VW Golf Tsi Mk5

VW Mk5 Golf TSi Engine & Timing Chain Problem

So I have an Mk5 Golf TSi GT Sports 1.4 (140) 2008 which has covered roughly 48K miles… If you have a car with a VAG twin charged 1.4 TSi engine its worth you read on. I bought it second hand from an independent garage and owned it around 18 months, covered 11K miles and had the oil and filter replaced twice.

All my TSi engine problems started on New Year’s day after parking it on a steep driveway for the first time, the car was turning over but wouldn’t start and showed “Stop! Oil Pressure Low.” After a few attempts of starting it I had no option to have it recovered to the nearest garage. They later informed me after calling around their contacts in the industry they had found out there was a known issue with the timing chain, but couldn’t work on the car as they didn’t have the right specialist tools required to change the timing chain if that was in fact the issue… they also informed me the car no longer turned over and just clicked. I then knew there was a high possibility the engine was severely damaged or in fact dead!

I had the car recovered once again to a local WV specialist garage Vasstech, who almost instantly said over the phone when I mentioned TSi “Oh that will be a timing chain slip!” They did have the tools for the job but would initially poke a borescope camera down the spark plug hole to inspect the cylinders. My worst fears were confirmed when they called back, apparently in the first cylinder he checked the bottom of the spark plug was crushed and he could see one of the valves heads sitting in the top of the piston. I was told from his previous experience there was a high likelihood that the majority of the 16 valve in the rest of the cylinders would have been bent or broken.

With a little online research I found this was indeed a known problem and there were people going through the same pain as me. Example 1 – Example 2

Apparently this is an admission by VW that they acknowledge there was an issue with the timing chain on the engine back in 2012.
TSi timing chain diagram
So it was time to start the dance with VW customer services (0800 083 3914) to see if there was any chance of a goodwill gesture. I was informed that I would have to take it to a main dealer for an initial diagnostic costing £49.99. I arranged for the car to be towed (again) to the main VW dealer, I was quickly called the same day and informed they would have to pull the head to review the full extent of the damage and what caused it, and the pleasure would cost me £860 O_o. After talking with other mechanics I already knew that this engine is a bit of pig to work on and can take 6 hours plus just to strip the head, but even so £860! I told VW to hang fire doing any further work for a few days while I contacted customer services again.

I’d already done some initial research into having a reconditioned or low mileage engine put in the car at my own cost, which was looking to be in the region of £2500.
While in search of a trustworthy company to do the engine swap I stumble across Statller located in Sheffield via a Golf Gti forum. They were very informative and also called a timing chain issue before I even had a chance to mention it. They Said the timing chain can slip a tooth due to an issue withe the tensioner when the car is not running but left in gear and rolls backwards, which obviously puts the whole thing out of sync and it’s only a matter of time before the engine chews itself up. My thoughts instantly returned to me parking it on that steep drive, and the recovery service man turning the engine over and over again trying to get it to start!

With the various bits of ammo I’d collected from other people and around the internet I called back VW customer services who informed me that they called the garage and they weren’t willing to drop the price of the head being removed. The thing is by now I already knew that even if I did get a goodwill gesture from VW for any work that needed doing, it most probably wouldn’t be financially viable. The car was worth £6500+ working, it was now either worth scrap value, £500 trade in or a couple of grand maybe to anyone who fancied replacing the engine themselves.
VW 1.4 TSi twin charged BMY engine

As it stands now my options are:

  • Spend £860 to find out that I need to spend a further £6K with VW for a new engine hoping they will take pity and give decent enough good will gesture to make it viable. Hahaha yeah right!
  • Sell the car as is and hope to get as much as I can for it.
  • Take the risk of paying to have the engine stripped down at an independent VW specialist and hope the final cost of repairing the engine, (that’s if it isn’t terminal) is cheaper than installing a recon engine.
  • Install a like for like reconditioned engine that’s had the timing chain checked, then sell the car as I wouldn’t have any faith in it any more.
  • Install a different more reliable engine and keep the car for the foreseeable future. I’ve had mixed comments about this saying its not possible to fit a different engine as the engine bay and wiring loom are completely different to any of the other Mk5 engines, also the cost of changing the gearbox, drive shafts, brakes & manifold may prove too expensive.

All of these things I can ill afford to do, and it seem that I am just going to have to take the hit one way or another courtesy of Volkswagen and their timing chain design flaw. VW played their cards well pricing the initial inspection work expensive enough to make it too much of a gamble for me on there being a possible future so called gesture of goodwill!

If you’ve read this far then you’re most probably in the same boat as me and I’m not 100% sure where I/we stand regarding trading standards on all this,  I’ll suspect they will need the initial inspection of damage to take it any further. Getting this far has been exhausting and I hope my experience may of helped you in some way.

If you own a twin charged Mk5 Golf TSi that’s running, then I’m guessing you’re panicking a little right now, I’ve been informed this is also an issue for the 1.4 and 1.6 none charged TSi engines also. If your car has 40K miles plus it may be worth getting that timing chain checked or even changed before you end up out of pocket like me, you never know VW might give you a goodwill gesture towards the cost Ha!

TSi engines running with loose timing chains

TSi Twin Charged timing chain failure

Update 31/01/2014
After contacting various garages to get quotes on:

  • The possibility of stripping down the engine for an evaluation and repair
  • Cost of fitting replacment reconditioned engine.

All of the garages that I approached for a quote informed me that they had contacted various engine reconditioners on their books; I was surprised to find out none of the recon firms were willing to work on the engine and none of them stocked or would supply a reconditioned engine, let alone with a warranty. Wow! In one fell swoop I now only had one realistic option left; source a second hand engine from some sort of insurance write off.

This 1.4 twin charged unit was installed in VW, Skoda and SEAT cars with various different states of ECU tunes. Here’s a list of compatible VAG engines that can be used:

VW Twin Charged 1.4 R4 16v TSI Engine Codes

Engine Code Car Model Bhp
BMY Touran from early 2006, Golf Mk5, Jetta 138
CAVF SEAT Ibiza FR 148
BWK/CAVA VW Tiguan 148
CDGA Touran, Passat B7 EcoFuel 148
CAVD Golf Mk6, Scirocco Mk3, VW Jetta TSI Sport 158
BLG Golf Mk5 GT, Jetta, Golf Plus, Touran 168
CAVE/CTHE SEAT Ibiza Cupra, Polo GTI, Fabia RS 177

Once you source an engine I would advise you get it fitted by a VAG specialist and see/hear it running in the donor vehicle beforehand if possible.

VW Turbo Only 1.4 R4 16v TSI/TFSI Engine Codes

Engine Code Car Model Bhp
CAXA Golf Mk5 (2007 on), Tiguan (08/10->), Skoda Octavia Mk2, Scirocco Mk3 121
CAXC Audi A3, SEAT Leon 123
CFBA Golf Mk6, VW Jetta V, Passat B6, Skoda Octavia Mk2, LAVIDA(SAIC-VW), Bora 129
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111 thoughts on “VW Mk5 Golf TSi Engine & Timing Chain Problem

  1. Tommy Karlsen

    Hello Adam.
    Get yourself a new engine from ebay, run 5w40 oil from a brand name, change it every 10tkms, always use the handbrake and never park the car in gear.
    My engine (CAVD) has over 150tkms hard kilometers covered, and still running smooth and powerfull.

    Best of luck.
    Tommy

     
  2. Adam Lewin

    Thanks for the tips Tommy, in the end I had a used engine fitted (CAVE) from a 2012 Seat Ibiza Bocanegra that had a rear end shunt, with 22K miles the clock.

     
  3. Charles

    Hi mate bought an engine out of a polo gti 63plate CAVE engine code. I have immediately noticed the pins in the wiring loom plug are in different places.starting to think it won’t run with the pins been in different places?? I’ve got the full engine and wiring loom which appears to be the same as as my BLG engine in my golf I’m wanting to swap, can anyone shed any light on if this engine will work or if I’d need an auto electrician ect to change the wiring around so the pins are in the right place??

     
  4. Arnie

    Hi mate, just wanted to say I share your pain. I too have a epic story with this car. For me I had a cracked piston and managed to get a family friend to replace the piston but when we started the car, it was running really rough. By this time I was pretty fed up with the car, it had taken 2 months to get to this point due to the fact that my mechanic could only work on it once a week and sometimes not even that. I decided to get it diagnosed by a VW specialist and they came back with the variable valve timing mechanism being faulty. So at this stage all hope was lost, so I just told them to go ahead with the repairs. I should be getting the car back tomorrow. I’ve calculated that I’ve spent a total of $5000 NZD. I still haven’t decided if I should sell the car straight away or keep it for a year and then sell it.

     
  5. Adam Lewin

    Hey Arnie, I’m pretty much out of pocket by the same amount. I’ve been running the car for roughly 5 weeks since the engine swap and still haven’t made my mind up. The engine and work have a 3 month warranty which gives me little more grace to decide whether it’s staying or going.
    “Better the devil you know” keeps coming to mind, but I’m tempted to get something with a bit with power and a more reliable engine.

