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Totally gutted, my S3 broke down. Possibly Cambelt wreckage...

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by Dennis Moeller, Jun 27, 2009.

  1. Dennis Moeller
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    Dennis Moeller Member

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    [Jun 27, 2009]
    God, yesterday was a really bad bad day for my S3...and for me!

    Story;
    Attended a track day yesterday and had a real blast driving all day long.

    The weather was very bery hot so I was careful to let the car car cool down properly (driving two laps after each run at moderate pace nursing the brakes while allowing air to cool the engine). I never drove more than 3-4 hot laps. While in the pit I would let the engine run for 2-3 min in addition to the cool down laps. My newly installed FMIC really showed it's value as it provided enough cool air all day long so the engine never suffered from heatsoak even though it was 30 degrees. The outlet pipe after each run was cooler than cool while the inlet pipe were too hot to touch. Even though I was satisfied with the Billy's n all the other stuff I've installed it became clear that I nedd to upgrade the sway bars. Even stiffer at the rear and of course a new at the front (still OE). And buy slick tires...

    OK back to reality. Drove home and was cruising in 6th gir at 3K rpm, suddenly the engine gave a small judder, a faint "puff" and just died. Luckily I was on a straight piece of highway when it happened, otherwise it would have been catastrophic as the steering went REALLY heavy. I came to a stop just letting the speed go down witouth breaking and I tried to turn the engine but just a faint whining noise was to hear. So hazard lights on, out with the triangle, call my buddies who were miles ahead and light a smoke. Thousands of thoughts running through my mind - I was gutted!

    Buddies came and we opened the cam belt cover. Belt looked fine. But when we engaged first gear and pushed the car backwards so that the engine would turn over, nothing moved. The cam belt just stood still.

    I have a theory that the mechanic who did the job 5 months ago didn't replace ALL parts, used wrong pressure when installin bits and bobs or a production error on some of the parts...

    Any ideas what happened...?
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2009
    #1
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  3. Boro&Beth
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    Boro&Beth Member

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    [Jun 27, 2009]
    This might sound odd, but after a conversation today with someone who knows S3's inside out... did you have a metal impeller water pump?
    #2
  4. voorhees
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    voorhees Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jun 27, 2009]
    so sorry to hear this Dennis
    think it needs to looked at to diagnose
    #3
  5. Dennis Moeller
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    Dennis Moeller Member

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    [Jun 27, 2009]
    I believe it's standard plastic OE stuff bought about 5 months ago...
    #4
  6. Dennis Moeller
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    Dennis Moeller Member

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    [Jun 27, 2009]
    Thanks. Yeah diagnosing it monday.
    #5
  7. Nilz
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    Nilz Defo worth the wait :)

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    [Jun 27, 2009]
    Sorry to hear this, hope its nothing major, let us know how you get on.
    #6
  8. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jun 27, 2009]
    OUCH! Hope it's not too an expensive fix Dennis.
    #7
  9. rich-hill@hotmail.com
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    rich-hill@hotmail.com Member

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    [Jun 28, 2009]
    It could just be ufortunate, a cambelt can go at any time
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  10. Dennis Moeller
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    Dennis Moeller Member

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    [Jun 28, 2009]
    VAGcom gave me these fault codes...

    16396/P0012/000018 - Bank 1: Camshaft A (Intake): Advance Setpoint not Reached (Over-Retarded)

    Possible Symptoms
    Erratic Idle

    Possible Causes
    Intake Camshaft Adjuster tight/stuck
    Intake Camshaft Adjuster faulty

    Possible Solutions
    Check Intake Camshaft Adjuster
    Use Output Test, Meas. Value Blocks (MVB) & Basic Setting

    And

    16726/P0342/000834 - Camshaft Position Sensor (G40): Signal Low

    Possible Symptoms
    Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) active

    Possible Causes
    Wiring from/to Camshaft Position Sensor (G40) faulty
    Camshaft Position Sensor (G40) faulty
    Timing misaligned

    Possible Solutions
    Check Wiring from/to Camshaft Position Sensor (G40)
    Check Camshaft Position Sensor (G40)
    Check Timing

    any ideas what happened? All help are REALLY appreciated!! Thanks-
    #9
  11. RyanJonS4
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    RyanJonS4 Drive It Like You Stole It

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    [Jun 28, 2009]
    Sorry to hear it mate....this thread has brought back bad memories for me.

