VW 2.0 TSI/TFSI Engine Problems And Reliability!

VW 2.0 TSI/TFSI Engine Problems And Reliability!

June 12, 2023 0 By CarGuy

If you are interested in purchasing a VW 2.0 TSI/TFSI engine, you are at the right place because, in this article, we are going to cover all of the VW 2.0 TSI/TFSI engine problems.

Doing your own research is always a good idea before you make a purchase of a car with a certain engine. Not all engines are created equal. Some of them are more problematic, while some of them are less problematic. It is up to you to make the right research and purchase a good engine. And this is why we are here to help you out and pinpoint these problems for you.

First, we are going to discuss the engine specs of the 2.0 engine, then we are going to look at which applications this engine was included in and also the VW 2.0 TSI/TFSI engine problems, reliability, and life expectancy of this engine. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the topic.

VW 2.0 TSI/TFSI Engine Specs

When it comes to this engine, it is worth noting that there are three different generations of this engine. The first two are known as the TSI and the third one is TFSI.

Nevertheless, the first generation has the code EA888/A and five subcodes, these include the CAWA, CAWB, CBFA, CCTA, and CCTB.

The second generation is known as the EA888/2, and the third generation that is the newest in the lineup is known as the EA888/3. Pretty self-explanatory.

This engine was first introduced in 2008 and is still in production today. These engines were produced in serious numbers and were included in a lot of applications.

The specs are the following:

  • Configuration: inline-4
  • Displacement: 2.0L
  • Cylinder Bore: 82.5 mm
  • Cylinder Stroke: 92.8 mm
  • Block Material: Cast Iron
  • Cylinder Head Material: Aluminum
  • Head Design: DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
  • Fuel Injection: Direct injection for Gen 1 and Gen 2, Multi-point injection for Gen 3 engines
  • Compression Ratio: 9.6:1
  • Firing Order: 1,3,4,2
  • Turbocharger: Yes
  • Horsepower: 170 – 310 hp
  • Torque: 207 – 280 lb-ft

VW 2.0 TSI/TFSI Engine Applications

Now let’s take a look at the applications in which models the VW 2.0 TSI/TFSI engine was included.

VW Models

  • VW Golf Mk 5, Mk 6, Mk 7
  • VW Tiguan
  • VW Jetta
  • VW Passat
  • VW Scirocco
  • VW Phideon/China
  • VW Magotan/China

Audi Models

  • Audi A3/S3
  • Audi A4
  • Audi Q3
  • Audi TT
  • Audi Q5
  • Audi A4L/China
  • Audi A6L/China
  • Audi Q5L/China

Other Models

  • Porsche Macan
  • Skoda Octavia
  • Skoda SuperB
  • Skoda Kodiaq
  • Seat Leon Cupra
  • Seat Exeo

VW 2.0 TSI/TFSI Engine Problems

Now let’s briefly list the common VW 2.0 TSI/TFSI engine problems.

  • Carbon Deposits
  • Spark Plug & Coil Failures
  • HPFP Failures
  • Fuel Injector Failure
  • High Oil Consumption
  • Cam Follower Failure
  • Timing Chain Problems
  • Diverter Valve Failures
  • Water Pump Failure
  • PCV Valve Failures

We briefly introduced ourselves to the VW 2.0 TSI/TFSI engine problems, now it is time to dive deeper and elaborate on them more thoroughly. We feel the need to share more about when and how these problems develop, as well as the symptoms they produce. So, let’s learn more about the problems before we cover the overall reliability of the 2.0 TSI/TFSI engine.

1. Carbon Deposits

Carbon deposits are one of the biggest concerns with this engine. This engine is using direct injection and if you are familiar with this system, you know that it is very problematic.

These problems are present in Gen 1 and Gen 2 of this engine. Gen 3 engines have switched to direct + port injection. So, how did this switch help?

Well, this helped because now on newer engines, the intake valves are cleaned by the fuel that is injected by the port injection system.

In direct injection, you only have one injector that injects fuel from the top. So, the intake valves are not cleaned.

This allows carbon deposits to develop and prevent the valves from opening and closing correctly. This will eventually result in complete valve failure and you will start to experience misfires.

You will get a check engine light and the engine will run pretty badly. This is why we advise that you do a method called walnut blasting every 60,000 miles in order to clean these intake valves from the carbon that is collected.

Now let’s move on to the next VW 2.0 TSI/TFSI engine problems.

2. Spark Plug & Coil Failures

Spark plug and ignition coils are also common on the 2.0 TSI/TFSI engine. They tend to fail at a large scale.

There are a few main factors but the biggest one is definitely the direct injection. Direct injection does not do anything good to these components.

This system is very demanding and can wear these components out in 50,000 miles or less in some cases.

Then, you have to replace them with new ones and this can be pricey. Especially the ignition coils. Spark plugs on the other hand are very cheap.

What is good about this problem is that you can solve it by yourself, it doesn’t take a lot of knowledge to replace these components. So, if you are into mechanics, this will be an interesting small task.

Common symptoms associated with these problems are the check engine light, engine misfires, rough idle, and poor engine performance.

Now let’s move on to the next VW 2.0 TSI/TFSI engine problems.

3. HPFP Failures

High-pressure fuel pump failures were also noted on these 2.0 engines. This pump is a special pump designed for the direct injection system.

