1998 Audi A4 Quattro from North America - Comments

23rd Feb 2004, 21:16

Is this problem with the timing belt and tensioner the same in the VW Passat?

I have a 1998 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T with 62000 miles and the tensioner / timing belt just failed, resulting in severe damage to the valves... I'm told I need a new engine.

31st Mar 2004, 12:44

Here's another victim - Audi 1.8T, 1998, timing belt broke at 88055. According to Audi Service the engine suffered severe damage and needs replacement ($7500) or at least a new cylinder head ($5500). Audi USA refuses to take responsibility even though the incident happened well before the recommended service interval. So far I have tracked down about 50 other Audi owners that have had the same problem and I'm considering taking this into the next round. Interestingly Mazda issued a recall in a similar case - obviously Audi did not consider this an important enough problem...

20th May 2004, 12:00

I had the unfortunate experience to be driving 70 mph when my timing belt ran out of time in my 1998 Audi A4 T... at 85,100 miles.

Ouch!!! En route to Portland, OR from southern California, I had a before trip check-up and specifically asked about my timing belts integrity (this was the second time I had inquired about the time to change out). I was told that the recommended change out was 105,000 miles... twice (stating they checked with manufacturer). $4,000 later my car is running beautifully... as it should... but I am still stunned from the setback. The shop that did repairs relayed to me that I could appeal to Audi for potential replacement of moneys related to the recommended miles... that this is not unheard of. Now after finding this posting I am considering if I am I wasting my time trying to pursue this reimbursement?

22nd Jun 2004, 08:28

I'm another victim of the Audi A4 timing belt failure. At 83,00 miles the belt failed resulting in damaged valves and a $4,000+ repair bill. Audi is refusing to take any responsibility for the problem. I am taking my dealer to small claims court. Audi is truly pathetic: using this defect as an apparent source of repair revenue.

19th Aug 2004, 16:31

I too am a victim of the timing belt failure at 82,000 miles. I have followed Audi's recommended maintenance schedule exactly as it suggests. The recommended time frame is to change the timing belt is 90,000 miles, my car has 82,000. How is the average consumer to know that the failure of a timing belt can cause subsequent engine damage in the $4,000+ range, especially since the belt failed before Audi recommended changing it? Audi refuses to extend any support or assume responsibility for this clearly defective condition. Interestingly enough, Audi customer service was wonderful UNTIL my car went off of warranty. I will never buy an Audi again. If anyone has any tips on how to pursue recouping the costs of repairing my engine, please share (BBB, legal avenues, class action, etc?).

3rd Sep 2004, 08:45

I have just found myself among the ranks of the Audi Unhappy. At my last service +/-73K the Service Manger informed me that I should think about scheduling a timing belt replacement as he has had several break at about 75K. I figured I get it done at my next service. OUCH. The car just turned 77K and the belt went.

The Service Manager took the car this morning and said "I told you" and walked away with a +$4,000 smile. I was informed that if the problem was due to a faulty tensioner then there would be some compensation. How much comp was unclear.

13th Sep 2004, 15:59

Me too. The timing belt on my 98 A4 went at approx 65K miles. I was going approx 65 MPH and thus spent $3500 on repairs. The recommendation in the manual was that the timing belt be changed at 90K miles. I've had numerous other issues and expensive repairs since. Now, just this morning, the car shook like it was in an earthquake when I went to start it (it has been towed to a repair shop where it is currently being diagnosed). I couldn't be more frustrated with Audi. If anyone is successful in pursuing a claim from Audi, please share your tale.

4th Nov 2004, 01:17

I have a 1999, Audi A4. The timing belt broke at 65000 miles. Now I need to get a whole new engine due to the fact that the pistons and valves are damaged. I'm told this will set me back about 5,000 dollars.

Should Audi be responsible for making defective timing belts, when it recommends changing the timing belts at around 90.000 miles?

14th Nov 2004, 09:31

I joined the ranks of owners with timing belt tensioner failures when approx 25,000 miles after replacing the belt and tensioner the new tensioner failed resulting in $3,500 in damage to my 1999 Passat 1.8T. I am furious -- great car, but VW's unwillingness to accept responsibility for the faulty part is outrageous. I was really steamed when my mechanic informed me that new tensioners have a different part number than the originals, meaning VW has made some change to the part... in my mind a tacit admission to a problem. Unless VW does the right thing, I am unwilling to risk buying another of their otherwise great cars. And if VW is listening, please note that when people ask me about my car I do tell them it is great, except for the $3,500 in engine work, which usually kills their interest in buying one immediately.

19th Dec 2004, 21:44

I have joined the Audi club with a timing failure on my 1998 A4 1.8T engine, 64K miles. The recommended replacement on the manual is 90K miles. Audi outright refused to take any responsibility of the failure. The dealership recommends it be replaced at 60K miles. Why different than the manual? They had no answer for that. Damages exceeded $5K, which I had to cover. I am sure sales for Valves, tensioners and exhaust manifolds and multitudes of other damaged equipment must be steady business for Audi. This will be my first and last Audi vehicle as soon as I can get rid of it.

5th Jan 2005, 12:31

Did anyone have the water pump replaced at the same time the timing belt replacement was being performed?

2nd Jun 2005, 18:32

I have a 1999 Passat 1.8l turbo and had my timing belt tensioner went out, which resulted in $3700 in repair, new timing belt, new head cylinder, and 10 valves. What a joke! Then the dealership didn't change the oil and now they tell me I need a new oil pump- another $800!

Anyone know who to contact to have this situation solved!!??

19th Jul 2005, 23:46

Audi will now reimburse you for a broken timing belt (which I have also suffered) up to the 105,000 mileage cutoff. This is a new development. If you call them they will now agree to reimburse your full amount paid for repairs. They are doing this because of an agreement resulting from a class action law suit. My bill was $4700 on a 1997 A4 that broke at 92000 miles. Call Audi at 1-800-822-2834 and ask them about the JK RECALL, they will know what you are talking about as there are thousands of these cases. They will ask you several questions and give you a reference number, you just have to send in your receipt. We need to spread this news because they will not contact you. You can see for yourself by typing Audi A4 class action on Google. I can't wait to sell my Audi. My ignition switch just broke yesterday, $300, it is a recall item that has already been replaced once and they refuse to cover me again. Good Luck.