Question about 1996 Audi A4

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Fixing my 1996 Audi A4

I just recently bought this car and the people I bought it from said it needed a time belt but a buddy of mine said that since it starts and runs that it just needs to be timed. I don't really know anything about cars so would somebody please give me some advice and an estimate of what kind of prices I was looking at. Thank You

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  • jerseyjimmy Aug 20, 2008

    I have the same problem. Have someone check your cam gears. The ones on my car have slipped causing the timing to go crazy and now the car wont even start. If that is the case you will have to get a cam locking tool from audi and have the timing belt and cam gears adjusted and set properly before you cause costly engine damage. After that the ecu will properly adjust the timing during certain driving conditions. Good luck with your car

  • yadayada
    yadayada May 11, 2010

    Have you checked the under-hood emission sticker? The info you need may be there. I have searched the internet for this info, no resaults, the timing may not be adjustable, the sticker will tell you that.

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CHANGE THE BELT AND TENSIONER. These are interference motors and absolutely have a required service interval for the belt and tensioner (and a mix of other pieces as well). Gchevere001, please do yourself a favor and don't listen to the friend you mentioned. If you follow his advice you will be paying for a new motor down the road.

Audi calls for the full timing belt job roughly every 60k miles. If you're not sure (as in, you haven't seen receipts showing) when the job was done last, spend the money and do the job now. You don't want to pay to replace one of these engines.

There are various kits that you can buy, including varying numbers of pieces, and no one mentioned which engine they have, but the basics of what you need to do are the following: Change the timing belt, timing belt tensioner, serpentine belt, serpentine tensioner, timing idler roller, relay level for the t-belt, water pump, water pump gasket, G12 (pink) coolant, and thermostat. Often cam seals and front main seal are done now as well, and if yours are leaking oil or look damaged, then do them too (if they are sealing fine and look good, don't mess with them and risk creating a problem). You're going to want to invest in at least a Haynes manual to walk you through it, plus supply the torque specs for the various parts you're installing. Also, on www.audidiy.com and www.audiworld.com there are step-by-step procedures for doing the job on some of the A4 engines, so take advantage of those as well. But yes, you do have to change the timing system - at least the parts I mentioned, not just the belt.

Posted on Sep 23, 2008

  • Jeremy Dellow
    Jeremy Dellow Sep 23, 2008

    As for prices, doing it yourself, look at www.purems.com and www.ecstuning.com for the kits - both companies are very good with excellent customer service. As for having it done by someone else, go with an independent shop specializing in European cars. A dealer will get an easy $1200-1400 for the job, whereas an indie shop will probably be more around $700-850ish (parts and labor for both price ranges). If you have some basic mechanical know-how, the job is doable yourself - if you're going this route, do a search of the forums and manuals for the "service position" which entails opening the front of the car like a door to allow unfettered access to the front of the engine.

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