S4 - Timing Chain Renewal

S4 Vorsprung1

Registered User
Hello All,

I have just joined. I'm hoping someone can shed some light on the issues my S4 is going through currently.

I have a 2013 S4 S-Tronic that's gone in for a timing chain renewal.

The car's at 80000 kms. Some problems developed during this repair which resulted in a new fly wheel, injector clogging and eventually with traces of water finding its way into the pistons.

On startup, the timing chain jumped/slipped. So the repair was repeated only for the chain to jump on the second start up as well.

After diagnosing water in the cylinders the cylinder has been removed for further investigation.

I'm finding it difficult to understand how of all of these issues can come up as a result of renewing the timing chain..............

Or could these issues have been stimulated by the initial jump?

Any comments?
 

S4 Vorsprung1

Registered User
Hello All,

I have just joined. I'm hoping someone can shed some light on the issues my S4 is going through currently.

I have a 2013 S4 S-Tronic that's gone in for a timing chain renewal.

The car's at 80000 kms. Some problems developed during this repair which resulted in a new fly wheel, injector clogging and eventually with traces of water finding its way into the pistons.

On startup, the timing chain jumped/slipped. So the repair was repeated only for the chain to jump on the second start up as well.

After diagnosing water in the cylinders the cylinder has been removed for further investigation.

I'm finding it difficult to understand how of all of these issues can come up as a result of renewing the timing chain..............

Or could these issues have been stimulated by the initial jump?

Any comments?

Correction: the cylinder head was removed for further investigation.
 

rum4mo

Registered User
I suspect the lack of replies is down to a bit of shock and horror on the part of us fellow S4 owners, gulp!
 

S4 Vorsprung1

Registered User
As an Audi enthusiast and more so that of the S4 ....I must admit I was starting to feel the same shock and horror of rum4mo....... but then I thought that mine appears to be a really rare case.

My car has been with Audi for a concerning two months now and is being attended to under an extended AUDI Freeway Plan.

Knowledge and experience for these cars ought not to be a concern. But now I'm shaking .......................
 

Aspen

Active Member
VCDS Map User
How come the chain needed replacing?
 

S4 Vorsprung1

Registered User
So, my S4 has been diligently looked after by AUDI and has been in a pristine condition.

I am the second owner and have been enjoying the last 50000 kms without any problems.

So, 3 months back I started hearing rattle sounds under the hood on cold start-ups only. The sound would disappear after 15-30 seconds thereafter and was not heard again until the next cold start. I became concerned and booked the car in at AUDI for a check up.

The dealership advised that it could be originating at the timing chain assembly. And that's why the timing chain was replaced. But I figure the problems started when the workshop started the car and the chain slipped of the sprocket - twice. And the rest of the story is history.

Today I received a picture of the car with the engine and gearbox on the floor. This I had met with shock and horror. I'm told the cylinder head has been removed for investigation. I guess they need to do what's required to get the job done.

So, it seems that the rattling sound was eliminated on replacement of the worn out chain/guide assembly but other problems developed.

It would be interesting to hear of other problems encountered during the first 100 000kms.
 

Aspen

Active Member
VCDS Map User
Mine has 80,000 miles on it. So storeys like this scare the sh!t out of me....
 

Lavis89

Well-Known Member
Regional Rep
I'm on 97k, occasionally get a very brief rattle on cold start if I don't drive for a few days and I drive the car haaaaard.
Loads of life left in it yet
 

Craigshag

Registered User
Sounds like the garage has been telling you rubbish. I suspect they have not put your car back together correctly and have caused another problem. E.g. an incorrectly fitted chain would result in hou piston hitting a valve.

When i had a similar issue with my integra type r i had the AA do an independant inspection. It didnt cost much but the report told me exactly what the garage messed up on and they got the bill for the repair after that.
 
