1998 Audi A4 Quattro from North America - Comments

2nd Aug 2005, 18:58

Hello fellow Audi victims; I had no idea that so many people and a won Class Action suit already existed on the timing belt issue. Unfortunately not everyone can benefit by the won Class Action. My timing belt tensioner broke at 80,000 but I was lucky enough to be right around the corner from the Audi dealer and I saved the engine by slowly driving it into the dealership. The belt and tensioner were replaced and Audi is now telling me that because only the tensioner and not the belt broke I will not be reimbursed. Is anyone in my same situation..? Even the law firm that followed – and got paid - the class action is starting to return my e-mails with.. good luck..! Any suggestion will be greatly appreciated.

10th Sep 2005, 01:00

1998 Audi A4 1.8T. Timing belt broke on the freeway. All 20 valves bent and damaged all the pistons and cylinders. Had to rebuild entire engine. Ouch!!! Most people can't afford to rebuild the engine themselves and the cost is 4-5K at most shops. A local shop owner has quite a few of these cars powered by the 1.8L turned in for invoices that cannot be paid. Buyer beware! A word of advice... Timing belts need to be replaced every 60K. Sooner if you run the engine harder, as some do with a turbo charger. The Audi dealers that I talked to said that this engine is a "Synthetic" oil engine only if you want it to live. I like that car, but for the amount of $ to purchase one they need to make them reliable and more affordable to own. By the way, this is the second time for a timing belt/tensioner related failure that took out all the valves plus, again!

24th Jan 2006, 21:43

I'm having a hard time understanding why all these folks are having such a hard time with Audi over timing belts. When my tensioner failed in 2001 at 55k miles they replaced the tensioner and the belt for free, I didn't even have to ask, they just did it. The only difference in my case I see is that I heard/felt the problem (it was pretty obvious) and brought the car in before any other engine damage was done.

29th Mar 2009, 10:28

My son, a college student, purchased a 1998 VW Passat -- only at 95,000 miles, and we thought it was in good condition. Having owned an older VW when I was younger, I thought you couldn't go wrong. How wrong I was...

Within two weeks, he experienced the problems with tensioner. He was only going 25 miles an hour on his way back from the grocery store to his apartment when the the car started rattling. The grocery store is less than 1/2 mile away. The values were damaged, and we were quoted $4,000 to fix it. A college student does not have that kind of money to fix a car that old. Of course, the owner's manual said 105,000 miles to change the timing belt. That had already been done, but when they took the head apart, they found it was not the belt but the tensioner. VW has had a class action suit filed against them for the 1999 VW's forward. The 1998 VW has the same engine, but they refused to do anything.

Needless to say, VW has lost all potential sales of two young professionals (one a mechanical engineering student who could not believe what a terrible design and defect it was). He also could not believe VW would not take care of it. He is telling everyone and probably has it out there on the web like everyone else to make people aware. VW will hurt themselves in the long run. It is one thing when you have a manufacturing defect, another when you choose to do nothing about it.

3rd May 2009, 14:27

Is this timing belt and tensioner problem only an issue with pre-2000 1.8T engines? I have a 2001 Audi A4 with the 1.8T (170 hp). It runs great with 45,000 miles, but after reading about all of these destroyed 1.8T engines, I am thinking about changing the timing/tensioner at 50,000 miles before it self destructs.

Thanks.

4th Nov 2010, 17:17

I have a 1999 Audi A4 Quattro.

Timing belt was never an issue. I see it lasted until the first service time of 105k. It was replaced. At 180k it broke while driving and is now in repair. If you're lucky and this happened to you, just need to replace the head and not the entire engine. After reading the forums here, I am reluctant to buy another Audi.

1st Apr 2011, 11:11

I own a 1998 Audi A4 Quattro with the 1.8T engine. The odometer just turned over 100,152 miles and the timing belt or belt tensioner failed at about 2500 rpm. Obviously, they can't make a definitive call on exactly what failed, unless they tear the engine apart. It's sitting at the local dealership, waiting for me to decide what to do next. Interesting that the service adviser said at one point, "that was way too early for the timing belt to fail."

Does anyone know if this vehicle will still qualify for the class action lawsuit?

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