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All you need to know about the VAG 2.0 TDi

"Tuning, problems weak spots and complete upgrade guide."

The VAG group 2.0 Diesel engines are very popular and have had many revisions and updates over the years. We shall try to map out the differences between the engines and identify potential faults and issues with them.

All modern engines have weak spots, by pointing these out we hope to prepare the buyer to spot potential issues early on.

We are not trying to make out that these engines are particularly unreliable or full of issues - I recently bought one after doing my research carefully. You should note that generally newer engines have had the faults engineered out completely.

Engine codes and specs for the 2.0 TDI (140 & 170 bhp version)

Pre 2008 engines are PD (Pumpe Düse) based and given a BKD, BKP (Mainly in the Passat) or BMM, BMN, BMR and BRD engine code.

Audi A6 was fitted with the BVG BNA BRF BLB BRE & A4 BVF(120) BVG (121) BNA(136) BRF (136)  BLB BRE (all Bosch 140 without DPF).

BKD 140 bhp without DPF filter Bosch
AZV 134 bhp without DPF filter Bosch
BKP 140 bhp without DPF filter Siemens VDO Piezo injectors 
BMA 136ps without DPF  Siemens VDO Piezo injectors 
BVE 122ps without DPF  Siemens VDO Piezo injectors 
BWV 120ps without DPF Siemens VDO Piezo injectors 
BMM 140 bhp without a DPF filter Bosch injectors.
BMN 170 bhp - bigger turbo and Siemens VDO Piezo Injector engines with DPF
BUZ 163ps  - bigger turbo and Siemens VDO Piezo Injector engines with DPF
BVA 163ps - bigger turbo and Siemens VDO Piezo Injector engines with DPF
BMR 170 bhp - bigger turbo and Siemens VDO Piezo Injector engines with DPF
BRD 170 bhp - bigger turbo and Siemens VDO Piezo Injector engines with DPF

The VAG group 2.0 TDI engines have a lot to offer and if you know what to spot are reliable and have lots of tuning potential.

After 2008 CR (common rail) engines came in and had CBAB and CBBB engine codes. The common rail engines are superior to the PD engines although there were a few minor teething problems on early engines. All were Euro 5 rated so came with DPF.

These 2008 engines were also implicated in the 2015 VAG group emissions scandal where the software would detect test conditions and reduce the emissions.

CFHC, CBEA, CBAB, CFFB, CBDB, CJAA - 138bhp Bosch
CAGA 141 bhp
CRBC 148 bhp
CBBB 168bhp - bigger turbo and different injectors to the 140bhp engines
CAYB 90 Siemens VDO Piezo Injector engines
CAYC 105 Siemens VDO Piezo Injector engines
CLCA 110 Siemens VDO Piezo Injector engines
CLNA 105 Siemens VDO Piezo Injector engines
CAAA 84 CAAB 102 CAAE 136 CCHB 136 CCHA 140 CDCA 163 CDBA 122 - Bosch ECU & Injectors with DPF 

From 2010 engine codes included CBDB, CFHB, CHFC, CFGB

Faults and problems on these engines.

20-Tdi

The early Siemens piezo injectors on the 170 had a fault, and would just fail causing the engine to cut out. Most of these have been recalled or replaced now so it shouldn't be an issue anymore. 

There are plenty of reports of DPF issues requiring a dealer regen. If you drive it hot, go on long journeys and use high quality fuel you should have no problem at all. However if you do lots of short journeys then you are best advised to remove the DPF* or choose a non DPF model. (*removal of the DPF is not legal in some countries.)

There are also reports of a faulty fan controller where fan doesn't switch off, eventually draining the battery and potentially burning out the fan.

The 2.0 engines have a lumpy idle which is something you generally have to live with. However a faulty DMF, Injector failures or issues with the EGR flow rate can also cause a very lumpy idle or misfire.

BKP engines in particular have an issue with the oil pump drive gears which were subject to a recall and there are reports of turbo failures on these engines.

Most longitudinal PD engines have the balance shaft module. Those engines suffer from two problems, the chain tensioner that breaks and causing the balance shaft module to stop working including the oil pump.

The second problem is in the module itself, how it drives the oil pump, this is done by a small hexagon that also breaks because of the wear.

VAG has tried to solve both issues, by replacing the chain by gears, that seems to be a working solution. They also upgraded the size of the hexagon so it should be stronger and it is, it’s now failing after more mileage. Still a very problematic issue that needs to be addressed. When failing the oil pressure drops immediately and the engine breaks beyond repair.

