EA888 Tuning Mods for the 1.8TSi 1.8TFSi 2.0TSI 2.0TFSI engines

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EA888 engine came as a 1.8T and 2.0T. Stock power ranges from  118 bhp to  299 bhp! This engine replaced the EA113 1.8T and evolved the design.

Bewary of engine codes, the EA113 was still used in some models up to 2016 and beyond.

The 1.8 and 2.0 share the same EA888 block design, the differences are the parts bolted on to the block, and the internal components such as the crank and pistons. There are currently 3 revisions with the Gen 3 being quite a different beast in many ways.

The direct injection was later supplemented (3rd gen) with port fuel injection to reduce carbon build up issues present on early direct injection engines, and to aid cold starts.

We look at EA888 (1.8TSi 1.8TFSi 2.0TSI 2.0TFSI) tuning and report on the best modifications. Audi EA888s great bases for a tuning project and with a few sensible modified upgrades you can greatly increase your driving fun.

The EA888 can be easily tuned and we recommend you tune/remap this and invest in a better turbocharger for significant power gains.

Please watch our video which provides a good introduction to VW 1.8  & 2.0 TFSi tuning. Be sure to keep up with our latest YouTube content and subscribe.

History, Power & Specs of the EA888 Engine

Let's look at the specs and engine codes for the EA888 engines, there were 3 generations, and the 3rd gen is quite a different beast from the former two. Many of the issues have been resolved and it requires a little specialist knowledge if you are getting it tuned/remapped or tuned.

Differences between the EA113 and EA888

  • EA888 uses a vacuum operated intake system on the manifold flaps. The EA113 had motorised flaps
  • EA888 Redesigned MAF & airbox
  • EA888 had different coils
  • EA888 If the PCV blows the weaker crank seal is prone to leak causing high oil consumption.
  • EA888 Boasts dual VCP variable cam phasing on exhaust and intake. Intake only on the EA113.
  • EA888 uses a chain. EA113 was belt driven, with a chain between the exhaust and inlet camshafts.
  • EA888 sports a plastic sump lighter but more fragile than the EA113 alloy.
  • EA888 utilized a roller follower on the high pressure fuel pump. The earlier EA113 uses a tappet setup for this.

The VAG group almost randomly decided which models should have which generation of engines, so there are no cut off dates where the Gen 3 was used in place of the Gen 2.


1st Generation EA888 Gen1

BYT BZB - although based on the EA113 this is a new engine design. It used a Bosch Motronic MED 17.5 ECU - the CABA, CABB, CABD had a variable oil pump and FSI injection production ran for around a year before it was revised in 2008. BorgWarner KKK K03 & the trusty K04 turbo was fitted to these.

2nd Generation EA888 Gen2

CDAA CDHA CDHB - this revision saw a steel crankshaft and new pistons, the mapping was altered and production ran to around 2015.

3rd Generation EA888 Gen3

CJEB CJEE CJED CJSA CPKA CPRA - quattro had CJSB  this version was released in 2011, so overlapped with the 2nd generation, but was installed first on Audi models, then other VAG group cars. This generation typically came with the IHI IS12 turbocharger.

This version saw quite a few revisions and updates, carbon issues were dealt with by adding some port injection. The new pistons conrod and timing chain will address reliability criticisms of earlier engines. The Cams had variable lift in two stages much like the Honda Vtec system, resulting in better fuel economy and potential for power gains when tuned further.

