How long can my cam last?

x12gt

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2017
Location
NC
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI
I have an 06 Jetta Brm 5sp it has the original cam and turbo 230k miles w/ no popping or noticeable power loss, 5w40 oil. I know that the cam problems are a design flaw and 230k is great compared to a lot of cars but I'm just wondering when the inevitable will happen and how long these cars will go with stock cams, Thanks :D
 

craig01b

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 17, 2004
Location
Guelph, Ontario.
TDI
None
It's a crap shoot...some go on forever...others, like mine, seem to fail with regularity regardless of oil used. Good luck, but I think with these cars, it's very much a roll of the dice.
 

relumalutan

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2012
Location
Michigan
TDI
06 Jetta TDI Special Edition
As Craig says, it's pretty much a roll of the dice. I remember Oilhammer saying the same thing. Mine went out at 155k. If you run out of luck, I recommend Frank06 cam with its modified installation kit. I had it on for 65k this far with no problems.
 

Strider17

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2016
Location
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
TDI
Beetle(sold) MK4 Golf TDI(sold) Mk4 Jetta TDI(parted out) MK4 Golf GTI w/ALH swap (built then parted out) 2015 Passat TDI Highline (current)
ive seen A LOT go between 180k-250k kilometers
 

narongc73

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Location
VA/OH
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI
Mine still seems fine after 219k miles. I'm sure I'll need a new cam at 300k. I might have seen a tiny bit of wear on one lobe. Hard to tell. Going to wait for the bupping noise.
 

James & Son

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2008
Location
Maryhill, Ontario, Canada
TDI
2006 Jetta
Mine still seems fine after 219k miles. I'm sure I'll need a new cam at 300k. I might have seen a tiny bit of wear on one lobe. Hard to tell. Going to wait for the bupping noise.
Your a good candidate for a solid lubricant. When you have roughness it is the time to start. If I were you use the Liqui Moly MoS2 and pour in 150ml each oil change or 1/2 the bottle. That will help get you to the next timing belt change.

I repeat for others, use a colloidal moly only when you have roughness or wear on lobe as the follower will need the moly to prevent galling and pickup due to loss of EHD oil film and you are in boundary oil film. This is why your follower and lobe will be destroyed very quickly without the additive.
 

Kriesel

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Location
Afton, MN
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI
Been running Mobil 1 TDT oil for about 150k miles now (bought it at 49k miles), and my cam looked perfect at 200k miles recently.
 

Kyosho618

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 26, 2013
Location
NJ
TDI
2005.5 JETTA TDI, 2012 PASSAT TDI SEL
I have 250k miles on stock Turbo and cam. Actuator is leaking but can can deff last longer than what others reported.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

V-Rod

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2007
Location
ND
TDI
2014, 06 Jetta TDI Auto
My cam went out at 248,000 miles. Would have been way cheaper to fix it before it went!!8
 

narongc73

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Location
VA/OH
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI
My cam went out at 248,000 miles. Would have been way cheaper to fix it before it went!!8
The problem is how does one know it's going bad. It's hard to tell for sure. No bupping noise either. I might just have to pick a mileage and change it out. So far yours and another poster here, are the highest mileage I have seen posted. I'm now at 222k. 223k in the next 2 days.
 

gopher

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2005
how long can my cam last

My cam needed to be replaced at 334,000 miles (3500 mile oil/oil filter changes with 505.01 oil). I have 144000 miles on the replacement without any problems; the car is a 2005.5 Jetta TDI
 

Rembrant

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Location
Canada's Ocean Playground
TDI
2013 Golf TDI DSG
The problem is how does one know it's going bad. It's hard to tell for sure. No bupping noise either.
I was wondering the same thing. I bought an 06 Jetta last fall but have not been driving it. It has 190,000 kms on it, or about 118k miles. I pulled the valve cover but I found it hard to tell if there was any serious wear. I didn't spend a lot of time looking at it, but just did a quick view. There were a couple lifters that looked like they had dark circles on them, but I don't know if that's normal or not. The engine sounds to me like it's making a slight "bupping" noise, but it's the only BRM I've listened to, so I don't have anything to compare it to. The car needs a TB change so I was just going to do the cam anyway.
 

