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3.2 cam chain stretch.

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by paddy, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Jun 11, 2010]
    Over the last few months i have trawled the net for info on timing chain stretch info on the V6 engine.
    This is what i have found but it is just hear say from other forums and tech reports.

    1/ It tends to effect cars 06 and before inc R32's

    2/ Its seems to be due to over pressure on the oil pump.

    3/ On German R32 forums they refer to " long life soup" when talking about the Castrol long life oil. Its ok if used as an annual oil change but in the 3.2, dont use it for long life service intervals. Over time it collects **** and dirt from the engine which tends to collect on the impeller of the oil pump and raise the pressure as well as clogging the oil pressure valve.

    4/ anyone who knows about engines will tell you that you cant change the oil often enough. Use a good fully synthetic like Mobil 1, and change it every 10k miles/each year.

    5/ chain stretch can be checked using VCDS engine 1 blocks 208-209. normal reading should be around minus 4 to minus 6. anything from minus 8 up is a shot chain.

    6/ fault code include cam set point not reached, cam position censor etc...

    7/Problems can start from 45k miles. cost will be about £5k from an Audi dealer with £1k for parts. Dont just change the chain. You must do sprockets and tensioners as well and get the oil pump looked at/cleaned/checked as well. The work involves removing the gearbox hence the cost but i have seen quotes as low as £3k.

    8/ If you are lucky Audi might help with some of the cost but be warned that as this effects early cars, the chances are that as they continue to get older you are going to get less help.

    9/ if trying to claim from Audi. BE NICE !! they dont usually extend good will after 5 years so any help is a plus.

    10/Believe it or not, the fault with the original chains was the depth which the manufacturer stamped his name , "SACHS" on each link, weakening the chain side plates..........I have not yet found a link between the oil pressure and the side plates. If for some reason the high pressure was adding tension to the chain....that might explain why the side stamping was giving out on the links ? I do know that when they investigated my stretched chain they made a bee line for the oil pressure tester..

    11/ same as 4/ again. CHANGE THAT OIL and FILTER every 10k miles/year.

    As a foot note the one comment that stuck in my mind when i went to see the Audi tech was....I cant believe how badly carbonised the valve/cam gear is...You must have been using **** oil or thrashing the balls off this car.!!

    I politely pointed out that the only people to put oil in this car were Audi and how do thrash a car on a 8 mile commute at rush hour in Surrey that often takes 45 mins !!.....lol

    Hope that helps someone :)
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010
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  3. Sarah's A3
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    Sarah's A3 MODERATOR V6 S3 Hybrid Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jun 11, 2010]
    I also know to get to the chains, as Paddy said its gear box out as well as the front end of the Quattro gear (if you have Quattro). So expensive before the work starts!

    Thanks Paddy, great that you are sharing what you have found
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  4. AFN1980
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    AFN1980 Active Member

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    [Jun 11, 2010]
    After reading this I think I am going to get mine checked. My car came with Audi approved used warranty and has 10 months left (got lucky and got a 2 year one when i bought it used). Its a 2005 05 3.2 quattro with 47k on the clock.

    What should I look for? not got a VCDS. Think its time to invest in one. It has only recently been in with them, about 1.5k miles ago for a full service/DSG/Haldex/plugs etc. There was no mention then of the chain.

    Can you tell if its got issues when you drive?

    Thanks guys
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  5. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Jun 11, 2010]
    It doesn't effect all cars and i dont want to worry people unduly . You cant really tell from just driving because its something that creeps up slowly. If you have no fault codes and it runs OK then i wouldn't worry.
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  6. edition
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    edition Active Member

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    [Jun 11, 2010]
    I read that the VAGOM reading means nothing due to the timing being variable........ Not sure how true this is though...

    Out of interest how does everybodys oil look? Mine has just been serviced (arround 1k ago) and its dirty again! Not quite as black as is was before service....

    Compare this to cars in my family where oil stays see through until throughout....
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  7. 3.2 Ju
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    3.2 Ju Well-Known Member

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    [Jun 11, 2010]
    So you finally accept that 3.2's DO have cam chain problems then Paddy lol!!!

