After 158,000 miles of chips and scratches and a recent heavy impact with a hefty crow, today it was time for my Porsche Cayenne to enjoy a windscreen replacement. My insurers have an agreement with Autoglass, so I set up an appointment and waited for the fitter to arrive.
The crow incident had cracked the screen from top to bottom, so it needed replacing. Having used some of the big windscreen removal companies a few times, and seen how their rush job fitters can make a bit of a hash of things, in the past I have bought the glass and bonding adhesive to do my own cars. However, this was a big bit of glass so not an easy one-man job, and the top tint and auto wiper sensor made the screen pretty expensive. Better to let the professionals do it, with a little bit of help to lift the glass in.
The Autoglass guy came early and took a bit of time deciding where best to carry out the work. Rain was on the way and he needed to line his van up perpendicular to the Porsche, to be able to use the side-mounted awning if needed. There was no space on the street to do this, so he decided to park the car just inside the gates on my soon-to-be-driveway, with the nose sticking out of the gates. We took a bit of time to get the Cayenne level and it all worked out OK.
Ezi-Wire patented windscreen seal cutting tool
My last windscreen change was done by a local guy who cut the screen out of my Spec B Subaru Legacy estate using hand-held knife blades. He had to strip half the interior trim to do the job properly. The Cayenne’s windscreen replacement was made easier by the use of an ‘Ezi-Wire’ device mounted to the inside of the screen (above), which gently pulled a high tensile steel cable through the windscreen adhesive and made a very tidy job of it. Apparently the Ezi-Wire is an Autoglass/Carglass/Belron patented tool, so no wonder I hadn’t seen it before.
The Ezi-Wire uses a pair of winding spools, controlled by a hand ratchet. The twin spools cut from opposite directions and allow controlled “slip cutting”, which enables the cable to slice through the bonding seal rather than the seal having to be cut with a hard-to-control hand knife, so the work is much less risky. The Autoglass technician had a van full of tools, but reckoned the Ezi-Wire helped him do most jobs right first time, with no damage to the vehicle.
From start to finish, the whole thing took two hours including two cups of tea and plenty of chat. I am delighted with the finished product: you can’t beat a new windscreen to lift the driving experience. Also delighted that I had Dick’s thirty years of glass fitting experience here to do the work. I did find a small bit of surface rust in the top right corner of the Cayenne’s windscreen aperture, but I cleaned it up and ground the rust out before adding a bit of Kurust treatment. It was then finished with an anti-rust primer before the windscreen was fitted.
Porsche is amongst a group of manufacturers who have issued voluntary recalls for a total of 630,000 vehicles across Germany to address irregularities with diesel emissions systems, after being listed as real-world emissions offenders by the German goverment.
Porsche sells a variety of diesel engines in the Macan and Cayenne SUVs: two model lines which now make up 70% of all Porsche sales. The Cayenne Diesel’s 3-litre V6 Turbodiesel produces 262 hp at 4,000 rpm and the Cayenne S Diesel’s 4.2-litre V8 Turbodiesel produces 385 hp at 3,750 rpm. Both are EU6 compliant. The TDI option in the Porsche Macan S Diesel is the 3-litre V6 making 254 hp at 4,250 rpm and a collosal 580Nm of torque from 1,500-2,500 rpm. This Porsche Macan diesel engine is now subject to emissions recall in Germany.
Cayenne Diesel pulled from US sale by Porsche Cars North America
No mention has been made of the Cayenne’s V6 TDI, which achieves the same excellent torque output, but which Porsche Cars North America voluntarily removed from sale at the end of last year, after it received a notice of violation from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the 2015 Porsche Cayenne Diesel. Audi declined to follow Porsche’s example and left all of its 3.0 V6 TDI models on sale.
Figures shared by Autocar magazine says that the recall includes 32,000 Macan diesels. As in the case of the VW diesel issue, early murmurs on Macan forums suggest that a number of owners will not have their cars corrected. This is despite a series of tests carried out by ADAC in Germany which show that the Porsche Macan S Diesel emits over four times more NOx in the “real-world” WLTC emissions test versus the the NEDC test used by EU officials.
