Porsche Cayenne Years to Avoid

The Porsche Cayenne is the SUV that saved the company and currently sells around 15000, to 20,000 per year.  The annual maintenance cost of this Porsche Cayenne is also the highest.

Understanding which Porsche Cayenne years to avoid make sense to enjoy the luxurious SUV riding at minimal maintenance cost. Combining the research result of NHTSA, CarComplaints, and Edmunds, the worse Porsche Cayenne years to avoid are 2004 and 2011.

And the best Porsche Cayenne years to choose from are 2015 to newer models, thanks to their latest technology and significant improvement.

Porsche Cayenne Years to Avoid

The Porsche Cayenne is one of the best luxury SUVs with its powerful engine. However, these SUV are expensive to maintain and oil change. The replacement parts for the Porsche Cayenne are also hardly available.

While most Porsche Cayenne model years only have a few minor issues, some have numerous, making them worse to buy. Whether you want to buy a new model or planning to own a used Porsche Cayenne, avoid these two model years:


2004 porsche cayenne is the worse model that you want to avoid due to its several issues. This model received 11 complaints in CarComplains, 100 complaints on NHTSA, and a 4.6 rating on Edmunds.

2004 Porsche Cayenne

It has plenty of problems including cooling system problems and electrical problems. The user complains that this model causes water pump failure, radiator leaks, and thermostat failure. They noticed the engine become overheated and smelled antifreeze out of the hood. It can cost around $3500 to replace the aluminum pipes and fix the problem.  

Some also complain its driveshaft-center carrier bearing fail which cost around $2400 to repair. The electrical problem includes the keyless module stopping working, the driver seat doesn’t move and the headlight goes out intermittently.  The cost of fixing these issues ranges from $65 to $150.


2011 is the second worse Porsche Cayenne year to avoid. The user has reported 13 complaints on CarComplain and 55 complaints on NHTSA against this model. The Porsche Cayenne 2011 also rated 4.8 on Edmunds. The common problem of this model includes various engine problems, premature brake wear, cooling system problem, and windshield problem.  

Many owners complain that their engine stop due to a malfunction of the thermostat and hear a clicking sound out of the valve. It can cost around $200 to $500 to replace the thermostat and $50-150 to fix valve noise. But if your engine dies due to those problems, it can cost $1100 to repair the engine.

If you need to replace brakes and rotors to fix premature wear, it’ll cost $3000 while repairing an overheated cooling system cost around $1600. You can fix windshield wind noise by using sound-deadening mats which cost around $17 to $50.

Porsche Cayenne Problems Reported by Years

Below is a table of various Porsche Cayenne make years along with complaints counted and reliability scores:

Porsche Cayenne Problems Reported by Years
Porsche Cayenne YearNumber of Complains Received on CarComplaintsNumber of Complains Received on NHTSAReliability rating on Edmunds ( out of 5)

Common Porsche Cayenne Problems

Below are some common Porsche Cayenne issues that need attention to make an effective preventative maintenance routine to avoid costly repairs:

Common Porsche Cayenne Problems

Cooling System Issues

Most Porsche Cayenne SUV has cooling system problems as their V8 engine have plastic cooling tubes. The tubes melt when the engine overheats and causes coolant leaks, engine starter problems, and engine death.

Cooling System Issues

Repairing the broken plastic coolant line can cost around $3500. However, you can prevent this problem by protecting the engine from becoming overheating.

Engine Died

Most automobile problems end up causing the engine to die. Though it takes time, ignoring the overheating engine is the key reason. Porsche Cayenne’s engine may overheat due to an overflow of coolant, a coolant leak, a faulty radiator fan, or a failed thermostat.

Engine Died

The common symptoms include activating the check engine light, the engine shuts off abruptly, and loud noise. Replacing the dead engine of the Porsche Cayenne may cost around $1100.

Malfunction of PCM

Porsche PCM is another major issue that isn’t resolved today. Porsche Cayenne particularly the 2016 model experiences the PCM random rebooting problem most. The user finds that the PCM reboots itself randomly after a few minutes of turning on the engine.

In other words, the music may stop suddenly and start again after 10 to 15 minutes and it may keep repeating. This problem is common for both old and new models of Porsche Cayenne.

The PCM reboot problem can occur after Sirius FM sent out an update. Using the incompatible aftermarket PCM can also cause this problem.  To fix this problem, press and hold the PCM button for around 10 seconds or until the PCM starts rebooting.  Then follow these steps:

Select PCM CAR > OPTION > Set PCM System > Reset PCM > Vehicle Handover > Yes > Yes

If you need to replace the PCM to solve the issue, it’ll cost around $3,090.

