VW 2.0 TSI Engine Problems: Reliability, Specs & Reviews

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Volkswagen makes some amazing engines. Their line-up consists of some pretty solid ones, which are loved by hundreds of thousands of people around the globe.

One of those engines is the 2.0T TSI, and users love it because of its amazing performance and fuel efficiency.

Although the 2.0 TSI is an amazing performer, some faults were commonly reported by users.

The VW 2.0 TSI engine problems are:

  1. Fuel Injector Issues
  2. Failure Of The Water Pump
  3. Faulty Timing Chain Tensioner
  4. HPFP Failure
  5. Unexpected Misfires

This article will go into the details of all of the issues mentioned earlier. From repair options to symptoms, everything will be covered.

So, without any further ado, let’s get straight into it!

The 5 Most Common VW 2.0 Turbo TSI Engine Problems

Can I rely on the Volkswagen 2.0T engine? Any drawback?

As promised, this article will now talk about all of the five issues that were mentioned above.

It is recommended to read this section completely as the information can heavily influence your decision to buy the engine.

1. Fuel Injector Issues

Before we start with this problem, you must know one of the design characteristics of the 2.,0T engine.

The company has used a direct injection system, which allows the engine to spray fuel directly into the cylinders.

This technology is great and gives you a performance boost. There are some drawbacks, which the owners of this engine reported.

The Issue

As the injectors are responsible for spraying all fuel, they need to work at high pressures and extreme temperatures.

They need to output 1500 psi of pressure, which is a lot. Both of these things are not good in the long run.

As with many engine parts, the fuel injectors are prone to wear and tear due to these extremities.

This wear and tear can cause unexpected behavior, such as leaking or even clogging.


The engine cannot run unless the proper amount of fuel is burnt; the process is inhibited if the injectors start leaking or clogging.

As expected, this can result in many symptoms, all of which cannot be ignored.

The most common indicators of faulty fuel injectors are:

  • Unexpected misfires.
  • Poor performance.
  • Visible fuel leak.
  • Sudden loss in power.

All of these symptoms suggest that the fuel system of the vehicle is causing issues.

It is extremely common for the injectors on direct injection engines to go out, and many other reasons can cause symptoms such as misfires.

The problem has a whole section dedicated to it, which you will see when you scroll further down.


So, you have finally identified the issue but don’t know how to proceed? I have got you covered. The only thing that you can do is to get the injectors replaced.

Cleaning them or repairing them will not help because they are already in a worn condition.

Even if you get them cleaned, the injectors will show the same symptoms in a very short amount of time.

Now, the question arises, can the job be done at home?

Well, it is possible, but only if you have prior experience. You need to remove the intake manifold, which is a tricky task.

It is better to let a mechanic handle this if you are not confident enough in your abilities. Although the injectors are cheap, the labor costs will be quite high.

You must not delay this repair because it poses a threat to you and the people around you.

2. Failure Of The Water Pump

The water pump of the engine is a crucial part that helps in retaining the engine temperature.

Although the name contains the word water, its function is to pump the coolant throughout the engine.

The coolant is responsible for carrying and distributing the heat so the engine does not overheat.

The Issue

The water pump issue is present on a majority of Volkswagen engines.

Surprisingly, the problem has not been fixed in so many years. You may not be aware, but the company has faced many lawsuits due to not fixing the issue.

The reason for the failure of the water pump is the choice of material, and the company opted for plastic construction.

As the pump needs to work in high temperatures and high pressure, the plastic cannot handle it.

The extreme temperature and pressure don’t affect the pump immediately but after a certain period. So, the failure of the water pump falls under the category of wear and tear.


Failure of the water pump will lead to a guaranteed overheating of the VW 2.0 TSI engine. That is the first sign of there being a fault in the cooling system of the engine.

Many other symptoms can be used to catch the problem as soon as possible:

  • Low coolant level light turned on.
  • Visible leaking of the coolant.
  • P3081 fault codes.

These symptoms will help you in identifying the root cause of the issue. If it is a Volkswagen engine, the problem will probably be due to a failing water pump.

Fixing The Problem

Well, there is no way to repair the water pump. Even if there was, it is not recommended to get it fixed.

A replacement is the only option you have. A new water pump, preferably from an aftermarket brand, will keep the engine in working condition.

I would not recommend an OEM pump because the issue will come back after driving for the same number of miles.

On the other hand, aftermarket ones may have better durability and may be better equipped to handle the strain of the engine.

You should also not drive your vehicle at all until the issue is fixed.

You should call a towing company, which will tow the vehicle to the nearest workshop. Driving the vehicle with an overheating engine will cause further damage to its parts.

3. Faulty Timing Chain Tensioner

Another issue that plagues Volkswagen 2.0 TSI engine is the malfunctioning of the timing chain tensioner.

