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Looking at problems and issues on the 2.0 TFSi engine

"Tuning the 2.0 TFSi engine"

Due to concerns about emissions and tighter controls the 2.0 TFSi engine was born and contains a number of major revisions to enhance engine efficiency. The 1.8T engine was retired and replaced with a more powerful turbo charged 2.0 FSi unit. 

The most notable revision is the introduction of direct injection allowing very fine control over fueling and as well as the extra economy on offer the engine provides a lot of extra performance. Because the fuel is injected directly into the cylinder it has the effect of cooling the intake charge, reducing the risk of detonation and allowing much higher cylinder pressures to be used. Plus the fuel delivery can be very precisely controlled and trimmed to suit engine load.

Direct injection has been a major enhancement to diesel engines and it is nice to see this innovation finding its way into petrol engines.

Variants of the 2.0 TFSi find their way across the entire Audi range and this is certainly the petrol engine of choice. Power levels ranged from 197bhp to 265bhp depending on the model with the S3 and TT getting the top power versions.

A few engines had minor internal revisions and slightly altered compression ratios, the 220bhp BUL engine (from the Limited Edition Quattro) is a good example and these respond better to custom remaps than standard engines.

For serious power gains on the TFSi you are looking at an uprated fuel pump (the S3 injectors are a good upgrade option on tuned 2.0TFSi engines to deliver the fuel), sports cat and manifold, cat back exhaust system, high flow air intake and a remap. The weak spots which we will highlight below can be easily remedied and avoided if watched. We do recommend the addition of an uprated non atmospheric diverter valve for mild tuning and standard cars because the original units were not that reliable.

With just a remap on a stock engine you can raise the power from the baseline 200bhp or 220bhp to around 240bhp and although an uprated diverter valve is recommended it is not an essential. Making the remap a very cost effective way to add more power. Adding the other performance parts you should be able to hit the 280bhp mark and if you uprate the turbo to a KO4 unit you should reach around the 350bhp mark fairly easily. A bigger Garret turbo unit would be required if you want to achieve power figures around the 300-600bhp mark.

The 2.0 TFSi is a very powerful and efficient engine with a couple of potential weak spots to keep an eye on.

Cambelt changes should happen at least every 5 years and we would recommend annual oil changes, the recommended long life service is very convenient but you want to keep the car in top condition bear in mind that oil does degrade and pick up contaminants.

To keep your engine in perfect condition you must use the correct grade of oil and stick to a premium brand of fully synthetic. If your garage recommend a semi synthetic or worse still something that isn't 5w30 or VW503 00, VW503 01 or VW504 00 specific you don't really want to let them near your car.

The 2.0 TFSi engines provide excellent efficiency turning every drop of fuel in power which is good for economy but there are 2 well documented problems to look out for. Regard these items as service items rather than a manufacturing defect and as long as you check them you should have no trouble at all.

Cam follower wear.

The main weak spot is the cam follower located below the high pressure mechanical fuel pump. it has a low friction coating on it a bit like "Teflon". The follower resembles a thimble that sits on the bottom of the fuel pump. Check this every few years or at 30,000 miles for wear.

This fault was altered in later models with a different cam lobe set up, for example the 220bhp BUL engines are not affected by this issue.

You are looking out for the coating wearing off, if it has worn down and exposes a metal surface this causes very quick wear through the follower and damages the cam shaft. The first you'll know about it is in lost fuel pump pressure and a check engine warning light coming on. It is a simple check that most drivers can perform. Be very careful about the extremely high fuel pump pressures and ensure the pressure is released from the system, a jet of fuel at this pressure could potentially cut through bone or at the very least cause major injury!

Carbon Build up.

The other commonly reported problem is that of carbon build up on the valves caused by the direct injection, Although it is a common issue with engines of this type the V6 and V8 engines are more prone due to their lower RPM characteristics. The build up happens because the fuel is not being injected over the valves and this would keep the valves nice and clean.

When the engine is cold the unburned particles are dumped back into the intake, and it is these that foul up the intake. So avoiding short journeys and making sure the engine gets up to operating temperature as quickly as possible will prevent this issue.

After 70,000 miles a decoke is recommended, it does depend on the sort of driving you do though. Adding BG44K to the fuel once a year will keep the engine, injectors and exhaust nice and clean but sadly wont clean the intake valves. With the rest of the engine performing well the carbon build up is substantially reduced.

A full BG intake clean performed by a specialist with the correct equipment will do a fantastic job of restoring lost performance. If you are not making the power figures you expect then you are probably suffering from this issue.

