Volkswagens are beloved by their consumer base. The personification of several famous Volkswagen models in movies, including Herbie and Bumblebee, has provided this brand with a reputation for being caring, fun, and reliable. With Volkswagen, several potential issues may crop up over the years, be it due to normal wear and tear or maybe from being driven rough. One of these potential failures may turn out to be a damaged timing chain. Let’s take a closer look at this component and what to do in case of repair.
Your Volkswagen’s timing chain is the component that connects your crankshaft to your camshaft, which then allows your transmission to run in tandem with your engine.
Your crankshaft is directly responsible for allowing the driver to maintain proper control over their wheels. On the other hand, your camshaft is in charge of your cylinder head valves, as well as the rods and pistons involved in your engine’s combustion process. By connecting these two critical components of your engine, the timing chain is directly responsible for your vehicle’s ability to function.
Timing chains are considered a better alternative to timing belts due to the longer lifespan. Chains can withstand more damage and harsh driving conditions than a belt, and thus typically will last longer. However, they will experience wear and tear over time, as the internal heat of your engine and constant friction from their continuous motion will lead the chain to expand, contract, and even potentially stretch over time.
Certain Volkswagen models, notably vehicles produced between 2008 and 2014 as well as cars with 2-liter EA888 engines, are known for having poor-quality or damaged chains that break sooner than advertised. Most Volkswagen chains are engineered to last 120,000 miles or more, but these models can cut this time in half. In these cases, it’s not normal wear and tear or even necessarily rough driving that is the problem, but a failure of the timing chain tensioner.
A malfunctioning timing chain is particularly damaging, not because it’s broken, but because without it, your pistons and engine valves lose sync. When this happens, your engine will become damaged even under usual driving conditions, likely quite quickly.
For that reason, it’s essential that you bring your vehicle in to a mechanic as soon as possible. However, noticing that there is an issue with your timing chain can be an all-or-nothing process, as a malfunctioning timing chain has a few potential causes and just as few likely symptoms. This makes preventative maintenance and regular tune-ups for your Volkswagen essential for your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road.
If your check engine light comes on, it could mean a timing chain issue (among a hundred other things). However, if your light comes on in conjunction with rattling in your engine, it’s time to pull the car over and call your mechanic, as your vehicle is likely no longer safe to drive.
If your engine stalls suddenly while driving or if it refuses to start in the first place, it’s probably time to call a mechanic. Most of the time, an engine that stalls while driving is an engine in need of maintenance, and the same is true when your engine stalls due to a broken timing chain.
If your Volkswagen rattles, stalls, or exhibits other signs of a bad timing chain, the only recourse is to have a mechanic examine your engine to make a diagnosis. If the problem is the timing chain or the timing chain tensioner is faulty or broken, the only fix is to replace them entirely, which is still much cheaper than the cost of a new engine.
If you suspect timing chain or other engine issues in your Volkswagen, bring it in to European Service Center. We proudly service the communities of Alpharetta, Chamblee, Cumming, Norcross, Dunwoody, Buckhead, Roswell, and Atlanta, GA. We have over 35 years of experience specializing in European and high-end vehicles, and our commitment to excellence is next to none in the market. Call us today or come by to speak with us about your vehicle.