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Are you having problems with your Porsche? Let our team of motoring experts keep you up to date with all of the latest Porsche issues & faults. We have gathered all of the most frequently asked questions and problems relating to the Porsche in one spot to help you decide if it's a smart buy.
You’d think this would be a fairly simple question to answer, but in reality, it’s far from it. It seems neither BMW nor Porsche offer what we know as fixed or capped price servicing, that is; a known price that the service will cost, paid when you need to have it carried out. This is not uncommon with prestige brands and reflects the changing costs of imported service parts as well as different marketing approaches.
BMW, however, comes closest to this concept with what it calls its Service Inclusive Basic Plan which requires the car’s buyer to pay up front, typically for the first five years, of servicing when the car is purchased. That sounds odd, but it makes sense to buyers leasing their cars as the service costs are then paid for as part of the financing package.
In the case of the BMW X4, this package, which covers consumables such as filters, oil, spark plugs and brake fluid (but not clutches, brake pads and windscreen wipers; that’s another step up to the Service Inclusive Plus Plan) lasts for five years or 80,000km (whichever comes first) and works out to an average of $350 per service or a total of $1750 over the plan’s duration. Fundamentally, it’s like other car-makers’ capped-price servicing but you pay up front for it.
Meanwhile, at Porsche, the servicing costs for a Macan over the same 80,000km/five-year period will depend on what state you live in as labour rates vary from state to state. Since you’re from NSW, I’ll use the data from that state. As such, the Macan will need an annual service at one-year/15,000km costing $695. The next service at two years/30,000km is an intermediate service at $995, followed by another annual service at three years/45,000km ($695 again). The four-year/60,000km service is a major one costing $1750, followed by the five- year/75,000km service at $695 to end with. In total, that’s a grand total of $4830, making the Porsche by far the most expensive car to service for those first five years.
One of the most common questions regarding the latest in passenger-car technology is: Do electric cars have gears? The question really should be: Do electric vehicles have more than one gear, but, in both cases the broad answer is no, they don’t. That’s in the case of production cars anyway, and the reason is simple: They don’t really need more than one gear.
In most cases, the production-based EV has an electric motor that acts more or less directly on the axles (or drive-shafts) turning the wheels. Even on an all-wheel-drive EV, that simply means there’s an electric motor at each end of the car, operating the front and rear drive-shafts. That brings us to the more subtle question of: Do electric cars have transmissions? In the strictest technical sense, they do, but the EV transmission is a very simple device, since it’s a single speed unit rather than a multi-speed gearbox. Simplicity of drivetrain is a major EV selling point.
So why only one gear? A conventional car needs a multi-ratio transmission (or gearbox) because the engine operates well in only a narrow band of speeds (rpm). So, to keep the engine in its happy-zone, the gearbox can provide it with the gear ratio that is right at that moment; that keeps it spinning at a happy speed, regardless of whether it’s in stop-start traffic or cruising on a freeway at 110km/h. But the electric motor fitted to an EV has a much wider range of speeds at which it makes good power and torque. In fact, an electric motor makes its maximum torque at rest and can spin very fast, so it’s always ready for action.
This is all tied up with the broad subject of 'how do electric engines work', but it remains that an electric motor (it’s not technically an engine at all) makes lots of torque from the moment the driver presses the accelerator. Which brings us to the topic of 'do electric cars have a clutch' because, again, the answer is no. It doesn’t need one because to stop an EV at a traffic light, you simply stop the motor; it doesn’t remain running at idle like a conventional car engine and, without gears to select anyway, you don’t need it even when taking off from rest. All these things make driving an EV a simpler task than a conventional car with a manual transmission. Maintenance over the life of the vehicle is reduced, too.
Most production EVs have this simple, single speed transmission, the notable exception being the Porsche Taycan. That car has a two-speed gearbox which enables Porsche to make it accelerate extremely quickly as well as reach a high top speed (both Porsche selling points from the very beginning). Most EV makers gear their cars for either top speed or acceleration (usually the latter) but the electric motor is so flexible that Tesla has shown it’s possible to attain both with a single-speed gearbox.
The major variation from this concept comes in the form of older cars that enthusiasts have converted from petrol to electric power. In these cases, the engine vs transmission equation means that the car usually retains its manual gearbox. That’s purely because the electric motor sits where the petrol motor once did, and retaining the transmission is a simple way to get the electric power to the wheels. This is one case where the type of motor (petrol versus electric) being used to power the car doesn’t dictate the transmission.
The vast majority of these home brews use a conventional manual (stick shift to use an Americanism) because converting a petrol car with an automatic transmission is a much bigger job. Even then, most owners of these converted cars find they leave the car in third gear all of the time and allow the huge flexibility of the electric motor to do its thing, driving the car as if it was without gears. Again, the clutch is not needed, even in stop-start traffic.
We’ve heard nothing but praise from Macan owners.
The name Porsche is of German origin and means 'offerings'.
It could well be a software problem, as the Porsche people have told you, so let the experts do their investigations, and hopefully come up with a fix. There’s no point in trying to second-guess what it might be.
You have to approach it as a car that’s more than 10 years old, one that will have normal mechanical wear and tear. Fortunately Porsche engines and gearboxes are durable and don’t unduly wear. Check for signs of a hard life; make sure the car you want to buy has been well maintained with regular servicing, and that things like brakes are not in need of immediate replacement. It’s a good idea to have a Porsche expert check it out for you.
Generally the cost will depend on the variant and year. You can get more information on quick and cheap key replacments from dealers or automotive locksmiths here.