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    Thread: Timing chain cover seal leaking

    1. 05-28-2008 09:03 PM #1
      I brought my GTI in for service today after I noticed a small fluid leak from the front side of the engine over the weekend. Since I have a Certified Pre-Owned car (03 GTI VR6 w/ 59K miles), I brought it right to the dealership. After checking it over all day I get a call and I'm told that the timing chain cover seal is leaking. I asked what's involved and they said it's a 12.5 hour job and they must pull the engine to replace the seal. I ask if this is covered by my CPO warranty and I'm told that a similar car with the same problem last week was denied coverage!!! My service writer will talk with the warranty clerk in the morning to verify, but he's not holding his breath.

      12.5 hours of labor at $125/hour =

      Anyone else had this issue before? Is the 12.5 hour estimate and pulling the engine correct? Was it covered under either the new car warranty or the CPO?

      Thanks,
      Rick

      Rick Snyder | 1997 M3 racecar | Snyder Motorsports

    2. Member tech9's Avatar
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      05-28-2008 11:29 PM #2
      You dont need to pull the engine.

    3. Member BakBer's Avatar
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      05-28-2008 11:32 PM #3
      well it could be the cover behind the transmission...
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    4. Member tech9's Avatar
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      05-29-2008 12:26 AM #4
      Trans is alot easier to get out than the motor though. Any timing chain cover they dont need to pull the motor. They are BS'n him.

    5. Member BakBer's Avatar
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      05-29-2008 12:30 AM #5
      well..the 12 hr labor is a hoax...however it is way easier to pull the motor and transmission as a unit then just the transmission. I pulled a 24v VR6 out of my buddies car this past Monday. It only took us 2 hours to get it out and on the motor stand. we pulled the transmission off once the unit was out of the car
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    6. 05-29-2008 12:50 AM #6
      Thanks guys!

      Well, doing some searching for exactly what they said was leaking, the "timing chain cover seal", I can't even find such a thing. I'm going to head to the dealership in the morning to see if they can show me exactly what is leaking. When I noticed it, the car was up on jackstands and I was looking up from the drivers side front wheel well. The leak seemed to be on the front of the engine, coming down and covering equal parts of the transmission and engine.

      Is the timing chain on the 24v vr6 on the tranny side of the engine? I can't even find a diagram of the engine to see what they are talking about.

      Rick Snyder | 1997 M3 racecar | Snyder Motorsports

    7. 05-29-2008 01:21 AM #7
      Answered my own questions (assuming the 24v is relatively similar to the 12v VR6) after reading this DIY for timing chain replacement:
      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1264409

      Looks like there isn't a seal, just some RTV sealant. Also, looks like this is a fairly straight forward operation with the engine in the car, but the transmission and other related items removed.

      I'll check with the dealership and post up what I find.

      Thanks guys!
      Rick

      Rick Snyder | 1997 M3 racecar | Snyder Motorsports

    8. 05-29-2008 09:09 AM #8
      12 hours is extreme. Removing the engine is unnecessary. They should warranty it, regardless.

      It's a normal place to leak tho - you shouldn't worry as far as that goes.

      ~ 2.9L24VAWICVR6TGTI ~ "NuckinFutz" ~ SOLD 8/19/10
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    9. 05-29-2008 07:25 PM #9
      Just got back from the dealership and it's official...NOT covered by CPO!!! >

      I spoke with my service writer, the service manager and the technician who diagnosed the car. They all insist that the entire engine needs to be removed to reseal the covers (contrary to some research I've done). Current estimate is $1562.50 in labor and $294.67 in parts, or $1857.17 plus tax of course.

      I immediately called VW and opened a ticket with them to review the denial of warranty claim and they said they will call me back tomorrow with an answer. I spoke with finance and got a CPO Warranty Manual and I can't find anywhere where seals of any kind are mentioned, either to be covered or not included.

      My main argument at this point is that the CPO Warranty says "This warrany covers any repair to correct a defect in material or workmanship (except wear and tear), unless excluded in the section titled'What is Not Covered'". To me, a tube of sealant that was either manually or mechanically used to seal the upper and lower timing chaing covers, that are not moving parts, and then that sealant fails should be considered a defect in material or workmanship. I just cannot see how this is not covered.

