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Audi A4 B6 Generation – 1.8L AMB Timing Belt Replacement

Applies To:

2001 – 2005 Audi A4 1.8L

Vehicle In This Guide:

2004 Audi A4 / 1.8L engine / 97,000 miles


We have another Audi A4 repair guide for you today. This tutorial will show you how to replace the timing belt on you B6 generation Audi A4. Just a FYI, this 1.8L turbo AMB engine has an internal water pump. You can definitely do the timing belt replacement in your garage provided you have the right tools. And while the procedure itself is not difficult, because you are working with timing parts, you have to be careful. Double check everything at each step and then check it again. You can do some serious damage to your engine if the timing is off. Now that the doom and gloom part is out of the way, let’s save some money! In addition to your regular socket and wrench set you will need:

  1. Jack stands
  2. Torx socket bit set (T20, T25, T30, T40, T45)
  3. Hex allen socket bit set
  4. Belt Tension Pin Wrench Tool 3387 (not mandatory but highly recommended for setting proper belt tension)
  5. G12 Coolant (if you are changing the water pump)

Preparing For Carrier Service Position

1. Remove the front bumper by following the Audi A4 B6 Bumper Removal Guide.

2. Remove the top engine cover by turning the three plastic screws 180 degrees and lifting the plastic cover off. audi a4 1.8t engine cover

3. Remove the two screws holding the air duct. audi a4 air duct

4. Remove two of the torx bolts holding the top of the carrier. Do the same on the other side of the carrier. audi a4 carrier bolts

5. Remove the inter-cooler duct (held in place by 4 clips) by pressing the clips and sliding the duct to the right. Remove the three big torx bolts that secure the shock absorber. Do the same on the other side of the car. Finally remove the torx bolt below the headlight that is securing the fender. Do the same on the other side. audi a4 carrier removal bolts

6. There are clips on both sides of the car that secure the AC lines. Unclip the lines. audi 1.8t ac line clip

7. At this point you can slide the carrier forward several inches into the service position and secure it by putting one of the top bolts back in. While there are some people that prefer to completely swing the carrier out of the way – that is unnecessary on the 1.8T. There is plenty of room to do the work with the carrier in the service position.

8. Continue by removing the accessory serpentine belt. Use a 17mm open ended wrench to rotate the tensioner clockwise and take out the belt. After that remove the three bolts that hold the belt tensioner and take it out. audi a4 1.8t serpentine belt tensioner

9. Remove the plastic brackets that secure the hose from the top timing cover. They are held in place by phillips screws. audi a4 engine clip

10. Two metal clips (one on each side) secure the top timing cover. Undo those and slide the cover up and out. You will have to do some maneuvering to get the cover to clear the hose.I recommend removing the electrical plug from the camshaft position sensor to give you more room. audi a4 1.8t upper timing cover

11. Set cylinder 1 to TDC by rotating the crankshaft clockwise until the mark on the pulley lines up with the mark on the timing cover. NOTE: the timing cover mark is hard to see. audi a4 1.8 t TDC mark

With the crank pulley lined up properly your camshaft sprocket mark should be lined as well. With some nail polish or touch up paint, put markings on the belt at the camshaft and at the crank. Also be sure to mark the actual camshaft sprocket and crankshaft sprocket. audi 1.8t camshaft timing

12. With everything lined up you can now remove the crankshaft pulley. It is held in place by four 6mm allen bolts. Use a wrench to counter holdthe crankshaft in place while you remove the pulley bolts. When you remove all the bolts you will have to use a flat head screw driver and slowly pry the pulley out. Make sure that the crankshaft does not move when you do this. Just a FYI, the pulley has a notch and can only be installed one way. audi a4 1.8t crank pulley removal

13. With the pulley out of the way, remove the lower timing cover. It is held in place by 10mm bolts. audia 4 1.8t lower timing cover

You should now be left with the following: audi a4 timing parts old exposed

14. To remove the timing belt you will have to release the tension first . Insert an allen key into the highlighted part and rotate the tensioner roller counter clockwise until you can insert a lock plate inside the tensioner assembly. audi a4 belt release tension

Then use the Tool 3387 to rotate the metal tab (highlighted) clockwise. There should now be plenty of slack in the timing belt so you can remove it. Make sure that when you remove the belt that the camshaft sprocket does not move. audi a4 tensioner roller

15. With the belt out of the way, remove the nut on the tensioner roller and take it out. audi a4 1.8t tensioner roller removal

