The Volkswagen Amarok is a VW pickup first revealed in 2010. The Amarok is designed as a body on frame pickup which makes it a true off-roader. It also comes with a front double-wishbone suspension and a pair of leaf springs in the back. The VW Amarok was intended to be a true VW pickup, but the market reception was not as strong in the US as VW has hoped for.
When it comes to reliability, the Amarok is similar to the VW Touareg which means that it is all over the place. Some Amarok examples are able to live a trouble-free life while others experience issues left and right. Many people have named the VW Amarok ownership experience to be a love and hate relationship.
Either way, the most common VW Amarok issues are associated with the engine timing, positive crankcase vent issue, high-pressure fuel pump issue, water pump issues, and issues with the ignition coils. If you want an Amarok to last, you will have to maintain it as best as possible, otherwise, it is going to fail eventually.
As such, Amarok’s reliability is difficult to judge, but you are more likely to enjoy it for a long time if you maintain it well enough.
VW Amarok – Timing system issues
The VW Amarok, just as any other VW sporting the 2.0LTSI tends to experience issues with the timing chain tensioner. At one point, the car starts losing power, the engine shakes, misfires, and is likely going to prompt up the codes P0016, or P0328. If this does indeed happen, you need to act fast as a failing tensioner is a serious issue.
If you don’t take care of the timing tensioner, there is a great deal of chance that you may end up with a destroyed engine. The best way to solve this issue is thorough preventive maintenance which is able to notice all potential tensioner issues before they take place.
VW Amarok – Positive crankcase vent issue
The positive crankcase vent (PVC) is tasked with two missions. In normal driving conditions, the PVC keeps a slight negative pressure within the crankcase in order to burn off unnecessary oil vapors. The other function is to prevent boost from entering the crankcase in boost conditions. If the PVC fails, you are likely going to experience oil leaks, high engine pressure, and increased levels of oil consumption.
You might also experience black smoke coming out of the exhaust, and the oil filter is likely going to contaminate itself prematurely. You need to take care of this issue early enough, otherwise, it could cause more damage down the line.
VW Amarok – High-pressure fuel pump issues
The VW Amarok borrows many of its parts from the VW Touareg which means that these two tend to experience similar issues on certain occasions. One of those issues is a faulty high-pressure fuel pump (HPFP) which causes the car to stall, become unable to start, or have inconsistent power. The issue is mostly down to a faulty fuel pressure regulator valve.
The best thing you can do is to take your Amarok to a VW dealership where a mechanic is going to be able to diagnose this issue easily. The reality is that issue is common enough and that most VW mechanics are able to fix this soon enough.
VW Amarok – Water pump issues
The water pump problem is also a common occurrence in both VW Touareg and VW Amarok models. The 2.0L TSI Amarok engine is actually the most problematic engine when it comes to water pump issues which can also be solved with proactive maintenance. If the water pump fails, it could potentially cause lots of damage to the engine.
As such, if you sense your car is unable to maintain a constant operating temperature, be sure to stop driving it and call for assistance. The reality is that this issue can be due to quite a few reasons which mean that many things need to be checked before the issue can be fixed.
VW Amarok – Ignition coil issues
Faulty ignition coils are also fairly common on modern-day VW models which means that the Amarok tends to suffer from these as well. The 2.0L TSI engine is the one most prone to ignition coil issues, so be sure to check your car for check engine lights, misfiring, lackluster performance, inability to start, and unwillingness to accelerate.
A faulty coil can make the car unroadworthy, so be sure to pay attention to both your coils and your spark plugs.
How long can a VW Amarok last?
A Volkswagen Amarok should be able to last at least 200,000 with proper maintenance. Most of the issues listed in this article can be solved with timely maintenance which means that you can keep an Amarok going strong only by doing what is necessary. You should not encounter any major overhauls before 200,000, but only if you maintain it.
If you fail to maintain it, the Amarok could potentially suffer from dozens of issues that are likely going to retire the Amarok long before it reaches 200,000 miles.
Is the VW Touareg better than the VW Amarok?
The VW Touareg and the VW Amarok share quite a bit of parts which means that they are rather similar. However, the Touareg is a step above when it comes to luxury, comfort, and desirability and that is what makes it the preferred choice for most customers.
The Amarok was never intended to challenge the Touareg in anything besides off-roading, but everyone is aware that VWs don’t really spend all that much time off-roading anyway. All in all, the Touareg is the better car, but the Amarok does have a few tricks upon its sleeve.
Should I buy a VW Amarok?
If you are interested in a relatively premium pickup truck that is able to offer you a decent driving experience in almost every environment, you should indeed consider the Amarok. Many people believe that the Amarok is also one of the best-looking pickups to date.
Either way, the Amarok could be a welcome addition to any garage, but be sure to find one that has been kept in decent condition as you don’t want to find yourself fixing the Amarok more often than driving it.