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  1. #1
    Reverse Gear

    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Timing belt question

    Hi there,

    Please forgive me I’m not mechanically minded. I have had my 04 a4 1.9tdi for 4 months and have a problem with the car vibrating/shaking. The car starts to shake at 60mph and becomes really bad from 80mph onwards. I have been back and forth to the garage over the months and all he keeps checking is the wheel balancing and tracking which are always right.

    When I first looked at the car I was told the timing belt and water pump were changed on the 60k service. However, the service wasn’t done by a dealer but by a side street garage. If the belt was not timed correctly would this be the cause of the car vibrating and shaking the way it does?

    Any help or advice will be much appreciated.



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  3. #2
    quattrojames's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2008

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    It won't be the timing out, if it was the symptoms would be much more drastic!

    More likely a wheel balance/alignment problem, possibly a bucked wheel, have you had a four wheel alignment check done? Or maybe an engine mount ...?
    Ingolstance Read about my A6 HERE.

  4. #3
    AndymacA4's Avatar
    1st Gear

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    I'd suggest a buckled wheel. It can be perfectly balanced, but still bent. A good garage will spot it, a kwik fit place won't. I had similar problems with a buckled wheel that was only evident over 60mph, and scary over 80. I stuck the spare on each corner in turn. Put it on front nearside and the vibration was gone. New alloy and all was well.
    Fiat Stilo 2.4 Abarth 170bhp and climbing!

  5. #4
    "Stick a V8 in it!"

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Glenrothes, Fife, Scotland
    I had an even more odd scenario recently. Vibrations as you describe, getting worse as speed increases. Usually balancing issues go away if you speed up but this got worse, at 85-90 the car was scary.

    Turned out, the control arm top two ball joints on the steering knuckles were worn so much that they had a mm or two play in them, i'd only changed them 4-5months previously but i'd used cheap parts and clearly they'd failed prematurely.

    What that means though is that the toe angle can change as your driving along, as the balljoints move around, this caused heavy wear on the inside edges of the tyres, but more importantly, that wear wasnt even. Half the tyre had a few mm left on the inside edge, and half the tyre was bald!

    If these balljoints have play, any tracking you attempt is pointless as the angle will change as soon as you drive it off the ramp, i can only imagine in this case that some slight unevenness had started and somehow amplified itself by synchronising the toe change with the uneven spot, causing all the wear to occur at one point of the tyre.

    2000 A4 1.8T Sport Quattro Avant, Berry Pearl
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