Porsche Cayenne Turbo — with CPO warranty

It’s been a while since I posted about cars. And It’s been even longer I posted about V8 cars. So here goes an update now that I have something to report.

When we moved to the US last August I had to of course get back to real cars with real engines. After checking Audi Q7 (overpriced, underpowered, looks sloppy), Mercedes R series (huge but more American than German, not a real SUV) and calling after a few Mercedes GL series (overpriced) I settled with Porsche Cayenne Turbo, model year 2004. This car had it all and was an absolutely beast to drive. Twin turbo V8, 450hp stock, 0-100km/h in 5.3 secs, all possible options. Handling and acceleration like a sports car but still with all the comfort extras and even cargo space for a family. Jack of all trades. No comparison to the others.

The only controversial you can say about the car is how it looks. Cayenne’s nickname in the forums is P!g. To me this particular animal, with 20″ rims and shining black basalt paint, has looked good from the first sight. However, I have to say knowing what’s inside does affect how you look at it.

I test drove two cars and ended up choosing the one that had 10k more miles on the dash but came with an extended Porsche Approved Certified Pre-Owned warranty, or just CPO in short. This was the first time I bought a car with warranty. Turns out the choice to have a car with the factory warranty was absolutely the right one. Here’s a list of maintenance and repairs over the CPO period. My part starts from the 80K mile service up:

  • Replaced Air Suspension Compressor, Jan 2012 @ 92k miles
  • Replaced Lower Control Arms, Jan 2012
  • Replaced Passenger Side Mirror Motor, Jan 2012
  • Replaced Brake Booster Line and Valve, Dec 2011
  • Replaced Starter, Nov 2011
  • Replaced Remote Key, Sep 2011
  • Replaced Battery, Sep 2011
  • Performed 80K Mile Service (inc. Air Filter, Spark Plugs), Sep 2011
  • Replaced Drive Shaft, Apr 2011
  • Replaced Driver Side Headlight Assembly, Oct 2010
  • Replaced Coolant Hose, Oct 2010
  • Replaced DME Control Unit, Mar 2010
  • Replaced Dome Lamp, Jan 2010
  • Replaced Park Brake Shock, Jan 2010
  • Replaced Fuel Door Lock, Jan 2010
  • Replaced Aux Water Pump, Jan 2010
  • Replaced Coolant Pipes, Jan 2010 @ 76k miles

Pretty long list over two years and just over 15k miles! My experience with CPO has been excellent and prompt service. Everything has been replaced without questions (except for the air compressor that took three visits and a call to Porsche USA) and over repairing things I’ve reported they have found other issues and fixed them on the way. You get a free service loaner while the car is in for repairs, and when you pick up the car back it comes hand washed.

I have no information of major maintenance and repairs before the CPO period except what Carfax tells me. Interesting details include “engine serviced” in March 2007, “transmission checked” in March 2009 and several notes for “electrical” service.

The CPO coverage is now over. From now on I’m driving this beast on my own. The car does have mileage behind but the good thing is I know my car has been meticulously serviced, always at the dealership, and with original parts. It has no open issues. The fix list above goes pretty much through the known problems of early Cayennes.

Car upgrade

Changed car yesterday. First sold the 1999 Toyota Avensis 1.6 sedan with 168 000 kms and no options but A/C. Piece of uninteresting and cheap junk. Bought a 2002 Ford Mondeo wagon 2.5 V6 with 130 000 kms, automatic transmission, leather seats, and other relevant options. Feels like I have a sort of car again.

The last V8 machine

Sold my BMW 540 two nights ago. It went to the right address: a self-help mechanic who plugged in his laptop and analyzed the memory of the car before purchasing…

My car owner history is in some ways rather special:

  • Lincoln Town Car 1987, 5.0 V8
  • Oldsmobile Cutlass 1973, 5.7 V8
  • Chevrolet Corvette 1986 5.7 V8
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee 1995, 4.0 I6 (the only six!)
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee 1999, 4.7 V8
  • BMW 540 1995, 4.0 V8

Yesterday I had a test drive with a Toyota Avensis. It looks like my days with big gas guzzlers are history…

Chase is better than the catch

Two night ago I witnessed a movie-style car-chase in Helsinki. It all started at around 10 pm in the evening. I was running from Tapiola towards the city and noticed while crossing Ring I that there was a cop car trying to stop an old rear-wheel drive Escort. Something strange happened: the Escort didn’t stop but speeded on! Wow! An old Escort is not a quick car and in difficult conditions (ice & snow) it must have been difficult to drive.

Ok, I see a second cop car coming from Espoo. Escort turns towards Munkkiniemi and soon there are two cops behind it: a Mondeo and a Transit. The chase goes on. I do my best and try to follow. I want to see when cops pull the Escort to the side. But to my surprise the chase doesn’t stop. Lights disappear, and I can only hear sirens in the distance.

I continue towards Lauttasaari thinking what I’d do if I were the escape driver. Yes, I’d probably go down Mecheleninkatu towards Ruoholahti and continue Länsiväylä back to Espoo. Which is what the Escort driver does as well. On a bridge towards Lauttasaari I can hear & see & witness everything again. Escord climbs up from the city to Länsiväylä, Mondeo tallying close behind. Lots of siren sound. More cops following. My scene is perfect: I can see like 5 km of Länsiväylä from Helsinki to Keilaniemi, all way long.

But how many cops are there! One aften another new cop cars climb up from Ruoholahti to Länsiväylä. I try to keep record on them. Jesus! More than 10 cop cars chasing one filthy old Escord, which probably can not technically go faster than 140 km/h. Like 2 minutes after the Escort is gone new cop cars appear. Lights on, sirens on, going fast.

The next day I read from the paper that the Escort was bumbed towards snow just a couple of kilometres from where I saw them disappear into Espoo. It was questioned why they needed so many cop cars (officially 14 total) to chase one dirty Escort with a 20-year-old boy & girl driving away. I bet the cop didn’t consider his answer for too long. He replied: “If there’s a chase going on [announced on police radio] it isn’t that difficult to get volunteers to chase.”.