Tag Archives: timing chain derby

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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Vauxhall Corsa D 1.2 (A12XER) Timing Chain Rattle.

We had this little Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 booked in with us for a ‘really bad engine noise’.

Once the car was in the workshop it became apparent very quickly what the noise was, the Timing Chain was rattling so bad we were surprised it hadn’t jumped a tooth and caused engine damage!

When we were stripping the engine down to put the Timing Tools in place we could see just how badly stretched the chain had become, the crank locking pin went straight in but both cam shafts were out by quite a lot.

There are several variants of the Vauxhall timing chain engines most of which requiring different timing tools which we have, 1.0 – A10XEP, 1.0 – A10XER, 1.2 – A12XER, 1.2 – A12XEL, 1.4 – A14XEL, 1.4 – A14XER, 1.4 – A14NET to name just a few.

Timing Tool A is for the Camshaft Position Rings, Tool F is for the Camshafts.

After removing the timing chain cover we could start to see what had caused the problem, the oil was very black and there was a lot of burnt carbon oil inside all the covers.

All engines require regular servicing to keep them in tip top condition but especially modern engines that run a timing chains rather than a timing belt, we are seeing more and more engines requiring timing chain kits prematurely due to a lack of servicing, poor quality oil or the wrong spec oil.

Once we had replaced the timing chain kit and re-aligned all timing marks it was time to clean all off the engine casings and refit, replace the oil and filter and refill the coolant.

When we removed the oil filter this gave us another indication of what had caused the problem, the middle of the oil filter had been sucked in, caused by the paper element of the filter being completely full of oil carbon and struggling to allow fresh oil through it, which in turn starves crucial parts of the engine of oil (timing chain) allowing them to wear, over heat and stretch.

On this particular car we advised the customer that over the next 20,000 miles they should have several oil and filter changes to help remove carbon deposits that we couldn’t see or get to whilst doing the job and this will help increase the life of their engine.

Aarons Autos car service garage.

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Give us a call at Aarons Autos for more info.

Mini Cooper S Timing Chain Fault.

We had a Mini cooper S come into us with several fault codes in its ECU (engine control module) relating to different faults and had no boost pressure until high revs when being driven.

Once we had cleared the codes and ran the car up to read some live data it was quite puzzling! we were still getting codes relating to boost pressure control, yet everything we checked seemed to be working as it should.

We checked boost pressure sensors, MAP sensors, MAF sensors, turbo actuator, boost pipes but we couldn’t find a fault with anything. After spending couple of hours checking all these items we decided we needed to check the timing of the engine which meant removing the rocker cover to allow access to the camshafts.

Once we removed the rocker cover we noticed something strange, the top timing chain guide was missing! the mounting bracket was still in place but the guide itself was missing.

Chain Guide Broken Away From Bracket.

On further inspection we noticed that the missing guide had broken off and dropped down in-between the timing chain cover and engine. we removed the broken guide and carried on with checking the engine timing.

When we fitted the engine timing tools we could see that the inlet camshaft was at least one tooth out of alignment. As we started to strip the engine to remove the timing chain and guides we noticed that as the top guide had been rattling around inside the timing chain cover it had caused damage to the other guides!

We removed the sump to check for any other debris from the damaged guides and found quite a few bits, one in particular had managed to wedge itself inside the oil pick up, luckily the gauze filter had stopped it being picked up and thrown around the internals of the engine.

Debis In The Oil Pick Up.

After removing all the debris we fitted a new timing chain kit including new guides and a new tensioner, rebuilt the engine using new gaskets and seals where required and making sure that the engine timing was now correct.

Now that the engine was ready for testing we made sure all codes were cleared from the ECU and started the engine, so far so good, no codes had returned and the engine sounded a lot smoother.

Time for a road test to see if we had cured the boosting problem, the car drove faultlessly and had full boost from the off.

This just goes to show that you can’t rely on fault codes alone, the codes in this car had us chasing our tale for while until we decided to go back to the start and check basics.

What we presume had happened in this case is that the chain guide had broken dropping on top of the crank gear and jamming it enough to allow the chain to jump a tooth which in turn meant the engine timing was out causing our running fault.

Aarons Autos car service garage.

Your friendly car garage in Derby

Give us a call at Aarons Autos for more info.