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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All:

Appreciate your help and recommendations please!

My car engine light came on this past Thursday and on Friday after scanning it, these were the codes: P0011 (Intake A camshaft position timing - over - advanced (bank 1) - confirmed) & 17927 (bank 1 camshaft adjustment malfunction intermittent).

My trusted mechanic, said that there might be sludge build up and recommended to add some solvent such as Marvel, please see attached. I did that, he cleared the code, but after 10 minutes driving the engine light came back on. Since, his shop is closed on weekend, I will call him on Monday to find our what he recommends.

In the meantime, I'm reaching our to you all (also my trusted advisers) for your guidance and recommendations.

My car runs just fine. Engine light is solid (not flashing). In the past two weeks, I had noticed when cranking the car in the morning, sometimes it starts very quickly, sometimes requires a few more cranking.

Greatly appreciate your help and recommendations with this. Is this something serious and expensive to fix?

Thanks so much,
Ellie

p.s. I've a business appt., tomorrow, which is 30 minutes away from my house. Is it safe to drive my car to the appt., and then back home?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi All:

Appreciate your help and recommendations please!

My car engine light came on this past Thursday and on Friday after scanning it, these were the codes: P0011 (Intake A camshaft position timing - over - advanced (bank 1) - confirmed) & 17927 (bank 1 camshaft adjustment malfunction intermittent).

My trusted mechanic, said that there might be sludge build up and recommended to add some solvent such as Marvel, please see attached. I did that, he cleared the code, but after 10 minutes driving the engine light came back on. Since, his shop is closed on weekend, I will call him on Monday to find our what he recommends.

In the meantime, I'm reaching our to you all (also my trusted advisers) for your guidance and recommendations.

My car runs just fine. Engine light is solid (not flashing). In the past two weeks, I had noticed when cranking the car in the morning, sometimes it starts very quickly, sometimes requires a few more cranking.

Greatly appreciate your help and recommendations with this. Is this something serious and expensive to fix?

Thanks so much,
Ellie

p.s. I've a business appt., tomorrow, which is 30 minutes away from my house. Is it safe to drive my car to the appt., and then back home?
my car's info: Passat 2003, V6 engine, mileage 256,432
 

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The sludge may be one of the culprits causing this but it won't be resolved by just using a bottle solvant.

Another serious candidates are a defective timing control solenoid or a bad camshaft position sensor.

If I were you I wouldn't drive the long hauls with this car. It would be better to get it fixed soon.
 

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Sludge buildup isn’t too common on the V6, especially if the oil is changed regularly.
This is saying there is a problem with the cam timing, cam adjustment mechanism, or the sensor. I think you have changed the timing belt fairly recently, so the basic cam timing is probably OK. Most likely the chain adjuster(s), under the valve covers, is going bad, possibly due to a bad shoe.
If it were me, I would drive it (minimally) under this logic: bad chain adjustments are not likely to damage the engine. There is risk of shoe pieces clogging things, like oil passages, but the car has 256K miles and is worth about the value of the gas in the tank +- any remaining tire value. If it dies, it lived a noble life, loyally serving it’s master for many years, and it’s time to go into bargaining mode to find a deal on a close out 2019 model somewhere. If it lives, of course it is worth repairing and deferring a car payment as long as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The sludge may be one of the culprits causing this but it won't be resolved by just using a bottle solvant.

Another serious candidates are a defective timing control solenoid or a bad camshaft position sensor.

If I were you I wouldn't drive the long hauls with this car. It would be better to get it fixed soon.
Thank you for this information. Appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sludge buildup isn’t too common on the V6, especially if the oil is changed regularly.
This is saying there is a problem with the cam timing, cam adjustment mechanism, or the sensor. I think you have changed the timing belt fairly recently, so the basic cam timing is probably OK. Most likely the chain adjuster(s), under the valve covers, is going bad, possibly due to a bad shoe.
If it were me, I would drive it (minimally) under this logic: bad chain adjustments are not likely to damage the engine. There is risk of shoe pieces clogging things, like oil passages, but the car has 256K miles and is worth about the value of the gas in the tank +- any remaining tire value. If it dies, it lived a noble life, loyally serving it’s master for many years, and it’s time to go into bargaining mode to find a deal on a close out 2019 model somewhere. If it lives, of course it is worth repairing and deferring a car payment as long as possible.
Thank you so much for this information, very helpful. My car runs beautifully and I've changed so many things in my car and hoping to keep it for as long as possible. My mechanic checked the timing belt and he said it is fine. My timing belt is due at 258K (my car is at 256K now), but plan to have it replaced soon. He said something about changing something under/near the timing belt and he said its less labor cost if he do them both the same the time. I will talk to him today to find out exactly what it is and will report back. I also asked him on Friday if this issue will impact my engine and he said no. Thank you again and I'll report back soon.
 

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Has the oil been changed with synthetic all it's life? If it has, I would not hesitate to drive the car. If it has run regular oil, I would not drive it. I expect the cam chain tensioner (CCT) electric solenoid has failed. If regular oil has been used, it's possible the CCT pads have broken and that could lead to engine damage.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Has the oil been changed with synthetic all it's life? If it has, I would not hesitate to drive the car. If it has run regular oil, I would not drive it. I expect the cam chain tensioner (CCT) electric solenoid has failed. If regular oil has been used, it's possible the CCT pads have broken and that could lead to engine damage.
Thank you PZ. Yes, always synthetic oil. I talked to my mechanic this morning and he said that based on the detail finding on his scanner, I can drive the car, but taking my car to his shop on Thursday to get it checked out.

