2.0T FSI Timing Chain, Chain Adjuster and Chain Tensioner Problems

May 5, 2015
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We want to start by mentioning the part failures mentioned in this article would not be considered common, but we wanted to share them to help stress the importance of vehicle maintenance.   While vehicle maintenance is always important the following could be a glimpse of what could be if your 2.0T FSI engine is not maintained well.

The FSI engine uses a timing belt on the passenger side of the engine, but the driver’s side has a timing chain that keeps the 2 camshafts in time.  The first component in this system is the Cam Chain Adjuster, which is mounted on the exhaust cam and uses oil pressure to adjust cam timing.  This adjuster is used to execute the control of the variable valve timing on the 2.0T FSI engine.  Since this part uses oil pressure to adjust the timing, if this part becomes clogged it may no longer be able to adjust the timing.

2.0T FSI Cam Chain Adjuster (Mounted on the Cam) 06F109088J

2.0t FSI Cam Chain Adjuster

 

The next component in this system is the Cam Timing Chain Tensioner; this part sits between the cams and keeps tension on the timing chain.  If this FSI Cam Chain Tensioner fails it will cause slack in the timing chain keeping the cams in time.  If this happens the cam chain will almost certainly lose tension causing the timing to jump.  This will result in bent valves or other engine damage.

2.0T FSI Cam Chain Tensioner 06F109217A

2.0t FSI Cam Chain Adjuster

 

Lastly the FSI Cam Adjuster Control Valve (N205), this part is a solenoid valve which controls the oil flow to the cam adjuster giving the ECU the ability to change timing.  Since this part is oil driven a poorly maintained FSI engine may be more likely to have this part fail.  If this part fails you also may get faults such as P000A/000010 – Camshaft A (Bank 1 Intake): Positioner Slow Response.

2.0T FSI Cam Adjuster Control Valve N205

2.0t FSI Cam Adjuster N205 Valve

Since the chain adjuster is oil pressure driven, we have heard of a recent failure that is happening around possible maintenance neglect.  If the oil in an FSI engine is not changed regularly or subpar oil is used it can cause sludge.  If you get sludge or other contaminants in your engine it could clog this timing chain tensioner, not giving it any oil pressure.  If the tensioner has no oil pressure it will allow slack on the cam timing chain causing the engine to jump time.This failure would cause valves to bend and the engine must be broken down to repair this at a cost of probably $3-4k.

Make sure to regularly maintain your VW or Audi 2.0T FSI with oil that meets the proper spec (VW 502 00) for your FSI Engine.

Paul Barrett

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48 Comments

on 2.0T FSI Timing Chain, Chain Adjuster and Chain Tensioner Problems.
  1. John
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    Thanks for the article! question: for those with a higher-mileage well-maintained car, what would a reasonable interval be to chain out the tensioner and chain–200K? more?? wait until there’s chain slap against the valve cover???

    Obviously there are much more complex chains that go 400K and more, and I’m not looking to do unnecessary maintenance. Any thoughts, along with some information on the cost of a parts kit would be appreciated. I’m at 125K now and was thinking this may be a 200K maintenance item–but then again maybe it’s unnecessary. I welcome your opinion, and thanks for the great articles.

    • Paul Barrett
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      John

      Glad you found the article helpful. This may not be something you would want to replace as maintenance. You should only replace this if you have noise or other faults related to the chain tensioner. Take a look above for pricing as we have links to all the products there.

      • Steve vandeveer
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        I have a question I have the fsi 2.0 I have a loud clicking noise that comes when the car warms up but disappears when the car is above 2k rpms I’m trying to figure out if it’s the cam chain tensioner as people have reported similar problems…the camshaft was replaced 30k miles ago do to a recall I dont have a bad shake to the car or idle problems it is just got a loud clicking noise any suggestions are welcomed

        • Paul Barrett
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          You should get with a local VW/Audi specialist to help you with this

      • Donald Zechariah Odhiambo Ogillo
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        The information is very helpful. Kindly send me a copy of your catalogue through above email address.