Vince Waldon

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 25, 2009
Location
Edmonton AB Canada
TDI
2001 ALH Jetta, 2005 BEW Wagon
The problem is how does one know it's going bad.
Visual inspection is probably the only scientific way. Five minutes max to get the cam cover off and then a finger to feel for sharp edges, meaning the chamfer is worn off.

Lifter wear is hard to see, changes in cam height the same, but the sharp edge from wear at the lobe is very obvious, at least in my experience.

You can have a lot of wear and no particular change in engine sound or performance... which is why I personally don't take all the "ran this oil, never had a problem" threads as seriously as the threads where the cam was actually visually inspected. :)
 

gopher

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2005
how long can my cam last

The repair history of my 2005.5 Jetta TDI is as follows: camshaft and flywheel replaced at 334,000 miles; current mileage is 478000 miles. All injectors and DSG transmission original. Voltage regulator replaced, RCV replaced, power door lock actuator replaced, bearing in alternator pully replaced, wiring in trunk repaired (was frayed),oil pan replaced due to threads in drain plug damaged by frequent oil changes vs overtightening by VW, only one of 4 discs on brakes replaced, tires (Michelin) lasts 150,000 miles. This car has been much more reliable than a 1986 Euro Mercedes 300D although the engine on that vehicle was never touched and the injectors were all original despite 527000 miles. I hope this gives you an idea of the longevity potential of my vehicle given exemplary maintenance and conservative driving habits
 

narongc73

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Location
VA/OH
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI
Visual inspection is probably the only scientific way. Five minutes max to get the cam cover off and then a finger to feel for sharp edges, meaning the chamfer is worn off.

Lifter wear is hard to see, changes in cam height the same, but the sharp edge from wear at the lobe is very obvious, at least in my experience.

You can have a lot of wear and no particular change in engine sound or performance... which is why I personally don't take all the "ran this oil, never had a problem" threads as seriously as the threads where the cam was actually visually inspected. :)
One of the lobes is hard to tell, but the rest seems to have the chamfer still. Feeling for sharp edges didn't work for me either. They all feel the same :D I'm anxiously waiting for the sound. Although my third timing belt is coming up in a few months, so might be a good time to replace.
 

Vince Waldon

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 25, 2009
Location
Edmonton AB Canada
TDI
2001 ALH Jetta, 2005 BEW Wagon
One of the lobes is hard to tell, but the rest seems to have the chamfer still. Feeling for sharp edges didn't work for me either.
An edge being sharp is pretty hard for your finger to miss...they get *really* sharp, and if you still see the chamfer on the lobs... I'd say you're probably OK.

Obviously machinists everywhere are shuddering right now, since the better way to do this of course is with a proper micrometer... but when you're triaging to decide if the cam needs to come out the sharp edge test might be a reasonable hi level go / no-go.
 

narongc73

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Location
VA/OH
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI
An edge being sharp is pretty hard for your finger to miss...they get *really* sharp, and if you still see the chamfer on the lobs... I'd say you're probably OK.
Obviously machinists everywhere are shuddering right now, since the better way to do this of course is with a proper micrometer... but when you're triaging to decide if the cam needs to come out the sharp edge test might be a reasonable hi level go / no-go.
I'm just gonna stop inspecting it until it sounds obvious. I'm sure crap fell in everytime I take the cover off. I think the magic number will be 300k or 4th timing belt.
 

narongc73

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Location
VA/OH
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI
Just for kicks I had a UOA done. All looks good. Oil had 14k miles on it. Going to attempt 16k miles per Blackstone.
 
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