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Old 24th June 2015, 15:33   #1
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Default VW / Skoda 1.8L TSI: When to replace the timing chain?

My 2011 Laura TSI with the EA888 1.8 TSI Engine (Engine code : CDAA) has crossed 75,000 kms in the past four years. Its been a dream car to own and is running like a charm. All services have been carried out at prescribed intervals and I have always ensured oil is above halfway mark.

The car was remapped with a Custom Code Stage 1 remap at around 40,000 kms which gave it some more legs. It pulls like a locomotive and has never given me any engine related trouble all these years. I intend to retain the car for a few more years as cars like this don't come by very often. The engine still feels as fresh as it did on day one and the mileage I am getting also is very consistent.

The last gen Octavia VRS with the 1.8 TPI engine was notorious for its timing belt failures. A belt replacement post 60,000kms was highly recommended. The 1.8 TSI comes with a timing chain which is supposed to last the lifetime of the engine. Meaning to say there is no prescribed interval for its replacement.

I started reading up on Briskoda and a few other forums about this and found that there are quite a few unlucky ones who have suffered engine failures due to timing chain slippage and tensioner failure. http://www.briskoda.net/forums/topic...gine-failures/

I did talk to Skoda A.S.S. about this, and they seem to be pretty clueless as usual about the 1.8 TSI engine as very few cars run this engine. Mostly Superbs and a few Lauras as petrol Skodas are a rarity in our market.

Since its almost 6 years since the 1.8 TSI made an appearance in our market, I would like to know if any owners have had the timing chain or tensioner replaced? Any other high mileage 1.8 TSIs out there?
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Old 24th June 2015, 16:05   #2
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Default re: VW / Skoda 1.8L TSI: When to replace the timing chain?

Your user manual should have a table mentioning recommended changes. Did you not find timing chain replacement in that?
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Old 24th June 2015, 16:17   #3
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Default re: VW / Skoda 1.8L TSI: When to replace the timing chain?

Not sure if 1.8 TSI got this update as well, but 2.0 TDI CR at the time of change from PD got a long life belt which is recommended to changed at 210k kms along with Waterpump and complete pulleys kit(Euro cycle, not sure about Indian recommendation).
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Old 24th June 2015, 18:54   #4
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Default re: VW / Skoda 1.8L TSI: When to replace the timing chain?

There is no need to change the timing chain in your 1.8 TSI regardless of its mileage.

The failures that you read on Briskoda are not a cause for concern as they are the typical product failures that can happen to any engine component regardless of it's life.

Such product failures are a result of bad maintenance, bad handling or bad luck, none of which should be reason enough for you to change your timing chain.

However, your remap is something of a concern, but I still wouldn't change the timing chain just for that as it would then apply to all components of the engine too.

Happy Motoring!
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Old 25th June 2015, 09:15   #5
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Default re: VW / Skoda 1.8L TSI: When to replace the timing chain?

Ensure you change your oil frequently, rather at 10000km than 15000km, it goes a long way in prolonging the chains life.
For the records, most Mercedes Benz's they do a timing chain renewal after 150000km
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Old 25th June 2015, 09:34   #6
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Default re: VW / Skoda 1.8L TSI: When to replace the timing chain?

More than the chain it is actually the tensioner which gives away. IIRC, the multijets in Maruti and Tata also do not have a scheduled replacement for the timing chain. It generally lasts for 150,000 kms to 200,000 kms.

Last edited by petroguzzler : 25th June 2015 at 09:44.
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Old 25th June 2015, 13:21   #7
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Default re: VW / Skoda 1.8L TSI: When to replace the timing chain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Your user manual should have a table mentioning recommended changes. Did you not find timing chain replacement in that?
Nope, no mention of any fixed interval for replacement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
Not sure if 1.8 TSI got this update as well, but 2.0 TDI CR at the time of change from PD got a long life belt which is recommended to changed at 210k kms along with Waterpump and complete pulleys kit(Euro cycle, not sure about Indian recommendation).
Is that a rubber belt or a chain? Any interval prescribed in your service manual?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VeyronSuperSprt View Post
There is no need to change the timing chain in your 1.8 TSI regardless of its mileage.

The failures that you read on Briskoda are not a cause for concern as they are the typical product failures that can happen to any engine component regardless of it's life.

Such product failures are a result of bad maintenance, bad handling or bad luck, none of which should be reason enough for you to change your timing chain.
The reason I am a little paranoid about this is that failure of this critical component can destroy the engine. Cost of a new engine may be more than the value of the car! If its a known weak area, preventive steps can be taken to reduce the probability of the event.

Quote:
Originally Posted by petroguzzler View Post
More than the chain it is actually the tensioner which gives away. IIRC, the multijets in Maruti and Tata also do not have a scheduled replacement for the timing chain. It generally lasts for 150,000 kms to 200,000 kms.
The tensioner must consist of rubber parts right? Rubber becomes hard and brittle over time, yet there is no replacement interval prescribed in the manual. Things like wiper blades we may not worry so much,but a small 1,000 Rs. belt snapping and potentially damaging the entire engine is what I am worried about. More so since there are so many reported cases in Europe.
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Old 25th June 2015, 14:29   #8
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Default re: VW / Skoda 1.8L TSI: When to replace the timing chain?

There are various cars/engines on the market (and have been) where the owner manual doesnt mention replacing of the timing chain/belt as part of the regular preventive maintenance routines.

If that is the case, I would not worry to much, especially as your car has what I would consider a relatively low mileage.

If it wasnt specified by the manufacturer, it isn't required.

