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2005 A6 3.2 FSI Timing Chain Tensioner

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Old 01-02-2014, 09:36 AM   #1
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Default 2005 A6 3.2 FSI Timing Chain Tensioner

It looks like my V6 3.2 FSI engine has a failed chain tensioner (loud rattling). I've ordered a set of upper tensioners for both banks and will attempt to replace them when the parts arrive.

I've read on other forums that the tensioner failure is common on these engines. I'd like to try just changing just the upper tensioners as Im not looking forward to pulling the engine without a lift to do all the chains. Has anyone on this forum attempted this?
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Old 01-02-2014, 04:11 PM   #2
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I think I'm having the same issue as you. Please let me know how it goes if you do attempt to fix.
Also, where did you buy tensioners and how much?
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Old 01-02-2014, 04:22 PM   #3
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I ordered them from partsgeek.com

Parts Ordered
2005 Audi A6 Quattro Timing Chain Tensioner Engine Mechanical Price: $218.98 Core: $0.00 Extended Warranty: $0.00 Qty: 1 Part #: W0133-1773921

2005 Audi A6 Quattro Timing Chain Tensioner Engine Mechanical Price: $171.98 Core: $0.00 Extended Warranty: $0.00 Qty: 1 Part #: W0133-1773922

I haven't been able to find anyone that has posted anything remotely usefull on this topic besides a few pictures and that it has to be a $8k engine pull ordeal. I'm not interested in replacing the lower chains so will post pictures when I tear into this.
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Old 01-02-2014, 06:07 PM   #4
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How do you know it's an upper tensioner? If you have access to a VAG-COM you can diagnose which tensioner is bad. I have been fortunate to not have any experience with the tensioners. I have read that the only tensioner that you can change with the motor in the car is the upper L & R on the 3.2. The motor has to come out to do anything on the 4.2. You will need to buy or rent a locking tool to keep everything in place while swap out the tensioner. Good Luck.
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Old 01-02-2014, 06:49 PM   #5
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I can pretty clearly hear where it's coming from. Furthermore, lets look at this logically. If I replace both the upper tensioners and it resolves it then great. If it's the lower guides/tensioners then the motor has to come out anyway. If I'm replacing 1 tensioner, I'm going to do both. I've been working on Porsche/BMW engines since the early 80's. I've run across many failed chain tensioners, I'm not sweating too hard about this. I've ordered the Ross-tech vagcom but I have no intention of waiting, they're getting swapped.
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:27 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by mkongsiri View Post
I can pretty clearly hear where it's coming from. Furthermore, lets look at this logically. If I replace both the upper tensioners and it resolves it then great. If it's the lower guides/tensioners then the motor has to come out anyway. If I'm replacing 1 tensioner, I'm going to do both. I've been working on Porsche/BMW engines since the early 80's. I've run across many failed chain tensioners, I'm not sweating too hard about this. I've ordered the Ross-tech vagcom but I have no intention of waiting, they're getting swapped.
Maybe do a write up on this to help us less skilled, please!!
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:40 AM   #7
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Yea, that's the plan. I'll see if I can shoot some video and put it up on youtube too. Parts get here next Monday, so I'll probably work on it Tuesday.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:08 PM   #8
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Yea, that's the plan. I'll see if I can shoot some video and put it up on youtube too. Parts get here next Monday, so I'll probably work on it Tuesday.
Hey, I think I have the same issue on my 2008 with 80k miles. Loud rattling that lasts around a second or two upon startup.

I did a lot of work on my '98 A6, including timing belt but have done nothing major on this one. I have VAGCOM and the audi online service manual but would still love to see how it went for you.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:12 PM   #9
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I'm almost done with it, just waiting for the freezing 45 degree weather in Florida to pass! 70 degrees friday! I've documented the whole process, tools needed, parts etc. Have video too.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:26 PM   #10
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I'm almost done with it, just waiting for the freezing 45 degree weather in Florida to pass! 70 degrees friday! I've documented the whole process, tools needed, parts etc. Have video too.
Awesome! Look forward to it. Did only changing the upper tensioners resolve the noise?
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:29 PM   #11
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Yes, I replaced the passengers side upper tensioner and the noise was gone. Each of the upper upper tensioners has a hydraulic piston that tensions the chain. I decide to replace the drivers side for good measure and am almost done. I have to say the hydraulic piston in the tensioner appears to be the achilles heel of the assembly as everything else looks in good order. I've seen alot of posts saying the the only sensible course is a complete engine pull and replacement of all timing chains, tensioners, etc. I say it's complete Bull$#%t.
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Old 01-30-2014, 02:50 AM   #12
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I'm looking forward to seeing the photos and video. Thanks for taking the time.
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:03 AM   #13
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I just found this TSB indicating the sound is normal for 1-2 seconds upon startup. What do you make of it?

