VW TDI crankshaft problems - Pez
Dear All

Just a quick note relating to my damaged VW Golf Mark 4 TDI crankshaft. Having been a VW \'nut\' all my motoring life (beetles/type 3\'s/golfs etc) I became the owner of a 2000 model 110bhp Golf TDI. Brilliant car etc. Treat her like my baby with regard to condition/service etc. 85k mileage always taken in to VW dealers for service (prior to service interval dates) always run on premium Mobil one oil etc etc. taken into dealer for 60k cambelt change (at 56k - early)got car back - all seemed above board etc. Over the next 20k noticed car not quite a \'sharp\' as used tobe but put it down to ever increasing mileage etc. decided to change dealer (for service) at 80k service (done early at 76k)because unhappy with original dealer for putting additional items on service that were not carried out. When i take the car into new dealer for 80k service inform them of the \'flat spot\' under excelleration etc. Dealer runs VAG.COM software to find that \'fuel pump timing\' is not set and could have been a result of 56k cambelt service. Advised take back to original dealer for reset etc. As i have no confidence in original dealer authorise current dealer to sort problem. £170.00 lighter i pick the car up - seems sharper etc. 1200 miles later flat spot is back and car running like a \'dog\'. Call dealer inform of problem. they say it may cost to sort but I beg to differ and book car in. Car in - fuel pump timing recalibrated and they inform me that \'sorted under parts warranty\'...hand car back with fuel pump timing recalibrated and seems ok. 1500 miles later same problem (car running gutless and problems starting etc). As I have a mate whom is a VW tech at different garage - same garage chain - he says he will sort it. Same problem - recalibrates fuel pump timin for 3rd time in as many months. 1500 miles later - same problem. Take it back to mate (VW Tech at VW dealer in Bolton) he strips car down to find that crankshaft end is burred and worn and that was probably due to 56K cambelt change and crankshaft bolts were probably not torqued correctly and over the course of the next 20k has worn the end of the crank and this is what is throwing out the fuel pump timing etc. He refits new cambelt and bottom cog along with all bolts etc and says he is confident that it will hold (he has never seen this problem on a Mark 4 TDI golf though). I was charged another £250.00 and on the receipt from the dealer it states - \'work cannot be guaranteed as crankshaft is damaged\'. Can you imagine my frustration. The car has only been serviced by VW dealers. car initially ran very well but after 1500 miles has begun to get flat spots and once again is goig the same way.
Can anybody offer comments or a course of action? The approximate cost of a new crankshaft will be the thick end of a grand and I feel that I should in no way be made to pay - dealer incompetence ehh. Please offer some advice.

VW TDI crankshaft problems - Altea Ego
To proceed further you need a written inspection report from a qualified identifiable source. Maybe's, possibly's and could be's wont cut the mustard. the report should give

1/ Symptoms : Fuel pump timing slipping every 1500 miles since 56k belt change
2/ Root cause analysis: Failure to tighten tighten bolts to xxx torque (found to be at yyy torque on inspection) after 56k mile belt change.
3/ Resolution actions required.

Supporting documentation should be provided, photos, service history etc.

then you have a case to go back to the dealer at the source of the problem for resolution.
VW TDI crankshaft problems - Pez
Thanks for the prompt response. I have got all relevent service docs etc and the problems with liability will be proving that the dealer was negligent in not either torqueing or replaceing the four bolts that fasten the cranksaft cog onto the crankshaft. I know this is defintely how the problem occured as my VW tech mate has stated this is the most likely course. According to my dealer service records the service was carried out by an 18 year old apprentice - no disrespect as it would be whoever was in charge of over seeing the work on that occassion. dealers are an absolute waste of space. The other VW dealer service department is a multi million pound machine whom is intent on maximising return for investors. I know you cannot paint all with the same brush but there is alot to b said for the quickly dissapperaing independent local garages whoms reputations were made through word of mouth. Still we are all intent on having full dealer service historys etc so we are tied to going back to the dealers - pathetic human nature. my letters and documnets have only just been sent to VW Group Uk and the two dealers (and their customer services managers) during the last few days. Be rest assured that there is no way on this earth that I will be paying fr a new crank. The Public relations avenue will be next if I get no joy from wither Vw Uk or its poxy dealers.

Cheers -
VW TDI crankshaft problems - 547HEW
Hi Pez,

Cannot advise re course of action, but this may be of interest.

I changed my timing belt on my 115PS PD golf, to VW procedure. This states that the 4 (or is it 5?) bolts holding the belt pulley to the crankshaft nose MUST BE RENEWED, every time they are disturbed.

When I purchased my parts from a VW MAIN DEALER, I got everything off the shelf, but was surprised that they did not stock the bolts, they had to order them in for me.

You may draw your own conclusions!