1.8TSi TFSi


  • 118 bhp at 4,000–6,200 rpm; 170 lbft @1,500–3,650rpm
    Audi A4 (B8), SEAT Exeo
  • 158 bhp at 4,500–6,200 rpm; 184 lbft @1,500–4,500 rpm, 122 lbft from 1,000 rpm
    SkodaYeti, SEAT Leon Mk2 (1P)
  • 150 bhp at 4,300–6,200 rpm; 184 lbft @1,500–4,200 rpm, 122 lbft from 1,000 rpm
  • 158 bhp at 4,500–6,200 rpm; 184 lbft @1,500–4,500 rpm
    Audi A4 (B8), Audi A3 Mk2 (8P), Audi TT Mk2 (8J), SEAT Exeo
  • 168 bhp at 4,800–6,200 rpm; 184 lbft @1,750–4,750 rpm
    CPKA, CPRA (from 2014)
    VW USA-Passat B7 (NMS)
  • 168 bhp at 4,800–6,200 rpm; 184 lbft @1,500–4,800 rpm
    Audi A5
  • 168 bhp at 3,800–6,200 rpm; 236 lbft @1,400–3,700 rpm
    Audi A4 (B8) (2012–), Audi A5
  •  177 bhp at 5,100–6,200 rpm; 184 lbft @1,250–5,000 rpm
    CJSA (EA888-Gen3)
    Audi TT (FV/8S) (2014–)


1st Generation

CAWA CBFA CAWB CCTB  with the KKK K03 turbocharger offering 8.75 Psi managed by Bosch Motronic MED 17.5 the CA-- engines were Euro IV, the CA-- units were ULEV2 and the CCTA was produced to meet the California SULEV requirements with 3 lambda probe sensors.

2nd Generation

Released in 2008 it followed the improvements fitted to the 1.8 units AVS (2 stage valve lift control) was used on Audi engines notably the CCZA, CCZB, CCZC and CCZD engines. The CDNC engine met Euro V standards and for ULEV 2 we have the CAEB unit.

3rd Generation

An major design overhaul, with efficiency and weight reduction in mind. The Cylinder head design is all new but AVS is still there for the intake valves. A second intake injector was used to reduce carbon build up on the valves. We had the IHI IS20 turbo and some units used the Garrett MGT 1752S (CULA CULV CULC CPLA CPPA)

The SIMOS 18.1 Seimens ECU was used on these and helped to meet the Euro VI emissions regulations.

CJX designations denote a performance engine with difference heat port shapes, better injectors and fuel pump so will make for better return in your tuning project, or can be used to donate performance parts to your project. IHI IS38 was the turbo used on these at 17.5psi and a larger intercooler helped peak power.

Audi variants have two-stage "valvelift" inlet valve lift variable control


NB: The US market models are different to allow for tight emissions regs and a higher output on the "b" version.

Non-valvelift variants

  • 168 bhp at 4,300–6,000 rpm; (207 lbft) @1,700–5,000 rpm
    VW Tiguan
  • 168 bhp at 4,300–6,200 rpm; (207 lbft) @1,700–4,200 rpm
    Audi Q3, transverse, VW Tiguan
  •  177 bhp at 4,500–6,200 rpm; (207 lbft) @1,700–4,500 rpm
    VW Tiguan
  • 197 bhp at 5,100–6,000 rpm; (207 lbft) @1,800–5,000 rpm
    2009 VW Golf Mk5 GTI (US only), Golf Mk6 GTI (US only), Audi Q3 (US Only), Jetta Mk5,  Jetta Mk6,  Passat B6, CC, Audi A3 (8P)
  • 197 bhp at 5,100–6,000 rpm; (207 lbft) @1,700–5,000 rpm
    Audi A3 Cabriolet, Scirocco, Tiguan,
    Audi TT, Skoda Superb Mk2 (3T), Skoda Octavia
  • 197 bhp at 5,000–6,000 rpm; (207 lbft) @1,800–5,000 rpm
    China market only; VW Golf Mk6 GTI, Tiguan, Magotan (Passat)
  • 208 bhp at 5,000–6,200 rpm; (221 lbft) @1,800–4,900 rpm
    Audi Q3, transverse
  • 208 bhp at 5,300–6,200 rpm; (207 lbft) @1,700–5,200 rpm
    VW Golf Mk6 GTI, VW Scirocco, Tiguan, CC, SEAT Altea Freetrack, Leon FR

