Cayenne Drive Shaft Problem

February 25th, 2012

To advise Cayenne (as well as Audi Q7 and VW Touareg) owners on the drive shaft support bearing issue.

In the centre of the drive shaft assemble is a bearing supported in a rubber mount. The rubber mount is only about 3mm thick in cross section to remain flexible and not transmit noise to the cabin. Because of their thinness and the stresses from torque during acceleration, these bearings rubber carriers rip and allow the prop shaft to hit the underside of the body. The symptoms are very clear and easy to identify. During acceleration it will sound like there is someone inside your centre armrest box, knocking to get out. The sound comes straight from armrest box and is unmistakable.

To fix this, dealers will charge you for a full prop shaft front to back. However, truth is all that is damaged is the rubber diaphragm holding the bearing. They will tell you it is a complete assembly and cannot be repaired.

The European maker of the OEM bearing has made the bearing assembly available. It can be found on e-bay for about 100 USD brand new and heavier duty than the old ones. Search “Porsche Cayenne drive shaft bearing” or Q7 on e-bay (as they are the same on Porsche, VW and Audi ). The pictures show the location , item and removal for reference .

To remove, you need to loosen the exhaust to allow the prop shaft to be slid out. Subsequently,  remove all the bolts on the drive shaft coupling donut (mark orientation prior to removal so you will be able to put it back the same way), then remove the 4 bolts that hold the bearing carrier and slide out to the front the whole drive shaft. Once out, the old bearing can be cut off easier, the drive shaft can be split and the new bearing and housing installed. The clips are a little tricky.

This bearing cost 100 USD to replace, while the local dealer may charge you 3,000 USD plus .

Hope this helps with diagnosis of this problem and the easy repair as apart from
a few design issues (now re-designed), the Cayenne is a good car.

Mark Taylor