Ruby, waiting for the train: 2004 Porsche Cayenne Review #1
July 29, 2016
We added the name “Ruby” in anticipation of her arrival in Forfar from Vancouver. If the car acted masculine or nasty, we’d change it to “Jack Ruby,” so the bases were covered.
A few months ago our son had bought a silver 2004 Porsche Cayenne, added a 20′ X 8.5′ enclosed trailer, and towed the contents of their apartment from Vancouver to Ottawa in a little less than 4 days with the help of a co-driver. The following weekend the rig hauled his race car to Mosport for a charity event where the Cayenne even got to run some laps on the big track with loads of kids and their parents aboard.
The car uses an ungodly amount of fuel and eats tires like candy, but functions at a very high level. Impressed, I asked Charlie to pick me up another one, use it for their remaining six weeks in Vancouver, and then ship it to me when they were ready for the airport.
You see, Vancouver is a time warp for automobiles. There is little sunlight and less frost. Most luxury cars live inside out of the rain. Owners take the bus to work to avoid traffic and parking effort. Porsche owners discard their Cayennes after the kids have been delivered to enough soccer games and ski lessons that Mom and Dad can go back to the 911 and a new Panamara, so there is a glut of used Cayennes on the local market.
Today Charlie sent us the photo above, indicting that Ruby should be along in two to three weeks, and that I can call the shipper for location updates.
In the meantime I get to learn about the Porsche Cayenne model from the most reliable source of information and experience I have found, a website called Rennlist.com. It’s where Porsche owners congregate to talk about their cars. From reading the list I’d suggest that Cayenne owners are smart and very good at expressing themselves, though some perhaps don’t have much mechanical experience.
The most recent online mystery I’ve discovered among Porsche owners — no kidding — is whether Cayennes have just one battery under the driver’s seat, or if there’s another under a bass speaker in the cavity in the trunk where there would be a spare tire on any other vehicle. Much speculation fills the pages, though I haven’t heard from anyone yet who has actually severed the rivets which keep us from knowing what lies beneath that strange structure of resonant metal under the rear deck. (January, 2017. Ruby does have a second battery.)
Why did I buy a gas-slurping, driveshaft-shredding, 2 1/2 ton collection of electronic foibles supported by a dealership which takes responsibility for nothing and exacts maximum punishment whenever an owner is forced by circumstance to enter their domain? Did I mention that Cayennes with V8’s cannot sleep outside in the cold or their pistons grind against their cylinders until the engines will no longer run, and there’s no place to attach a block heater? And of course we all know about the plastic coolant tubes through the middle of the engine which get hot, crack, and dump coolant all over the starter. Hey, replacing two sets of coolant tubes should be somewhat easier than just one, and there are lots of videos of the procedure on You Tube.
A couple of years ago I started thinking that a Miata would make a nice toy, but you know how it is with a dream in one’s ebbing years: the options keep piling on. At least a Cayenne can pull a trailer, and the dog will have a place to ride, and it has a roof to protect its occupants from the sun and snow, and all-wheel-drive, and a top speed of 145 miles per hour, just in case I need to hurry.
And as for the mechanical challenges of owning the most notorious Porsche? I’d gotten bored with dead-reliable automobiles, O.K? What else can you do with a Lexus but drive it? My Toyota pickup sits for weeks on end, yet always starts and runs smoothly. A Cayenne can provide all the complexity and aggravation of a Rubik’s cube, and it never even needs to leave the garage.
More later, no doubt. Feel free to comment.