As is evident by the part’s name, the tensioner has the function of keeping the timing chain at the proper amount of tension.

As the timing chain controls all valves and the pistons, if its function is affected, you may be looking at serious issues.

The Issue

This issue was mostly reported by owners of the earlier versions of the engine, and they complained that the tensioner failed prematurely.

So, what could be the issue?

Unlike most problems, the company did not disclose the exact reason, but it was fixed in post-2013 models of the engine.

The question is, what could go wrong if the tensioner fails?

Well, if the tensioner fails and the chain becomes loose, the first thing that will happen is that the pistons and the valves will collide with each other.

This will lead to irreparable damage. But it does not end there. You may be looking at the end of life of the engine.


Without the timing chain, a vehicle will not be able to function at all. But some symptoms can be used to identify a near to failure tensioner. These symptoms must be taken seriously.

They are:

  • Rattling sound from the engine.
  • Difficulty starting the engine.

These are the only two indications that can be used to catch the problem as early as possible. If the issue occurs, then the engine will not start at all. So, they must not be taken lightly.


In any vehicle, it is recommended to change the timing chain after around 100000 miles.

Because the tensioner in the 2.0T engine fails prematurely, you may also have to replace the chain with it.

If you are one of the lucky ones reading this article and have not experienced the issue yet, I advise you to get the tensioner replaced as soon as possible.

If it fails, you may be looking at repair costs which will easily cross the $5000 mark.

Replacing the tensioner will cost you around $500, and a mechanic will do it as the task is quite tedious.

You should not attempt to do it yourself, especially if the timing chain needs a replacement too. Without the proper equipment, the timing of the chain cannot be set.

So, you really should not risk it.

4. HPFP Failure

The next problem on this list is an interesting one. Before we get into the details of the issue, you must be aware of the HPFP part. It is also known as the High-Pressure Fuel Pump.

The pump is responsible for creating the pressure in the fuel, and then sprayed by the injectors. If the engine does not have direct injection, the pump is not present.

However, there was a need for a dedicated part to create the very high 1500 PSI, which is needed to be sprayed into the cylinders.

Cause Of Failure

Two main reasons can cause the HPFP to fail. The first one is a faulty solenoid, which is present inside the pump and responsible for all processes.

Another reason could be the failure of the pintle, which is another part of the pump.

Both of them work simultaneously to create pressure for the cylinders. If any one of them fails, the pump will not be able to generate enough pressure.

As there will be no pressure, the injectors will not give the cylinders the fuel needed for combustion.

If the combustion process is incomplete and the cylinder’s demands are not met, the vehicle will cause many issues.


So, you have figured out that the engine’s fuel requirements are not being met because of a faulty pump, but you still want to confirm that it is causing the issues.

Well, there are some symptoms that you should be on the lookout for:

  • Low-pressure fault code.
  • P2293 fault code.
  • Unexpected misfires.
  • Poor performance.

As you can see, the engine will exhibit many different indications when its fuel requirements are not being met.

Another thing you may have seen is that there can and will misfire when the engine’s fuel pressure is low.

Regardless, the best way to confirm is to connect an OBD II scanner to the vehicle. If the error code that is mentioned above pings back, then the HPFP is at fault.

A normal pump should have a value around the 40-bar range. However, in a faulty one, the reading will be close to zero or maybe hovering in the low doubt digit numbers.

Fixing The Problem

The only thing you can do is replace the pump. The part is quite cheap, and you can perform the job yourself.

This way, you can save on labor costs. Even if you are a beginner, the process will not take you more than an hour.

5. Unexpected Misfires

We have finally arrived at the final issue of this article. This problem has plagued thousands of vehicle owners, regardless of whether there is a Volkswagen engine under the hood or not.

If you have been reading through this article, you may have seen the phrase misfires repeated a lot.

The Issue

A misfire is more of a symptom rather than an issue. But it has caused issues for so many people that it is treated as a problem.

So, what could cause the engine to misfire?

Well, many factors can cause the issue. The list is so long that all of the reasons cannot be mentioned here.

The most common ones are:

  • Worn-out ignition coils.
  • Faulty spark plugs.
  • Clogged fuel injectors.
  • Failure of the HPFP.

Yes, that’s right; two out of four issues are the ones that had dedicated sections in this article. It turns out they are quite high on the list of reasons that commonly cause misfires.

Misfires happen when no spark is generated to combust the fuel. When this happens, the engine will misfire. Many of you may still not understand how this happens.

If the engine cannot produce a spark, there is a sudden power drop. As no fuel is combusted at that point, the engine stops working momentarily.

Diagnosing Faulty Ignition Coils

Some other symptoms can help you in confirming if the ignition coils are faulty. I will be listing one of them, and that is the fault code, P0302.

These fault codes can be read via an OBD II scanner, which has to be purchased separately and connected to the engine’s diagnostic port.

