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    Brake problem on new Cayenne

    I guess this is my official welcome to Cayenne ownership.

    Have had the new vehicle for about 6 weeks and, a few days ago, I noticed the brake pedal feeling a little soft. After pulling into the garage, I noticed the pedal sinking a bit. Continued to push and it continued to sink, - not quite to the floor. Feels like a master cylinder leak. No external leaks visible and plenty of fluid in the reservoir. Is at the dealer awaiting diagnosis and repair. Have searched this and other forums, but have not found a report of this as a common issue. Anybody else have a similar problem?

    RC, is the Master Cylinder one of the "different" parts with the PowerKit?

    BTW, the brakes on the loaner Camry are just fine.

    Re: Brake problem on new Cayenne

    Camrys are great vehicles! They rarely break down. In fact, that's my experience with almost all Toyota products. But, don't expect it to drive like a Porsche!

    This is the first report I have seen of this type of failure. Your symptoms sound like a loss of hydraulic fluid but your reservoir is full. Hmmm ...

    Let us know what the diagnosis is maybe we can send this to Car Talk for the weekly Puzzler.

    Re: Brake problem on new Cayenne

    Right on both counts, - Toyota vs. Porsche,- at least in my experience. If only one could combine Porsche thrills with Toyota reliability and Lexus service, think how much folks like us would be willing to pay...

    Will post the diagnosis and the fix.

    Re: Brake problem on new Cayenne

    Here's an update on my sinking brake pedal. Today was the 8th day in the shop and they got the master cylinder replaced today. Did not solve the problem. They have ordered an ABS modulator unit, hopefully to arrive on Monday.

    Re: Brake problem on new Cayenne

    yikes, hope the new abs unit will work sigs

    Re: Brake problem on new Cayenne

    The master cylinder is NOT part of the powerkit, this is why the initial brake feel is a bit softer than with the OEM brake. Sorry, it seems I overlooked your post.

    My Cayenne Turbo has now almost 20000 km and has been driven hard most of the time, including some high speed travelling at over 270 kph (168 mph) on the speedo from time to time. My only technical problem was a that damned micro-switch of the rear hatch window which has to be exchanged twice. I de-activated the electric mechanism recently because I found the rear hatch window open again and Porsche doesn't seem to have a "final" solution yet. The cooling liquid loss I reported after my Italy vacation was a one-time incident, apparently there wasn't enough cooling liquid in the system from the factory and I had to add over 1.5 litres to cope with it. Since then, no loss anymore. So far, the Cayenne Turbo has been proved to be my most reliable Porsche and with the exception of my wife's SLK 32 AMG, the most reliable car I ever owned (and I owned a lot over the past 21 years).

    I know that some people had issues with their Cayenne but I really think these are exceptions. Same with my 997 Carrera S: some people reported problems with the eletrical system and some (still unconfirmed?) RMS issues. The only problems I had were with the gearbox and the clutch, probably due to the fact that the car was one out of a bunch of "production start" cars, built in march 2004. The gearbox manufacturer apparently forgot to add a certain initial additive to the gearbox which was needed for smooth shifting. The gearbox didn't brake down and the clutch didn't let me down suddenly, I just had problems with enganging the 1st gear and the clutch made a horrible howling noise at low temperatures. Both have been exchanged on warranty without any problems and now everything seems to work fine. No engine problems, no electrical problems, nothing. And I really don't treat my cars with a lot of caution.

    So in my personal opinion, Porsche doesn't have ANY quality issues but SERVICE issues. It can't be acceptable that a customer has to talk several times to a dealer to get things done or that a customer is kept days or even weeks in the dark if Porsche pays for a certain repair under warranty or not.
    The attitude of SOME dealers and SOME Porsche employees (most of them are very nice, I had to deal with them personally and they really try to help) has to change because they're not selling a Volkswagen but a top of the line sportscar or premium SUV.

