Passat Engine Noise
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  1. #1
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    Passat Engine Noise

    I bought a 2001 B5.5 Passat GLS 1.8T 4 cyl a few months ago and I absolutely love it.35k miles on it and a 2 year New car like warranty with it. I noticed recently the engine vibrates when I come to idle and I can feel it in the steering wheel and can hear it when I roll down the window.Almost sounds like a diesel car.When I rev the engine the noise goes away.This vibration is profound after the engine has warmed up after a short drive.When I turn it off, the tail end of the noise sound like a ratchet wheel.I do want to get it serviced under warranty if it covers and I would like to know before hand the probable cause.I am afraid the dealer is going to tell me a story which will definitely make me scratch my head and likely the problem still not fixed.

    My other question is when I drive this car I feel like this car needs to get its rpm spooled up before it gets power during normal acceleration.Turbo is not invoked.Is this normal for this kind of Turbo cars? Your help is very much appreciated.

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  3. #2
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    Sounds like a bad cam chain adjuster. Is there oil leaking on the back of the engine?

  4. #3
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    The turbo on a 1.8T begins to spool at around 2200 RPM or so. Below that point there is insufficient exhaust pressure to drive the turbine in a useful manner.

    SirWired

  5. #4
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    No oil leaks at all.Just to make sure there is no metal to metal or metal to plastic grinding, I did a little investigation and I traced the noise actually coming from the block itself under the plastic engine cover(DUH - where else would the engine noise come from? )

  6. #5
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    It's the cam chain adjuster. Buy a new valve cover gasket and a new CCA gasket, find a reputable shop, and ask them if they can change a chain tensioner gasket on a VW without removing the camshafts. If they say they can't, then they don't know enough about the engine to do a good job in the long run.

    After that, make sure to use a 5w40 or 0w40 FULL-SYNTHETIC oil in the engine, and tell the shop to use a 1.9TDI oil filter (it's bigger and holds more oil). DO NOT take your car to Jiffy Lube.

    After the shop changes the chain tensioner gasket, if they say the CCA looks like it's in good condition (and if mine at 100kmi was good, then yours better damn well be good), then a couple of runs with the 5w40 or 0w40 synthetic oil should clear up any noise you have. If it doesn't, come back for more advice.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by deusexaethera View Post
    It's the cam chain adjuster. Buy a new valve cover gasket and a new CCA gasket, find a reputable shop, and ask them if they can change a chain tensioner gasket on a VW without removing the camshafts. If they say they can't, then they don't know enough about the engine to do a good job in the long run.

    After that, make sure to use a 5w40 or 0w40 FULL-SYNTHETIC oil in the engine, and tell the shop to use a 1.9TDI oil filter (it's bigger and holds more oil). DO NOT take your car to Jiffy Lube.

    After the shop changes the chain tensioner gasket, if they say the CCA looks like it's in good condition (and if mine at 100kmi was good, then yours better damn well be good), then a couple of runs with the 5w40 or 0w40 synthetic oil should clear up any noise you have. If it doesn't, come back for more advice.
    fully agree, listen to this man.. This is 100% correct info. That sound is common on the 1.8T, it happens when the cam shaft adjuster chain at the back of the engine doesnt get suffiecent oil during idle and low rpm, when u give it gas, the oil pressure increases and the chain also tightens up, via a mechanism which pushes up against the chain to tighten it.


  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by deusexaethera View Post
    It's the cam chain adjuster. Buy a new valve cover gasket and a new CCA gasket, find a reputable shop, and ask them if they can change a chain tensioner gasket on a VW without removing the camshafts. If they say they can't, then they don't know enough about the engine to do a good job in the long run.

    After that, make sure to use a 5w40 or 0w40 FULL-SYNTHETIC oil in the engine, and tell the shop to use a 1.9TDI oil filter (it's bigger and holds more oil). DO NOT take your car to Jiffy Lube.

    After the shop changes the chain tensioner gasket, if they say the CCA looks like it's in good condition (and if mine at 100kmi was good, then yours better damn well be good), then a couple of runs with the 5w40 or 0w40 synthetic oil should clear up any noise you have. If it doesn't, come back for more advice.