      Frustrating!!!

      Rick

      Rick Snyder | 1997 M3 racecar | Snyder Motorsports

    10. 05-29-2008 07:34 PM #10
      ^^^ Keep talking to the upper VW people. They should help you out - but honestly even if you end up getting screwed into fixing it out of pocket - go to a reputable local shop who isn't an idiot and who won't pull your entire engine
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    11. Member BakBer's Avatar
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      05-29-2008 07:52 PM #11
      blah..i'd just let it leak
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    12. 05-29-2008 08:05 PM #12
      Quote, originally posted by MeiK »
      ^^^ Keep talking to the upper VW people. They should help you out - but honestly even if you end up getting screwed into fixing it out of pocket - go to a reputable local shop who isn't an idiot and who won't pull your entire engine

      Yeah, I'm going to follow through with VW corporate and see where that leads. There is NO way the dealership is doing this work. I've called a friend that runs an indi shop to get some information from him. If I can't fix the leak by throwing some more sealant at the leaking areas, then I will have the indi shop do the work, period!

      Quote, originally posted by BakBer »
      blah..i'd just let it leak

      Hahaha, that option is definitely running through my head right now, but with a trip to UT (1200 miles round trip) in two weeks, I'm not sure I want to just let it leak.

      Thanks guys!

      Rick Snyder | 1997 M3 racecar | Snyder Motorsports

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      05-30-2008 03:14 AM #13
      these guys are trying to screw you...yea it takes 12 hours...with a 10 hour lunch break added in!

      Me and Bakber pulled my whole motor out of the car and on an engine stand within 2 hours! A timing cover can be taken off in less than an hour without removing the engine.

      Why dont you just get a buddy of yours and a 12 pack and do it yourself? Id be down for that if someone offered...As long as it was at night, and not in the burning heat of mid day

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      05-31-2008 07:14 PM #14
      just to let you know the chain cover seals dont leak. I am more than sure its oil spilled or seeping from the oil cap. Its more common on the 24v than 12v. I reccomend removing the engine cover and cleaning the crap out of that side of the engine w/ brake cleaner till no residue and then driving for a couple days with dye to make sure.
      the car is on an inclined driveway and up on jack stands in the front only
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    15. 05-31-2008 09:33 PM #15
      Quote, originally posted by Slimjimmn »
      just to let you know the chain cover seals dont leak. I am more than sure its oil spilled or seeping from the oil cap. Its more common on the 24v than 12v. I reccomend removing the engine cover and cleaning the crap out of that side of the engine w/ brake cleaner till no residue and then driving for a couple days with dye to make sure.

      Incorrect. It's a VERY VERY common problem - I've seen it on a few cars personally and heard of it on many others. Saying "they don't leak" is... Really really untrue.

      ...surprising a "certified VW tech" would say something like that

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    16. 06-05-2008 06:34 PM #16
      Just wanted to update everyone. I did call VW Corporate on 5/29 and they did open a case for me to review the situtation. I finally got a call back today and they said after reviewing all the information that this part should in fact be covered under the CPO and that I should contact my dealer and talk with the Service Manager.

      I was rather excited and called right away. However, my excitement was immediately muted as the Service Manager said that while VW Corporate says that it should be covered and he would very much like to do the work, he will not perform the service until he has written proof. I guess the issue is that he has a written statement from the Warranty Dept that says this part is NOT covered and until he gets something from them that says otherwise, he can't authorize the work.

      Hmmmm, how long do you think it will take for the left hand to figure out what the right hand is doing and then decide they should actually be doing the same thing!?!?! Hint: I won't be holding my breath!

      Rick

      Rick Snyder | 1997 M3 racecar | Snyder Motorsports

    17. 06-05-2008 07:18 PM #17
      Well, maybe I could have held my breath! Just got a call from my Service Writer. The work has been approved and WILL be covered under the CPO warranty! Interestingly, he specifically mentioned that the other car like mine with the same issue will also be covered. This after he told me last week that he and the Service Manager went all the way up to VW Corporate and were denied.