Valvelift variants EA888 Gen3

  • 177 bhp at 4,200–6,000 rpm; (236 lbft) @1,500–4,000 rpm
    Audi A4 (B8), Audi Q5, Skoda Kodiaq
  • 208 bhp at 4,300–6,000 rpm; (260 lbft) @1,500–4,200 rpm
    Audi A4 (B8), Audi A5, Audi Q5, SEAT Exeo
  • 208 bhp at 4,300–6,000 rpm; (258 lbft) @1,600–4,200 rpm
    Audi TT Mk2 (8J), transverse
  • 217 bhp at 4,500–6,200 rpm; (258 lbft) @1,500–4,400 rpm
    Audi A3, Skoda Superb, Skoda Octavia RS, VW Tiguan, Golf Vii GTI
  • CULC
    VW Scirocco GTS
  • 221 bhp at 4,500–6,250 rpm; (258 lbft) @1,500–4,500 rpm
    Audi Q5
  • 227 bhp at 4,700–6,200 rpm; (258 lbft) @1,500–4,600 rpm
    VW Golf Vii GTI Performance, etta Vii GLI, Skoda Octavia RS230
  • 241 bhp at 4,700–6,200 rpm; (273 lbft) @1,600–4,300 rpm
    SkodaOctavia RS245
  • 261 bhp at 5,350–6,600 rpm; (258 lbft) @1,750–5,300 rpm
    Volkswagen Golf Vii GTI Clubsport, SEAT Leon Cupra
  • 276 bhp at 5,100–6,500 rpm; (280 lbft) @1,800–5,500 rpm
    SEAT Leon Cupra, Skoda Superb. (Audi S3 and VW Golf Vii R in some markets)
  • 286 bhp at 5,900–6,400 rpm; (258 lbft) @1,700–5,800 rpm
    SEAT Leon Cupra
  • 288 bhp at 5,400 rpm; (280 lbft) @1,800 rpm
    VW Golf Vii R in North America No MPI)
  • 296 bhp at 5,500–6,200 rpm; (280 lbft) @1,800–5,500 rpm
    Audi S3, VW Golf Vii R (Europe), SEAT Leon Cupra
  • 306 bhp; (280 lbft)
    Audi TTS

At the time of writing there were 3 generations of the EA888 engine where the latest had a lower compression ratio, head and valves were upgraded along with the camshaft profile and cooling.

This makes the 3rd gen the tuners choice, although other versions also offer much in the way of gains so let's look at some of the mods we can do for the EA888 engines.

Best 1.8TSi TFSi 2.0T  TSI TFSI tuning mods

The ultimate tuning parts on an engine are in our opinion the ones that give the best power gain for you spend.

We won't be swayed by popular EA888 tuning parts, they need to be cost effective.

Significant gains can be made from cam upgrades. Altering the cam profile alters the intake and exhaust durations on the engine and can dramatically change the power band and power output.

Fast road cams tend to boost the power throughout the rev range on the 1.8TSi TFSi 2.0T  TSI TFSI engines but you may sacrifice a little low end bhp although the high end rpm power will be lifted.

Competition cams, boost the high end rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

On a daily driver should ideally to match your bhp range to your usage of the car.

I'd be surprised if you have found a Motorsport and race cam is a pleasure to live with when driving in heavy traffic. The low end idle will be very lumpy and irregular, so something you would notice on a track when you drive in the upper third of the rpm band, but on roads this is a serious issue and we've heard from lots of drivers lamenting their decision to add an extreme competition cam profile to their engine.

Each engine responds better to more aggressive cam durations so view each engine as unique.

The ECU mapping and fuelling also have a large bearing on the bhp gains you'll hit.

Altering valve durations can alter the bhp band and on most engines the exhaust and intake durations do not need to match, although most cams and tuners use matched pairs there are some advantages to extending the intake or exhaust durations.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your car. Be sure to keep up with our latest YouTube content and subscribe.

