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Reading Fault Codes

Pelican Technical Article:

Reading Fault Codes

Jared Fenton


30 minutes30 mins






Durametric Software

Applicable Models:

Porsche 955 Cayenne (2004-08)
Porsche 955 Cayenne GTS (2008)
Porsche 955 Cayenne S (2003-08)
Porsche 955 Cayenne Turbo (2003-08)
Porsche 955 Cayenne Turbo S (2006)

Parts Required:

Durametric Software

Hot Tip:

The Durametric software is essential to diagnosing problems

Performance Gain:

Better running engine once problems are solved

Complementary Modification:

Replace O2 sensors

Almost all Porsches from about 1984 on use a sophisticated Bosch engine management system called Motronic. The Motronic system (also called the Digital Motor Electronics or DME) is hands down the best overall fuel injection system that you can use when you consider price and performance. Ignition timing and fuel delivery are all controlled by a digital map stored within the main fuel injection (DME) computer. The computer takes input from a variety of sensors that are located on the engine: engine coolant temperature, crank angle, throttle position, exhaust gas oxygen (mixture), ambient air temperature and mass air flow. The DME is programmed from the factory with certain performance characteristics so that the engine will react well under a host of varying conditions.

As with any electronic device, components can fail, triggering problems with the system. The system is designed to react to these failures and indicate them to the driver, so that they can be fixed. If one of the computer's sensors is not working properly, then the computer may not be able to successfully identify the current state of the engine and choose the appropriate fuel mixture or timing advance level. When this happens, the fuel mileage drops, engine performance suffers, emissions increase and the car typically illuminates the 'check engine' light.

Pre-1995 Porsches were equipped with what is known as OBD I (On Board Diagnostics Level I). Starting in 1996, they were equipped with a more advanced version called OBD II, which was mandated by the US government, in order to standardize automotive repair and diagnostics. The OBD system is responsible for monitoring and checking all of the fuel injection sensors and systems in the vehicle and sending a visual error message to the instrument panel if it finds a problem or irregularity with one of them. If there is a problem with a sensor or component, the computer logs a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) in the main computer until it is read and reset.

In order to accurately find the sensor and fix the problem, you will need to find out which error code is being triggered by the computer. There is no method to pull these codes out of your Porsche without the use of a computer. The factory has produced a version of this tool for use by Porsche dealers, called the Porsche System Tester 2. Unfortunately, finding one of these is next to impossible, and they cost about $4000 used anyways. There's a newer version of the PST2 called the PIWIS, but getting your hands on one of those costs about $20,000 and a $1,000 maintenance contract from Porsche. You can indeed use a standard off-the-shelf OBD II reader available at any auto parts store, but it will only give you the standard read-out codes for the fuel injection system: you will not be able to do any extra diagnostics on any other area of the car.

Thankfully though, there is aftermarket software available produced by Durametric that performs almost all of the important reading functions that the PST2 does. It runs on a Windows laptop computer and the cost is about $300 for the home-based version that will allow you to read codes on up to three cars. If you're planning on working on your Cayenne yourself, I suggest that you pick up this essential tool.

With a standard OBD II code reader, you can access and reset the codes on the car that are related only to the fuel injection system. The PST2 and Durametric software allow you to dig deep into the various systems of the car and read values from the various systems of the car (airbag, ABS, Tiptronic transmission, alarm, seat memory, heating & A/C). The Durametric tool does not program the computer though: you are still at the mercy of the dealer when it comes to making changes to any of the non-fuel injection settings on your car.

When you obtain the trouble codes output by the PST2, you can look them up in the Porsche ODB II factory diagnostic book (expensive), or look up the code online. The factory book will have extensive sections describing the various faults and what is needed to fix them. Typically a web search will provide you with the information you need as well.

Tip: Wire harnesses are a major cause of fault code problems. As the cars get older, the wiring harnesses have a habit of becoming what is commonly known as 'work hardened.' This causes the wiring to become brittle and often break inside of its plastic sheath. Only by testing the continuity of the wires end-for-end will you be able to determine whether the wire is broken or not.