Australia sues over Porsche 3-litre diesel emissions
Since the dieselgate emissions scandal broke, Volkwagen has repeatedly claimed that its 3-litre V6 TDI engines are clean and compliant, despite the engine’s withdrawal from sale in the US. Despite these assertions, Australian lawyers representing more than 13,000 VW owners in a class action suit covering almost 100,000 VW diesel cars sold in Australia from 2009 to 2016 added the 3.0 V6 TDI to its lawsuit at the end of 2015.
“Volkswagen has made denials that have subsequently proven to be untrue every step of the way,” said class actions lawyer, Jason Geisker. “It denied the initial test results that uncovered this global scandal and also denied that its 3.0-litre vehicles sold in the USA were affected, before later admitting that these engines did have defeat devices fitted.”
NOx Emissions causing 50,000 premature UK deaths per annum
The latest emissions recalls in Germany are based around how emissions outputs are recirculated ‘post-treatment’, with some manufacturer systems venting them to air above a certain ambient temperature, rather than pumping them back into the engine. Manufacturers including Alfa Romeo, Chevrolet, Fiat, Ford, Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz and Renault are also implicated. So far only Audi and Opel/GM have stated that they will apply the updates on every affected car in Europe.
The official line is that no single authority is forcing Porsche and these other manufacturers to bring their most heavily polluting diesels back and sort out their emissions systems, but it is impossible to believe that manufacturers would spend money to do this voluntarily. Given that WHO research data now suggests that NOx emissions cause as many as 50,000 premature deaths per year in the UK alone, there is also a question mark over the actions of VW, Porsche and other marque owners who choose not to have the software corrections applied to reduce the NOx emissions of their vehicles.
Owners opting not to apply emissions-reducing software fixes
Owners who choose not to apply software that reduces poisonous gas emissions from their vehicle tailpipes are breathing the same air as everyone else, but justify overlooking these excessive emissions by claiming that the software updates would make their cars less powerful and damage engine internals. The fact that the recall has been left as voluntary by the German authorities means that the manufacturers can sidestep their legal responsibilties to reducing air pollutants, while also claiming that owners have not been disadvantaged and do not deserve compensation, as they like how their cars work. All that money spent on political lobbyists by car manufacturers across the EU this continues to pay off, but meanwhile, children are forced to breathe highly polluted air.
You may regard this as an overdramatisation, but a 2010 exercise to monitor London’s air pollution illustrated the scale of the emissions problem most effectively, when the UK capital used up its annual allowance for NO2 emissions in the first three weeks of measuring. A 52-week allowance used up in three weeks, and diesel engines that are now an average of nine times more polluting against permitted standards means there is no excuse for owners of affected vehicles to sidestep the emissions fixes.
We are still in the early days of this emissions scandal. There can be no doubt that diesel engines and car manufacturing as a whole will face a lot more scrutiny in the months ahead – unless the industry hires even more lobbyists.
My much-loved 2004 Porsche Cayenne S (4.5 V8) behaved itself for most of this winter just gone, apart from a couple of minor hiccups. The first required a battery change, but the other was a little more challenging.
I should have seen it coming when the Cayenne would very occasionally take a few of seconds of cranking to get started when hot. I assumed it was some sort of fuel boil-off to do with the LPG system, but then it was a random occurrence and perhaps also happened when running on petrol.
Porsche Cayenne Poor Running
A few weeks ago, I filled up with LPG and was just driving away when I was forced to do an emergency stop. The hard braking caused the Cayenne to cut out and it was a bit of a pig to get started again. Eventually it did start, but would not pull away from junctions cleanly once I got it going. I thought it might be something to do with the emergency braking system (an Audi I once drove had something like this) so I pulled over, reset the systems and drove off, apparently cured.
The next day, the problem was back, with poor acceleration on the school run. I emailed Chris at JZM and asked what he thought. There were a few suggestions, but he could stick it on their Porsche PIWIS the following day to be sure. Next morning, I dropped the kids to school and headed for Kings Langley, where we plugged it in and read the fault codes.