Best Engine Mods for your EA888

  1. Mapping - engine tuning/remapping provides the most advantage in terms of cost savings,  aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  2. Upgrades to EA888 turbochargers - forced induction is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. It is one of the most costly upgrades but provides the best gains.
  3. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they're doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
  4. Intake and Exhaust - Note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction improving filters and catalyst flow are key areas.
  5. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence, VAG group did a decent job with this so it's considered optional if you want to extract every extra pony of power.

Tuning Notes (Clutch & Flywheels)

If you increase the capacity of the turbo, fit a bigger intercooler, and address the fueling, you may well get up to the 350 400 brake horsepower regions, which is certainly a nice target if you wanted a serious track day car, but you're going to have traction issues if you've got a front wheel drive model.

If your car is only front-wheel drive, we would focus on keeping power to around 200 220 horsepower.

Anything more than that loses forward momentum as the wheels just spin up on the EA888. When it comes to more complex mods, we should start thinking about the clutch. We typically see those slipping when you've increased your power by about 30 to 40%.

It depends a lot on model to model and how well the car has been cared for, as well as the condition of the clutch.

We would definitely recommend getting an upgraded clutch; we have clutch videos; and I did go too far with one of my cars and had a lot of problems with the clutch; it was just too heavy in operation; it broke no end of clutch cables; and I wish I'd just chosen a more sensible midway option between the full race spec and a road clutch; and there are options available.

If you're tinkering with the clutch, you may as well consider the flywheel.

Changing the flywheel, which is a large mass that lies between the engine, the clutch, and the gearbox and stores kinetic energy as the engine turns.

Making it a little lighter will just allow the vehicle to rev more freely; it will not boost power, but it will lower weight overall, which is always a good thing.

EA888 Tuning stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: drilled & smoothed airbox, Intake manifolds, Fast road camshaft, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Sports exhaust header/manifold, Panel air filters.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Fast road cam, high flow fuel injectors, fuel pump upgrades, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, induction kit, Ported and polished head.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Competition cam, Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves), Twin charging conversions, Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Engine balancing & blueprinting.

The 1.8T TSi/TFSi 2.0T  TSI/TFSIengines are great to work on and thankfully there are quite a few choices of mods and performance parts out there.

ECU mapping allows a tuner to fully realize the full potential of all the parts you've fitted to your EA888.

Power Limits on the Stock EA888

There are weak spots for every engine, with some being incredibly solid and some only just able to handle stock power

Discover these restrictions and install better pistons and crank to utilize the power.

Generally speaking the 2.0TFSi internals are good for around 350bhp, the con rods are typical weak spots, but there are quality forged parts around for these engines that help you to lift the potential for power.

At 400bhp the cranks bolts typically reach the limits of their strength and we would recommend an ARP bolt is fitted. The main bearing supports are cast so if you want to push power beyond the 500bhp levels we would recommend high strength billet supports made from a quality steel along with a better bearing girdle, the key aim here is to reduce points of friction/wear and heat.

The stock ECU is generally replaced around 400-500bhp and we see many people going for the  Syvecs ECU which takes you to the next level in your TFSi tuning project.

Later engines seemed to have a 23mm piston pin, against the early ones 20mm, so this is a common issue when buying aftermarket upgrades, you must get the correct size. TorqueCars would recommend you replace the con rod and piston in one go affording an opportunity to match these and negating the need for future strip down and rebuilding.

Intake Mods

Getting air into each cylinder is the main goal to any engine modification task as this means you can burn more fuel, and the more fuel you can burn the greater the power you'll achieve.

Your intake manifold will direct the air during the suck phase from the filter and allow it to be sucked into the engine and mixed with fuel.

Structure and flow characteristics of the Intake manifold can make a big improvement to fuel delivery on the EA888.

Many mass produced engine intake manifolds are ripe for aftermarket tuning parts, although a few car makers provide reasonably well designed intake manifolds and the EA888 is a case in point here.