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S4 Vorsprung1

Registered User
My patience has run out now. I'm also very concerned and have lost my confidence in the dealership. My car has been with them for 68 days now,as of tomorrow.
I am shocked out of my freaking wits ..............................my car is literally in pieces with the engine and gearbox on the floor.

I'm wondering how the hell will this same dealership put this car back in a factory shape when a typical timing chain replacement went so badly wrong. I am really worried now.

Guys.....you all know that this car can max out its speed with little effort. Imagine that after seeing the attached pictures................

Guys ...I need some advice here. Is there a way within the AUDI network to obtain a second opinion on whats going on. I think the dealership may be covering up their mess......
 

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Dippy

Registered User
Timing chain rattle (loss of tension) is a known issue for 1st generation engines at high mileage (2nd generation has a revised design so may not have the problem). If after the repair one or more of the chains jumped then excusing the rare chance of an unavoidable accident or secondary failure, it must be down to incompetence. They must have really screwed up if the flywheel in the gearbox was damaged.

As for water in the cylinder(s), whilst gasket leak is the usual route, on this engine it is probably more likely that there is a leak in one or both of the intercoolers. My initial thought is that this would have nothing to do with the timing chain work, but if they are that incompetent then who knows?
 

S4 Vorsprung1

Registered User
Your thoughts are really not far from mine.
Its just a very frustrating situation right now. The car has been in for just around 10 weeks now. Unfortunately, they still do not know what the problem is. Hoping theres some positive news from the Cylinder head engineers tomorrow.

I have considered moving this car to another workshop. Busy talking to the different authorities to make that move. Not sure if I will be successful though. Its going to be difficult but should there be any parts gone missing in the move then the warrantee should kick in for replacement.

Lets cross fingers............
 

S4 Vorsprung1

Registered User
Hey Guys....

14 weeks later my car has still not been repaired to date.

The Cylinder head engineers have discovered that 2 valves and all the pistons require replacement. Im at a loss for words.

So I have asked for the dealership to present me with a full report since the car first came in regarding the mechanical failure developments that progressed over this period.

I also asked for them to explain the 2 timing chain slippages and if AUDI accepts this level of performance from a Audi dealership.......as it is taxing on the warrantee.

Their response was that they discovered the sprocket carrying the timing chain to be damaged after it slipped the second and this was the reason why the slippage had occurred in the first place.

NOW GENTLEMEN,

The conclusion is that the car was booked in with a damaged sprocket - in my view.

I'm trying to understand how is that I never discovered any misfiring, chain slippage and power loss of even serious noises whilst driving? And, how is it that the workshop had reported no fault found after investigating the initial timing chain rattle noise I complained about but when they replace the chain the they conclude that the sprocket has been damaged.

Has anyone heard of such an absurd reason such as this or are these guys playing us for fools..................

I'm looking for a expert review into this matter as I now believe that this outlet does not have the requisite skills to repair this car.

Any ideas, as no other Audi dealership will be keen to take on such a task...........................
 

Dippy

Registered User
Well I have never been in a situation like you are in, and I am also unaware of the legal differences between the UK and SA, but I can give an opinion.

Fundamentally you need to establish who has the leverage to change the situation. I see that you mentioned extended warranty. That means you don't expect to pay so in effect whilst you own the car, you are almost a 3rd party in any dispute. Next who are the parties involved? Is it the case that, like here in the UK, the dealer who has your car is not actually Audi but a separate company who has a dealership franchise? As for the Freeway Plan, according to the info on www.audi.co.za, this plan is backed by Audi South Africa directly and not via a 3rd party insurer.

I find the info on that website a bit confusing but the statement "The Audi Freeway Plan, subject to certain exclusions, covers any repairs necessary after the expiry of the standard warranty." would seem to imply that it is not just a maintenance and service plan, but actually an extended warranty? According to the benefits section it is comprehensive, so as long as you have fully complied with the terms, it should cover all the work done to the car. Unfortunately (although I am not surprised) there is nothing defining how long repairs can take.

