Faults and problems with the 2.0 TDI engines.

"Everything you need to know about the 2.0TDI vag group engine"

Let's look at some of the typical problems and faults that often crop up. We are not implying that these are unreliable engines, they are extremely good, but there are a few things you need to be aware of if you are looking to buy one.

Hopefully this article will also help you to diagnose the faults and problems before they become expensive.

2.0TDi Injector faults

The early Siemens piezo injectors on the 170 had a fault, and would simply fail causing the engine to go off. Most of them have been recalled or replaced already so it shouldn't be a problem anymore.

Carbon build up issues and problems in the 2.0TDi

The second widely mentioned concern is that of carbon build up on the valves induced by the direct injection. Although it is a typical problem with engines of this sort the 2.0TDi's bigger siblings, the V6 and V8 engines are more prone owing to their lower RPM characteristics.

The carbon build up occurs because the diesel is not being pumped over the valves and this would ensure the valves stay nice and clean. When the engine is cold the unburned particles are discharged back into the intake, and it is these that muck up the intake.

So avoiding short travel times and making sure the engine comes up to working temperature as early as feasible can avert this problem. After 70,000 miles a decoke is advised, it depends on the type of driving you do, however.

Adding BG244 to the fuel once a year will maintain the engine, injectors, and exhaust nice and clean but it won't clean the intake valves. With the remainder of the engine functioning properly the carbon build-up is greatly minimized.

A comprehensive BG intake clean done by an expert with the necessary equipment will do a superb job of regaining lost performance. If you are not producing the power numbers you anticipate then you are undoubtedly suffering from this problem especially if you have a lot of miles clocked up.

2.0TDi DPF problems and issues

There are numerous stories of DPF difficulties needing a dealer regen. If you drive it hot, travel long distances, and use good grade gasoline you should have no trouble at all.

Most of the 140hp models did not have DPF's installed, until the Euro V emissions regulations came in.

However, if you undertake lots of short journeys then you are best recommended to go for a long blast at high rpms regularly or look into removal of the DPF* or buy a non DPF model. (*removal of the DPF is not authorized in certain countries.)

NB: EGR removal has been promoted to reduce this issue, but TorqueCars opinion is that the benefits are far outweighed by the problems and your warm up cycle will be much longer.

2.0TDi Fan controller issues

There are also instances of a malfunctioning fan controller where fan doesn't turn off, gradually exhausting the battery and possibly burning out the fan.

2.0TDi Flywheel problems and lumpy idle

The 2.0 engines have a lumpy idle especially on a downward slope, which is something you normally have to deal with. However a defective DMF, Injector failures, or difficulties with the EGR flow rate may potentially create a highly bumpy idle or misfire in which case get this addressed and sorted ASAP. (Don't go single mass though.)

DMFs are fairly weak and will often fail. If yours should go we would propose obtaining a high torque DMF flywheel from Sachs since the price is the same and they are significantly stronger.

Oil pump gear problems in the BKP 2.0TDi

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

Balancing shaft & chain tensioner problems

Most longitudinal PD engines contain the balancing shaft module.

Those engines suffer from two difficulties, the chain tensioner that fails and causes the balancing shaft module to cease operating including the oil pump.

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

VAG has attempted to tackle both concerns, by replacing the chain with gears, which appears to be a working solution.

They also improved the size of the hexagon so it should be stronger and it is, it’s now falling after more miles. Still, a very significant issue that needs to be addressed.

When failing the oil pressure drops immediately and the engine breaks beyond repair.

The final problem, the hexagon, is still present in later CR engines, although this time not only in the Passat, A4/A6, and Superb. The only engine we are aware of that doesn’t employ the balancing shaft module is the 110HP 2.0 TDI(CBDC) (CBDC).

Luckily enough there is a remedy, for the PD and CR engines. It is substituting the balancing shaft module with 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 perfect.

EA288 engines have been upgraded and we have not (yet) been made aware of a recurrence of this problem.

2.0TDi Cylinder Head Cracking on early EA188 units.

There is a reference number to the right of the cylinder head behind the fuel lines 03G 103 351 B or 03G 103 308 B. Look closely at the letter at the end of this. If you have A you are nearly guaranteed to have a broken cylinder head.

The B is a bit stronger but a handful of them have still broken. C is the one to go for and there are very few if any complaints of cylinder heads splitting.

Keep a careful check on engines with the A or B codes, especially if there are any problems or concerns occurring.

This does not seem to be a problem with the EA288 units.

If you are interested in the best mods and upgrades for your 2.0 TDI read our 2.0 TDI comprehensive tuning article to see which upgrades and mods work best on your engine.

To discuss any points raised in this article please join our forum, and if we've missed out any points please drop us a message in the box below so we can add it to the article for our readers.

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