Porsche Cayenne 955/957 Buying Advice - What To Look Out For?
The 955 Porsche Cayenne started production in 2002 (Europe) and came to North America in 2003. It was the second V8-engined Porsche after the 928, which was discontinued in 1995. The base Cayenne (955) had a 3.2L Naturally Aspirated 6-Cylinder Engine producing 250 hp/184 KW, the S featured a 4.5L V8 known as the “M48.00” (N/A version). While the Turbo/Turbo S had a pair of Turbochargers (M48.50). The V6 model only shared Doors & Engine block with the Volkswagen Touareg. It was praised for its powerful engines and excellent handling. In the beginning of 2007 Production of the 955 Cayenne ended.
The Facelifted “957” version was introduced, it featured better engines, updated exterior and more. The base Cayenne now had a 3.6L VR6 engine (BHK) shared with the Volkswagen Touareg and Audi Q7. A new “GTS” model was added to the lineup and a Diesel later on. S, GTS, Turbo and Turbo S models featured N/A 4.8L V8 engines (S and GTS) and the Turbo and Turbo S versions were turbocharged, it also includes dry-sump lubrication system, variable valve timing and direct Fuel injection. The VR6 base model produced 290 HP and the V8 versions produced 385 - 550 HP.
OEM Coolant Pipes are known for failing which will result in a coolant leak that will drown the starter, it is strongly recommended to replace the original plastic Pipes with aluminium ones. They are located under the Intake Manifold.
It’s also known for scored cylinder walls, if you don’t look after all that you could be looking at an engine rebuild for thousands of dollars, or a new engine which will also cost alot.
Then there’s the gas mileage, big V8 engines in general aren’t known for that. If you’re going to daily a Cayenne (955/957) you should go for one of the 957 3.0 TDI diesels which gets quite decent MPG/KM/L.
The big problem is the Cayenne S’s (M48.00) Lokasil cylinder-coating failure. It starts with a sudden appetite for oil and an increasing knock, followed by a misfire as the bores and pistons are shredded. From first signs to death can take as little as 500 miles, and the problem can strike from around 70,000 miles. Turbos (M48.50) and later S models have a Nikasil coating which gives no trouble.
One of the first ones you’d hear about would be the transfer case making a weird noise, depending on the damage you could rebuild it if you or your local mechanic has enough experience. They are mostly known for failing on 2004 models. The drains under the scuttle can get blocked, the tubes could sometimes fail from new because they were too long and got stuck behind the wheelarch liners. This causes water to overflow onto the fuse box and ABS controller. The tube to the rear washer, inside the right-hand A-pillar, can freeze, which can damage the tube. And then drips over the main ECU. Symptoms are headlights immediately going to main beam and indicators flashing when you turn the lights on. If the parking brake light stays on, the gas strut that actuates the switch is broken.
And the Air Suspension too, the springs and compressor can fail. These 955 Cayennes are not the best in reliability, though, and age doesn’t help here. They are like newer 928’s, especially in their electrical gremlins. Thanks to a tendency beyond around 70,000 miles towards disintegrating Lokasil cylinder coatings and consequent catastrophic engine failures. A new engine from Porsche will cost around $22.000 which is more than the car is worth.
There are more V6 and S Cayennes for sale than there are Turbo/Turbo S models, and prices for these naturally aspirated versions are similar to each other and significantly lower than a Turbo commands. You can get into a higher mileage Cayenne for just under $12,000 now, but treat it with great care, especially if it’s an S. One with a replacement engine could, just make sure it’s not a second-hand unit that could lead to a problem happening again. Cayennes with manual gearboxes are very rare; the Turbo/Turbo S is Tiptronic-only. Manual gearboxes are mostly found on the 957’s and 958’s (second generation).
Turbos/Turbo S models start around $15,000 for an earlier high mileage one, in original M48.50 4.5-litre form, at around £30,000 for a late Turbo S (both 955 and 957) with low mileage. Most examples seem to be in metallic black with 20 inch wheels, which will no doubt also prove the easiest combination to sell on.
The 3.2 is known for being almost trouble free. But the he spark plug’s coil packs can fail leading to misfiring, other than that, there aren’t many other known issues with the V6 models according to forums and other sites. The V6’s weren’t as popular as the “S” because they didn’t have nearly as high torque and power output, acceleration from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) took somewhere at 8-10 seconds. One 955 Cayenne must-have would be the air suspension, which is standard on the Turbo/Turbo S. The S and V6 models with steel springs have a harsh, less comfortable ride, a deficiency remedied by the 2007 957 facelift. The air suspension also adjusts its height as required, lowering itself at higher speeds and raising itself when it senses troubled terrain. But even an air-sprung Cayenne in Comfort mode is still a taut, responsive machine able to perform agility feats previously undreamed of in an SUV, helped by a nominally rearward torque split.
The Tiptronics aren’t known for being notoriously unreliable, one of the only things would be the valve block failure. Drive is suddenly lost under acceleration then comes back again. Replacement is a $1000+ job. Other than that, there isn’t much else to look out for with the automatics.
Keep in ind that this is a very big and heavy car and, the brakes last mostly depending on your driving styles. A 10,000-mile (16.000 KM) life for pads and rubber is nothing to worry about, so check there’s some something left. The air suspension’s pump can wear out with age, flashing a warning light until pressure is built up. A new one is around $2000.
Thank you all for reading. Any type of criticism is allowed.
I’ve done research on most of the information.
This content was originally posted by a Car Throttle user on our Community platform and was not commissioned or created by the CT editorial team.