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Old 08-13-2012, 09:28 AM   #1
NeoSA
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So the whole timing chain pulley issue...

I've been doing some more reading into this issue with the timing chain tensioner pulley wutchamacallit that tends to break and eat engines alive. Even here locally it was a "well known" issue that only supposedly affected 2009 and early 2010 models.

Now I'm reading that there are examples of brand new 2012 models still suffering from the same issue. This clearly points to the fact that the issue, which was "well known", is still not sorted out. It's not like this is a small issue either. I mean, we are talking about an entire engine that needs replacing most of the time.

Is there any way to do a self-inspection on this tensioner to see if it's still in good condition? Is there anything we can do to avoid this from happening to our cars?

From what I've read, there aren't really a lot of symptoms to go with this. Just some jerking or rough idling and then an engine that won't start the next morning. So this seems to happen out of nowhere to cars which are stock or modded.

To be honest, this issue seems rather huge and VERY important to know about, but not a lot of people talk about it. I think the waterpump issue got more attention that this?


p.s The reason why I'm concerned about this is because:

1. My car is modified (stage 2). Even though VW probably know for a fact that this is an issue that affects ALL cars, modded or not, you know they will refuse to replace my engine under warranty if this were to happen.
2. I'm planning on keeping this car for at least another 4-5 years, but if this issue is like a ticking time-bomb, there's NO WAY I'm keeping this car.
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:36 AM   #2
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This is the gamble you take when modifying cars under warranty. If your not prepared to spend the $$$ when something goes wrong then probably should stay stock.

That being said, I don't think they could successfully blame this on your tune since your rev limit is the same.

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Old 08-13-2012, 09:58 AM   #3
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This has nothing to do with warranty. If its a guarantee that the tensioner will eventually fail and slip the chain, you're engine is screwed.

NeoSA, what sources do you have into looking into this? I've been reading up about some stuff too and havent found much.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRUboost View Post
This is the gamble you take when modifying cars under warranty. If your not prepared to spend the $$$ when something goes wrong then probably should stay stock.

That being said, I don't think they could successfully blame this on your tune since your rev limit is the same.

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No well, it's not about being tuned or not. The issue here is that our cars have a design flaw which is actually critical to the engine's life. The manufacturer is aware of this critical flaw, yet does not let their clients know or issue a recal.

I went from being tuned, to going to stock, to going BACK to tuned and MORE now. I love the tune on my car. It's a lovely and exciting car to drive now where as the stock car is a bit borring.

The ISSUE here is buying and owning a vehicle which has a design flaw, that you have NO control over, that could cause your engine to fail completely.

Would I ever mod and tune my future cars? For sure - because I know I'm responsible and take care of them.
Would I ever buy another VW again? Probably not. I don't feel it's fair to buy a product which has a known issue, that does NOT get fixed, that can still cause my car to break down completely.

Short of the matter: Would you buy a car if the dealership told you that their cars have a known issue that could cause the engine to fail irrepairably?

I wouldn't, and I'm sure you wouldn't either. I know all cars carry a gamble. No dealer is "100% honest". If they were, they'd never sell anything. My gripe is that these things come into public knowledge, and still car manufacturers couldn't care less to fix these issues. Like I said in my original post, the whole waterpump failing issue got lots of attention from public forums. But what about an issue which could cause your entire engine to break? That sounds like something to get vocal about - at least - more than the waterpump.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:02 AM   #5
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Infinitis have this same issue and was "fixed" with a racheting tensioner. I dont think we have the room to do such a thing.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoSA View Post
Would I ever buy another VW again? Probably not. I don't feel it's fair to buy a product which has a known issue, that does NOT get fixed, that can still cause my car to break down completely.
I don't know much about the failure related to the parts you mentioned, but is it a design flaw or is it a wear item like the VR6 timing chain components that degrade over time?
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:30 AM   #7
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The part has been revised i replaced one the other day and it was different.. Next time i see one i snap some pics.

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Old 08-13-2012, 12:30 PM   #8
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I don't know much about the failure related to the parts you mentioned, but is it a design flaw or is it a wear item like the VR6 timing chain components that degrade over time?

VR6 chain tensioners and rails were not intended to be wear items. They were poorly designed/manufactured and would break into pieces over time. As a matter of fact, most of the time when replaced people would report that the wear on them was negligible (mine included).
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:41 PM   #9
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is vw still using plastic guides as opposed to metal?
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by BAM its mitch View Post
VR6 chain tensioners and rails were not intended to be wear items. They were poorly designed/manufactured and would break into pieces over time. As a matter of fact, most of the time when replaced people would report that the wear on them was negligible (mine included).
I'm not disagreeing that they were of poor design. The later model VR6 cars used a different compound for the guide than the earlier vr6 corrado/passats so they did last a little longer.

Does the TSI have a similar setup with guides and tensioner that will need to be replaced?
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:13 PM   #11
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I've been doing some research on this issue and it seems like a lot of the 1.4 TSI engines in Europe are suffering from the same problem. As far as our cars are concerned, it's very difficult to inspect the camshaft chain tensioner (there are actually 2 tensioners, 1 for the camshaft chain and 1 for the balance shaft drive chain) because it's located near the bottom of the engine. This area is covered by a cast aluminum cover. Getting to this cover requires removing some basic stuff like serpentine belt, harmonic balancer, etc. But, all of these "basic" items require VW special tools and before you can access the bolts to the lower timing cover, you need to lift the engine (requires removing a couple of engine mounts and also requires the special VW engine lift cradle). Basically, unless you want to fork over the money for all the special tools, this project is a little out of DIY territory.
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:28 PM   #12
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The part has been revised i replaced one the other day and it was different.. Next time i see one i snap some pics.

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Old 08-13-2012, 03:30 PM   #13
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But is it a TSB?
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:31 PM   #14
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There has been a TSB for a long time about it.
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