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VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old December 17th, 2014, 12:38   #1
redcorradoguy
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Default Terrible vibration/noise/loss of power--Lifter failure

I purchased an '02 TDI New Beetle with a broken tbelt for a pretty decent deal. I was towing it home with my '02 TDI Golf, Beetle was on a dolly.

The car pulled just fine most of the way, but as I was going up a hill I noticed a loss of power and the engine sounded different. When I pushed the clutch, I fully expected the motor to die (that the momentum was the only thing keeping it "running") however it actually didn't die. But it sounded terrible.

I may have seen a little smoke coming from under the hood when I initially stopped but I'm not 100% sure, and there weren't plumes or anything when I opened the hood and restarted the motor. The engine runs, but vibrates pretty badly. There is an "exhausty" noise but part of the noises may well be part of the engine contacting the Panzer Plate due to the vibrations.

There is a significant lack of power too. Some have asked about motor mounts being an issue, but I can't think of how that would really affect the power?

The check engine light never came on. I do have the VAGCOM stuff so I'll still check for any codes just in case.

There is nothing obviously broken from what I could see on the side of the road. Anyone have any other ideas?

Last edited by redcorradoguy; December 18th, 2014 at 18:02. Reason: correct title
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Old December 17th, 2014, 13:02   #2
IndigoBlueWagon
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You may have broken a motor mount, and that may have caused a intercooler hose to disconnect. So you get a vibrating engine (broken mount) and loud noise from both vibration against something (subframe, skid plate) and no boost with the loud engine sound that comes with.

Check your engine mounts for damage. Also grab the valve cover and see how much the engine moves. Your dogbone may be what broke. Look at the intercooler hoses (especially the one from the turbo to the IC) and see if any are disconnected.
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Old December 17th, 2014, 19:27   #3
CopaMundial
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Where did you find a hill in Kansas?


I would troubleshoot the low power symptom first. Since it happened under load then a boost pipe popping loose is a prime candidate.
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Old December 17th, 2014, 20:46   #4
redcorradoguy
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Welp, after wasting time with things like taking the Panzer plate off and looking for broken motor mounts and loose boost tubes, I found my problem!

One of my lifters has come apart! I have no idea at this point if the valve itself is damaged or not. (Well, I can only assume it is damaged. I don't know if it broke off and caused damage in the cylinder or not.)

As an early step in trying to diagnose the problem, I did crack each injector line with the engine running, and each one did seem to affect the engine some. So maybe there is hope that the valve was opening and closing a little bit.

Crap. Time to get cracking on the New Beetle, and decide what the heck to do with this one.





Last edited by redcorradoguy; December 17th, 2014 at 20:50. Reason: Shrunk pics
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Old December 17th, 2014, 20:50   #5
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The car has 286,000 miles on it, and is starting to get a little rough around the edges. The car was rear ended and totaled two years ago, so I've always imagined I'd put money toward keeping it safe and going down the road but not worry about upgrades, etc. And just keep it going until something really bad happened. I guess I have to decide if this is the really bad thing. I would have preferred the really bad thing be just about anything besides the engine crapping out-I could use it in something else!

Despite having been hit and getting a little banged up otherwise, it ran and drove great before this. It steered well, the transmission and clutch seemed to be in fine shape, etc. It is comfortable to drive. And despite all its warts, I really like(d?) driving it.
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Old December 17th, 2014, 21:24   #6
redcorradoguy
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Also, I would like thoughts on whether towing the New Beetle was a factor in this damage, or if it was just a coincidence? (Or maybe caused it to happen a little quicker than it would have otherwise, but it would have still happened pretty soon?)

I had used the Golf to tow my camper Bus to Nebraska and back a year ago without any issues.
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Old December 17th, 2014, 21:33   #7
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Coincidence IMO.
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Old December 18th, 2014, 04:47   #8
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The bore for the lifter is likely damaged. If so then the head needs to come off.

FYI... recently saw two "random" lifter/cam failures on ALH. One was questionable whether the head needed to come off, customer decided to have us pull the head due to "minor wear on the valve stem". The other the lifter stuck downward due to bore wear and the valve bent. We fixed them both.
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