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I currently have a 2003 Mercedes CL55, and am looking to get a Cayenne Turbo.

From my knowledge the common problem with these cars seem to be the coolant pipes under the intake manifold as well as the T's at the rear of the engine. To me these are not too big of a deal.

My questions are

1. Do these use traditional springs and shocks? I'm tired of dealing with cars with hydraulic/air suspension componets.

2. Has any one had issues with trasmission/engine failure?

3. What are the other common issues?

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I currently have a 2003 Mercedes CL55, and am looking to get a Cayenne Turbo.

From my knowledge the common problem with these cars seem to be the coolant pipes under the intake manifold as well as the T's at the rear of the engine. To me these are not too big of a deal.

My questions are

1. Do these use traditional springs and shocks? I'm tired of dealing with cars with hydraulic/air suspension componets.

2. Has any one had issues with trasmission/engine failure?

3. What are the other common issues?

1. Depends. Some have standard springs/shocks, some have air suspension. The air suspension is more troublesome then standard springs/shocks. Air suspension is probably more common on the turbo trucks. (my '06 S doesn't have it.. thank Dog.) Repairs can often be saved on since apparently the VW tourag used the same air system, and rebuild kits and parts are available from secondary sources.

2. What year? Some early ones ('03-04) had issues with harsh shifting from the transmission. Fix was reprogramming the TCU, and replacing the valve body in the automatic transmission. That's gone by '06. Engine failures aren't unknown, but probably less on the turbo since it has an additional oil jet spray on the bottom of the pistons (at least that's the rumor.) Some failures of the cylinder lining have been reported, and supposedly some were built with some rings installed upside down (forget the year - I think it was '04.) Engine failures are rather rare actually - with lots of P!Gs running happily with well over 100k miles on them.

3. Read the threads here. Look for cardan shaft, headlights, coil-packs, overhead light switch. Not a huge list actually and unlike some German manufacturers, Porsche actually addressed some of the issues with upgraded parts or kits to fix the problem. Fuel pumps may also fall in there also, but I suspect they fail more if you let the tank run low (they need gasoline to cool them.)

I'd suggest spending a few hours reading here and then come back with any specific questions.

Edited by deilenberger

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Perfect. Thats pretty much everything I needed to know. I work for a European repair shop in Seattle, but we only have a few customers with Cayennes and none of them are turbo vehicles. I'd probably be looking at getting a 2005. I really want to stay away from air suspension. Its a constant worry, but I know that Arnott has developed cheap solutions for just about all air suspension vechicles.

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Nothing to worry about with the air suspension.

Only issue I had was the compressor failing after 150,000 km and replacing the compressor was not expensive.

The Turbo engines have been bullet proof as your research will find, the piston slapping and cylinder scoring issues seem to plague the non turbo motors, attributed to the fact that they do not have piston cooling oil jets.

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All the turbo Cayennes have air suspension as far as I know. I have it in my S, and it has been reliable. It's actually an option that I will buy on my next Cayenne.

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That's true you have never been able to obtain a Steel Spring TT because they never made one. 03/04 struts had some issues (at least 2 that i know of personally over 130K miles) but it really is the best suspension by far.

Once you had it you will never go back to steel (to adapt another phrase)

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in regards to the mention of harsh shifting in the early cayenne turbos that was fixed with a tcu reprogramming, is there anyway to find out if my 04 CTT has had its TCU reprogrammed, such as with duramatric?

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in regards to the mention of harsh shifting in the early cayenne turbos that was fixed with a tcu reprogramming, is there anyway to find out if my 04 CTT has had its TCU reprogrammed, such as with duramatric?

TCU can not be programed, and can only be replaced with new one, with newer SW. You can try to look if you can see TCM details with Durametric, SW number is four digit (example 0351, 0362, 0473,0519, it could be one of those, or some other number). If you'll find that number, post it there an I'll let you know if its updated.

You can also see sw number in TCM itself.

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DO NOT buy a Cayenne with the air suspension. The problem is the sensor on the air compressor. They fail frequently, and the ONLY US solution is to purchase a bundled air compressor, sensor, and air compressor bracket from Porsche North America at a cost of about $1900. The temperature sensor, which fails at least in high altitude cold climates with alarming frequency, is the part that fails. You may be able to get this part out of Germany for about 80 euros, if you choose, but of course Porsche won't stand behind this. If this sensor fails it will cost you about $2600-2800 to repair here at a dealer. And the other sensor, air compressor, and bracket you have that is good won't do you any good, because if anything fails again it will likely be this temperature sensor once again. Run, don't walk, away from Cayennes with air suspension. And BTW, I haven't found a way to convert away from the air suspension. Your computer and everything are all set for this. It will be a money pit!

