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Potential Oil Pump / Balancer shaft problems on Audi A4 2.0 TDI

edited 22 May 2012 at 8:27AM in Motoring
50 replies 114.1K views
baby_frogmellababy_frogmella Forumite
1.6K Posts
edited 22 May 2012 at 8:27AM in Motoring
Sorry for the long post but hope you can give me advice. I bought my Audi A4 2.0 TDI 140PD (B7 chassis) from new in May 2005, its done around 55k and not had any problems with it so far. However this could all be about to change after reading the following on another forum:
2.0TDi Oil Pump / Balancer shaft problems - the definitive guide! Audi VW Skoda SEAT

Maybe this should be a sticky? Will clear up most of the common questions asked on all the VAG forums (ive been through them all while doing my A4 BLB balancer unit/pump):

I spent some time on ETKA a while ago trying to figure out why some 2.0PD oil pump drives fail and some don't. The BKD, AZV & BMN 2.0 engines (which is what found their way into the 2.0 PD Octavia, A3, Golf, various Seats) used a chain driven oil pump very similar, but not identical, to the old 1.9 130hp PD engine. This never seems to give any problems. I can tell from ETKA these engines don't have a balancer shaft which I think is the key to it - it's the balancer shafts that cause the problems on the 'posher' VAG 2.0 PD diesels eg Passat, A4, Superb. By trying to make the engine more refined for the more expensive models they destroyed it's reliability in the process.

Very briefly, the 2.0 PD differs from the 1.9 in having twin Lanchester balancing shafts which contra-rotate at 2x crank speed. The first engines used a chain drive which was a complete disaster (pictures on this website) and the later engines a gear drive. All 2.0 PD got the geared drive towards the end of 2005.

The problem with the 2.0 PD engine is the drive from the slave balancer shaft to the oil pump, which is a piece of 6 AF hex bar which has inadequate engagement depth with the grooves in the slave shaft. It's the torsional oscillations caused by the balance shafts which destroy the oil pump coupling (the 6mm AF bit of hex) and the chain drive to the balancer shafts before the gear driven systems came out, though these still give problems with the hex key rounding. Think washing machine -> unbalanced load -> keep doing it = new machine.

PSA had no problem at all driving their oil pump from the slave balancer shaft on the bigger HDi engines so it's poor VAG engineering at the bottom of it all - as usual.

As I said earlier, the problem is with lack of concentricity of the drive socket into which the drive rod/hex fits. Since I've started looking at this problem, I've seen three cars where the drive socket is off centre by at least 0.1mm. In engineering terms, this is a massive defect. Since I've starting checking the concentricity, all the drive sockets in the
failed units were off centre, but all the replacement balancer units were dead centre and have not led to a repeat failure in the people i have spoken too. Some replacement balancer units have now done 100k+ miles according to some garages.

So, to sum up. You will get this problem at some point if you have a 2.0TDi WITH balancer shafts. If your 2.0TDi does NOT have balancer shafts, you will be ok. If you fit the lastest balancer shaft/ pump assembley from VAG it will more than likely cure the problem for life as they have made the hex longer and centered it all properly.

Dealers do not admit any liability. You will not get any fiscal help with changing for the new balancer/pump unit. The fact that VAG have released and re-released different pumps/shafts/engines etc.. is "purely coincidence", according to Audi customer services! I am voting with my feet and never buying a VAG car ever again, they are not worth the extra money and the customer service is a disgrace. If you have this problem yourself, STOP driving the car. If you havent blown the turbo and your engine is not rattling you may get away with not replacing the lump, just the pump/balancer. If you havent had the problem yet and you do have a balancer shaft engine, I would advise either changing the balancer system now or getting rid of the car. From what i can assertain, CR engines are safe.
Anything before that..well, Audi/VAG wont say exactley when they started to fit the units that actualy work properly.....