     
  6. Ryan

    Hi Mate,

    I have the Ibiza Cupra with the 1.4 TSI I too had timing chain issues luckily i caught it early enough and just had to pay for the Chain to be replaced which was around £1500 this was 6 months ago.. I then had the water pump go and that cost me £450 and now I believe the engine has finally died and siezed. The garage I took it too (closest to where the car broke) Beleive it seized due to lack of oil but i only had the oil changed 4 months ago and have done very few miles in the car since then and topped it up only a few weeks ago. I was just wondering how much it cost you to have the used engine installed? I think that is the route I will have to go down also.

    Cheers

     
  7. Adam Lewin

    Hey Ryan, in total I paid £2,400.

    £1,500 + VAT for used engine
    £500 + VAT labour
    They kept my old engine block as part ex.

    Stick with a VAG specialist and stay away from the likes of “National Engine Centre” judging by the reviews I’ve read.
    Who ever you decide to go with, ask them to swap things like the oil filter mount from your old engine so the service parts stay the same.
    Good luck!

     
  8. Adam Lewin

    J400uk there were no rattles or suspicious sounds coming from the engine or timing chain before the chain slipped. The replacement engine is still running fine 1000+ miles in, I’ve considered remapping it from 138Bhp to around 180Bhp but heard that this can result in cracked pistons if not done correctly.

     
  9. sk

    Know your pain…..Golf 1.4 TSI…after 2 years [17k miles]..engine replaced under warranty. They never told me what happened. Last yr [40k miles on clock] ..took VW 3 months to work out a new timing chain needed…..I called VW head office and moaned so much they gave me a 30% discount due to engine swap last time…..Now back in garage.,..awaiting feedback but possible timing chain issues. VW wont believe me as I cant prove it but there is something fundamentally wrong with my car……they have been really nice but I will never buy VW again……

     
  10. Johnny Redmayne

    Thanks very much for all the effort that has gone into this site. Very beneficial as was considering a 2008 A3 1.4 TSI for my wife as thought it might be more fun than a standard 1.6SE but now will stick with the simple option!

     
  11. arunas

    hello… any idea where i can get engine for my golf, code is BLG. Thank you…

     
  12. Gil

    Same issue with skoda Octavia 1.2TSI
    In 45k km, the garage failed to observed the problem with the timing chain. It impacted the engine and it should have been replaced.
    Skoda replaced the whole engine. With no trouble and no cost.

     
  13. Louis

    Hi Adam.

    Nice read, thank you.

    If you were to do this again: would you replace the chain, the tensioner or both?

     
  14. Adam Lewin

    Hey Louis, if you’re going through the process of getting it changed, I would highly recommend you get the tensioner done at the same time as the chain; this is usual practice when replacing timing chains and belts on any vehicle. The initial cause of my engine death was not a stretched chain, but a known flaw with the tensioner allowing the chain to slip a few teeth when in negative load i.e. the car rolling backwards slightly when parked while in gear. Even if you do get the tensioner and chain replaced this this will still be an issue. I would only replace the chain and tensioner if you can hear it rattling, if you’re unsure or overly concerned get it checked out by a VW specialist first.

     
  15. Chris

    Hi Adam these engines also suffer from piston breakdown I own one due to buying of a customer. I recently rebuilt my full engine with new valves, pistons (Modified ones), head gasket, chain, tensioner, guides etc can do this proper full rebuild to other people in this position for £2000 plus vat that’s all labour and parts.
    Regards Chris
    CTH Auto Services

     
  16. Paul

    Hi Adam,

    Unfortunately I’ve just had to start the process of an engine replacement. Had a 2010 Ibiza Bocanegra for three years now and in the last few days the engine died on me…happily whilst I was traveling at 30mph in a town centre! I’ve begun the discussions with Seat and I’m already fearing that it’s going to be difficult getting anything from them. It’s been diagnosed at an independent garage as the timing chain completely failing. When several mechanics have all made reference to it being a known fault my concern is that VW have turned their back on this engine and just moved on to the next project. It’s going to be expensive but have to hope that good will goes somewhere

     
  17. ssaini

    Hi,

    I am having a similar issue and I can’t work out if it’s the timing chain or the tappets.

    I put up a video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIUqLASIDlM > the sounds goes away after a few seconds and usually on a 2nd engine starts after 30 mins/couple of hours the sound doesn’t appear, it only does so in the morning after the car has been on the drive way flat. The sound is very similar to the middle video on this site http://youtu.be/S6L3fF49OT8.

    Another thing to note, quote Adam “They Said the timing chain can slip a tooth due to an issue withe the tensioner when the car is not running but left in gear and rolls backwards, which obviously puts the whole thing out of sync and it’s only a matter of time before the engine chews itself up. My thoughts instantly returned to me parking it on that steep drive, and the recovery service man turning the engine over and over again trying to get it to start!”

    I have recently moved (8 months) and the drive way has bit of a gradient so I keep the car in 1st gear to prevent it from rolling backwards – reading this article I’m not sure if this has caused the damage.

    In one way it sounds like tappets and another way it sounds like timing chain.

     
  18. Laura

    Hi Adam, I am having the same problems with the 2009 Golf 1.4 TSI GT 44k on the clock. It is currently with Beadles VW, having the diagnostic/investigation as VW have said they will not consider goodwill until after this. Beadles have said that they will do the works for £740 and contact VW for goodwill. They have ordered the chain, tensioner, gasket etc. I had only just had it serviced/MOT last month and another oil and filter change in November!

    If I get this all done, should I expect any more problems? Should I just get rid whilst I have a chance? If I get rid, what on earth do I replace it with? So many cars now seem to have some costly common fault, I have began to doubt everything

     
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  20. David

    Hi Adam,
    I experienced a similar issue roughly a year ago however I had a very positive outcome and a £1100.00 repair bill only cost me £85.00.
    I have a 2008 VW Touran 1.4 tsi purchased in March 2012,, I decided to purchase a three year RAC warranty package which covered all electrical and mechanical parts for £350.
    My troubles started when the engine management light came on and refused to extinguish, the timing chain was the last thing I thought it could be as the car initially drove normally , over the next few weeks the performance got worse culminating in a loud grinding noise whilst going up hill.
    Fast forward to a VW dealership SG Smith in Sydenham and a £60 examination revealed the timing chain had jumped off the cam sprocket, I had already done some research online and discovered the well documented issues with the tsi engine and so armed with this knowledge I sought a goodwill gesture from VW, to say I was pleased when they offered 50% off labour and 75% off parts is an understatement, the
    majority of the remaining balance was picked up under my warranty package leaving me with £85 to pay.
    I also got back the £60 examination fee, all VW parts and work covered for two years and have a car that
    drives effortlessly. I can’t thank SG Smith enough, what was a very stressful and worrying time was
    sorted with minus aggro, it’s the only dealership I go to now for servicing, initially went to VW Beadles
    when I purchased the car and paid £500 for a major, minor service package with a MOT so imagine my surprise when they called me and said I needed a further £500 worth of work, long story short the car didn’t need the work doing, please get a second opinion if using them or avoid altogether.

     
  21. Paul Whelan

    2008 Jetta TSI, 99 k on clock and Timing chain slipped causing 3100 Euro damage . I’m saving the damaged parts and showing Volkswagen the itemised bill from my independent mechanic ( hope the show room is packed when I go in)
    Why dont they provide a warning light thats of use on the dash display unlike the permanent engine warning sign thats been displayed for last 2 yrs Manifold runner flap ?
    Can this cause 3000 euro worth of damage , does it warrant its very own light .Every VW taxi I’ve been in has it illuminated .
    No more VW FOR ME
    Paul Whelan
    Dublin

     
  22. Liz

    Having similar issues with my 2009 GT TSI with 62k. VW have quoted me a “reduced rate” of £5,400 for a new engine (cars only worth about £7,500!!!!) I’m going to give Watchdog a call regarding this if anyone else would like to back me up?

     
  23. Rich

    Similar problem here. Golf 1.4 TSi, 59 plate, 17k on the clock. Noticed a rattle on cold startup so took to a local specialist. £1110 later I had the tensioner and variable valve timing unit changed. Luckily the warranty company is going to pick up a large chunk of the tab. The mechanic said that he wouldn’t have a TSi, although more recent engine of this type don’t seem to be a problem.

