2010 Audi A5 2.0 TFSI Timing Chain Fault.

This Audi A5 was brought into us barely running by a customer for our diagnosis.

We had to push the car into the Garage as it would no longer start! Firstly we carried out a diagnostic code read to see if that would point us in the right direction but there were lots of codes stored and it was hard to know what were old codes and which were relevant codes, however there was a code for ‘Camshaft and Crankshaft Incoherence‘ which normally means the timing chain has jumped teeth.

We decided to carry out a compression test before stripping the engine completely, the compression’s were all low but were similar across all four cylinders.

Once we had removed the front bumper, head lights, radiator and other ancillaries we could now access the timing chain cover. Time to remove the covers and see if the timing is out.

The timing was at least three teeth out on the exhaust camshaft which is more than enough to stop the car running and lucky enough not to cause any serious internal damage.

We check the timing using specific timing kits as shown below.

Timing Tool

This car also has two balance shafts which are ran by a separate timing chain which is also replaced as part of this job.

Balance shaft chain behind main chain

We need to lock both camshafts and the crankshaft into their timed positions using the timing tools before we start fitting the new guides and chain, once the chain is fitted we can release the new tensioner’s and remove any slack out of the chain.

Now we rebuild the engine using new gaskets where required until it is in a position to be turned over by hand, turn the engine twice by hand and recheck the timing marks all ok.

Next we replaced the oil and filter before building up the front end of the car (just in case we need to strip it again).

Time to start the engine, I don’t care how long you have been in this trade it is still a scary time when you first turn that key on a rebuilt engine!

But, first turn and it fired up and ran perfectly.

Now time to rebuild the front end top up coolant levels and road test, the engine ran beautifully and was returned to a happy customer.

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Nissan Pulsar Timing Chain Faults.

We have seen quite a lot of Timing Chain faults recently across different manufacturers from Nissan and Renault to Audi and Volkswagen.

The faults range from chains stretching and causing the Engine Management Light (EML) to come on to chains slipping and causing poor running and in some cases non start.

There is a lot of speculation as to why the chains in modern cars don’t seem to last as long as their predecessors such as poor oil quality, poor design, poor materials etc…..

What we can say is this problem is becoming more and more common and it is something you cannot ignore, if your engine starts to get a rattle that was not there before or your EML comes on and you have codes for ‘Incoherence between Cam and Crank Sensors’ make sure to get it into the garage to be checked out before it does any serious damage.

Here we have a picture of the timing chain cover from a 2016 Nissan Pulsar that had recently started to rattle, as you can see the chain was so loose it was starting to catch the top of the chain cover and wear it away.

Nissan Pulsar worn timing chain cover.
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Cancelled Bookings Cost Time and Money!

Over the last couple of years we have seen a large increase in jobs being cancelled last minute by customers and also not turning up for their appointment on the day.

This in turn has a major affect on the day to day running of our workshop as we allocate jobs to our technicians based on Labour times to maximize the efficiency of our workshop.

When a Labour intensive job doesn’t show up for example a Clutch or a Cambelt the technician that was booked to carry out that job has no work and not only is that a cost to the workshop but it also affects other customers that are waiting to book in for work as they could have used that slot.

Going forward we have made the decision to take a £50 deposit for all jobs that are expected to take over two hours which will only be refundable if the job is cancelled at least 48 hours before its booking slot.

This will allow us to book in other customers who are waiting for our Services.

We understand sometimes it is out of your control and you have to cancel but we hope you understand our position, this is a hard time for all small business’s.

Aarons Autos car service garage.

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E10 fuel is not compatible with all vehicles.

The introduction of E10 fuel has been seen nation wide recently and is affecting cars up and down the country.

If you have a classic or old car it will not run on E10 without additional additives, but we are seeing it affect much newer cars!

We are having more fuel related faults through the garage than ever before from poor running engines to fuel pump failures.

Here is a quote from a well known car magazine-

It is estimated that around 600,000 cars on the road are not compatible with E10 fuel. Drivers should check if their vehicle manufacturer recommends it. Even if a car is suitable for using E10 we call for caution, as the ethanol is HYGROSCOPIC, which absorbs moisture from the air. Moisture increases engine deposits and affect drive-ability, which leads to corrosion and eventually component failure.Using E10 petrol can also affect fuel economy and it is reported drivers may experience around 1-3% reduction.

