Audi and VW have used timing belts on their engines for as long as I can remember. I 2008 They decided to switch to timing chains on some engines.
Timing chains were supposed to be more reliable and require less maintenance. I guess for the engineers it probably looked good on paper but in reality the Audi and VW timing chain engines have cost many owners a considerable amount of money for repairs.
The 3.2L engine used in the Audi A6, Q5 and Q7 can wear out the timing chain tensioners and cause the chains to stretch.
The repair requires the engine to be removed and disassembled.
I have talked to customers that were quoted $15,000 by a local dealer to repair the problem. They are fixing the problem by replacing the engine. I usually try to go the rebuilding route which can save you 50% of the dealer cost.
Depending on your financial situation we can usually find a cost effective method of repair. That may include used parts, a used engine, OEM quality replacement parts sourced from a aftermarket vendor.
The problem I have run into is when you start taking these engines apart I have found several other repairs are needed that are very expensive. The high pressure fuel pumps and camshaft can fail which adds approx $2900 to the cost of the repair.
If the engine has bent valves that can add another couple thousand dollars in repair cost.
When the 2.0T TSI Timing Chain Tensioner Fails it can cause the intake or exhaust valves to contact the piston while the engine is running.
If this happens you will need the cylinder head to be removed and the valves to be replaced. At this time you would also need to verify there was no further damage done to the pistons, cylinder walls or cylinder head.
This repair would cost $2-4K depending on the damage done.
How do you know if this happened to your vehicle? If this tensioner fails you could have any of the following issues.
Engine rattling noise or grinding at start up, No start condition (because the timing chain has jumped and you likely have significant engine damage.
If you have a TSI you should considering replacing your tensioner as a preventative to ensure your engine does not jump timing and cause significant damage to your engine.
We have seen these failing with fairly low miles (30K) on them. This part is found on the passenger (Right) side of the engine and the lower timing chain cover must be removed to access it.
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