Working on Ruby: the new normal
August 20, 2016
My neighbour joked about the last column which had a picture of Ruby on the hoist with a caption, “Welcome home, Ruby.” Well, Ruby does look at home on a hoist. The photo above may be a bit aspirational, but we’ll see.
Charlie commented: “Clearly this car has had an easy life in Vancouver; likely seldom even getting up to highway speeds, let alone making trips into the mountains. There is no corrosion on the bottom of a 12 year-old car. While Vancouver has very little bright sunlight, this paint’s brightness could only come from extended periods of inside storage.”
He further told me that the previous owner, a gold merchant, had bought Ruby from a friend of his in 2008, had it serviced by the same mechanic at a small shop, and then replaced it in 2016 with a new Porsche Macan. When the Macan went into his garage, Ruby had been banished to a crowded outdoor parking lot for the first time.
The project of the afternoon was to track down a growl in the right front part of the running gear. Drive shafts and brakes and rotors seem to be perfect, as are the tires. We turned off the stability computer and ran the drivetrain with the wheels lifted off the floor. Things turned smoothly and without vibration, though the superior power of the front brakes caused the driveshaft to wind up a little bit when I shifted into DRIVE and released the brakes. Charlie had warned me to start and stop very gently to prevent unnecessary strain on the drivetrain.
We checked the fluid level in the centre differential. It seemed a little low, about 1/4″ below the fill level. To access the front diff we had to remove the bottom plate, so we set about the twenty-minute job, eager to see what the bottom of the engine looks like.
It looks pretty good down there, though to check the fluid in the front diff we’ll need to be prepared to drain the fluid and refill it. The fill plug is hidden behind a large strut, possibly requiring a specialized tool to open it.
These plugs appear not to have been opened in a long time. I’ll check You-Tube for instructions, buy a supply of Porsche ATF, a hand pump for the fluid, and plan on a pleasant rainy day changing diff fluids.
Update: 21 August, 2016
The fluids in the three differentials checked out fine. It seems the previous owner kept up with his maintenance. So much for the rainy-day project, though I’m sure Ruby will provide many more. The growl in the right front area of the car remains at pretty well all speeds.
Update: 22 August, 2016
My mother’s state-of-the-art wheelchair (which she doesn’t use yet) will in fact fit into the back of the Cayenne if I turn it on its side. It looks as though the wheel is sure to hit, but it seems to brush the glass of the hatch without putting any pressure on it. Her physiotherapist explained how to collapse the thing by removing the seat cushion and folding it, but I like the grab-and-stuff approach better if Mom needs the chair for an ice cream run.