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VWDoc
VWDoc, Independent VW Shop owner
Category: VW
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Experience:  20 years of experience working with VW's. Independent European shop owner and technician.
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2003 Passat: the cam shaft adjuster..V6 engine

Resolved Question:

I have been advised to replace the cam shaft adjuster on my 2003 Passat V6 engine. Since I don't plan to keep this car, is this a repair I can decline?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: VW
Expert:  VWDoc replied 6 years ago.

Hello, I'm Jason.
I will do my best to answer your question quickly and accurately using the information you have provided.

 

Yes, that's a fairly common failure area. The camshaft adjuster takes up slack on the timing chain that connects the exhaust camshaft to the intake camshaft. This component is on the front side of the left (driver's side) cylinder head and the back side of the right head. Right now, your engine isn't operating at optimal efficiency, since this adjuster also varies camshaft timing slightly while you're driving, depending on engine RPM and load. Yes, the car will continue to operate *mostly* normally, unless the adjuster completely collapses, which is pretty rare, since not only does it use oil pressure to keep tension, but there's also a spring in there. So, if you're planning on selling within the next couple of months, you can get away with not replacing it. However, the check engine light will continue to illuminate.

 

Please let me know if I can help further.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
What do you think about this fix? I can send the more detailed version if it would be helpful.

Here's the Cliff Notes version: When your variable camshafts aren't and throw one of the associated codes, disconnect the offending camshaft adjuster solenoid valve pigtail connectors. Briefly "electroshock" the affected solenoid valves several times each with several brief applications of full 12V. Reconnect. Drive.
Expert:  VWDoc replied 6 years ago.
Which side or bank? Can you tell me the exact engine trouble code?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I'll get the code and send it to you. Thanks.
Expert:  VWDoc replied 6 years ago.
Ok, thank you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Since I don't know which numbers you need I will put them down exactly as they appear on the Diagnosis protocol.

17930 P1522 035
Bank2, camshaft adjustment
malfunction
intermittent


16730 P0346 035
camshaft Pos. Sensor Circ. (Bank2)
Range/Performance
static

16684 P0300 035
Random/Multiple Cylinder
misfire detected
static

16688 P0304 035
Cyl.4
misfire detected
static

16690 P0306 035
Cyl.6
misfire detected
static

16689 P0305 035
Cyl.5
misfire detected
static

That's it.
Bill
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Since I don't know which numbers you need I will put them down exactly as they appear on the Diagnosis protocol. 17930 P1522 035 Bank2, camshaft adjustment malfunction intermittent 16730 P0346 035 camshaft Pos. Sensor Circ. (Bank2) Range/Performance static 16684 P0300 035 Random/Multiple Cylinder misfire detected static 16688 P0304 035 Cyl.4 misfire detected static 16690 P0306 035 Cyl.6 misfire detected static 16689 P0305 035 Cyl.5 misfire detected static That's it. Bill
Expert:  VWDoc replied 6 years ago.

Ok, so it's related to the LF (driver's) side adjuster. Here is a closeup of one I have in the shop right now:

 

graphic

 

The upper terminal is 12v+ and the lower is grounded through the ECU. Perform the "shock" by grounding the lower with a jumper wire, and using another jumper wire off of the battery to briefly touch the upper terminal a few times. You should hear an electrical solenoid.

 

I hope it works.

VWDoc and other VW Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you very much. I'll let you know how I com out.
Bill
Expert:  VWDoc replied 6 years ago.
yes, please do