Do You Have a Worn FSI Cam Follower?

FSI Cam FollowerFuel stratified injection (FSI) engines are found in VW and Audi cars that use fuel injection technology. From time to time, we diagnose a FSI car with cam follower failure. We thought now would be a good time to discuss this vital component, how it fails, and the symptoms to watch for.

What the Cam Follower Does

The cam follower acts as a barrier between the camshaft lobe and the high-pressure fuel pump. Like any component, the cam follower will eventually wear. Causes of failure can range from using low-quality motor oil to making improper modifications to the fuel pump.

If the cam follower wears all the way, damage to the cam shaft and fuel pump will probably follow. Some mechanics say that the cam follower is more prone to failure if it has undergone certain modifications. These include the installation of an aftermarket high-pressure fuel pump or larger turbos. However, we have observed cam follower failure in cars with both stock and aftermarket parts. Continue Reading →

Be Sure to Check Your Timing Chain Tensioner

timing chain tensionerCertain German cars utilize a specific type of timing chain tensioner. Failure of this component can create a serious safety issue. This part has a design flaw, causing it to fail prematurely in some instances. We’ll explain what this part does and what precautions you should take.

What Is a Timing Chain Tensioner?

As suggested in its name, a timing chain tensioner keeps the timing chain under tension. The timing chain itself connects the upper half of the engine with the lower half, keeping the two sections synchronized.

A defective timing chain tensioner can cause the exhaust valves to come into contact with the pistons while the engine is running. This can seriously damage the valves, cylinder head, and cylinder walls.

Most timing chain and belt systems need replacement every 70,000 to 100,000 miles. Some motorists, however, are reporting failure much sooner. A class-action lawsuit, in fact, has been filed in New Jersey against VW. At the time of this posting, no official recall has been announced. Continue Reading →

What Is the Best Gasoline for a Volkswagen?

gasoline for a VWOur customers have often asked us what is the best gasoline for a Volkswagen. They want to know if they should use regular or premium gasoline at the pump. Traditionally, the vehicle’s user manual has recommended premium fuel. However, the manual for some 2016 VWs now recommend regular gasoline. We’ll explain the difference between regular and premium gasoline and the reason for the switch.

Why Gasoline Type for a Volkswagen Matters

VW previously recommended premium gasoline for one simple reason: it helped the vehicle achieved its advertised MPG. Using regular fuel reduced fuel efficiency by about 5%. This pretty much negated the money saved by using regular over premium gas.

In addition, regular fuel could lead to engine knock and detonation. This is especially the case in turbocharged engines found in most German cars. This is a problem our Audi and VW repair crew have noticed when performing maintenance work under the hood.

VW has never released any official explanation for the switch to regular gasoline for its 2016 lineup. We believe that improvement in engine technology has made premium fuel obsolete. Extensive testing has likely yielded negligible difference between regular and premium gasoline use. Regardless, we are happy to hear that some VW owners can now save at the pump. Continue Reading →

Can You Get a Cheap Oil Change for a German Car?

cheap oil changeIt’s not unusual to see ads for your local auto repair shop offering $19.99 oil changes. Can a VW and Audi service really include an oil change for just 20 bucks? Learn the truth about those advertised cheap oil changes so you understand what you’re really getting for $20

The Truth About Cheap Oil Changes

Oil changes for most German cars require synthetic oil. Carefully read the fine print in the ad to determine the type of oil used. In most cases, it may be a synthetic oil BLEND. Technically, you can put a drop of synthetic oil in a lower-grade oil and call it a synthetic blend. There is just no way of really knowing the quality of the oil.

Pure synthetic oil also isn’t cheap and almost always costs more than the $19.99 fee. There is also the cost of labor and other fees on top of that. The auto shop will be losing money if charges a flat $20 and uses 100% synthetic oil. Continue Reading →

Common Audi A4 Problems

Audi A4 ProblemsWhen you deal specifically in Audi and VW repairs, you begin to notice a few patterns. Certain models may be prone to a particular problem or two. The Audi A4 is one of the more common vehicles that end up in our garage for maintenance. From our experience, we have noticed the following commonly occurring Audi A4 problems.

Typical Audi A4 Problems

Power Window Motor Burnout

Motor burnout for the power window is fairly common. The driver’s window is usually the first to give out, since it’s used the most often. Luckily, repairs are quite easy. Repairing or replacing the motor in the door’s panel is a simple task.

Faulty Display Screen

The infotainment’s LCD display screen may develop a fault. One section or corner will burn out, making it hard to make out information from that portion of the screen. If you experience this problem, you will need to replace the entire screen. Continue Reading →

Coil Pack Repair for VW and Audi Vehicles

Coil PackMost modern German vehicle models are equipped with a coil pack in the engine. This component plays a vital function, and damage to it may prevent the engine from starting. Owners should arrange for a qualified Audi and VW repair center to check this mechanism regularly.

What Is a Coil Pack?

The coil pack is made up of multiple spark and ignition coils. The coils create an electric spark that transfers the voltage from the battery to the fuel that powers the engine. In modern German vehicles with a TDI engine, the coil pack performs the function of a distributor. The coil pack, though, is often considered superior because it doesn’t need to be fired as frequently. Neither does it have any moving parts. Coil packs also produce a stronger spark, leading to more reliable engine starts.