    I was lucky in that the dealer paid for all mine doing, but that was due to me knowing what to look for after buying a mk4 R32 with the same problem.
    I went for the A3 because it was only supposed to affect cars up to mid 04, but as we now know it's more like 06.
    As for cost, I'd say £5k is a little on the high side tbh, mine cost £3400 for Everything and I was quoted £2200 just for the chain and tensioners from the dealer.
    As for cause well that's still a bit of an unknown, but it centres around:-
    Long life servicing
    Sachs chains (although the later ones do stretch but don't seem to snap!)
    Defective oil pump (pressure relief valve stuck shut)
    The original map that puts excessive strain on the chain when misfiring.

    The problem is well known though in all early 3.2's and not just the A3's, unless of course you ask an Audi dealer, who'll probably tell you it's the first they've seen.
    Saying that though there are plenty of cars out there that have no problems at all and never will, you just need to be aware and have it checked regularly
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  8. AFN1980
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    AFN1980 Active Member

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    [Jun 11, 2010]
    Hey Paddy, I understand what you are saying about worrying people unduly. I am just thinking as my motor is under warranty maybe worth checking it out. Save a few quid if there is an issue.

    As for what the oil looks like will have a look tonight service done 1.5k My car has always had variable service so oil done every 15-18K may have to change that and have it done every 10k.
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  9. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Jun 11, 2010]
    My last car was a Peugeot and the oil in that stayed clean as new. Trouble is once the engine oil is burnt on it pollutes the fresh oil. do you remember that guy on the hesitation thread who stripped his 3.2 and found up to 1mm of burnt on varnish all over the oil washed parts.
    I think it will take a couple of regular changes with a good fully synthetic oil to wash the engine clean and keep it that way.
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  10. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Jun 11, 2010]
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  11. edition
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    edition Active Member

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    [Jun 11, 2010]
    Hmmm might be worth giving mine an oil change every couple of k for abit to see if it cleans it up....

    Would I have to change the oil filter each time?
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  12. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Jun 11, 2010]
    Given that the oil is £50 and the filter £5 it would make sense. As i say i dont want to frighten anyone and these are only my thoughts and observations. Many people have no trouble at all.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010
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  13. edition
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    edition Active Member

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    [Jun 11, 2010]
    Cheers for the PDF Paddy!!! Wish I had paid more attention in German though :(


    Are we sure the Block figures count? Mine was 0 or -1 I think.......
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  14. edition
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    edition Active Member

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    [Jun 11, 2010]
    Yeah that's true Paddy.

    I also think a good few cars will have had chains done due to dealers thinking they need them as they don't know whats up!
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  15. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Jun 11, 2010]
    Well i notice the German PDF shows them using block 208 and 209 as well which is a coincidence. You get the drift from the pictures they are looking at chain/tensioners/ and oil pump + oil temp and deposits. I think this is another case of Germany getting the info and us Brits being left to sort it our selves.
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  16. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Jun 11, 2010]
    Notice as well they are looking at a timing mark through the hole where they have removed the front tensioner . I was told this is what lead them to change my chain in the end because the mark was out of view in the window..
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  17. lincoln_dj
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    lincoln_dj Member VCDS Map User

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    [Jun 11, 2010]
    hmmmm. i checked blocks 208/209, one was zero, one flicked between -7 and -8. and i'm getting engine check light on the dash that brings up
    17755 - Camshaft Position Sensor 2 (G163) / Engine Speed Sensor (G28): Incor. Correl.
    P1347 - 002 - Lower Limit Exceeded
    so it looks like timing chain, but dont understand the big difference between each cam sensor?
    might try an output test when i get time to figure out how to!
    #16
  18. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Jun 11, 2010]
    17755/P1347/004935 - Camshaft Position Sensor 2 (G163) / Engine Speed Sensor (G28): Incor. Correl.

    Possible Causes
    Timing Belt/Chain incorrectly installed
    Timing Chain probably lengthened
    Camshaft Position Sensor 2 (G163) faulty
    Engine Speed Sensor (G28) faulty
    Possible Solutions
    Check Timing Belt/Chain installation
    Use Measuring Value Blocks (MVB) to Check Timing Chain
    Check/Replace Camshaft Position Sensor 2 (G163)
    Check/Replace Engine Speed Sensor (G28)
    #17

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