Audi/VW 2.0 engines

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by CodeMonkee, Jan 23, 2019.

  1. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

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    If you are thinking about buying an Audi or VW with the 2.0 liter T engine, especially if it is a 2009-2011 model year, I recommend you do some intensive research into all the problems that these engines have had.

    This last year, I wanted to get my daughter a good dependable AWD car for her daily driver. It came down to either a BMW or an Audi. My budget was $15K so it would be used. I have liked and had good luck with Bimmers - I like my X1, but finding one that was in good shape for that price was hard - most were sold by the time we got to the dealership. There were a number of Audi Q5s around within my budget, but I should have been more diligent about research and patient.

    Come to find out that there are a lot of problems with the 2.0 T engine in Audis and VWs. We test drove a 2011 Q5 at a dealership twice. Seemed to run and drive fine. It had a recent service before being being put on the lot, so we thought if there were problems it would have been detected then. We were wrong.

    A couple of weeks after getting it (Just after Thanksgiving) dash lights started coming on. Long story short, this vehicle had the dreaded piston/ring design issues of the 2009-2011 year models. It took a while - she just got it back last night, but the dealership did right by us and got it fixed for $50 (it was under a 1K mile 30 day warranty - the actual repairs were about $5K), but it was very stressful for my daughter (and somewhat for me as I paid for the car) and now she will always be worrying about it (to some degree) instead of enjoying her 'new' (to her) car.
    #1
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  2. NorskieRider

    NorskieRider Long timer

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    <snort>

    We had the predecessor - the Audi 1.8T. At around 50k the MIL came on randomly, the Beaverton dealer couldn't figure it out. By 100k we had fixed several oil leaks, luckily all covered by the CPO. Then at 105k (no more warranty) the rear seal leaked all over the clutch. One $1800 clutch later ... still leaking ... this time from the transmission ... and myriad brake problems ... we gave up. Years later we fell in love in with an A6 (3.3L) and by 80k fell out of love when it cost $3300 to replace O2 sensors (never mind the transmission oil leak and myriad electronic issues and tows ... at least the extended warranty covered those).

    Had other issues with our BMW ... at only 64k miles. I really liked that 535i but just couldn't justify spending > $250/month on repairs or warranty. Thus no more BMW's either. On the other hand, I have friends and family with 150-200k BMWs, those that are doing well are non-turbo, three-pedals, RWD, I6.

    We learned first-hand why the used German cars depreciate so fast, for example V10 M5's can be had for < $20k ... and they have low miles (< 100k). There's a reason why.

    Glad "internal lubricated parts" warranty took care of you financially, but being a Euro brand ... there's always going to be something else.
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  3. FatChance

    FatChance Road Captain

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    "Good dependable" used car and Audi/BMW are seldom encountered in the same sentence...
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  4. Johnf3

    Johnf3 Long timer

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    The 2.0T is ubiquitous and every known issue is out on the interweb. Ours is a 2013 in a VW Tiguan and it was trouble-free to 125K. Not a single repair except a serpentine belt. I replaced the coil packs at 100K--cheap and easy maintenance item. It now has thrown a low turbo boost code, and at some point I will replace the turbo. This is a known issue caused by the waste gate arm wearing and causing sealing issues. My wife loves her car. It drives and feels like a more expensive car than it is. I am not unhappy at all with the reliability of it. I paid 16K for the car w/20K miles in 2013, so really no big deal.

    I think the 2012 and on 2.0T's are more reliable. Sorry to hear that you are having issues.
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  5. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

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    I chose Audi and BMW because I like how German cars handle - a good compromise between performance and 'luxury' IMO (I REALLY like how my X1 M-Sport handles compared to any other SUV/Crossover). Until this point, I have had decent luck with them, while Toyotas and Fords and Chevys and Dodges, etc., were problematic.

    Yes, probably the majority of VAG vehicles with 2.o T engines are probably satisfied with their car experience, but then a lot of people sell them before problems are known - this Q5 we bought had 82K miles on it (my BMW 325ci had 100+K when I gave it to my daughter - with no problems other than needing brakes at about 90K, which is better than normal wear). There were other Q5s in the area with fewer miles, but they had a poor history (had been in accidents and repaired, etc.) and were being sold by small private car lots (not a dealership) AS-IS with no warranty - I shudder to think of what would have happened had we had the same problem with one of those as for sure the small car lot would not have stood by what they sold - in that respect we probably lucked out.