Drivetrain Problem

The issue with the drivetrain of the Porsche Cayenne can make the SUV erratic and uncontrollable. Some users of the Porsche Cayenne complain that its drivetrain transfer case fails without showing any warning sign. The drivetrain may also lose its center bearing and die eventually.

Drivetrain Problem

Transmission Problems

According to the user’s complaints, the transmission problems of the Porsche Cayenne experiences various issues including gear problems, excessive vibrations and shakes, strange noise or odor, and fluid leaks. Each problem requires unique treatment.

Transmission Problems

For example, if you experiences slower gear changing than usual or gear slippage, you’ll have to replace the gearbox ad it will cost around $1,800 to $3,400. But if your SUVs shake during shifting gears from neutral to other, you may need to top up transmission fluid or change the faulty transmission part. You may also hear a grinding or humming noise when your Porsche is in neutral. It can also happen if the bearing become loses.

The burning smell can be the result of frayed cables or overheating belts which are cheaper to replace. Lastly, the broken transmission may cause fluid leaks, and noticing a brown or red pool after parking the car is a clear indication of it. If so, you have to repair the leak to restore the transmission’s functionality.

Brake System

Premature brake wear is another common Porsche Cayenne problem that can cause after driving the car only 20,000 miles. Replacing the brake system of a Porsche Cayenne can cost around $605 and $837.

Brake System

However, you can avoid this expensive repair cost by checking the brake pads’ condition routinely. You should also check the brake fluid level regularly to avoid wear out.

Fuel Pump Issues

The newer Porsche Cayenne is designed with high-pressure fuel pumps while older models have low-pressure ones. The low-pressure fuel pump overheats over time and shuts off the fuel pump. The newer one can also fail due to the damaged pump valve.

Fuel Pump Issues

It can cause reduced fuel economy, weaker engine performance, whining noise, engine stalling, or difficulty turning on the engine. you have to change the fuel tank to fix this issue which will cost between $3,697 and $4,000.

Is the Porsche Cayenne a Good Car?

The Porsche Cayenne is a highly popular luxury sports car, however, a bit expensive to buy and maintain. The SUVs are well-engineered, run fast, and are efficient to handle. The Porsche Cayenne has also excellent off-road capabilities. Many car enthusiasts consider the Porsche Cayenne as a legit alternative to the Jeep SUV and Range Rover. 

Its 18-way adjustable seats make the vehicle perfect for long legs and make the load road trips comfortable. In terms of reliability, Porsche Cayenne receives 81 out of 100 from J.D. Power. U.S. News and World Report rated this car 3.5 out of 5.

Though the Cayenne experiences some problems, its durable gearboxes and engines last ages, making it highly dependable. If you are planning to buy old Cayenne, don’t forget to check the acceleration, oil, and braking system. The average annual maintenance cost of Cayenne is around $1,231 which is higher than most SUVs.

Related Article: Ford Edge Years to Avoid


Which is the Best Porsche Cayenne model to buy?

The best Porsche Cayenne model you can buy is 2013. The newer model like the 2015 to 2023 Cayenne is also reliable as owners complain about the least issues. Porsche Cayenne also improves significantly and replaces the weaker parts with durable and dependable ones.

Which is the most reliable Porsche Cayenne engine to buy?

The Porsche Cayenne V8 4.5-liter engine is the most reliable engine among other types. If you maintain it properly, this engine will provide you with 250,000 miles.

How long does Porsche Cayenne Last?

Porsche Cayenne is reliable SUV series that is perfect for daily use. With a combination of a powerful engine and durable construction, the Porsche Cayenne lasts up to 200,000 miles.

Final Words

Whether you are buying new or old cars, it’s always best to avoid older models. The same thing is true for the Porsche Cayenne model. Older Cayenne models like 2004 are prone to cause numerous problems while 2011 also join the list.

These are the worse Porsche Cayenne years to avoid as these will cost expensive repairs and make the journey irritating. If you want to enjoy luxury and comfortable driving with a Porsche Cayenne, opt for 2015- 2023 model. 

My name is Tom Vanderbilt. I am an automotive expert and renowned for my profound knowledge of automobiles. I have made significant contributions to the industry through my experience and expertise. I have a natural curiosity and fascination for cars. My journey is to explore the intricate dynamics between people, their vehicles, and the ever-evolving transportation landscape.

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