There were a few things on there (as usual for any Cayenne), but one I had been looking for: crankshaft position sensor fault. The ECU said it had last happened at 41k miles, but first happened at 63k miles even though the car was now on 157k miles. I couldn’t see anything else. Mike had a good look through everything – bit of a pain as the Cayenne takes ages to give up its codes and the PIWIS diagnostic walk-throughs only work on post-2006 cars – before deciding to do a master reset, run it again, then read the codes and see what was showing.
Cayenne Crankshaft Position Sensor Failure
Having done the reset, the Cayenne wouldn’t start. It would crank and crank but no start. Complete failure in the best possible place: a decent independent Porsche workshop! We left it a while and then like magic it started fine. As the last major fault code had been for crankshaft position sensor, we agreed this was the first thing to change. I borrowed a courtesy car and Mike changed the sensor the following day, which seemed to cure the problem.
Thoughts since the change? Wow, what a difference. Things the Cayenne used to do which mildly annoyed me have all disappeared. It starts first time, every time, and pulls cleanly from anywhere in the rev range: easily the smoothest it has been in my 40k miles of ownership. Still needs flicking down a gear when you really want to get moving, but a huge improvement overall.
If you’ve got a 955 Cayenne with 100k miles or more and it’s on the original CPS, get it changed and bring your Cayenne back to full health, before it leaves you stranded. Will be a bit of a nightmare job, as the plug is in quite a tight spot behind the top of the engine, but “it’s not that bad” according to Mike. One tip on where to get the part: as official Bosch agents, JZM bought my crank position sensor straight from Bosch and saved me quite a few quid. Good work!
PS: I collected the Cayenne and brought it home. That night, this happened (above). I was not pleased! Three other cars around it were also keyed so it wasn’t an anti-Porsche thing. My Polo was parked in front of it and that was not keyed, so it wasn’t an anti-me thing either. Such is life.
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An unexpected Porsche headache this morning, as the Cayenne left me stranded at the LPG pump with a flat battery. It had started OK on quite a cold morning and I’d driven the fifteen miles or so to the station with dipped headlamps on due to fog. I left the sidelights on with the engine off while I filled up but, when I was finished, the Big Pig wouldn’t crank enough to start the engine. Five minutes with sidelights on had drained whatever voltage was left in the battery.
I always carry jump leads, so I borrowed the working car of a friendly passer-by and got a jump start: it fired up straight away. I drove around the corner to the local Euro Car Parts and bought a new Bosch S4 019 battery to replace the non-Bosch item I had fitted just over a year ago: £104.40 including VAT, which was not too bad for a big battery with four-year guarantee.
The old battery had been a bit of a worry since Christmas, when I had to jump start the car a couple of times after it had been standing for a few weeks. Although my 2004 Porsche Cayenne S has now done 154,000 miles and is still on its original water-cooled alternator, diagnostics showed no problem with the alternator and all the wiring looked OK, so it had to be a battery problem.
When I first bought the car, it had a great Bosch S5 Silver battery fitted. I had a few things play up a bit including the starter and forum wisdom suggested the battery was at fault. Euro Car Parts could supply a Lion battery with slightly more amp hours (100Ah/800 CCA) than a new Bosch S4 (95Ah/800 CCA) and a three-year guarantee, so I bought one and fitted it. Of course, it made little or no difference, but I left it in there. I’m sure I still have the old Bosch S5 battery somewhere, which would no doubt still work perfectly but anyway, the deed is done.
Today was a busy day for the Cayenne trailering 911s up and down the country. It behaved perfectly all day after I had changed the batteries over, so I am hoping this issue is now resolved. It feels better to have a Bosch part back on the car – Porsches never seem to work right with anything else. I’ll claim on the three-year guarantee for the dud one so it should all work out.
How to change/replace your Porsche Cayenne Battery
- M10 multispline 3/8 socket & ratchet
- 10mm 3/8 socket
- 10mm spanner
Most Porsche Cayenne 955 (Gen 1) models have a single large battery under the left front seat: that is the passenger seat on a right-hand drive car. The seat base lifts up on a pair of rear-mounted hinges to allow access to the battery box. The multispline M10 bolts which hold the front of the seat frame down are under the two plastic covers in front of the seat: these just clip off to reveal the bolt heads.