        Regards
        Don

        • Paul Barrett
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          Please check out the site as all of our products Ok

  2. neal
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    Hi,

    Wonder if you can help, been having issues on audi a4 2003 2.0fsi engine with n205 valve coming up on machine. I have had timing belt, and cam chain/tensioner changed.

    I basically need to the n205 valve for an audi a4 2003 2.0 sf, do you have this in stock please and at what price?

    thank you

    neal

  3. Harin
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    My Audi 2003 A4 2L still has noise after changing the adjuster and valve. What can I do next? Please help as the Audi dealer does not know.
    adjuster: 06B109088D
    valve: 06B103741G

    • Paul Barrett
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      Tough to say could be an oil pressure related problem.

  4. Kevin
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    I have a 2006 MKV GTI 2.0T FSI, it has 175,000mi
    I keep getting a P000A engine code. Should I check the cam follower first or replace the N205valve?? Anyone that has any helpful info will be greatly appreciated!

  5. Greg
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    2005 A4 2.0T 140K miles experienced failure of timing chain, adjuster and tensioner (and who knows what else) 1 week following oil change at local service outfit. Checked oil and found oil level at least 1 quart over filled. Do you think this could have lead to failure or was this a coincidence?

    • Paul Barrett
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      Its really tough to say. I wish could answer that confidently but I dont feel like I can. Its possible that overfilling the oil could have contributed but its not likely it was directly responsible for the failure.

  6. Steve
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    I have a 2005 A4 2.0T with approximately 180K miles. The timing chain and all components were changed 35K miles ago.

    Two days ago my car died. I was informed today that the dealer believes the timing chain FAILED and broke. On the dash, as the engine lost power, was the EPC warning light then all the lights on the dash came on. When the FAILURE happened there was a ‘puff’ like sound while I was driving – however, with the radio on it was hard to distinguish what the full sound was.

    Now the question – as the Timing Chain was just replaced 35K miles ago, knowing what I know about the potential costs involved, do I have a leg-to-stand on from the chain manufacturer? I believe the dealer used all OEM replacement parts for the ‘kit’.

    This 2.0T engine in my Audi has been nothing but a pain in the you know what. Considering all the mechanics that have said how solid this engine is — I have serious doubts. MOF, when the dealer (Audi/VW specialty used car dealer) dropped the oil pan in the process of replacing the original chain, they found only two of three bolts were holding down the oil pump!!

    I am not sure what leverage I have — I have either used Mobile One Euro Synthetic, Ravenol Synthetic and Mahle Original oil filter if I change the oil or whatever the oil the used car dealer put in after working on the vehicle since I bought the car with 132K miles. Either 5/30 or 5/40 for weight depending on time of year — living in the snow belt region.

    I will say, the manual tranny and the power, when the engine is working, is just wonderful with that 2.0T!! But the costs to keep it running have been mounting!

    Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions — PLEASE???

    • Paul Barrett
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      Sounds like you have a 1.8t engine because 2.0t engines use a really complicated oil pump balance shaft setup that had a lot more than 3 bolts holding it in. In regards to the failure its pretty much impossible to know if the chain just broke or if your timing chain tensioner went bad allowing slack in the chain. This would make the chain jump and possibly bind up and get caught which would likely break the chain. Its going to be tough to say that the parts are responsible for the failure and even more so after 35k miles.

  7. alex
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    On a cold start up i have this sound that last only 1-2 seconds sounds awful but it goes away after the couple seconds, and if i restart it again anytime soon it does not make any sounds, i have read where people change tension chain and belt and still have this issue, i really believe this issue is the oil loosing pressure when is parked for too long and it drains out from the area, hence engine needs to restart before it fills up back the this location. Is the N205 part seem to be what i need?

    • Paul Barrett
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      I’m sorry there is no way for us to know. You should consider having the vehicle diagnosed by a professional.

