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.
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.
This Audi A1 TFSI came into us with poor running, noisy and the engine management light was on! We carried out a diagnostic code read to find the reason for the EML light to be on which gave us several codes relating to an incoherence between the cam and crank shaft sensors.
The next step was to partially strip down the engine on the Audi to access the timing chain, once stripped we were able to see if the timing marks for the chain lined up with our specialist timing tools, then check for any signs of stretching or damage to the chain and gears.
In this case it was quite obvious, once the timing chain cover was removed we could see that the chain had stretched so much that even at full extension the chain tensioner couldn’t tension the chain, thus causing the timing marks to be miss aligned.
We sourced a new timing chain kit and tensioner for the A1 and fitted it making sure to check all timing marks were lined up as per factory settings, then rebuilt the engine using new gaskets, oil filter and some fresh oil.
After the rebuild we cleared all the existing codes relating to the timing issues and tested the engine which sounded nice and quiet compared to when it came in to the garage, the engine management light stayed out and all sensors read as they should.
Lastly we carried out a long road test before handing it back to a happy customer.
This seems to be a common fault on this 1.4 TFSI engine which is fitted across the VAG group of vehicles, VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda.
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