VAG TSi Timing Chain

Professional VAG Replacement Timing Chain

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The 2.0 TSi EA888 family engine is fitted to a whole range of vehicles but the most common models we see are Golf MK6 GTi, Scirocco, A3, A4, A5.

Compared with the original TFSi EA113 engine which utilised a conventional timing belt (cambelt) this later design utilises a pair of chains – a main timing chain to join the camshaft and crankshaft and a second chain to drive a pair of counter rotating balance shafts.

A third chain is also incorporated to solely drive the oil pump.

TSI engine

What goes wrong?

The main fault with early models (pre 2010) is with the design of the main timing chain hydraulic tensioner. This has been revised by VW as it was prone to failing by reducing the tension on the main chain. The timing chain design itself has also been revised several times as it is prone to stretching which can then cause mis-alignment and the engine management light to come on.

Each chain circuit incorporates several plastic guide rails which have been known to crack and break and so should always be replaced at the same time.

Although the dealers may offer to replace just the main chain tensioner for the revised part this is a short-sighted repair as it does not safeguard against the other components failing in the future.

At VDS we always replace ALL chains, tensioners, guide rails etc with the latest revised genuine OEM parts from VW.

We also replace the oil pick up pipe and carry out a sump clean, and oil and filter change to ensure correct oil pressure and flow, to reduce the risk of premature wear on the chains due to lack of lubrication.

We have recently carried out this repair for customers travelling from London and Kent as well as locally to take advantage of our experienced service having struggled to find a repairer local to them prepared to take on this involved job.

TSi timing chain replacement
TSi timing chain replacement (balance shaft)
TSI chain kit
Old vs new tensioner

But how do I know if my timing chain is in need of replacing?

Fortunately, there is a very quick and easy way to indicate the amount of chain ‘stretch’ using VCDS. A five-minute check can indicate the health of the chain by simply checking serial data.

If you own any of the models mentioned in this post or are worried about your timing chain don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be more than happy to discuss and explain repair options available to you and carry out the ‘quick-check’ FOC.

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