    I used to have an a3 and the cambelt snapped on that.

    You would know if it had snapped by the noise it makes.

    It had never happened to me before but I knew instantly what had happened, as it#
    sounded like a clockwork toy being wound up as 19 of the 20 valves came into contact
    with the pistons and were bent like a dogs back leg.

    The only positive you can take out of a bad situation like this is that its a good excuse
    to upgrade things while the works being done!
    #10
  12. ianysm
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    ianysm Active Member

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    [Jun 28, 2009]
    Sorry to hear it. Sounds like hot day and numerous laps around a track = failure!

    My M3 engine blew a conrod out of the side a week after a trip to the Ring. No matter how many times i tell people how careful i was with warming up etc the fact is it clearly caused it!

    Perhaps the engine mods caused some seriously hot temps in there which has cooked something else, premature component failure?
    #11
  13. <tuffty/>
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    <tuffty/> Badger 5 Edition Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jun 28, 2009]
    Maybe the cambelt has jumped a tooth, possible the cam timing is out??

    <tuffty/>
    #12
  14. Dennis Moeller
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    Dennis Moeller Member

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    [Jun 28, 2009]
    Sorry to hear that. Funny thing were that when it happened it was more of a slight judder in the car. No real noises if any...
    Yeah upgrading would be nice but I don't think the mechanic will help me in that direction...OE all the way for him.

    It was very hot and there's no doubt the extreme conditions would have helped any failures prevail. But I don't track day's alone will thrash cambelts. I dunno...

    I think and hope it's got something to do with the job they did 5 months ago and that something would have happened regardless. The track day just helped it along...

    Yeah I think I will clinch to that theory. If I'm really lucky nothing happened other than the belt missed a tooth or two, sensors detected it and shut down the engine in time. Also very strange that the starter motor wasn't able to turn anything over in the engine (this would of course have made even more damage but still..)...just a faint whine.
    #13
  15. Broken Byzan
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    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jun 28, 2009]
    My concern would be that she doesnt turn over on the starter TBH. I would like to think that the hydraulic adjuster somehow jammed and caused the engine to stop without damaging valves etc. Its also possible that the intake cam for some reason has seized as agian that would account for the codes and the non movement of the engine.

    Good luck dennis , when you find out please let us know if it's anything that can be prevented, and possibly help someone out later on
    #14
  16. Dennis Moeller
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    Dennis Moeller Member

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    [Jun 30, 2009]
    IT WAS THE CAM BELT....THE BELT HAD ACTUALLY SNAPPED!!

    Phew, a heavy burden is lifted off my shoulders guys...

    My mechanic (independent one man shop but VAG specialist) had a look at the engine yesterday. The cambelt had snapped in a way he never had seen before in his 15 years of repairing VAG's. It had virtually no signs of wear and it looked like it was cut clean with a scissor or something. Mind you the belt was changed 5 months ago by him and he is regarded as THE man to go to if you want your Audi etc fixed. We discussed reasons for this to have happened but he didn't have a definite answer...One theory was that the hydraulic adjuster was not tightened properly, that he somehow did something wrong during installation of some of the parts involved in the cambelt service 5 months ago or simply that the cambelt had a failure. He wanted to send the belt back to Bosch as he had never seen a belt snap like that.

    Regardless of what really happened the guy will take care of everything revolving this repair. He even interrupted his holiday and drove the 300km just to check for him self. Since he's on vacation with his wife and kids and have many cars and projects waiting for him when he get's back he will now try to get the local Audi dealer to take the car in and fix it for him (for me). He used to work there and knows that dealership very well. They even have an agreement so they send him cars when/if they are to busy. I feel I1m in good hands no matter who of their mechanics do the job so no sweat there. To early to say what damage has been done but as he said it's more than likely that several valves have been fecked as it happened at 3000rpm's.

