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Transmission Valve body estimate....seems excessive


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So I took my 04 CTT to the Dealer in Destin Florida (no indy's in Pensacola that I know about) for an oil change and check up. I asked to diagnose a tranny issue of a hard shift with thud from 5th to 4th under heavy acceleration. He came back with below estimate:

Hydrolic Valve unit $1120.27

Transmission Control Unit $297.17

Tiptronic oil $474.20 ($47.42 x10)

Transmission pan seal $58.40

Drain Ring $8.07

Transmission filter $42.71

Transfer case gear oil $139.74 ($69.87 x 2)

Differential gear oil F & R $254.88 (63.72 x 4)

Parts Total: $2352.73

Labor:

tu 600 for Hydrolic Valve Unit and Tip Oil Change, Trans filter/Seal Replacement

tu 180 for Transmission Control Unit

tu 70 for Transfer Case Gear Oil Change

tu 150 for Differential Gear Front and Rear Change

Total tu 1000 or $1200

Total Repair - $ 3552.72

Now CTT is getting ready to hit 100K miles (thats 60K miles in 2 1/2 years....lots of driving) So I guess the fluids are due for change, but do i need to do all this?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

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Are there any fault codes? There is a know issue causing harsh down shifts and a company called Sonnax has rebuilt valve bodies to resolve these issues.

Why does he want to replace the Transmission Control Unit?

I would shop around for a indie who has experience with the Cayenne to save yourself a shed full of money.

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Is it throwing any codes? I agree with wvicary, try to find an indy shop. It seems like they threw in the kitchen sink.

Change the transfer/differentials yourself. Very easy and save hundreds of dollars.

Differentials take 75w90 (suggest Amsoil, Redline or Mobil 1 LS75w90)

Transfer case (Needs to meet the LT71141 spec) Mobil 1 ATF meets this spec aswell as Amsoil,Redline)

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I'm with the others.... do the transfer/diff oil changes yourself as it is very easy to do.

As for your shifting problems, in all likelyhood it is indeed your valvebody on the way out. This is a common problem on most cayenne's, especially with your mileage. I believe most dealers are recommended the transmission control unit be replaced. The parts guy at my dealer claimed that they had a newer/updated version available. I talked to a friend at another P dealer and he told me not to bother with the TCU and just change the valve body. He indicated that this would solve all the shifting issues.

Since my harsh shifting from 6th to 4th is somewhat intermittent, I have yet to address/fix the problem and have learned to live with it a little longer.

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I agree with the others. The price on the Valve body is about the going rate but it sure seems like they are just trying to replace a bunch of things because they aren't sure exactly what the problem is. As already mentioned, are there codes? The Sonnax valve body is about the same price and supposedly has 6 improvements (it's a modified Aisin body of course) over the stock Japanese valve body.

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There are no Indy Shops that I could find in the Pensacola Florida area, closest ones are about 60+ miles away near the dealer. There are no codes, I have the Durametric and ran the diagnostic each time the tranny would do it and nothing.

I could live with it, but my fear is that I would need to replace the whole tranny, which is what the Dealer said was my other option.

Has anyone installed the Sonnax Valve Body? Would it be better than buy a Valve body from Sunset/Suncoast and finding an Indy to install?

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  • 1 month later...

i can tell you that there is something wrong with their fluid quoting.....

the front and rear diff only takes a liter MAX

Same with the transfer case....should only take a liter

the next question you should ask yourself is if they have the fluid amounts wrong....what else is wrong?

I'd say try to do it yourself....doesn't require many tools, and the pan temperature is very close to fluid temperature in most cases.

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  • 1 month later...

Just picked mine (06 Cayenne S US Spec) from the dealer in Reutlingen Germany. Total Damage was 3100 USD (2400 Euro). I was told the replacement valve body was a new unit from ZF & there was no core charge. Parts were cheaper here including a 19% VAT than in the US...go figure? You might be able to save a few bucks going to a reputable mechanic/transmission shop. The procedure is pretty straight forward (drain, drop pan, unbolt valve body, bolt new body, check torq, replace filter & pan, refil, test, chk for leaks). If I had more time I may have attempted repair myself.

Problem first discovered (noticed) in August of 2011 at about 51 thousand miles. It currently has about 59 thousand.

