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timing chain nightmare

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kendallprz

Original Poster:

6 posts

Wednesday 6th September
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Hi guys,
So I'm in a bit of a crisis and in desperate need of informed advice. I have a 2013 automatic gti (her name is Gretchen) that I've had for four years with no issues until recently. She's at 110k miles and I've kept up with all the maintenance thus far. During a road trip a fuel line came loose causing the car to sputter out and not run with the ac on at the same time. Unfortunately for me I was road tripping thru Utah to las vegas when this happened, we nearly died of heat stroke. We were able to run the car fine as long as the ac stayed off. About a week after fixing the fuel line the car began to shudder and the engine light came on, felt like it was going to died out if I drove slower than 60mph. Come to find that the injector coils went bad. Fixed all that, then an oil pressure light started to come on in the center dash accompanied by the warning, "engine shut off". It would beep once and then the light would go away, seems to occur while I'm making a right turn most but also while being driven regularly. Took it to the dealer and they couldn't find anything wrong. Then it continued to intermittently throw this light and then the engine light came on and stayed on.

Brought the car back to the dealer and after many hours they told me that I need a new timing chain and they want to replace all the parts associated with this which will run me about 4800-5000k. I took the car to another mechanic for a second opinion and they said it was a faulty cam sensor, changed that and it is still throwing these oil pressure and engine lights intermittently. I'm not sure who to believe or what to do. I am happy to sink the money into her to fix her but the mechanic basically told me that my car sucks and to anticipate continually fixing it in the future. I really do love this car and don't want to part ways with it(especially since its nearly paid off) but I really don't have the funds for more repairs in the near future if I sink this much in now. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! HALP! Has anyone replaced the timing chain and had issues after? I'm afraid of fixing the chain and having a cascade effect of issues to follow. Thanks!

Monkeylegend

11,636 posts

152 months

Wednesday 6th September
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Who actually makes the Gretchen GTi?

kendallprz

Original Poster:

6 posts

Wednesday 6th September
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Vw is

justinio

276 posts

9 months

Wednesday 6th September
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kendallprz said:
Hi guys,
Come to find that the injector coils went bad.
Fuel injectors or ignition coil packs?

kendallprz said:
Fixed all that, then an oil pressure light started to come on in the center dash accompanied by the warning, "engine shut off". It would beep once and then the light would go away, seems to occur while I'm making a right turn most but also while being driven regularly.

Took it to the dealer and they couldn't find anything wrong. Then it continued to intermittently throw this light and then the engine light came on and stayed on.
It sounds like it could be a problem with the oil pickup in the sump, but trying to diagnose a problem over the internet is nigh on impossible.

Take it to a VW mechanic that actually knows what they are doing.




kendallprz

Original Poster:

6 posts

Wednesday 6th September
quotequote all
According to vw dealer it's the timing chain and they quoted me $2k in parts and $2k in labor basically. I am nervous that I'm going to invest in fixing the car and then having more stuff go wrong. I was more curious if anyone has fixed the chain and had issues after.
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justinio

276 posts

9 months

Wednesday 6th September
quotequote all
Did you ask the dealer why you need a new timing chain? Whats wrong with it, did it stretch, did the guide fail?

I would assume for the price you have been quoted that the head needs to come off and valves (at least) need replacing.

I would speak to the dealer and ask them exactly what work they have quoted for. If the chain slipped, there may well be more hidden nasties hiding, that will only become apparent once they start breaking the engine down.

kendallprz

Original Poster:

6 posts

Wednesday 6th September
quotequote all
They did two snap throttle tests and found the chain to be wearing out, he explained it to the effect of the pins that hold the chain together beginning to wear and become more oval. He also said that the snap throttle test should be between 0-5 and mine was at 3.8/4.0 so the high end of normal. They said that there were no metal shards in the engine and most of the parts they quoted me are going to be changed out of precaution not necessity. But then he told me that unless theh change all the parts associated with the chain then I can bet on having problems down the line. Ugh ugh ugh!

Sheepshanks

11,357 posts

40 months

Wednesday 6th September
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kendallprz said:
2013 automatic gti (
Most people on here are in the UK so things may not be the same but is this a VW Golf GTi, and is it a mk6 or mk7?

