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Got a massive coolant leak from the rear of the engine? (fix inside)

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Symptoms: immediate and dramatic coolant leak. Can pour coolant in and it drains out just as fast from the rear of the engine.

Solution: Under the intake were the black plastic pipes. In may particular case of the three coolant pipes, the larger one next to the intake manifold runner holes had a 7 inch long crack in it. These lines carry coolant at a pressure, and are apparently a known design problem in earlier Cayenne models. Porsche sells a kit for this (14 different parts, including o-rings) for ~$700. The large aluminum piece with the extra parts are all part of the kit to replace the 3 plastic tubes.

Took removing the intake manifold to get to these parts.

(edit coming to add images... soon as I find a compatible browser.)

Edited by 3ball
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  • 6 months later...

Any updates?

I have this problem that just happened today and has put my only car outa commission!

Me and my father are semi gear heads so were up for it, but i needed more info, and what the kit is called or part numbers ect.

I was going to sell the car in the next few weeks so this is a major bummer first and hopefully last problem.

REply ASAP Please

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  • 5 months later...
I just had this happen yesterday. Did you happen to get any coolant leak into the intake. My mechanic found a slit trace of coolant on the intake valves and is not positive it's from this or a head gasket. I really don't want to have to replace my head gaskets on a guess:) Thanks for any advice!!!! Bill

There was coolant everywhere. If you're getting a slight trace, it's probably not the pipes. This piece is known to break lengthwise, and the coolant line is under pressure so it will be a large volume escaping when it finally loses integrity.

I think you've got a different problem based on my experience with this fault.

As far as the process to replace this part, it's not bad. It's listed as a 4.5 hour job, and does not require any porsche specific tools. It will require taking the upper off to reach the part location below, but that's not real bad if you're comfortable with say, a head gasket.

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  • 7 months later...

Just happened to me last friday 98 k miles. Any updates on current parts pricing and labor hours for the job?

My dealer was 2K for parts and labor. Suncoast shows the parts for 530.00. Check them out.

Your front diff may be next... 91K miles and just had mine replaced. Ouch!!

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Just happened to me last friday 98 k miles. Any updates on current parts pricing and labor hours for the job?

My dealer was 2K for parts and labor. Suncoast shows the parts for 530.00. Check them out.

Your front diff may be next... 91K miles and just had mine replaced. Ouch!!

Awesome! Thanks for the info!

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Very cool -- what year/model is your Cayenne? Did the problem happen all at once or slowly occur for you?

And hey, Renntech helped you out, be sure to become a contributing member -- you'll get much more value -- and you'll support an excellent cause.

Update -- read your profile and saw you have a '04 Cayenne Turbo. Take care.

Edit: added update.

Edited by odix
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  • Moderators

The DFI V8 Cayenne's re-use indeed plastic coolant pipes, with a different design cause the DFI configuration, but in plastic as before. Most of the water leaks on DFI V8 engines are located in the water pump/thermostat housing area rather than the pipes, they will probably follow later on.

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Funny, I was browsing Suncoast website, saw the "Coolant Pipe Upgrade/Repair Kit" & wondering myself: is this a common problem? - Is this it? I bought my '04 CayenneS recently, it has 73K miles, I don't know if this has been changed or not. At what interval this thing will break? should I just go ahead & change it to save the headache?


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It's a very common problem.  My brother had the pipes replaced on his 2004 Cayenne Turbo last week.  It dripped for a few days, and then failed all of a sudden.  There are two good threads pinned to the top of the Rennlist Cayenne forum, one of which shows how to tell if they have been changed.  Very difficult to see - you need a torch and mirror to see the pipes where they go on the back of the cylinder head.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi - can you please provide some detail as to how you requested Porsche to fix this? Mine looks to be going today - 180miles from home. Thank you.

Porsche kicked in a $1000 certificate and i got the dealer to drop his parts and labor prices based on your posts! What was going to cost me $2500 out of pocket, will now run me $250 ! Thanks guys!

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  • 3 months later...

sorry to revitalise this thread again...

however, did anyone have any prior knowledge that their pipes were about to go ?

i.e., any leakage of any description prior, no matter how small?

just trying to pre-empt what might happen to mine !

also, what were the conditions that the car was in when they went;

driving 'normally'

in traffic

high speed

high revs

on track (!)



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  • 2 weeks later...

To all those that are asking, I feel a duty to say this-

If it just so happens that the pipes leak while your driving, and just enough to drain the system in oh say......10 min, if the coolant doesnt gush out and create a lot of steam you may not know. The coolant guage sender once uncovered by running coolant is NOT going to tell you your overheating. You wont know that it has happened until the engine is WAYYY overheated and then its too late. Keep in mind that not all engine designs allow for milling of the heads, i'm not sure about the Porsche 4.5l. Even so if you did mill them you are increasing the compression and changing the squish in the head design. If you had to mill the block too that would be a nightmare. You may as well just buy a take out engine. When an engine gets overheated like that it can change the metalurgy of different parts, and even if you get it running well, they are NEVER the same. It destroys your oil, can warp valves and their seats, gall bearings, its just not worth it.

I bought my 04 with the pipes already done electively by the first owner. I suggest everyone who is contemplating whether or not to do them, to find the means and be pro-active about it. If you order the parts youself from sunset and pay an indy shop to do it, you could still come in around 1k. Thats cheap insurance. From all the posts here and there its quite obvious that it is GOING TO happen.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Agree. It will absolutely happen to all of them. And it will of course be when you are furthest from home. Right after your AAA towing package expires. On the Friday night of a long weekend...

Did the fix as a DIY, and it wasn't as bad as I thought. "4.5 hours" for a pro maybe, but I spent probably 12 hours over a weekend plus an extra evening or two. Pipes were easy - hardest part was extra "t" pipe hoses specific to Turbos, known to go bad. That and the crazy mess of vacuum lines and tubes specific to that model added a good 4 hours alone.

My dealer wanted $3,200. Sunset shipped the parts for maybe $420. No-brainer to me. There is a great thread on RennList from which you can piece together the tips and tricks. Couple tools you need, couple Workshop Manauls you need to download. But if you can change your own oil, you can probably do this.

But I will say this: the blaring Coolant Low message, that takes over the dash, was spot-on when it unloaded. And that coolant smell everywhere is hard to miss. Little chance for the engine to overheat, and I did look at the gauges. But if you did drive another 5 miles or somethign, might be very different. It's pretty catastrophic, and you know it when it happens. Slow down, pull over, turn it off, and call the tow truck.

If nothing else: if yours haven't been replaced, order the parts now from Sunset so you'll have them ready. Even if you don't do it yourself, you can hand the box to the Indy and say have at it. Or give them to the dealer and you just saved $300 from his retail price.

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  • 6 years later...

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