Volkswagen Polo IV - Timing Chain - Robert E
Hi, I am interested to see if anyone has had the same of similar Experience as me on the latest (2009/10 onwards) VW POLO 1.2 S A/C, 3 Cylinder, Petrol 60ps.

In short the timing chain had stretched which has put the timing out

I have a 2010 Polo with 85,000miles on the clock. I had the traction control light appear along with the engine management light and a massive reduction in power with a deeper muffled sound to the engine. The RAC was called and the guy said it was the camshaft sensor (one at the top of the engine) that had gone and advised me not to drive until the car had a new sensor when I purchased and installed the same day. I then asked a family member to reset the computer to clear the fault. This didn't solve the problem but he also said as well as the cam sensor it's showing absolute manifold pressure which makes sense to assume a timing issue.

Long story short the timing chain which shouldn't have to be touched for the life of the car had stretched and and tentioner pistons at their maximum level.
VW Dealer managed to sheer the bolts between catalytic converter and the exhaust manifold as the engine has to be partially removed. We have sense spoken the very helpful mechanic who has been working on the car and he said the bolts looked fine so he carried on the normal way and sprayed (I forget the name) but some anti rust stuff on the bolts and undone as normal when they suddenly sheered. (If you get a new catalytic converter for your Polo be careful, maybe heat the bolts instead even if they look good.)

My car has spent most of it's life on high speed roads/motorways with the rest in stop start traffic South London.

Has anyone else had the same of similar experiences?
Volkswagen Polo IV - Timing Chain - gordonbennet

No knowledge of this car or its problems, but i know that many of here will be as intrigued as i am regarding the engine service regime, both required by maker and the actual service history of this car, especially its oil service history.

Volkswagen Polo IV - Timing Chain - Wackyracer

These are known for timing chains stretching and jumping a tooth on the sprockets. As well as burning out valves on the centre cylinder.

Another engine that makes me think there is no such thing as a good 3 cylinder.

Volkswagen Polo IV - Timing Chain - Robert E
Hi wackyracer, I have heard about this but I can only find info on the net about older model 3 cylinders rather than the 2010 ones so it's hard to prove. It looks roughly the same engine but I don't know if it's exactly the same

Personally I am not going to get a 3 cylinder again although they are great engines for what they are it's not quite as refined as a 4 cylinder.

Thank you for your reply
Volkswagen Polo IV - Timing Chain - dllr64

A known issue with these cars. A master tech over on the site notes that it can occur at the time of the oil change. Which can make the procedure an expensive form of Russian Roulette. He also disparaged the long life service. It's not worth it on these small high compression engines.

Volkswagen Polo IV - Timing Chain - edlithgow

Another engine that makes me think there is no such thing as a good 3 cylinder.

Mines been all right so far (1986 Daihatsu).

It isn't going to generate any fault codes though, doesn't have much in the way of sensors, and is belt rather than chain, though unfortunately it IS an interference engine.

I daresay the diagnostics are often useful, but I console myself with the many expensive wild goose chase sagas that I read on the nyet.

Volkswagen Polo IV - Timing Chain - Robert E
Well the car has full service history from the same VW dealer since new, I did put it on the long life service (every 20,000miles) after the dealer suggested it as I do lots of high speed miles. I have only had this for the last 20,000, before that it was 10,000. Anyway I am not going to ever do the long life service again!
Thank you for your reply!
Volkswagen Polo IV - Timing Chain - Happy Car

EXACT same thing has just happened to me.

2010 VW Polo 1.2 38,000 miles (!)

ESP light came on, then a minute later, the engine emissions warning light came on. The car seemed to go on limp mode and I got it to a garage.

The diagnostics said, "Faulty cam sensor". Replaced and fault still the same.

Timing Chain checked and it has stretched and jumped.

Replaced chain and put back together. All fine again.

Nice one VW. Really done a great job on these 3 cylinder engines :(

Volkswagen Polo IV - Timing Chain - Railroad.
A classic example of people not understanding what the diagnostic equipment is telling them. A fault code related to camshaft sensor is stored, so everyone simply assumed the sensor must be faulty. How exactly does the ECM know if the sensor is faulty or not? Yes it does know if the circuit is open or shorted, but if it receives a signal from the sensor which will be in the form of a voltage waveform the ECM will act on this information. It doesn't know if it's correct or not, it only knows what the sensor tells it. In this case the synchronisation between the crankshaft and camshaft is out of limits and that's why a fault code of camshaft sensor has been logged. What exactly would you expect the ECM to say in this situation? It definitely won't unplug itself, open the bonnet and check to see why this code was logged. It's up to technicians to do that.
Volkswagen Polo IV - Timing Chain - xtrailman

You can't expect a breakdown man to do other than what he did.

diagnostic reading and fault finding isnt straight forward, and technicians also get things wrong, its not a perfect world.

Volkswagen Polo IV - Timing Chain - Joel Rutter

This exact thing has just happened to me.

2010 reg, 47,000 miles, no warning signs just switched the car on and had the ESP and Engine Light come on. My local garage did exactly the same and just changed the CAM sensor.

I'm 130 quid down and no further to solving the problem. Got my car booked in to a VW specialist garage tomorrow.

Hope it gets fixed quickly and that it isn't to expensive.

Edited by Joel Rutter on 01/03/2021 at 20:24

Volkswagen Polo IV - Timing Chain - Irfaan Saheb
Hi Robert E, I know this post is 4 years into the future. But same issue. I have a 2010 VW Polo 1.2 3 cylinder. My engine management light came on and so has my traction control. Need to rev the car to around 2000rpm to make sure it doesn’t stall when I take off. Very shaky on idle and doesn’t do more than 3000 rpm. I changed the spark plugs and the ignition coils, I have an OBD and plugged that in and it said the cam shaft position sensor so I changed that as well (noob yes I know, was grasping hopefully it would be as simple as that) tried to reset the fault codes and same thing. I’m hoping someone here might recommend a trustworthy non rip off mechanic to help fix the issue. I’m up for doing it myself if I’m honest but feel like there might be a little bit more to it.
Volkswagen Polo IV - Timing Chain - Jules Hane
My 2010 VW Moda 1.2 suddenly did exactly the same last week - mangement lights and rpms limited (limp mode) - got it to my local garage - who say it is the chain, which will be very costly to repair with potential for additional engine damage.
With only 50000 miles on the clock I am shocked that a part like this can fail when it is supposed to last for the ‘life of the car’. No warning as car was running fine. I now wonder if it is worth paying for repair. Don’t understand why VW did not communicate a known fault to owners of cars from this era.
Volkswagen Polo IV - Timing Chain - dchap

Hey there, i have recently got the same issue with a 2013 polo (1.2 and 3 cylinder) which has only done 50,000 miles. Been fine recently with no warning lights but was a little juddery on start and then snapped. Costing well over £1000 to fix this. My suggestion is to stay well away from buying a 1.2 3cylinder engine as lots of these forums seem to show that this is a common problem.

Volkswagen Polo IV - Timing Chain - bigshineybike

Just an update, 2005 polo twist with the AZQ 1.2 engine.

the car had shown fault code for cam position and coil pack.

its just been diagnosed with timing chain stretch and posibly slips a tooth.

engine is running but will not rev over 3000 revs.

new chain fitted for £400.


Value my car