VW TDI crankshaft problems - Pez
Ta for the response.
Its 4 bolts I beleive. How come you did the cam belt yourself, wouldnt you bother with the dealer?
I am sure there will be a positive outcome at the end as long as i do not fork out £406.00 VAT for the crankshaft plus fitting.

VW TDI crankshaft problems - Altea Ego

your "mate" will have to identify himself, reveal his technical qualifications, and put it in writing. Is he prepared to go this far? "My mate who knows" wont cut it.

Your reference to the dealers name will be cut by Mark or DD in due course.
VW TDI crankshaft problems - 547HEW
Hi Pez,

To answer "How come you did the cam belt yourself, wouldnt you bother with the dealer?"

I do all my own vehicle maintenance. Early in my life this was to save costs, but now I carry on doing so because I have the facilities and knowledge to do so, but perhaps most relevant, I cannot trust anyone else to do it. Also, for me, it is a lot more convenient than visiting a dealer.

I do insist on using OEM parts, and procedures. Saves money in the long run.
VW TDI crankshaft problems - Mark (RLBS)
>>Please offer some advice.


1) Don't swear in here, with or without asterisks
2) Do not name a company and then accuse it of illegal and/or immoral behaviour.

As for the rest, I don't fancy your chances. You should have taken it back to the offending dealer in the first place. Now you will struggle to say whose fault it was.
VW TDI crankshaft problems - 659FBE
My advice would be to sell the vehicle, for the following reasons:

The design of this VW engine is unsound, in that the timing wheels are not fully keyed to the shafts. Instead, and in order to permit the adjustment of the timing, the lower wheel is free to a limited extent on the crankshaft, and is "nipped" into the correct position by stretch bolts which, as has been rightly stated, should be renewed and torqued when disturbed.

The correct way to design this detail is to use the method employed on the Peugeot (later) diesel engines, where the wheel hubs are keyed conventionally to the shafts, and the timing adjustment done at a much larger radius (and hence lower force) with three bolts in slotted holes on the larger wheels. On my Peugeot, you can finely set both the valve timing, and the injection timing by means of these hubs. A further advantage is that the belt tension can be set when it is free of locked in torque from the camshaft and pump.

I'm afraid that the recent offerings from VW, for instance, the need for special oil for the PD diesels, represent silly design which will cost the owners dearly later in life. In the case of the PD engines, the stresses on the cams (and consequently on the timing belt) are too high for conventional oils. Guess what they will be like in 5 or so years time with "real life" maintenance.
VW TDI crankshaft problems - Aprilia
Very well said 659FBE. This whole 'adjustment on the crank nose' business has been tried in the past on other diesel engines and has been found wanting - one 'false move' and the crank is scrap. An 'intolerant' design, to say the least. I never like designs with critical parts that rely on friction to stay in place (anyone remember the timing belt pulleys on Rover M16 engines?!).

I also agree ref. the PD diesels. The shear that the oil under the cams must endure is phenominal - again, it will prove to be intolerant of skipped changes, contamination from other sources (e.g. antifreeze getting into oil).
VW TDI crankshaft problems - 659FBE
I suppose whilst in \"rant\" mode, I could also have mentioned the coil packs on the VAG petrol engines, and the stupid riveted crownwheel to diff carrier assemblies which sometimes find their way out of VW gearcases at a tender age.

However, to be a little more helpful to Pez, surely we need to know if he was invoiced for the crank wheel bolts at the first cambelt change. If not, fight all the way and make VW pay.

By the way, when I suggested selling the car, this would be to a VW dealer, of course.
VW TDI crankshaft problems - DL
"I never like designs with critical parts that rely on friction to stay in place (anyone remember the timing belt pulleys on Rover M16 engines?!)"

They were roll-pin located, weren't they??

VW TDI crankshaft problems - Aprilia
I mean the tensioner pulley wheel. I think it was on a plate that bolted to the water pump cover. The pulley itself was just held in place with an Allen bolt which 'nipped' it against the backplate. They used to slip and the belt would go slack and jump. Then Rover added a disc of 'sandpaper' between the pulley and the backplate to increase the amount of frtiction and help stop them coming loose!!
VW TDI crankshaft problems - DL
Ah yes, the old disc of 800 grit wet and dry trick!!! Seemed to work though........

Sorry, I was thinking of taper (friction) mounted camwheels etc as on VAG TDi's etc.
VW TDI crankshaft problems - Pez
Mark (RLBS)- thank you for pointing out the error of my ways. True, i am annoyed and frustrated at VW dealers but I agree that negative responses like mine will get us all nowhere. As for the site etiquette, now that you have \"laid down the law\" I shall not speak out of turn in any future correspondance.

Yours apologetically

edited, as if you hadn\'t already guessed. DD.

Value my car