     
  24. Dirk

    Hi Adam (and Hi David, posted on July 22, 2014 at 23:14 – pls get in touch
    thanks for this website, really good to have a forum to share the disappointing stories on the VW 1.4 engine

    We’ve been on family holiday with a 2008 reg VW Touran 1.4 TSI (DSG Automatic) with 51,000 miles on the clock. I’ve bought the car second hand less than 2 months ago (private seller). Checked the car in as much as a private buyer can (2 people, 2 checks over 2 days going through a list of things to assess). Got the HPI check (and guarantee) too but turned up with no issues. When I drove the car for the first time, the seller’s daughter made a comment saying the engine is broken. As this girl was around 5 years old I was like, hmmm. Interesting. So I asked the seller and didn’t get anything out from them other than that the car is working fine. It had all necessary papers and the services were done at regular intervals (but not by VW). Went for another test drive and the car (once in motion) drove flawlessly

    I’ve never had an automatic so at first I didn’t notice the stuttering when starting the car and putting going forward/ driving backwards. It was only on the first 1-2 metres and then drove smoothly. After the first 2 weeks I then went to VW Lookers (Battersea Park) to ask them to check the car through. I was shocked that they wanted £75 to check it. Fine, paid the money and they kept it for a day. The diagnostics didn’t turn up anything i.e. no faults logged. I then told the guys to check the cars again and do a test drive. They then did that & on the stuttering. Because they couldn’t understand where it came from. They then said that checking it further would cost an additional £225. I declined and went to an independent car garage. They had the car for a day and asked whether the gearbox fluid & filter had ever been changed. They topped it up a bit and I then went on holiday. This all happened over the last 4 – 5 weeks. In that time also contacted the HPI group but they said that the car isn’t covered (citing ridiculously worded Ts & Cs).

    The car stood in a parking lot (no inclination) for 6 days and when I moved it, the stuttering on the first 1 – 2 metres was still there. I then drove the car for another 4 miles but already noticed a stuttering at around 40 – 50 mph. All of a sudden the battery light came on, within a few seconds the ESP came on. Then the car basically just stopped and I rolled onto the next available driveway (luckily on a friendly builders yard). The car wouldn’t start again, making an interesting noise.

    Took out the dip stick, very oily – cleaned it – put it back – very oily again from top to bottom. Thought that this wasn’t a good sign. Waited for the RCS guys (came after only 20min) and one look in the right spot was enough to see that the crankshaft completely fell out the engine.

    Could it be that it never was a problem with the DSG gearbox but that it of signs to come (the stuttering)?

    I’d love to hear from David on what he told the VW dealership SG Smith in Sydenham and would probably try to go down the same route. Really annoyed that the VW guys at Lookers didn’t check the car thoroughly (for £75) and seriously annoyed generally at the moment just having spent our savings on a car with a dead engine having driven it for 300 miles.

    The RAC guys suggested going with Tinda-Lee Group (www.tinda-lee.co.uk) to get a second hand engine sourced and fitted. But would rather check all my options first as I’ve not got money to spend on an expensive repair. will update on the story as it unfolds. the taxi driving us to the car-hire suggested if VW doesn’t want to sort something out going to Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson. this website is reason enough for VW to see that the VW TSI 1.4l engine has some serious issues

     
  25. Prince

    Hi Adam, thanks for the site and the forum. Reading all of this breaks my heart as I suffered the same fate as most with regards to the death of my Golf GT TSI 1.4 engine. It is an 07′ plate with 50k on the clock. Over the past couple of months I started to hear what sounded like a crunching / grinding sound every time I started her. I tried desperately to get friends, family and passenger to verify whether they could hear the same sound I was hearing to no avail. Anyway, a month ago my MOT and Service was due so being none the wiser sought to also have the cam belt changed. Following a couple of calls to my garage and others I was advised my model did not have a belt but rather a chain which would not require replacing until 70k+ miles. Much to my delight (which was very short lived) I thought I had saved myself £300. I thought a full service and MOT would remove the grinding sound but to my disappointment it didn’t. It didn’t bother me however as I believed that all was well. Fast forward to last Saturday whilst driving (having not driven her for a week) she ground to a halt. I repeatedly attempted to restart her with no joy. I called out the RAC man and he was stumped. He remarked that the engine seemed to have lost all compression and this was the first time he had ever encountered such a fault, He then proceeded to plug in a diagnostic laptop which revealed a camshaft error code with no specific explanation as to what was wrong. He dutifully towed me to the nearest garage who advised that it would cost £250 to open the block to fully diagnose the problem. After a few calls around for a second opinion I gave them the go ahead. They came back two days later and confirmed it was a timing belt slip / jump / fault which had caused irreparable damage to all 16 valves. I was offered a full restoration with VW for £1900 or standard parts for £1600. I’ve decided to go with the later and will be selling her shortly. My confidence has now been shaken in VW’s and really do not know where to turn for my next car. I was planning to sell her towards the end of this year to replace her with a five door GT, not anymore.

    Any advice on what to get next in terms of a reliable hatch back? Is there anything I can do to recoup some costs from VW?

     
  26. Chris

    Same issue with my twin charger 1.4 170ps golf 07 plate two years ago had chain fault but was diagnosed strait away by vw garage as the EML came on and said about timing chain tension sensor fault they took 2 weeks to do it but all engine rebuilt on good will so was well chuffed.
    I think if you have you car serviced at the garage and are a regular they defiantly look after you better.
    About 4 weeks ago my mate had EML come on with octavia 1.4 same fault but garage gave various different reasons replaced sensors then two days later same fault I think some garages are well aware of issues with this engine and just in denial that above all the power and smoothness of this engine it has major design / part fault
    I love my car but I think its time to get some thing that you can trust or cheaper to repair.

     
  27. pat b

    09 plate 1.4 tsi vw scirroco 63 thousand miles full vw service from new.
    Car still in garage but at the moment just timing chain.3000 pound bill with claimed 1500 off goodwill gesture so 1500 to pay .I was actually in the garage today while repairs were underway .mechanic showed me 2 separate parts and new oil pipe and mentioned these were a different design to original.I mentioned to him that car rattled on start up from first day I bought it . The mechanic then said ,its lucky u mentioned that reached over to a table and grabbed a thingy ma jig and said its probably one of these,I’ll check the serial number to see if it needs replacing…kinda worrying vw have serial numbers of known faulty parts but won’t replace them till the engine die,s.my other problem is vw tooled up to design new parts for my engine ,trying to fix known problems.All of these engines should have had a recall ,updated partsfitted free of charge. Sorry for my lack of technical discription u probably guessed I have no mechanical knowledge.The one thing I have learned today is vw can tell a faulty part by looking at a serial number but still won’t pay for replacement.When I get the car back will probably drive to my local ford garage to see what I get part ex for a new fiesta.I can’t sell privately and look someone in the face and sell them a pile of scrap.This car cost me 22 thousand in 2009 might get 6500 part ..At the moment my repair bill ..1500 before tax might go higher.After expenses I will probably walk away with 4500 from a car that cost 22000 after only 63000 miles

     
  28. Dirk (18 Aug. Follow Up)

    Hi All,

    if you’ve scrolled all the way here I guess you’re just as stuck as me with a 1.4 TSI or similar. Being able to read German has helped in the Odyssey that followed the breakdown of my VW Touran 2008 Reg 1.4 TSI. I’ve already been invoiced by VW Vertu (Lincoln) for £800 on achieving absolutely nothing in getting in back onto the road but am taking up this issue personally. We’ve had VW’s for the last 15 years with mostly positive experiences (incl. goodwill gestures for when things did go wrong).

    The car has now been with VW Vertu Group (Lincoln) for the last 2 weeks and so far I was unable to make them understand that this issue is a well-documented issue with the 1.4 TSI engine plaguing thousands of customers worldwide. In Germany, its estimated its been a customer EVER DAY that complained to one of Germany’s biggest car magazines (Autobild). They’ve actually lobbied VW into giving an official Goodwill response which gives no less than a 50% contribution towards the costs with engine repairs. If the car is younger than 6 years and less than 200,000 KW is more, if its younger than 3 years and less than 3 its its even higher. But as said – no less than 50% as long as the car has been to regular service – no matter whether this was at an official VW or any other garage. Documentation is necessary I believe.

    I’ve now written to VW Ombudsman (http://www.volkswagenag.com/content/vwcorp/content/en/the_group/compliance/ombudsmann_system.html) as I feel UK drivers of the 1.4 TSI are far worse off than their German counterparts where people can refer to more ‘official’ news outlets (like Autobild) & an official response by VW to lobby their garage into goodwill gestures from VW.

    I’ve also written to Top Gear as I think this is an issue they should have been aware of in 2012, when reporting on the Gold in December 2012 (http://www.topgear.com/uk/volkswagen/golf/road-test/1.4-tsi-driven). Maybe they also take up this issue of VW 1.4 TSI and VWs outrageous ‘customer support’ here in the UK

    At the moment VW Vertu have the car and I am not going down the route of having a reconditioned engine fitted (despite offers like this one on ebay: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VW-GOLF-TOURAN-JETTA-1-4TSI-ENGINE-BLG-BMY-SUPPLY-FIT-VW-1-4TFSI-BLG-BMY-ENGINE-/181512342229?pt=UK_CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item2a42fa8ad5). Its part-exchange but only if your engine can be reconditioned.

    The Saga continues…

     
  29. Paul Vincent

    Our 58 plate VW Golf Tsi GT went down this hole yesterday. In with main dealers where they said it looks like “timing chain slip”.