Getting those channels going into the engine and opening up the valves doing a four or five angle valve job can really aid the fuel atomization and really help you to just pick out the maximum performance from the car but obviously if you really want the high performance from the engine and really to achieve its full potential.

More importantly head work will make space for an improved performance increase on other upgrades fully unleashing the power gains.

1.8T TSi-TFSi 2.0T  TSI-TFSI Turbo upgrades

The more air to get into an engine, the more fuel it can burn and uprating the induction with a turbocharger upgrade makes massive power gains.

On the early EA888 engines one popular, simple upgrade that will enhance your vehicle's performance is the CTS turbo muffler delete. By ditching the restrictive, power-sapping OEM Turbo Muffler, intended to mask turbocharger noise (which many people would prefer to hear anyway).

Eliminating this bottleneck unlocks around a 6-7HP boost so not massive gains but it also enhances throttle responsiveness, unleashing the true potential of your engine.

When a car has forced induction upgrades are giving better power gains and you'll see that turbo engines will have more solid components.

If you uprate the turbo 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 TTE480 is basically a hybrid turbo based on the KO4 with Borg Warner K04-064 internals, also, most ancillary parts also get upgraded, so gives a nice easy power hike and is quite a popular option for most TFsi projects.

The GT45 and GT35 or GTX35 should get you over the 500bhp regions, but look at the power band and lag, the GT45 is quite laggy but does give bigger top end power, so it depends what you are looking for.

EA888 Remapping

You'll gain around 59bhp with a tune/remap alone on the EA888, depending on which version you have.

A tune/remap and exhaust upgrades can push these power gains to around +90hp on most EA888 blocks.

It will usually give you around 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles your mileage will vary depending on the parts you've done and the condition of your engine.

What engine tuning/remapping really does within the car's computer is modify the map that regulates the amount of air, fuel, timing, and boost, and all of these things operate in tandem with what the engine is doing whether it's under load or not.

The Volkswagen Audi group, for example, sought to guarantee that the automobile worked effectively in many various locations with many different fuel grades, and they had to keep in mind that people don't always care after their engines.

The manufacturer's standard maps have a large margin of error; they normally have one map that works in all areas for all climates and assumes a rather low quality of upkeep.

By modifying this you can tighten up the way it works and,  the EA888  will be able to burn more gasoline as you deliver more air and sharpen the ignition timing, allowing you to produce more power.

If you're willing to maintain your vehicle and keep it in good shape, a tune/remap is a terrific option to unleash more power. If that's the only mod you do, it is certainly worth it. In fact we strongly suggest you have the car tuned/remapped since it's quite a huge power bump for a relatively modest outlay.

You may also get over boost problems, which occur when the ecu detects an abnormally large quantity of air entering the engine as a result of swapping out the turbo and other engine components, and the engine enters limp home mode. This is more typical if a bigger turbo is fitted, but the tune/remap can address this problem.

When tuning the EA888, make sure that the ecu is set up properly for the mods you have installed so that it's delivering enough fuel and that the timing is perfect for the air that's going into the engine.

KO4 turbo upgrades work quite well although you'll need to revise the casing to fit the EA888, this should see you to around 360hp.

K03s Remapping

With a Stage 1 (Air filter, exhaust, bolt on mods) Remapping, expect to have power in the range of 210 to 220 bhp with your K03s turbo.

K04 Remapping

The K04 turbo has a peak power of around 250 to 260 bhp with Stage 1 modifications but we have seen some achieve higher figures than this.

Safe power limits for the K03 & K04

Turbo limits - safe should retain factory reliability and longevity, the Max however is pushing to the limits and will certainly shorten the turbos lifespan.

Turbo Tuned Safe Max Tuned Maximum
K03 190hp 220hp
K03s 215hp 250hp
K04 220hp 350hp

Limits on Power

With a few tweaks Re-mapping of K03s 210 to 220 horsepower is what you can anticipate from your K03 turbo with a Stage 1 Remapping (Air filter, exhaust, bolt on modifications).