Signs of Coil Pack Troubles

Any of the following symptoms may be an indication of a worn coil pack:

  • Engine stalls or vibrates when idling
  • Engine has difficulty starting
  • Drastic drop in RPMs when idling
  • Reduced fuel economy

The first telltale sign is a misfire or an engine struggling to start in the morning. Of course, this could simply be due to a dying battery. If the car is also vibrating and sputtering while in idle, then more than likely it’s the coil pack. A vibrating and sputtering engine, however, may also be caused by a worn fuel injector or fuel pump. It may also be simply due to a dirty filter.

You won’t know for sure the cause until you have the car looked at by a VW and Audi service center.

Let Our Mechanics Have a Look

Read our story to learn why we are Kirkland’s go-to team for German automobile repairs. Make an appointment with Buttera Motors to have your car looked at if it’s having trouble starting lately. A faulty coil pack will only continue to get worse and lead to diminished engine performance.

Edited by Justin Vorhees

Specialty Repair Crew for German-Made Cars

VW and Audi service in Bothell, Bellevue, Kirkland, Kenmore, Redmond & Woodinville

What to Know About Your Volkswagen Clean Pollen Filter

VW Pollen FilterAll VW models come with a clean pollen filter under the hood. This is surely a godsend for allergy sufferers; the Kirkland area, after all, is known for heavy pollen during the fall season. A VW pollen filter prevents uncontrollable coughing and sneezing fits while behind the wheel. Learn more about the pollen filter and how to keep it in good condition.

How a VW Pollen Filter Works

A pollen filter is not a whole lot different from a conventional car cabin filter. The ones installed on VW vehicles are made from activated carbon. These are highly porous fibers that trap the smallest air contaminants and prevent them from entering the cabin. One filters out essentially 99% of pollen as small as 0.5 micrometers. Along with preventing the sniffles and watery eyes, the filter also blocks unpleasant odors and keeps away particles that might adhere to the windshield. Continue Reading →

Are German Vehicle Repairs Really More Expensive?

German Vehicle Repairs Expensive │ Kirkland │ Buttera MotorsAs a VW and Audi service, we have heard it again and again: German vehicle repairs are more expensive compared to those of American-made automobiles. Is there any truth to this? Obviously, there are a number of factors at play, such as make of vehicle, model and type of repair. German car repairs also often require specific parts, which can add to the cost. However, to say that repairs for an Audi or VW are more expensive is a bit of an overgeneralization.

German Vehicle Repairs Not Always More Expensive

We actually ran a little experiment on the useful site RepairPal. The site provides repair estimates for various car models and types of repairs. For the test, we entered a 2005 VW Jetta as our vehicle and compared it to four other non-German vehicles. We entered these five cars to obtain estimates for five different repairs. Continue Reading →

Volkswagen Passat Prone to TDI Engine Failure

TDI EngineWe have discussed TDI engines in previous posts. They’re certainly a main staple in most German and other European vehicles. The engine, even with its superior performance delivery, has been known to have problems. TDI engine failure in the Volkswagen Passat has been reported by numerous motorists. If you happen to own this full-size sedan, keep alert for signs of problems with this engine; and bring the car to a VW and Audi service provider if you experience difficulties.

Symptoms of Volkswagen Passat TDI Engine Failure

In the 2012, 2013, and 2014 models, owners have reported turbine problems in the 2.0 TDI diesel engine. This is especially the case shortly after having their car serviced or repaired. Engine failure has also been noted in fairly new cars after just 500 to 600 miles of use.

Owners have commonly noted the following symptoms before the engine gave out:

  • A sound similar to a train whistle
  • The sound of a nut rattling in a tin can
  • A sensation like the engine was free-wheeling and not in sync with the actual boost.
  • Black oily smoke emanating from the exhaust

Another Common Passat Issue

Most Volkswagen cars also use a direct-shift gearbox (DSG) transmission. Owners have reported metallic or metal-to-metal sounds when the car is in second or third gear. This is especially the case in warm climate areas. Common fixes include a synthetic oil change or even a complete mechanism swap. Unfortunately, the problem has been known to persist even after these fixes.

Don’t Settle for Just Any Auto Repair

As you can see, it’s not uncommon for Passat owners to experience the same problems shortly after a repair. This is why it’s imperative that you take your Passat to a VW and Audi repair service like Buttera Motors. Our story explains why we are Kirkland’s German auto repair specialist. Our crew is all too familiar with common TDI engine problems for the Volkswagen Passat and can provide the correct diagnostics.

Edited by Justin Vorhees

Engine Repairs for the Volkswagen Passat & Other Models

VW and Audi service in Bothell, Bellevue, Kirkland, Kenmore, Redmond & Woodinville

Anti-Lock Brake Repair for Your Audi

Anti-Lock Brake RepairThe brakes on a car seems rather simple: you press your foot down on the brake pedal, and the car comes to a halt. The system, however, is actually quite complex, especially when it comes to anti-lock brakes that are included in most Audi vehicles today. This is why anti-lock brake repairs should be left to an Audi & VW repair specialist.

How Anti-Lock Brake Systems (ABS) Work

Most newer Audi models utilize a disc brake supplemented by an anti-lock brake. The disc brake is typical in most cars and uses brake pads to squeeze the rotor. The power is transmitted hydraulically and creates friction between the disc and pad to slow the wheel.

Recent Audi models also have anti-lock brakes to increase traction on slippery road surfaces. An ABS utilizes a series of rapid pumping motions to engage the wheels as they lock up. This helps slow the vehicle while the driver maintains control even under slippery conditions. An ABS utilizes a very sophisticated computer system that includes electronic control units, sensors, and hydraulic actuators. These components all work in unison to monitor the speed of each tire. Continue Reading →