Larger capacity direct injection engines are even more prone to carbon build up issues. The carbon build up will rob you of power rather than do any major damage but cleaning out the head will dramatically increase the performance and economy. (An addition of BG44K to my engine raised the average MPG from 31.4 to 37 mpg for a similar journey. AND I HAVE NOT BEEN PAID TO SAY THIS. It shows how clogged the injectors were in my 70,000 mile 220bhp TFSi engine.)

We have not seen evidence that proves that water/alcohol injection cleans the intake valves with some owners of water injection engines still having the carbon build up issue (biofuels like alcohol are not recommended on FSI engines anyway). Breather catch tanks are also suggested as a prevention of this problem but again we have heard of owners with these devices still suffering from Carbon build up.

They say prevention is better than cure so what can be done to prevent this carbon build up issue. Using good quality clean burn fuel free of bio elements, the higher octane fuels also tend to burn cleaner. Get the engine up to temperature as soon as you can (don't idle it but just drive it steadily at around 2000rpm till it warms up) and keep the engine operating at 3000rpm for 15 minutes per week. At this RPM range the engine is designed to run hotter and this can help burn off some of the carbon deposits.

Keep an eye on the recirculation valve, the oil this sprays into the intake when it goes is cited as a major cause of the carbon build up. If you notice high oil consumption then get this valve checked ASAP. (TorqueCars regards high oil consumption as over 0.5 litres per 1000 miles.)

2.0 TFSi tuning

Cleaning the head is most effectively done by removal and refitting but due to the expense we'd recommend you get the head flowed and ported whilst it is off. We have seen some excellent results from intake cleaners that are sprayed at high pressure into the intake, these are not DIY sprays though. An inspection probe through the intake or via the spark plugs will give an indication on the state of carbon build up allowing you to make an informed decision.

The DIY spray cans of carbon cleaner do at best a minor job, the trick is delivering the cleaner evenly to all of the valves you'll typically see the cylinders closest to the vacuum line getting the most benefit from these. For best results take off the intake manifold and spray the cleaner directly onto the problem area and leave it to soak in. (Always follow the manufacturers instructions though, I don't doubt that some formulations should  be left on for long periods of time.)

Driving the engine at just over 3000 RPM raises the temperature and puts the engine into a "cleaning mode" where it runs leaner and hotter clearing out a lot of the carbon build up inside the engine, so try to hit this sweet spot as often as you can and for at least 15 minutes per week.

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18 Responses to “Audi 2.0 TFSi tuning & Carbon build up issue”

  1. Matthew says:

    I have an Audi A5 Sportback with the 211 PS 2.0 TFSi petrol engine. Thankfully it is a company car, if it was my own I would be very unhappy with the oil consumption. I get through a litre every 1500 miles (its 1 year old, 20k miles), Audi have checked it out, but they say as long as it is using less than 1 litre every 1000 miles then it is within spec. Very poor for a new car, and I would not buy one as a private purchase for this reason.

    • Steve Kyd says:

      I have an A4 B8, with 2.0 liter TFSi engine that used an excessive amount of oil during the first year. The car broke down with badly coked up spark plugs & was towed to service. An oil consumption test followed where 800mls of oil was used over 1000kms.
      Audi Australia then replaced Pistons rings & rods plus modified a breather valve. The car now only uses 100mls of oil on a high speed highway run over 6 hours duration. The fuel economy is outstanding on highway travel at 5.7 Ltrs per 100 Klms @ 100 to 110klms per hour.

      • Tony roberts says:

        Hi Steve Kyd

        I am from Melbourne with 2008 Audi TT and oil issues.

        Can you tell me who you were dealing with at Audi ?

        Thanks

        Tony

  2. Wavy says:

    Got a 11 a5 2.0.. I try to follow most of those tips above, but do u suggest I idle the car for a minute after reaching my destination? I try to idle da car before every ride for about a minute.
    Thanks

    • TorqueCars says:

      You only need to idle the engine after a spirited run where the turbo has started to spin up to high speeds and this is to allow it to spin down and cool a little. Idling a car too long at the start of a journey is not really recommended for longer periods of time. In most cases just start your journey and keep your revs low until the engine has warmed up.

  3. Linda says:

    The above article fails to mention a defect with the engine, the symptom of which is high oil consumption, requiring the pistons & rings to be replaced!! My 2009 A5 Cab is having its engine rebuilt by Audi as I write, but this also affects engines built 2010 – 2011 as well. There is an Audi TPI on this but be warned – this is VERY expensive if you’re out of warranty when it goes!