Your symptoms describe to a T my problem. Flared 4-5 upshifts & large physical CLUNKS 5-4 down shift but, only under moderate to heavy load with down shift. This is a VERY common fault also with Touregs of the same year (04-06) no surprise it is the exact same transmission. HINT maybe a VW source part and labor may be cheaper? Vehicle did not throw a code. Dealer did not believe me until I drove it for him and replicated the CLUNK right no que..

Both TCU cables were replaced. There was a slight coating of transmission oil on both from a leaky seal/fitment. In the grand scheme of things they did not add much to the total cost.

The best solution for automatic transmission problems is buying a manual in the first place. But, it is my wife's car and hauls 5 pax with gear on the autobahn at 90-100 mph with out so much as breaking a sweat. Probably the best grand touring car I have ever driven. Plan to keep it for several years and bring it back home from Germany.

Good Luck

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I did my '04C recently with 60k miles. My shifting problems only occured when the car was warm. Hard 5-3 down shift. Slow 4-5 up shift. It was easy to force the fault in manual mode. Apparently the bushings in the valve body get sticky because they draw in and retain particles over time due to the material used in early versions. Also the wiring harness can get saturated with oil and fail. Check the connections at the trans and the controller for oil.

Parts I needed:

Valve body 955.325.039.10

Wiring harness 955.325.363.01

Wiring harness 955.325.363.11

Oil 000.043.205.28 - Titan or febi 3309 should do as a sub if you are ok with non-porsche. One of them is probably what fills the Porsche bottles anyway.

Also needed a sump gasket, oil filter, other small seals and some new valve body fasteners...

Controller is not always necessary. It is easy to get to late since it is just under the passenger seat. You can throw that in as the next step if the old one really is bad.

I got my parts from Sunset. Much more palatable than the dealer costs.

Edited by Nana's_914
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

I live in Destin and can attest that the Destin Porsche dealer is horrible. I have had only negative experiences there and do not trust them to even wash the brake dust off my wheels.

I had a wheel bearing go bad last summer and found this indy shop called Marks Autowerks in Ft Walton Beach. His number is 850-244-9989 address 84 Beal Pkwy NW FWB. Mark is a super nice and VERY VERY knowledge Porsche mechanic. Plus he is a former Cayenne owner and knows the cayenne very well.

The guy is basically a renntech forum with all the knowledge and answers he has when I ask him questions from time to time before embarking on DIY repairs.

Edited by Scarpoolla
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  • 3 weeks later...

guys, I am reading lots of stuff on the Valve Body . . I'm wondering if I'll have the same fix. . . my symptoms are loud bang/clunk during acceleration at low speed, at 2nd gear between 10-20 KMH. Sometimes it's a multiple thump . . . do you guys think it's a valve body issue?

Already change my Cardan, now dealer is recommending TCU change . . . are there anyone here with similar symptoms and TCU fixing the issue?

What would you recommend TCU first or valve body first. . . Thanks

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The valve body can cause the harshness and the double pulse when shifting but have the fluid level checked as these gearboxes and very sensitive to fluid level.

Was the above work done to cure these issues? Does it only happen whilst traveling straight ahead? Are the tires of the same size/evenly worn front to rear?

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  • 1 year later...

Hi smallfrys: Regarding recalls in general -- not sure what automobile manufacture regulatory bylaws are in Australia but in the US a problem has to be consistent and persist over a certain time frame (early in a vehicle's release) and a large percentile of vehicles in release have to be significantly impacted. The problem has to be an issue replicable by third parties.

Many vehicle manufacturers issue voluntary recalls (in North America) but those recalls differ from mandatory recalls. Major safety issues will prompt regulatory bodies to act quickly and this is often based on number of impacted people. Porsche AG, even with the Cayenne's proportionately large sales volume vs. other Porsche vehicles, does not have nearly as many vehicles on the road as other manufacturers so when a Porsche issue surfaces the numbers of complaints being lodged are less. Less complaints equal slower regulatory action. Bottom line; it's doubtful any recalls will surface for the 9PA/1 by any global regulatory entity.

I too have an '04 S -- amazing to think our vehicles are now a decade old. As these issues surface for me (I've been through coil packs, drive shaft, coolant pipes, etc) I repair them and cringe but it's the cost of what we own. As my mileage piles-up (at 100k miles now) I'll soon make a decision to either double-down and go commit to 150/200k (with associated costs potentially including this transmission valve body issue) or sell and move to a different vehicle.

That said, these are complex vehicles and given what they can do and were engineered for, I have been fine with the issues that surface. Not ideal, but we did not purchase a Honda or Toyota.

Edited by odix
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