N.B. Thanks to all the contributers from across the VAG network and various garages
So, assuming my A4 has a balancer shaft (which i'll get confirmed one way or another soon) its oil pump is doomed to fail sometime between 60k-100k probably destroying the engine in the process and giving me a huge bill of thousands of pounds. Of course, this might not happen at all and my car might continue to run until 200k without any problems but i'd rather be safe than sorry. Unfortunately selling the car is not an option as its been immaculately looked after and i cannot afford a new/nearly new car right now. So i'm thinking of taking the one of following options to minimise the cost:

1) Pay my local Audi dealer 1.5k (local VAG specialist is only 50 quid cheaper) to get the balancer system changed, using new modified VAG parts

2) Take out insurance through and pay 99 quid a year until the oil pump/balancer goes or 3 years (whichever comes first) and pray to god that this problem occurs within the 3 years. Car will have done less than 100k in 3 years time so wouldn't have any issues re: mileage

3) A company in Germany apparently has a cure to this problem. They repair your old shaft, make the spline 2.3cm deeper, supply a new hexagonal shaft (10cm long) and for the price of 269 euros. But i presume this would mean asking my local garage to take bits off my engine and sending them off to Germany for modification?

What should i do? (once i know for sure that my car has a balancer shaft system)



  • forgotmynameforgotmyname Forumite
    31.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    If its doomed to fail how come so many 100k mile+ cars are for sale?

    The part will be wear and tear and probably excluded from the warranty so a waste of £99

    If your worried sell it?

    Im worried that the full service at ferrari is many thousands of pounds, I lay away all night worrying about it.
    But then i remember ferrari dont make mondeo's.

    Have you checked to see if you have the PD and those engine codes listed?

    Wonder how many failures are down to poor servicing? VW ahh it doesnt need servicing it has long life oil.

    Utter rubbish, Still change it every 6 000 miles or yearly.
    Censorship Reigns Supreme in Troll City...

  • colinocolino Forumite
    5.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    I'd be keeping the car well serviced and keep cocking an ear for the beginnings of any problems. Then you should upgrade the part or sell on.
    I think this is another example of accountant engineering where shaving tiny amounts off of components has created built-in obselescence. It is just a linking shaft after all, it shouldn't remotely be so under-engineered as to cause failure in the lifetime of the unit.
  • Lewis Day sued VAG over the mechanical problems they suffered with the fleet of over 100 Passat 20 TDis with DSG box, some problems where the gearbox going bang, some the DMF and some where engines going bang.

    Note that if the engine went bang under the manfacturers warranty they would fit a new engine for free, this might explain all the high mile VAG cars about, plus if big fleets find out about this kind of thing VAG will behave in a different way to the way they behave to the OP or similar, just basic economics for VAG.

    Always though VAG where overrated a bit, very good adverts and image, very well built inside, but as problematic as any other car and sometimes more troublesome, could you imagine if Rover had an issue like this the british press would have shouted loud and long, but most of the press are firmly in the "we love VAG club" so nothing but a stoney silence.

    Read WhatCar last week for the first time in years, a load of middle class luvvies having a VAG love-in, I think most of the journo's knew very little about cars after reading some of the articles and reports to be honest.
  • Don't forget that if you used the wrong oil on the earlier PD engines you wrecked the top end. Had to be a specific PD oil and nothing else.
  • Took my car to a local Audi/VW indy today and he seemed pretty certain that my car was likely to have this failure before reaching 100k (he's said he seen this happen on nearly every 2.0TDi PD 2005 B7 like mine) and said there's a 99% chance i will need a new engine when this happens. However he said no need to waste money by replacing the whole balancer shaft system now, just buy this kit and he will fit it which will take care of the problem.

