Porsche Cayenne Misfire & Coil Pack Replacement

After the week just finished, it was a relief to snatch a few hours off this morning and point our Porsche Cayenne’s nose towards Warwickshire, to collect another load of bricks for next year’s garage build. The way this thing hauls a trailer full of reclaim bricks is incredible, making century-old bricks my latest eBay obsession.

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So far in November we’ve had a painful VAT return, slow going on the building front and a ton of catching up on copywriting, but Wednesday night took the biscuit, with a call from Mrs G to say someone had crashed into her sweet little CR-V. I drove to the scene to find a head-on smash between CR-V and builder’s van: CR-V destroyed and wife in some discomfort. The CR-V had done its job well, deploying ample airbags and absorbing a pretty big hit, but an ambulance ride and a long night in the emergency department followed.

CR-V with blue flashing lights

She’s off work for a few days while aches and pains subside. We freelancers can’t stay home forever, so the next problem was what car to stick her in when she’s feeling up to it. The Cayenne has proved so good that I’ve sold my ‘spare’ cars: Subaru, MX5, M3 about to go and Landcruiser will be next. Obvious write-offs like this usually settle fast, so there seems little point in a courtesy car. Off to eBay I went, looking at alternatives.

Nothing good on eBay, so I decided to stick her in the M3 for a few days and buy another SUV when the insurance cheque arrives. That decision made, I spent Thursday evening in college a little burnt out, emerging back into the winter chill at 10pm to drive home. Sliding into the Cayenne, it started with a misfire. Not too unusual when damp, a slight misfire from cold usually clears. Ten miles later, the miss was just the same. I texted a Cayenne mate “Misfire. Coil packs?” Consensus this was likely culprit. I’d order a new one next day, as I couldn’t have another car go down.

Next morning was just as cold, and the miss was just as wrong. I ordered eight coil packs and a set of plugs. Dropped the kids at school and drove the fifty miles on seven cylinders. Still managed to top the ton, though. No limp-home mode on Cayenne. I stuck the Cayenne on a friend’s Porsche PIWIS, which showed cylinder number three was misfiring. Time to take some bits off.

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Getting to Cayenne coil packs is not too tricky. Top engine plastics come off when the engine support is removed: it’s a bit of simple spannering. Number three coil pack had quite a long crack, and more than one other had the same. The plugs were not over tight and looked a bit worn, so new ones would give it a boost. I also ordered wiper blades – been meaning to for weeks.

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The plugs and packs didn’t arrive until late afternoon, so it was dark by the time I was finished. My cross-country drive to avoid the Friday night motorway traffic was a revelation – transformed the Cayenne from an impressive 4×4 needing Tiptronic downflicks to press on, into a rev-loving mega beast, attacking all comers. We ripped up more Tarmac than a truckload of road protesters and I’ve been looking for cane-it opportunities ever since. Pizza run last night, brick run today, failed brick run yesterday: all good fun. Tickover is now smoother than the aforementioned prom queen’s anatomy: everyone needs a Cayenne!

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Apart from my wife that is, as I just bought her a bargain Skoda Fabia TDI estate to run around in while we’re waiting for the next thing. Turned out the seller also owned a 993 and was considering adding a Cayenne. It’s a small Porsche world, you know.

2 Comments

  • Shaun says:

    Great story, sorry to read about your wife’s accident. I hope she had a speedy recovery!

    I’ve pondered on getting a Cayenne S as I do rather like them but have been put off with some very scary (and v expensive!) horror stories. Mainly prop shaft, but according to my Porsche specialist (ex Porsche) you can just fix the existing with new bolts/bearing rather than spending thousands on a new prop shaft. Might have to have a look in a couple of months, ideal for a family car/motorway cruising!

    Got an original 986 Boxster 2.5, keeping it always as it’s such a reliable, fun car and I’ve spent shed loads restoring her! Adding a 911 to the collection very soon. Ideally a 911SC or a 964 C2. Going from the low prices of the 996 911 I am swayed towards one of those, but I’d incorporate the £1050 to upgrade the IMS bearings to the ceramic ones! (Unless already done!).

    • John says:

      Thanks Shaun. You’ve done some good research on the IMS issue – that is a must-fix. The Cayenne is mega and things like propshaft bearing/cardan shaft bearings are not that dear to fix. Vertex in the US do an exchange replacement and there are a few UK suppliers for the same. I think big thing on Cayenne V8 is scored bores. Long as you can avoid those problems, then the other steel-sprung Cayenne gotchas are fairly affordable. Although not as affordable as fixes on a diesel Skoda Fabia! 😉

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