Undo the bolts and tilt the seat up: hold it up out of the way with a strap to the grab handle if you’re worried. Now you can see the battery cover, which has four clips, one in each corner: undo those and lift the cover off. Your 10mm spanner will undo the terminals (remove earth first), and the 10mm socket will undo the front corner bracket, and the big side clamp holding the battery in place. If you’re worried about losing your radio settings etc, connect a battery charger to the terminals before you unhook them.
Once the two clamps are off and the terminals have been detached and secured out of the way, disconnect the small battery vent hose and get the old battery out of there. It is worth cleaning any dirt and dust out of the battery tray before sliding the new battery in.
A bit of petroleum jelly on the terminals before connection is an old-school habit, but not too important in these days of sealed batteries that do not give off corrosive vapours when charging. Then reconnect everything, put the lid down and bolt the seat back to the floor: use a bit of blue Loctite on the seat bolts. Have a cup of tea & a decent biscuit – you just saved yourself a few quid by not going to a dealer.
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Porsche Cayenne running reports have been thin on the ground lately as not used the car much since November, when I disappeared to Kenya for the Safari Rally. After that, I cleared off to Spain for a fortnight before spending Christmas at home.
The UK weather was mild through the end of last year – mild enough to use the Clio Cup or our Polo on summer tyres – but the mornings recently turned frosty and we finally had some snow here last weekend. It was time to bring the Cayenne into service, and try out some new winter tyres that were fitted to the car at the start of November.
You may not have heard of the tyres in question: Gislaved Euro Frost 5. Founded in Gislaved, Sweden in 1893, Gislaved Tyres built a useful reputation for their ability in snow and icy conditions. When the company was a century old, it was bought by Continental AG and remains part of that group to this day. So the Gislaved brand has some credibility.
I have previously run both Pirelli and Continental winter tyres on the Cayenne, but part-worn versions of either are hard to find and tend to be a few years old. The original equipment Pirelli Scorpions in particular go rock hard after a while and are useless in cold weather at that stage, so when I found a good price online for Gislaveds in the Cayenne’s size of 255/55 R18, I bought a set and had them fitted and balanced.
I bolted them to the Cayenne at home (in my new garage – nice one) as part of some work to change driveshaft bolts and other bits so only drove them long enough to move the car around. Then I headed off to Africa. When we got the Cayenne out last week, I used it on the school run for a few days, then did a few client visits in it and tried the tyres at higher speed. Finally there was some snow last Sunday so that was worth trying too.
Given the cost of just £86 per tyre – £344 for all four – I have to say I am pleased with performance. They didn’t need much weight to balance and are very comfortable on the car. The Cayenne tracks well at speeds up to the maximum rating for these tyres (130mph) and the Gislaveds are not as noisy as some reviews claim. No more noisy than Pirelli Scorpions, that’s for sure. Economy is unchanged at 18 miles per gallon on LPG. Dry grip is fine: slightly more squirm than a Continental summer tyre but not entirely lifeless. There is no tyre squeal on hard dry cornering. But it is on icy roads where these tyres do their thing.
No surprise that the Gislaveds recently made it to the final of Auto-Bild’s winter tyre test, beating more than thirty alternatives. Up against the market leading brands – all of whom advertise with Auto-Bild – these tyres rated in the high teens overall but the big picture was quite encouraging.
On frost-covered roads where other cars are clearly being careful, the Cayenne on Gislaveds is very surefooted. Icy corners present no problems for the Gislaveds: a tiny little slide on sheet ice, which stops almost as soon as it starts, thanks in part to PASM but aided by the grippy tread compound, which feels sticky to the fingers even in sub-zero temperatures.
We often argue over N-rated tyres on Porsche cars but so far I find nothing much wrong with these tyres for the price I paid. Michelin Latitude Alpin XLs in N-rated 109V cost £50 more apiece, so £200 extra a set for tyres that will come off in February/March and be replaced by smoother summer rubber on the 19-inch wheels. Doesn’t seem to make that much sense when winters are this mild nowadays.
