Timing Belt Failure 43K Certified 2001.5 Celebration Edition Ultra Sport

Timing belt failure on a Certified 2001.5 Audi A4 with a 1yr Assured Warranty left on the car. Audi service will not cover the costs. I have read many articles here where people have stated Audi wouldnt cover the
costs because they were over a certain mileage, or out of the warranty. I dont think it makes a difference whether you have the warranty or not...its still your headache....right now its mine. Bought my Audi less than 2 yrs ago, Certified with 19K miles on it. First week, I noticed the car didnt start first crank. Send it in, they said I needed a new fuel Pump, and covered the expense, minus $50 deductible. But it wasnt fixed. Sent it back, it was a tiny hole in a hose. Paid another $50 for time and efforts. Less than 5K miles both tires blew, and one rim was damaged due to some Bubbles formed on sidewalls of tires. Tires not covered, nor was the rim. Cost to repair $880. At 27K miles new brakes needed. Audi Reccomends changing Rotors also as they are rusting. Rusty rotors arent covered in Assured Warranty. Cost $590. Last weekend driving on hi way and battery light and check engine both come on same time. By the time I get to hard shoulder the battery is almost flat. Emergency Towing delivers at nearest dealer late at night. BIG MISTAKE !!! Gave dealer the opportunity to diagnose and report multiple repairs needed. New Battery, Alternator, and Time belts. Since changing Time belt, he also reccomends changing water pump and Tensioner, and some seal. $1800 for waterpump, seal and Time belt, $1200 for Alternator, $285 Battery and $330 diagnosis. $3600 worth damage without any warning. Car is sittign at dealer right now. I called Audi America, they called dealer, and reported back that at very minium even if I dont fix the car I still have to pay the diagnosis fees. But in any case only the alternator is covered on warranty. Everything else Im responsible for. Audi Assured wont cover you for Time Belt or Battery. They stated despite low mileage since the car is 2001.5 its 5yrs old, which is considered "wear" , so timing belt is on me.
Car drives like a dream when working but when its not its a major expense. This car has only and always been maintained by Audi but it doesnt seem to matter. Audi will fix small items and easy fixers but anything major they wont copver you. If you are going to buy Audi, sell after the 4yr Warranty is over because maintanance is very pricy.
Has anyone else had this problem with time belts in such low mileage? Have their been any Class actions against Audi... Im seriously considering getting a lawyer but need some direction on this.
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[Snip]

Audi UK certainly wouldn't entertain a claim for timing belt at 5 years old. The recommended change interval is now every four years (except the RS6, which is every three years), or 60k miles, whichever comes sooner.
--
Peter Bell - snipped-for-privacy@bellfamily.org.uk

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Hard to believe your timing belt has actually failed since if it had, you'd almost certainly be looking at thousands in engine damage alone. Probably they're recommending the TB change because of the age of the car. And it is usually a good idea to replace the water pump, tensioner and thermostat at the same time since much of the job is labor and each of these parts requires pretty much the same disassembly. That said, $1800 is excessive - a good independent Audi mechanic should do it for around $1000 or so. For the battery, I suggest Autozone - they have one that fits my 98 A4 for about $75 so $285 sounds like robbery. As far as what's covered under the "Assured Warranty", typically wear and tear items are NOT covered. Audis tend to go through brakes and it is usual to have to replace the rotors along with the brake pads.

Again, I suspect that your TB has not actually failed but is being replaced as a precaution. Were it to fail, you'd be looking at many thousands of dollars in engine repair. Audi used to have a longer mileage between TB replacement but had a number of failures. Now they recommend both mileage AND time periods between changes.

You can google audi class action but here's one of interest http://tinyurl.com/bff6c

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thx for the feedback. Much appreciated. I guess I just have to absorb the cost. But it just bothers me, cos I had to replace 2 tires that blew due to some bubbling on side walls ..Audi didnt take resposibility for that either, and that was with about 5-8K miles, and now this, for a certified car in less than 2 yrs. Worries me what else is in store for me. Car is a dream when its working but frustrating nightmare when it breaks down. Thanks for the responses.
iws wrote:

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TR3NDSETR wrote:

The CPO warranty is _not_ a bumper to bumper warranty, doesn't match the original factory warranty, and doesn't cover wear items. That said, sounds like the car wasn't properly certified by the dealer before it was sold. (did you have anyone inspect if prior to purchasing it?)
Don't have the dealer do all the work, as their costs are typically 50% above what a qualified independent shop would charge.
Get the alternator replaced and then have it flat-bedded somewhere else.
The region-specific forums on audiworld.com are a good place to ask around for shop recommendations.
--
--------------------------------------------------------
Dave Lugo snipped-for-privacy@etherboy.com LC Unit #260 TINLC
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I have a 1998 Audi A4 Quattro with the 1.8T engine and it recently had a timing belt failure (86,000 mi). I was surprised because the dealer had performed a related recall ("JK Campaign") just four months earlier. In fact, the service invoice clearly stated that the timing belt had been inspected and did not need to be replaced until 90,000 mi (this was when the car had 82,000 mi). After telling this story to the guy at my local shop, he advised me to call Audi and he gave me the 800 number. The customer service advocate at Audi was nice enough and he verified that my wife was the original owner of the vehicle. He opened a case and asked me what I'd like Audi to do. At first I thought he was joking! So I told him politely that I'd like Audi to pay for the cost of the repair and the other expenses I had incurred related to this breakdown. So he took down more information and said he'd call back the next day to let me know what they could do. The next morning he called back and said that if it was in fact the timing belt that failed, then Audi would pay for the repair and even the towing costs. But he said I'd have to get it towed to the nearest Audi dealer (about a $300 tow charge). Since my local shop is good I knew they wouldn't mis-diagnose a timing belt failure, so I had it towed to a dealer. It took over a month, but the dealer did replace the engine (head and block) and there was no charge at all to me. (I did have to go without a car for a month, though). About a month after that, I got a check reimbursing me for the towing charges and a charge for three days of a rental car. (They refused to pay for the rental car gas and my one night stay in a hotel, though). While the car was in the shop, I got something in the mail from the dealer that did the recall work (a different dealer than the one putting in a new engine). It was a general advertisement stating that there was a high demand for 1998 A4 1.8T vehicles such as mine, and it went on to say that I would be offered some sort of bonus if I were to trade it in as part of a new Audi purchase. This was the first piece of advertising mail I had ever received from this particular dealer... I couldn't help but laugh at the coincidence.
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thanks for sharing that story. It sounds like you had good success with Audi Customer Service.

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I think I was lucky that the JK recall was done BEFORE the timing belt failed... if not, I doubt that Audi would have been so understanding. In fact this recall action happened when the oil cooler failed at 82000 mi! It was about a $1000 repair, but looking back, it saved me the $5000+ repair for the new engine... Good luck with yours.
Rick
One out of many Daves wrote:

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Indeed you were lucky they did perform the recall inspection as the 98 A4 1.8T had a problem not with the timing belt specifically but with the timing belt tensioner. The tensioner design was flawed and more than a few tensioner failures were reported in the AudiWorld forums. The general consensus was to replace the timing belt and tensioner (along with the water pump impeller and other belts while you're in there) by 60,000 miles.
I'm very glad to hear that Audi did right by you.
- Charlie 04 S4 MT6 06 A4 Avant 2.0T Tip (the wife's ride)

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