The last issue, the hexagon, is still present in newer CR engines, but this time not just in the Passat, A4/A6 and SuperB. The only engine we are aware of that doesn’t use the balance shaft module is the 110HP 2.0 TDI(CBDC).

Luckily enough there is a solution, for the PD and CR engines. It is replacing the balance shaft module for a chain driven oil pump as seen in other TDI engines. The 140hp 2.0 8v PD TDI (BMM) for example has that oil pump and it has been flawless.

Cylinder head cracking.

There is a reference number to the right of the cylinder head underneath the fuel lines 03G 103 351 B or 03G 103 308 B. Look carefully at the letter at the end of this. If you have A you are virtually guaranteed to suffer a cracked cylinder head. The B is a little stronger but a few of these have still cracked. C is the one to go for and there are very few if any reports of cylinder heads cracking.

Keep a close eye on engines with the A or B codes, particularly if there are any faults or issues arising.

DMFs are fairly weak and will frequently fail. If yours should go we would suggest getting a high torque flywheel from Sachs as the price is similar and they are substantially stronger.

Tuning

There are few major differences between the 140 and 170 engines. In fact a 140 engine can be upgraded to 170bhp with a remap (in our opinion it is a better choice than buying a 170!) but 170-180 is the upper limit of the 140's turbo. The main differences are the turbo and injectors. If you stayed on the standard 140 injectors but fitted a larger capacity turbo you should still be ok to around 200-220bhp before you need to increase the injectors.

Taking a 140 beyond 170 bhp requires a larger turbo, TorqueCars suggest the GTB2056VK is definitely less laggy than the GTB2260VK due to its smaller compressors,  but it can still flow to around the 260-275 bhp. Used turbos from the 170bhp engine are a good, cheap, viable upgrade option if you are looking at the 200bhp mark. 

Remaps for the 2.0 TDI engines:

The 140 can be lifted to 170 on a software upgrade alone but to go beyond this you will need to look at the turbo. A remapped 140 is less laggy and more nimble than a 170 due to the smaller turbo. It's clear that the headline power figures are only half the story and you should take into account the general feel of the engine and torque band. 

A remap on the 170 bhp engines can comfortably attain 210-225 bhp. Again going higher than this will require a turbo upgrade or hybrid turbo. Remember that larger turbos are generally more laggy, so you'll have less low down torque. If you spec the right turbo upgrade you shouldn't have this issue.

Cam timing adjustments are quite easy to perform on most of these engines as the Cams are fitted with vernier pulleys. Moving the cam from advance to retard slightly will alter the peak power zone of the car. Only play with this if you know what you're doing. If you tweak it too far the car may fail to start when cold so just back off a little from the setting you've selected.

The top of the cam cover just unclips giving you access to the cam pulleys. ALWAYS MARK THE ORIGINAL POSITION CAREFULLY SO YOU CAN PUT IT BACK TO HOW IT WAS IF YOU'RE NOT HAPPY WITH THE OUTCOME.

Advancing or retarding the cam will push the power band down or up the RPM range so you can set the car up to match your preferred driving style. The Bosch ECU's are pretty protective of the engine so mistakes in cam timing selection are not usually going to have dramatic consequences.

Removing the EGR will not make a noticeable performance difference. At full (WOT) throttle it does not open and it helps reduce fuel consumption and throttle response at low RPM speeds and lessens the work the engine has to do in overcoming the cylinder vacuum. It can however make tickover a little lumpy and has been blamed for carbon build up in the engine but if you use a good quality fuel and cleaner (like BG244) you should not really have an issue.

turbo-cosworth

250bhp is a sensible limit for most drivers looking for a daily driver.

The engines are quite strong though and you'll find that around the 350 bhp mark is the safe maximum power a standard block can handle, a lot depends on the driving style and maintenance though.

Power delivery and traction over 220bhp can be an issue as well so it would be worth investing in a good LSD and sports tires.

You will need to uprate the injectors around the 250bhp mark but this varies depending on which injectors you have fitted as standard to your car.

Most drivers report that the clutch begins to slip around the 420-430Nm mark and there is a torque limiter placed on the DSG gearbox.

Solid flywheels are not a great option on the 2.0TDi - it really does need a DMF to smooth out the lumps. People who have fitted lighter solid flywheels have often regretted their choice.

PLEASE HELP US COMPLETE THIS PAGE, If we've missed out some details or you have some tips to pass on please use the comments section below to let us know.