Elsewhere on the Cayenne, nothing much to report. The odometer has just hit 154,000 miles and while I have written a for sale ad for it, it’s not been advertised as yet and is unlikely to go on sale anytime soon. I’ve bought some grey carpet to trim the new false boot floor and the starter is getting ever-slower in this cold weather so I reckon it is coming up for rebuild. I’ve got a used one in the garage to send out. Also, the plastic handle to remove the detachable towball has snapped: I blame the last man to borrow the car for overtightening it. He knows who he is!
Missing my Cayenne at the minute. Long story involving many support vehicles sent ice driving in Sweden, but it is down in Monte Carlo with Tuthill Porsche, towing the Porsche 997 R-GT car into places for testing that the big Tuthill rally truck won’t reach easily.
The 955 Porsche Cayenne V8 is a big old girl and it sucks up plenty of fuel, but you do get attached to its sublime waftability. “I had a trouble-free eighteen months with a Cayenne Turbo,” agreed Porsche professional Cris in a daily driver thread on ImpactBumpers.com. “They are nonsense quick for a fat bird, quicker than the contemporary supercharged Range Rover and better on fuel. Although better than very bad is still awful.
“Downside of selling it is now all other cars seem rubbish, including the other half’s newish Golf 1.4 TSi. I’m ruined and am now saving for a Cayenne again: a GTS this time or maybe a diesel V6.”
After a holiday romance in the Canaries last Christmas with a cute little Citröen Berlingo rental, I crunched the numbers and buying a new Berlingo diesel was cheaper than running the Cayenne over the next three years. I looked at maybe changing for a Citröen, but I worried I might miss the Cayenne too much. Then I corrected an omission in my original workings and the man-maths more or less balanced out, as the Big Pig continues to manage the equivalent of 35 mpg while driven hard and running on propane gas. So I forgot my holiday romance.
Cayenne pining reached a peak as I flicked through some unopened mail this evening and found last month’s copy of Panorama. The magazine of the Porsche Club of America ran some great features through 2014, and this latest edition carried another cracker titled Real Genius: an excerpt from Randy Leffingwell’s Illustrated Porsche Buyers Guide, covering the genesis of the original Cayenne.
Butzi Porsche helped design the Cayenne
The story confirms our blog from a few months back on how the Porsche Cayenne was originally planned as a Mercedes joint venture, but Randy also learned from Cayenne designer, Steve Murkett, how Ferdinand Alexander ‘Butzi’ Porsche helped shape the 955 Cayenne.
“Butzi had always been an SUV enthusiast,” said Steve. “He said if we were going to design an SUV, he wanted to be directly involved.”
Steve tells how Butzi started coming very month, looking at the models. Eventually, F.A. came straight out and said he would design Porsche’s new vehicle. This did not go down so well with the design department, who had been working for years on the E1 SUV project. A Land Rover Defender would act as peacemaker: a Land Rover that Burkett ended up buying from the extensive fleet of SUVs and 4x4s purchased by Weissach for competitor evaluation.
“The Land Rover has absolutely nothing to do with what a Cayenne is, but for me it is an icon,” says Burkett. “It has character. I developed a pretty good relationship with Butzi, probably because he had a Defender as well. Anytime we got into a stalemate where we couldn’t agree about anything, we started talking about tyres on our Defenders.”
Butzi did work on a Cayenne design and the two concepts eventually went to the management for a final decision. Burkett’s design won, but he is honest about F.A.’s hand in the styling. “There is no doubt about Butzi’s contribution to the simplicity of the Cayenne. It doesn’t have all the little muscles and edges seen on BMW X5 or Mercedes ML, but that was Butzi’s thing: keep it simple.”
The complete feature could transform your opinion of the Cayenne: there is so much Porsche engineering in these cars. It makes me want mine back even more! For less than £10 new and delivered on Amazon UK, the Illustrated Porsche Buyers Guide is worth a read: it’s not the dry buyers’ guide you might expect.