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Category Archives: Engine Performance

Excessive Fuel Consumption and Poor Overall Performance

Excessive Fuel Consumption and Poor Overall Performance

Recently we had a 996 Coupe in the shop, the customer’s concern was that the fuel consumption appeared excessive and the engine seemed to be less responsive than normal. We ran a complete controller interrogation, meaning we scanned all the control modules (computers) in the car for faults with the PIWIS (Porsche Integrated Workshop Information System) scan tool. Primarily we were searching for faults or fault codes in the DME (Digital Motor Electronics) controller AKA the ECU (Electronic Control Unit), there were no faults present. At this point most technicians would conclude that since there are no faults present, there must not be a problem, however, this is not always the case. Through experience we know and believe that the customer is usually very familiar with the operating characteristics of their car. With this in mind we continued our diagnosis. We performed a test on the pre-catalyst (before the catalytic converters) oxygen sensors utilizing a DSO ( ... read more

The next Generation Porsche Diagnostic Tester

The next Generation Porsche Diagnostic Tester

The history of Porsche diagnostic testers basically all started with the Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection system tester for the 914 in the early 70’s. Then we received the 9268 digital output fault code reader in 1987 which would present the technician with an actual fault code number. The retrieved fault code corresponded to different conditions or problems recorded by the cars on board computer. The 9268 was intended to interface with the newly designed 16 valve 944S and 928 S4. This was eventually replaced by the 9288 nicknamed the Bosch Hammer because it was in the shape of a hammer, codenamed the PST-1 (Porsche Systems Tester-1) computerized diagnostic tester, circa 1989. The 9288 was mainly designed to interface with the 1989-on 964’s (911) and had to be capable of performing a “system adaptation” which was to reset all the controllers, much like a computer reboot. Later this procedure became known as a “vehicle handover”. Following the 9288 Hammer, Porsch ... read more

Porsche Computerized Engine Management

Porsche Computerized Engine Management

Porsche street cars first received computerized engine management for the 1980 model year. By today’s standards, the early version was elementary in comparison. This addition was obvious by the installation of an oxygen sensor to monitor oxygen content in the exhaust stream. This was Porsche’s approach to improve engine performance and tailpipe emissions in most operating conditions. In 1984 Porsche installed a full computerized engine management system named Digital Motor Electronics (DME) in the 911 Carrera. DME controlled not only the fuel injection but also the ignition system making it a complete package with one control unit for the entire engine management system. A basic description of the computerized engine management system is a control unit (computer), also known by some as the brain, which receives data from sensors on the engine that are monitoring its operation. These sensors monitor engine temperature, RPM or speed, throttle position, intake ... read more

Oxygen Sensors

The oxygen sensor was developed in the late 1960’s by the Robert Bosch Corporation. Porsche first installed an oxygen sensor, often referred to as an O2 sensor, in all their cars starting from 1980. The O2 sensor plays a critical role in the proper performance of the engine and helps support the effective operation of the emissions system. The O2 sensor is physically located in the engine’s exhaust system and monitors oxygen content in the exhaust gases exiting the engine. The O2 sensor operates by the principle of a chemical reaction that generates a voltage when oxygen in the exhaust gases comes in contact with the precious metals that comprise the O2 sensor. If little or no oxygen is present in the exhaust gases, a rich running condition exists and the voltage will build up higher in the O2 sensor. A lean running condition will have a lot of oxygen in the exhaust stream and this will generate a small amount of voltage. This voltage signal is sent to the Dig ... read more

Porsche Software Repairs

In this modern day and age of computerized electronics, a software (Firmware) update is a commonly utilized repair, and your automobile is no exception. Porsche, like all automobile manufacturers, periodically reviews and refines the software operating parameters in their cars. This can be to optimize system performance however it is most often utilized to correct an operational anomaly. When an issue is identified that is non hardware related and affects a model line or a specific series of cars, the software is modified and is issued as an update. Whenever a software update is available for your car it is beneficial to get it installed, the car will operate better even if you cannot detect the difference. Updates are available to subscribing Independent Repair Shops either through the Porsche online network or can be installed with a factory genuine Porsche systems tester and software (PIWIS). There are times when the information or data carried by the CA ... read more

Porsche Check Engine Light (MIL)

Check Engine Light Starting in 1996, all automobiles sold in the United States were mandated by the government to be equipped with On Board Diagnostics II (OBD-II). OBD-II is the protocol of the emissions system; however, it should be considered part of the operating parameters for the engine because it is part of the Digital Motor Electronics (DME) control unit. Much like a scan tool, OBD-II constantly oversees and interrogates the engine, watch­ing for any irregularity or change in operation that is impacting the engine’s emissions. Engine cylinder miss-fires, rich or lean running conditions, cold start opera­tion and fuel tank pressure are just a few of OBD-II over­sight responsibilities. Just about any sensor failure or engine operating system is monitored by OBD-II. The Check Engine Light (CEL) is also known as the Mal­function Indicator Light (MIL) or Service Engine Soon Light. When illuminated, it provides a means of notif ... read more

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