    Talking some more with him he then asked me if I had the car on the RR or any form of bench testing since this would have stressed the engine...I didn't really understood what it could have mattered but I soon realized that he had heard that I've been driving at a trackday (local dealer knew it because I had the alignment done there and I told them I was attending :shutup2:).
    I just came clean and admitted that I had driven it pretty hard that day at the track but was careful anyway...and that it couldn't have been any worse than if I had driven around town/nearby countryside thrashing it for a couple of hours...No one would have known that...anyways street cars with 900 hp etc. have no problems with cam belts, it's not something you are told or even hear about. He knew that he didn't have a case so he was with me on that. Not that he really wanted to raise a question mark but he just basically said that if it had happened at the Audi dealer and they had heard that I was at a trackday (the fact that I have a chipped car with lot's of mod's - Dahlbäck intake, FMIC n stuff...) they probably would have tried to snake their way out of it...

    Anyways, my car is beeing fixed and looking on the bright side of things...I will get a car back that is in better shape than before :arco:

    To be continued...
    #15
  17. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jun 30, 2009]
    Sounds good Dennis, keeps us updated, and sounds like your mechanic is a proper sound bloke also. :icon_thumright:
    #16
  18. IIIadidasboy
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    IIIadidasboy Member

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    [Jun 30, 2009]
    Glad it's working out for you;)
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  19. Dennis Moeller
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    Dennis Moeller Member

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    [Jun 30, 2009]
    Cheers mates...I'm really glad that I didn't had to fork out. Estimated cost would be min. 3000 pounds maybe close to 5000. Of course it will depend on valves beeing bent n stuff...That's norwegian prices tho.

    I will update as soon as work begins and I get a word from the shop...

    I will talk to the guy who is supposed to do the rebuild and tell him that I want everything changed that can be changed and of course if he see's stuff that's worn to change that as well (on my expence of course).
    #18
  20. Broken Byzan
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    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jun 30, 2009]
    That is a weight of your shoulders, it's a shame it happened, but good that your mech will fix it for free. Hopefully she will be back better than ever
    #19
  21. S3 HODGE
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    S3 HODGE Brown passenger seat.

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    [Jul 1, 2009]
    Kind if lucky the blokes nice then ehh lol. Keep us updated.
    #20
  22. badger5
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    badger5 www.badger5.co.uk Site Sponsor

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    [Jul 2, 2009]
    the belt failure is nothing to do with using it on track... faulty component somewhere, possibly the belt itself.

    unlucky fella
    #21
  23. b16 will
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    b16 will Member

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    [Jul 2, 2009]
    Cant ask for more than that, on another note, i think people who knock down mechanics in price forget the risks taken in fixing cars, its not bad workmanship when parts fail (although most will blame them) and the responsibility then falls on the fitter.

    Im glad your mechanic has been decent over it.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2009
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  24. Dennis Moeller
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    Dennis Moeller Member

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    [Jul 3, 2009]
    It really was a weight of my shoulders I can tell you...I didn't have that kinda cash atm...Not even close. Would have been forced to park the S3 til autumn and drive around in my Lupo...Yea I think the head job (...?!?...) will only make her better. Especially if the pistons need changing 'cause that would mean honing too right?

    He is nice and a sound bloke...I will update of course!!

    For sure, maybe the track day usage could have provoked the bad components, I don't know, but that particular track day and several other track days to come, weren't even an issue when I talked to the mechanic about who "were to blame". He knows that you can thrash a car on public roads if you want to and nobody would know, so all respect to him for letting me do what I want with the car (remap, engine mods etc) and still look at as "normal" car. The dealer would probably have me pinned on the stand. "That car isn't standard, the components were stressed to a point the were not designed for" etc etc...