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Your Constructive comments on this article



18 Responses to “2.0 TDI 140-170 tuning”

  1. paul says:

    Informative and well constructed article… nice

  2. pa.k says:

    I drive a 170 pd passat and looking for bigger turbo and injectors pls can u recommend a reputable garage to do this work thx !

  3. Mike says:

    Hi there – really good article, concise and informative.
    My 170bhp Passat CC has a CBB engine block and I was wondering what are the kinds of issues that might arise that I should keep and eye on or that would be indicative of cylinder head cracks?
    Thnx – M

  4. ryan says:

    This is great info, thanks for posting this, i’m from the east coast of Canada and there is not much info on this out there locally or on the web. I was also wondering if you swapped the turbo from a Cr140 for a turbo from the 170 and had the same tune, would you have to get a new tune after the swap turbo swap?

  5. Shane Hickey says:

    Hi I have a 2007 A4 2.0 TDi 170 BHP and I have been told it needs a new head by an Audi garage. My engine code is BRD. Do you know if a head off a 2.0 TDi 140 BHP engine will do me ? Cheers

  6. SAYLOR says:

    CAN YOU SWAP A CBE ENGINE OUT OF A 09 JETTA, WITH A CJA ENGINE?

  7. Jack.N says:

    I have an 06 PD140 BKD which went in for a remap. The before and after showed the bhp as 154.9 to start, and 186.9 to finish – work that one out.. ? How could my car be labelled 140 from the factory but after 9 years have gained 14.9 bhp? Let me know your thoughts.

    • TorqueCars says:

      Dyno readings are not that accurate, they measure power at the wheel and then using maths estimate the flywheel power figure. Taking the before and after figures you can however see the power gain you achieved with the remap. If you put your car on a calibrated dyno reading the wheel horse power you’ll probably get figures around 20-30bhp lower than this. A 140bhp engine is only really putting down about 120hp on the road at best.

      • Rob says:

        Hi, my CBBB 170bhp Passat engine is wrecked, failed oil pump! so I’m on the look out for another engine but would any other type suit, say a 140bhp and use my old injectors & turbo etc., thanks

  8. Craig says:

    Thanks for the write up boys…. You just saved me from buying an a3 with an a code head….cheers!

  9. Amon says:

    I have a vw passat 2.0 tdi with bkp engine but the oil pump has failed and engine dead. I have found a bkd engine that I want to replace it with. Will the Bkd engine work nicely in my passat? Please help!

    Your response will be highly appreciated.

    • Todd says:

      If you haven’t sorted this already I can provide you with a answer.. Yes it does, just a few modifications.. The bkp uses seimens injectors, the bkd uses Bosch.. You need to swap the injectors over marking up what order they were in including the injector loom (buy new injector seal kits). Another one is on the back of the block there is a half shaft bearing housing what needs to be to be removed also the oil cooler pipes are the other way around I found. Apart from that it all just bolts in. One major plus is the bkd doesn’t have a balance shaft modual at all.. Just a chain driven oil pump similar to the 1.9 8v pd engines. All of this is from recent experience as my cam belt tensioner stud snapped and ruined the head…

      • Todd says:

        Also mine had the hot start issue what is sorted with a hot start map, where the starter motors speed is turned up as the injectors don’t work until the engine is rotating at 200rpm and then a remap taking it to a predicted 180, such a lovely smooth, fast delivery of power with a good map.

  10. Gael says:

    Hi Guys, i need to know what technical difference between CAGA and CFHC, CBEA, CBAB, CFFB, CBDB, CJAA .

    My HPP is out and i search part to replace it but very difficult to find the same reference
    High Pressure pump réf bosch:0445010507 (réf audi 03L 130 755)
    Injectors: 0445116 030 2151(réf audi: 03L 130 277)
    high pump:
    injector 0445116 030

  11. Harv says:

    Thank you for all this info, it is very helpful and I will be using the info on this article to tune my 140bhp model a4 avant (which is already at 170bhp with a dpf delete and back box delete)

    • Gaby says:

      Dear all,
      Great info site! Thanks.
      I have a 2009 Dodge Journey that has a VW Engine which dodge references differently and it has been a pain trying to understand which actual VW engine it is. Dodge calls it a “2.0 TDI I4 Cyl DOHC (ECE)” also known as “RX040870AC”…possibly also “68040870AB” anyone knows what VW engine that actually corresponds to on the VAG list? I’m Looking for a replacement and new from Dodge is prohibitive.

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