V8 Porsche Cayenne, Cayenne S, & Cayenne Turbo models need updated coolant pipes.
Is your Porsche Cayenne leaking coolant? The odds are pretty high that source of your Porsche Cayenne coolant leak are the coolant pipes that run underneath the intake and are nestled down in the “V” of the engine.
The Problem: Porsche Cayenne Coolant Pipes Leak
The early generation of Porsche Cayenne and Cayenne S models from 2003 – 2006 model years (V8 models only), manufactured between January, ’02 and December ’06, came from the factory equipped with black plastic coolant tubes that have since proved inadequate and prone to fail prematurely. As for exactly why they tend to fail so often, the two biggest factors seem to be insufficient heat-resistance of the materials they are made with coupled with the actual location of the tubes. In other words, In other words, you’ve got plastic tubes that can’t handle very much heat located in the “V” of the engine, underneath the intake manifold. Enclosed in that way, the pipes are subject to heat soak from every side. Even at speed, the densely packed engine compartment allows very little air-flow through that area. It was such a common problem on these vehicle that there was even a class-action lawsuit filed by owners against the manufacturer. Porsche has since developed a solution for the defective coolant pipes which we will get to shortly, but first let’s take a look at some of the signs of leaking coolant pipes to look for.
Signs of Porsche Cayenne Coolant Leak: How can you tell if your Cayenne coolant pipes are leaking?
The most obvious sign that the original plastic tubes may be leaking, and the simplest, is coolant pooling on the garage floor or driveway underneath the car when it’s parked. Not sure if you’re looking at coolant or some other fluid, like an an innocuous puddle of condensation from the A/C? The way you can distinguish between coolant and other fluids. Unlike most other vehicles, Porsche coolant is pink in color. The presence of a pink or red-ish fluid collecting on the ground, especially after a long drive, is strongly indicative of a coolant leak. Another more unexpected symptom from this Porsche Cayenne coolant leak, as opposed to, say, a leaky water pump, is problems with the starter motor due to the particular location where the coolant leaks. Because of where these pipes are situated, the coolant that leaks from them doesn’t spill down to the ground immediately. First, it fills up the valley at the bottom of the “V’ in the center of the engine. Once that valley is filled up, the first place it spills over is at the rear of the engine, through the transmission bell housing, and down onto the starter. This can damage the starter, causing starting issues, and if left alone, it can eventually ruin the starter altogether.
Updated Porsche Cayenne Coolant Pipes
Fortunately, Porsche has updated these parts from the original leaky plastic ones to solve this problem. The updated coolant pipe kit is now part of the standard repair for the leaking original parts. This update includes new cast-aluminum pipes to replace leaky plastic ones and improved o-ring seals. But what should you do if your vehicle isn’t showing any of the symptoms mentioned above but still hasn’t had the update performed? The failure rate of the OE plastic tubes means it’s not so much a matter of if they will leak, but more likely a matter of when. In addition to the rate of failure, the high potential for an unnoticed coolant leak to cause significant damage to the starter or worse, an overheated engine, means it is actually recommended that any of the affected V8 Cayenne and Cayenne S models that are still equipped with the original defective pipes have this update performed sooner rather than later as a preventative measure.
If you aren’t sure if your Cayenne has been updated with the new aluminum pipes, in particular if you bought your Cayenne used, we strongly suggest taking it to a Porsche repair specialist who can check for you, and also help you with service and maintenance recommendations based on what they see.
Be sure to watch the video above for more info and a great visual of what’s going on with these leaking Cayenne coolant pipes.
Want even more cool videos?
For more entertaining and informational European auto repair videos like this one, head on over to our YouTube channel. Don’t forget to like our videos and subscribe to our channel to stay up to date on all the latest European car content from Autoscope!