The Volkswagen Auto Group (VAG) is one of the largest automotive joint stock companies as the VAG group owns brands such as Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley, Skoda, Seat, Bugatti, and Cupra. With such a wide array of amazing car brands, VW truly is a powerhouse when it comes to making impressive engines.
The 1.4L TSI isn’t likely the one to come to mind when we think about the best VW engines of the modern era, but no one can deny that the 1.4L TSI is the bedrock of modern-day VW engines. It offers more than 140hp in some iterations and is also incredibly efficient. The 1.4 TSI made its debut back in 2006 and has since been used in many VW, Audi, Skoda, Cupra, and Seat models.
However, not everything is bright with the 1.4L TSI as there are some issues worth talking about. Some of the VW 1.4 TSI engine problems are serious and will require professional assistance. These include excessive consumption of oil, ignition coil failures, timing belt issues, turbocharger problems, and carbon buildup.
Some of these can be solved proactively by timely and proper maintenance but others are a lot more stubborn than that. We are now going to list these individually and tell you everything you need to know about them. This will give you a broad understanding of what you can expect with the 1.4L TSI.
Excessive Consumption Of Oil
Excessive oil consumption is a fairly big issue with older VW engines, primarily the EA111 generation while the EA211 generation is better, but not free of oil consumption problems. This is where the 1.4L TSI belongs. It is said that the 1.4L TSI can consume more than a quart of oil every 1,000 miles which means that those who aren’t delicate with their oil changes could end up with faulty engine internals.
Sadly, the only way how one can actually deal with this is to simply pop up the oil whenever necessary. This means that you should shorten your oil change intervals, especially if you own a higher mileage 1.4L TSI.
Ignition Coil Failures
Many turbocharged engines are prone to ignition coil and spark plug problems and the 1.4L TSI is no different. The coils are tasked with providing voltage from the battery which in turn ignites the spark. This is what kicks off the combustion process which means that misfires are the symptoms you ought to look out for.
If one ignition coil fails, it is advisable to replace them all together as that is going to ensure your next batch lasts a better part of 80,000 -100,000 miles. These are also usually backed by fault codes. All in all, these aren’t likely to fail multiple times during the car’s lifespan.
Timing Belt Issues
Timing belt issues are some of the worst issues you can encounter as they have the habit of destroying the pistons. The tensioners on these are known to lose tension and therefore start slapping around and can easily damage the engine’s internals. Thankfully, the problem here isn’t as common as it was with previous EA111 engines which used a chain, but it sure is dangerous.
The most common timing belt problem symptoms are poor performance, engine rattling while idling, a loose belt, engine shuddering, and potentially metal shards within the oil. To fix this, you will usually have to replace both the tensioner and the belt.
The two most common problems with the turbocharger on the 1.4 TSI are turbocharger wastegate sticking/rattling. The wastegate is a component tasked with regulating the engine’s boost pressure. It controls the speed of the turbine which aids in optimal power increases and keeps the system at bay when it comes to overheating.
These valves can either open or close, and the problem here is when they fail to open/close when needed. If your fuel efficiency starts suffering or if your engine starts fluttering, it’s best to inspect the valve and replace/repair it.
Carbon buildup is an inherent problem with all direct injection engines which means that other brands such as Ford example. There are various drawbacks and benefits of direct injection engines, but it seems that the majority of automakers these days believe that the benefits do outweigh the drawbacks.
Carbon buildup happens when carbon deposits on the internals of the engine and can eventually strain the engine so much that it can even fail. Thankfully, this only happens once or twice during the lifespan of the engine. To prevent/solve this issue, you have to clean the engine’s internals with a process called Walnut blasting.
Is The VW 1.4 TSI A Good Engine?
The 1.4L VW TSI is one of the most popular engines VW makes which means that a significant number of all VWs models use this very engine. It is being offered in a few stages of tune depending on your power and efficiency preferences. All in all, this engine is also quiet and fairly sophisticated which means that it is more than enough for most people.
It may not be an exciting engine, but that is by design as VW does offer its more powerful 2.0L TSI found in the Golf GTI, the Golf R, and a few Audi Sport models.
How Efficient Is The VW 1.4 TSI Engine?
The 1.4L TSI is being offered in a few different iterations. The least powerful one is the 85hp variant you can find in something like a VW Polo. This engine is able to return 38MPG US while the more powerful 125hp variant is able to return 35MPG.
The VW Sirocco uses a 1.4L 160hp engine that can return 25MPG which is a decent number. Hybrid versions of the 1.4L, like the one found in the Seat Leon 1.4TSI e-Hybrid can return around 168MPG combined.
Is VW Going To Discontinue The 1.4L TSI?
It is unclear if VW is going to fully discontinue the 1.4L or not, but what is certain is that VW is mostly looking toward electrification and hybridization of its entire lineup. This means that the 1.4L hybrid TSI model is sure to last a lot longer and that the more powerful non-hybrid 1.4L TSI models are going to be the first ones on the chopping block.