    And finally, there is another thing I don't understand and maybe you guys can help me out with understanding it: over here in Germany, a Porsche mechanic earns the same money like a VW or Skoda mechanic. For me, this is not quite understandable. I would pay them more, even much more but send them to training classes and even put them through some sort of exams. How do I expect from a mechanic to do a first class job if he doesn't get first class pay? Do I sound irrational? Maybe. But I really sometimes have a bad feeling when I imagine that somebody works on my brakes and steering but isn't paid like he should be paid. Maybe it is just me but I really think that Porsche should train dealer mechanics much better. Some of them are great, my chief mechanic doesn't talk much but he is very reliable and knowledgable. Yesterday, his shift ended at 5 PM but he stayed until 6:30 PM to make sure that my Cayenne is safe and everything is within specs. He testdrove it himself and checked everything. And finally, he even wanted to wash my car but I told him to forget about it and go home.
    Over here in Germany, this is NOT something common. Workers over here are very "anal" about working hours and ending of working shifts (thanks to their beloved unions... ).

    Overall, I'm pleased with Porsche quality, I just wish the service and the attitude would be improved too to cope with the "social" status of their cars in the car world.

    Re: Brake problem on new Cayenne

    RC,

    Thanks for the always thoughtful reply. I confess a healthy cynicism regarding the service delivery of the German automakers here in the US, especially for products outside of their main business line. My experience with my ML has been horrendous, both from the standpoint of the number of glitches (I've lost count of the TSBs) and the standpoint of the quality of service I've received. At the time, I bought it based on the promise of the design, and was not disappointed in that regard. But the number of problems the MLs had, and the number of trips it took to get some of them fixed, was atrocious. It has, at least, given my wife great entertainment, as she has flaunted the comparison with her old Volvo and her newer Lexus. Along the same lines, all my friends with X-5s take their vehicles to independent mechanics, unless it is something expensive and covered by BMW's warranty.

    Needless to say, I had trepidations about buying the Cayenne, especially since this is a sister dealership to the MB dealer. Once again, I let my passion for the design win out over my fears of reliability and service issues. Since the vehicle will have spent 2 of my first 7 weeks of ownership in the shop, I'm not off to a good start. And given the price I paid for this thing, my wife's taunts are taking a less humorous tone.-

    Here's hoping my future experience is more like yours has been...

    When I get it back, I'll try to concentrate on observing some of the points you made in your brief review of your powerkit, and see if I can add anything of value.

    BTW, the service manager did confirm that the master cylinder and ABS modulator were the same on the powerkit version, so that correlates with your parts list. Thanks, as always.

    Re: Brake problem on new Cayenne

    Update:
    Got the CT back a couple of days ago. Apparently the ABS modulator was the culprit. The soft pedal feel has been replaced by the original, firm control. The pedal does sink further on constant pressure at rest than any other vehicle I've ever had, but much slower and to a lesser extent than when I took it in. I checked out the loaner brake pedal while I had it, and it was similar to what I now experience. Anyone else noticed the pedal sinks further than on their other vehicles?

    As for the steering wheel vibration, I asked them to do the Hunter balancing, but didn't get a chance to check on the road force numbers they recorded. In any case, the problem is better, though there is still mild vibration between 67-72 mph on several of the roads I've driven. It is interesting, though, that other roads or even just different lanes on the same road can show little or no vibration. Can this be some sort of weird harmonic between the wheels/tires and the ridges in the concrete?

    Anyway, though I found the V6 loaner quite serviceable and was beginning to think I could have saved a lot of money, it took about 2 minutes to realize how thrilled I am with the CT-PK.

    RC, I'll try to put in some concerted driving soon and add my meager comments to your great reviews.

    Re: Brake problem on new Cayenne

    great to hear sigs can you please post some pics your cayeynne? would love to see it with the powerkit!

    Re: Brake problem on new Cayenne

    Thanks, Mike. Hope to get some pics this weekend. Just haven't had time. Meanwhile, just imagine RC's charcoal gray, with the 19" wheels, instead of the 20". His look much nicer, but I'm trying to preserve a bit more off-road and pot-hole tolerance. On the other hand, the 19"ers make the front brakes look even more massive

    Re: Brake problem on new Cayenne

    ahhh, alright sigs! can't wait to see can just imagine that huge blob of red behind those 19" size rims

     
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