    Cheers...Yes he acted 100% as he should. As he said, this was the first time he had a customer cam belt snap after so I was the first..."not bad" after all these years. Especially since it might be the Bosch cambelt that were fecked...
    #23
  25. 08080808
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    08080808 Member

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    [Jul 3, 2009]
    something similar happened to me on weds... was driving to central london to meet a friend before football and then the car just died on me. was a nightmare, had to push it to a side road and wait till some mates could help tow it away to a local garage. they wont have time to look at it till monday, but have a bad feeling that the engine is going to need to be replaced.

    which makes things complicated as i have a holiday booked and flying out on sunday, looks like an expensive summer for me! wanted to ask if anyone out there knows any good places to get an engine, amk, i found a place on ebay which is asking for around £1,600 to do the whole job, also looking for a decent tow company as i may need it also. i know i dont have an idea on what is broken, but want to be prepared anyway...

    thanks.
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  26. Dennis Moeller
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    Dennis Moeller Member

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    [Jul 7, 2009]
    Well looks like my S3 will be repaired this week and hopefully will be back on the road this thursday already. I haven't spoken to the mechanic yet so too early to say what needs to be replaced?!

    How can I make sure that my engine is OK afterwards, and how can I make sure that they are not taking any shortcuts. What kind of job is required if multiple valves are bent. Head have to come out obviously but what else...What if pistons or rods are damaged? What is the proper or the best way to find out if there are damage to the rods...measure how far up/down the pistons are? Any info from elsa?

    Any help is appriciated as I only have a small window to check what they're doing before closing the engine?

    Anyways I may just have to trust that they know what they're doing. They will get the car right back if there's any problems afterwards as this job also will be covered by a guarantee...
    #25
  27. jm-baker
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    jm-baker Member

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    [Jul 7, 2009]
    Sorry to hear about your trouble! I have just had to re-build my VW Transporter engine after cambelt failure. And then my turbo on my S3 went the day after i got the transpoter back on the road.

    I had to replace one piston due to damage, but this is a diesel engine so completly different piston design.
    As far as the head is concerned, i got a local guy who runs a business that re-build heads and engines to look at it. I had bent all the valves slightly as they all got a hit and snapped two. The head was repairable but he gave me a re-con off the shelf for a very good price (cash) to save me time.

    Speaking to him since, they recommend the head is pressure tested to check for and cracks. Then in this instance he will be sleeving the valve guides and replacing the two where the valves actually damaged the guides too much. Then skim the face and fit new valves and lifters etc. Luckly the camshaft was fine and he will possibly re-use that too.

    As far as checking the rods. Best bet, if you suspect damage is to remove it and have it checked out. We checked mine, as the piston was damamged but it was not damamged atall, a quick test was to lay it on a flat machine bed and measure it. You can check them with the piston in the bore with a straight edge and feeler gauges moving around the piston and checking to see if the piston is sitting out of line with the block surface but its not ideal. And as the piston has some free movment about the rod pivot will only tell you if it is sitting out of line in the pivot plane, if that makes sense...

    Hopefully you will get away just head work / replacement. New gaskets and head bolts! And cambelt kit, might be worth checking the cambelt tensioner and damper! And water pump etc, altho i expect that was all done recently!

    I managed to re-build my 5 cylinder diesel (only 2 valves per cyl) for £850. Re-con head, piston, 2 conrod bolts, top gasket set, head bolts, cambelt kit, oil and filter etc.

    It sounds like your guy knows what he is doing!! You will know it its been done right when you first drive it!

    That was my diesel piston. They have a compression chamber and damage easier as the valves catch the edge of it.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2009
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  28. Dennis Moeller
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    Dennis Moeller Member

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    [Jul 7, 2009]
    Thank you very much for a explanatory and helpful answer. I will ask my mechanic how he plans to do it but as you say, I think he knows his way around VAG engines. Yes the waterpump etc. had recently been changed. I also asked him to change the belt that drives the alternator etc. as this was never changed before and was starting make noises.