    Yes, sounds similar to my bad cam chain adjuster at ~56k (?) miles. Noise at startup, then okay, would make a rattling sound if you reved it up gently, as you let off the gas. After getting hot (800 feet climb in 2 miles to my house), it would make the noise continuously at idle. 2001 1.8T.

    Why are you advising changing the gasket, if he is not having any leaks? Just way to look at the adjuster?

  9. #8
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    Been there ... done that. I experienced brief cam chain rattle on very cold starts (e.g. following overnight leakdown) and on hot (not merely warm) idle. The cause is oil starvation of the CCA, such that it loses the ability to dampen the chain's vibrations. Restricted oil supply, such as coke/sludge buildup, can cause the problem, but in my case it was leakage of the internal cam seals and the CCA gasket. The gasket leak generally also results in a burning oil smell on hot idle.

  10. #9
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    It seems like everyone has nailed down the cam chain noise.

    To answer your vibration question - it's normal. I thought the same thing when I first bought the car. I had checked all of the motor mounts just to make sure one wasn't loose. If you put the car in neutral it drops off a little. but don't worry about the vibration at idle/stop. If you're driving and you feel it then you have another issue.

  11. #10
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    CCA was right on the money.I took it to the dealer a couple of days ago and got my Passat and the work history back this afternoon.Thank goodness the extended warranty covered it 100%.Trunk latch broke and I could not procrastinate any longer.The wife was on my back.She says that's her pleasures in life.
    1. Fixed the latch.
    2. CCAdjuster
    3. 3 sets of Gaskets.
    4. 2 clamps.

    They said the chain adjuster was not holding oil pressure when the engine is off.They replaced all above said things and sent me off with a clean bill of health.Hope this helps.Thanks again guys.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by stargazer2800 View Post
    CCA was right on the money.I took it to the dealer a couple of days ago and got my Passat and the work history back this afternoon.Thank goodness the extended warranty covered it 100%.Trunk latch broke and I could not procrastinate any longer.The wife was on my back.She says that's her pleasures in life.
    1. Fixed the latch.
    2. CCAdjuster
    3. 3 sets of Gaskets.
    4. 2 clamps.

    They said the chain adjuster was not holding oil pressure when the engine is off.They replaced all above said things and sent me off with a clean bill of health.Hope this helps.Thanks again guys.
    Don't know if there were prices on your invoice, but that tensioner is over $700 at the dealership. Your warranty already paid for itself.

  13. #12
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    Newbie question about the CCA gasket. When it leaks does the oil leak both externally and internally? When the gasket fails and it starts to leak is the loss in pressure causing the chain noise? How tough is that gasket to replace....I have been performing all my own maintanance for years so I can probably handle it. The wife's 2002 V6 4Motion Passat was in the shop to diagnose the CEL, when they found the converters to be bad(any good source for direct replacements?) They said that was the least of her worries and that they thought they heard cam chain noise. The only time I hear it is when the car is started cold in the morning. Any advice??? Thanks!!!!

  14. #13
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    The seal will leak externally. It is a plug for the intake cam bore in the back of the head on the passenger side and the front on the driver's side. There is a writeup in the info forum for replacement on the 1.8T. The V6 is nearly the same.

    If it only noisy when cold, hold off on replacement or try a thicker oil. When it is noisy all of the time, it will need to be replaced. The adjusters are very expensive. It may take years for them to get real bad.

  15. #14
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    problem and cure, with example...

    Quote Originally Posted by Passat_OEM+ View Post
    fully agree, listen to this man.. This is 100% correct info. That sound is common on the 1.8T, it happens when the cam shaft adjuster chain at the back of the engine doesnt get suffiecent oil during idle and low rpm, when u give it gas, the oil pressure increases and the chain also tightens up, via a mechanism which pushes up against the chain to tighten it.

    I had the same problem with my car so I made a video showing the sound the engine makes, and the part which needs to be replaced, plus a link to another post showing step by step instructions. I posted the video on advidnation.com


    Jetta 1.8T engine noise diagnosis
    Last edited by JettaVideoMan; 05-12-2011 at 05:44 PM. Reason: improper title for link

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