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Old 03-30-2011, 01:51 PM   #1
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Question Are Porsches Over-Engineered?

I know this sounds like heresy and some may even say that there is no such thing as "over-engineering." But I respectfully disagree.

For instance, if I use the remote to open the trunk, after a minute or so the doors automatically lock. So then I have to unlock the doors again. This is annoying especially if your hands are full of what you took out of the trunk. I understand that you can go to the dealer and have the car "reprogrammed" to avoid this issue.

Also, I question the wisdom of no dipstick on my car. The only way you can check the oil is to run the car for several minutes to see what the oil level is electronically. What a hassle. In my 2004 we had a dipstick and the electronic readout. Much better IMVHO.

After a week of not opening the car, the remote won't work. You have to stick the key in the driver's door, unlock and then hit the remote open within 10 seconds to keep the alarm from going off and bothering your neighbors. Since I keep my covered in the garage the cover has to be removed or partially removed before you can unlock the car properly. So you have to get out your keys again and if your hands are full it's annoying.

Some of the functions of the Nav system are annoying. I am a newbie so maybe I will get the hang of this with more use. And perhaps I should have gotten the voice activated version rather than trying to find the correct screen.

The "hillholder" feature only works for 2 seconds. Which can be aproblem if the car ahead is pokey. the hillholder on our subarus stay on until the clutch is engaged.

The ventilated seats won't work if the outside temperature is under 58F (or is it 48F?) which means it won't work on normal days in the winter here. So when my wife cranks up the heat I can't keep cool? I am sure P has a reason for this feature but I haven't figured it out yet.

Did I miss any? LOL

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Old 03-30-2011, 03:03 PM   #2
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Not any more...I love the make and their designs have been raced through very tough conditions, but I feel most of that is gone these days; the accountants have won over the past decade, at least on most street models. My old 911s have seen thousands of track miles, but after an exhibition run in the Box S, I wonder if the M96 will survive another lap?

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Old 03-30-2011, 03:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilNotHill
Did I miss any? LOL
They certainly over-engineered:
- the console armrest
- the position of the ignition switch set screws
- the plastic window requiring a chop by the owner

..all sarcasm of course

just some stuff I've encountered on my Box recently, so they're fresh in my mind!

oh oh, and on my MY, no remote entry for the front trunk! ahhh i wish i had that.
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:18 PM   #4
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I would use a different term than over-engineered, I'd say that Porsche's, like all modern cars, are over-FEATURED.

Instead of adding features that simplify or enhance the driving or ownership experience, all car makers (Porsche included) have been on a 10-year binge of adding as many features to a car as possible.

And for every person who wants a real dipstick to check the oil, there is someone like my wife who hates getting her hands oily and loves the electronic gauge.

Unfortunately, there seems to be no end in sight in the race for an auto maker to have more features than the competition. A good example is the 2010 BMW 750i that I drove last fall. It was more complicated than a space shuttle.
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by thstone
I would use a different term than over-engineered, I'd say that Porsche's, like all modern cars, are over-FEATURED.

Instead of adding features that simplify or enhance the driving or ownership experience, all car makers (Porsche included) have been on a 10-year binge of adding as many features to a car as possible.

And for every person who wants a real dipstick to check the oil, there is someone like my wife who hates getting her hands oily and loves the electronic gauge.

Unfortunately, there seems to be no end in sight in the race for an auto maker to have more features than the competition. A good example is the 2010 BMW 750i that I drove last fall. It was more complicated than a space shuttle.
Dipstick. My point was that my 2004 986 S had both. I also had a (hinky dinky) spare tire. This is progress??
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:37 PM   #6
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Whew, so it's not me. I opened the trunk to open check the oil and didn't see a dipstick. Thought I was going crazy so I closed the trunk and thought to myself.....now what car wouldn't have a dipstick? Glad to know it wasn't me not seeing the obvious.
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:49 PM   #7
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Everybody says their alarm goes off when they haven't driven the car for a week.

Guys, it's not that hard to figure out.

Put the key in the keyhole in the door, turn right.

Hit unlock on key. Pull door handle.

Viola.
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Old 03-30-2011, 05:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekam
Everybody says their alarm goes off when they haven't driven the car for a week.
Put the key in the keyhole in the door, turn right.
Hit unlock on key. Pull door handle.
Viola.
interesting... i do not have to do that. if it's gone into conservation mode, just unlocking the door does the trick. my alarm does not go off when i open the door.

as far as the original post goes - who opens the door with their hands full of stuff from the trunk? and if it didnt't relock people would complain that they had to relock it when all they did was open the trunk. (fyi our jetta would relock after unlocking and not opening the door or opening the trunk only)
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Old 03-30-2011, 05:51 PM   #9
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Turning the key only physically unlocks the driver's side door but does not disarm the alarm.
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Old 03-30-2011, 05:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekam
Turning the key only physically unlocks the driver's side door but does not disarm the alarm.
is this new? or programmable? i just tried it - unlocking the door deactivates the alarm. i don't have to touch the fob. i can go from locked + alarm active to unlocked with key to sitting in the car without the alarm going off...

