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Hi

I have a 2011 Panamera 4 (CPO) that has a loud, high pitched whine or whistle at certain speeds (between 55-63 and again between 83-90).  The whine/whistle is coming from behind the front center console area and is louder in the 83-90 speed range.  The noise doesn't go away after taking my foot off the gas, it might change in pitch a little but it doesn't go away. 

 

My wife drives clients around for business and the whine/whistle has been mentioned by her clients during the drive.  We can't keep driving this expensive car with this distracting whine/whistle. To us the noise is like fingernails on a chalkboard. 

 

The dealer has been in contact with Porsche Corporate to find the cause of the whine/whistle.  They've been communicating to their Porsche network about the whine/whistle for the past four months and the suggested repairs included repositioning and extending the A/C drain tubes, replacing the floor insulation under the two front footwells, replace the blower motor and completely replacing the transaxle (differential).  None of these repairs stopped the noise.

 

After the last repair (transaxle replacement), we drove the car with two gents from Porsche Corporate, one is a District Service Manager and the other a Field Technical Manager.  The field technical manager heard the noise (prob because he was in the front passenger seat) and the other didn't (back seat).  At the end of the ride, they said they'd still continue researching a solution but they concluded that there may not actually be a solution.  The Field Technical Manager did suggest bringing in more sophisticated recording equipment to diagnosing the problem.  Well they are now ignoring my requests to actually do what they said they could do.

 

Because the noise is still there, I was assigned a Porsche agent and an internal investigation was opened into the noise with the option to repurchase a new Panamera.  This is because Porsche Corp is telling me they can't or won't continue trying to stop the noise problem.  The Porsche internal investigation came back with a compensation offer of $3,000 cash towards a 2014/2015 Porsche.  My reply to them was that it's a very insulting offer given I payed +$75,000 for a Panamera that arounds like a referee's whistle.  Why should I be left on the hook for a car that sounds like a Honda Civic when it hasn't been maintained.  This is really frustrating.

 

BTW, I have a 2002 911 Carrera which I had to pay out of my pocket for the LN IMS which later turned into a Class Action lawsuit because Porsche wouldn't admit that they made a bad IMS, they simply settled rather than admit fault.  I'm real concerned that this noise is a precursor to something bad like the IMS (engine failure).  I can just see something wearing down over time and going very, very bad.

 

So my question to the forum is... 

 

What happens when Porsche can't fix a problem that they know is a problem ?  

What happens when Porsche refuses to fix a problem that they know is a problem ?  

I've already contacted a lemon lawyer but maybe I should make a YouTube video (Nick Murray) ?

 

What if I put the car into neutral when I hear the noise to see if it stops.  Can I do that, put a Panamera into neutral at 55 mph ?  Maybe I can drop to 6th gear when I hear it.

 

We love our Panamera but we can't keep driving it while it makes this noise.  I wish Porsche could just fix the noise problem.  This has been a very frustrating process with Porsche Corp.

 

Thank you

John Giles

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It might be farfetched but is the windshield not replaced in the past? If the adhesive sealant is not fully closed at the bottom side of the windscreen you get an annoying whistling sound. I would suggest to tape off the windshield on top, underside and left and right side and give it a try, it does not take long, does not cost much and could be the solution.

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Just to add to RFMs note, I also had a vehicle that made an odd sound which was traced to the windscreen wipers not being installed correctly after a screen replacement, the wipers were installed too high and caused the noise.

 

Is it possible to post a sound clip of the noise?

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RFM,,, I bought the car Oct 2013 Certified pre-owned,,, I'm not sure if the windshield has been replaced, I will ask the dealership if they have records.  I taped off the outside of all four sides of the windshield and the sound persisted.

 

wvicary,,, I will try to get an audio sample and upload it here.  To my untrained ears, the sound is more mechanical (fast spinning) than wind made.  The Porsche guys say it's wind made though.

 

I appreciate both of your replies

 

Thank you

John

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The tires were new when I bought the tires and the dealer checked them for cupping which they were not.  They rebalanced them anyway.

 

Last night I went for a drive and when I heard the noise (53-63mph range), I downshifted to 6th, then to 5th and I still heard the noise in both gears.  Then I got back up to speed and when I heard the noise, I put the car in neutral and the noise went away.  I put it back in gear before I slowed down too much and the noise returned.  When I put it into neutral, I kept the pedal down with the engine revving a bit and the noise still went away.  

 

Does this indicate the noise is coming from the transmission and not wind made ?

 

I appreciate any help...