Having said that, you will find that many car enthousiast that own such cars will experience problems at higher mileages, say from 150-200K upwards. I believe manufacturers tend not to worry about those cases. By then nearly all cars will be with at least second, third, fourth owner and any warranty, company or by local (consumer) law will have long expired.

So that's when you need to become carefull. A good example is my Jaguar for which Jaguar claims the AT is "sealed for life". Life meaning up to about 150. Every Jaguar club/forum will tell you to flush the AT when you get to those sort of mileages.

If you can get hold of the official workshop manual you might actually also find more details. On a few engines it is actually possible to measure the wear (e.g. some Mercedes). Usually by measuring chain length (or stretch due to wear).

Hope this helps a bit and doesnt add to the confusion.

Jeroen
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Old 26th June 2015, 08:53   #9
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Default re: VW / Skoda 1.8L TSI: When to replace the timing chain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
The tensioner must consist of rubber parts right? Rubber becomes hard and brittle over time, yet there is no replacement interval prescribed in the manual.
No, there are no rubber components. There are 3 tensioners, out of which two are hydraulic and the third is a metal spring. Even the guides are polyamide. So there is no need to worry on that score.

But if it is spoiling your peace of mind as you say, at around 1,00,000 - 1.10,000 kms replace the parts with that from the 3rd gen EA888 currently used in the Octavia.
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Old 14th December 2015, 18:59   #10
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Default Re: VW / Skoda 1.8L TSI: When to replace the timing chain?

A friends 1.8 TSI clocked 50K over 4 years had a Timing chain slippage last week and a bent Valve as a result. The car is now at TAFE Bangalore awaiting further instructions from Skoda Technical Support for warranty claim.

The car has been well maintained and serviced at TAFE from the date of purchase with complete service history, the owner practically sleeps with it. Now he is heart broken!
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Old 14th December 2015, 20:50   #11
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Default Re: VW / Skoda 1.8L TSI: When to replace the timing chain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
Nope, no mention of any fixed interval for replacement.

Is that a rubber belt or a chain? Any interval prescribed in your service manual?
It seems to be mentioned clearly in the Service Schedule booklet that I received with my 1.8 TSI.

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It says to inspect the toothed belt @90k kms but it excludes the 1.8TSI engine for that. Then it says to replace the toothed belt @1.8Lkms but that is for the 2L petrol engine. So it is safe to assume to replace your belt at around the 1.8L km mark.

Also other points for consideration for the 1.8TSI engine is -
- Spark plugs life is 90k kms as they are long life titanium plugs. But they replace in India @30k, don't know why.
- Air Filter Life is also 90k kms but they replace here every 15k kms
- Dust and Pollen filter life is 60k kms but they replace that too @15k kms here.
- Fuel filter for petrol cars is also supposed to be for life but is replaced here every 15k kms.

Also as the vehicles sold in India are QG1 i.e. Variable Service Interval, they need to be serviced only once in 2 years if running is less than 15k and not every year, though I like to stick to 10k service interval. Brake fluid should be first changed at 3 year, then every 2 year.

Hope that helps.

Cheers...

Last edited by dkaile : 14th December 2015 at 20:53.
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Old 15th December 2015, 13:05   #12
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Default Re: VW / Skoda 1.8L TSI: When to replace the timing chain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by luky_13 View Post
A friends 1.8 TSI clocked 50K over 4 years had a Timing chain slippage last week and a bent Valve as a result. The car is now at TAFE Bangalore awaiting further instructions from Skoda Technical Support for warranty claim.

The car has been well maintained and serviced at TAFE from the date of purchase with complete service history, the owner practically sleeps with it. Now he is heart broken!
Oops! THis must be the first (documented) 1.8 TSI engine failure in India. This is what concerns me. If it is easy to replace and not too expensive they could very well advocate a replacement at 60K or 90K. Maybe it is complex that's why they are averse to doing it. The water pump - another grey area with this engine is also recommended to be changed if the timing belt replacement work is being taken up. Do keep us updated with Skoda's response since it is out of warranty. Feel for your friend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
It seems to be mentioned clearly in the Service Schedule booklet that I received with my 1.8 TSI.
Thanks for the detailed post. My concern was why the 1.8 TSI engine has been excluded for the replacement intervals and only the 2.0 TSI versions are mentioned. The chain and other hardware must be similar in both.

Been servicing my TSI at 10K intervals since last 2 services and maintaining oil above halfway mark at all times. I am at 82K kms with my TSI and absolutely no signs of fatigue from the engine. Still pulls like a freight train.
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Old 17th December 2015, 17:59   #13
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Default Re: VW / Skoda 1.8L TSI: When to replace the timing chain?

Latest update: Today, TAFE mechanics took the engine out of the car and inspected. Following observations:
  • Hydraulic chain tensioner failure, leading to chain slippage
  • Inlet valves bent
  • Damage to few other components
Recommendation: Engine replacement. Awaiting response from SKODA Corporate!
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Old 18th December 2015, 22:20   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luky_13 View Post
Latest update: Today, TAFE mechanics took the engine out of the car and inspected. Following observations:
  • Hydraulic chain tensioner failure, leading to chain slippage
  • Inlet valves bent
  • Damage to few other components
Recommendation: Engine replacement. Awaiting response from SKODA Corporate!

Why did he take the engine out? You can find all of this out with the engine in place? Why would you want to replace the whole engine?
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Old 19th December 2015, 19:24   #15
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I asked them the exact same question. Their response was eventually Skoda will get them to remove the engine. Letting them follow their internal process. More updates on Monday.
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