The Volkswagen EA888 family of engines is what most people refer to as the best current VW commuter gasoline engine you can buy. The 2.0L TSI is likely the best one of them all because it offers a lot of power, yet is also decently efficient and fairly sophisticated. You can get this engine in something like an Audi A4 which is quiet, docile, and powerful.
On the other hand, you can also get it in hot hatchbacks such as the Golf GTI Performance. In this article, we are going to list all the common VW 2.0 TSI engine problems and tell you what you need to look out for if you are in the market for one of these used. They are popular and fairly reliable, but they sure aren’t perfect.
These issues include leaky/clogged fuel injectors, water pump issues, ignition coil issues, timing chain problems, and problems with the PVC system. Some of these can be solved proactively which is why you should read this article to the end while others are inherent to many VW EA888 engines including the 1.8 TSI, the 2.0 TSI, and its smaller brothers.
If you are in the market for a car with this respective engine, be sure to do a pre-purchase inspection in order to be fully aware of how the engine coped with these problems. If one of these has been maintained properly, it is sure to last a really long time.
Leaky/Clogged Fuel Injectors
One of the more common problems with the 2.0L TSI unit is one where the fuel injectors can either start leaking or become severely clogged. The 2.0L TSI is a direct injection engine which means that it has a fair share of benefits of drawbacks including the two mentioned above. As these operate at extremely high pressures, they are eventually going to fail.
When they do, your car is going to misfire, idle poorly, have subpar acceleration, leak fuel, and prompt up various fault codes such as those from the P0300 family. Carbon buildup can also take place with these engines which is why you will have to replace these injectors and potentially even Walnut blast your engine internals to clean off all carbon deposits.
Water Pump Problems
The water pump is tasked with pushing the coolant through the engine in order to keep the temps at bay. The problem with the 2.0 TSI is that the housing of the water pump is made out of plastic which is prone to wear and tear, especially as it is located near hot engine components. High pressures, heat, and plastic are not a good combo for obvious reasons.
Therefore, when this happens, your car is likely going to exhibit high engine temps. When this takes place, it’s best not to drive the car and inspect the water pump as soon as possible. This problem is often associated with the P2181 fault code.
Ignition Coil Problems
The ignition coils are designed to source electric energy from the battery and send it to the spark plug which then initiates the combustion process. If one of these three is faulty, your car is likely going to die roughly, is going to misfire, or won’t be able to start at all. When this happens, your ignition coils and your spark plugs will need to be inspected together.
Most of the time, it’s due to faulty ignition coils. It’s best to replace all four of your ignition coils at the same time, but many VW specialist state that it’s best to replace all of your spark plugs whenever you replace all of your ignition coils.
Timing Chain Problems
Issues with the timing chain used to be the most serious problem with older VAG engines. Thankfully, the newer ones are better but still aren’t free of these issues completely. The problem here is that the chain tensioner can become brittle over time or enable the chain to lose tension. This can damage your engine internals quite badly.
The most common symptom of this problem is engine rattling or metal shaving in the oil. If you do come across these, be sure to inspect the tensioner and the chain immediately. If you fail to solve this early on, your engine is likely to die.
PVC System Problems
To finish off the list, we also need to mention problems with the PVC system. The positive crankcase ventilation system is tasked with recirculating engine gases in order to create more power and lower the car’s carbon footprint. However, the PVC system can become clogged and send these gases back to the engine which is a problem.
Common symptoms include rough idling, misfire fault codes, intake whistling noises, and oil leaks. Be sure to replace the PVC whenever you encounter any/all of these.
Is The VW 2.0 TSI A Good Engine?
The 2.0 TSI is arguably one of the best 4-cylinder gasoline engines VW ever made. Sure, there is a great deal of controversy surrounding this engine as many deem it to be fairly unreliable and a bit too agricultural. However, if the engine is maintained properly and if you don’t abuse it, it is going to last a long time.
Is VW TSI Better Than VW TDI?
The VW TSI engine family represents gasoline-powered VW engines while the VW TDI represents VW diesel engines. On average, VW TSI engines are more sophisticated, offer more horsepower, are a bit thirstier, and pollute less.
TDI engines have higher torque outputs, tend to be more valuable in places like Europe, and sound a bit tractor-like which isn’t favored by those wanting luxury vehicles.
What Is The Most Powerful VW 2.0 TSI Engine?
The most powerful 2.0 TSI engine can be found in the Audi A4 and the Golf R where it offers a maximum of 315hp and 310lb-ft of torque. These numbers are extremely fruity for a 2,0L 4-cylinder engine. The unit in Golf R enables it to reach 60mph from a standstill in a ludicrous 3.7 seconds which is the same time you get with the 5.2L twin-turbocharged 715hp Aston Martin DBS Superleggera.