Thank you 

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If the noise stops when in neutral within that speed range then I'd have to say it's mechanical but the source of the noise is beyond me at this point. Sorry I couldn't help.

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Hi

I'm finally able to upload the audio of this on going issue with my Panamera.  When I was recording this I was changing gears from Drive into Manual and back into Drive (see previous post that explains the noise stops when doing so). The clicks throughout the two audio clips are me changing gears.  

 

Just for clarity, I'll tell you where the noise is the loudest. I've had to split my audio clip into two separate files since there's a 2 MB limit.  

 

File 1 = The very first 10 seconds and at 1:08

File 2 = At 0:06, 0:21, 0:40, 0:55, 1:01 and 1:09

 

I've driven 2011 and 2012 Panameras with similar miles and they are the quietest cars. This noise was non existent in those cars... <sigh> !!!

 

As I've said above,,, the Porsche Corporate guys have remained steadfast that the noise is wind made.  But as I said in my previous post, I can make the noise completely stop by changing gears from Drive into Neutral.  So when I passed that information to the two Porsche Corporate guys, their reply was that changing gears from Drive to Neutral changes the load on the car and that's why the noise stops.  Now to me, changing gears from Drive to Neutral changes the load on the transmission, not the amount of wind coming through the car.  I'm more confused and annoyed now because Porsche Corporate is saying the problem is load and not wind... Does this make sense ?

 

They just making up excuses and hope I'll go away.  Anyway, I will email them with this audio clip.  Maybe they will be able to hear the noise in the clip because they both said they couldn't hear it when they were in the car.  Again, I think they're programmed to just say "I can't hear anything" and since they can't hear anything, it'll fall in the green of their 'allowable range of noises chart'.  Did I mention that every client my wife drives around hears and mentions the noise.  "Wow what's that noise in your Porsche". How could this be 'allowable'...

 

Please let me know what you think about the audio clip.

 

Thank you

John Giles

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I found it very difficult to pick out the noise on your sound clip. I can only suggest the dealer try a diagnostic tool such as chassis microphones attached to different parts of the drive train. Noises can be elusive due to the sound waves travelling through various components until they reach an area to sound off from. I once had a noise caused from a failing pinion brng in a rear wheel drive differential that sounded like it was coming from the gearbox. 

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Try putting the car om a lift. Put it in gear and let it run up to the RPM where you normally hear the noise. Then you can rule out the wind theory if it is still there. Also doing this you have a chance to go around the car and listen to where the noise comes from.

Funny enough this tip is what you do a Porsche 968 when checking it for pinion bearing problems.

Edited by P.Viby

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Hi

The noise doesn't happen at any certain RPM range, it's a speed range.  I can listen to the noise, during the speed range, and downshift from 7th to 6th to 5th and still hear the noise.  I can only stop the noise by moving outside of the two speed ranges or changing gears from Drive to Neutral. 

 

Thank you for your replies.  

John

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Hi

The noise doesn't happen at any certain RPM range, it's a speed range. I can listen to the noise, during the speed range, and downshift from 7th to 6th to 5th and still hear the noise. I can only stop the noise by moving outside of the two speed ranges or changing gears from Drive to Neutral.

Thank you for your replies.

John

Then try the thing I suggested with the lift. I should be easy then to locate the source of the noise. Edited by P.Viby

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I've been told that since my car is all wheel drive, it's not good for the car to be on a lift and run at the needed speed.  And given the transaxle would not have any load, I question if it would make the noise at all.  Does that make sense?

 

Does anyone else think the noise in above audio recordings are normal for a Panamera ?

 

Thank you

John

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I don't know if lifting the car up and run it for a short while can damage it so much. But then try to put it on those test bench used for measuring HP. That for sure does not damage it as long as you use one made for 4WD.

It will give you a much better chance to locate the noise or at least rule out some sources.

Edited by P.Viby

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Hmm..curious. I can plainly hear the noise in your audio clips. Almost sounds like a high RPM electric/servo motor - air pump, or HP fuel pumps? The noise may be originating well away from the center console/transmission tunnel and resonating/finding its way in through the most accessible, i.e., least insulated (?) area. Kinda like water finding its level and seeping in. I agree with wvicary, chassis mics like what are used in NVH tests may be the best tool to find & isolate the cause and origin. Good luck.

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Hey John,

 

Just signed up and downloaded your audio clips. Same exact thing with my 2010 Panamera 4S. I thought it could maybe be the AC compressor. Mine noise sometimes stops when I turn of the AC button in the cabin at higher speeds. My car is actually in the shop now for them to diagnose the AC compressor whine but they said they haven't heard or noticed anything yet.

 

Kris

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