Which engine is it?

VW had various belt and chain tensioner issues on these cars.

110K miles in 4yrs seems a lot to UK ears, but it's not unusual in the US. Have you tried contacting VW USA? Maybe they're in so much trouble that they're beyond caring, but it's possible they might be keen to help.


Changing the chain and tensioners seems to be around £1500 in the UK so if the work is the same then the pricing you're talking about seems very high.

StoatInACoat

1,059 posts

106 months

Wednesday 6th September
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Not entirely sure a stretched chain would bring up oil pressure light really unless it's stretched as a result of something else. Your first symptom of the light coming on when cornering sounds like an engine that's simply low on oil! I'd suggest checking this first...

It needs plugging in and diagnosing properly. Maybe the oil pump needs replacing and that requires the chain to come off?

kendallprz

Original Poster:

6 posts

Wednesday 6th September
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It's an mk6 and I haven't yet but willl first thing in the morning. It is a lot of miles, I'm a travel nurse and this car has been driven from coast to coast...a few times. So I've been expecting things to start to need repair around this mileage, but was not anticipating it costing so much. Or being told to get rid of the car before it has more issues. I'm at a loss here, to fix or not to fix?

kendallprz

Original Poster:

6 posts

Wednesday 6th September
quotequote all
StoatInACoat said:
Not entirely sure a stretched chain would bring up oil pressure light really unless it's stretched as a result of something else. Your first symptom of the light coming on when cornering sounds like an engine that's simply low on oil! I'd suggest checking this first...

It needs plugging in and diagnosing properly. Maybe the oil pump needs replacing and that requires the chain to come off?
The oil light is a mystery to both the vw dealer and a separate mechanic, the oil has been changed, the level and pressure has been checked numerous times, the sensor is fine, there's nothing clogging the lines. They're at a loss and so am I. This makes me hesitant to give the dealer the go ahead to change the timing chain if there are other things awry that will add to the already enormous repair bill. Or are they all related and will be resolved afterwards? Idk what to do.

GreenV8S

24,636 posts

205 months

Wednesday 6th September
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Sounds as if you've had one or more faults that caused power loss and a missfire but the rest of your description makes no sense. The only way I can see for a loose fuel line to cause a power loss is if you have a massive fuel leak, and obviously you wouldn't keep driving for long like that. I wonder whether the underlying problem is a faulty/damaged wiring loom, perhaps the result of somebody working on the engine to fix the fuel line. That could cause all sort of running problems and might also explain why the oil pressure light comes on under cornering.

justinio

276 posts

9 months

Wednesday 6th September
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GreenV8S said:
might also explain why the oil pressure light comes on under cornering.
Oil pressure light coming on while cornering is classic symptom of oil pickup problems (either clogged or bent from jacking the car up using the sump). Why this would happen at the same time as a timing chain issue/fuel line issue is a mystery.

OP when the dealer plugged the car in, were any codes thrown?

Sheepshanks

11,357 posts

40 months

Wednesday 6th September
quotequote all
Oil delivery and timing chain problems could certainly go hand-in-hand.

Could this be one of the VAG engines with the oil pump drive problem, or was that only on Passat and A4s with the longitudinal mounted engine? Or maybe it's suffering from sludging, which seems to be a US thing.

MarkCarroll

43 posts

124 months

Wednesday 6th September
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Have just done one of these on a BMW and while a nightmare of a job the chain was massively stretched. Well worth it in the end the engine is running much better and has cleared up a few other issues.

If it helps at all the cam sensor error is likely a symptom of the slack chain rather than a fault of it's own. The signals the sensor receives rely on the timing chain keeping things in sync.

The oil pressure light could be related. My guess would be if it has not been inspected that something perhaps a plastic chain guide has broken. These then fall into the oil pan which can then block the oil pick up resulting in pressure problems. Have seen this before on BMW's which also suffer chain issues.

If you are getting the chain done anyway on some cars the oil pan needs to come off to do it so could ask them to check it for debris at the same time.

ikarl

3,492 posts

120 months

Saturday 9th September
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Have you priced a full replacement engine from a low mileage donor?