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Limp mode / no power / all wheel drive system fault

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this is my first post.


i have a 2013 Cayenne Turbo 2013 which I bought 9 months ago with zero km.


all has been fine up to last week when I got a yellow all wheel drive system fault on the dash 


the car seemed hesitant and jerky since I got it but I just put that down to how it was.


everything is working in the car except it has no power. I do have another strange tyre pressure warning that won’t go away even after I fill all 4 tyres. The lane change warning lights on the wing mirrors come on when there is nothing there also.


There are bo noises or grinding or nothing.


i had it diagnosed using durametric but there are no error codes.


ive read it could be the transfer gear motor?


any advice would be appreciated.


i had it remapped and the secondary cars removed and fitted back panel filters.



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It's possible the transfer drive motor has crapped out - but surprising - it's not a common failure on the 958 series. More common is the entire transfer case - that will give the symptoms you describe as "hesitant and jerky". One test for the motor is to unplug it (it will give a warning message) and try driving a short distance. If unplugging it clears up the bad behavior - then chances are that the transfer case is on it's way out.


I'm surprised you could find a 4 year old turbo with no miles on it. Is there a back story to this?


One thing worth checking when oddball electrical problems start occurring - is the condition of the battery.  That's particularly suspect if the car sat unused for 4 years - and still has the original battery in it.  You can opt to display a voltmeter function on the multi-instrument-display in the dashboard - be worth seeing what the engine off voltage is.  Ideally 12.7V engine off.. and it shouldn't drop below 10V when the engine is cranking.


The other possibility is corroded wiring in the front footwells. ALL Cayennes are prone to having drains plug up due to debris that falls on the vehicle and then is washed down into the drains. There are several cowl drains that are accessible by pulling back the inner fender liners. It is not at all uncommon for these to become plugged up, causing flooding inside the vehicle - under the carpeting. The fix is to clean them out - and most people remove the rubber drain that sits in them, allowing debris to pass through in the future. Then once they're cleaned out - the carpeting has to be pulled up, and the corroded connections found and fixed. Not a trivial job.


There are threads on the drain issue on rennlist.com - and there may be some here. I know there are threads on repairing the wiring on rennlist.


Good luck!

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Thanks for the reply!


Its common in in the Middle East for dealers to keep cars in storage for sale years later . The 958 turbo isn’t very common here so I got a great deal. First owner and zero km and a full options spec. 


So can I really unplug the transfer gear motor case and drive without damage? I understand this is two sensors and three bolts and a 30 minute job to complete.


I also tried off road mode this morning which activates fine but pushing the rocker switch forward again does not lock the center or rear diffs?


Why would the all wheel drive system fault / transfer gear motor tsend send the car into limp mode, where everything works, except there’s no power/boost at all.


Don't think the sensors in foot wells are the issue - we get no water here to have to drain out.


The voltage is 14.5V when driving constant.

Edited by Toolbox
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I guess you'll find out when you install it if that fixes your problems. I've yet to hear of one doing this - so let us know how it works out.  And the unplugged transfer case test is one the dealerships apparently use to determine if the transfer-case is at fault. I wouldn't drive it any real distance that way - but around a parking lot, it's unlikely to hurt anything.

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Yeah but my issue is the power is gone and I have no boost so I can’t exactly drive on a highway through the gears and rev range with the box unplugged. 


Strange because use on this forum and others the most common problem is the transfer case servo motor failing on all cayenne’s from the 955/957 and 958.


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12 hours ago, Toolbox said:

Strange because use on this forum and others the most common problem is the transfer case servo motor failing on all cayenne’s from the 955/957 and 958.



Can you point me to some threads where the transfer case servo motor fails?  I've been keeping track of the failures - and it appears to me that the most common problem on the 958 transfer case (which is entirely different from the 2-speed case used on the 955/597) is the internal clutch deteriorating.  But if you've seen other than that - please point me to it..


BTW - in this thread - yours is the first mention of the stepper motor, and in:




I can't recall a single mention of a failed stepper motor.


This thread specifically addresses what fails:


And has a photo of a chunk of one of the clutch friction plates someone found in their oil when they drained it..

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I don’t have any knocking or clunking sounds from the transfer case.


my symptoms are no power and the all wheel drive system fault on dash (in yellow) apart from

no boost everything else is fine. 









Edited by Toolbox
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