Most VW and Audi models have a camshaft tensioner that uses pressurized hydraulic oil to keep the timing belt running. An oil leak in this area will lead to accelerated engine wear. We’ll show you how to recognize the signs of a camshaft tensioner leak.
What Is a Camshaft Tensioner?
As suggested in its name, a tensioner ensures the various belts—mainly the timing and serpentine belts—remain tight with the proper tension. The hydraulic oil that maintains this tension can seep out of the tensioner. When it does the associated engine belts become loose.
Signs of a Camshaft Tensioner Leak
A car that leaks oil is not an uncommon sight. Of course, this could be attributed to a number of causes. A camshaft tensioner leak will usually have these symptoms:
- Unusual sounds: You might hear loud ticking and grinding noises. This is often due to a loose timing belt, which arises due to leaking from the tensioner.
- Premature belt wear: The timing belt can wear from old age. However, if the camshaft tensioner leaks, the belt will begin fraying.
- Acceleration Problems: You might notice odd engine behavior, especially during acceleration between 2000–4000 RPM. This is probably due to a slipping belt.
- Engine Doesn’t turn over: If you turn the ignition and the car doesn’t start, then you could have a snapped timing belt or chain. A snapped timing chain is especially bad because it will affect combustion.
- Other Issues: you might notice problems in seemingly unrelated areas, such as with the battery or AC. The belts control these components to some degree.
We Fix Camshaft Tensioner Leaks
The tensioner is vital in every vehicle; Audi and VW models are no exception. See our story to learn about who we are and our services. Bring your vehicle to Buttera Motors if you suspect a camshaft tensioner leak.
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