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  Siemens VDO Piezo Injector engines + DPF
  • BUZ 163ps  - bigger turbo and Siemens VDO Piezo Injector engines + DPF
  • BVA 163ps - bigger turbo Siemens VDO Piezo Injector engines +DPF
  • BMR 170 bhp - bigger turbo Siemens VDO Piezo Injector engines + DPF
  • BRD 170 bhp - bigger turbo Siemens VDO Piezo Injector engines + 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 EA189 engine codes below, all used eight-nozzle output piezo fuel injectors; Bosch EDC 17 ECU and were fitted with a water cooled EGR system and DPF.

  • CBDB CFFD 109 bhp
  • CAGC 118bhp
  • CAGB 134bhp
  • CFHC, CBEA, CBAB, CFFB, CBDB, CJAA 138 bhp
  • CAGA 141 bhp
  • CRBC  148bhp
  • CAHA CBBB CEGA CAHA 168bhp
  • CFJB CFGC 174 bhp
  • CFCA 177bhp
  • CUNA 181bhp
  • CNHA 188bhp
  • CUAA (Bi Turbo) 236bhp

From 2015 we see the EA288 engine released as the VW group move on from the emissions scandal the 110 and 150 bhp models have smaller turbos, and you can replace the turbo and remap quite easily. They retain the BOSCH EDC17 C64 ECU and are more economical than the EA189 but it is too early to see any patterns of faults.

This design allows a range of EGR systems to be added to suit different market regulations.

The valve train system integrated valve drive module was used on the EA288.

  •  CVCA CRUA
  • CKYB, CRBB, CRBC, CRLB, CRVA and CRVC

The OEM fuel pumps are good for around 240bhp, upgrade them and the injectors if you go beyond this or risk the dreaded limp home mode.

Turbo upgrades for the EA288 and power range/target...

  • GTD2872VRK 340-400bhp
  • GTB2260VK 300bhp
  • GTB1756BK 220bhp
  • VNT17-22 Hybrid 210bhp
  • GT1749VB 200bhp

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. We will be including the EuroV compliant engines soon.

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Your Constructive comments on this article



40 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

    • Werner says:

      Nice article, usefull to know what engines have the siemens injectors.

      But a little more information about the oilpump/balance shaft issue would have been better. I’ll try to add some and maybe you can add it to the article.

      All PD engines placed in length have the balance shaft module, VW Passat, Audi A4/A6 and afaik the Skoda SuperB. Those engines have two problems, the chain tensioner that breaks and causing the balance shaft module to stop working including the oilpump. The second problem is in the module itself, how it drives the oilpump, 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. The 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 adressed. When failing oil pressure is 0 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 engines I know of that don’t use the balance shaft module are the 110HP 2.0 TDI(CBDC) and the 1.6 TDI serie (CAYC).

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

      So, if you buy any 2.0 check for availability of the balance shaft module and replace the damn thing. In the Netherlands such a replacement costs about 1000 euro’s including original VAG parts and labour. A lot of money to spend when you just bought a nice new car but it will save your engine. After this most of the engines except from a few very problematic ones will be really reliable.

      By the way, lot’s of people think all 1.9 TDI’s are more reliable, this is correct for some engine types but there are also really crappy ones. All later 105HP engines including Blue Motion are in most cases BXE or BLS engines, both have had a lot of issues with connecting-rods exploding out of the engine. So as mentioned above do your homework, if you buy the right type, maintain it nicely and have a bit of luck you can drive into eternity with these engines.

    • Doogie hamilton says:

      Shane my 170 a4 quattro is the same mate did you get any joy? I’ve been told new head and injectors as Audi never installed the injectors correcrtly under recall but it’s too late to claim them!

      • Richard says:

        If you live in the UK you have rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which amongst many rights entitles you to expect that any service is carried out with reasonable care and skill to the level of a competent tradesperson carrying out the same or similar work. What this means is that the Garage is liable and you can claim up to six years after the event provided you can show that the problem arose as a result of the work that was done.

  6. SAYLOR says:

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

  7. Rob says:

    I think my Turbo is shot, I want a direct replacement.

    I have mine tuned to 178 from 140 bhp, your article mentions the GTB2056VK Turbo, is this a direct replacement for the one that comes standard or will it need other parts in order to fit? Also will I need a retune if I fit this one too?

    I’m just looking for something a little stronger than the standard one as I’ve heard a lot of bad things and the whilstling noise I’m getting now doesn’t fill me with confidence.

  8. 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

  9. Gunnar Solvason says:

    I have head 03G 103 308 C on my car and it cracked
    Octavia 2.0tdi BKD 2007
    KIND REGARDS
    GUNNAR

  10. Craig says:

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

  11. 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.

      • Matt says:

        Amon/Todd

        How are you getting on with the BKD engine in what was a BKP engined car..?

        My timing tensioner stud has gone as it was not replaced by the garage last timing belt change, the result 2 holes in the block due to cam follower rollers shattering and making their way down to the sump.

