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2.0 TDI oil pump / balance shaft failure?

Discussion in 'Audi S4/A4/A4 Cab (B7 Chassis)' started by P Crr, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. Steve220
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    Steve220 Member

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    [Jan 30, 2013]
    I did mean chain, not belt.

    the problems with the balancers is the hex shaft isn't it?
  2. tuffy
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    tuffy Member

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    [Jan 30, 2013]
    As far as I'm aware the drive wears in the balance shaft causing movement which in turn rounds off the hex.
  3. Paul B7
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    Paul B7 Active Member

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    [Jan 30, 2013]

    Audi will not be able to 100% identify which unit one has from the VIN number. Others have tried this and failed ( read this thread if you have the time and inclination )
    The ONLY sure way of finding out what you have is to drop the sump.
  4. tuffy
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    tuffy Member

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    [Jan 31, 2013]
    You're right Paul, not a 100% it's going to be gear driven using the reg, vin number method

    I phoned my local Audi dealer, asked for parts department, quoted only reg number, he confirmed it was gear driven. But as you rightly say....strip down a look.
  5. Steve220
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    Steve220 Member

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    [Jan 31, 2013]
    So the solution is to be pro-active and change it before your engine dies. I can see a WIP thread coming on!
  6. pw courier
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    pw courier New Member

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    [Feb 2, 2013]
    well got mine fixed by a guy in pontefract, a mate of mine told me about. took the car in to him on a tuesday got a phone off him on the friday its ready to collect, asked him the cost he said are you sitting down yep i said the full cost including VAT is £538, Audi wanted £852.32 for a new pump, £95 per hour labour, + VAT would take approx 10 hours, the problem was the hexagan shaft had worn
  7. Paul B7
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    Paul B7 Active Member

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    [Feb 2, 2013]
  8. ae123
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    ae123 New Member

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    [Feb 20, 2013]
    Hi guys

    Just had my Balance shaft swapped as the unthinkable happened on New Years Eve. I stopped within a mile of the oil pressure light coming on, but stilled finished off my turbo. The turbo worked (sounded very sick) for one day after the balance shaft was replaced but blew taking most of the oil out of the engine with it.... The Hex key (which was modified by the dealer under warranty) only lasted approx. 50k as you can it was completely round at the end it should have been driving the pump. It was the 75mm one not the newer 100mm length which I guess is part of the problem. I purchased the new balance shaft for £225 (sending my old one back) and the labour was £450 with oil and filter. The AC needed re-gassing. The remanufactured turbo fitted was £500. so all in all it has costed me a just over 1k.

    It is quite a job, in my case the dropped the sub-frame to take the sump off and moved the a/c unit. A few garages were not interested after bad experiences (I think to do the modification from the chain is an even bigger job as it needs more parts that will make it more expensive). If you are going to have it inspected i would have the hex or chain replaced at the same time as taking it apart is 3/4 of the job and expense.

    The dealer does not even return my calls, I am thinking to taking the case to small claims court. There are so many cases at the moment the modified balance shafts are in short supply. The car is working but i am sure it has done no good to it, but when you look at the second hand prices of my 56 Audi Avant I would not swap it as at least i know my car and it is in good condition with a good spec. One garage told me to scap it...

    It is very frustrating that all the expense could have been avoided and down to a bad design. I will just have to hit the brakes the next time the oil light comes on, as you never know when it will go or have a new hex shaft or chain fitted every 50K ish (I even wonder if you should not pay to upgrade the chain to the hex key as I think both are flawed and it may be better to save the conversion cash and just get the chain and drive replaced like the hex). The good news is there are some chaps out there who can help and supply units to get you back on the road, which the dealers are not willing to do unless you have very deep pockets.

    I will update if I have anymore news
  9. Bald man
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    Bald man Member

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    [Feb 24, 2013]
    I am interested in taking a case like this on.

    I am a solicitor with higher rights, I happen to have owned a Hayabusa 1400 nitrous, my present ride is a 2012 ZZR1400 and an B7 Audi A4 on a 2008. My best mate is an engine reconditioner with his own business and workshop, what I do not understand he explains. I successfully sued a multi national gasket manufacturer over the Rover K series engine, they settled out of court on a class action.

    I have read, re read and considered this issue. Firstly I think that a chain BLB engine is the one to go for, the difference between the 73mm and 100mm hex drive is to nebulous to be a successful case, improvements on design are allowed.

    The BLB, now then, a chain driven oil pump would I suspect had difficulty lasting 75,000 miles. It is not a maintanance item, it is not like a cam chain that can be adjusted, it is simply a part that works or fails, and I say by design bound to fail.

    Now on some engines in America it has been a recall item, perhaps due to there sue them culture.

    The difficulty that I can for see here is the "chain of causation" issue, if proceedings are issued ideally it would be on a car that has full audi service history, therefore they cannot defend on the basis that it could of been A b or C that intervened, wrong oil etc etc.

