If you want to watch an Audi owner break out into a flop sweat and cry in the fetal position, just say the words “timing chain”. It’s a great trick if you’re ever in an argument with an Audi fan. Reason being is that several Audi models have had a bad history of needing timing chain replacements and they cost astronomical amounts of money. In fact, on average, the timing chain job on the B8-generation Audi A5 is one of the most costly repairs of any car in the UK.
To be fair, it’s not actually the replacement of the timing chain itself but the timing chain tensioners. As the tensioners wear out, the timing chain slackens and throws off the entire engine’s timing. This could lead to engine knock and, eventually catastrophic engine failure, as the pistons being to crash into the valves. This usually starts to happen at every 100,000 miles or so but has happened earlier than that for several owners.
According to this new video from Carwow, this job for the B8 Audi A5 costs on average £4,980. That’s an extraordinary amount of money for a single repair on a car that only costs about double that on the used market. Imagine owning an A5 and being handed a repair bill that costs 50-percent what your car is worth?
What’s surprising is that the B7 Audi S4 isn’t on this list, as that’s the most infamous car to suffer from Audi’s timing chain issues. The reason the S4 4.2 liter V8’s timing chain tensioners are so expensive to replace is because they’re at the back of the engine, so the entire front end has to be taken apart and the engine pulled completely out of the car to replace it. It requires a ton of labor, which costs thousands of dollars.
Apparently, the B8 Audi A5 has similar issues. Though, Carwow doesn’t specify which engine this happens on and there were several engine options available on the A5 back in its B8 generation. So we don’t know which ones have this issue but we’re going to guess they were V6 models, rather than the turbocharged four-cylinders.