  8. Gujjar
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    Hi I have 06 Audi 2.0 turbo – I was driving & brokdonw camshaft chain tensioner & adjuster pully bolt / so I replace Alls so now car won’t start / can u let me know if camshaft chain have timing mark ? Can u let me know how to adjust it to car get start ! Thanks

  9. Artur
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    I just got a 2006 Audi A4 2.0T FSI. At the time I pick up the car, I didn’t notice anything, The engine was cold.
    But after it become hot, the car engine sound looks like diesel. I read some posts. Some telling it is expected because it is the way the engine works, some explaining this as huge problem. I don’t thing brand new Audi’s in 2006 can have a engine sounding like a diesel engine with knock … knock …
    The car was passed per pre-purchase inspection by yourmechanic.com (stay away from them) and the “mechanic” report all as ok. He even check the tires, paint, just used a computer connected to car for sensor measurement.
    I like recommendation to identify the problem and the cost for fix.
    The car has no power loss, the turbo look like work properly. The only downside is the gas mileage, but as I just have this car for one day I can judge if it is correct or not.
    Please, if possible give me some advice.

    • Paul Barrett
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      You will need to take your vehicle to a VW or Audi specialist to diagnose your issues.

      • Artur
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        Thank you for fast reply.

  10. luke
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    I have a 2012 1.8tfsi and have had a camshaft sensor fault and over advanced timing when the machine was plugged in. Cam sensor was replaced fault returned after 15 miles. It is rough running at low revs and the timing is all over. When you rev it the degrees of the actuator return to normal and it purs like a kitten then 2 mins later its of again. Sounds terrible.

    car has done 38k.

    after taking it to 3 garages and being told they dont know where to begin with this engine i took it direct to audi (to busy to give a courtesy car) so far they have confirmed the fault codes and a timing issue, they are checking the timing chain and actuator control valve and also checking oil for swarf of metal. Does not sound good at all and they have not found the fault yet (so far over £420 diagnostic)

    this sounds like a serious build fault to me as it is a new car, any ideas? Do you think i should take this up with audi direct as i can already see the costs spiraling (with no courtesy car…bitter)

  11. gabriel farias
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    Hi, my car recently bent all the intake valves cuz the tensioner brakes so I put a new head with anew tensioner and I clean the oil pick up, but after 100 miles driving car stops and I found out the tensioner brakes again and valves are bent again, I am afraid of put a new head again cuz could brake the tensioner again, what you recommend me, thanks in advance.

    • Paul Barrett
      |

      There are really only 2 scenarios which could have caused this.

      1. Low quality parts were used causing the new one to fail. In my time I have not seen any OEM parts fail in this scenario so the likelihood of this while possible is extremely low.
      2. Installation error. Whoever did the install may have made a mistake causing this to happen.

      Sorry to hear about your troubles. I hope it works out for you.

  12. jon
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    thanks for sending the link for this i now know that i could possibly have a major problem with my audi a4 hoping it is not to late for it

  13. Todd
    |

    I should add that I only hear the “marble” sound after the engine is warmed up. Last, anything else I should change while I have it opened up (Cam follower)?

    • Paul Barrett
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      Checking the cam follower is an absolute must on the FSI engine.

  14. ToddM
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    I have a 2006 A4 Quattro with a 2.0L Turbo with 100,000 miles on it. It runs great but I am chasing an oil leak that appears to be coming from the top rear of the engine. I plan to change the gasket around the cam chain and am wondering if it is a good idea to change out the Chain Tensioner and/or the Cam follower while I have it apart.

    • Paul Barrett
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      It may not be a bad idea if you have that rattling sound mentioned. It could be cam chain related. As for the cam follower you should always check this on the FSI engines.

      • Todd
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        Would you recommend “blue loctite” for the bolts holding the tensioner in place and/or is there a torque spec I should adhere to? Thanks!

        • Paul Barrett
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          We dont have the torque specs. You should check out a bentley manual for info like that.

  15. Tom kasanda
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    your articles are very educative. Am so worried about my VW golf TOURAN 2005model. BLF engine 1.6cc. it locked 100,000km and i was advised to replace the chain ever since the chain has been retimed 2twice. The last Timming seemed better becoz the vibration of the engine is far much better. now my car is getting and hunting. please help if you can.

