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Cayenne Engine Management System
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Pelican Technical Article:

Cayenne Engine Management System

Jared Fenton


1 hour1 hr


$0 to $1,000




Factory PIWIS or Durametric, aftermarket performance software

Applicable Models:

Porsche 955 Cayenne (2004-10)
Porsche 955 Cayenne GTS (2008-10)
Porsche 955 Cayenne S (2003-10)
Porsche 955 Cayenne Turbo (2003-10)
Porsche 955 Cayenne Turbo S (2006-10)

Hot Tip:

Use a scanner or the factory computer to interface with the vehicle's DME

Performance Gain:

You can increase the performance of your vehicle with aftermarket software

Complementary Modification:

Install performance software

The Motronic system (also called the digital motor electronics, or DME) is the heart and soul of your vehicle's engine. Ignition timing and fuel delivery are controlled by a digital map recorded within the main engine management (DME) computer. The computer takes input from a variety of sensors on the engine: temperature, altitude (ambient air pressure), crank angle, throttle position, exhaust gas oxygen (mixture), ambient air temperature, and mass airflow and adjusts engine functions accordingly. The DME is programmed by the factory with "maps" of certain performance parameters, mostly conservative, so the engine will react well under a host of varying conditions.

Various glitches can show up sometimes due to the ever-increasing complexity of modern DME systems. These systems have many variables that constantly adjust based on a variety of inputs from the engine as well as the way you drive. Essentially, the computer learns how to work. Sometimes it can lead to trouble. This can sometimes be remedied by updating or "reloading" the DME with the latest version of the software. The downside is that the procedure must be done with the factory Porsche PIWIS computer and can take hours to complete.

Updating the DME with aftermarket software can sometimes result in surprising power gains. Aftermarket suppliers offer different maps that can be downloaded into the vehicle with a laptop via an OBD2 connector. The maps usually do things like advance the ignition timing or spark duration for added power. Installing software is usually an easy process with little to no change in the vehicle's reliability. In most cases, installing software requires you to use premium fuel. The octane requirement can usually be factored into the software for places like California with lower octane premium fuel (91 octane).

Major changes to the engine (including different camshafts, head work, etc.) will require an updated map to take full advantage of these modifications. Failure to update the Motronic system when significantly altering your engine may actually result in decreased performance, and possibly engine damage as the original system is finely tuned to supply the correct timing and fuel injection values for a stock engine configuration. To gain the maximum benefit from engine modifications, you'll need to take the car to a specialist who can perform real time modifications while "talking" to the DME via computer interface.

It is important that you research the supplier before installing aftermarket software. Many times, you'll see products on eBay with exuberant claims of horsepower and the like. You'll want to avoid these kinds of products as they often are are more trouble than they are worth. A real tuner will be more than happy to talk about the entire process, as well as providing different options for what you'd like to do. Keep in mind that performance software is typically expensive and requires time to get things working perfectly. Simply put, speed costs money. How fast do you want to go?

Communicating with the DME is done via the OBD2 port under the dashboard.
Figure 1

Communicating with the DME is done via the OBD2 port under the dashboard. Remove the plastic cover (green arrow) to access the port.

The OBD2 port (green arrow) is used to communicate with the vehicles DME, either to scan for fault codes, update the DME or install performance software.
Figure 2

The OBD2 port (green arrow) is used to communicate with the vehicles DME, either to scan for fault codes, update the DME or install performance software.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Kingscarnotmech Comments: My name is Kingsley I own a Porsche cayenne turbo S 2006 I want the piwis diagnostic scanner I want to buy it and I need easy shipping to my country Nigeria Delta state asaba I have an address to receive it through CCC consolidated contractors commission construction company.
March 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Durametris should be able to handle it. Check the functions here:">"> =0

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-310-626-8765

- Nick at Pelican Parts - Nick at Pelican Parts
chris Comments: Hi my porsche cayenne turbo 2004 does is not starting.the feul pumps are not coming on but direct power to the pump makes it run.I have replaced the battery now still nothing.I found that n loose conection on the previous battery.after the car not starting I left it over night and the next morning it will it is not starting at all.the engin swings but no start.could it be my dme please help.
February 12, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It could be. You will need a wiring diagram to trace the fuel pump circuit. Unfortunately I don't have that info. I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
Gene Comments: Check out Durametric
January 20, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thx - Nick at Pelican Parts  
John Comments: Michael, I'm new to Pelican and really have enjoyed reading the different story's.
My question is where would I get one of theses Porsche scan tools to turn my service engine light off?
January 18, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Durametric will work. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Porsche gal Comments: I just bought a 2009 Cayenne and the check engine light comes on and off from time to time. I changed the oil, it went off then came on three days later. Scan says it is cam sensors but I have had two scans run and not sure if it is consistently the same two. One place said they could do it then ran the scan and said they didn't have the part and it would be thousands to replace the sensors. Some say there are four some say two. Where can I get a correct answer? Thanks
August 11, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What fault codes were stored? The P-code numbers will give me some insight and allow me to offer advice. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
IrfanBK Comments: Is there a website that shows Durametric or PIWIS being used for saving maps or programming a map file into the ECU/DME?
Want to know a little bit more about what I'm getting into.
June 18, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not that I know of.

I opened a post in our forums. A Pelican community member may be able to answer your question.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Michael Comments: at 100.000 mi. on my 2006 Caynne s my service now indicator is on I plan on replacing spark plugs and changing all fluids how do I reset my service light telling the car that all has been done?
January 2, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You will need a Porsche scan tool. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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