Author Topic: Timing Chain tensioner Failure List (timing issue)- Please Update with Your Info  (Read 216849 times)

Offline Steve140286

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Iv just bought a 59plate gti with 59k. Don't know if it's had a replacement  tensioner fitted or not as I have no history with the car.  My 3 local independent  vw service centres have apparently never come across this problem. And seem to think if it was a problem you would be able to hear it starting to go?? I'm not so sure they know what they are talking about and just like the idea of a hefty repair bill. 


Undecided on what to do. Bite the bullet And get it done or just keep driving. People's thoughts?
What's its cost to do

Cheers Steve

Offline seabrook132

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Personally Steve I would get it changed for the revised tensioner at a local specialist. Parts you need are on Page 16 of this thread and also on that page someone got theirs changed for £380 so around that sort of ballpark I'd imagine obviously depending on labour rates.

Think of it this way, your car is on 59k miles so coming up to the sort of mileage that most cars would need a cam belt change so think of the cost of getting the tensioner replaced as money you would've spent on a cam belt change on another car. And you can then put it out of your mind and enjoy the car.

P.S you say you have no history with the car at all??  :huh:
« Last Edit: 16 August 2014, 11:16 by seabrook132 »

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Offline andygo

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My gti is in need of a new cam tensioner, but having recently moved to the Milton Keynes area am unsure of who to give the job to. Also, is it worth fitting a new chain as well - the car has done 56000 miles.

Any suggestions?

Offline Snoopy

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Just read that on an american forum by a uk poster.
If thats all the difference is getting the chain and guides done as well as the tensioner its a no brainer as some of the chains have stretched too so replacing that as well is a good idea. It is alot of extra work but that price isnt much different to just doing the tensioner.

Quote from: frog252;1858076
Well I spoke to VW today and they want £2100.... but a good local indy £450 for tensioner/chain/guides so I'll get that booked in sometime this month :)

Mk1 GTI, Mk6 GTI, Mk1 Leon & 3 non VW.

Offline gtijimbo

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Hi Guys,

I've just been reading through this very interesting topic and fear I am suffering the same fate as others here...

Last week my mk6 GTi seemed to take an age to start and when it did it sounded really rough, then the yellow engine warning light came on. I phoned my local VW dealer where it was already booked in for a major service and asked for it to be brought forward. When I spoke to them the woman said it was still OK to drive as the warning light was yellow and not red. So I took it in last Friday (3 days of driving it around later) for it's service and about half an hour before I was due to pick it up I was told it couldn't be driven as the diagnostics were showing something was wrong with the timing chain and they would call me today (Monday) to update me on their further investigations...

So I found out today they had checked some of the chains but they haven't checked the timing chain or tensioner yet. I am surprised that the timing chain tensioner wasn't the first thing to check.

By the way, my Gti is a 59 registered in December 2009 with 50k on the clock and a full VW service history so I'm a bit anxious and p'd off right now....

So the next step is they are going to phone me tomorrow lunchtime with a definitive diagnosis.

After reading through all the posts I didn't see any reference to the engine warning light coming on. Did this happen to others with this problem too?
« Last Edit: 19 August 2014, 09:32 by gtijimbo »

Offline Poached

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Hi Guys,

I've just been reading through this very interesting topic and fear I am suffering the same fate as others here...

Last week my mk6 GTi seemed to take an age to start and when it did it sounded really rough, then the yellow engine warning light came on. I phoned VW in Cambridge where it was already booked in for a major service and asked for it to be brought forward. When I spoke to them the woman said it was still OK to drive as the warning light was yellow and not red. So I took it in last Friday (3 days of driving it around later) for it's service and about half an hour before I was due to pick it up I was told it couldn't be driven as the diagnostics were showing something was wrong with the timing chain and they would call me today (Monday) to update me on their further investigations...

So I had to call them twice today just to find out that they had checked some of the chains (?? how many chains has the engine got?) but they haven't checked the timing chain or tensioner yet. Now, given the topic of this posting I would have thought the timing chain tensioner would have been the first thing to check.

By the way, my Gti is a 59 registered in December 2009 with 50k on the clock and a full VW service history so I'm a bit anxious and p'd off right now....

So the next step is they are going to phone me tomorrow lunchtime with a definitive diagnosis.

After reading through all the posts I didn't see any reference to the engine warning light coming on. Did this happen to others with this problem too?

The yellow EPC light was present when my tensioner failed and codes will be stored on the ECU, it sounds like your engine has suffered from timing misalignment due to the tensioner.

The VW franchised network will remain largely unaware of the issue since it hasn't been categorised as a recall and represents a small % of cars entering dealerships daily.

There is a TPI out for the fault which will be followed by the technicians in determining cause of failure.
« Last Edit: 18 August 2014, 18:19 by Poached »

Offline C3PO

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My gti is in need of a new cam tensioner, but having recently moved to the Milton Keynes area am unsure of who to give the job to. Also, is it worth fitting a new chain as well - the car has done 56000 miles.

Any suggestions?

Hi, would pay vag-tech a visit in Bletchley, or Indie Tech in Bletchley, both very good  :smiley:
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Offline gtijimbo

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So I hear back from VW today who tell me it is the tensioner and chain that are at fault and need replacing. They also found a fault with the bearing case. They've quoted me 910 quid for the work which I'm told would normally cost over 1300. A goodwill payment has reduced the sum. I told them that I didn't think this was fair as I've always serviced it at a main dealer and that I've learnt from this forum that it's a design fault. The reply just said that I shouldn't always believe what I see on the internet. Now I've had to sanction the work as I need the car back but are there any other channels I should go through eg VW customer service to get a satisfactory resolution to this? I can see from the first page of this forum that VW have paid in full for many owners.

Offline Poached

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So I hear back from VW today who tell me it is the tensioner and chain that are at fault and need replacing. They also found a fault with the bearing case. They've quoted me 910 quid for the work which I'm told would normally cost over 1300. A goodwill payment has reduced the sum. I told them that I didn't think this was fair as I've always serviced it at a main dealer and that I've learnt from this forum that it's a design fault. The reply just said that I shouldn't always believe what I see on the internet. Now I've had to sanction the work as I need the car back but are there any other channels I should go through eg VW customer service to get a satisfactory resolution to this? I can see from the first page of this forum that VW have paid in full for many owners.

You shouldn't always believe what you hear at the stealers...the part is not fit for purpose end of. If it had a limited lifespan it would be in the service schedule like a cambelt.

They have confirmed that the engine hasn't suffered any damage? If you aren't satisfied with the offer then contact VWUK. £1300 sounds about right excluding goodwill, the dealer wont budge because they don't want their margins cut into.

Offline andygo

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After a bit of thought and research (http://www.golfmk6.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55992) I decided to swap the tensioner on my 09 GTi myself. After all, what could possibly go wrong.

I'm lucky in that I have quite a good selection of toolsand a large trolley jack, but additionally I bought a genuine VW crank pulley holding tool at £32 and a 12mm spline tool, which is different to a Torx.

Pretty straightforward to carry out as long as you  take your time. I have some pix if anyones interested. It took me about 4 hours to do, but having done it once, next time would be 3 I reckon. I was going to do the chain as well, but they are on back order for 2 weeks, so I didn't bother.

The result? With bated breath I turned the key. Engine was perfect, no rattles and even on subsequent hot starts is a lot quieter. Cost of parts was £120 from TPS. Bit of mider, but I saved myself £100's.

Very happy with myself!  :)