Over the years, Volkswagen has offered many excellent engines in its cars. Unfortunately, there are also bikes that should be avoided – they burn a lot or are above average breakdown.
Volkswagen is a leading European car manufacturer. Not only in terms of the number of cars produced, but also technical innovations – he blazed the trail in terms of direct petrol injection (FSI), its combination with a turbo, and even a compressor (TSI) or downsized engines.
However, it is easy to make a mistake when creating new innovations entering unknown territories. One of them turned out to be the double-supercharged 1.4 TSI TC engines.
They excelled in their fantastic flexibility and surprisingly low fuel consumption on smooth driving, but harassed car owners with unreliable compressor clutches, weak timing chains and even cracking pistons.
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Here 6 Type Of The Volkswagen Engine To Avoid
Which Volkswagen engines should you specifically avoid? Of course, the opinions of drivers will be divided, because even among unreliable engines, you can find those that have been operating for years without major problems.
In the list, we focus on engines that, for various reasons, may turn out to be difficult and expensive to repair, and which are not distinguished by their durability.
We also took a closer look at relatively modern models, assuming that information on problems, e.g. with mechanically supercharged G40 or G60 engines, will be of little use to anyone, since now we only find such engines under the hoods of youngtimers.
We are also not trying to forcefully stigmatize engines – e.g. naturally aspirated FSI engines with direct injection. It is true that their construction significantly hinders the installation of gas installations.
1. 1.2 MPI Engine
A smaller engine is not always only benefits in the form of lower fuel consumption or lower liability rates. The three-cylinder 1.2 MPI (HTP) engine from Volkswagen proves that it is possible to fuse low power, with poor dynamics and work culture, considerable fuel consumption and significant failure rate – especially in versions with 6 valves, which had problems with the durability of the cylinder head (the valve seats burned out ).
Even in this case, it is worth listening to the work of the timing chain – it can stretch (especially when the oil has been rarely changed), and in extreme situations it can even jump. The more powerful 1.2 12V version will be a slightly better choice – sockets and chains are more durable.
The problem was the low durability of the coils, poor work culture and the demand for fuel, which does not differ significantly from that observed in Volkswagen 1.4 16V engines. Economical drivers will surely appreciate the 1.2 engine for good cooperation with gas installations.
However, the same can be said for the 1.4 16V. Therefore, it is difficult to indicate a significant reason for buying a car with a 1.2 engine – let us add that it opened the palette in the case of the Foxie or Polo, which usually means poor equipment of the vehicle.
2. 1.2 TSI / 1.4 TSI EA111 Engine
At its debut, the 1.4 TSI engine and the 1.2 TSI from the EA111 family, presented later, were delightful with their modernity. The combination of turbocharging, direct gasoline injection and relatively small capacity ensured low fuel consumption with smooth driving and nice flexibility and dynamics when pressed harder on the gas.
Unfortunately, it soon turned out that the engines had not very durable turbochargers, tensioners and timing chains. They often burned large amounts of oil. In the top, supercharged turbo and 1.4 TSI TC compressor, there were also problems with complicated equipment (including the magnetic clutch of the water pump, and in extreme situations, even the pistons broke.
Volkswagen was successively improving the engine design – engines manufactured after 2010-2012 are considered the safest choice. r. Even in their case, you should not assume full failure-free operation. Engines from the EA111 family were replaced by EA211 – one of the significant differences is the timing belt.
While in the case of cars based on the MQB platform, the situation is simple – they all have new-generation engines, in older Volkswagen the change of guard was smooth – for example, in the Scirocco, the newer engine was introduced in 2014 during the modernization.
3. 1.8 TSI / 2.0 TSI EA888 Engine
The elements working inside the engine create resistance which increases fuel consumption and therefore carbon dioxide emissions. In recent years, engineers have been trying to fight for the lowest possible resistance accompanying the work of the engines. One idea is to “optimize” the piston rings.
The first edition of the 1.8 TSI and 2.0 TSI engines (not to be confused with the older 2.0 TFSI also known as or Turbo FSI or T-FSI from the EA113 family) from the EA113 family fell victim to such an experiment – defective piston rings caused the oil to decline at a rate often exceeding 1 l / 1000 km (sometimes also 3 l / 1000 km).