However, Stage 2 Remapping (cat replacements, fueling enhancements, and intercooler upgrades) may generate power that ranges from 230 bhp to 250 bhp, depending on the modifications but this may well reduce the life of the turbo.

Be aware of the fact that an intercooler is necessary for Stage 2 engine tuning/remapping in order to decrease the air temperature, otherwise you'll be limited to a lower power output.

K03 replacements

If you want to upgrade the stock K03 on your vehicle, some examples to consider include the following but please note there are differences between the design of inline and transversely mounted engines turbos, so don't get them confused:

  • Stigan 847-1001 having SKU 40-30002 SG
  • BorgWarner 53039880029 having SKU 40-30002 BW

K04 Replacements 

We have seen the following kits used to good effect.

  • TTE420
  • TTE480
  • EFR7164

It's not unheard of mechanics spending a loads of money on turbocharger upgrades on the EA888 only to experience the car throw a rod when it's been completed.

Large upgraded turbo units will usually experience low end lag, and smaller turbo units spool up more quickly but do not have the peak rpm power band gains.

Newer IHI turbos on the EA888

The IHI turbo fitted is pretty good, and with just a tune/remap yields decent power gains. Read our comprehensive guide to VAG group turbochargers.

The most recent VAG turbocharger generations IHI IS12, IS20, and IS38 turbochargers, replace the K03, K03s, and K04 turbochargers and outperform them in most areas.

The IS38 is a great Turbocharger

The IS38 is notable since it is a bolt-on turbocharger capable of producing up to 370 horsepower (with the proper add-ons). Due to its exceptional dependability, it is a highly sought-after turbo from IHI.

The Benefits Of IS38 Turbochargers

This turbocharger has the considerable benefit of being factory fitted in a number of cars, including the VW Golf R, VW Arteon, Audi S3, and TTS.

As a consequence, the IS38 is a good alternative for anyone looking for a solid solution that delivers on performance and durability.

Among the IS38's other remarkable characteristics are the following:

  • High turbo output at higher RPMs;
  • Because to its bolt-on form, it is a reasonably simple turbo to install.
  • There are several hybrid variants available with enhanced housing and impeller designs that lead to increased performance numbers.

A High-Performance Alternative to IS12 and IS20

Due to the improved performance, many automobile enthusiasts have opted to replace their IS12 and IS20 turbo engines with the newer IS38 which is a fairly easy upgrade, and with the right mapping can make significant power gains.

We are pleased that the world of turbos is always developing and we now see variable vane turbos, permitting the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp.

Twin scroll turbos divert the exhaust gases into two channels and flow these at differently angled vanes in the turbo charger. They also boost the scavenging effect of the engine.

You'll commonly see there is a restriction in the air flow sensor AFM/MAP on these engines when a lot more air is being sucked into the engine.

You'll see that 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting power at a much lower level.

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large power gains, although harder to get working. We have a twincharger power adding guide if you want to read more.

N75 Valve - what it does?

The n75 valve may frequently fail which affects boost, especially if you've tuned the vehicle and the engine is generating more power and the turbo is working much harder than it used to where weaknesses in the N75 will show up.

What does the n75 valve do besides regulating the wastegate?

The n75 valve is neither a blow-off or dump valve; it simply controls the opening and shutting of the turbo's wastegate.

A flow of air is guided to the top on the turbo wastegate by an actuator rod connected to the n75 valve. This pushes the diaphragm and forces the actuator rod to opening the flow to the turbo's exhaust intake.

When boost becomes lumpy or irregular, or if you're experiencing boost problems, it's most likely due to a faulty n75 valve. Swapping out the n75 valve is a relatively simple job, and there are performance alternatives available that last longer and perform better, giving you smoother and faster operation than the factory stock n75 valve.

In a tuned engine, it's certainly worth considering upgrading the n75 valve given the work that it does and the vital role that it plays within the engine. On the top of the n75 valve, there's a small screw that you can use for adjustment. I've seen some of these come with a locked screw thread just to prevent people from tampering with it, but by making adjustments, you can change the valve's characteristics.

