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Pelican Technical Article:

Vacuum Leak Testing

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$0

Talent:

*

Tools:

Smoke Pro, air compressor

Applicable Models:

Porsche 955 Cayenne GTS (2008-10)
Porsche 955 Cayenne S (2008-10)
Porsche 955 Cayenne Turbo (2008-10)
Porsche 955 Cayenne Turbo S (2009-10)
Porsche 970 Panamera 4S (2010-14)
Porsche 970 Panamera GTS (2013-14)
Porsche 970 Panamera S (2010-14)
Porsche 970 Panamera Turbo (2010-14)
Porsche 970 Panamera Turbo Executive (2014)
Porsche 970 Panamera Turbo S (2012-14)
Porsche 970 Panamera Turbo S Executive (2014)

Hot Tip:

Perform the test with the engine cold

Performance Gain:

Eliminate vacuum leaks

Complementary Modification:

Oil and filter change

Like all modern cars the Porsche Cayenne uses vacuum for several key functions on the engine and other systems. The Cayenne motors are not known for vacuum leaks, but even a little unmetered air can have profound effects on the motor, so doing a thorough vacuum leak test is very important. If you are tired of rigging up a ShopVac in reverse, spritzing the seals with soapy water or the potential danger of spraying carb cleaner around a running motor then you should consider investing in a Smoke Pro (you will also need a small compressor if you don't already have one). It makes what can be a difficult and frustrating job simple and quick.

Perform this test with the engine cold. As motors heat up parts will expand and make some leaks harder to detect. You are going to be looking for where any smoke is coming out of the motor so you want to perform this test in an area where it is not windy to help you pin point the leak. DO NOT run the motor while performing this test.

Remove the engine covers so that you have the front of the motor uncovered.
Figure 1

Remove the engine covers so that you have the front of the motor uncovered. Please see our article on engine cover removal for additional assistance. You are going to want to attach the Smoke Pro to the EVAP line (red arrow) just below the throttle body so you can test the complete engine at one time.

Attach the leads from the Smoke Pro to the jump post (red arrow) and the ground (yellow arrow) in the rear left side of the engine bay.
Figure 2

Attach the leads from the Smoke Pro to the jump post (red arrow) and the ground (yellow arrow) in the rear left side of the engine bay.

Plug the Smoke Pro into a compressor.
Figure 3

Plug the Smoke Pro into a compressor. There is a built in pressure regulator in the machine but keep you compressor below 40 lbs. Once the green light is on press the start button (green arrow), and the machine will smoke for 5 minutes. You can control the amount of smoke the machine puts out from a little to a smoke screen (yellow arrow).

Use the provided plastic cups to plug the throttle body.
Figure 4

Use the provided plastic cups to plug the throttle body.

With the Smoke Pro hooked up press the start button to test for smoke flow.
Figure 5

With the Smoke Pro hooked up press the start button to test for smoke flow.

Remove the EVAP line from the intake manifold and insert the appropriate end and connector on the Smoke Pro (red arrow).
Figure 6

Remove the EVAP line from the intake manifold and insert the appropriate end and connector on the Smoke Pro (red arrow).

Set the pressure on the Smoke Pro low, like 3-4 psi.
Figure 7

Set the pressure on the Smoke Pro low, like 3-4 psi. If there is a leak you want to be able to determine where it is coming from. If you have the machine's pressure cranked up there will be too much smoke coming out. It will make it hard to determine the source of the leak.

Check carefully looking closely for any wisps of smoke.
Figure 8

Check carefully looking closely for any wisps of smoke. Using a flashlight can help. With the machine running for a few minutes you will want to open the oil filler cap. This will give the pressure and smoke somewhere to go. You can also see that the machine is working (red arrow). It is not uncommon for smoke to come out of the tail pipe; if the valves are in an overlap positon smoke can make its way through the combustion chamber and out the pipe.




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