    Mentioned this thread to the dealers and got response “you can’t believe everything you read on the Internet”

    I’ve opened a case with VW Customer care as despite the car being 6 years old I don’t find it acceptable for an engine to do 47k miles then implode.

     
  30. Roger Berquist

    hi
    I bought a 2007 golf 1.4tsi for my son a while back. It had 45k and was a very tidy car.
    Within a few thousand miles i had noticed a nouse from the engine on start up and the occasional mil light on.
    When i researched this and checked the scanned codes it turned out to be a stretched timing chain! These are only a single chain these days. It appears that the timing chain tensioner and the vvt tensioner are both hydraulic, so if at any time the wrong or poor quality oil is used, these tensioners can get sticky..which causes snatching..which stretches chain..the noise is valve hitting pistons!!!
    Lucky for us there was no piston or valve damage.
    I replaced timing chain assy complete with all new tensioners..ran a flush through the engine, then added the correct spec oil, new filters etc. Car ran so well i had it remapped to 204 bhp and..running on super unleaded all the time still averaged 40 + mpg.
    A brilliant car for a 1.4.
    You just gotra run it on the correct oils etc from the word go.
    We sold the car to one of my clients, so i still service it..running perfectly..like a rocket!

     
  31. Left and dry

    Hi Adam,
    My 58 plate, 64k Golf 1.4 GT has the timing chain problem/catastrophe.

    The car has been with VW Lancaster, St. Albans since 12th September, with VW Customer Care involved – phone calls chasing for all this time. VW Customer Care decided on Tuesday not to accept any fault with the part that warranted any recall or customer notification. Which is not treating customers fairly as the Germans got a different deal.

    Car has always been serviced to VW standards/ some outside of main dealer network, but always reputable. Customer Care representative leaves me with a bill for £6k plus £500 diagnostics. I was told there is no appeal process and that to write to Alex Smith the Director in Charge of Customer Service will not change anything as all letters are directed unseen by him back to the Customer Care department. (Why are VW paying him?) The representative says Brand loyalty over many years, 6 VAG cars, 2 at present, does not count for anything.

    Here we are: car went in running, Green Flag did a roadside diagnostics and said it was intermittent and drivable, after VW phone advice I insisted on it being towed in, now no compression and complete remanufactured engine needed. All with suspicion it could/should have been avoided if VW had contacted owners of cars with this timing tensioner.

    I am looking to use VW Spares.com in Kent to remanufacture my engine, any feedback please.

     
  32. Oliver Lusui

    Dear Sir ,
    I got a 2008 1.4 TSI engine Golf Mk 5.Kindly advice where I can get the timing chain,I am in Nairobi Kenya and the dealers here don’t seem to have them in stock. Thanks

     
  33. Beer

    Hi I got 2009 tsi I bought it at a auction it was fine with minor pothole damage I wanted to start it and sounded like no compression at home and was dead and dash say stop enjine no oil pressure low what now

     
  34. Zimnismoboy34

    You can get the timing chain from South Africa VW try the main Johannesburg dealer you will have to get it sent to you in Kenya Mr oliver Lusui . Maybe you can have them freight it with Dhl .

     
  35. Natalie Sharpe

    I have a VW EOS 2008 1.4 TSI which has an engine warning light on. Diagnostics suggest it is the cam shaft / timer chain. Having read all these stories I am terrified! As there are no physical symptoms of damage the mechanic thought it may just be a sensor problem. He changed them but the warning light just came back after a day. He tells me there is nothing he can do but investigate whether it is the cam shaft/timer change which would be at least £600 I dont have. Any ideas anyone? If the EOS has the same engine as the golf I could try speaking with VW maybe but it sounds like you dont get much luck! Im so surprised as really thought VW’s were great cars!

     
  36. J Mincham

    My 1.4 Sirocco has just required timing chain replacement. It had the classic sign of a slight rattle at startup then the engine light and no revs above 4000. The car is just out of warranty and has done only 36,000 miles.

    VW quote almost three thousand pounds for a repair (!!!). They have, as a matter of goodwill agreed to pay upwards of 2/3rd of the cost but it still leaves me with a bill of over 1000 pounds. I have never had a major failure at such a low mileage with any of the many other cars i have purchased over a period of 40 yeras–so not really good enought VW and back to Toyota from now on.

     
  37. Stephane

    Well they sound like terribly poorly designed engines to me!! I am now really worried as I have just bought an ’09 VW CC 3.6 VR6, not knowing there are built-in early self-destructing engineering qualities to modern VW car engines. So much for German engineering quality, but rather lack of!!

     
  38. Lee

    We have just had the timing chain tensioner tpi carried out under TPI 2009810/28 on our 09/2009 golf 1.4 TSI. Fortunately covered under VW extended warranty. Symptoms were rattling on startup – sounded like a diesel for 10 seconds or so. Work would’ve been close to £2k according to the dealer. Only thumb we had to pay for was a new chain, as it wasn’t a failed part – £60.00 inc vat that I paid happily. Dodged a bullet!

     
  39. Ross

    Adam, many thanks for putting all this information out there even if it’s made me realize how much of a bill is likely coming my way – 58 plate TSI GT Golf with around 55k miles.

    I was interested to know whether getting at the chain to see if there is the issue shown in the linked video is something I could do myself or whether quite a bit of stripping down is required to get that far – it looks fairly easy to spot a slipped chain if I can get access…. thanks in advance

     
  40. John a

    How can I make contact with someone who has made a post on here? I’ve had the same problem with the same garage who have been unable to diagnose the fault correctly but say that the bill so far is £1300! Thanks.

     
  41. Maggie

    My 58 plate Mk5 Golf1.4TSI has just returned from a local independent VAG specialist garage after having the timing chain, tensioners, etc and the water pump all replaced due to an apparent timing chain fault.

    Reading the thread I seem to have got away fairly lightly (fingers crossed)! The fault appeared almost three weeks ago when the engine warning light came on, although the engine sounded perfectly normal and with no loss of power or odd sounds. I took it straight away to the local VAG specialist garage and a timing chain fault and misfire was shown when the diagnostic laptop was plugged in. The garage guy immediately said don’t run it again or it could be very costly, so there I left it there! He confirmed what this thread implies that there appears to be a higher incidence of timing chain problems on the 1.4 twin charged engine of this vintage. Luckily for me
    there does not appear to have been any apparent engine damage as the chain was not broken but merely slipping, but even so it has been a costly repair with £500 in labour charges (10+ hours) and £300+ in parts then VAT on top. So £1000 bill to pay on a 6 year old car with 54000 miles on the clock and a car that has only been driven within the family since new.
    Hopefully all will be well, but like so many others on this thread I’m left wondering whether I can be confident to keep the car or should I sell it and risk buying another second hand car with an unknown history. Between a rock and a hard place comes to mind……..

     
  42. Andrew Stevens

    I have a 2009 Jetta 1.4 TSI DSG. The EMC has just come on and our garage hooked it up and found a Cam Sensor Slow Response fault. She was given a minor service last week and is running fine no rattles etc but i am concerned after reading this thread. I have sourced a replacement sensor and will change it (and have the EMC warning deleted) but I guess if the EMC shows again I will know what needs to be done. Like some, I thought VW had a good reputation (German engineering etc) but now not so sure. If she bows I just can’t afford a major engine rebuild or replacement, I don’t think I could manage a £1K chain/tensioner replacement either, come to think of it. And I thought I was progressing from a Punto! I’ve told the missus next time I’m getting a Mk1 Escort or Mk2 or 4 Cortina; there’s not much you can’t do on these!

    By the way, there is a 6 year rule on goods (including cars) that state they should be fit for purpose and should last a reasonable length of time. Go to the Money Saving Expert website and Martin Lewis will tell you about it; you can claim ‘damages’ under the Limitations Act.

     
  43. Kyumu Anthony Malonza

    I bought used VW Golf Touran 1.4l TSI from Japan, after i received the car i drove from the port to the city of Nairobi Kenya, on the way the Engine indicator light kept on coming on flashing and then lights continuously later the car stalled on the way, on calling a Mechanic to diagnose found out the fourth Piston is cracked. Am thinking of replacing the whole Engine. Where can i get another engine for this car 2007 year of manufacture. This was my first VW to buy but now am very disappointed if that’s how VW vehicles are.
    Your advice is highly appreciated

    Anthony Kyumu – Kenya

     
  44. david Miles

    Same problem again. My Golf 1.2 TSI, always serviced at VW, boke down. Found out my timing chain had snapped due to faulty tensioners. After an initial examination I’m currently waiting for a replacement engine! This is after only 42000 miles. I’m currently trying to get a ‘good will gesture’ from VW. Apparently I was told this is a common problem! If so, why are cars not being recalled? Total cost £3000!

     
  45. Nicolae

    Hi, everybody from Romania.
    I have the same problem with my 2008 Jetta 1.4 TSI CAXA engine and I am in contact with other co-nationals which are in the same unpleasant situation. I know now that there are many (too many in my opinion) all over the world timing chain problems on the 1.4 twin charged engine of this vintage. This is a common problem for VW? I am concerned after reading this thread. Luckily for me it appear after 97,000km.
    My car is now in a local independent VAG specialist garage.
    Thanks you all!

