- Series: Essential Companion
- Paperback: 656 pages
- Publisher: Veloce (May 15, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1845840968
- ISBN-13: 978-1845840969
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1.8 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 38 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,285,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Porsche 996 The Essential Companion: Supreme Porsche
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Review from Octane, July 2008
At first sight quite expensive for an all-mono softback, this is essentially a workshop manual for owners who have only modest technical ability; i.e. most of us. Even allowing for padding, at 650-plus pages it lives up to its 'Essential' claim, covering every possible aspect of the 996, and can be recommended.
Review by Jim Condon for Heat Exchanger, June 2008
Official publication of the Shenandoah Region of the Porsche Club of America
Breathes there a man with soul so dead, who never to himself has said, “I wish I knew more about my Porsche”? For those who want to know more, Porsche enthusiast Adrian Streather had already written 'companions' covering the 911SC, the 964, and the 993; his 996 volume just came out in May 2008.
For potential 996 owners, it contains a detailed buyer’s guide listing all of the 996 variants, changes (e.g., glove boxes first appeared in 2002), and options. They are supplemented by descriptions, option codes, and discussions of buyer concerns such as the notorious rear main seal (RMS) failure. The author occasionally injects pithy comments (“Luggage compartment and engine lid mechanical lever release system replaced [in 2002] with a draw button electric motor driven system ... if the battery goes flat the luggage compartment cannot be opened to get to it.”).
From the moment it appeared, the 996 was criticized by Porsche purists for a variety of reasons: it looks too much like a Boxster (gasp!) and not enough like Butzi’s original 901, it isn’t a 'real' 911 because the engine is water-cooled, the interior contains too much plastic, the car was welded together by robots and not by gnomes in Stuttgart, etc. In my opinion, a used 996 offers a lot of bang for the buck because its 'mystique' surcharge is relatively small for a Porsche. A good low-mileage 996 typically costs less than an older 993 and not much more than a 964. Going from a 1989 964 C4 to a 1999 996 C2 didn’t cost me much and brought significantly improved performance (about 30% in power-to-weight ratio plus far nimbler handling), comfort (it is easier for a short person to see out of a 996), safety (traction control, side air bags, etc.), and lower maintenance costs (no more expensive valve adjustments every year).
For actual 996 owners, this book is an owner’s manual on steroids. It is loaded with tables of part numbers and specifications, photographs, do-it-yourself instructions for minor maintenance work such as changing brake pads. There is also a chapter on performance modifications. Most of the material seems to be compiled from Porsche technical documents and looks very authoritative. Some has been contributed by non-professional enthusiasts and should be believed with caution, like you would treat material found on web forums such as Rennlist. Together these sections account for the bulk of this very bulky (656 pages) book, and the amount of detail can be mind-numbing. Think of it as a reference manual, not bedtime reading, unless you are trying to cure insomnia. Unfortunately, the index is too short, making it harder for the reader to look up specific information. For example, there is no listing for 'lights' in either the main index or the table of contents. Only by going directly to the 'Systems' chapter did I find the eight-page section on lights. The 1300 photos are sharp but small and black-and-white, as befits a shop manual; this is not your usual coffee-table book filled with gorgeous color shots of Porsches.
Despite these caveats, I highly recommend this book for anyone who owns a 996 or is seriously thinking about buying one. It brings together a mass of useful information and technical advice that is hard to find elsewhere, and I have already benefited several times from consulting it.
993c4s.com, August 2008
Porsche cars, products & lifestyle website
If a book’s quality was to be judged on weight and heft alone, then Adrian Streather’s 'Porsche 996 – The Essential Companion' would win most contests quite handily. With a shipping weight just over 5 and 1/2lbs this book offers 640 pages of technical and anecdotal insight into identifying, authenticating, purchasing, maintaining and optimizing the Porsche 996. In other words, just about anything a current or future 996 owner could want to know about their car is included in this easy to read, must have for the Porsche enthusiast. My first exposure to Adrian’s work was during the research phase prior to purchasing my 1997 Porsche 993 C4S. 'Porsche 993 – The Essential Companion' was recommended to me by a friend. At first I was a little taken back by the cost, $62 and change (same as the 996 book) but now I know I could never live with out it. While not as complete as true shop manuals, both the 993 and the 996 companion books are workshop manual for those of us with only 'modest' technical skill (which I believe covers the majority of us.)
GT Porsche, June 2008
It's just over ten years since Porsche made the bold move to introduce its first water-cooled 911 model, the 996. Now, 996s are becoming increasingly available to a larger market, with the 997 having superseded it and a facelift 997 around the corner, 996s are becoming more of a bargain than ever. 'Porsche 996 – The Essential Companion' would be a useful addition to any 996 owner, or prospective owner. Beginning with an historical introduction into the entire 996 series, the book progresses with a useful guide to identifying a genuine 996 and the key areas to look for when purchasing. Like the 993 and earlier 911 models, more and more owners are willing to get their hands dirty in the ownership process, undertaking basic servicing procedures themselves to keep costs down. The book outlines nicely how to carry out these hands-on minor procedures. Streather then goes on to give an overrun with some considerable detail as to the 996's engine variations and transmissions and electrical systems. Included toward the rear of the 656 page book is a useful section on fault finding and DIY, covering replacing brake pads and discs, renewing the engine drivebelt, removing the starter motor and alternator, and removing the front and rear bumpers. Following this is a short chapter on engine enhancements for your 996, and finally the glossaries, a Porsche enthusiast's dream. An owner of a 996 would find this an indispensable accompaniment to ownership.
"... it's the best money you'll spend when it comes your 996. This, along with any of the other three in the series by Adrian Streather, is a must-have ..." – 9 magazine
"Everything a 996 owner needs to know plus a lot more is contained within the covers. Copiously illustrated, there are pictures of virtually every year/model variation." – Porsche Club of America, Riverside Region
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Top customer reviews
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I would rate myself a "below average work on my car kind of guy", so something like this book should be of considerable help to someone like myself. (I have a brother who is a Master Mechanic, which really helps!) According to my brother this book should help in more then a few ways, providing some detail on certain components and views that we didn't have before, so with this said, if you are looking for more information then just how to do an oil change, and you want to learn more about your car and you enjoy working on your car, then this is likely what you are looking for and you should buy this book.
If you are looking for a pretty history book, think again, as there are some interesting photos, but I wouldn't suggest that you buy it just for that. This is a book that is for people who want to be able to understand their 996 a little better and be able to do something more than just an oil change, the overall content covers some pretty good stuff that should help you understand your 996 a little more then you do now. (Or at least this is the case for me.)
I gave it a 5 star rating because it is exactly what I thought it was going to be!
Getting that negative out of the way (and that English is clearly not the primary language of the author) - it's in every way else a necessary accessory for a 996 owner. Just great tidbits and factoids in there along with helpful nuggets to diagnose and fix the small stuff on your car.
Happy to have bought it. I believe they are no longer in print - so what is out there is all that you will find.
Most recent customer reviews
A must have for any 996 owner/ enthusiast.