16. The tensioner assembly is secured by two bolts. In this picture you can see that I did not use a lock plate since I will be replacing the tensioner anyway. audi a4 1.8t hydraulic tensioner

Here are the new parts – new tensioner roller and tensioner assembly with locking plate installed. audi a4 new timing parts roller and tensioner

17. If you are planning on changing the water-pump you will have to drain the coolant. Best place to start is by removing the coolant temp sensor that is on the bottom of the radiator (driver side). Make sure you remove the cap on the coolant reservoir. There is a clip that you have to slide out before you can remove the sensor. Have a bucket ready because coolant will be gushing out when you remove the sensor. Although not mandatory, to drain the remaining coolant you can take off the coolant hose from the oil cooler and drain from there. audi a4 1.8t drain coolant

18. There are three bolts that secure the water pump. Remove those and slide the pump out. audi a4 1.8t water pump removal

1. Clean up any mess that you made and install the new parts. Water pump bolts should be torqued to (15 NM or 11 lb-ft). Timing tensioner assembly bolts should be torqued to (15 NM or 11 lb-ft). Finally, the belt tensioner roller should be hand tightened at this point.

audi a4 1.8t new timing parts

2. Transfer the markings from the old belt to the new one. Install the belt by starting at the crankshaft sprocket, lining up the marks on the belt to the marks on the crankshaft sprocket. Then go to the water pump. Route the other side of the belt around the tensioner roller and finally over the camshaft sprocket. audi a4 1.8t timing belt installation

3. The belt is now installed and all you have left to do is set the proper tension. Make sure the nut circled in red is hand tightened. setting audi a4 1.8t timing belt tension

4. Use the Tool 3387 (or whatever else you can use to rotate the highlighted metal tab) and rotate it counter clockwise until you can remove the locking plate from the tensioner. Keep the tensioner in that position until you complete the next step. audi a4 set belt tension

When you remove the locking plate then rotate the metal tab clockwise until you can fit a 8mm object (a 8mm drill bit works so does a 8mm allen key) between the tensioner lever and tensioner housing. The specifications call for the distance between the two to be between 6mm and 10mm so 8mm is a good middle ground. NOTE: When rotating the metal tab, take care not to bend anything. When you have the proper clearance then tighten the nut on the metal tab to (27NM or 20 lb-ft). setting tension on audi a4 1.8t

5. Install the lower timing cover and torque to (10NM or 7 lb-ft.). And install crankshaft pulley and tighten those bolts to (10NM or 7 lb-ft.) + 90 degrees.

6. Rotate the engine clockwise a few times and make sure that all of the timing marks line up correctly.

7. Install upper timing cover.

8. Install the plastic hose clips.

9. Install the drive (serpentine) belt tensioner and the actual belt. audi a4 1.8t new serpentine belt

10. Return the carrier to the correct position.

11. Reinstall the bumper.

12. The last step is to bleed the coolant. Make sure that your car is level before bleeding. Open up the bleed screw on the coolant line circled in red and start pouring coolant into the coolant reservoir. Tighten the bleed screw when coolant begins flowing out of it. Top off the reservoir and install the cap. Start the engine and run it at 2000rpm for 3 minutes. Then let it idle until engine is at normal operating temp (middle of the temp gauge). Turn off the car and let it cool down. Coolant level will decrease so top it off as necessary. audi coolant bleed valve

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  • Hi, the water pump failed and audi a4 1.8t 2005 model could not cran, when replacing the water pump I found that the timing belt was badly damaged. Timing belt and the water pump were replaced and now car crank but it does not sta. Please help.

  • When the timing belt was damaged it jumped time and bent the valves in the head so you have no compression and the motor will not start. You will need to pull the head and take it to a machine shop.

  • Afternoon i mistakenly didnot mark my cams on A4 b6 2.0 Alt engine. I was doing the valves and the stem seals so just finished putting the valves back on the head but now im having a problem with lining the other 2 to the 1 with thetiming mark as i took the timing chain out. Can you please help with lining the cams

  • It appears that motor is similar to the 1.8t vw engines. We don’t have the ALT motor in the u.s. but it looks like the timing set up is like the 1.8t.

  • Helpful Article!! I have a situation/quest ion regarding the tensioner. I had not the tool to hold the piston depressed, hence allowed it to extend fully. Question is two fold: one- what is the method to recompress the piston, and two- what else can be used as a tensioner securing tool, as I have neither time nor availability to source the proper Audi tool. Thanks!!!

  • I get the marks on both timing and cam aligned and when I reinstall the belt, the cam moves by one tooth. How do you get the belt on properly without moving the timing at all?

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