        I am considering going the BKD route but wanted to know your thoughts before going and buying a replacement.

        Matt

  12. 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

  13. 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.

    • Jason says:

      Gaby: Almost all Chrysler group vehicles (Didge Journey included) are BKD.

  14. Elvis says:

    The thermostat of the DSG Gearbox is often broken so it cools the engine too and both never get warm but most car workshops only change the thermostat of the engine without success and forget the thermostat of the DSG Gearbox! The engine and the gearbox need the operating temperature and the DPF also cause without temperature the cleaning process doesn’t start!

  15. AllanL says:

    my BRE EGR cooler just blew up and totaled the engine. Since I have to get a new base engine + Turbo + EGR cooler and can only reuse my recently rebuilt injectors, then I was thinking whether it would be wise to upgrade the engine to its latest possible revision. I didn’t find any information about this, but is the BVG the newest engine in the BRE lineage and is it just a drop in replacement?

  16. Nicky Mann says:

    Where abouts are glow plugs located on vw golf mk5 gt please

    • TorqueCars says:

      Remove the plastic top cover, and timing belt outer cover. The take off the breather hose to the rocker and air intake pipe, take off the rocker cover (lifting up and to the right usually) then you’ll see a black plastic cable housing. Lift this off and you’ll have access to the glow plugs. It takes about an hour to change all 4.

  17. Andrew Stirton says:

    I drive a 2008 Seat Leon Fr170 with BMN engine, after I put full miktek, egr delete, panel filter and a remap it all went well until the dual mass flywheel went which I expected to happen. I fitted darkside single mass billet flywheel and clutch kit.withing a few days my OE plastic clutch bleed valve gave up the ghost so I replaced it with ECS metal non restricted bleed valve. On idle with SMF is sounds like someone has dropped a mechano set in my sump, need to keep the revs well above 1500rpm or it will splutter like mad and potentially snap crankshaft sue to vibrations. On the power and through gears it’s feels great and so direct BUT if I wasn’t planning to Gtb22 it I would never recommend fitting a SMF

  18. Nino Delrio says:

    Enjoyed reading through this article – thank for breaking it down in the way you have for those of us that are trying to learn and understand what does what on the induction side of modern VW diesel engines. Hope to catch more of your articles. Thank you – a pleasure!

  19. Archy says:

    Does CBBB 168bhp engine suffer from chronic injector issues like BMN 170 bhp did? Does CBBB have siemens injectors or bosch ones?

  20. john stewart says:

    When tuning the pd140 engine if u take it past the 235bhp the standard injectors have they can stretch so anybody looking to go past 240bhp should purchase stringer cylinder head bolts from ARP or dark side developments going past,240bhp on the standard studs will stretch and blow the engine up

  21. Neos says:

    Hi, 2006 Golf 140BKD with noisy flywheel, I’m looking at new dmf clutch kits, Where can I find the ‘high torque flywheel from Sachs’ which is mentioned in this article.
    Hope someone can help 🙂

  22. Fez says:

    Hi this is a fantastic summary and a brilliant article. I have just recently bought a58 plate audi a3. It is a 2.0 tdi, 170 bhp with 55k miles. My concern is safety as I have read on multiple forums that the injectors are a common fault on these cars. And when and if they do go you lose all power. That to me is very dangererous situation to be in. Just got the cambelt and service by audi. What is your opinion of this, should be concerned or is there a way to fix this without costing too much. Or should I even be concerned. I would really really appreciate if I can have any ideas or advice in relation to this. Thx

  23. Felix Duro says:

    i have a bkd engine that has been remapped and l want a bigger turbo from a bmn engine. are turbos same fits or there will be need to customise

  24. Sohail says:

    Nice page with plenty of useful info. However there is little to no info on tuning the lower power 110bhp engines (in my case the cbdc engine). Please add some info regarding power and torque limits ect. Is it also possible to swap out the 110bhp engine for the 140/170bhp engines? Please add as much details regarding the lower powered 2.0 tdi engines as possible. Thanks.

  25. Phil says:

    Dear TC, excellent review of the VAG TDI engines. Regarding the Balance Shaft Module used for the oil pump, as you said in the article above there is the option to do a ‘balance shaft module Delete kit’ replacing the bsm with a standard chain drive oil pump which I think is found in the CJAA engine – so using standard VAG parts for the job.
    PS can you put reader reponses in order of newest first

  26. Barry Campbell says:

    WILL A BMN 170 ENGINE FIT INTO A BRE?

  27. Richard says:

    Hi,

    I contacted you already with my thoughts on this article but you were too busy to get back to me with your thoughts in response. I think its a great article but now needs filling in more specifically for the post 2010 engines. I like the way you have sectioned it by engine type so it is easy to see what sort of things to look at or consider when buying.

    • TorqueCars says:

      Hi Richard, I had replied to your email some time ago and I have just updated this article with some of the newer engines. Please bear in mind that I am just one guy, running this site as a hobby. It doesn’t even make a profit! Please feel free to pass on any tips, observations or pointers you have so I can include them in this article.






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