Porsche Check Engine Light

Porsches are a pleasure to drive until you get greeted with "Check Engine Visit workshop" error message.

Or you start the car in the morning and "Fault of the engine control system" pops up and the engine starts to shake and run rough. 

Porsche check engine light may come on for something as simple as a loose gas cap but it can also be an indication of an engine problem, transmission problem, EVAP leak or failed catalytic converter. 

Porsche check engine light
Porsche Check Engine Light

It can be hard to pinpoint the source of the problem without an OBD-II scanner, as a whole range of faults can trigger this light. 


Here are a few symptoms you may notice when your Porsche check engine light comes on. 

  • Engine runs rough
  • Engine Misfire 
  • Lack of power
  • Poor throttle response
  • Unusual sounds
  • Smoke from the exhaust
  • Vehicle goes into limp mode

Warning Messages

Depending on the model one of these messages will show on instrument cluster:

  • Check Engine Drive to workshop 
  • Motor - Diagnose Werkstatt
  • Fault of the engine control system
  • Reduced engine performance Possible to drive
  • Check Engine Visit Workshop

Porsche check engine light flashing


While a solid ‘check engine’ light can be caused by a whole range of problems, if your Porsche check engine light is flashing it always means that the engine is misfiring.

Porsche cataltyic converter and oxygen sensor
Catalytic Converter and Oxygen Sensor

If the check engine light is flashing one or more of the cylinders are not firing. The engine will shake and may even overheat.

Operating a vehicle with the check engine light flashing can cause damage to your catalytic converter.

It is not recommended to drive your Porsche while the check engine light is flashing

Common Causes

porsche check engine light on
Porsche Engine

Spark Plugs

It is not unusual to experience misfire, especially on V8 engines with direct fuel injection. If this happens intermittently and without any apparent pattern, it is most probably down to dirty spark plugs.

Additionally, as poor fuel quality can cause this, make sure to use premium fuel only.

Codes:  P0300 to P0308

Secondary Air Pump

Older cayennes have secondary air pumps, which inject fresh air into the exhaust manifolds to lower emissions.

However, this system can cause several problems. With time, air hoses can become very brittle and break under vibration.

Another common failure point is a pump itself, as fan rotors brake-off. Not only this will cause insufficient air flow, but broken off pieces can block the regulating valve downstream.

Codes: P0491 or P0492

Mass Air Flow Sensor

Boxer engines are seemingly prone to running lean issues, causing rough idle and hesitation when accelerating. In many cases, this will be caused by a dirty MAF sensor and can be solved with a bit of MAF cleaner.

It is also possible that upstream O2 sensors are faulty and give incorrect readings, in which case replacement is the only solution.

Lastly, check the intake hoses and manifold for any vacuum leaks.

Codes: P1128 or P1230

EVAP Leaks

EVAP system is another common failure point, as it tends to develop various leaks. This will not cause any running issues, but you may notice a strong fuel smell.

In addition to possible cracked lines and hoses, a purge valve can leak.

Lastly, V8 engines have a vacuum pump located at the back of the engine. It supplies vacuum for the whole engine, including the EVAP system.

Codes: P0455

High-Pressure Fuel Pump

Engines with the direct injection can suffer from high fuel pressure system problems. It is usually caused by an HP pump or pressure sensor failures.

This will result in various, mostly random running issues, ranging from poor idle, stalling to cutting out at higher engine speeds.

In any case, a defective part will need to be replaced.

Code: P1025

Camshaft Position Sensor

All V8 engines have Variable Valve Timing and can suffer from camshaft position sensor related problems.

This can cause very rough idle combined with stalling while running seemingly fine on higher RPMs.

Sensors are located at the back side of the engine.

Code: P0344

Diagnose Porsche Check Engine Light

Although there are some steps you can try, like checking gas cap or looking for anything loose under a hood, you will usually be pretty much in the dark without an OBD-II Scanner.

An OBD-II scanner is a diagnostic tool that you use to read the trouble codes stored in the On Board Diagnostic (OBD) system.

It is recommended to use a scanner that is designed for Porsche vehicles instead of a generic scanner if you want to retrieve all possible fault codes. 

Porsche specific scanners:

How to read codes

  1. Locate the OBD-2 port under the dashboard and plug in your scanner. porsche obd2 port location used to diagnose check engine light


  2. Turn on the ignition and allow the scanner to power up.turn on ignition to read porsche check engine light 
  3. Press ENTER and select your Porsche model from the list. read codes


  4. From the main menu scroll down to  Read Codes.  Fault codes will show on your LCD along with a description of the problem. 
  5. Write down all the codes and do further research to better understand the problem. 

Additional Resources

  1. Check engine light came on? Don't Panic! - Flemington Porsche
  2. Porche Check Engine Light Facts - Carlsen Porsche
  3. The Check Engine Light Checklist for Porsche and Audi Owners - Prestige Imports 
  4. Is Your Porsche’s Check Engine Light On? When to Drive It In, When To Call For A Tow Truck - Modderman
  5. Your check engine light and what it really means - Northern New Jersey Porsche Club of America

By YOUCANIC on Jun 25, 2019


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