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01 GLX Turbo
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23 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
1.8 2001 has a cam chain "rattle" at start up. But only for a couple seconds, then sounds fine. Maybe on some hot days at idle, I may slightly hear it.

Car maintained good..Run 0-40 Mobil1 or 5-30 Castrol edge. Clean pan and pickup. No other indications. Car runs well. regular changes.

Is this a normal sound at start-up? Unsure If its something I should dig into. I did a head a few years ago, and sure wished I did it then.
 

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From I have seen; there is always a rattle for a couple of seconds on start up with a 1.8T. The chain tensioner; works by the oil pressure, so the pressure has to come up again at a cold start up. Now, if the rattle continues or is louder; the chain, tensioner, guides etc.; could be worn out, when I did a swap on a 1.8T Jetta, the tensioner had failed but it was rattling all the time. How many miles are on the car? The Jetta had over 100k; the tensioners do eventually wear out; we swapped the tensioner, problem solved. There is a VW TSB; that discusses the rattle noise at startup and says it is normal.

Oil pressure: from the pickup screen/tube being clogged, could be a issue and a oil pressure test might not be a bad idea to confirm everything is ok on that end (make sure you don't have any sludge issues).

Here is a good video; that talks about wear points, shows the assembly and replacement issues:

TechSmart Tech Sessions: VVT Chain Tensioner

TechSmart Tech Sessions: VVT Chain Tensioner - YouTube
 

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I'm not a dude.
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Typically it will rattle badly at startup and then again when it warms up when it's time to replace. It clatters like a diesel, you'll know. Youtube videos of a failed cam chain tensioner and you'll see what I mean.
 

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01 GLX Turbo
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23 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thank you both, appreciated. 125K on Car.

It seems to be just at start, So I'm going to plan on doing it in the summer for now. Oil pickup is clean (just did the pan and seal, and little sludge/coking elsewhere.

Thanks
 

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As these cars age, I think the tensioner does get worn and sloppy.

I see you are in MA, assume you are pretty cold up there?

Had my 2003 since new, has about 85k on the clock, had the oil pick up clog up, this is due the thermostats going soft, engine running too cool and too much moisture in the crankcase not getting cooked out.

Anyway, when it gets usually below freezing and the car sits overnight, I have the same issue on cold start, a few seconds of rattle, probably 5 at most, if that. Seems like it takes between 2-3 seconds for the oil pressure to build up enough to get the tensioner to fill up.

I probably have to change the valve cover gasket in the Spring, so I will inspect for wear at that point and decide if I change the tensioner or live with it for a while longer.

Mine is fine once the weather warms up and as I recall no issues usually once above freezing.

We have about 2 weeks below freezing here now and it is not fun with any of the cars, but they are so far working fine.
 
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