View Full Version : Cam tensioner noise

07-11-2012, 11:57 AM
So I just changed out my original ATW tensioner with an AWM one for my ATW-AWM conversion. The replacement unit is OEM purchased from Europa Parts. I noticed after doing a 100 mile test on my AWM converion that I was getting a P0011 - Intermittent code but cleared it out and haven't heard it come back. Ever since the conversion I've noticed that on start up when cold I can hear the tensioner for a second or so. I am assuming this is from oil pressure build up, but doesn't the tensioner have a check valve so that even on start up it still has tension? Does anyone else's AWM(or AEB/ATW far that matter) make this noise? I don't recall it happening on my stock ATW tensioner but I am not 100% sure.

07-11-2012, 12:05 PM
My AWM does the death rattle every morning. Oil is Rotella T6 5w-40. Chain is new-ish (only 40k on the chain and tensioner). Tensioner is genuine eBay brand ('cause I'm cheap like that), but bears Audi part number and rings and such. I figure it's probably a grey market VW-China genuine part or something. The rattle sounds bad, but completely normal. There is an Audi TSB for dealers to tell customers to ignore the noise as long as it is just for the first few seconds.

Yes, it does seem like the VVT tensioners do this much more often than the non-vvt versions. Also the failure rate is higher, and they cost 3 times as much. Go figure.

09-24-2012, 06:24 PM
The noise has continued at each cold start, but now something new.

So I just got back from a long road trip from SF to Portland and noticed that my tensioner is now making a rattling noise at idle when the oil is hot. I confirmed this this morning on my way to work. It's not as loud as the start up noise but still there. Sounds almost dieselish. Noise goes away when I raise the revs. Oil is 0w-40 Mobil 1 European spec. I am guessing that my tensioner I installed is faulty or that my pickup might be slightly clogged. I ran half a can of seafoam in the oil before switching to the synthetic Mobil 1 last oil change, but haven't had any issues until now.

Would the best course of action be getting a oil pressure sensor gauge and checking that? Then from there suspect my oil pickup screen, but If my pressure is alright I am going to guess that my OEM tensioner is somehow faulty.

09-24-2012, 06:44 PM
I would go to 5w 40 syn I ran 0w 40 from the time i got my car and 10k later need new CCT my car only has 86k on it. from what shops have told me 5w 40 is better for the 1.8t with a lightly moded or stock car. .$.02 I hate to say it but you may want to take the vale cover back off and look at the new one if its making sounds with warm/hot oil temps. oil pressure gauge is great idea, again .$.02

09-24-2012, 07:47 PM
Yes, considering the tensioner is new, you want to get an oil pressure reading at hot idle (and hot 2k, 3k, 4k, 5k rpm to compare to known good values).

We had a Passat 1.8T in the shop recently making all kinds on noise from the CCT. Checked oil pressure...way low. Just *barely* keeping the light off (ie: the danger zone). Didn't touch the tensioner just dropped the pan and cleaned all the crap out of the screen. All back together and the engine is silent. Then, turns out the long time with lousy oil pressure had slowly killed the turbo. The turbo seemed to be ok before the repair, but when it got all the oil pressure back, it started dumping oil down the exhaust. Nice.

09-28-2012, 07:23 PM
I went and hooked up a oil pressure gauge to the extra test port on the ATW(FYI it's a M10x1.0 taper, NOT a 1/8 NPT). I got the following while hot(~190 according to the dash oil tmp gauge).

900(Idle) - 22PSI
2K - 47PSI
3K - 72PSI

I didn't go any higher since it was after work and didn't want to disturb the neighbors too much. I'll be doing a full range of RPM pressures tomorrow or Sunday.

That sounds in spec according to the Bentley and what walky_talky20 posted in his gauge install thread. I guess it would appear that my new "OEM" tensioner is on it's way out. :\

Should I try a thicker weight oil first?

Any other thoughts?

09-28-2012, 11:05 PM
You don't need to do any further measurements. Those values look perfect. Any rattle from the CCT would not be caused by low oil pressure with numbers like that.

09-29-2012, 09:12 AM
Hmm, somewhat annoying that a brand new part failed like that. I hope EuropaParts has a good warranty/return policy. Who/what ebay brand did you get yours from off ebay?

09-29-2012, 02:41 PM
I got mine from "ABC Marts". They have another name too "pro parts" or some such. To tell you the truth, if I bought another I'd get it from FCP Groton. They carry a lifetime warranty on all their stuff. And the price is about the same.

09-29-2012, 05:54 PM
Got one from fcp only have about 500 miles on it but sounds and feels great

10-08-2012, 07:39 PM
Just a follow up to this. I got a replacement tensioner from Europaparts installed tonight and the car is back to normal, doesn't sound like a disel anymore. Another thing I noticed was that a buzz/rattle I would hear around 3k that I thought was exhaust related since I just installed the APR system turned out to be caused by the cam chain tensioner. It was load related and would make noise when I let off the throttle to shift around 3k.

10-08-2012, 07:55 PM
So Europa took care of you on the replacement, then? That's great. A+ for Europa Parts. [up]

10-12-2012, 09:18 AM
Still have the start up death rattle, but no hot @ idle diesel noise yet! Has anyone else's brand new tensioner done this? I know it's normal on a lot of them with age, just wondering if it is from new too. I guess the only way I'll be able to test it is to drive another 3000 miles/3 months and see if this one is still good.

Also, do the timing chains ever stretch too much or fail at some point(my car has ~100k)? I have a replacement one that I didn't install because it would have required putting the front in service mode and removing the timing belt to get the exhaust cam off. I am planning on changing it in another 5-10k when the timing belt is due.

10-12-2012, 10:35 AM
My new VVT tensioner (ebay "OEM" type) makes the death rattle. Pretty sure it's done it from new. Has 40k or so on it now, hasn't gotten any worse.

The cam chain is actually over-spec'd for what it actually does. They don't normally have problems. When I replaced mine at 160k or so, the amount of stretch was *just* barely measurable and it didn't really need to be replaced. But it was cheap so I did it anyway. Changing the chain does not require going to service position - I did it with the front end in place.

10-12-2012, 06:09 PM
are you guys running the 058109088E or 058109088K I dont really have any rattle on cold or hot start Im running the 088K ??

10-12-2012, 06:17 PM
I ran both E and K, I didn't notice any difference between them. I think the cold-start-rattle may have to do with more than just the tensioner. Stuff like bottom end bearings and such that delay the buildup of oil pressure.

10-14-2012, 08:52 AM

When rebuilding my 1.8 I removed the oil filter housing and this fell out. It may be a reason why some people have some noise and others do not???? I believe it is a anti back flow valve to keep oil in the head. It is supposed to be threaded in the passage. It was not!

I am not on here all the time so if anybody has questions you can email me @ jontro@aol.com. Pretty self explanatory. Thats probably not spelled correctly.


10-15-2012, 08:24 AM
Thanks for that picture. I was wondering about this. I built up my 5cyl 20v and reinstalled this during the rebuild and was wondering if/where it was on the 1.8T. There was another thread I just found where someone else said that their check valve was loose too and fell out upon removal of the filter housing. I'll have to investigate this if it's not too hard to remove the oil filter housing with the intake manifold on.