    He also said its very important i go for oil change every 10k rather than variable servicing intervals (as is currently the case), he said the vast majority of problems he's seen with Audi engines are due to people getting oil changed too infrequently...which in my case can be as much as 18k miles!:eek:
  • Hi new to this forum been reading some topics on the low oil pressure light on the Audi A4, i have the A4 2007 with just 73400 miles on the clock I got this car from an Audi dealer, had it service by Audi dealer the low oil pressure light came on, got the car taken to my local garage they tested it found no oil pressure at all, I have sent an email to Audi UK to see if they can help put the car right as the cost to have it repaired will be about 2K i believe that the engine is a BP,
    has anyone got anything out of Audi to help with the cost of the repaire

  • Hello,
    I bought my Audi A4 S line (2008) 4 months ago and the number of repairs I had is just astonishing. All the issues you are mentioning involved with that engine happened to me. So far I've spent almost £4k to repair the car just to be told it might not last...

    I believe this is unacceptable as this is not a brand you would expect to disappoint you. When I called their customer service they wouldn’t acknowledge my problem even though they were clearly aware of the issues with the engine, thus, I decided to take things into my hands.

    So I decided to start up a Facebook Campaign against Audi. Audi is no longer a reliable brand. They screwing people over and they think there is nothing we can do about it. If you have ever got a problem with Audi or know anyone who have problems with that globally know car manufacturer please check and like my page...Empower the small man

    I would be very grateful if you could support my page, this is not a spam, I really want people to know about the problems with the 2.0 engine before they spend 10k. I would be very grateful if you could "like" my page, that’s all I'm asking for. Find my page of Facebook: "Audi dust Auto"

    You should also know that Audiis now recalling fuel injectors, hence if you have had such problems pleasecontact Audi Customer Service as they should do it free of charge.

  • edited 25 January 2013 at 12:53AM
    KarolMajewskiKarolMajewski Forumite
    2 Posts
    edited 25 January 2013 at 12:53AM
    pwcourier wrote: »
    Hi new to this forum been reading some topics on the low oil pressure light on the Audi A4, i have the A4 2007 with just 73400 miles on the clock I got this car from an Audi dealer, had it service by Audi dealer the low oil pressure light came on, got the car taken to my local garage they tested it found no oil pressure at all, I have sent an email to Audi UK to see if they can help put the car right as the cost to have it repaired will be about 2K i believe that the engine is a BP,
    has anyone got anything out of Audi to help with the cost of the repaire


    Hi Pete,

    I have been having the same problems. When I called Audi they told me they are happy for me to take my car to the Audi garage where they can run some tests to detect the problem. They would then need to send the results to the manufacturer in Germany, where they decide about the fault. I would obviously have to pay for the test, which is way too expensive for me... The customer service is absolutely useless... I did tell them that there are number of people complaining on different forums, their reply was that people shouldn’t take it to the online, but rather contact them, which obviously costs....

    I had no choice but to repair and cover the costs at the local garage, andthat was almost £2700. My car has done 87000miles… Apparently the engine cracks before it reaches 100K, there clearly is a problem, but they refuse to acknowledge that.

    Just to let you know, that Audi is now recalling fuel injectors, hence, if you have had such problems please contact Audi Customer Service as they should do it free of charge. I had it done 3 months ago…
  • mattyprice4004mattyprice4004 Forumite
    7.3K Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Interesting information - makes you wonder how they get away with daft mistakes like this.

    My MG ZS has a direct drive oil pump - no messing about with balance shafts and the like. It's as tractory as anything, but given that I've owned 5 of the same engine in other cars without issue it makes you wonder if all this technological advancement is worth it - it's all the Accounts guys cutting costs as per.

    I've had the following on Rover's good old L series diesel without issue:
    - 140k
    - 170k
    - 113k
    - 150k
    - And currently on 137k in my current.

    All without major engine work, one had a turbo done before I owned it but the others were pretty much untouched. Try and do that today!
  • edited 9 February 2013 at 4:10PM
    bigmalcbigmalc Forumite
    2 Posts
    edited 9 February 2013 at 4:10PM
    As above, it occurs to me that Martin Lewis - The Peoples Champion - could do VAG good and proper with the Television and Media exposure he is privvy to. Here is another so called top quality brand failing miserably on all fronts, and we the long suffering public, footing the extortionate bill!!


    I for one would be proud to work at your side/under your instruction, for the common good.

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