On a different note: I think it could be something electrical b/c my car runs beautifully. We live in the mountains and it has been a total nightmare to keep the damn mice away from my car. Even when I leave the hood up to let my engine to cool off when I get home from work. They often get into my car, poop all over my engine, try to build a nest under the hood, on the driver side underneath of the plastic cover that goes over the break fluid, battery, etc., With that said, could this be something electrical?
 

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Yes, they could have eaten through the wiring to the CCT. I've had squirrels going into our engine compartments. They don't make nests, but they leave shredded acorns and poop on the engine. I did repair an Audi S4 for someone that had a mouse eat the wiring to a sensor at the intake.
 

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If it is timing belt time, he should also check the cam chain tensioners and their shoes, which is probably part of the code troubleshooting anyway. Unless done recently, this would mean a new set of valve cover gaskets also.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If it is timing belt time, he should also check the cam chain tensioners and their shoes, which is probably part of the code troubleshooting anyway. Unless done recently, this would mean a new set of valve cover gaskets also.
Thank you so much, Hirnbeiss. I've made a summary of all the helpful replies including yours and will discuss with my mechanic.
 

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Thank you so much, Hirnbeiss. I've made a summary of all the helpful replies including yours and will discuss with my mechanic.
Hi Hirnbeiss & All:

Wanted to thank you all again and also provide an update about the code above in my post and also ask for your advice about the new code (P0171, Bank 1 system too lean and P0174 Bank 2), which popped up after I had the P0011 fixed and the timing belt changed.

My mechanic changed the timing belt (for $900), which was due and also the cam chain tensioner (what is the cost for this part, my car is a 2003 Passat V6, 2.8 engine? I was charged $300.00 for it).

So, P0011 code is gone!

The engine light went away. but it came back on after 30 minutes I left his shop. He scanned the engine light and these codes pooped up: P0171, Bank 1 system too lean and P0174 Bank 2. He replaced the PCV valve, which was leaking (or $65.00 part & labor) and the engine light went away. Then it came back on again just as P0171 Bank1 too lean. Taking my car to his shop tomorrow, but need some advice from you as how it can be fixed. I did some search on Google and watched this video:
and apparently it is not something extensive or expensive.

Additionally, he changed & fixed a laundry list of things, which all came to $1200.00, including the PCV valve). Please see pic. attached,

Now, after all of this my car runs just fine, actually better than before, until this new code popped up: P0171 Bank 1 system too lean.

Please share your thoughts and advice.

Thank you so much.
Ellie

p.s. I'm saving money to buy a clean, pre-owned, low mileage Passat (love VW cars and this is my 3rd VW), but in the meantime, have to hang on to my car for at least a year! I know my car has 258K mileage, but I've taken care of with lots of love and care! Done all the services and every time something pops up, I take care of right away.

Passat 1.jpg
Passat 2.jpg
 

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My mechanic changed the timing belt (for $900), which was due and also the cam chain tensioner (what is the cost for this part, my car is a 2003 Passat V6, 2.8 engine? I was charged $300.00 for it).
I believe something around $600 is more reasonable to change the timing belt. But now it's done at least you have peace in mind.

I'm saving money to buy a clean, pre-owned, low mileage Passat
I'm afraid such creature hasn't been created yet :D
 

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I believe something around $600 is more reasonable to change the timing belt. But now it's done at least you have peace in mind.

I'm afraid such creature hasn't been created yet :D
Passat V6, 2.8 engine timing belt change cost at the VW dealerships ranges from $1450 - $1770.00. My mechanic is an independent shop and only works on VWs. And $900.00 compare to dealership cost is very reasonable.
 

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I’d price for all the work. If all you have is P0171, the culprit is most likely a vacuum leak, which he could look for via a smoke test. If he finds vacuum is good, I would replace the oxygen sensors if they’re getting on in miles. Many change the MAF at this point, but with just one bank and no other symptoms I’m skeptical. If the code stays, I would do a quick check of fuel injectors on that side but then live with the code until something else appears to help pinpoint.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I’d price for all the work. If all you have is P0171, the culprit is most likely a vacuum leak, which he could look for via a smoke test. If he finds vacuum is good, I would replace the oxygen sensors if they’re getting on in miles. Many change the MAF at this point, but with just one bank and no other symptoms I’m skeptical. If the code stays, I would do a quick check of fuel injectors on that side but then live with the code until something else appears to help pinpoint.
Thank you Hirnbeiss. Will share this info. w/ my mechanic. Attaching pics with the prices including the pic with vacuum hoses replacement. I am not sure if all the work that he has done was necessary to clear the P0011 code. He said the timing belt replacement with parts came to $900.00. Though, from the invoice it looks like he has charged me 1K for all the labor and additional $120.00 for the the C.V. Boot repair. Appreciate your insight about the pricing and all the work he has done to clear the P0011 code.
 

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We live in the mountains and it has been a total nightmare to keep the damn mice away from my car. Even when I leave the hood up to let my engine to cool off when I get home from work
I occasionally do the same thing- pop the hood after the freeway drive to let the hot air out. I don't know if it does any good, but extended heating of rubber, plastics, etc. isn't beneficial. We're some 440 miles south of you, and around here it's the damn ground squirrels that are destructive.
 
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