Common Porsche Problems: 8 Known Issues (Explained)

If you’re a fan, you probably know that Porsche is the iconic brand for speed and performance.

When you speak horsepower, you speak Porsche.

However, not all Porsche models are all about sports cars and speed. Still, they all have one thing in common.

None of them is completely free of problems. This article discusses eight common problems with Porsche cars.

READ ALSO: How fast are each Porsche really at 0-60 MPH?

1. Hazard Lights Malfunction

The Porsche Panamera has been reported for hazard light issues. Porsche Cayenne owners have also complained of lights that flash until they start the car. This problem might occur when the alarm module is faulty.

Hazard lights are warning lights that come in handy when your car breaks down or if you’ve had an accident. They are used to notify other road users of your presence. So, if they’re faulty, your car isn’t considered roadworthy even if everything else is in great shape.

Malfunctioning hazard lights directly violate federal safety standards. That’s how big a deal they are.

Some Porsche Taycans have been recalled because of a hazard light malfunction. The problem lies with the emergency braking software, which can cause the hazard light to turn on at will.

2. Smoking Engine

Engine smoke in Porsche cars is excessive, and it’s common with all the models.

Engine smoke usually occurs when the engine overheats. It can also occur when lubricant levels are low, or when there is a wiring problem.

Excessive smoking is unhealthy for any engine, and can cost a lot of money to repair. The different kinds of engine smoke point to different problems.

In an oil leak situation, the smoke may appear grey or blue. Also, coolant leaks can be observed as white smoke or rather, steam from the engine.

Black smoke, however, shows a more severe problem. It could be a problem of leaking fluid, a bad fluid injector, or a broken engine component.

Smoking engines should be taken seriously, so talk to your mechanic as soon as you observe any smoke. If possible, avoid driving until it’s fixed.

3. Transmission Problems

When things are out of place, you’ll constantly hear a grinding sound while shifting gears. Another effect may include a harsh and delayed shifting, and this gets worse over time.

For Porsche automatic transmissions, there may be a need for servicing at fair intervals.

Some symptoms of transmission problems in your Porsche car are:

  • Alert from the transmission warning light
  • Vibration and violent shaking
  • Rough noises

Low transmission fluids may accompany these symptoms, and low fluids are almost always the cause of tranny problems.

Some models most associated with tranny problems are the Porsche Cayenne and the Porsche Panamera.

Always take care of your tranny, as it’s arguably the most important part of your car after your engine.

4. Low or Short Battery Power

The battery is one component of a car that should not be underrated. Some Porsche models like the 911 have short battery life, limiting owner usage.

Battery power loss can affect other important components and this may cause a total shutdown of some systems.

Porsche owners who want to get the best from their cars can opt for a battery maintainer. Although it doesn’t replace a weak battery, it provides the little extra juice your car needs to complete its rounds.

We recommend a maintainer, especially if you don’t use your car regularly. This is because they prolong car battery life.

5. Heavy Clutch Pedals

A heavy or hard clutch pedal is usually caused by a worn-out pressure plate or a bad cross shaft. The clutch pedal links the wheels to the motor. That’s why transferring power to the wheels gets difficult if it becomes stiff.

Many drivers have complained about how it hurts their knees after some time. Ideally, no car should cause excessive physical fatigue to its driver under normal driving conditions.

So, the hard clutch is more than just a minor inconvenience, it’s a major problem.

The Porsche 911 models, the Boxster and Cayman have the most reports of heavy or hard clutch pedals.

As you’ve guessed, a sports car with a hard clutch wouldn’t provide the best driving experience. If anything, it takes away the thrill (the whole point) of owning a sports car.

No one would enjoy driving with hard pedals. So, this problem alone has the potential to make drivers buy a different model with a softer clutch.

6. Faulty Air Oil Separator

When there’s a problem with the air oil separator, it has a direct impact on the engine. Aftereffects include excessive engine smoking, oil leaks, and difficulty in removing the oil cap.

The Porsche 911 has received the most complaints on Air Oil Separator issues. Complaints state it emits smoke on cold days for some minutes before starting. Also, a faulty air oil separator can also lead to an engine malfunction.

