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PDK Failure & Outcome Story

Old 09-26-2018, 02:57 PM
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Location: Irvine, CA
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Default PDK Failure & Outcome Story

I’m sharing my PDK failure experience in the hopes some of you will keep your 991 PDK drivetrain under warranty at all times. Do not let it lapse for any reason.

Last month, my car was driving fine. No issues. When all of a sudden, I got a PDK failure warning light on my dash. No reverse. And only 2, 4, & 6 gears were available.

I happened to be near Porsche Irvine, CA when it happened, so I pulled in.

A Porsche Tech was hanging out and noticed my car. I showed him the issue and without blinking and eye said the PDK Transmission will need to be replaced.

The cost? About $20,000 to $25,000. And, this was just the beginning.

My car had just passed the 50,000 mile mark, so I was out of warranty.

If you have this error, ensure your dealer verifies the following before replacing the entire transmission.

01 Loose CV Joint(s)
02 Verify the Battery is Not Bad
03 Verify the Change Over Valve (COV) for the Transmission Fluid Cooling
04 Recalibrate the PDK System
05 Replace the PDK Control Unit & Recalibrate the System
06 Dirty or Low Transmission Fluid/Oil
07 Replace the Valve Body

Now let me set your expectations. None of this will work.

You’re most-likely going to need a full PDK Transmission replacement. And, if you did some of this work beforehand, the bill is much higher than $25,000. The Valve Body replacement is over $4,000 on its own.


Here’s a little secret, the Porsche Service Advisor at the dealership holds all the keys. Don’t think they don’t. They make the call on who’s paying for it. Why? Because only the Porsche Service Advisor can request “goodwill” to PTECH and PCNA.

So, if you’re having a serious service issue – be very nice to your local Porsche Service Advisor at the dealership. I actually noticed a Porsche owner bringing my Service Advisor lunch!

FYI, calling PCNA and speaking to a Customer Service person does nothing.

I want to thank Victor Morillo-Delerme at Porsche Irvine for helping me through this. He fought for me and my outcome was acceptable.

Also, I must say that PCNA handled this right. They listened to my Service Advisor and took care of us. Staring down a $29,000+ service bill is not something you want to live through.

Of course, if I was under warranty – this would not be an issue.

I hope this story helps fellow Rennlisters and inspires you to at least buy a drivetrain warranty for your PDK cars.

My Details:

2014 991S PDK – $134,000 sticker. This was my fourth 911.
Never tracked. It’s a commuter car.
I used the “coasting feature” on my PDK every day. I’m no longer going to do that.
When the error happened, I had no warning. No noise. Nothing.
I feel Porsche has an issue with PDK.
I feel PCNA should put a separate warranty on PDK – maybe 5-years unlimited mileage?
This was my first PDK car.
It took Porsche Irvine about 2 days to replace the PDK transmission.
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Old 09-26-2018, 03:04 PM
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Great info! Glad it worked out well for you. I am surprised that these types of threads aren't more common. Good advise re warranty.
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Old 09-26-2018, 03:17 PM
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Thank you for the info you provided and hopefully others are able to use that info for their issues. Great to know you were taken care of.

That's why for me, an extended warranty is a must when buying ANY luxury/performance vehicle. I did for my Panamera (which was hell and Ext. Warranty saved me multiple times), I bought for my current 2014 CPO 911.1 S and also bought extended for my wife's CaymanR. Nothing on these cars are cheap and especially with a big ticket expense/fix, no one has 30K Plus just lying around at any time.
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Old 09-26-2018, 03:24 PM
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I've ALWAYS been an advocate for relationships with sales and service people. Has served me well over the years with out of warranty works etc. Glad it all worked out well for you
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Old 09-26-2018, 04:19 PM
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That is some story. Happy it worked out for you. Great cautionary tale.
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Old 09-26-2018, 04:25 PM
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I would love to know what the incidence rate is for PDK failures.

I'm starting to think this happens too often...
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Old 09-26-2018, 04:29 PM
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Aaaaaand now I think I'll go buy that 2019 M2 Competition over a used 991.1 PDK. Especially since I have no dealership in my state, so no relationship with a SA.
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Old 09-26-2018, 04:35 PM
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Thanks for sharing! Why won't you use the coasting feature anymore? Did that contribute to the failure somehow ?
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Old 09-26-2018, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by k997 View Post
Thanks for sharing! Why won't you use the coasting feature anymore? Did that contribute to the failure somehow ?
Excuse my ignorance but what exactly is the coasting feature?
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Old 09-26-2018, 04:58 PM
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So there was some out of pocket?

You are correct on the service advisor going to bat for you. Great write up and advice.
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Old 09-26-2018, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by .2PDK View Post
Excuse my ignorance but what exactly is the coasting feature?

Coasting and the auto start/stop function

Where the situation allows, the coasting function is possible. By opening the clutches, the engine is decoupled from the transmission to prevent deceleration caused by engine braking. In this way, optimum use is made of the vehicle’s momentum, allowing it to coast for longer distances. This translates into a significant fuel saving. The auto start/ stop function included as standard also reduces fuel consumption.
From the imanual for the 991.2:

Driving in coasting mode
Coasting is driving with the engine disengaged at idle speed without the engine braking effect. The standard function is designed to increase efficiency and driving comfort, and is active by default. Coasting occurs after the accelerator pedal is fully released. When the accelerator pedal is pressed again the engine is quickly and easily engaged and coasting stops.

Prerequisites for automatic coasting mode
  1. Driving in selector lever position D.
  2. Cruise control function cannot be active.
  3. Engine, transmission and battery have reached operating temperature.
  4. No major inclines or slopes.
Initiating coasting mode manually
When adopting an anticipatory driving style, depending on the traffic, coasting can be initiated manually to increase efficiency. To do so use the gearshift paddle or the selector lever to manually shift up beyond the highest possible gear.

The same applies to the active use of the engine brake, for example driving up to a vehicle in front or a red light. More forceful braking or operating the gearshift paddle or selector lever can activate efficient engine overrun shut-off in these situations.
Although it says that it cannot be used with cruise control, I swear that when I use ACC (991.2), it will use the coasting function from time to time (going down hills) and kick it into neutral (~ 500-600 rpm). My 991.1 with ACC (and my previous 991.1 with cruise control only) did not coast when the cruise control (or ACC) was on.
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Old 09-26-2018, 05:06 PM
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I have no idea what my warranty says but doesn't the drive train have a longer warranty period than the car itself just like any other manufacturer?
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Old 09-26-2018, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by subshooter View Post
I have no idea what my warranty says but doesn't the drive train have a longer warranty period than the car itself just like any other manufacturer?
Nope. 4 years or 50,000 miles.
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Old 09-26-2018, 05:19 PM
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Thanks for taking the time to write this up, Psychic. I have a regular service appointment with Victor this week, good to hear the props for him and that dealer.
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Old 09-26-2018, 05:46 PM
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I have a Cpo 2016. Is the extended warranty purchased from Porsche and can it be stacked on top of a Cpo warranty after it runs up? This type of stuff worries me.
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