Audi Timing Chain Tensioner Fault

Chances are if you are reading this it is already to late. If not you are one of the lucky few. Here is the run down of the common fault with the Audi and VW 1.8 and 2.0 petrol engines.
Symptoms can be any of the following.
car won’t start
car turned off and now won’t start
Car starts but has a very loud rattle
car starts has a loud rattle and a misfire
car starts, runs rough and has a check engine warning light on.
If you have any of these symptoms with your Audi or VW there is a possibility that you have the common timing chain fault. The fault in not actually the chains but rather the hydraulic operated timing chain tensioner.
Basically the tensioner fails causing the timing chain to become loose and jump teeth on the camshaft. If enough teeth are jumped or the chain comes completely off the valves can hit the pistons resulting in the need for the cylinder head to be removed and have the bent valves replaced. Some people get lucky and the timing does not go out far enough to bend vales. Audi/VW have modified the design of these tensioners to reduce and hopefully eliminate the fault all together. If you have one of these engines and the fault has not occurred yet, it is advised to replaced the tensioner as a precaution. It is an expensive Job but not as expensive as removing the cylinder head to replace bent valves.
To carry out the repair, speciality tools are required as the crank gear is not keyed. The tool kit required retails for about $400, the job can be done without the tools but its very fiddly and requires you to be one hundred percent certain your crank shaft has not moved while the crank pulley bolt is out.
We advise using genuine Audi/VW parts for this job however cheaper aftermarket options are available. It is also recommended that the balance shaft chain, guides and tensioner be replaced along with the timing chain, guides and tensioner. Please note that the Hydrolic tensioner is also avalible aftermarket however we can not vouch for the quality of these. Given the nature of the fault and costs involved with taking a risk on these cheaper parts, it is advised to buy at the minimum the tensioner genuine from Audi or VW.
If you have any of the symptoms we listed we strongly advise you don’t drive the vehicle (if still starts) and don’t crank the engine over (if it doesn’t start) continuing to drive the vehicle once this has started could cause the valves to bend. If you one of the lucky ones who has not bent valves, even second you leave it running increases the chances of you bending valve. Get the car towed to your mechanic. a few hundred dollars could save you thousands worth of cylinder head removal.
Suspect you have this fault? Call GDL Automotive Services, Audi specialist Northern Beaches Sydney and arrange to have it looked at or repaired. Call 99795933.


Would You Like To Speak With The GDL Team?

Simply choose the option below that suits you best.


Request A Callback

Enter your name and mobile below and one of our team will call you within 15 minutes!*

*During business hours

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.