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Matt, Mechanical Engineer
Category: Audi
Satisfied Customers: 22893
Experience:  BEng hons Mech engineering, in auto industry 22 years
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6 weeks ago my audi a5 1.8 tfsi was difficult to get into gear

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6 weeks ago my audi a5 1.8 tfsi was difficult to get into gear and kept cutting out, managed to barely run it enough to park it up at side of the road, the engine management light was flashing and there was traces of oil on the engine, A mechanic towed it to his garage and gave me the bad news timing belt had gone and after inspection told me engine was damaged and needed to be rebuilt or replaced.
I agreed eventually to a rebuilt engine, 6 weeks later I have picked it up and it was running rough and he told me it was cause it needs running in and it's been not running 6 weeks in the cold, seemed to drive fine when warmed up but I've looked under bonnet don't attached with engine running and there is a fast tapping notice like someone typing really quickly on an old typewriter, the fan is very loud and a cable is snapped at the front of the engine attached to what looks like a starter motor, I'm not sure what exactly it is but two cables go into it, one is snapped at the connection point, TFSI plastic cover is missing as mechanic says it does fit over the new head, Should I drive it back to the garage?, Have I been ripped off?, Or has he missed something simple that can be rectified?, Is it his responsibility to sort it as to me it's clearly not the same as it was before, I'm not sure what to do but I'd appreciate some advice what to say to get him to fix it without charging me more, I've already paid him nearly £4000 to sort it and feel it's his responsibility to get this sorted and quickly.
It it his responsibility to collect it or mine to get it back to his garage?
Thanks for reading this long post
Lee Williamson

I suspect the tapping noise is just a sticking valve tappet / cam follower as these would have lost oil having been sat for a long period

this should hopefully go away on its own but the garage could confirm this noise is what I think it is - its safe to drive like that anyway

its also sounds like something hasn't been reconnected correctly as the fans should only be on full power if everything is very hot and the missing cable sounds like the engine earth connection , there are a couple so it isn't a big thing but it should be connected

definitly go back to them as you say the onus is on them to sort it out
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Okay that puts my mind at ease regarding the tapping noise, it he engine is juddering one start up too and only stops once it's warmed up, it's never been like that before, could that be because it's been sat for a while and will that go away?, also would you be able to hazard a guess why the plastic engine cover saying tfsi on it doesn't fit over the new head and why the dipstick is missing?, he says there isn't one on these engines but there was definately one in before this work was done, there is a plastic plug in its place so the part of the engine with the dipstick housing has been replaced and the dipstick not transferred over, I want to be 100% sure he hasn't swapped it for a different engine? As he said it's an engine rebuild not an engine swap, surely if it's the same one the plastic cover will fit and the dipstick should be there?
If you can help me with these questions I'll happily pay your fee.
Hello Lee

no the juddering sounds like something else to me

this could be an airleak after the airflow meter, any air dragged in here isn't 'seen' by the ECU and so not compensated for and can lean the engine out and can also allow the engine to rev up when not desired causing rough running.

As its a mechanical fault it tends not to turn on the fault light and you can sometimes hear a 'hissing' noise with the engine running.

Check the hose clips for tightness and inspect the trunking for any cracks or splits and also all the vacuum system, the small bore pipes and fittings for cracks and missing parts.

The best way to locate a leak is to have the engine running and warm and then spray lighter gas /propane around each joint in turn. If the engine rev's up you've found your leak.

Now you might think that spraying lighter gas around a hot engine isn’t wise, however the flash /ignition point of gas is about 400°C so you need a naked flame or spark to set it off and I’ve used this method for many years without incident.

Work your way through each possible joint one at a time and you should find it. I use a slightly flattened piece of brake pipe and some rubber hose from the can of lighter gas to provide a spraying 'wand' and allow a direct blast of gas into each area, especially those difficult to reach with large implements.

as to why the cover doens't fit then yes I'd agree if it was rebuild then I don't see why it won't fit now

even if the cylinder head has been replaced with a new item then the cover should go on even if it needs few tiny modifications , it won't be hugely different

as for the missing dipstickthen thats not on, the car should have one

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