When you have more boost, the power delivery is not as smooth; it's more of an on/off event.

You may hear about the N75 mod, or N75 tweak, which is in our opinion debatable. The ECU controls the flow of the wastegate, and will back off or increase if it detects "out of the norm flows".

Adjustment is really just for the suddeness of the valves operation, it doesn't provide more boost, as the ECU will eventually trim the flow to what it expects it should be.

It's set somewhere in the middle as a baseline if you turn it to the left you'll get more boost going to the waist gate sooner but you'll get power spikes as the n75 valve opens and closes. Turn it to the right and the valves opening is more gradual and boost will be more progressive.

Some people swap the n75 for a n18 valve but in my opinion you're just better off sourcing a performance version of the n75 when you're upping the power this much it certainly makes sense to look at the fueling of the engine

They're capable of giving more gasoline than you really need, which helps you deal with the engine as it ages as those fuel injectors deteriorate, and it simply keeps you from hitting flat spots if you had a sudden surge of power and required that additional little bit of fuel.

Intercooler Upgrades

Upgrading the intercooler isn't exactly a power mod for the EA888, but most of the vehicles came with rather tiny intercoolers, and as they warm up, they become less efficient at cooling the air coming from the turbo and flowing into the engine.

We call this heat soak, and it's a fairly common problem with intercoolers. It doesn't affect most everyday drivers because they don't use the high rpm range, but I know a lot of you will be using the high rpm range most of the time, and you may notice a slight loss of power as the intercooler warms up.

A bigger front-mounted intercooler will undoubtedly aid in power retention for longer periods of time.

When you have a turbo compressing air into an engine, you get a lot of heat buildup, and the intercooler is basically a radiator that allows the compressed air that's become very hot to be exposed to the flow of air coming into the car from the ambient temperatures around and that drops the temperature back down, and that makes quite a significant difference to performance.

If you can lower the temperature of the intake charge, you'll be able to carry more oxygen, burn more fuel, and make more power.

Don't think of an intercooler as a mod that adds power to your engine; it's just something there to keep the power levels as they were originally designed, and as the intercooler does its job, it actually starts to get warmer, which we call heat soak.

It's fair to say that most factory cars come with very limited intercoolers the capacity within them is fairly adequate for your everyday driving there's normally a very good argument for fitting an uprated intercooler to the factory one it's normally much larger in size than aftermarket ones and they're best mounted at the front which sometimes necessitates modification of the front bumper.

It's certainly something worth considering, and if you don't do a lot of spirited driving and aren't heating up the intercooler, you don't really need an aftermarket intercooler, but if you've added a bigger turbo and there's a lot more compression going on, it certainly makes sense to upgrade the intercooler, and there's quite a few aftermarket options around that work really really well certainly a lot better than the factory standard ones.

Fuelling Upgrades

You will need to ensure that the EA888 1.8 2.0 TFSi engine is not starved of fuel so should ramp up the fuelling when you start extending past 20% of a performance increase.

It makes sense to be generous with your injectors flow rate especially on the TFSi engines, and the newer 5 hole injectors are the preferred option.

The stock TFSi fuel can deliver 440 to 1,600 psi of fuel pressure, which is quite impressive and it means you have plenty of headroom for tuning mods.

Although high performance TFSi injectors are rare, we have discovered that GM LNF 2 Ecotoec injectors can be made to work well (with a custom wiring harness), give a better flow and help you get around 260bhp.

The cars that come with a KO4 turbo ie: RS4 TTS  S3 etc have better Bosch injectors and are also reportedly able to flow to around 500hp as long as you uprate the fuel rail pressure.

Any change to the injectors on a TFSi will require a new map to take them into account.

It makes sense to over specify your injector capacity and fuel pump, although this is harder on the direct injection engines, but aftermarket parts makers are catching up.