Here it is, the holy grail of Porsche code reading.
Figure 1

Here it is, the holy grail of Porsche code reading. The Porsche System Tester 2 (PST2) is a rare and expensive tool that can be used to diagnose multiple car systems on a variety of Porsches. Every dealer has one of these, or the later-model PIWIS tester so that they can quickly diagnose problems and change settings on the various computer systems within the car.

Both the PST2 and the Durametric software interface with the car through the OBD II port located beneath the steering wheel on the lower left hand side of the car.
Figure 2

Both the PST2 and the Durametric software interface with the car through the OBD II port located beneath the steering wheel on the lower left hand side of the car. Make sure that the plug is firmly seated as it has a tendency to occasionally fall out.

Here is a screenshot of the Durametric software available for diagnosing various system problems with your Cayenne.
Figure 3

Here is a screenshot of the Durametric software available for diagnosing various system problems with your Cayenne. The software is nearly as powerful as the reading functions on the original Porsche PST2 or PIWIS and is a required diagnostic tool for the do-it-yourself enthusiast.

Comments and Suggestions:
tomabram Comments: i have error code 3201f4 on my 2012 porsche cayenne turbo. Any ideas? Says its HVAC? But does not mention a specific part???
January 7, 2018
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What is fault code description? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mikoda Comments: Hello and thank you so much for all the help! Respect!
I have a 2005 Cayenne S that has the following faults codes:
P0441 - Which part does it need?
P2237 - Which part does it need?
I desperately need to fix this so that I can pass emission control for registration renewal.
I also gets these fault: P0357, P0300, P0307 and P0302. Which parts do they need?
Thank you very much for your help.
Best Regards,
December 7, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You have an evap leak and a misfire. Sounds like an engine misfire. I would check spark, fuel and compression on all cylinders. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Marc Comments: I have a 2004 Cayenne turbo and check engine light came on yesterday sitting in traffic and it was very cold out? It seems to always come on when cold. Any ideas before I take it in to see whats up?
November 8, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would start by checking the DME for fault codes. If the system is not working properly, a fault code will be set. This will be your best bet when diagnosing.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Patrick Comments: 2008 Cayenne S. Fault code P0421. Which O2 sensor should I replace?
October 20, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: None, that is a fault code for the near engine catalyst on bank 1 being faulty. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
EssDee Comments: I have a 2006 955 Cayenne 3.2 V6, where is the OBD connection port on this vehicle?
October 16, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Driver footwell, look up for footwell light, small door next to it. See fig 2.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Matty74 Comments: I have codes P1431 and P0354 on my porsche Cayenne Turbo 2004 model, any idea what they are?
September 11, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: P0354 is an ignition coil fault for cylinder 4.

P1431 is a brake booster vacuum fault - Nick at Pelican Parts
byme88 Comments: Hi,
I have a Cayenne Turbo 2004 which will overheat when Idle with the AC turn OFF! But OK when AC turn on!!
I noticed that when the AC ís OFF the Radiator Fans not turn on at all, no matter what temperature the gauge indicated!
Will some expert please point out what I need to do to fix this? Thanks so much!!!
July 20, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The cooling fan from the A/C is likely cooling then engine. Does the fan come on when the engine temp get shot with the A/C off? if not, the sensor or fan is faulty. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
kpus Comments: Hi Nick,
2004 Porsche Cayenne 4.5 Turbo
Is there any way I can test the electronic throttle inorder to identify whether is fails or not. How do I check power and ground it when the fault is present? and what values should i look for?
June 18, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Only way to test an electronic throttle is through either the PIWIS tool self-test, or monitor the H-Bridge circuit using a lab scope, that is an advanced skill. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
kpus Comments: 2004 Cayenne Turbo 4.5
Check engine light comes on; code P1192. Seems like the transmisson locks in 3rd gear. When transmission oil rises to 90 deg celcius I can turn off engine and immediately restart. Check engine light comes on again but transmission seems to work normally. Any suggestions!
June 7, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The fault code you have if for the electronic throttle. If it fails, it may feel like a transmission issue. I would check power and ground to it when the fault is present, if OK, replace the throttle housing / module. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Duong Comments: Hi I have a 2012 Panamera base and got code P1360 with check engine light on. What can I do to fix it. Thanks
May 2, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This is a possible issue with the variocam system. Could be the actuator.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Will Comments: I have a 04 Cayenne S, if i purchase the software am I able to clear the codes or just diagnose. Right now I have a faulty airbag light and I really just want it gone. Thoughts?
April 27, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Under this page: %3Futm_source%3DSuperTech%23item0