When you previously stated "Busy talking to the different authorities to make that move", are you referring to Audi SA? I would hope so because my advice is that you should be dealing directly with Audi SA to resolve this because your contract is with Audi SA and not the nominated approved dealer. Since there is no schedule in the contract, you have to rely on definitions of what is reasonable. Since it was originally booked in for "just" a timing chain service, I'd say that 14 weeks is not reasonable. As for whether or not that dealer is competent to do the work, in a way that's not really your business, it is Audi SA's.
 

S4 Vorsprung1

Registered User
Hey Dippy, Thanks for taking the time. This has become a sore subject now.

The car is fully covered under the current warrantee. I had extended the Freeway Plan just before it expired whilst in repairs at the workshop. So, I have not enjoyed the benefit of the extended warrantee as yet as I have not driven the car since. There may have to be an extension on the time or perhaps a refund made on the number of months the extended warrantee was not used. Not too sure how that will pan out.

I agree that the competence issue is one for Audi SA to deal with. However, I have a problem with the fact that the competence issue is probably what lead to my car remaining at the workshop for this long. So, that's impacting on me directly. It went in for a timing chain repair. But then the gearbox flywheel was screwed up. Now, its the valves and pistons. Where did all of this manifest from? The car showed no signed of such fatigue nor has the dealership picked up on this in their diagnostics. The car goes in for a common flu but comes out with full blown cancer - ridiculous.

But in the meanwhile, I am still paying for the car and also may be suffering the depreciation without use.

I am currently paying for a car that CANNOT be used. That's damn site frustrating. I have taken this matter up with Audi SA. I cannot say that I have witnessed a noticeable impact of their involvement. To date, I have not received a single written response to my numerous emails. I get a social call from them to find out how I am and weather the dealership has contacted me. No material intervention to apply pressure on the dealership to repair the car. They would not reveal what their actions they are taking.

Terribly disappointing......
 

Dippy

Registered User
Then you need to escalate.

Actually I do now remember being in a dispute many years ago. My car struck a deer a few weeks before a driving vacation to the Alps. I booked it into the the bodyshop attached to my preferred Audi dealer and told them I needed it to be done quickly. It wasn't and as my vacation loomed, I got worried, but no-one was giving me an answer on when it would be done. So I did some research about the company which was holding the Audi franchise and managed to get the phone number of their managing director. IIRC he was on the golf course when I phoned and gave him an earful (polite but firm). It worked and my car was finished within a few days.

You need to become well known at Audi SA as a disgruntled customer. Polite but firm - find someone there who will agree to take action. Make sure you get dates for updates and if they are missed, you must follow up yourself.
 

S4 Vorsprung1

Registered User
My car is back..............after 14.5 weeks. I got another dealership close-by to intervene and together with some firm pressure from myself they made a commitment to deliver today. I test drove today and it seems fine but a little sluggish.

So I have all new pistons and 2 new valves. Just got home now with the car. Gosh, it feels especially good after driving around in the latest A4 and A6 2.0 TDi's for about 2.5 months on courtesy.

I must admit the car does not feel the same. It will need running-in for at least 600 miles before it can settle down. It does feel somewhat tight and heavy.

The dealership did not fit the front bumper well enough. Its now off line with the bonnet and fender.

I have insisted that the car go in to the nearest Audi Panel shop for re-alignment. I will take the car in after a 2-3 weeks of settling it in.

Will let you know how it drives......
 

rum4mo

Registered User
Oh! Happy weekend to you then, pity about everything not lining up, even I managed to remove my front bumper and get it back into the correct place, though maybe moving the front out into the service position has caused some element of misalignment.

My local Audi paint shop needed to remove my rear bumper cover, but not any other parts, and they messed up putting it back on, something, 2 years later, that I need to try to sort out myself.