If the error as mentioned above code is pinged back, then the coils are faulty.

Replacement Procedure

If the ignition coils are causing issues, you have no other option than to replace them.

It is not recommended to get only one changed because a mix of new and old hardware will cause more issues than it would solve.

If replacing the coils does not fix the misfire issue, you will have to replace the spark plugs. There is a high probability that the problem will be fixed with these mentioned replacements.

What Is The Volkswagen 2.0 TSI Engine?

The VW 2.0 TSI engine was unveiled in 2008 and was in production up until 2014.

The manufacturer used this engine in various vehicles, ensuring that it was available to as many people as possible.

As the engine is turbocharged, the performance output is great, and it can output more than 200 HP without any modifications. That is certainly impressive.

Now, the engine does have many problems, out of which the most common ones have been listed above.

These problems must not be taken lightly because, if delayed, the repair costs can add up quite quickly.

If you want to know about the engine’s reliability, make sure not to miss the next question.

Is The Volkswagen 2.0T TSI Engine Reliable?

This is a question many of you are waiting for to be answered. Well, your patience has paid off because the 2.0T engine is very reliable.

I agree that there are various issues with the engine, but, if you have noticed, most of them are a result of wear and tear.

Worn-out parts are common in all vehicle engines, but Volkswagen ones are more susceptible to the issue. In simpler words, the build quality of the engine parts is not up to par.

There are a few design flaws, too, like with the water pump. The company has not fixed the problem, even in newer engines.

But, once you get the appropriate repairs and replacements done, the engine will give you an excellent driving experience.

What Cars Use The Volkswagen 2.0T TSI Engine?

Although the engine was used in many different vehicles, the list is considerably shorter than some other Volkswagen engines I have checked out.

As expected with most VW engines, different companies utilized the engine. These manufacturers, of course, come under the Volkswagen name.

The vehicles with this engine are the GTI, Passat, CC, Eos, Tiguan, and the Beetle. You may be familiar with the names because they are all Volkswagen vehicles.

The engine was also used in the Audi A3 and the highly popular MK2 TT. Yes, that’s right, like many TSI engines from VW, Audi also utilized this engine for its vehicles.

Volkswagen 2.0 TSI Engine Specs

The material used for the cylinder block iron
The material used for the cylinder head Aluminium only
Type of fuel used Gasoline
Type of injection Direct fuel injection
Arrangement Inline
No. of cylinders 4
Number of valves in each cylinder 4
Valvetrain design DOHC
Bore 82.5mm or 3.25inches
Stroke 92.8mm or 3.62inches
Displacement 1984cc
Combustion Turbocharged
Ratio of compression 9.6:1
Power in hp 209 Horsepower @ 5500 rpm
Torque in ft. lb 207 to 280 @ 1500-5500 rpm
Weight of oil 5W-30, 5W-40
Capacity of oil 6 quarts with filter
Firing order 1-3-4-2
Interval between oil change 9000 miles (15000-km) or 12 months

The Benefits Of Choosing The Volkswagen 2.0 TSI Engine

There are many advantages of this engine, which you must be aware of:

  • The engine can output more than 200 HP without any performance enhancements.
  • The engine uses Turbo Stratified Injection, which is commonly known as TSI.
  • The engine is light while not compromising on performance.
  • The fuel economy is very impressive, which is something that most users love.
  • The driving experience is great, with minimal vibrations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How Long Can The Volkswagen 2.0T TSI Engine Last?

The range on this engine is not impressive. Most users reported about the engine giving up after a mere 150000 miles.

That is certainly less, but that is the case with almost all Volkswagen engines. I must remind you that you can push this mileage to 200000 miles only if you keep it maintained at all times.

Q2. Is TSI Better Than GTI?

Now, this is an interesting question. It is completely understandable when you want to know about the engine’s performance compared to others.

Unfortunately, the GTI wins in all scenarios except for fuel economy. The fuel economy is better on the TSI because of the design being smaller overall.

Q3. Is The Four-Cylinder Turbo 2.0T Faster Than A V6?

The V6 will only win in the towing department. That is possible, thanks to the high torque output.

Other than that, the 2.0Twill win in all scenarios, especially in the fuel economy section.


There you have it, avid readers, my take on the VW 2.0 TSI engine problems. The company has made a solid performer who thousands of people have highly appreciated.

Although it was available in a select number of vehicles, the chosen ones had the highest sales. The inclusion of the engine in Audi vehicles was also a great move.

There are some problems, all of which I have listed above. It must be noted that these issues are caused mostly due to wear and tear.

If you choose to buy it, you will have to spend extra money on maintenance, but the overall driving experience will be memorable.

1. https://vwtuning.co/vw-20t-tsi-engine-problems/
2. https://www.shopdap.com/blog/post/vw-audi-20t-tsi-common-problems.html