    Personally, I think the previous owner (the dealership bought this car at auction) knew about the problem with the car and decided to sell it because it was out of warranty and he/she probably did not know about the class action lawsuit brought against Audi, or learned too late (I think the settlements expired about 4 years ago, and with an 80K limit). All Audi dealerships know about this issue - the one we bought it from did - but apparently did not check to see if it was an issue with this car (it requires driving the car for hundreds of miles), but also did not tell us that this is an endemic problem. At least they stepped up to the plate when we complained about the issue (I am glad my daughter is very sensitive to issues with her cars).

    Yes, as the Audi 2.0 T engines progressed they did become more reliable, but I advise caution if you are considering buying a car with this engine - it seems to me that Audi works out the bugs with this engine as they go. I would not buy another, despite the fact that the engine is ubiquitous in the VAG lineup. Audi still says using a liter of oil per 1K miles is normal for this engine! Tell me, what modern automobile engine in a non-sport mainstream car uses a quart of oil per 1K miles in normal day to day driving when the engine has less than 100K miles on it? None that I am aware of (maybe a Subaru) - certainly not my Bimmers (I've put 40K miles on my X1 and only had to had half a quart twice, between 5-10K mile oil changes, and I drive it hard - 60 miles mixed heavy traffic city and rural/mountain driving every day).

    We considered VWs, but reading about them we noticed that the specs were lower than the Audis, and their history less trouble-free. I should have dug deeper.

    When I google for engine problems with the 2.0T vs. the 2.0T in my Bimmer (used in a lot of Bimmers), I see almost no problems with my car and a lot more with the Audi 2.0T.

    Just saying: YMMV - literally.
    #5
  6. High Hope

    High Hope World's Best Dog Supporter

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    I found myself in the Audi camp sort of by happenstance. I bought a 1.8 turbo A4, it was a "bad car" (the dealer's own words) so her took it in and I stepped up to a 2.8 V6. It was a nice car but boring, even with a 5-speed. So I traded it up again on an S4 twin turbo Avant, which was one hoot of a car. But it seemed everything that went wrong cost $1,000, and a LOT went wrong. I jumped ship before the turbos exploded and went to BMW, a 328 6-cyl non turbo. It has been flawless and I haven't spent anything (except tires and a battery.)
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  7. Bovino

    Bovino Been here awhile

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    I told you to get the 3.0T!
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  8. Blakebird

    Blakebird r-u-n-n-o-f-t

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    The Gen 3 TFSI EA888 is a great engine.
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  9. ddavidv

    ddavidv Dark web dangerous

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    My good friend and track day buddy works for VW Credit fixing cars before they go to auction. He buys 2.0T cars off Craigslist frequently because he can get the parts super cheap to flip them but most everything that goes wrong with them requires either engine removal or engine teardown. Bad oil pumps are one big issue.

    You can buy a VW with a reliable engine. It is the 2.5 five cylinder. There are maybe four or five things that go wrong with those and they are all a weekend mechanic's ability to fix (vacuum pump, anyone?). Unfortunately I think they quit making or selling it in the US now.

    The 2.0T's are so bad my local VW only repair shop/used car dealer won't sell them to customers.
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  10. rd400racer

    rd400racer Long timer

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    I bought my daughter two BMW's before someone finally hit me over the head with a 2x4 and I came to my senses. Her 3rd car was/is a Lexus...absolutely zero issues from a vehicle that had over 100K miles when she bought it. Who cares if BMW or Audi "handle" better...it's not you driving it. This comes from someone that just sold a 1990 325is that was a brilliant car, but it was my car (2nd). BMW quit making decent vehicles as soon as the E36 was introduced.
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  11. Johnf3

    Johnf3 Long timer

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    Yes 1 liter in 1K seems crazy for a modern engine.. Our Tiguan 2.0T came with free VW service, I can't remember, maybe for the first 30K miles? My wife liked the dealer here so the car ended up being dealer-serviced up until 100K, when I took over. VW specs a 10K oil change. We never added oil in between changes up until 80K or so. Now it does use a quart every 4 or 5K miles. It is a quick little engine. My wife complains if she drives my Jeep or my truck because they don't have "zip" (as she describes it) like her car.
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  12. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

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    A lot of people care.

