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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2001.5 1.8T sounds like a diesel when warm & is very noisy upon strat-up. What wrong?

I've actually had people ask me if it was a diesel. It has 101k on it. Had the sludge issue at around 70k, which, the VW dealership fixed. Been running synthetic in it since...as well as letting it idle for a couple minutes upon stopping to cool it down.

It has been noisy like this for thousands of miles....perhaps 20-30k.... or more. When warm, I'm not sure it's any noisier than it was 20k ago...BUT, upon a cold start-up, it HAS gotten nosier. It really rattles loud for a couple of seconds...then rattles a little less loud for a couple more seconds...then settles down into its normal diesel like sound.

What is this? Valves, perhaps? Should I worry? Does it need to be fixed? If so, is it a pricey job?

Honestly, this car has been extremely disappointing. One problem after the other...since around 4k. However, I did surprise me on a 1200 mile road trip last week. The CV joints needed replaced and I didn't get the Raxel axles ordered in time...so I drove it extra easy as a precaution. Still 75-80 MPH on the interstate but I was very easy on smaller roads, curves, and stop and go. It usually gets 25-28 MPG. Mileage on this trip was 31, 37, and 33. Too bad this thing was such a money pit otherwise.......
 

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It's your cam chain adjuster. Could be just worn out; when they start to go, they're noisy for a bit at startup; when they finish failing, they're noisy all the time. Best to change it now before the chain flails around and eats holes in the valve cover.

Second possibility is a good adjuster that's not getting "pumped up" because of low oil pressure. I assume you'd prefer not to think about that.

Finally, one thing I've heard about is a screen on the oil inlet to the cam chain adjuster. I'm not 100% sure it exists, but if it does, yours may still have crud on it from before you were de-sludged. That would give the same symptoms as would be caused by generally low oil pressure.

EDIT: Oh, you asked about price - if it's just the adjuster, the part alone from VW is over $800, but as low as $200 from aftermarket. Then three or four hours of labor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's your cam chain adjuster. Could be just worn out; when they start to go, they're noisy for a bit at startup; when they finish failing, they're noisy all the time. Best to change it now before the chain flails around and eats holes in the valve cover.

Second possibility is a good adjuster that's not getting "pumped up" because of low oil pressure. I assume you'd prefer not to think about that.

Finally, one thing I've heard about is a screen on the oil inlet to the cam chain adjuster. I'm not 100% sure it exists, but if it does, yours may still have crud on it from before you were de-sludged. That would give the same symptoms as would be caused by generally low oil pressure.

EDIT: Oh, you asked about price - if it's just the adjuster, the part alone from VW is over $800, but as low as $200 from aftermarket. Then three or four hours of labor.
Glad I was sitting down when I read $800!!

Assuming it was the cam chain adjuster, would it still make the car sound like a diesel well after it was warmed up?

Low oil pressure....yeah, that's not something I want to think about too much. Wouldn't the engine light come on though if that were the case? Can't remember if that car has a gauge or not.

Thanks for the info.
 

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Glad I was sitting down when I read $800!!

Assuming it was the cam chain adjuster, would it still make the car sound like a diesel well after it was warmed up?
Yes

Low oil pressure....yeah, that's not something I want to think about too much. Wouldn't the engine light come on though if that were the case? Can't remember if that car has a gauge or not.

Thanks for the info.
Unless installed aftermarket, there is no oil pressure or temperature gauge.
 

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Don't remove the screen, it protects a $200-250 part and might be a flow reducer for certain design reasons. If you use the right oil and change at the right interval you don't worry about removing things like the screen. The actual mechanical part is not usually what fails, its the plastic shoes and/or electronic solenoid for the newer engines, 00-05, that wear down and break.

Check the condition of the plastic shoes/guides. Normal wear is a groove from the chain. If it's pitted or chipped in any fashion you can get away with replacing just those. You can inspect by removing the valve cover. Use an inspection mirror for the lower guide since its not easily visible from the top.

If the check engine light is lit and reporting a code for the chain tensioner, than the whole tensioner, or the solenoid if you can source it, needs to be replaced.

If its not either of those, THEN consider oil pressure as an issue. The first two suggestions at least take 10-15 minutes to look and diagnose.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks, everyone! Is the cam chain adjuster a common problem in this engine?

Also, where is a good place for a quality aftermarket adjuster?

Lastly, I need to do a 240 mile trip next week...and this issue will surely not be fixed in time. Bad idea to drive it?
 

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Don't remove the screen, it protects a $200-250 part and might be a flow reducer for certain design reasons. If you use the right oil and change at the right interval you don't worry about removing things like the screen. The actual mechanical part is not usually what fails, its the plastic shoes and/or electronic solenoid for the newer engines, 00-05, that wear down and break.

Check the condition of the plastic shoes/guides. Normal wear is a groove from the chain. If it's pitted or chipped in any fashion you can get away with replacing just those. You can inspect by removing the valve cover. Use an inspection mirror for the lower guide since its not easily visible from the top.

If the check engine light is lit and reporting a code for the chain tensioner, than the whole tensioner, or the solenoid if you can source it, needs to be replaced.

If its not either of those, THEN consider oil pressure as an issue. The first two suggestions at least take 10-15 minutes to look and diagnose.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
My buddy who was one of the 10 best Vw techs in the country always removes the screen. He seen more fail due to the screen clogging. Just going by his advice. I'm not one to argue with one of the 10 best VW master techs in the country.
 
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