*edit* interesting. it's right there in the manual...

"If the vehicle is not started or unlocked with the remote control within five days, the remote control standby function is switched off (to prevent discharging of the car battery).

1. In this case, unlock the driver's door with the key at the door lock. Leave the door closed in order to prevent the alarm system from being triggered.

2. Press button 1 on the remote control.

The remote control is now activated again."

you can also program (well the dealer can) the amount of time between unlocking the rear/front lids and the doors relocking.
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekam
Everybody says their alarm goes off when they haven't driven the car for a week.

Guys, it's not that hard to figure out.

Put the key in the keyhole in the door, turn right.

Hit unlock on key. Pull door handle.

Viola.
And push the unlock button on the key fob to turn off the alarm. Viola.

Over-engineered. No other car that I have owned needs this to be done (except my 2004 986 S). they are:

Mercedes SL500
BMW 735i, 750iL, M3
Subaru WRX, Outback and Forrester
Ferrari F360 F1 Spider
Porsche 944
Maxda MX-5 Miata

to name a few.
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Old 03-31-2011, 05:11 AM   #12
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When you turn off the HVAC, it comes back on when you restart the car. Annoying at AX.
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Old 03-31-2011, 05:18 AM   #13
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and if you're lucky, sometimes you'll get showered with the black HVAC foam!! it's like a party!
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Old 03-31-2011, 07:03 AM   #14
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You don't need to do all that with the remote, at least on my 987. I just open the door with my key, put the key in the ignition fairly quickly, and turn it on ( but not start), no alarm problems. There's also no real need to do the hot oil check. I check the level cold every time I get in the car. It will read a bit high after sitting, but that's no problem.
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Old 03-31-2011, 07:13 AM   #15
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And under-engineered in places and ways as well....

No manual door locking mechanism on the passenger side. When the solenoid goes in the electronic lock mechanism, the passenger side door cannot be locked. Period.

And I'm not sure if this is over or under, but it's worth griping about again:

In my 986, the temp gauge is an actual temp gauge. It rises and falls based on actual motor temperatures. However, in the 987's (that my friends own) the temp gauge is as stupid as a chevy cavalier... goes straight to the middle before the engine's fully warmed up and doesn't move a bit unless the computer tells it to slam to the right because the motor has overheated.

If I'm ever fortunate enough to upgrade to a much newer porsche, I will install a set of real gauges in the car to know what's going on.
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:27 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by stephen wilson
You don't need to do all that with the remote, at least on my 987. I just open the door with my key, put the key in the ignition fairly quickly, and turn it on ( but not start), no alarm problems. There's also no real need to do the hot oil check. I check the level cold every time I get in the car. It will read a bit high after sitting, but that's no problem.
I think mine says the oil is not warm enough to give a reading. I will double check.
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:45 AM   #17
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What you are describing is not engineering it is ergonomics.

Over engineering is the Team Cytosport Muscle Milk RS Spyder completing Petite Le Mans after having run the entire race on seven cylinders and finishing second after 11 hours and 1000 miles.

"What a race. It was a tough day in the office I would say! Only Porsches can last for nearly ten hours with one cylinder down. I don't think any other motor would survive that, it's amazing. We had a problem right from the beginning but we didn't give up, we kept digging. We pushed to get the best lap times we could and second place I think was the reward for not giving up." ...Klaus Graf

You don't even notice the real genius of the German engineering in these cars what you are talking about the most superficial level of human machine interaction you could possibly describe. A key fob??? Lord have mercy.
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:37 AM   #18
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I think everything on the 986/987 is way over-engineered. All except the IMS bearing
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Old 03-31-2011, 12:41 PM   #19
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It will read the level hot or cold, it's just that the exact level will vary. I find that the level reads lower when hot, or fairly soon after being run.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:06 PM   #20
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I hate the "intelligent" Bose radio in a 987 that thinks it knows when to increase or decrease the volume depending on the sound it picks up thru a microphone. It basically has a mind of its own. There's no rhyme or reason as to what it does. I hate it. But if you shut that option off, the whole system sounds like a mono speaker. Maybe somebody knows how to deactivate this stupid feature.

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