The problem can be eliminated by replacing the pistons with the rings, which, however, costs almost $2,167 (parts, labor, replacement of components that are damaged or on the verge of wear – e.g. the timing chain). Faulty EA888 Gen. 2 can be recognized by the absence of valve timing adjusters or its presence only on the intake shaft (from 2008).
The improved Gen.3 engines (from 2011) have chamferers on both shafts. Why is burning oil a problem? It generates costs (good quality oil is not cheap), creates a real risk of engine seizure when the driver does not regularly check the condition of the lubricant, causes build-up inside the engine and exhaust components – including the turbo and catalytic converter – of sediments and harms the environment.
It is worth remembering that in some models, such as Golf VI or Scirocco III, 2.0 TSI engines from the EA888 family were offered in parallel with the older 2.0 TFSI EA113, which was under the hood of the most powerful R versions.
4. 1.2 TDI Diesel Engine
Volkswagen developed two versions of the three-cylinder 1.2 TDi engine – the one with a capacity of 1191 cc (fitted to the Audi A2 and VW Lupo in the 3L version) had engine injectors and was based on the 1.9 TDI diesel.
The newer Common Rail engine (1199 cc) is derived from the 1.6 TDI. We will meet him in the most economical versions of Seat Ibiza IV, Skoda Fabia II and Roomster and Volkswagen Polo V. It is difficult to recommend these cars with a clear conscience – they are rather technical curiosities.
A much better (but still not a perfect choice) will be the parallel three-cylinder 1.4 TDI diesels. When driving slowly, they are not much more fuel-hungry than the 1.2 TDI (they burn less than 4 l / 100 km on the road), but they offer significantly better performance.
Let us add that all varieties of super-efficient cars have a smaller or larger number of unique solutions – from aerodynamic packages, by changing gear ratios, ending with elements made of magnesium and other light alloys. Possible repair will therefore be difficult due to the limited availability of used parts. Of course, there are no substitutes.
5. 2.0 TDI PD Diesel Engine
Diesels have damaged Volkswagen’s reputation twice. Recently, due to the scandal triggered by software aimed at meeting the standards for nitrogen oxide emissions in exhaust gases. Earlier, the concern had to explain the 2.0 TDI PD diesel, which it repaired in many cars at its own expense.
Engines injectors failed (and still do), the cylinder heads burst, and the oil pump drive is wiped. The service life of an engine varies depending on the version (you can identify it by its code) or the way in which it is serviced or repaired previously.
Of course, it can be assumed that after a mileage of 300 or 400 thousand. km which was supposed to break, has already broken and the engine should serve well.
Before buying, it is worth asking the current owner whether and to what extent the car has been repaired. It must also be remembered that the resale of Volkswagen group cars with diesel 2. 0 TDI PD is difficult. Potential buyers are more likely to opt for the older 1.9 TDI PD or the newer 1.6 TDI CR or 2.0 TDI CR.
6. 5.0 TDI V10 Diesel Engine
The powerful 5.0 TDI V10 diesel (4.9 to be precise) was fitted to only two of Volkswagen’s flagship models – the Phaeton and the Touareg. On the secondary market, the prices of such configured cars are surprisingly low – you have to pay more for models with a 3.0 V6 gasoline or diesel engine.
Why? All because of the specificity of the engine. 10 cylinders are 10 engines injectors and many more elements to be replaced than in a 4- or 6-cylinder engine (gaskets, bolts, fasteners, wires).
There are also, among others, two EGR valves, two pneumothoraxes or turbochargers – their disassembly must be preceded by removing the engine from under the hood. The timing is gear-driven.
When they are worn out, the entire module has to be replaced (for a used one, because the prices of new ones are baffling, as long as the element can be purchased at all). Despite the limited effort (313-350 HP), the engine is not impressive either with its durability.
We see the most sense in buying this engine if the car is to act as a youngtimer – there were no such engines before, and there will not be any in the future. In the Phaeton or Touareg for everyday driving, the 3.0 V6 TDI diesel installed later will be much better.
It is worth noting that the V10 TDI diesel, boosted to 530 hp and 1050 Nm, went to the Lola B2K / 10 prototype, which appeared in 2004 at Le Mans under the Caterpillar colors.