    • Paul Barrett
      |

      Im sorry I cant offer much help on this. YOu should bring to a VW specialist in your area

  16. Gary
    |

    Hi I think this is an awsome site and very helpful
    I have 2007 passat 2.0t fsi auto
    Car performs strong
    Starts perfect
    Drives good
    Problem I’m experiencing is
    Upper speed low rpm in high gear
    Spark knock very audible
    Power declines and engine light comes on referring spark knock…..
    My personal feeling is low fuel pressure..?
    It does throughout wot heavy acceleration high rev it seems too perform strong and then starve for fuel..
    The spark knock is my concern
    Where to start?
    I only have the one code ??ill check it again to record the number
    Thanks

    • Paul Barrett
      |

      This sounds like a more complicated diag. Probably start with the knock sensors but you might consider bringing it to a VW specialist.

  17. Wes
    |

    Hi, Firstly thanks for the wealth of knowledge you freely give and also for the great deals and service I’ve received at shopdap, anyhow to get to the point. I have a 2006 A4 2.0TFSI which I’ve been trying to track down the cause of a low oil pressure problem (28 psi at 2000rpm and 5psi at idle when warm, 70psi cold idle) which still persists after changing the oil pump and all bottom end bearings because of a balance shaft failure. I looked at the cam tensioner assembly (which looked fine as does the head) thinking it might be loosing oil there and found that the timing has been out by one cog on the timing belt. After setting and running it it now seems to have a boost issue, won’t boost over 5psi (before it was 12psi).
    Any insight would be greatly appreciated,
    Thank you

    • Paul Barrett
      |

      Sounds like you have multiple issues and unfortunately you are going to need to bring it to someone to figure all that out.

  18. Liam
    |

    Hi I have a 2005 Audi A3 2.0 TFSI engine with 100,000 miles and my cam chain adjuster is noisy do you know where I could order a new/used one from

  19. sumeet patel
    |

    Hi guys,

    I need your Help please…..
    I have a Golf5 GTI FSI turbo BWA Engine. I was replacing my cylinder head because I used a wrong bolt and messed up my threads on the intake manfold when I replaced a faulty injector. Iv done the Timing belt and cam chain as stared on the Forums. Now the car starts ravs fine once I start then dies and refuses to start again. I don’t know if am missing d timing settings or its some part that’s gone bad..
    Errors I got on a scanner is: P0192 and P1624.
    Also my oil light beeps. Please anyone with an idea, will be forever greatful.

    • Paul Barrett
      |

      You really should consider bringing it to a VW/Audi specialist as theres not much we can offer you as quick fix for this.

  20. Daniel McArthur
    |

    Very helpful articles!! I recommend this site often. I have a MY07 Passat 2.0T Wagon. BPY engine. I am getting a P0010/P1531 Camshaft Control Circuit open (short to ground on the P0010). I had several relays go bad which caused some turbo circuit faults. Replacing the relays corrected everything BUT the 2 cited. The N205 seems OK. Could this be under the fuse box? Can this cause serious problems? The fuses all check out. The related relay gets extremely hot (J271 if I am correct). I am seriously confused at this point. I have yet to pull the main box.

  21. Veeren Sankar
    |

    Hi there paul thanks for great advise. I have problem with my golf 6 gti i repaced the timing chains and tensioner now there is a winding sound coming from the cam gear side, sort of a belt noise. I did remove the alternator belt and started the car,noise is still there. Been driving the car for a while now and the noise is still there.
    Does anyone have any ideas.

    Thanks Veez.

  22. Josh
    |

    Hey guys. I just got an engine code for Intake Cam, advanced timing. wondering if you have seen this before and if the cam adjuster could be at fault. I just rebuilt the lower end of the engine and replaced the high pressure fuel pump guide. checked engine oil pressure with a manual gauge, I’m new to these engines. Audi A4 B7. 2.0T

    Thanks in advance.

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