  4. jordan says:

    Hi, i have an audi a5 2.0 tfsi

    I have had the car about 2 months, and since day 1 i have noticed the oil consumption is crazy, i have been topping it up every so many weeks with fully synthetic 5w40 oil. but i searched and i have been told its normal?

    my car has been performance remapped to 255bhp and 340ftlb tourqe.

    also after driving the car about 20 mins i feel the clutch making a grinding noise? i had this problem with my a3 and i dont know if its common problem or normal?

    hope you can help?

    • Spambhoy says:

      My A5 2.0 TFSI has just failed an oil pressure test and is booked in for a “bottom half engine rebuild”. I believe that’s cam shaft, pistons, rings and con rods amongst other things. I was a litre approximately every 1000k which is nuts. I am considering ( at 47,000 miles ) wether it would be advisable to replace the belt and water pump while they are at it as the whole job is under warranty and the bill is on them ? I’ll hope to report back positively in a few weeks.

  5. Martin says:

    Hi I think you all need to be aware that these tfsi engines are extremely prone to high oil consumption (mine is now 1 litre per 600 miles, 60k on clock, 3 and a bit years old) Audi are a disgrace to deal with (Swindon Audi)they just stick the car on thier computer and say it needs new piston rings, I though you had a do a physical check (cylinder compressions then a wet test if down on pressure) but they want over £2k to carry out this work, the service guy I spoke to said that I shouldnt worry about the cost as my company will be paying for it????? Thay really are scum! Watchdog should investigate Audi as this seems to be a really common problem with this engine.

    • Spambhoy says:

      Got mine back yesterday and running as smooth as before. All work carried out under warranty and the free use of an A1 TFSI Sportback for a week with no cost to me at all. Had no problem with the Audi dealer at all. Time will tell if the problem recurs. 1 Ltr per 600 miles is worse than mine was ?!

    • Jaysback says:

      I had a 2008 A4 S-line 2.0tfsi Quattro. 65k miles on the clock was so bad that Swindon Audi skipped the first oil consumption test and fitted the latest rev oil separator, and sent me away to do the millage test.
      Only managed 350miles and was low on oil again. I got in touch with Audi UK and after many emails with them and Swindon Audi they eventually agreed to repair the car for free. But with a £2500 – £3500 repair bill hanging over the car we chopped it in for a Ford. To little to late Audi. Expect more from a high end brand.

  6. tanwir says:

    audi would never go for again. absolute failed product. oil leak developed on 2.0 tfsi a3 2009 27,000 miles. how and why? been using up oil like a tank. bottom of engine all coated with oil. paid £25,000 over five years. had it 3 years disgrace vorsprung technik more like poor strung up tecnics

  7. John G says:

    2010 A5 had high oil consumption have 67K miles the engin light comes on I bring it to my repair shop – the one I insure – and the scan tool gives 4 codes then my guy advises to take back to Audi 2 days later the motor goes now Audi states they wont help ? any advise

  8. marshall peck says:

    Just took command of a 2012 Audi A4 6-speed quattro. Love it. Thanks for outlining things to be aware of. Currently thinking of some siffer mounts at the rear diff and possibly up front.

    • Rob says:

      Hi,

      I an at present considering parting with my Mk1 TT 23,000 miles for a MK2 TT. I think I will keep car after reading here, I also have another MK1 TT with 70,000 miles, in 8 years it has taken only 1 ltr of oil, appears the 1.8T engine is the more reliable.

  9. Tim says:

    I think a distinction should be made here between the earlier 2.0TFSI EA113 engines and the later 2.0TSI EA888 engines.

    The earlier EA113 has its fair share of problems (I own one) but most of the high oil consumption issues are with the EA888 “revised” engine. A colleague in work is having his 2.0TSI engine rebuilt by Audi due to this exact problem. My older EA113 doesn’t have particularly high oil consumption at all.

    None of this excuses some of the poor customer service experienced by people here. It would also be appreciated by many for Audi (and the VAG partners) to offer competitively priced carbon buildup cleaning services. BMW/Mini offer walnut shell blasting services for cleaning their carbon-caked valves on their direct injection engines. A similar service from VAG should be standard.

    • Kelvin says:

      Anyone has any idea if the common issue on high engine oil consumption , Early water pump failures etc .. Are happening across the 2.0 tfsi engines over the years.

      I read most of feedback given are from car manufacture 2008-2010. Anyone have idea If those in 2012-2013 faces the same .

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