      Not sure why they changed their mind now and I don't really care. It should have been covered in the first place and I'm glad to see they are stepping up and realizing that. They will be ordering all the parts in the morning and once all required parts are in they will set up an appointment and provide an loaner vehicle.

      Rick

      Rick Snyder | 1997 M3 racecar | Snyder Motorsports

    18. 07-08-2008 01:44 AM #18
      Well, it's been over a month since my last update. Picked the car up today after dropping it off last Tuesday (7/1). When I dropped it off they already knew they were a day behind, so figure 2.5 days of possible working time with the Friday holiday. When I left it I asked if they still intended to pull the entire engine and they said yes. Today as I was reviewing the paperwork I was informed that, "From lesson's learned from the first car, the didn't have to pull the engine afterall." Wow, it's amazing...go figure!

      Anyway, the car feels good and tight. They either cleaned the head gasket like mad or replaced it, not really sure but it looks like new. I need to go through the part numbers and see what they replaced. No leaking that I can see but I'll give it a couple days to heat cycle and check it again. The only thing I noticed right away was the shifter. It is very tight/hard to get into first and third gear. I know it's only been a week, but I don't remember 1st/3rd being that hard. The rest of the gears feels normal. Could be that with the tranny out and then back in that the linkage has been adjusted and is now "normal", but it feels different. Everything else feels great though.

      Still sucks that it took this much effort to get something covered, but definitely glad that VW stepped up and took care of it. Hopefully there aren't anymore issues like this over the remaining 10K miles/10 months I have left on the CPO. On the bright side, I've got just about new everything under the car so I should be all set for a while!

      Rick

      Rick Snyder | 1997 M3 racecar | Snyder Motorsports

    19. Member BakBer's Avatar
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      07-08-2008 02:00 AM #19
      post up the part numbers and I can return part descriptions in like 10 min
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    20. 07-08-2008 02:07 AM #20
      Quote, originally posted by BakBer »
      post up the part numbers and I can return part descriptions in like 10 min

      Just looked them all up myself. Nothing out of the ordinary and no head gasket. Thanks for the offer though.

      Rick

      Rick Snyder | 1997 M3 racecar | Snyder Motorsports

    21. Member BakBer's Avatar
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      07-08-2008 02:19 AM #21
      Well wtf did they do then. Steam clean the motor and tell you it was good to go? If they did replace the timing chain cover seal all they did was pull the transmission and remove the cover and re-silicone it like the factory did.
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    22. 07-08-2008 02:38 AM #22
      Quote, originally posted by BakBer »
      Well wtf did they do then. Steam clean the motor and tell you it was good to go? If they did replace the timing chain cover seal all they did was pull the transmission and remove the cover and re-silicone it like the factory did.

      All very good questions! I can tell you that they did not steam clean the engine. The top and serpentine belt side are just as dirty (normal road grime stuff) as when it went in. However, looking down into the tranny side you can see nice shiny/clean areas. The head gasket that sticks out between the upper/lower timing chaing covers looks brand new, so they must have at least thoroughly cleaned that. Beyond the part numbers I have, the statement that they didn't remove the entire engine and what I can see hasn't been touched, I can only put together a rough idea of what was done.

      My guess is they dropped the tranny, removed the upper/lower covers, cleaned both surfaces, resealed the covers and reinstalled the tranny. That's what they should have done anyway as far as I can tell.

      Rick

      Rick Snyder | 1997 M3 racecar | Snyder Motorsports

    23. 07-08-2008 03:15 AM #23
      I just had the same problem. I am the original owner. My GTI has 19K on it and the oil leak was comming from between the timing chain covers. They had to pull the trans to replace the seals. All is good. The stealership had the car for almost two weeks looking for the source. What the service manager told me was that VW would not let them tear into the transmission and timing chain covers untill they could find the source of the leak. Well they couldn't find the leak untill they pulled the transmission. No more spots in my garage.

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