This pump is located usually on top of the engine and this pump sends high-pressure fuel into the fuel rails.

What can happen is that on many of these Gen 1 or Gen 2 engines, the HPFP will fail and this will cause running issues, check engine light, leaks, or possibly some weird sounds.

The solution to this issue is replacing the pump. It can be expensive but this is the solution in 99% of the cases. So, try to get a newer engine, these issues were mostly sorted out on the second and third generation of the 2.0 TSI.

4. Fuel Injector Failure

Fuel injector failures are also common on the 2.0 TSI/TFSI engine. So, why is this the case and how do they fail?

Well, direct injection engines use special injectors that are far more prone to fail compared to your regular port injection injectors.

These injectors either leak or clog up completely. The only way around the problem is to replace them and this can be pretty expensive.

The injectors are a big headache to this engine, especially in higher-mileage cars. They can make the engine run extremely rich if they leak or run lean if they are clogged up.

Also, the removal is a bit difficult since they can end up being stuck on the cylinder head for good and you will need special tools to pry them off.

Now let’s continue with the VW 2.0 TSI/TFSI engine problems.

5. High Oil Consumption

These engines consume oil, this oil consumption is rather big compared to other engines and you should be prepared to add more oil than normal. Especially at higher miles.

If you ask why this is happening, you will probably get an answer that this is normal VW oil consumption. So, you should know that this is an issue with VW gas-powered engines, they simply consume more oil compared to other comparable engines from other manufacturers.

6. Cam Follower Failure

Camshaft followers also tend to fail on these engines. Especially tuned engines that tend to wear these components out.

These components are located on the cylinder head and they are a common failure point. These components predominantly fail on the standard non-turbo 2.0 FSI.

But failures were also detected on the 2.0 TSI.

Whenever this problem happens, you will get the check engine light with codes such as P0087, P1093, or P2293. Engine ticking will also be present whenever one of these components fails.

If the problem is not detected on time, you could also end up replacing the camshaft in the process since this cam follower will damage the camshaft of the engine. This can turn out to be a really expensive job.

7. Timing Chain Problems

Another very common VW 2.0 TSI/TFSI engine problem is the issue with the timing chain. This engine, if you didn’t know, is using a chain.

What is worth noting is that the timing chain can fail in two ways. In one case, the chain can stretch at higher miles. And in the second situation, you can get a timing chain tensioner failure and have to replace both the chain and the tensioner.

Both problems are expensive to sort out since they demand a lot of labor to be involved, as well as expertise.

Sorting out this problem can cost you $1,200 or more in some cases. Common symptoms associated with the timing chain are the timing chain rattle that will start to develop, as well as the check engine light if the chain jumps a few teeth.

In the worst case, if the chain completely falls off, you will experience engine damage. In this case, the valves and pistons will collide and will total out your engine.

Now let’s continue to the next VW 2.0 TSI/TFSI engine problems.

8. Diverter Valve Failures

Another common failure point of this engine is the diverter valve. So, what is a diverter valve, and what does it do?

This valve is a part of the turbocharger system. What it does is that this valve remains sealed under boost in order to prevent leaks in the intercooler system.

When this valve fails, you will get symptoms like a drop in boost, performance loss, check engine light with the codes P0234 or P0299, as well as engine surge.

The way around the problem is to replace it. This is not an expensive job and can be done very easily.

9. Water Pump Failure

Water pump failures were also noted on the VW 2.0 TSI/TFSI engines. These water pump failures are not extremely frequent but they can occur.

Whenever you have a water pump failure there are leaks, as well as noise that comes from the water pump itself.

The only solution to this problem is replacing the unit. If you don’t replace the pump, you will end up with an overheating engine. In this case, the head gasket can fail and many other issues arise.

Now let’s continue with the next VW 2.0 TSI/TFSI engine problems.

10. PCV Valve Failures

And the last problem on our list is the PCV valve failure. The PCV valve on this engine is not one of its strong points and it can fail quite often.

This PCV valve simply purges the gasses that were collected in the crankcase. Whenever this unit stops working there will be problems such as oil leaks developing from the oil pan, front or rear main seal failures, and overall poor engine work.

The only solution is to replace this valve with a new one and call it a day. It is not that expensive after all.

VW 2.0 TSI/TFSI Engine Reliability

The reliability of the 2.0TSI/TFSI engine is average. The engine is not bulletproof by any means, it has its own issues. But luckily they are not that expensive to fix.

The most important thing is that you fix all the problems on time and not let the engine run broken if you don’t want to experience catastrophic engine damage.

VW 2.0 TSI/TFSI Engine Life Expectancy

This engine should go at least 200,000 miles. They are pretty durable and with good and regular maintenance you will get good service out of them.

This is why we advise that you go for a lower mileage engine if you want to have a car that will serve in the years to come.


What Are The Common Problems With the VW 2.0 TSI/TFSI Engine?

Common problems with this engine are many. Most notably carbon buildup on Gen 1 and Gen 2 engines. Spark plugs and coils also fail, HPFP failures are common, and high oil consumption is also common. In addition to this, you have water pump failures, diverter valve failures, and PCV valve failures.

Is The VW 2.0 TSI/TFSI Engine Reliable?

This engine is reliable if you maintain it well. If you don’t maintain it well, it will probably not last for a very long time. Especially engines that are gunked up with carbon deposits and with less frequent oil changes will not last a lot.