There seem to be several new additives coming to market to help vehicles affected by the new E10 fuel.

Wynns E10 Fuel Protector

It will take time to see if there will be any long term damage or affects to engines due to the E10 fuel but for now the only thing we can advise is to use the additives designed to help your engines and fuel systems.



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Ford Transit 2.0 EcoBlue TDCI Wet Belt Problems!

The Ford Transit is probably one of the most common vans seen on the road today and is championed by tradesmen and delivery drivers up and down the country.

With the latest edition to the Transit range the 2.0 EcoBlue TDCI you get a Timing Belt in replacement of the old Timing Chain which Ford recommend to be replaced at 150,000 miles or ten years.

What we are seeing in the trade though is timing belt failures well before either the 150,000 mile interval or the ten year time frame.

We are recommending customers to get theirs changed around 60,000 miles or five years to prevent the chance of failure and a hefty bill for un-necessary engine repairs caused by the failure.

Transit Timing Belt



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Cars vital for second ‘staycation’ summer, RAC research reveals

Some 70 per cent of motorists set to use their car or motorhome for a summer get away

Cars vital for second ‘staycation’ summer, RAC research reveals

More than four-in-10 drivers in the UK (43 per cent) already have firm plans for a UK staycation this summer, according to research carried out by the RAC.

While only 13 per cent of the 2,100 drivers surveyed in April said they hoped to head abroad this summer, nearly half of this group (48 per cent) said they would try to take a holiday somewhere in the UK if coronavirus restrictions made going abroad impossible – which could have the effect of swelling traffic volumes during the summer months.

A quarter (24 per cent) said they would look to delay their trip to another date when restrictions are hopefully eased, whereas 16 per cent say they would simply forego a holiday this summer.

One-in-10 (11 per cent) were uncertain as to what they would do in that event.

With official data showing that 19 of the 20 countries to which UK residents make the most visits in the summer are currently on the government’s ‘red’ and ‘amber’ list and are effectively off-limits, the RAC research points to the possibility of an extremely busy summer on the UK’s roads.

Related: One in five car owners never check engine oil, research finds

Of all of those planning to get away, a quarter (24 per cent) took the decision to book last year while another quarter (25 per cent) waited until this year.

But the remaining half (51 per cent) say they plan on sorting out a summer break at shorter notice.

More than four-in-10 (44 per cent) of the those surveyed don’t expect to take a summer holiday at all this year.

RAC spokesperson Simon Williams said: “For those heading off in the UK this summer it’s very apparent that the car is going to be the transport mode of choice.

Related: Average age of UK cars rises to 8.4 years

“What’s more, if those who have foreign trips planned can’t take them there is every chance the roads will be far busier than they would be in a normal summer, especially if we’re blessed with good weather as this will cause the number of day trips and weekend breaks to rocket.

“If traffic volumes really do swell this summer, it could turn out to be more important than ever that drivers check their vehicles before setting out to avoid a breakdown at the roadside – oil, coolant and screenwash levels should be checked, and all tyres should free of damage and inflated to the right levels for the load being carried, particularly if the whole family is on board and the car is jam-packed.

“Anyone who’s put off getting their car fixed or serviced during Covid should take action sooner rather than later to avoid their staycation being spoilt by a breakdown.”

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Volkswagen Scirocco with a leaky Inter-cooler.

This VW Scirocco came into us with an intermittent running fault, it would randomly put the engine management light on and go into limp mode.

Firstly we carried out a diagnostic code read to see if there were any stored codes and what they related to?

Several codes were stored relating to faults in different systems! Oxygen sensor, Boost pressure and EGR system.

We decided to carry out a smoke test on the intake system as all of these faults can be affected by an air or boost leak.

(A Smoke Tester fills a system with lightly pressurized smoke allowing the user to see any small leaks that may not be obvious to the naked eye.)

We found a leak from around the inter-cooler area but the car needed stripping further to be able to access this area, once the bumper had been removed we could see clearly that there was a split in the inter-cooler housing which was small enough to allow the car to still run reasonably well but bad enough to throw out several sensor readings.

Big Strip Down To Remove The Inter Cooler.
Split Inter Cooler.

After we replaced the inter-cooler and cleared all related fault codes we carried out a road test and checked live data, all sensors were reading as they should and the car drove perfectly without putting the engine management light on and no more limp mode.