    You probably have had your share of engine problems for now, having two cars broke down on you. Glad you got the bus sorted and the turbo on the S3, well I think I will have to replace mine too at some point, boosting 1.5 (peaks at 1.6) and driving like it supposed to be driven, but I hope not to replace it of course. I will let you guys know what happens to my "rebuild"....

    Cheers
    #27
  29. Dennis Moeller
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    Dennis Moeller Member

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    [Jul 15, 2009]
    Got the car back on monday. All exhaust valves and 4 intake valves had to be replaced. All the bits n bobs 'round the valves are replaced too. Head were given a clean up to remove buildup around the valves and it were measured. New gasket pack put on. Pistons were not damaged and stems were fine too...

    So all is good EXCEPT there massive leaks from a gasket in manifold/turbo area...so it's going in today at 2pm at the local VAG dealer to fit a new gasket. I'm asking them to send the bill to my mechanic at his shop as he is on vacation still and apparently is sick becuase of food poisoning and I haven't been able to reach him for many days !!
    I haven't driven the car other than home from the shop and there was nearly no boost...just sounded like a bad diesel or something!!

    Well today I'll be testing the car and engine thoroughly, I have honestly forgot what it's like. Just remember that it is an Audi S3 and that it's Black :blackrs4: That's what 2.5 weeks in the missus Lupo will do to you hehe
    #28
  30. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Jul 15, 2009]
    You've got it sorted a lot quicker than I thought you would. Hope the bill isn't too heavy!
    #29
  31. Dennis Moeller
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    Dennis Moeller Member

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    [Jul 15, 2009]
    Well the saga continues!!!!

    Got the car back today and it turns out that, albeit the new gasket fitted fine, the flexi steel tube was damaged and leaked quite a lot :scared2::keule::banghead: so that needs to be replaced as well. This is turning out to be a freakin' nightmare (I know it's not that serious but still)...

    So new exhaust pipe flexi thingy is on order and the car is going in again on wednesday. Still no replies from the my mechanic as he's probably still ill but he won't like it, that much I know. the felxi pipe and gaskets and bolt will add another 400 to the increasingly high bill and that is without labour. The dealer charge 125 pound sterling for per hour, so this just adds up. **** happens when you out source a job you are reponsible for AND go on a vacation AND get ill and the same time. The mechanic at the authorized dealer said that the damage most likely were done when the BOZO's lifted the engine as they probably didn't remember to loosen the exhaust or something along that line...

    Jeeez...Well I'm SO glad none this is going to cost me a penny!!!
    #30
  32. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Jul 15, 2009]
    £125 an hour labour! Are they Ferrari mechanics or something!

    Hope you get it all sorted soon. I hated not being without my car for 1 day due to a coil pack, cant imagine how you're feeling.
    #31
  33. Dennis Moeller
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    Dennis Moeller Member

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    [Jul 17, 2009]
    Yeah labour is quite expensive in Norway...as EVERYTHING else is :)

    We've just returned from a 2 day road trip / visiting friends on the south coast line of Norway. Can't say I enjoyed that much in a freakin VW Lupo 1.0 :applaus:

    Wednesday come soon please...
    #32
  34. voorhees
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    voorhees Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jul 17, 2009]
    Coventry Audi were charging £115 two years ago....haven't been back there for some reason
    #33
  35. Dennis Moeller
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    Dennis Moeller Member

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    [Jul 29, 2009]
    Car is back in the driveway and everything seems fine. The typical valve tapping has been reduced to near nothing and the engine seem to be quieter than before. Engine pulls strong ang smooth but then again: it did that before too... :-O

    Heard that the bill were 4600 pound sterling so I'm really GLAD it wasn't me who had to fork up. Asked for an invoice with a big fat "PAID / WARRANTY" on it and of course a prolonged warranty on the job.
    #34
  36. voorhees
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    voorhees Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jul 29, 2009]
    am glad its sorted.....4600!! ouchy
    #35
  37. Gussy
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    Gussy Member

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    [Aug 9, 2009]
    Just read your story and im glad all is well with your s3 pal. LOL, 4600, bet your mech is not a happy chappy...
    #36

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