     
  46. Tara Smith

    Me too! VW Golf TSI four year old 60,000 klm. Sounded like a tractor at times from
    day one. Broke down last week, timing chain issue and engine needs replacement. MSL linked in with VW Ireland, am getting a good will percentage but still have to pay almost €2000. This is obviously a major problem and am wondering would their be strength in numbers by taking this further? It’s madness that cars a few years old are packing up prematurely due to a known fault and we pay for the pleasure of buying VW so called reliable cars!!!

     
  47. Jennifer M

    I have this very problem, made worse by the fact that I am still paying for a car that is totally worthless. I therefore need to source a second hand engine as you did. I wanted to see if anyone had any advice as to where to start looking? Am I right in thinking that the compatible listed engines listed above would be suitable to put in my Ibiza 1.4 tsi fr engine code CAVF .

     
  48. Jennifer M

    I agree with Tara Smith. After reading all of the posts on this page and seeing the scale of the issue and how each of us have been affected I have decided i am going to write to Watchdog with my story. I have wasted too much time trying to resolve the issue with SEAT as it seems have other people with VW. Strength in numbers may be the key here.

     
  49. Yule Msee Mnoma

    Also imported a used VW Golf Touran 1.4 TSI recently from Japan. The car came with a misfire on cylinder 4 which was traced to a faulty coil. Replaced the coil and it was joyful driving for three weeks until the car suddenly stalled with the EPC and CEL on. Diagnosis showed misfire in cylinders 1, 2 and 3. Replaced the ignition coils and spark plugs on all cylinders and there is a still a misfire in cyl 3. Further diagnosis shows loss of compression (damaged valves!!!). I am having the head removed tomorrow and I replacing the valves. Where can I get a replacement engine? Also from Kenya.

     
  50. Jon Stacey

    Very interesting reading. Last Saturday, batttery light on followed by EMC warning on 2009 Golf 1.4 TSI GT Sport with 56k. Recovery guy discovered pulley to crank shaft had come off and so was belt. Timing kit has since been applied by local garage known to us, discovered no compression, this led to them removing the head and confirming the worst. I’m fast coming to the conclusion that as I bought it privately from a relative less than 3 months ago, who had bought it from the original owner less than 6 months before that, I am on the look out for a new engine (BLG currently). Any ideas on where as they seem few and far between. We’ve contacted VWspares.com today and await a reply. I too live in the St Albans area ‘Left and Dry’ and will pass by Lancaster VW this evening. I’m interested in any developments for you since October. First VW ever owned, probably now the last. In October we scrapped a Citroen C4 after the chain pierced the engine casing. Prior to this we’ve had little more than servicing bills for close to 20 years of motoring in used vehicles. What is the motoring world coming to?

     
  51. Hatch

    Hi
    I also have a golf TSi 170, its done 90k miles now and all seems ok. Im thinking of having the timing chain replaced for piece of mind after reading countless issues with this chain slip and vw obviously trying to ignore the problem like nothing is wrong! Has anybody had the chain replaced and what sort of cost was it?
    Cheers

     
  52. Stephen H

    My Seat Ibiza 1.2 TSI Se DSG, Feb 2012 Registered with 14k Miles on it broke down on its last day of its warranty which was a Sunday funnily enough so no garages open. Seat garage initial diagnosis Timing chains need replaced, they are now awaiting on tool to check the timing chains tensions? When I phoned for a progress update on this the servicing chap starts talking about a possible engine replacement being required but they won’t know until tomorrow when they look at Timing Chains tensions. Its now becoming clearer that when I first was speaking to the service guy he talked about me phoning the SEAT customer service to ask for a Goodwill gesture as he must have had a suspicion my car was likely to have engine trouble. Having read this it now looks likely my car could come in about 2.5 k to 6k to fix and is probably only worth about 6k now.

     
  53. Mk5

    The same problem with my 1.4 TSI Golf mk5 122.
    Reparation cost: 3.600€

    I think the TPI nº is TPI 2009810/28, does anyone know where can I find it?

     
  54. sk

    Golf VW 1.4 TSI….48,000 miles…one engine replacement, throttle, fuel pump, water pump, two timing chains….car is a piece of rubbish. design fault i reckon but cant prove it. Had timing chain replaced 2 years back. Went in last week with issues and they say needs replacement and tell me now that VW have issues a tickets warning garages there is an issue..never ever ever buy a VW again.

     
  55. james B

    Hi,
    My wife has a 2009 Golf 1.4Tsi which failed its MOT yesterday. Tester suspected lambda sensor so we today took it to a specialist who tells us that this could be the onset of the dreaded timing chain issue. He retested the car and it passed with around 5 miles covered since the failure! Car has done 26000miles in total.
    Called into VW dealer who tells me that it may well need a software update at a cost of £89.00. Could this be the start of something big and horribly expensive?

     
  56. Simon

    I have read the comments on this website with great interest but also great sadness. I am actually in the process of buying an Audi A3 1.4T FSI, it is 58 reg, i can’t to work out if my engine is affected (CAXC / CMSA) if it is affected I think that I will pull out of the deal as I don’t want to risk a bill for 1000’s + the service history is incomplete. I already have some reservations about the reliability of the DGS (S tronic ) transmission – this is the dry clutch version .
    Oh and by the way I have a steep drive!
    Thoughts appreciated.
    Simon

     
  57. Simon

    Hi, I require some clarification please, are the following engine affected or unaffected ?
    VW TURBO ONLY 1.4 R4 16V TSI/TFSI ENGINE CODES
    Engine Code Car Model Bhp
    CAXA Golf Mk5 (2007 on), Tiguan (08/10->), Skoda Octavia Mk2, Scirocco Mk3 121
    CAXC Audi A3, SEAT Leon 123
    CFBA Golf Mk6, VW Jetta V, Passat B6, Skoda Octavia Mk2, LAVIDA(SAIC-VW), Bora 129

     
  58. Maganjo Kimani

    Thank you for the information. My mechanic had warned me of the 1.4 litre TSI engine as it’s a “Twincharger” and uses both a turbocharger and a supercharger. He had however advised that the 2009 doesn’t have the problem which is somewhat contrary to what I have read in the above posts. I guess I have to research more.

     
  59. Robert Nyagah

    Such forums come in handy as I was in the process of importing a 2008, 1400cc Golf Variant from Japan to my country Kenya. I now have backed out of the deal after reading this coz it’s not worth the risk for me.
    I initially thought this was a very good engine, what with the twin charger, but no more.

     
  60. Gift

    I have just bought a Golf TSI from Beforeward Japan… am now afraid with what am hearing concerning this car, I am in Malawi am not sure if any one will be able to work on this car if it develop a problem

     
  61. Alex drummond

    Our 59 plate VW touran 1.4tsi DSG with less than 35k miles got the engine light on and it had lost compression on number 2 cylinder totaling the engine and the turbo. Doing the dance with VW customer services and getting zero assistance they initially offfered a 70/30 split on the repair then withdrew it when the dealer refused to pay it 35% which i understand as the car wasn’t bought from them. To add insult to injury the dealer quoted way below book figure if the vehicle was serviceable and offered 1500 quid to buy it as is to repair, resell and profit from my misfortune.

     
  62. Matt Odurny

    Alex, In the same boat as you. Just been informed the engine in my 59 plate 45,000 mile Golf 1.4TSI GT has zero compression on cylinder 4 is non existent with 1,2 & 3 also very poor. Been quoted £5200 for a new engine. VW customer service next to useless with no technical knowledge or support. Good luck as I think we are going to need it.

     
  63. Godfrey Swan

    Hi Adam
    I have a VW Jetta 1.4 TSi 140psi 2008 (new 58 plate) has 91000+miles. Last year (2014) warning light came on steady, car seemed to run OK and light went out, thought no more about it too my cost. Car started to play up, light came on again! Within hours message garage appeared, it struggled to garage in Ayr. Damage to injector number 2, replaced and costed £1500 about, but received good will gesture paid £800+ repair bill.
    Last monday (21/6/15) problem reoccurred warning check, was told no issue, further investigation was needed which came with turbo fault, when coming home on acceleration felt a shudder momently but cleared. After read these post I’m full of tribulation as it seems to be a inherent fault.
    Godfrey

     
  64. Elliott

    Hi does anyone know if the 2006 1.4tsi 138bhp
    Effected by any of these problems?

     
  65. Dorothy

    Hi is this only a problem with the 1400cc engine,what about VW Golf variant 2.0 tsi any problems encountered ?

     
  66. Gary Pratt

    Add another one to the list. 2008 Golf GT Sport, 1.4 twincharger. Car bought new and always serviced at the same VW dealership.

    It needed a new chain after 35,000 miles and luckily this was covered by the warranty but the chain failed again at 65,000 miles. This time however it caused catastrophic engine damage and they’ve written the block off.

