A relatively simple MacPherson strut front suspension set-up is used for the 996, along with coil springs and an anti-roll bar. At the back, there's a multi-link arrangement with coil springs, anti-roll bar and transverse torsion bars.
Front lower track control arms do wear
The suspension is hard wearing and routine servicing should suffice for most components. A creaking sound from the front end is almost certainly worn lower track control arm, often referred to as 'coffin arms' because of its shape. They cost around £80 each plus labour, though many owners carry out this work themselves. Replacement track control arms for the rear suspension come in at £350 for a pair.
Braking is taken care of by 318mm front vented discs with four pot calipers, while at the back there are 299mm vented discs. ABS is standard on all models and Porsche also fitted traction control with the 996. This could be upgraded to PSM (Porsche Stability Management) that combined traction control, anti-slip control and Automatic Brake Differential, which was first seen on the Carrera 4.
Porsche fitted the 996 as standard with 17-inch alloy wheels with 205/50 ZR17 front and 225/40 ZR17 rear tyres, but most new buyers opted for 18-inch alloys. The wheels suffer the same risk of kerb damage as any high performance car with low profile rubber, but uneven wear suggests the geometry is out of kilter. A professional geometry set-up is an essential element of 996 ownership and can transform the handling and steering. Power steering is by hydraulic pump and the steering should feel smooth and offer excellent feedback. Check the gaiters on the steering rack are not split or perished.
From around 80K onwards expect to start replacing suspension components. Coffin arms, control arms and track rods are reasonably priced (less than £100 each if you buy OEM TWR which are the same as the Porsche part) and is actually quite a simple job to replace if you are willing to give it a go. The front end took about 2 hours if you are a bit of a novice like myself.