Car Problem Reports
Volkswagen Jetta Timing chain guide rails break
Volkswagen Jetta Problem
Model Year Affected: 2001
Engine Affected: 2.8L V6
The jetta 2.8L VR6 uses a metal timing chain, intended to last the life of the car. But the chain rides, and is tensioned by several plastic guide rails. It is common for the guide rails to fail before 100,000 miles. When they fail, the timing chain will at best make a lot of noise - like marbles in a can. But the risk of the chain skipping a tooth or more on the sprockets is high and will throw off the timing. This will cause the car to run rough (if at all) and acceleration will be VERY poor. Because of the "interference" nature of these engines, a mis-timed engine can cause valve and/or piston damage which is an expensive repair.
My Jetta is going through repair of the timing chain guide rails now. It requires removal of the transmission - no small thing.