    Despite the loyalty to the garage they’re not interested at all and have quoted £5k for a refurbed engine with fitting, exactly what the car is worth. It’s such a blatent design fault how can they not be held accountable?

    Bye bye VW!

     
  67. Jen Campbell

    I have just had the same thing diagnosed by VW. But, they have agreed to pay 100% of the materials and 60% of the labour so I need to pay £360.00. Better but not great if it’s a design fault anyway!

     
  68. joe knight

    VW GT TSI 2007 – 70,000 miles.

    Replaced belt around 45k miles, amongst many many other components since. Now MAJOR oil issues (inc. leak and smoke) 5 litre tub lasts max 1 month.

    To reinforce, the smoke is either a white or blue colour. And stupidly thick.. Has gotten progressively worse, smelling now of either pure oil or decomposing engine parts. Despite taking to multiple garages (vw garage, specialists, and independent), no luck.

    Some say a crack in the piston, some say worn engine rings.

    Nobody will touch it and bills are sky rocketing. VW deny all knowledge of the matter – infuriating.

    Any advice greatly appreciated. Considering replacing with refurb engine and selling immediately.

    Thanks

     
  69. Georgiebhoy

    If I meet anyone who has a TSI is to sell it immediately.

    2009 1.4 TSI GT: just been quoted £1400 to replace timing chain.

    Ever since buying it new in 2009 we have had problems. It may seem ridiculous that we have kept it this long but you feel like a repair addict. Maybe this one will sort it. An also apart from the intermittent problems we really like the car. We even willingly overlooked that from new it started like a diesel. Apparently, after repeat visits to the dealership, it is a characteristic of this engine. Mmmm

    Aug 2010 Fault found in cylinder three: retested all ok. Should have got shot at this point.
    Oct 2013 New super charger: parts covered by goodwill (service by dealership from new) Labour £253 +VAT
    Aug 2014 New potentiometer and lower part of manifold and new spark plugs £885+VAT
    Mar 2015 Engine warning light diagnosed as “4 injectors … leaking through cylinder. Fuel leaking into the oil at sump causing contamination”. Quoted £1795 to replace injectors. Checked internet and this is another known issue which is covered outside warranty in other countries I think the US and Germany. Did not trust the diagnosis and took it to a VA specialist who could find no fault and recommended no action. Warning light did not come back on until…
    Aug 2015 Chain replacement required. VA specialist quoting £1400. Will find out tomorrow if there is any engine damage. In two minds about bothering to contact dealership. It is not a long list of repairs for six year old car but the really annoying thing is these were known issues and preventable.
    I find it incredible that a supposedly reputable company continued to sell cars with known design flaws and refuses to treat customers consistently in EU countries. It is fifty years since ‘Unsafe at any speed’ was published and VWs attitude is much the same. OK they don’t put the driver at risk but they have weighed up the cost of negative publicity and no repeat custom compared to the cost of amending a design to enable the manufacture of a reliable product.

     
  70. Margaret

    It is so interesting to read these comments! I live in Germany. I have a 2010 Golf VI 1.4 TSI DSG Automatic 90kw/122ps, currently 59,000km. I got it in September 2013 on a kind of leasing/lease-to-buy scheme (living abroad, not sure how long I would stay). I had some weird rattling sounds in my engine room and took it to the dealer workshop when it was around 50,000km. My dealer’s workshop DID suggest it was the timing chain, replacement cost about 1,500Euro. I was scared that if I didn’t get it repaired the engine might destroy itself, as outlined in Adam’s story. A friend of mine is a mechanical engineer at Bosch in an automotive department. He wrote a rather long, technical, and angry letter to VW, in German, basically outlining in engineering terms how incompetent they are for this design flaw. I received a response letter from VW, kind of apologizing for the issue. VW agreed to cover some of the costs and I ended up paying “only” 500Euro or so to the dealer workshop for the repair. I’m almost at the end of my “lease” term and I am trying to decide if I want to purchase my car. Has anyone had the timing chain replaced and then driven to 100,000km or more, with no further problems? I don’t want to buy the car if there is a strong possibility that this issue will reoccur. I recently test-drove a 2011 VW Polo with the 1.4 TSI. It had already a major engine repair… the timing chain!
    What I really don’t understand is, this is a KNOWN problem and it could be very dangerous. What is someone is driving on the motorway and the engine seizes and there is a car wreck? Does anyone know if legal action has been pursued against VW regarding this issue? Apparently it’s not a “big” enough issue to warrant a recall but it’s like every 1.4 TSI owner is playing Russian roulette with their engine.

     
  71. Annette Attard

    I bought a new Golf TSI engine in 2011. After 50,000km the time chain went with a cost of Eur.1,800. The local agents, only wanted to pay 30% of the cost (as goodwill they said), I had been complaining about a noise when I start the car as from 20,000km, but I was always assured by the Service personnel that it is nothing to worry about. After 57,000km the water pump went with a cost of Eur.400+ . The agents said that I had to pay Eur.70 extra to get the pump by DHL and it would arrive within a week !! Can you believe it !! I Sold it, as will not wait to see what will happen next !! What had to be my dream car turned out to be a nightmare. To say I am disappointed is an understatement.

     
  72. David

    Here’s my story, though a predictable one for owners with this engine.
    I bought an 07 Golf GT 1.4 TSI 170hp in October 10 from a VW dealer with just under 30k miles for my wife for the school runs and work.
    The car on the whole ran fine which was maintained by our local trusted garage. Around a month or so ago, my wife was taking our daughter to school when the engine light came on, there was no previous signs of noise or any other noticeable issues when driving the car. She took the car to the garage where having run diagnostic tests found problems with the cam shaft which was repaired and along with an MOT and other bits & bobs came to tune of £700.
    Something still wasn’t right, so upon further diagnostic checks found an issue with the timing chain, to quote the mechanic “was as loose as a dick in a bucket”. We were quoted in the region of £1,000 to have this repaired which we thought would be the end of the issue, but sadly not.
    After another test, found there was damage to valves in the number 1 cylinder which would also require another £1,000/£1,500 worth of work. Having already spent a lot of money felt had no real other choice than to go ahead with the work, especially since the car was worth nothing in its current state.
    We thought that would be it, but the car was still idling and after the mechanic spoke to an Audi/VW mechanic said that the pistons were damaged when they got hot and faced another £1800 to have this repaired.
    So what are we to do?
    Have the work carried out;
    Exchange the car with the mechanic so as to waive the bill incurred to date;
    Take the car home to try and sell to some unsuspecting person;
    Trade in in the hope of getting some value, but I’m sure those in the know are fully aware of the problems with the car, so wont touch with a bargepole.
    After persuading myself that the car will be as good as new, decided to go for the work to be carried out. All in all the engine was taken apart and rebuilt on 3 occasions.
    We have spent £6,000 to have the car repaired which one can only feel that if VW had the balls to stand up and advise customers of their design fault could easily of been avoided. It is only through this site that I became aware of the issues with this engine and design flaw.
    Obviously, if we knew the financial extent at the outset would have walked away there and then, but we felt we were so deep in having the work completed had no other option.
    For what it is worth will write to VW customer service about this mess. How can VW just bury their heads in the sand and avoid the issue? Like some of the others on here, will write to Watchdog about this experience in the hope they flush out VW so they can openly admit their faults and take responsibility of the situation. It is embarrassing for a company with the International reputation and stature such as VW to treat this issue and their customers so poorly.
    I would seriously warn anyone looking to buy a vehicle with this engine and will obviously stay clear of buying any VW or related cars in the future.

     
  73. Kiwiguy

    Very interesting read, thanks for going to the effort of publicising this. I am in the market for a car like the Touran for my wife and 2 kids, and the only late model ones around in NZ have the 1400 engine. (Apart from 1 or 2 rare Cross-Touran with the 2/0 TDI, quite hard to find, and dearer) I have phoned independent VW garages, and they all say the same thing: “Stay away from all VW’s 1400 engines”. Your story, and others here, confirms this. Thanks again.

     
  74. Mark

    Bought a ’57 1.4 tsi gt sport today. 54k miles full main/ specialist history and really clean inside and out.
    Amongst the receipts that came with it I find one for cam chain, tensioner & associated smaller parts only 2yrs ago at 49k miles (total bill = £800). This of course raises my curiosity and I find myself here, being enlightened by stories from all the above poor bstards, most royally fckd over (albeit usually indirectly) by a big middle finger from vw.

    My SO loves the car. So she really wants to keep it. It came with 6month RAC warranty covering engine and gearbox.

    There will be many owners reading this who, like me, already have a car with a potentially afflicted engine.

    Firstly, mine is a rare 3 door so has the 6 speed manual box. Can the chain get out of line on this (when left in gear etc) , or can it only happen to DSG cars?

    Secondly, if I’m extra careful with servicing (high quality oil and a flush at each change) and keep a keen ear out for any unusual noise or rattling, can I reasonably eExpect many thousands of trouble free miles ? Or is this being overly optimistic?