The different versions and coverage are listed. - Nick at Pelican Parts
Bob Comments: I have a 2006 Porsche Cayenne S. V8. The check engine light comes on and can be reset, but comes back on again. the fault code is 17105. Can one of your tech guys tell me what the code means, and the fix for it? Thank you. Bob.
April 17, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I think that is a transmission fault code for a speed sensor. Likely input shaft. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Todd Comments: I've got a 2005 Cayenne Turbo, with the check engine light on, and throwing the following codes: P0418, P2259 and P0419. I can clear the codes, but they come back almost immediately. As far as I can tell, the car seems to drive normally. Any ideas of what I should replace? Thanks for any help.
April 8, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: These faults are for the secondary air injection system. I suggest checking if the pump is running when the engine is cold. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
God heritage Comments: my Porsche Cayenne 04 Radio. and. Air conditioned all the electrical components goes ON. And OFF when d engine is still working what can cause it and what is the solution
March 1, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check all fault codes with a scan tool that can read the Porsche body control unit data. My guess is you have some voltage issues, and the vehicle electrical system controller is shutting down loads when voltage gets low. Also check to make sure that your battery, or batteries if you have the auxiliary battery are in good shape. - Casey at Pelican Parts  
Jay Comments: I always buy my parts from you for all three of my Porsche's. The first and only modern on is a 2008 cayenne S. I have a fault code of 1026 that I have not been able to find a listing anywhere of what the code is.
Can you help?
January 23, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I think that fault is for a fuel injector #6 or possibly too high fuel pressure at the rail

P1026 (Fuel Injector 6 Circuit Malfunction) - Nick at Pelican Parts
Cisco Comments: Hi Nick, During my PPI, my service shop informed me that one of the codes pointed to a MAF sensor. I plan to clean the two sensors and throttle body to help with my low idle, only while in gear. I do not have a Durametric, so is it necessary to have the codes cleared? Will they clear themselves eventually? Thanks!
January 9, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You should avoid cleaning hot film style mass air flow sensors, it can damage them. If there are fault codes for a sensor, you will likely have to replace it. Once the fault is gone, for 3 drive cycles, it will clear. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
wvuneurodoc Comments: I have a 2008 cayenne s. code 457 and 668. front and rear washer motors will not work, dip beam warning only in daylight not present when dark, and voltage gauge does not work. This problem has intermittently corrected itself only to reoccur. I did have water from AC in passenger side prior to this. Any Help greatly appreciated. I suspect one of the control modules.
December 18, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What module were the fault codes read from? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Kevin Comments: Hi Nick - I have a p0455 on a 2008 Cayenne S. Any suggestions on common things to check? The gas cap looks good although an inexpensive replacement, and the flap appears to be functioning. I haven't figured out what a smoke test is or how to do one... Thanks.
October 19, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There are a few items that can cause this, if the cap is OK, it may be a fault solenoid (not sealing when it should) or a crank or broken component. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Drake Comments: po 354 - coil voltage open on cod drivers circuit,loose connection faulty powertrain control module. This was my read out, parts to fix this? PO 441 just reads purge valve?
P1525 ? is this o2 sensors?
Tks Drake
August 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I replied to one of your other posts about this. All the faults are circuit codes, it is more likely a wiring harness issue is present. Check the wiring and voltage at the sensors. Use a wiring diagram for your vehicle, I suggest getting a repair manual as it will have the wiring. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Drake Comments: 2004 Porshe Cayenne
August 14, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What are you trying to fix on your Cayenne?- Nick at Pelican Parts  
ducs Comments: i have 3c fault codes, po441,p1525,po354 can you tell me what parts are needed to correct this? tks Drake
July 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What kind of vehicle are you working on? - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Mon 1/22/2018 02:44:08 AM