My car came back with lots of faults logged due to the rear bumper cover(parking sensors) being disconnected and the driver's side mirror removed, but I just cleared them when I discovered them, some of these special Audi approved outfits are not much good, as you have discovered!
 

meph137

Registered User
We had some fairly minor problems with a Q5 we purchased from a dealer in the UK and when we involved Audi themselves they were absolutely useless, they quite literally told us that whatever the dealer decides is final - it seems Audi themselves have no appetite whatsoever to intervene for the good of the customer, which seems insane to me!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

rum4mo

Registered User
One thing I will say about Audi UK, who I suppose is Audi AG, is, they just don't give up on sending out their house magazine, this latest one has helped me understand why bananas don't taste like "they used to" - and something else that I've forgotten for the moment!
 

Dippy

Registered User
I got my copy yesterday. Once again rather than put it straight in the recycling bin I decided to flick through it to see if there was anything interesting - perhaps car-related? Less than a minute later it was ready for recycling.
 

jdp1962

Grumpy Old Man
I got my copy yesterday. Once again rather than put it straight in the recycling bin I decided to flick through it to see if there was anything interesting - perhaps car-related? Less than a minute later it was ready for recycling.
It is such pretentious rubbish, isn’t it?
 

S4 Vorsprung1

Registered User
Hey Rum.....you made my evening Bud....Keep the recycling going man. Here, in SA, I stopped receiving that glossy stuff. I don't know whats happened. The last one I came across was an electronic copy. I think they must have forgotten me now.

However, I did receive this online request recently. See below.

"According to our records, you recently made use of the services of Audi South Africa's Customer Interaction Centre (CIC) by contacting the call centre directly or sending a query through the Audi website.

We would appreciate you taking two minutes to answer our online survey. Your valuable input will assist us in further enhancing future customer service experiences with the CIC. Of course, your participation is completely voluntary.

Please click the button below to access the survey.



Thank you very much in advance for your time and support.

Kind regards
Audi South Africa"

I used the survey to vent my true experience and sentiments. Like meph137 mentioned, there was no response.

And its so like them. They simply do not intervene or respond to correspondence. This appears to be an international stance they adopt..

Quite ridiculaous.


 

S4 Vorsprung1

Registered User
Hey Dippy.........I know that magazine has little interest these days. My time is very expensive. For the interest shown towards its patrons and brand ambassadors in time of need I don't believe I want waste that precious time of mine.
 

rum4mo

Registered User
On the Audi house mag thing, it seems like they have started launching a new customer assault in the hope of getting people in to change their cars, they know that I have an S4 but were suggesting that I upgraded to a nearly new A4 B9 2.0TDI - that did not sound like my sort of car.

Surveys, they tend to be skilfully designed so that you can only give the response they want - now that can be very annoying! When my wife had bought a new VW Polo back in August 2015, she got a customer survey to complete, so I completed it for her, in the question "why did you chose to buy a VW?" I(she) answered, "because my husband has a diagnostic tool called VCDS" - that was a very honest answer, all done with good intent but it would be like water off a duck's back at best, ah well I tried!

Anyway, I've just remembered the other "interesting" fact I read in my latest Audi mag, Tel Aviv is the new "must visit" place on the Med - eh? I don't think so, I'll continue to take risks with the Italian Mafia at least their ice cream can be very good, not so sure about eating Donkey meat though. One thing that I always worry about when in Italy, when we in UK mean beef, we call it beef, in Italy things tend to get called meat which covers a few types including Horse and Donkey but hopefully also/mainly beef!
 

S4 Vorsprung1

Registered User
Gentlemen,

Its been 3 full weeks since I took delivery of my repaired car.

I must admit that it feels new again. Goes much smoother and quieter. Still a bit reserved but I can feel it loosening up somewhat as the days pass.

I am looking forward to apply some spirit to my drives shortly. It is showing signs of aggression when I get her to perform. But don't want to push it until she has run in adequately.

Will keep you informed.
 
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