    My daughter likes the handling too, she loves the coupe I gave her, just doesn't care as much about handling as I do - but then she doesn't drive on curvy mountain roads every morning and evening - during the winter they are dark, wet, sometimes have ice or snow with steep ravines - then there are the deer jumping out in front of me almost daily.

    I have driven several Lexus cars quite a bit - two sedans and one SUV (my parents owned them, before they died I drove my mother around in her car). They handled like boats - especially at speed. Handling is a safety factor.

    But to each their own.
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  13. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

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    You did?

    I remember someone here telling me to get the A4 instead of the A3 because of the drivetrain, but I don't recall anything about the engine.
    #13
  14. Bovino

    Bovino Been here awhile

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    Sorry, not quite :jack

    [​IMG]

    Either ways, a almost nine year old car can always develop an issue. Don't worry about it. If you do, sell the Audi and buy her a Civic.
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  15. Guitar1327

    Guitar1327 Been here awhile

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    Every now and then I see an inexpensive GTI for sale and think it’d be a fun toy. Then I remember how problematic my 1.8T from 2000 was and I come back to my senses.
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  16. rd400racer

    rd400racer Long timer

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    All good. I just had such horrible memories of her BMW experience that I will never own one of their cars built after 1990. For what it's worth, my daughter is a Porsche saleswoman and her dealership also carries Audi's (no BMW's though). I asked one of the seasoned mechanics at Audi to recommend a used Audi for me. His response..."none of them!"

    Gratuitous pic of my daughter with her "weekend" cars...(I only get to ride along). The dealership gives her different cars to drive on the weekends so she can attend various car events around town.

    carsandcoffee.jpg gts3.JPG
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  17. Ducky 149

    Ducky 149 Been here awhile

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    I was transferred from a Volvo dealer to an Audi dealer when the Volvo dealer was sold to a family of assholes,here in Atl. There was a rotation list for piston jobs on the 2.0 TSI motors. Those cars were such a disappointment to work on I can’t even articulate it. I was crushed having to give estimates on out of warranty cars because the damn parts are so expensive. I was equally crushed to get in warranty jobs because they paid so poorly. The unfortunate customer that got one of these car totaling estimates would sometimes try to give/sell the car to one of the techs. It was a no go. Couldn’t give the cars to us because we knew how expensive the parts are. One of the best jobs in the house was a set of run flat tires and an alignment. Over 5 hours labor, and you earned every penny, but it was treated as gravy because all the other stuff was a bust. I would start making an exit strategy for your Audi and don’t be surprised when it fills up with water from bad sunroof drains or some other equally fucked up problem. I lasted a year, and then split back to Volvo owned by a different chain. Mucho better.!!! Consider this a friendly warning. I hope YMMV!!!
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  18. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

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    We got a 12K mile and 12 month warranty on the repair (but nothing else).

    We'll see how it goes. My daughter was anxious to get out of the deal, but there really wasn't any way in this state to do that.

    Had they not repaired it I would have raised holy hell, but the dealership did right considering the situation.

    That said, no more Audis.

    The repair total was about $4500 with about $1400 in parts and the rest in labor - they pulled the engine, replaced the pistons, wrist pins and rod bearings (apparently one of the bearings was damaged). But who knows what else is damaged now. It does do the turbo or catalytic convertor any good to run that oil thru it. The head and valves may have a lot of oil/carbon on them too, but the dealership said they were fine.
    #18
  19. David_Moen

    David_Moen Long timer

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    Stories like this are why we sold our 2014 S4! Flat out amazing car to drive, but we decided to sell it while it still had lots of factory warranty left, and the resale value was still reasonable. If I could afford a brand new one every 2 years I would have one in my garage still.
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  20. Blakebird

    Blakebird r-u-n-n-o-f-t

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    This story in particular is about an 8 yr old design that's been updated significantly over the years.
    The current one has won several 'best engine' awards and from what I've been able to find, is quite reliable.
    It's easy to pick on past reputations, but that doesn't serve the current models well. I think the current 2.0T (EA888 MQB) is a great powertrain (so far!)

    That said, I'm still in the first 20k miles on my 2018 A3, which has been brilliant and trouble free - if that changes I'll be jumping right on the bandwagon with you haters :lol3

    At any rate, if I stay with the brand my next one would be an S4 with the 354hp 3.0 turbo V6 - for the RWD based drivetrain and Torsen AWD....then I can find a thread berating the V6 :lol2
    #20