The Volkswagen Transporter is known for its reliability and sturdiness all around the world and that is why you often see a Transporter doing what it was intended to do, transporting stuff and people. Most online sources and many VW experts state that the Transporter is a fairly reliable car, but there are some issues worth talking about.
The Transporter T6 represents the 6th iteration of the Transporter in production since 2015. The T6 is the most popular VW van and it slots between the smaller Caddy and the larger Crafter. The most common T6 Transporter issues are related to the engine, the engine management system, the EGR valve, issues with remaps, and issues with the equipment.
Most of these are repairable through preventive maintenance which means that the T6 can hold up easily if you maintain it well enough. If you don’t, some of these problems will add up and can ultimately lead to high repair costs down the line.
Volkswagen Transporter T6 – Engine issues
The most troublesome VW Transporter T6 engine issue is associated with the most popular 2.0L TDI option with both 180 and 205hp. These failures could potentially result in the engine becoming completely useless which is indeed something worth talking about. Volkswagen did not respond to these issues which means that no official recalls have been done.
It is yet unclear what causes these engine problems and how one should approach fixing them besides what an experiencing VW technician knows. All in all, you ought to maintain this engine and all other VW engines as they are known to fail if not maintained correctly. The most problematic VW engines issues are associated with the ignition coils and the timing chain tensioner.
Volkswagen Transporter T6 – Engine management system issues
The Volkswagen Transporter T6 is known to suffer from frequent engine management warning lights coming on which could lead to really serious issues if not properly diagnosed and dealt with. The P0401 code is usually what causes these issues and is associated with the engine flow. There are also some reports that state that these issues are associated with the fuel system, possibly the fuel pump.
Given the fact that most Transporters are being used for commercial purposes, people who drive them are not all that hard struck about fixing them whenever issues such as these occur. However, that is a really bad idea as there are many instances in which these and similar issues have ended up in the T6 needing an entirely new engine.
Volkswagen Transporter T6 – EGR (Exhaust gas recirculation) valve issues
The EGR valve is tasked with controlling and maintaining a consistent exhaust gas recirculation flow in the engine system. The issue here is when the EGR valve becomes unable to maintain the flow of gas which disrupts the entire system and usually leads to severe carbon build-up. In order to fix this, you will have to buy a flush kit that can effectively clean out the carbon deposit.
Some owners have stated that the issue keeps reappearing after flushing the valve a few times which means that replacing the EGR cooler altogether is the best course of action. Be sure to consult yourself with a VW technician before you decide to do any of this.
Volkswagen Transporter T6 – Remap issues
Remap-related issues are nothing extraordinary because you are essentially changing the very essential setup of the engine and many other vital car components. These components and software codes are set up in a way to create a perfect balance between regulatory needs, power, comfort, and many other factors.
Whenever you try to change this, you could face various issues. Before you do a remap, be sure to contact a VW specialist and always carry out a thorough diagnostic run before you remap the car. The issue here is that the T6 needs thorough diagnostics as it seems to develop remap-caused issues more often than most cars.
Volkswagen Transporter T6 – Equipment issues
The Transporter van is commonly being used for hauling people and stuff which means that it is not usually being properly taken care of. This means that every part of the Transporter should be screwed in just a little bit better when compared to cars that are babied daily, such as most daily drivers are.
All of this typically leads to various equipment issues such as issues with power windows and other power operating functions, and issues with other electrical components such as lightning, gauges, and the infotainment screen.
Is the Volkswagen Transporter T6 worth it?
The Volkswagen Transporter T6 is one of the most popular mid-size vans/people carriers out there. People trust the Transporter with both their personal and commercial needs because the Transporter is the type of car to always have your back and never leave you stranded if you take proper care of it.
As such, the Transporter is definitely worth it if you have the need for such a car. The Transporter is also a fairly popular option for adventurous people such as campers and other similar outdoor groups.
Which Volkswagen Transporter is best?
The Volkswagen Transporter T5 and the T6 are the two best Transporter models you can buy because they are new enough and are reliable. The T6 can be viewed as more of a thorough upgrade over the T5 which means that it is indeed better, but not as much as you might think.
Therefore, if your needs for a Transporter are purely occasional and not all that serious, the T5 will save you a bit of money while being more than good enough. However, if you are heavily invested in Transporter life one way or the other, the T6 is the better option overall.
What are the alternatives to a VW Transporter?
The two most popular competitors to the Volkswagen Transporter are the Mercedes Benz Vito and the Ford Transit Custom. The Transit is usually being bought because of its industry-standard appeal and because it is cheaper. The Mercedes is more expensive, yet it manages to justify that with more of everything.
The best thing you can do is figure out what you value the most out of a van, and try to use your priorities to decide which one of these three is the best for you.