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2005 VW Jetta Engine Blow OUt

Our 2005 Jetta 2.5 (manual) with 51,000 miles on it would not start. The night before, my fiance had stalled the car accidentally while stopping to get the mail. She re-started it, drove it to her parking spot, and parked it for the night. The next morning, it wouldn’t start. We took it to a VW dealer, and they told us it was an engine compression problem. We told them to go ahead and diagnose. They came back and said that the entire top end of the engine had blown out, most likely due to the timing chain being out of whack. So, $5600 later…Is it normal for the timing chain to skip that bad after stalling the car once? And if so, do we have any chance of VW picking up any of the cost since her car is only a few months out of warranty? Please advise.

If I were you, I would speak–calmly, politely, and rationally–with the folks at VW’s corporate level. Contact info is in your Owner’s Manual.

For a timing chain to fail at 51k miles is highly unusual, so hopefully they will give you some “goodwill” assistance with the repair bill.

In case you suspect that your girfriend caused the damage, I do not believe that this is the case. Actually, it could be a different sequence. Perhaps the engine was already running so badly from a skipped cog on the timing chain that it stalled very readily. I don’t believe that she deserves any blame, and I think it is much more likely that the tensioner on the timing chain is faulty.

If you have good documentation of regular and proper oil changes I think you have a chance of VW picking up part or most of the tab. This requires contact with corporate VW.

Timing chain failures are rare unless neglect has occurred with oil changes. However typically they get noisy before failure.

You need to go over the dealer’s head, as others have suggested. A timing chain should last the life of the engine, which should be WAY more than 51k miles. If the timing chain, or some associated component, like a tensioner, caused the damage, it was defective.

Your fiance did not cause the problem by stalling the engine. She couldn’t cause this problem by stalling it twenty times a day.

VW should stand behind their engine.

She has proof of routine maintenance according to the owner’s manual, doesn’t she? Cross your fingers and hope so.

Get your oil change records together, and go to your dealer, and ask that they contact corporate for goodwill service. Technically, you should still, just barely, be inside the original power train warranty.

If you want to help your case, search the internet for as many of the other cases that have been reported of the VW 2.5 5 cylinder engine having premature timing chain failures that destroy the engine.

Its way more common than you really want to know about.