    Remember civil courts is balance of probability. Can we prove on the balance of probability that Audi knew that item would fail at an unreasonably short time interval and continued to manufacture it, and when a replacement was found they did not do a recall ?

    Just some thoughts, but I am quietly warming to issuing against them.

    I should say for the mods that I am not interested in charging for this other than costs incurred in issuing etc. It is something that I would do similar to the k series matter, in my spare time as something I am interested in, it makes a change from defending serious fraud and murder all day.
  10. Paul B7
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    Paul B7 Active Member

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    [Feb 26, 2013]
    Hello Baldman,

    You have my ( and no doubt several others) attention , now whats next ?

    Paul B7
  11. scottshere
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    scottshere Member

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    [Mar 1, 2013]
    Am i right in thinking that the dealer just did a bodge job or will the Hex shaft only last 50k?
    Even with the new 100mm one fitted will that only last 50k also?
    I dont mind getting this upgrade done, but every 50k sounds like madness....
  12. Paul B7
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    Paul B7 Active Member

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    [Mar 1, 2013]
    Not all the engines are failing and no one can give an accurate time line for the failures to occur.
    That said, most if not all the BLB engines ( chain driven units ) will/do/have failed and a lot of the other engine codes on the B7 models have shown it to be such a common problem that their is good reason to question the long term reliability of the Audi 2.0 TDI engine design.
  13. Bald man
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    Bald man Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    Sorry not been on for a couple of weeks, I am presently commuting between West Yorks and London for a trial.

    In the first instance if some units run to 100,000 miles and others fail at 50,000 how is this explained.

    I am keen to do this and understand the principle behind the failures, Audi will in the first instance deny it is a design failure, they will simply look world wide at cars for sale and they will find a number of cars with over 100,000 miles on clock manufactured in 2005 and say how can it be a design fault it must be user error, no service or poor driving (not that poor driving can effect it, they may try to argue snatch)

    Views ?
  14. Steve220
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    Steve220 Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    Its a simple process - short runs will kill the engine eventually. On long runs, the engine warms up, the metal warmed up, the key in the pump heats up and expands slightly and the recess in the balancer shaft shrinks (outside expands inwards), the wear becomes minimal as the engine is up to running temp and staying there. Short journeys the key is getting battered about as its looser... So what i'm basically saying, those that do the motorway runs will more likely to have it go at higher mileage, those that use it for short sub 4 mile journeys to work each day will more likely have it go at a lower mileage. Its also how you treat the car, if its cold, don't rag it!


    ... its still a ****e design though.
  15. Paul B7
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    Paul B7 Active Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    Views, what views, I am not sure where this is going or what you are specifically asking for, views on what ?
  16. Bald man
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    Bald man Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    Paul B7 look at the previous comment to yours, those type of views.

    Look whilst I am happy to get involved in this, litigation by democracy does not work.

    It is accepted (by me) that for the end user the design of both the chain and the hex are not the strongest designs in the world for the purpose they are intended, but that is along way from proving negligence or not fit for purpose and forcing a recall or assistance with repairs. Just saying it is bad or a design fault does not make it so. Evidence will win the day.

    Now from the previous comment by Steve220 that would infer that there is a tolerance in the manufacture of the hex and the 'receiving' drive housing, aswell as possibility of a tolerance in the 'centering' of the hex within the housing I would suspect. Now if it can be proven that the tolerance built into the manufacturing process allowed for excessive play between hex and drive we are beginning to get smewhere, it is not a matter of opinion but engineering.

    In this case there will be a million different opinions, opinions unfortunately are just that opinions, it will be won by experts agreeing that x = y and y is not the intended outcome of the design.
  17. Wrath
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    Wrath Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    Somewhere I do have a list of users/people who have had BLB failures and the mileage of them. I did ask Audi the question of how the chain units were tested and why the design changed after a year of model production. Obviously the amendment to the engine wasn't a cheap one as one part alone was expensive. However, can it amount to anything? Surely the small (sub-100) number of people who have identified & had the problem & have come on the forums is not going to be an argument against Audi who will say they don't have records in excess of 100 vs the number of cars made?

    For a Court case wouldn't an expert witness be required who can definitely say the design was faulty e.g. the stress on the chain and the lifespan of the plastic was bound to cause failure?
  18. Mr-C
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    Mr-C Active Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    Completely no help to anyone that has suffered but I know of a BLB engine thats done over 200k without any issues.
  19. Bald man
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    Bald man Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    Yes I think as a general principle that is right.

    That was the basis of my orignal comment that Audi will prove that 1,000's of cars are still running around with chain driven oil pumps and they are working fine so it is not a design fault. However it seems that maybe we have two possibilities in relation to the gear driven oil pump.

    1. The tolerance of manufacture of hex and housing, lets say (and I know it wont be the case) it is + or - 10%. Now a hex drive at 90% of intended diameter and housing at 110% of design would be a very sloppy fit.

