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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKV-A5 Golf/Jettas

VW MKV-A5 Golf/Jettas Discussions area for A5/MkV Jetta/Golf (2005/2006 PD and 2009 CR).

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Old July 16th, 2010, 08:01   #1
dschein
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Location: Reading, Pennsylvania
TDI(s): 06 Jetta
Default BRM Suffers Catastrophic Engine Failure

Day 1

While driving on the PA TurnPike (cruise control on - speed set at 72) the car just lost power. No noises, nothing odd, all electronics were still on, the engine simply shut off. I coasted to the side of the road and tried to restart the engine, it turned over but wouldn't start. Sounded like after you change the fuel filter and there's no fuel in the lines. So I called for the hook (bed?) to pick it up and drop it off at the VW dealer for diagnostics.

At the end of the day the dealer called to inform me that I needed a new engine. They had found pieces of aluminum in the oil pan and the engine wouldn't turn over.

Day 2

After sleeping off the shock of being told I need a new engine, the next morning I stopped at the dealer. The car was on the lift with the oil pan removed. They had removed the oil pan because when they decided to do a compression check the engine stopped rotating and now only turned part way before it stopped.

I took a trip to the shop with my service advisor and was able to see the small pieces of aluminum about the size of a pencil eraser in the oil pan. In addition he placed a wrench on the crank and I watched as the engine partially rotated before stopping. Finally he showed me the glow plug from cylinder #3, the tip was missing.

With only 57,xxx miles on the engine it was (just) within the 60,000 mile warranty so a case was opened with VW America for a warranty replacement. The engine was scheduled to ship the following week with the exchange scheduled for two weeks out. Since the engine and transmission needed to be removed I ordered a 3rd party clutch kit to be installed during the swap.

Day 13

On my way to work I dropped off the new clutch kit because work hadn't started yet and the car was sitting outside.

Day 14

On my way to work I decided to stop and see how far they had gotten. The first thing my service rep told me after walking in was "I was going to call you this morning. I have some bad news". You can imagine all kind of thoughts were going through my head. But after being told I need a new engine I figured how bad could it get?

It turned out that while the dealer was towing the car into the shop to begin the engine exchange they hit a parked car with my car.

Day 15

Again I stopped at the dealers to check the progress along my way to work. The old engine was out and work hadn't begun yet to move parts onto the new engine.

Day 16

Of course I had to stop at the dealers on my way to work and see how things were going.
The new engine was on a stand with all the components from the old one switched over.

The VW rep had been in the shop the day before and they decided to remove the head.

VW is honoring the warranty claim and feels the failure was caused by a stuck injector that hydro locked the engine.

Day 20

Stopped at the dealers (again), this time to disassemble the old head in an effort to find the root cause of this failure. My initial hunch was that a valve dropped, but as the following photos show there was no evidence of that. The lifter wasn't damaged or collapsed, the valve shaft was still in place as were the retainers. The root cause doesn't seem to have been something in the head. A few things I noticed, each of the fuel injector lobes had begun to develop a grove in them just before the top of the lobe. Each of the exhaust lobes were developing an 'odd' wear pattern on them. Almost as if the lifter was wearing the cam.

Day 22

After 2 trips to the body shop (paint was cloudy) my service rep informed me the car was back but didn't seem to drive right. He felt the turbo wasn't making boost until almost at red line but the car ran fine in the other gears. They are going to run some tests and will update me later.

Day 24


The dealer was unable to find any problems and would like me to stop in and drive it.

Day 27

I stopped and drove my car. To my disappointment the rep was right, the turbo isn't making boost until almost red line and the car is a DOG.

Day 30

The dealer has been unable to find anything and is contacting VW for help. Something new, in addition to being down on power it throws black smoke out the tailpipe. I pointed the service rep to all the 'low power, black smoke' threads on TDIClub (hey it can't hurt).

Day 34

The dealer called and told me they have been working with VW but are still unable to locate the problem. They have tried a new EGR valve, Air Flow Sensor and Air Intake valve. Cleaned the intercooler (looking for blockage). Tested the turbo, wastegate and ran a lot more tests. Everything checks good....

At this rate my loaner car will be due for service before I get mine back.


Day 36

My service adviser called to tell me that although none of the turbo tests failed, the VW regional rep has authorized a new turbo. The rep feels this will resolve the smoke & lack of power issues. I won't complain about a new turbo and have my fingers crossed this fixes it.

Day 38

My service adviser was on vacation, but another called to tell me that the new turbo fixed the problem! They asked to keep it another day to 'button things up' and run some final tests.

Day 41

Took my loaner in today and picked up my car. The dog / boost issues are gone and it runs great. The invoice is 3 pages long but I haven't had chance to review the part numbers yet. Look for a scanned copy (pdf) soon. I leave for vacation tomorrow (day 1).