  • Upvote 1

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DO NOT buy a Cayenne with the air suspension. The problem is the sensor on the air compressor. They fail frequently, and the ONLY US solution is to purchase a bundled air compressor, sensor, and air compressor bracket from Porsche North America at a cost of about $1900. The temperature sensor, which fails at least in high altitude cold climates with alarming frequency, is the part that fails. You may be able to get this part out of Germany for about 80 euros, if you choose, but of course Porsche won't stand behind this. If this sensor fails it will cost you about $2600-2800 to repair here at a dealer. And the other sensor, air compressor, and bracket you have that is good won't do you any good, because if anything fails again it will likely be this temperature sensor once again. Run, don't walk, away from Cayennes with air suspension. And BTW, I haven't found a way to convert away from the air suspension. Your computer and everything are all set for this. It will be a money pit!

Interesting. I have never heard of this before. I know several people with air suspension and never been an issue unlike the MB,BMW or worse of all the LR.

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No issues so far with my CTT air suspension (nor any issues with the entire truck actually!!)... I think I've read a couple threads where the most common issue with air suspension is simply that the compressor may eventually need to be rebuilt and I think the kit is around $150 or so.

Edited by gophaster

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Sorry I have to cry BS on this post..

DO NOT buy a Cayenne with the air suspension. The problem is the sensor on the air compressor. They fail frequently, and the ONLY US solution is to purchase a bundled air compressor, sensor, and air compressor bracket from Porsche North America at a cost of about $1900. The temperature sensor, which fails at least in high altitude cold climates with alarming frequency, is the part that fails. You may be able to get this part out of Germany for about 80 euros, if you choose, but of course Porsche won't stand behind this. If this sensor fails it will cost you about $2600-2800 to repair here at a dealer. And the other sensor, air compressor, and bracket you have that is good won't do you any good, because if anything fails again it will likely be this temperature sensor once again. Run, don't walk, away from Cayennes with air suspension. And BTW, I haven't found a way to convert away from the air suspension. Your computer and everything are all set for this. It will be a money pit!

There has never been such a fault in an numbers, the compressor rings go and can be home repaired for less that $50 using VW parts.

This sounds like someone whose dealer royally raped them

Edited by Loren
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I agree with Mudman. You can search this air suspension issue on Renntech and the web overall and you will see what Mudman states is correct.

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196000 km on a CTT no problem with the air springing but on the local statutory testing of the suspension jig, failed on damping in normal setting and narrowly passed on sport setting.

Anyone changed the damper units?

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Other car is an 05' E500 Wagon with air suspension. (Original owner, 112K miles.) My understanding is the Porsche system is better engineered - in terms of performance and reliability - though it will be more expensive to fix when components break. I've gone through 3 air pumps and two shocks during the life of the MB. If you look online, Arnott Industries is a great resource for refurbished air shocks and compressors. Check their pricing and you can see the difference between Porsche and MB cost. Again, the Porsche system seems to be quite dependable and work better than Airmatic II, IMHO.

To play devil's advocate, I just went to aftermarket springs/shocks on my 04' CS. Very pleased. Might consider a 09' CS with plain jane steel suspension you can modify in the future. (My PIG drinks enough without the turbo's :-).)

2008 was the mid-cycle refresh and the V8 got a nice bump in HP, and the nav/stereo head unit much improved in 2009. A thought...

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I also agree with most of the threads above, the air suspension is great. 65K on my '06CTTS and I did have to rebuild the air compressor 6 months ago with the VW rebuild kit but that was cheap and it was an easy fix. Since you are a mechanic many of the faults that you hear about with the Cayenne's are easy fixes. Some may be a bit time consuming but they are relatively easy to repair. I did my Coolant pipes with the Aluminum replacements a couple of years (preventative) ago and other than the air compressor it has been 100% reliable, ok, an occasional PCM fault but usually easily resettable. You'll love the Cayenne, and if it's a Turbo you'll love it more, just not the fuel economy.

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