    2. The car driven only short journeys, no time for a 'heat' fit.

    This would be provable tolerance can be measured and evidence given of type of journeys. Court is going to say that it is reasonably foreseeable that cars take short journeys, and tolerance did not allow for wear that would equate to normal life of components.

    The chain system, whilst i understand the weakness of a chain and plastic tensioner what causes the failure ?
  20. Tiffy
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    Tiffy Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    So without reading 23 pages.......I have just bought a 2007 A4 170bhp TDi S-Line.....What do i need to check ect to see what i have???
  21. Bald man
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    Bald man Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    See this is why I like this case, it is the same as Rover K series, i think it is a tolerence issue. Or a Monday morning, friday afternoon car as they used to called when I was a kid
  22. Bald man
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    Bald man Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    So you joined a forum you do not want to read :)
  23. Bald man
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    Bald man Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    Or it could be a metal issue, Hex drive torsional strength versus housing - if it metallurgy matter thats easy to prove, one should not drive the other !!! Hard Hex into soft housing is going to go wrong on short journeys, experts will agree
  24. Wrath
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    Wrath Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    How far do we need to prove it or is it just reasonable doubt? Is there an expert witness who can state tolerance levels or can any mechanic be used? I only have experience of criminal cases so I expect different evidential tests exist.

    In the chain system the weakness is the plastic I presume from the chain being under stress eventually causing the plastic pre-tensioner to snap, obviously once snapped the engine seizes. BLBs obviously also have the hex failure as well. There is a suggestion that a new cambelt can cause added stress and increase the chance of BLB failure but I don't know if this can possibly be true.
  25. Bald man
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    Bald man Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    Tolerance levels come from manufacturing process at Audi, it will be written somewhere.

    I have heard the cam belt argument, i do not see the correlation personally
  26. Tiffy
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    Tiffy Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    NO, Ive joined a forum to be part of a community, with community spirit.......therefore thought someone may just say..."Cars between xxxx and xxxx are ones to watch".....

    Or, just for the sarcasim and wit from a few....... like yourself...
    Macdoon likes this.
  27. Bald man
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    Bald man Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    That did make me smile to be fair.

    My understanding is that your 170bhp engine is fine has an emission issue occasionally, but then again, I could be wrong.

    I think the catastrophic issues are limited to the 140bhp models.
  28. Wrath
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    Wrath Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    There are a handful of 170's which have apparently had the hex issue.
  29. Wrath
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    Wrath Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    Am I right in thinking the Freedom of Information legislation stems from a European directive? In which case, can we send an FOI to Audi De asking for all their testing paperwork including tech articles?
  30. Tiffy
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    Tiffy Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    Thanks guys..... Lol.... That's better.

    so it's "mainly" the 140's.......
  31. Bald man
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    Bald man Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    I like that alot, anyone know about Freedom of Information law ?
  32. Wrath
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    Wrath Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    I might be able to ask someone but, Wiki (although it is not reliable) states for Germany:

    "GermanyIn Germany, the federal government passed a freedom of information law on September 5, 2005. The law grants each person an unconditional right to access official federal information. No legal, commercial, or any other kind of justification is necessary.
    Nine of the sixteen Bundesländer — Berlin, Brandenburg, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Bremen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saarland and Thüringen — have approved individual "Informationsfreiheitsgesetze" (Freedom of Information laws).[SUP][30][/SUP]
    "

    Although I am not sure how cross country legislation works.

    Alternatively, can we send an FOI request to Audi De via Audi UK?
  33. Paul B7
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    Paul B7 Active Member

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  34. Wrath
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    Wrath Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    I'm counting on this to get my money back from a job I shouldn't have had to pay for :)
  35. ctd
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    ctd Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    need to find out why Audi in America recognise the fault on the A6 with BLB engine but not the A4, the engines are BLB type in both cases but only the A6 has had anything done about(so I have been told)
  36. Paul B7
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    Paul B7 Active Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]

    Like you I live in hope ..................
  37. Wrath
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    Wrath Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 3, 2013]
    That's why I'm buttering up Bald Man :)
  38. supanova
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    supanova A3 2.0 TDI SE

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    [Mar 4, 2013]
    Wow, hold up. so the 140's have the problem? I just recently bought an A4 avant 2.0L 140 2007. should I be worried?
  39. Paul B7
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    Paul B7 Active Member

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    [Mar 4, 2013]
    Its mainly the 140 BLB engines from 2005/20006 that had the problem but yes all the other 2.0tdi engines up to the end of B7 production suffer to varying degrees.
    The problems don' t seem to have ended until the B8 models were introduced in 2008/2009.
  40. Steve220
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    Steve220 Member

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    [Mar 4, 2013]
    The B8's line up of engine's are different to the B7's, more than likely they've done the wise thing and run the oil pump directly off/through the crank pulley without those silly balancer shafts.

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