break down what it is, how it works, and why it can wreak such havoc in your Porsche.
The IMS Bearing in your Porsche
The IMS bearing is a geared shaft that goes through the engine and comes out through the rear end. IMS is an acronym for InterMediate Shaft. From its name, this shaft is a small component in your Porsche’s engine that is responsible for driving the camshafts on either side of the engine. It does this indirectly using the mechanical rotations of the crankshaft in the engine.
The IMS bearing supports the intermediate shaft on the flywheel end of the motor; a position that allows it to use its gears to drive the camshaft. This helps to reduce the chain speeds which in turn enable them to last longer.
Common Causes of IMS Bearing Failure
IMS bearing failure has been attributed to several reasons, one of which is wear of the seal. This seal is located on the IMS bearing and enables for proper lubrication of the bearings. When the seal deteriorates over time, it leaves the bearings exposed to friction due to poor lubrication. What follows the excessive lubrication is that the bearings grind on each other and wear out. Sometimes tiny bits chip off the bearings grinding against each other and end up in the oil.
Another possible cause of IMS bearing failure is more or less a design issue whereby the material it’s made of is not sturdy enough for the load that gets exerted on them. The strain on the IMS bearing is further exacerbated by the high temperatures in the engine as it runs. This is part of the reason why the IMS bearing seal deteriorates even faster.
Check for These Signs of IMS Bearing Failure
Unfortunately, the only early warning sign of IMS bearing failure is the presence of metal shavings in your oil or oil filter. These can only be seen in your oil during oil changes. This is why your mechanic should pay the utmost attention to the oil while changing. At the same time, you should also be intentional with your regular maintenance visits. You don’t want the IMS bearing in your Porsche to fail completely since that’s where the trouble becomes.
Late detection of IMS bearing failure has more noticeable symptoms, including loud rattling noises from the engine bay when you start your car. These noises become more pronounced when you try to accelerate. These noises come from the IMS bearing failure throwing off the camshaft timing and causing the piston and valve to knock against each other.
When it comes to IMS bearing failure, the only solution is usually replacing the shaft. This means that your mechanic would have to disassemble the engine to insert the new shaft and put it all back together. If you’re thinking that’s labor intensive, then you are right. This is why you should only let certified Porsche technicians handle the IMS bearing failure in your car.
My Euro Pro for Your Porsche’s Service
The best way to deal with IMS bearing failure in your car is to prevent it from happening in the first place. You can do this by sticking to a strict servicing schedule that involves frequent oil changes.
You should also be sure to only use manufacturer-recommended oil to ensure your engine only gets the best quality for proper lubrication. If your Porsche shows signs of IMS bearing failure, you should stop driving and call our mechanics right away. This will prevent the failed IMS from causing further damage to your engine that may even result in premature catastrophic failure.
At My Euro Pro, we recognize that most imported car models need a little more care. Give us a call if you suspect that you’re having IMS bearing problems or to schedule regular maintenance for your Porsche. Reach out to us today if you’re in Myrtle Beach, Charleston, or Wilmington, SC and our team will be happy to help.
* Porsche Car image credit goes to: Krasnevsky.