Audi/vW Timing chain tensioner failure

According to Audi and Volkswagen (VW) their timing chain and tensioner should last at least 120,000 miles. But for some Audi and VW models between 2008 and 2014, it won’t last that long.

Like anything in your engine, a chain will eventually require some maintenance. However, timing chains have become a preferable part over timing belts because of their longer lifespan. Audi/VW’s own warranty and maintenance schedules say you shouldn’t have to worry about timing chain maintenance for 120,000 miles.

The reality, however, is some Audi and VW models between 2008 and 2014, with 2.0 FSI engines could have significant problems with premature timing chain tensioner failure. Therefore, this problem can happen as early as 20,000 miles.

What does a timing chain tensioner do?

A timing chain connects the engine crankshaft to the camshaft(s), so they rotate in a strict relation with one another. It matches the timing between the pistons and valves, so the engine operates in harmony.


Symptoms of timing chain tensioner failure

Failing of the tensioner can occur slowly. If you do not catch it could lead to a number of engine-related problems – some catastrophic. Some of the symptoms of this failure are:

  • A rattling noise coming from the engine
  • Illumination of “Check engine” light
  • Starting problems
  • Engine going into limp mode
  • Engine failure

How can we prevent this from happening?

You don’t want to wait until your timing chain tensioner fails to address this problem. It’s best to act preventively to ensure that you avoid serious engine damage that is often very costly. Here are a few things you can do to prevent it:

Perform an inspection. The best way to prevent timing chain failure is to have the tensioner inspected. It is a relatively simple procedure that should be done from under the car.
Follow up on concerning symptoms. If you notice any of the symptoms of timing chain wear in your own Audi or VW, it is critical to follow up with a specialist right away. The longer these problems go unaddressed, the more likely they become much more expensive.

– Audi and Volkswagen have been hit with multiple lawsuits saying defects in the timing chain system are causing engine failure well before the timing chain lifetime. According to the Audi/Volkswagen timing chain class action lawsuit settlement, those who owned or leased one of nearly 20 models of Audi and VW vehicles may be able to make a claim for repairs they had to make because of the alleged defect.

Volkswagen Timing Chain Settlement
Claim Administrator
P.O. Box 3656
Portland, OR 97208–3656

The VW class action settlement may cover repairing or replacing a timing chain or timing chain tensioner, or repair or replacement of an engine damaged due to a timing chain or timing chain tensioner.

Audi and Volkswagen have agreed to extend warranties on the timing chains and timing chain tensioners in affected vehicles to cover the parts for 100,000 miles or for 10 years.
There are multiple levels of reimbursement, based on the age of the vehicle, how many miles it has, and what (if anything) has been replaced. Check with VW/Audi for the latest details.

Don’t wait and check your timing chain tensioner visually yourself or schedule an appointment to have it checked at Bestiale.

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