Porsche Cayenne

Common Problems to Look for in a Pre-Owned Porsche: Advice from the Experts in Tempe

by admin September 10, 2021

The convenience and luxury of a Porsche often comes with a certain amount of problems and setbacks. Many of these issues are common to all brands of cars, however, a select few are specific to the Porsche line of vehicles. It serves owners well to be conscious of common problems that may arise. Engine trouble, faulty timing chains, coolant leakage and suspension issues are some of the most common problems arising in pre-owned Porsche models.

Having a Porsche repair specialist that you can rely on and trust will make your life easier. At Mcilvain Motors we have over 100 years of serving Porsche owners in Tempe, Arizona.

Check Engine Light

A Porsche vehicle, like most vehicles, will signal a problem to the OBD system that alerts the owner of engine trouble. Many engine problems will trigger this warning, such as an oil leak or engine mechanical trouble. Owners must heed this warning to not worsen any engine issue and exacerbate the problem.

Other Engine Issues

Check engine lights are only the politest way your vehicle informs you of its dismay. Oftentimes, engine failure results in excessive engine smoke. The famous Porsche Boxster is the poster boy for giving off smoke clouds from the engine when trouble arises. While scary and panic-inducing as this sight may be, engine smoke oftentimes is simply the result of oil overfill.

A Porsche model vehicle has specific oil changing guidelines such as an operating temperature and on a perfectly level ground. Specifics like this are why it is important to bring your Porsche to a specialist who knows your model inside and out.

Porsche’s oil capacity is higher than most performance vehicles and must be properly filled when the vehicle is at the correct operating temperature and on completely level ground.

A common reason for engine smoke is due to a defective oil separator. This engine component separates the oil from the air and often fails.

Timing Chains

Our technicians often encounter faulty timing chains in our customer’s cars. For high-end Porsche vehicles, timing chains have served as an efficient and effective design. The downside is that the integrity of these timing chains tend to give way naturally, and they become stretched.

A seemingly small issue like a worn down chain can lead to massive engine failure. If not amended in a timely manner, a faulty timing chain can cause the pistons in the interference engine to strike an engine valve, leading to major and costly engine damage. This is a common source of damage in many Porsche models.

Cooling Leak

In many Porsche models, such as the Cayenne and Panamera, pipe resealing in the coolant distribution system is a frequent procedure. Our technicians encounter coolant leaking in vehicles that have otherwise shown no sign of failure. The owner would not see the coolant drip onto the pavement or their garage floor because the coolant will drip directly on top of the engine block.

This issue highlights the importance of frequent checkup with your Porsche mechanic, who can easily verify the integrity of the seals. Typically, older models show the most common occurrence of coolant issues due to years of heat and pressure. However, newer models are not exempt from these issues either. If you notice a cloudy odor coming from your engine area, or notice signs of overheating, these are tell-tale signs of coolant problems.


At McIlvain’s Motors we see many Porsches roll into our shop with their ABS lights on. While there are multiple reasons for this warning signal from your vehicle, the most common issue we see is that the vehicle’s ABS Electronic Module has malfunctioned. Porches models run into this problem often, and it is a straightforward fix or rebuild.

Lastly, Porsche owners should make it a point to be cautious of their vehicle’s CV (Constant Velocity) joints. Depending on your model, your Porsche is either all-wheel or rear-wheel drive. The CV joints in your Porsche model are highly susceptible to normal wear and tear due to the high demand placed on them from the engine.

CV joints are encased in a rubber or plastic container known as a CV boot. This CV boot is the component that often fails. A trained mechanic can quickly check these CV grease boots for leaks and abnormal moisture. Left unattended, the joint will fail, and the axle could need a replacement.

McIlvain Motors will Help

At McIlvain Motors we are Porsche specialists that Pre-Owned Porsche Inspection offer a helping hand. We strive to make your vehicle repair service fast and stress-free. We offer service in the Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale and Tempe area of central Arizona. For over 100 years, our experienced technicians have provided expert repairs to all Porsche models.

Our staff is dedicated to making your car run smoothly and efficient at an unparalleled value. Stop by or call us today to schedule any needed repairs or a quick check up.

* Porsche Cayenne image credit goes to: MikeMareen.