On the later EA888 you have supplementary port injected fuel and with some clever ECU mods you can uprate these and use this to top up the capacity.

Upgraded port injectors are available as a kit, and can help you with projects where you are aiming for the 700bhp mark.

As a rule of thumb add 20% capacity when buying an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and affords some spare capacity should the engine require more fuel.

EA888 Exhaust Mods

You should look to increase your exhaust bore size if the current exhaust is actually creating a restriction or at the very least at a sports catalyst.

On most factory exhausts you'll see that they flow rate quite well, even on modest power gains, but when you start pushing up the power levels you will need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Sports exhausts can help increase the flow of gases through the engine.

But if the exhaust pipe is too big, ie: it's over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose much of the exhaust flow rate and end up sapping power and torque.

Typically exhaust restrictions are traced to the catalyst installed, so adding a freer flowing high performance aftermarket one will improve air flow, and rather than doing an illegal decat, will keep the car road legal.

Weak spots Issues & problem areas on the EA888

The EA888 engines are generally reliable and solid units, as long as you follow the manufacturers service schedules, and use a good quality oil to ensure longevity. Few problems should happen as long as they are regularly serviced and maintained.

Carbon build up in the head, particularly around the valves which will sap power or create flat spots, this is a larger issue on direct injection engines but should be looked out for on all engines. We have tips on removing carbon build up.

Some of our members have had issues with flat spots or glitches after applying mods and upgrades or tuning, this is not usually related to this engines design, so instead see our article on diagnosing flat spots and problems after tuning which should help you get the bottom of this issue.

Pre 2015 engines were prone to experience early turbocharger failure:
The 280 and 300ps (typically as seen on the CJXB, CJXC) turbocharger shafts have been prone to break due to excessive play, and also there is an issue where the manifold seals can fail. This issue appears to be fixed on later 2015 onwards models.

On the Golf R and GTi 2007 we have reports of thermostat housings which have leak issues, the Aluminum replacements seems to be much more resilient than the OEM plastic originals.

Regular oil changes are vital on the EA888, especially when tuned and will help extend the life and reliability of the engine.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your Audi engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss EA888 tuning options in more detail with our EA888 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Audi tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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6 Responses to “1.8TSi/TFSi 2.0TSI/TFSI EA888 Tuning”

  1. ashley david hendy says:

    good article
    just the stock cupra 300 turbo chargers have weak shafts don’t spool too quick or they snap
    looking for the upgrade turbo as been through three new shafts same problems


    I have an A4 2014 IS12 turbocharger and I’m thinking in replace with IS20 of A4 2014 2.0 TFSI. I believe it will be plug and play, only requesting remap. Can you confirm it’s same fittings to both? I’m afraid to buy and do not fit properly.

  3. TorqueCars says:

    Everything I can find says it is a straight swap just make sure you don’t switch between an inline and transverse engine turbo though. Some recommend a better flowing downpipe. Swap the plugs out for slightly cooler ones and get it mapped. Clutch is likely to need replacing also at these power figures.

  4. kc says:

    upgraded to a 2023 Tiquan SE after 20 years in a truck. I learned more about tuning in 45 minutes from your videos than imaginable. Straight forward no b.s. from Wayne. Top notch info, and a common sense approach.
    Thank You Very much.
    kc Green mtns VT

  5. Roland says:

    Awesome rundown!
    Totally agree with “kc”!
    Just what I needed to find for my first “turbo project”

    Workin on a strategy to get BZB engine to about 250hp.
    (Budget still unknown)

    Learning @high speed from your channel and site.
    Joining forum now!

    Keep it up!

  6. Brian says:

    are u able to use the 3rd gen ea888 head off a golf r and put it on a ea888 1.8t block? reason being the ea888 2.0t has adjustable cam timing intake and exhaust while the 1.8t is only adjustable intake cam side no exhaust cam timing , so by placing the 2.0t head on top of the eu888 1.8t block now i can spool my big turbo faster , has anyone done this will changing the head even work?

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