    *presently the engine is the smoothest and quietest 4cyl I’ve ever heard.

    Further, does this failure only occur if the drivetrain has had reverse load placed through it (as if eg left in gear on a slope) ?
    If so prevention is easy !

     
  75. Emma

    Wow,!!!!So many people in my position!
    My 1.4 TSI has been in the dealers for almost a week after being taken in for a diagnostics test. I already knew it was the timing chain, as it had the engine management light on, plus had a full service at my trusted garage. A few things needed repairing, said the timing chain had gone. Booked in for a £96 diagnostics, which escalated as the technician needed more time to test and find the fault (story changed when dealing with the supervisor) Researched on here, and decided to print out a few stories, and then the AutoBild admission from VW. The dealers are not interested, Customer Service / Care (if you call it that) was absolutely useless, no goodwill offered. I have contacted Citizens Advice, who suggest writing a letter to head office, and to pay under protest and ask for a full repair cost to VW.
    I had this ping pong game last year with VW when my ESP light came on, another “inherent fault” with VW cars. This was researched and admitted by VW and fixed under warranty (being 7 yrs old!)
    I will never buy VW again, and definitely research into common faults in ALL makes of cars!

     
  76. John

    The 2.0 TSI lump also suffers from this issue :(. My 59 plate Golf GTI is in the garage at the moment having its chain, tensioner and VVT unit changed due to the chain slipping. I got lucky and it hasn’t done enough to damage the internals but it’s still a £1200 fix right at the worst possible time of year. What’s worse is I had a supposedly top dollar warranty policy with Warrantywise (Quentin Wilson’s lot) who managed to wiggle their way out of the claim on some wear and tear technicality. Cowboys.

     
  77. K Lewis

    Gee I was just about to buy a D cat 2008 Golf 1.4 TSI with 39K on the clock. I was always a believer in chain cam motors -my current C1 (Toyota motor) is a chain cam and has done 82K. Apart from the early (known) clutch problems which Citroen (fixed out of warranty), the car is absolutely faultless. With chain cam motors use only fully sythn oil 5-40 and change the oil and filter every 6-9K.

    One thing I will not be doing anymore is leaving it in gear on an incline.

    I am sorry for everyone who has the VW problem but thank you very much for the postings and warnings….

     
  78. Mike Dixon

    Thank you so much to all who have commented on this thread. My wife has a 2001 TDI 1.8 bought 7 years ago second hand from a friend, Has all extras and a great car. Now worth very little and we do not want to spend any money on it.
    Today we (were) off to see and likely purchase a TSI GT Sport with all extras and 48k on clock M5 1.4.!! Will cancel visit to dealer and may consider a TDI or explore more the Ford and Japanese ranges.

    Proved point a friend who worked for Merrick, a marketing company responsible for VW call center Customer Service advised, “don’t touch a VW after 2005”. Repeated by local trusted garage who said don’t spend any more on current car and dont buy later Golf!.
    Nearly let heart rule head! Thanks guys and sorry learn of your predicaments.

     
  79. Mwas

    Thanks alot!
    Kenyan (25), i was just about to buy a 1.4 gt tsi in the name of fuel economy and ‘german car’!

    Your sharing sheds light and opens the eyes of us who are new to motor engineering mechanisms.

    Advice….
    1.what car should i buy as a better equals to the vw 1.4 gt tsi
    2.is the 2.0 gti affected too?

     
  80. moody

    Skoda Octavia 1.2TSI SE ..2011plate with 39000 miles on the Clock.
    Timing chain has gone and wrecked pistons etc.
    Skoda looking for £5000 to replace engine
    Its about time VAG put up their hands and admitted the problem and did a recall

    Don’t touch VAG with a barge pole

     
  81. Wayne

    Well i have just bought a VW Scirocco 1.4 tsi 2009 model 160bhp,it has only 29000 miles on the clock.
    Really mint condition leather etc.
    I have 30 days to exchange if i wish so and 2 years warranty.
    Not sure what to do now.

     
  82. Ali Membery

    On 26/01/16 my vw EOS 2.0 TSI engine has blown due to the same issue, 47k on the clock FSH.
    Dealer wants £5300 to replace engine and VW uk aren’t really interested. No customer care or loyalty.
    In your opinion can the engine be repaired?

     
  83. TJ

    same problem with timing chain. Golf 1.4 170 But this was following another saga with cylinder liners breaking. 2006 car.

    So after 50k the engine was totally destroyed by a failure of the cylinder liners. This is a car that was serviced with VW from new and always taken care of. I argued with VW that despite the car being out of warranty, it was reasonable to expect a VW to last more than 50k (particularly sickening was an add running at time implying that a VW was for life). The arguments went on for several months before a threat to the small claims court changed their mind. It seems that when one pays premium, in the eyes of the law one can have a reasonable expectation that the product behaves as a premium item. Anyway I was quite pleased to have a new engine put in as the rest of the car was in excellent condition.

    Well, I have now just completed a further 60k in the car (ie new engine has just completed 60k) and the engine has been destroyed by the slipping of the cam chain. Volkeswagen’s reputation for reliability is totally invalid in my experience.

    I guess that given the recent saga following on from their callous ability to lie at all of society wrt emissions, one should have no expectation that they would treat customers with anything but total disrespect.

    I will never touch a VW product again.

     
  84. VM

    I have a 2010 VW Eos 1.4 TSi, purchased in July 2015 from a small dealer. A week ago the engine management light came on. Took it to my local garage who diagnosed multiple cylinder misfire and possible valve replacement required – which they were unwilling to take on as “its a big job”. Having been quoted £800+ for VW to do full diagnostics I was recommended someone else who could do full diagnostics and a compression test, the result of which is that cylinder 3 has no compression and which has been diagnosed as a cracked piston due to a broken valve. They also noted that the air intake is completely full of engine oil, and there are multiple cylinder misfires.

    My only realistic option is a reconditioned engine, have found someone locally in Essex who will supply and fit for a fiver short of £2k. I’m arranging recovery to get the car to them this week, then as soon as the sun comes out I will be getting rid of the car. A terrible shame as for 8 months it’s been great, and I do love the car but I will never trust it again.

    As above – I will never touch a VW product again.

     
  85. JonJon

    Thank you for this very informative article and its subsequent comments!

    I live in Germany and was about to purchase a “bargain” 2006 VW Golf 1.4 TSI 170 thing of beauty until I performed a review search and stumbled across this page.

    Actually, this scandal is an unfortunate testament to the German approach of carrying out tasks in an absolute manner with faith in the relative theories. I.e. The Japanese have been building similarly sized and powered forced-induction engines for decades with timing belts (rather than chains) and I have never seen such a scandal from their manufacturers.

    Time to relay the bad news to the private seller …good luck to the fella he finally suckers.

     
  86. Martinio

    I wish I had done a lot more research, then I would have found this information and probably would have avoided the TSI range altogether.

    Bought a used 08 Golf TSI 140 (71k miles) 1 year ago today as my first car. Car ran good for around a week, until I was noticing a large amount of coolant leaking. Took it back to the dealer to get the water pump replaced. Coolant leak now solved, great! Or so I thought…1 week later, I start to hear a strange noise coming from the engine, one which would go away under heavy acceleration. Noise started to get worse, and then complete loss of power (Car went into “limp home mode” ) and an engine warning light came on. Back to the garage again. They initially thought it was an issue with the turbocharger, but after further diagnosis, it was in fact the timing chain! Apparently, mine had slipped a tooth and was close to coming off/failing altogether. Thankfully, I bought from a dealer (Arnold Clark), and it came with a 3 month warranty.

    Looking through my cars service book, I’m sure it recommends a timing chain change at around 60k miles, which it never got done. So really, that was a fault from the previous owner/service garage for not looking into this.

    All in all I was lucky. It could have been much worse. That said, I’m not 100% confident in the car as far as engine reliability in concerned. I’m still paying it off, and the last thing I want is for something along the lines of a complete engine failure. It just feels like the engine it a ticking time-bomb waiting to go off.

     
  87. Childeater_74

    Who would accept a FREE Volkswagen Touran? Pick up on your own cost….

    Damn this “Hitler’s revenge” has cost me a lot! I’m about to dig a big hole in my yard and dump that piece of rubbish in it. Every year from 1k€ to 3k€ for repairs. EGR repaired or replaced for several times, main electrical unit (what ever it is), new gearbox, spings every year… And now THIS! <- You know what :-O

    I've had numerous different cars within years and never had a car before which paralyzes by itself engine switced off. I don't even care to take it to garage to find out what's already clear. Someone with a back-smashed Touran could combine these two to get one running car, but I'll move on to a japanese cars. I was amazed to hear that there are cogwheels made of PLASTIC in the gearbox. Well, propably all other carmakers use plastic too nowadays – dunno.

    Something positive however, I've had that tractor sound for years and the engine has lasted for 240 000 km. Model of my Touran is 2004 1.6fsi. So not too bad, but still…

    Cheers, and happy VW owning to all!