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Renault Megane RS265 has incorrect swivel joints fitted!

This Renault Megane RS265 came into us with the usual tell tale signs of worn swivel joints, creaking when turning and knocking.

Once we had removed the N/S swivel joint we could see they had been replaced before with some cheap after market joints.

We replaced both joints with our genuine swivel joints and it was ready to go.

Here at Aarons Autos we can replace the swivel joints on your Renault Megane RS250 RS265 RS275 and Clio RS197 RS200.

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Vehicle owners told to stay on top of Servicing and Maintenance during lockdown.

More than half of drivers do not know when next service is due

Vehicle owners told to stay on top of maintenance during lockdown

Highways England and Aarons Autos are this week encouraging road users to carry out regular vehicle maintenance and checks during the current national lockdown after a new survey revealed that more than half (54 per cent) did not know when their next service is due.

Nearly a third (32 per cent) of road users admit they only carry out basic vehicle maintenance, such as checking their tyre pressure or oil levels, at best every few months or never.

This is in spite of advice to perform regular vehicle maintenance – even when a vehicle is not in regular use during lockdown – on top of the recommended annual service and mandatory MOT.

In response to the survey, Highways England and partners – breakdown provider, Green Flag, and Aarons Autos – are now highlighting the importance of basic maintenance and checks in helping road users to avoid breakdowns or endangering themselves and other drivers. 

Related: Half of UK drivers at risk after delaying essential car maintenance this year

Without proper care and attention during lockdown, owners risk tyre problems, flat batteries, weather damage and issues due to fluid levels running low when they begin using their vehicle again.

Jeremy Phillips, head of road user safety, said: “While the country is in still in lockdown, we want to remind drivers to act now and carry out those important basic checks. 

“Doing regular maintenance, rather than waiting until the end of lockdown is in sight, will ensure their vehicles still work and preventable breakdowns are avoided when restrictions are lifted and the nation gets back on the road.”

Related: Police issue warning amid lockdown MOT confusion

Every year Highways England’s traffic officers deal with more than 85,000 breakdowns – 40 per cent caused by vehicles running out of fuel, poor tyre maintenance, power loss and engine trouble. 

Basic checks and maintenance can prevent many breakdowns, says Highways England.

Mark Newberry, commercial director at Green Flag, said: “Cars are designed to be driven regularly and the components rely on regular use to stay in tip-top condition. 

“A period of lockdown means many vehicles that may have been running every day could now be used less, which can lead to a number of complications.

Related: Vehicles failing MOT in record numbers over emissions

“Car batteries are often the hardest hit. During the first lockdown, over 60 per cent of our callouts were for battery-related issues and the colder weather will also have an impact by reducing the battery’s ability to hold charge.

“Carry out a few basic checks to make sure your car is ready for when you need it. 

“Don’t leave it until your next MOT or service if you know or feel there is something wrong with your car.”

For more information or to make a booking you can contact us at info@aaronsautos.co.uk or call us on 01332 205070 or just click the ‘Book Online’ button.

BMW 1 Series ABS Fault.

We are seeing lots of BMW 1 Series and 3 Series with ABS faults caused by the same fault.

The codes for this particular BMW were –

  • 5DC1 – Wheel Speed Sensor Rear Right Extrapolation
  • 5DC2 – Wheel Speed Sensor Exciter Ring Rear Right Periodic Fault

After seeing these codes on the Diagnostic Scanner we needed to take a look at the rear right Wheel Speed Sensor and Reluctor Ring to see if there were any obvious faults.

We could see the problem straight away, what seems to happen with the BMW drive shafts is that rust starts to build up underneath the reluctor ring pushing it away from the the shaft causing it to catch the ABS Wheel Speed Sensor.

Reluctor ring pushed out by rust.

To repair this fault you can either try to remove the rust from the drive shaft and replace the reluctor ring and wheel speed sensor (if required), we have seen problems with this repair as once the rust is removed from the drive shaft the outer diameter is smaller and the reluctor rings can come loose and cause more issues.

Damaged ABS Wheel Speed Sensor.

We replace the complete drive shaft to ensure this cannot happen, in this case we replaced the ABS speed sensor too as it had been damaged due to its contact with the reluctor ring.

New Driveshaft Fitted.

Once replaced we cleared all the fault codes from the BMW and carried out a road test whilst checking Live Data on our Scanner to make sure the speed sensor was reading correctly.

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