This page last updated 9-August-2010

IMPORTANT: This information was copied from my website. For photos go to my engine failure page.
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Last edited by dschein; August 9th, 2010 at 18:18.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 08:12   #2
Dimitri16V
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is that a big gouge on the injector lobe ? check the lifter next to it..
the lifter wore through and the valve dropped taking the cylinder/piston with it. It looks like the cam failure destroyed the engine but pics of the lifter are needed to tell for sure

who is the dealer ?
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Old July 16th, 2010, 11:33   #3
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That's why VW says on the sticer: 'Failure to use 505.01 may result in serious personal injury while on highway', something like that. And you all use non-505.01...
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Old July 16th, 2010, 12:19   #4
dschein
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Dimitri16V: I'm not certain how much the dealer will let me disassemble, but I'll be certain to look at everything I can as close as I can.

hid3: I do all my own maintenance and do it at approx 1/2 of the VW recommended mileage. That's why at 57K I've already replaced the timing belt, water pump, etc. For a warranty claim the dealer required me to provide receipts for filter and oil to prove the proper items were used. So your comment "And you all use non-505.01" simply doesn't apply here.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 12:52   #5
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Originally Posted by hid3 View Post
That's why VW says on the sticer: 'Failure to use 505.01 may result in serious personal injury while on highway', something like that. And you all use non-505.01...
i know, shame on us ...
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Old July 16th, 2010, 15:29   #6
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Too bad that special 505.01 oil changed at VW recommended intervals doesn't keep our cams from dying prematurely. I changed the 505.01 religiously, cam still died, now it is TDT +ZDDP for me. Can't be any worse...
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Old July 16th, 2010, 16:45   #7
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Shame on you
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Old July 16th, 2010, 17:03   #8
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I'd like to see some high res macro pictures of the cam if you can get them! I'd tend to agree with Dimitri16V right off here.

Good luck with your ordeal! Glad you are under 60k!!! I wonder why VW reduced their warranty period to 36k...
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Old July 16th, 2010, 19:58   #9
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What bothers me is the concept of the durable diesel engine that is supposed to outlast its inferior gas counterparts. Yet I am seeing over 200k miles on Hondas, Mazdas, older Audi 5 cylinders, and even some Fords, using gasoline engines. Without serious problems.

While the TDI's that are newer than the AHL engines, seem to have some serious design issues that beg to question - why pay the extra for the TDI if it will likely fail and cost you extra money prematurely? Fun factor and MPG excluded.

I'm just saying.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 20:47   #10
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Originally Posted by Driver_found View Post
What bothers me is the concept of the durable diesel engine that is supposed to outlast its inferior gas counterparts. Yet I am seeing over 200k miles on Hondas, Mazdas, older Audi 5 cylinders, and even some Fords, using gasoline engines. Without serious problems.

While the TDI's that are newer than the AHL engines, seem to have some serious design issues that beg to question - why pay the extra for the TDI if it will likely fail and cost you extra money prematurely? Fun factor and MPG excluded.

I'm just saying.
the concept of using sub suppliers to built anything only works when quality controls are vigorously enforced.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 20:57   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimitri16V View Post
i know, shame on us ...
Misplaced elitism makes me laaaaaaugh.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 21:01   #12
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Originally Posted by hid3 View Post
That's why VW says on the sticer: 'Failure to use 505.01 may result in serious personal injury while on highway', something like that. And you all use non-505.01...
What does that have to do with anything in this thread? Where does the OP state that he is not using 505.01 oil?
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Old July 16th, 2010, 22:24   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A5INKY View Post
Too bad that special 505.01 oil changed at VW recommended intervals doesn't keep our cams from dying prematurely. I changed the 505.01 religiously, cam still died, now it is TDT +ZDDP for me. Can't be any worse...
If your cam wouldn't have failed, VW wouldn't have received some additional profit! Next time use 505.01 too
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Old July 16th, 2010, 22:29   #14
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What does that have to do with anything in this thread? Where does the OP state that he is not using 505.01 oil?
The matter is that the failure can happen on highway. Engine can stall and you will lose control of your car which might result in a serious accident.

If expertsrealise that it was VW/engine fault (and you maintained it correctly) then they're fully responsible for it. But if you didn't keep with the manufacturer's requirements, then everything is up to you since you didn't observe them.

This thread has nothing to do with 505.01. The fact I wanted to say is that now I understand why they print that warning about 505.01 under the hood in such interesting words!

As for the failures, I need to see at least any PD around here which uses anything but VW approved oil. Yet the failure rate on this side of the ocean isn't that catastrophic as there in NA....
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Old July 16th, 2010, 22:52   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hid3 View Post
If your cam wouldn't have failed, VW wouldn't have received some additional profit! Next time use 505.01 too
You just don't get it, do you....
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