Audi TT Mk2 (8J) – When To Replace the Timing Belt

The timing belt on any car is one of the most crucial components to replace as a failure can lead to some pretty severe damage and expensive repair bills (mainly on interference engines). In this short guide we will be covering when it is recommended to replace the belt on the Mk2 Audi TT (2006 to 2014) and some other timing belt/chain info as well.

Does the Mk2 Audi TT have a Timing Belt or Chain?

Credit: Audi

This largely depends on the model you have. Most of the models in the 2006 to 2014 TT range use a chain instead of a belt. This means that you don’t have to worry about any recommended service intervals, but don’t just assume chain driven engines are worry free (we will look at the chain driven models later in this guide).

Pre-facelift cars fitted with the 2.0 TFSI motor with engine codes AXX, BWA, BPY, or EA113, are the only models that feature timing belts in the second-generation Audi TT. Some pre-facelift (and all post-facelift) 2.0 TFSI TTs came with a slightly different power unit with the engine code EA888. This other engine uses a timing chain instead of a belt like the other four motors we just listed. An easy way to tell if the engine is one of the older units that uses a timing belt is if it does not have the oil filter on top with the dipstick to its left (AXX, BWA, BPY, and EA113 have the dipstick at the front).

When Does the Timing Belt Need to Be Replaced on a Mk2 TFSI Audi TT?

If you have a 2.0 TFSI equipped TT with an AXX, BWA, BPY, or EA113 series engine, the timing belt requires replacement every 120,000 km (75,000 miles) or every 5 years, whichever comes first.

What Happens if the Timing Belt Breaks on a Mk1 Audi TT

The 2.0 TFSI is an interference engine, so if the timing belt does fail it can result in the valves colliding with the pistons, leading to catastrophic damage and a rather expensive repair bill.

To get a bit of an idea of the condition of the belt and tensioner, listen for any abnormal sounds emanating from the timing belt area. Unusual noises like rubbing, squeaking, tapping, or ticking could be indicators that the belt and tensioner are overdue for replacement. If you want to get a proper idea of the condition of the belt you will need to physically inspect it.

What Else Should be Replaced with the Timing Belt?

When replacing the timing belt, consider also changing the following:

  • Tensioners and idler bearings: These components are also susceptible to failure, and an issue with them could lead to belt misalignment or failure.
  • Water pump: It can be a good idea to get the water pump replaced at the same time as a failure can cause serious issues.
  • Thermostat

What About the Timing Chain on the Other Mk2 Audi TT Models?

Credit: Audi

As we wrote earlier, most of the models in the second-gen TT range feature a timing chain and not a belt. However, despite not technically needing a replacement, timing chains can sometimes cause issues, especially if the engine oil and filter has not been changed regularly (chain is lubricated from the engine oil).

If there is a problem with the timing chain or timing chain tensioners you may hear a bit of a rattle from the engine or you may even notice that it misfires a bit.Low mileage TT Mk2s don’t seem to have a problem, but there have been a few reports from owners of issues that start from around the 160,000 km (100,000 mile) mark. If the timing chain is making quite a severe noise and the engine is throwing out codes/CEL then the chain and tensioners should be replaced as soon as possible.

To Sum Up

The only model in the second-generation (8J) TT lineup to feature a timing belt is the pre-facelift 2.0-litre TFSI with the engine codes AXX, BWA, BPY, or EA113. You can tell if the TT you have has one of these engines by looking at the layout of the engine bay. If it is one of these older units that uses a timing belt the dipstick should be at the front of the engine instead of the left, and the oil filter will be lower.

The recommended replacement interval is every 120,000 km (75,000 miles) or every 5 years. When replacing the timing belt, the tensioners, idler bearings, water pump and thermostat should be replaced as well (definitely for the first two, but some owners do skip the water pump and thermostat).

TFSI motors with a timing belt are interference engines, so if the timing belt does fail it will usually cause catastrophic damage, resulting in a rather expensive repair bill.  

All other engines in the Mk2 lineup (including newer EA888 2.0 TFSI motors) use a timing chain instead of a belt. The chain should not normally have to be replaced and there is no service interval for them. However, the chain and/or tensioner can sometimes fail, which can cause strange rattling noises, misfires, and the CEL may illuminate. If there is a problem with the timing chain/tensioner, it should be replaced as soon as possible.

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  • Ben

    From his early days playing the original Gran Turismo and with his Hot Wheels car set, Ben has had a long interest in all things automotive. His first foray into the world of automotive journalism was way back in 2009 and since then he has only grown more interested in the industry. Ben also runs and heads up the video production side of Garage Dreams, focusing on small informative documentaries about some of the world's most legendary cars.

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