     
  88. Bogdan

    Hi, wow, this article is a gem..
    I have a CAXC Seat Leon 2010 – 60500Km now..

    I managed to record these:
    First start, in the morning, cold engine: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByS9KaqBS7S8TUxwVTdJeDNJdnc
    Warm engine, after 1 and a half hour stop: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByS9KaqBS7S8cUtOR2NKRU85YVE
    Warm engine, after 2 hours stop: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByS9KaqBS7S8T1RmUzBzUHBnak0

    Is this the problem? Do you know any program from VW/Seat that is paying for part of the fix? In german is called Kulanz (obligingness?) and it pays up to 100% of the repair.

    Thank you!

     
  89. steve

    Damn my 1.4 TSI 170 GT sport DSG is ins the garage for suspected Cam chain replacement, error codes also listing cylinders 1,2 & 4 misfiring s9o garage suspect cam fault too. I think its the cam out of time due to missing teeth and stretched chain. He is doing compression testing now. Replacement chain is £700 add pair of cams and its £1,500. Going to sell her as soon as repaired will never touch any VW Audi Seat Skoda as VW totally suck, they have produced millions of these faulty engines and have zero compassion for us mugs who have inadvertently bought them. Back to Jap cars for me because BMW also have cam chain faults they are brushing under the carpet as well as manifold disintegration on the diesel engine. We need someone to start a WWW forum on all know faults on popular cars so we can avoid them and the manufacturers recall and fix or heavily loose customer’s.

     
  90. Richard L.

    WOW !
    just bought a 08 golf Tsi (1.4 turbo) a few months ago. no complaints yet, and if i remember well, they said (i saw paperwork) that the timing belt/chain had just been replaced….
    fingers crossed i guess 😉 thank you for all the info contained in these threads though… answering many questions early on !
    drive safe !

     
  91. Lee Scott

    So glad I found this website. I’ve been looking at downsizing from a 3.0 Si Z4 to a Seat Ibiza Cupra. My Z4 is too thirsty and my new job has doubled my commute distance.

    I’ve seen and test drove a 2010 Ibiza Cupra 1.4 TSI. It’s go 50k on the clock and I really like it. Should I avoid it like the plague? When do these known issues manifest? Before 50k or after or any random times?

    Gutted now. There’s no major know issues with the N52 engine in my Z4 but there seems to be loads of issues with this 1.4 TSI engine 🙁

     
  92. Becky

    Thanks for such an informative read Adam!
    I’ve always been a Golf Gti fan but after having children I went back to boring cars for a while…. now I’m considering going back to a Golf (not quite a Gti, that will probably have to wait until they’ve grown up and left home now!).
    My question is, does the timing chain problem happen on all the Tsi engines? I was looking at a Mk5 1.4 but didn’t want the 79bhp version. Would the fsi be a better bet? Or a 1.6 diesel? I thought I’d done enough research and plumped for the 1.4 tsi until I read your page and now it’s totally put me off!!
    All advice, comments gratefully appreciated!! TIA Becky

     
  93. Pete

    I bought a golf 1.4 gt tsi 170 in april 2014 with service history and 52k miles on the clock. Within 10k miles Timing chain went with cylinder 2 misfire and camshaft sensor errors. Luckily bought the 1yr warranty so Dace German Car centre had no choice but to complete the repair. Now 11k miles further on it appears the same issue has happened, this time out of warranty. I still owe over £3000 on the car. Do I have any legal ground to stand on? Should the garage of informed me of the known issue when purchased? Did the initial chain repair not have a milage warranty? Don’t know what to do!

     
  94. Robin Cliff

    Unbelievable!
    I’m about to buy a 20,000 mile, 2 year old Skoda with a 1.4 petrol engine.
    Not knowing anything about this unit I’ve done a ‘google’ search about it, and I find all this!
    Change of plans, back to the drawing board now.

     
  95. John

    I was thinking of getting a Golf MK6 1.4 tsi 15,000 miles (62 reg) this week but reading this thread has really put me off buying the car.

     
  96. Dave Miles

    I have a 2010 Golf 1200 TSI. I had the same problem again with the timing chain. The engine just died on me one day after 44000 miles. I had to buy a new engine! VW wanted nothing to do with it… they admitted there was an engine fault but wouldn’t help pay the cost because I had taken the car to a non VW garage… cop out!
    Just recently had a problem with a petrol pipe.. disintegrated and part of the pipe has gone inside the engine. The pipe was only £6 but there is potential the engine could be ruined! Yet another poor engine design fault using cheep parts!
    I certainly wont be buying VW again! Such a shame because I have been a VW enthusiast since buying an old Beetle in 1985. That is still driving by the way and it is 50 next year. I’m guessing the VW of today is certainly not the company it used to be and is riding on the old reputation of reliability!

     
  97. Trm

    It’s really sad to read this thread. I was about to buy 2009 Audi A3 1.4 TFSI. It has Timing Belt replaced and still under warranty, but from what I see that doesn’t matter ans issue will popup again. Anyone can share experience after doing the replacement?

     
  98. Adriano Fienga

    Thank you very much Adam for the info,
    my 2010 Leon 1.4 Tsi sport CAXC engine with 64K km started in the last days to make a strange noise and I’m worried could have a similar issue considering so far only oil and filters was serviced.

    Do you know if any repair program was rised by WV or SEAT, or I could refer to any generic garage to check and fix the issue?

    Best regards 🙂

     
  99. elliot

    Hi just had mine done after reading all threads on this > Have spoken to Skoda UK about a goodwill gesture to pay for some or all of the work. Unfortunately so far it has been unsuccessful, but will continue to make more people aware. My car also fully serviced by Skoda and only got 59k on it. It is an expensive repair or and expensive modification whichever way you choose.

     
  100. Mark Canham

    “Kiwiguy
    September 17, 2015 at 21:02
    Very interesting read, thanks for going to the effort of publicising this. I am in the market for a car like the Touran for my wife and 2 kids, and the only late model ones around in NZ have the 1400 engine. (Apart from 1 or 2 rare Cross-Touran with the 2/0 TDI, quite hard to find, and dearer) I have phoned independent VW garages, and they all say the same thing: “Stay away from all VW’s 1400 engines”. Your story, and others here, confirms this. Thanks again.

    Mark
    October 31, 2015 at 00:45
    Bought a ’57 1.4 tsi gt sport today. 54k miles full main/ specialist history and really clean inside and out.
    Amongst the receipts that came with it I find one for cam chain, tensioner & associated smaller parts only 2yrs ago at 49k miles (total bill = £800). This of course raises my curiosity and I find myself here, being enlightened by stories from all the above poor bstards, most royally fckd over (albeit usually indirectly) by a big middle finger from vw.

    My SO loves the car. So she really wants to keep it. It came with 6month RAC warranty covering engine and gearbox.

    There will be many owners reading this who, like me, already have a car with a potentially afflicted engine.

    Firstly, mine is a rare 3 door so has the 6 speed manual box. Can the chain get out of line on this (when left in gear etc) , or can it only happen to DSG cars?

    Secondly, if I’m extra careful with servicing (high quality oil and a flush at each change) and keep a keen ear out for any unusual noise or rattling, can I reasonably eExpect many thousands of trouble free miles ? Or is this being overly optimistic?

    *presently the engine is the smoothest and quietest 4cyl I’ve ever heard.

    Further, does this failure only occur if the drivetrain has had reverse load placed through it (as if eg left in gear on a slope) ?

     
  101. Mark Canham

    Kiwiguy
    Wow your post is almost identical to my circumstances.
    Mk5 3dr gt sport 140.
    ’07 with 66k miles.
    Bought it a year ago with 1 owner and fsh. Receipt for cam chain and tensioner replacement at 48k miles.
    Starts with a rattle first thing in the morning (has done since bought), sounds like the starter not disengaging properly.
    It’s SO’s car and she loves it.
    It’s had a couple of seizing calipers replaced, otherwise no real issues.
    She’ll finish paying the finance on it late this year, at a little under £6k it was by far the most she’s ever spent on a car.
    So should she get shot of it ASAP, or should she buy a warranty (perhaps to cover til the finance is paid off)…?
    Either way, breaking this news to her is gonna be painful…

     
  102. MikeNZ

    Does anyone know of the supposedly redesigned timing chain tensioner?

    I have a 2009 Mk5 1.4 TSI. I got the engine management light about two years ago, and it was diagnosed by the dealer as requiring a new timing chain, due to it being stretched. I argued that a timing chain should last far longer than that, but their response was “we’ve changed a lot of those”. The quote to repair was about $1600 NZ Dollars. I did some research, and found that it was a known fault, and VW were contributing to the cost of repair, so I went back armed with info, and asked them to check their service bulletins. Lo and behold, they said that VW would cover the cost of all parts and 60% labour. So the bill was now $300…. Go figure.

    Apparently the tensioner has been redesigned, and any warranty replacements such as this include the new tensioner.

     

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