Of course, engine damage is the worst possible problem you can encounter. So it’s ideal to fix a faulty Air Oil Separator as soon as it appears.

While it won’t cause your engine to fail immediately, it would hurt it significantly over time.

7. Communication Management System Issues

The communication management system is standard in all models. It controls all the applications related to the infotainment system, like the audio and navigation systems.

When the comm management system is faulty, these applications will start malfunctioning. Examples are random language switching, stalling map, and constant system rebooting.

Many people may not consider these problems to be serious. However, considering the features we expect in modern vehicles, a glitch-free infotainment system isn’t too much to ask for.

Some Porsche models associated with this problem are:

  • the Porsche Macan,
  • 911, Boxster,
  • Carrera,
  • and Panamera.

8. Coolant Leaks

Corrosion can cause a coolant leak in the radiator or a leaky radiator cap, among other reasons. However, this may not be considered a threatening problem unless it’s not fixed in time. The coolant, as the name implies, cools the engine.

If it keeps leaking, overheating is inevitable, especially for a powerful engine you find in brands like Porsche. So a leaking coolant shouldn’t cause panic, instead, it should stir up action. Otherwise, you might need a new engine soon enough.

The Porsche 718 Cayman, Cayenne, and Panamera are the models most associated with coolant leaks. Some symptoms of a coolant leak are:

  • Bubbles in the radiator
  • Overheating engine
  • Glowing coolant warning light
  • Radiator rust

We have more here on the best and worst years and models for Porsche Cayenne.

General Pros and Cons

Like every other brand, a Porsche comes with the good and the bad.


  • Beauty, style, and classic engineering
  • High and commendable safety features
  • Impressive resale prices
  • Prestige and comfort
  • High performance, speed, and durability


  • High purchase prices
  • High cost of maintenance
  • Comm management system problems
  • Low battery power
  • Faulty air oil separator

Related: 5 Porsche Models With The Most Recalls (Check Before Buying!)

What Is the Resale Value of Porsche Models?

When compared to other car brands, Porsche cars are known to retain their value, with very low depreciation rates.

Model Approx. Mileage (Miles) Price ($)
Porsche Panamera 60,000 77,058
Porsche Macan 60,000 42,119
Porsche Cayenne 60,000 55,219
Porsche 911 60,000 178,971
Porsche 718 Boxster 60,000 73,231

 We approximated average mileage, assuming 12,000 miles driven annually. The actual resale value is for 5-year-old vehicles.

Related: Do Porsches Hold Their Value? 5 Models (With Examples)

What Do the Reviews Say?

Porsche vehicles have made their mark in the industry with some unrivaled qualities. According to J.D. Power, the Porsche 911 is the 2nd best premium sporty car of 2022. The Porsche 718 Cayman comes in 3rd.

It’s remarkable to see 2 cars from Porsche in the top 5 list of premium sporty cars. That says a lot about their constantly improving performance.

Contradictorily, Porsche has a reliability rating of 2.0 out of 5 on RepairPal. So, it ranks 32nd out of 32 car brands. From this, we know that although it’s a powerful brand, they’re still lagging in terms of reliability.

Porsche owners would spend about $1,192 annually on repair costs. That’s close to double the annual average repair costs for all cars, but won’t be a problem for people who can afford a Porsche.

Related: 5 Porsche Models You Can Lease (And Some You Cannot)

Final Thoughts

Despite the problems listed above about Porsche cars, they’re still considered and preferred by many, and not just for sport.

Models with the worst problems have been:

  • the 2000 Boxster,
  • the 2011 Panamera,
  • the 2011 Cayenne,
  • and the 2003 Boxster.

It’s noteworthy that although the Porsche 911 appears many times on our list, it’s not listed as having any of the “worst” problems. So a high frequency of problems doesn’t always imply life-threatening ones.

However, this is merely a point of view and doesn’t imply that the Porsche 911 is better. Car Complaints may have a unique metric for measuring “worst problems”. At the end of the day, it all comes down to choice.

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