This little Seat Ibiza came into the garage with a very noisy and poor running engine, the customer told us that the engine had been noisy for a while but the poor running just happened all of a sudden!
After an inspection of the engine and a full Diagnostic Code Read we came to the conclusion that the timing chain had slipped and we would need to partially strip the engine and check for damage.
Timing Tools Don’t Align
On stripping the engine we found that the timing chain had slipped one tooth on the crank gear, the reason for this was the chain tensioner was unable to keep its tension due to the amount the timing chain had stretched.
Timing Chain Replaced
We replaced the timing chain, guides and gear set, and using manufacturer specific timing tools to correctly align the crank and cam shafts we were then able to check compressions to see if any other internal damage had been caused.
Once we were happy there was no internal damage it was time for the rebuild which included an oil and filter change and anti freeze flush.
The little Ibiza was fired up and ran like a dream, after a good road test and some diagnostic tests it was time to hand it back to its owner.
We are starting to see more and more vehicles coming into the garage with engine timing faults caused by stretched timing chains.
The first thing customers complain of is that their Engine Management Light (EML) comes on and the vehicle goes into limp mode, sometimes they may complain of the chain being noisy or rattling.
Once the car comes into the garage we plug it into a suitable diagnostic computer and carry out an ‘engine code read’ looking for codes relating to timing faults for example – Incoherence between crank and cam sensors, then check the cars ‘live data’ to check the sensors are working correctly.
Next we have to partially strip the engine to be able to physically check the timing using manufacturer specific timing tools.
In this instance when we came to fit the timing tools it became very obvious that the timing was indeed out, when we checked the old chain against the replacement chain we could see it had stretched by about 10mm.
Once we had fitted the new timing chain kit and timed the engine correctly it was just a matter of rebuilding the engine, changing the oil and filter and then testing.
After clearing all the stored codes from the cars ECU it was time to road test the car and carry out a few final checks, once we were completely happy it was time to hand the car back to the customer.