A3 sounds like tractor on startup. Can you identify the sound?

s3mad_dude

Noggies ruuuule!
Hi all,
My mate has a 2011 Audi A3 8P 1.2TFSi and it’s sounds like a tractor!! When I heard it today I said jeez you need that looking at and he said he’s taken it to two garages already and they didn’t know what it was. Once the car is warmed up it makes no noise and is as silent as a church mouse, but a cold start is awful! The car is on 48k miles and has had a recent oil change. The cambelt has not been changed (I told him off for that as that’s where I think the sound is coming from) and there are no lights on the dashboard. He says that there are no fault codes according to the last garage he went to, but I didn’t have my scanner with me when I saw him earlier. We took a video as it was hard to describe and I’ve attached it to Dropbox. Not sure if this will work properly but if you reckon you might know what it is, he’d be really appreciative. Thanks.
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/qmvdcmm8somua5g/AAB92x0gBhjwIh0rznLZGS8Ja?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/qmvdcmm8somua5g/AAB92x0gBhjwIh0rznLZGS8Ja?dl=0
 

henkkeumus

Dutch Retrofitfanatic
Garage didn't know what is was? Time to search for a decent shop then.

After 2 seconds I can already guarantee you that the timing belt is stretched/loose and/or already is off time (not sure how it's called in English but translated litteraly from Dutch: tooth is staggered)

In winter times (under ~5 degrees celcius) the oil get thicker and when the engine is cooled down it takes more time to pump around and to warm up. This can also cause some cluttering when you start and also explains when the engine is on temp (and the oil also) the oil can be pumped through the engine as a normal liquid and doesn't make this noise anymore.

It is not so urgent that he is no longer allowed to drive it, but I would go to a technician as soon as possible.

For reference search on youtube for "tfsi timing belt rattle" but I'm 99% sure it's the timing belt on your mates car that needs replacement.
 
Last edited:

SootySport

Registered User
Check if your engine is chain or belt driven. If it’s a belt then should have been changed about 4 years ago.
If chain, it maybe worn or the tensioner is not operating correctly. Audi/VW/Seat tensioners have been the Achilles heel of many of our engines.
Another cause of the noise you describe is split intercooler hoses.
As said above you need a decent VAG specialist to diagnose, Check out the ‘Site Sponsors’ threads for recommendations.
 

henkkeumus

Dutch Retrofitfanatic
Check if your engine is chain or belt driven. If it’s a belt then should have been changed about 4 years ago.
If chain, it maybe worn or the tensioner is not operating correctly. Audi/VW/Seat tensioners have been the Achilles heel of many of our engines.
Another cause of the noise you describe is split intercooler hoses.
As said above you need a decent VAG specialist to diagnose, Check out the ‘Site Sponsors’ threads for recommendations.
All TFSI engines have a chain :)

Verstuurd vanaf mijn ONEPLUS A5010 met Tapatalk
 

BrummieLad

Registered User
Hi all,
My mate has a 2011 Audi A3 8P 1.2TFSi and it’s sounds like a tractor!! When I heard it today I said jeez you need that looking at and he said he’s taken it to two garages already and they didn’t know what it was. Once the car is warmed up it makes no noise and is as silent as a church mouse, but a cold start is awful! The car is on 48k miles and has had a recent oil change. The cambelt has not been changed (I told him off for that as that’s where I think the sound is coming from) and there are no lights on the dashboard. He says that there are no fault codes according to the last garage he went to, but I didn’t have my scanner with me when I saw him earlier. We took a video as it was hard to describe and I’ve attached it to Dropbox. Not sure if this will work properly but if you reckon you might know what it is, he’d be really appreciative. Thanks.
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/qmvdcmm8somua5g/AAB92x0gBhjwIh0rznLZGS8Ja?dl=0

This engine is chain driven as opposed to cambelt driven, so it sounds like it’s either worn or stretched. Do you know the history of the car? Has it had regular oil changes? This is one of the biggest causes of timing chain failure, not that they robust to begin with.
 
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