http://uberlame.com/a6_tsb/Engine/Ra...ne%20start.pdf
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:26 AM   #14
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I just found this TSB indicating the sound is normal for 1-2 seconds upon startup. What do you make of it?

http://uberlame.com/a6_tsb/Engine/Ra...ne%20start.pdf
Yes, oil pressure has to build on cold-start for the tensioner piston to apply pressure on the chain. There's also some noise associated with the injectors. My 3.2 with 100k miles on it displayed the cold start symptoms and it did go away after a few min. But driving home one day, it made a very loud persistent clacking sound. Sounded like an old diesel rabbbit. I took a video of the engine running, you can definitely hear it while it was running at normal temps. I initially thought I might had a failed connecting rod. But when I got the car home and listened, I decided that a sudden failure like that was most likely the chain tensioner as it was loudest on the passengers side. I definitely did not drive the vehicle after that as you can easily throw the chain off timing and ruin the valves. I cringe when I see people revving the engine in hopes that the sound will simply go away. I wonder if the initial cold start sounds are a symptoms of the seals inside the tensioner piston wearing out and needing more time to fully extend. Ill film a cold start with the new tensioners installed so you can compare with your car.
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:14 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by newa6er View Post
I have read that the only tensioner that you can change with the motor in the car is the upper L & R on the 3.2. The motor has to come out to do anything on the 4.2. You will need to buy or rent a locking tool to keep everything in place while swap out the tensioner. Good Luck.
Right on.
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:17 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Luis A. View Post
Hey, I think I have the same issue on my 2008 with 80k miles. Loud rattling that lasts around a second or two upon startup.

I did a lot of work on my '98 A6, including timing belt but have done nothing major on this one. I have VAGCOM and the audi online service manual but would still love to see how it went for you.
This sounds like the beginning of the end. Try to figure out which one of the four it is and act on it, don't wait until it gets worse. Wished I had known what it was for sure from the start when it happened to me.
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:19 AM   #17
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Right on.
There is a small lower tensioner, and if that fails then you are out of luck, the engine has to come out. As I said initially, im prepared to do it if needed but it was not. I bought the entire engine timing tool set for $150 new off of ebay, as well as crank turning tool ($20) and 12point 14mm camshaft socket ($9).
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:24 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkongsiri View Post
There is a small lower tensioner, and if that fails then you are out of luck, the engine has to come out. As I said initially, im prepared to do it if needed but it was not. I bought the entire engine timing tool set for $150 new off of ebay, as well as crank turning tool ($20) and 12point 14mm camshaft socket ($9).
Nice, good luck with this. Most likely it is the upper ones as they are the more common. Here is my post on this when I did not know what the heck was going on.

http://forums.audiworld.com/showthread.php?t=2809217
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:29 AM   #19
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Nice, good luck with this. Most likely it is the upper ones as they are the more common. Here is my post on this when I did not know what the heck was going on.

http://forums.audiworld.com/showthread.php?t=2809217
Thanks. I finished tensioner installation already, and the engine runs beautifully. 4 hours total. I just have to put the bumper back on tomorrow as I also repaired a bad adaptive headlight and replaced serpentine belt and tensioner.
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:34 AM   #20
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Thanks. I finished tensioner installation already, and the engine runs beautifully. 4 hours total. I just have to put the bumper back on tomorrow as I also repaired a bad adaptive headlight and replaced serpentine belt and tensioner.
Great job, nice to hear it all went well. Now that u mentioned S.Belt and tensioner, I have the parts and still have not done it at 144k. Maybe I will get on it this weekend.
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:34 AM
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2005, 32, a3, a6, audi, c6, chain, change, cold, quattro, rattle, rattles, start, started, timing


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