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Jack, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 530
Experience:  I have been an automotive technician for over 15 years and have worked on most makes and models.
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If a timing belt is installed wrong can it cause a problem

This answer was rated:

If a timing belt is installed wrong can it cause a problem with the vct solenoid?

To give you a fast answer that would be yes it can, if you are saying that the cam and crank are not set right if the belt is installed and the cam and crank are not set to the proper positions then yes this will affect your variable timing sensor. what happens is that the timing is already off so the sensor is not picking up the correct signals. if you have any concerns on this let me know how I can help and I will see what I can do,

thanks again, Jack(MR.PUTTPUTT)

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The car timing was fine until we had the timing belt changed. Then we could tell it was "off" and we also developed an erratic idle. The mechanic that fixed the car said that the solenoid is shorting in and out causing the erratic idle. Another mechanic said that the cam adjustment probably wasn't done properly and needs to be redone. They want to charge us $2,200.00 and I believe they caused the problem. One more thing...we were also told that the shorting out of the solenoid blew the valve cover gasket and there is oil everywhere. The mechanic is saying this for the first time today AFTER he had replaced the belt. Thanks for your help.


what kind of car is this year make model and engine size
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

2003 Audi A4 Cabriolet 3.0 V6

I am just going by a guess but is the mechanic a Audi certified tech?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No. You wouldn't believe the entire story. We took it to Tires Plus because they said they could "easily" handle it. Lesson learned. They are having it towed to Audi tomorrow morning to determine whether or not they caused this. I'm certain they did.


Did the mechanic check it out after the problem or is he guessing?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They checked it out yesterday, fixed the timing issue and then test drove it this morning. Then they pulled up a bunch of new codes pointing to the solenoid after fixing the timing again.

so they did verify the timing is off then and they changed it correct
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes. He said is was "1/2 a tooth off".

ok, then with that they know they screwed up. I would have to agree, that the cause is going to have to be a mis-timed engine, I have done a few of these and they are not easy as per what Tires plus says, timing is critical on this and any engine. but with out looking at it to verify the timing is off I am going by the information you have giving me. but now the problem is further than the timing being of, this should not really cause a bad sensor but, I would say that you are going about the right way get it to Audi dealer or a Audi certified tech. the problem that you are going to run into is that tires plus is probably only going to held responsible for their repairs (depending on your state laws and consumer protection) I am in WI and I own and run a repair shop and I do mostly domestic car but I do take in VW and Audi but I know my limits and I ask questions if I am not sure. but I my repair causes damage then I try and take care of my customer and I am insured for this. so if the tires plus employee did this they should take care of you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So you don't believe the replacement of the timing belt caused this? If Audi says it did Tires Plus has agreed to pay the entire cost to repair it. I'm just concerned that this did not cause it and we're out $2,200.00.

I am saying that the mis-timed engine did give you a problem with the sensor, a mis-timed engine will effect the readings of the sensor, but once the engine was re-timed it should read correct. so I would say the sensor was damaged during the process of the repair. does that make sense the way I explained it? do you know what other codes the car is giving now? I would also say that the running of the engine while mis-timed caused further damage. as far as your repair costs depending on your state laws they may only be liable for the amount that they charged you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes! Thank you for the explanation. The codes from this morning are 18406, 17930, and 16725.

18406 is for friction readings to high, 17930 is for camshaft adjustment, 16725 is for camshaft sensor, from those codes I am thinking that engine is still out of time. take it to Audi and you should call your better business office if tires plus does not take care of you, and you may have to file a small claims suit, but I hope that you do not have to go through the courts tires plus is a large company and should treat you right. what state are you in?
Jack and 5 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Wow. Thanks so much for your help. We'll know more on Monday, but I did speak with the district manager from Tires Plus and he did assure me that they would cover it IF it's their fault. It's their fault :) Thanks again!